BATMAN – BUCCANEER
LEGENDS OF BATMAN (KENNER)
In Super Hero toylines, it’s rarely a shock to see wacky, non-cannon variants of the main heroes . After releasing a basic version of the heroes, variants are the easiest way to get them into every assortment. They’re kind of one of those necessary evils (and honestly, they aren’t even that evil). Oddly enough, in the mid-90s, Kenner released the Legends of Batman line, which was a line of figures pretty much exclusively devoted to weird variants of Batman and his supporting cast. Today, I’ll be looking at one of those Batmen, specifically Buccaneer Batman, because who doesn’t love pirates?
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Buccaneer Batman was released in the third series of Legends of Batman. He was part of the “Pirate” sub-line that Series 3 introduced, alongside First Mate Robin, Laughing Man Joker, and … Pirate Two-Face. Yeah, they kind of gave up on the names after “Buccaneer Batman.” The figure stands a little over 5 inches tall and has the standard 5 points of articulation for a figure of the time. There’s a slight bit of limited motion on the right shoulder, thanks to his “Slamming Mace Action,” which would swing his arm downward when the button the figure’s back was pressed. As far as I know, this figure (and all the other Pirate figures) is not based on any particular comicbook appearance of Batman, but rather comes from the minds of Kenner. The design takes the classic Batman design, and makes a few tweaks here and there, to play up the whole pirate angle. His mask is no longer a cowl, but is instead a bandana tied into shape (though, how he got it to duplicate the bat ears is anyone’s guess). Gone is the utility belt, replaced by a simple sash, albeit one where he can still stow a batarang. He’s also got a belt running along his chest, which has a bat-logo affixed to it, just in case you didn’t know who this was. What’s slightly odd about the logo, though, is that it’s oriented parallel to the belt on his waist, despite the belt it’s attached to being diagonal. It almost feels like the logo was meant to be diagonal too, but then someone in DC’s merchandising insisted it be oriented flat, so as to not cause any brand confusion or something. Anyway, the design’s interesting enough. The actual sculpt isn’t bad, but it definitely has some oddities. For one thing, Batman’s really beefy, more so than he usually is depicted. Despite the fact that the costume is clearly meant to be loose and flowing, his muscles are still bulging through in every spot that they can. Also, he’s in a very strange pose, with one of the widest stances I’ve ever seen on an action figure. It’s not that this sculpt is bad, but rather that it seems uncertain of what it’s trying to do. Also, he did have a cape at one point, but I seem to have lost mine. Batman’s paint is fairly standard, but still pretty cool. He predominately uses the basic Batman colors, but they’ve given him red in place of the usual yellow. It makes it so this is clearly Batman, but he’s just different enough that you’re given pause. Plus, red seems more pirate-y anyway. Batman included a sword and a mace, both of which had been given slight bat-makeovers. He could only hold one at a time, and, if I’m honest, the sword was a lot cooler.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I received Batman (and his corresponding Robin) for my fourth birthday. I definitely recall seeing the commercials for this particular set of figures and being rather excited to get them. Which is odd, since I’ve never been much of a pirates guy, but whatever. The figure took quite a beating over the years, and as goofy as he is, I still have something of a soft spot for him. This figure, like the rest of the Legends of Batman line, goes to show that wacky variants aren’t inherently a bad thing, provided you’re having fun with them.