BATMAN: ANIMATED (DC COLLECTIBLES)
When it was in full swing, DC Collectibles’ Batman: Animated line was one that gave me a lot of mixed emotions. I liked the concept behind it, because I like the show, and I like well-articulated action figures, but the implementation was always hit or miss. And if the quality of the figures wasn’t questionable, how they were getting released kept getting weirder. When my most wanted figure ended up stuck in a $150+ boxed set, I was less than thrilled, and so were a lot of other people, and the line sort of died off for a bit, its last few offerings being a bit up in the air. Cancellation seemed like a certainty, but DCC surprised us and actually got those last several figures out. Included amongst them was the Grey Ghost, a show original creation designed to showcase former Batman actor Adam West. He was one of the few characters not to be given a figure during Kenner’s run, and while Mattel made one, he was never super plentiful, making DCC’s a pretty big deal. Does he live up to it? The short answer is yes, but allow me to elaborate.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Grey Ghost is figure 42 in the Batman: Animated line, and is part of what is looking like it may be the final assortment of single-carded figures. He’s based on the character’s appearance in his showcase episode “Beware the Grey Ghost.” The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 29 points of articulation. Right off the bat, this figure is notable for deviating from the line’s (admittedly a little inconsistent) articulation scheme. The neck is changed from a restricted ball joint to a universal joint, the hips are now a ball and disk construction with an overlay piece for the pelvis, he has double knee joints, and his ankles follow the current Legends rocker set-up. The biggest upside to this is an abundance of lateral movement on the legs, which removes the tendency towards pigeon-toes for these figures and also makes him a lot easier to keep standing. There are still some areas where movement could be improved (he still has nothing mid-torso), but this is a great step forward. This line was sold on show accuracy, and Grey Ghost’s sculpt follows suit. It’s a pretty clean recreation, and the articulation is suitably worked in without breaking things up too badly. In terms of paint work, Grey Ghost is fairly consistent with earlier offerings. This definitely makes the paint the weakest aspect of the figure, but it’s not terrible. There are a few spots that could stand to be just a touch cleaner. Grey Ghost is packed with his pistol (plus an extra hand for holding it), one of the Mad Bomber’s toy cars, an extra hand holding a pen, and a copy of the Grey Ghost VHS he’s seen signing at the end of the episode. While it’s a little sad that the stands were cut, I do like the return to episode specific extras a lot.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I genuinely thought this figure wasn’t getting released, so I was surprised to find him at a comic book store while on vacation a few weeks ago. I wasn’t expecting much, but wasn’t going to pass on owning some version of the character as a toy. He pleasantly surprised me to say the least, and in typical DCC fashion, they’ve managed to fix everything just before abandoning things.