THE DARK KNIGHT RISES MOVIE MASTERS (MATTEL)
Man, remember when DC movies weren’t totally divisive and the subject of much ire between fandoms? Me either. But I do remember Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy, and there are certainly opinions about that one, aren’t there? Personally, I break from the few agreed upon ideas about the trilogy, namely that I’ve never been that terribly impressed by The Dark Knight (not that I think it’s a *bad* movie by any stretch), and I actually quite like it’s rather divisive follow-up, The Dark Knight Rises. Amongst the things that I really enjoy in Rises is Joseph Gordon Levitt’s turn as GCPD Detective John Blake, the closest thing this incarnation of the franchise got to a Robin (and as much as I enjoy the film, even I will admit that reveal was a little bit ham-fisted). Mattel actually went pretty in-depth for their Movie Masters component to the film’s tie-in toys, covering most of the major players, John included. I’m taking a look at him today.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
John Blake was released in the third round of Mattel’s Dark Knight Rises Movie Masters figures, technically alongside Ra’s Al-Gul, though that implies that the two of them ever shared any shelf space at retail…or made it to retail at all, for that matter…This line was a little bit mismanaged to say the least. The figure is just shy of 6 inches tall and he has 23 points of articulation. As a Mattel product, especially from their movie lines, it’s probably not a huge surprise that his articulation doesn’t have the greatest range of motion. In particular, the ab-crunch and elbows are quite restricted, not that any of that was surprising for this line. Blake gets two distinct looks for the movie, his standard GCPD officer’s uniform, and the more dressed down attire he gets after being promoted to detective. At the time, Mattel was doing pretty much everything they could to put as many of these guys as possible on the standard suit body, but despite that opted for Blake in his GCPD attire. It’s his slightly more distinctive look, and the one used for most of the promotional stuff for the movie, so that made sense. It also meant he got a surprising amount of new parts, with only the lower half of the figure using the suit body pieces. The rest was new, and honestly not bad for Mattel’s usual output from this era. The head’s got one of Mattel’s better likenesses for Movie Masters, and actually kind of looks like JGL. He’s still perhaps a little on the cartoony side, but it’s pretty close. His paint work is all pretty basic, but not bad. It more or less gets the job done. The hands are painted, rather than molded with makes them a little thick and devoid of detail, but it’s not terrible. Blake was originally packed with part of the Bat Signal Collect-N-Connect scene, and that was it. No character specific extras or anything, which feels kind of lazy.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I really wanted this figure when it was released, as I’d really enjoyed the character in the film, and I’m just generally a fan of Joseph Gordon Levitt as an actor. Unfortunately, I never actually saw one at retail, nor did I even really see him on the secondary market, even for inflated pricing. He was just rather uncommon. I resigned myself to not have the figure, and kind of forgot about him. That was until the same collection the got me yesterday’s BAT, also had this guy. Huzzah, finally a John Blake! Ultimately, he’s not really much to write home about, but he’s probably one of the best Movie Masters Mattel did during their tenure.