THE DARK KNIGHT RISES (MATTEL)
Batman’s had his fair share of wacky variants over the years. Some are actually pretty cool, and some are really far out there. And then some are just super lazy. Today, I’m going to be looking at one of the super lazy ones (alongside a fairly standard one), courtesy of Mattel’s tie-in line for The Dark Knight Rises.
THE FIGURES THEMSELVES
Batman (and Batman) were part of the “Basic Series” of Mattel’s small-scale The Dark Knight Rises line. These were the cheapest figures available, as they were mostly just recolors of the basic Batman figure. The figures stand 3 ¾ inches tall and have 7 points of articulation. The articulation is kind of odd; the figures lack any sort of elbow movement, which is incredibly limiting. The knees, hips, and shoulders are rather simplistic, but the neck joint is inexplicably a ball joint. Moving past the articulation, the sculpt actually isn’t that bad. It does a pretty good job of capturing the design of the bat-suit from TDK and TDKR, and it actually features a pretty great depth of fine detail work. The head, specifically his exposed mouth, does look a bit weird, like the mask doesn’t fit right, but that’s the only real “down” to the sculpt. The capes are both cloth; they’re just simple scraps of black cloth, cut into vaguely the right shape. Cloth very rarely works well at this scale, and these two show why. The capes are fairly rigid looking, and don’t do anything but hang there awkwardly. The paint is the dividing point for these two. The black one is a fairly standard Batman, looking more or less as he does in the film. He’s not really painted as much as he is molded in the proper colors. The parts that actually use paint are fairly basic, but well applied. The other one has a strange aqua sort of coloring to him, which is, of course, totally made up for the toy. It looks a bit more vibrant than the black one, and it has a few more paint apps, but some areas, such as the face, are a bit sloppier on this one. Neither of these two includes any sort of accessories.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
Dark Knight Rises came out well after I’d stopped buying weird Batman re-colors (well…mostly), so I didn’t get either of these figures new. Instead, I actually got these from my girlfriend’s dad, who found them at the super market and thought of me. How kind of him! Can’t say I would have ever gotten them for myself, and one really has to wonder who the heck Mattel was hoping would be buying these, but they actually aren’t that bad.