LEGENDS OF BATMAN (KENNER)
“As Robin, he fought crime beside Batman all his life, and with every bit of his mentor’s determination! Now Robin has grown up, and he has a new super-hero identity: Nightwing! His sonic blaster and armored cowl make him a force to be reckoned with! Together, Batman and Nightwing can take on any villain in Gotham City!”
In 1994, we were in between Batman movies, but the holders of the DC license over at Kenner didn’t just want to sit and wait for one to role out in order to release new toys. The went with a radical concept: basing figures on the comics…well, at first anyway. Legends of Batman began as a rather straight comic Batman line, with one or two Bat-variants worked in, but it would eventually morph into a full-fledged Elseworlds-esque line. For today’s review, though, I’m sticking wit the line’s early focus, with a look at Batman’s former sidekick, Nightwing!
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Nightwing was released in Series 1 of the Legends of Batman line. He’s based on Nightwing’s early ’90s design, which was still current at the time of this figure’s release, and figured into Knightfall, a storyline that was a prominent inspiration for early Legends figures. The figure stands 5 inches tall and has 5 points of articulation, as was the standard for Kenner figures at the time. Nightwing sported an all-new sculpt, and you can definitely see a lot of the origins of things like Total Justice in this figure’s sculpt. He’s heavily pre-posed, and exactly what that pose is supposed to be is a little up in the air. They were definitely going for dynamic, but dynamically what, that they never settled on. This intended dynamic look is also passed on to the hair; it’s early ’90s Nightwing, so of course he’s got the mullet, and it’s just whipping around back there like crazy. On top of the pre-posing, Nightwing is also really bulked up. This wasn’t uncommon for this costume to showcase Dick bulked way up to near Schwarzenegger-ian proportions, and this figure follows suit. Strictly speaking, it’s not inaccurate, but it sure is super goofy. He’s more bulked up than most of the Batmen in the line, which is downright silly. Nightwing’s paintwork was rather muted compared to the comics design, which honestly robs this design of it’s one real selling point: that it was eye-catching. Also, despite the “feather” detail being sculpted into the figure’s torso, it goes unpainted, with the figure relying on a removable shoulder piece to provide the yellow. Unfortunately, if you’re like me and your figure is missing that piece, it makes Nightwing look especially incomplete. In addition to the removable shoulder piece, Nightwing includes what is obviously the most appropriate accessory for him, a missile launcher! Clearly this is Dick Grayson’s signature item.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
While I wasn’t quite into collecting yet when this figure was first released, I did still get him within the decade of his release, albeit as a used offering. My cousin Rusty had this one, and I always liked it. Since he knew I was a bit more of a Batman fan than he was, he ended up giving it to me. Sure, he didn’t have all of the parts, but it was a nice gesture. The figure’s definitely dated, even moreso than some of his compatriots, but your can’t really say he doesn’t live up to the comics design.