BATMAN & TWO-FACE
For day 15 of the Post-Christmas reviews, I’ll be taking a step back to a few years, and actually looking at a Mattel product. Weird, right? In 2002, the DC license moved to Mattel from Hasbro (who had inherited it via their buyout of former holder Kenner), marking the first time in over a decade that the license had formally changed hands. It was something of a quick change, resulting in Hasbro being unable to release some of the product they had designed beforehand. When Mattel took over, they ended up making use of some of these already existing designs (which were all Batman-related), releasing them as a quick, one and done line of two-packs, each containing Batman and a supporting player. That wasn’t enough, apparently, as they also occasionally trotted the figures out for re-release over the years, usually single-packed and with wonky color schemes. Today, I’ll be looking at a pair of figures from one of those re-releases.
THE FIGURES THEMSELVES
Batman and Two-Face were released in 2008, in a line simply branded Batman. I should specify here that they were both single releases, which I’m just reviewing as a pair here for my own convenience. There was also a Joker figure in the set, which I don’t have.
First up is Batman. Not just any Batman, though! No, this here is a wacky variant Batman! The figure stands just shy of 5 inches tall and has 5 points of articulation. The sculpt is based on the New Batman Adventures version of Batman. It’s not a terrible recreation of the design, but I don’t think it’s quite as good as the prior Kenner version of the design, and it’s definitely not as good as the recent DCC version. However, it’s still a pretty decent sculpt, and it’s clear which version of Batman this is supposed to be. Plus, it’s got a much more natural pose than the Kenner version, which is a nice change. Wait, didn’t I say this was a wacky variant Batman? Why, yes I did! That all comes from the paint. Instead of the traditional grey for the body, he has this odd orange/silver thing. It’s not based on any particular look or anything, just random orange and silver Batman. How ‘bout that? The paint is decently applied, for what it’s worth, so there’s that. Batman included no accessories, just like all of the other Batmen who used this same exact mold.
So, Batman was a wacky variant, but Two-Face is an actual adapted design, right? Not really, no. But that’s okay! Because toys! Like Batman, this figure stands about 5 inches tall and has 5 points of articulation. It’s worth noting that this guy feels like he’s just a bit smaller-scaled than Batman, which is especially notable when you compare head sizes. The sculpt is also based on his New Batman Adventures design, and it’s not quite as strong as Batman’s. It’s not terrible, and the body in particular is a pretty decent Timm-style suit sculpt (which is probably why Mattel ended up using a tweaked version of it several times in their JLU line). The head is pretty off, and it has a really obvious mold line running along the chin, which looks pretty bad. The paintwork is kind of interesting. It’s definitely not show-accurate, but it’s also not quite as out there as Batman, since it isn’t all that far-removed from some of his classic color-schemes from the comics. That actual application is reasonable enough. The colors are pretty vibrant, and most of the paint stays in the lines, which is nice. Two-Face also doesn’t include any accessories, but he does have his coin sculpted in his hand, so at least he isn’t totally lacking.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
Batman and Two-Face were given to me for Christmas by my Super Awesome Girlfriend. And where did she find these 8 year old action figures? Some second hand store? Nope, it was CVS of all places. I was genuinely shocked by that. Neither of them are particularly standout figures, but they kind of a nifty throwback to the wacky variants of old, and I was happy to receive them.