BATMAN: MASK OF THE PHANTASM (KENNER)
As I’ve brought up on this site, my favorite Batman film of all time is easily Batman: Mask of the Phantasm, the Animated Series’ cult classic theatrical feature. It’s an impressively crafted story, and actually does a phenomenal job of actually salvaging some of the elements of the rather messy Batman: Year Two story. The story’s original antagonist, Reaper, was reimagined as the titular Phantasm, a chilling and truly intimidating villain. Unsurprisingly, the Phantasm got some toy coverage in the tie-in line, and I’m looking at that figure today!
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Phantasm was released as part of the Mask of the Phantasm tie-in line in 1994, and was really the main focus figure in the line-up. I know, what a shock. What was also *supposed* to be a surprise was the Phantasm’s identity, which was to be hidden under the figure’s mask in the package. However, for some reason, someone at Kenner thought it would be a much better idea to instead package the mask off of the figure, thereby revealing the Phantasm’s secret identity before the film even hit theaters. Yay. The figure stands 4 1/2 inches tall and she has 4 points of articulation. The Phantasm’s sculpt was all-new, and, well, it’s technically a little bit compromised. It’s not entirely Kenner’s fault, to be fair. In the film, the reveal that the Phantasm is really Andrea Beaumont is hidden by the fact that the two character’s designs sport almost entirely different builds. It’s a total cheat in the movie, and not something that’s quite so easily rendered in three dimensions. For the purposes of this figure, Kenner opted to sculpt Andrea as she’s seen post-reveal, and then provide add-on parts to approximate the Phantasm design. Ultimately, it’s a compromise, but it’s probably the optimal compromise. The underlying figure is a pretty solid recreation of Andrea’s design. The head in particular is a good match to the model. Technically, for true film accuracy, she shouldn’t have the glove on her right hand, but I’m ultimately not too bugged by the added symmetry. Phantasm’s paint work is pretty basic, but a decent match for her colors in the movie. There’s no odd color changes this time around, so she’s nice and screen-accurate. Phantasm is packed with her mask/hood and cape, which slips nicely over the head, and her scythe attachment for her hand. They make for a passable, if perhaps not quite as intimidating, recreation of the primary Phantasm design. The figure also originally included a gun because, you know, gun, right? Mine doesn’t have that piece, which, you know, is just such a bummer, right?
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I didn’t get the Phantasm when she was brand new, mostly due to being just shy of being only enough to actually see the movie. Also, when I finally did see it, she kind of scared the crap out of me, so I held off for a bit longer. Ultimately, I ended up getting her as a Christmas present from my parents a few years later, and she’s stuck with my collection since. While the figure obviously isn’t a pitch perfect recreation of the film design, I’ve still always found it to be a really fun offering, and certainly one of my favorite Animated pieces.