#3240: Green Lantern John Stewart



Before they went out of business and then got reinvented as little more than a glorified way for McFarlane to put out more of the same figures, DC Direct/Collectibles went through quite a few attempts at creating a central, singularly styled line of figures.  There were a few extended lines based on specific works, such as Justice, which took advantage of the large cast of the book to do a sizable swath of the DCU in one style.  Their first deliberate aim at a consistently styled, full universe-spanning line was History of the DC Universe, which honestly was kind of doomed before it began, because it arrived only half-formed and never really tried to improve that.  After rebranding as DC Collectibles, the company launched with a New 52 line, again with the same basic idea, but given the lukewarm reception to the New 52 and its designs, the line again had short legs.  After that failed, they tried again, with DC IconsIcons had a sort of rocky start, but it managed recover pretty quickly, and actually was shaping up to be a really strong line…until DCC decided they didn’t have faith in it anymore, and decided to reboot once again with DC Essentials, a line doomed before it even began.  Though short-lived, Icons did at least have a solid run of figures.  I reviewed a bunch of them back when the line was still relatively new, but today I’m looking at one more.  It’s John Stewart Green Lantern!


Green Lantern John Stewart was part of the fourth series of DC Icons.  He was figure 15 in the line, placing him just before the previously reviewed Firestorm, also from the same assortment.  Each of the figures in this line was specifically patterned on a certain comics appearance.  In John’s case, he’s based on Green Lantern: Mosaic, a GL-spin-off series from the early ’90s.  The series was a showcase for John in particular, and laid a lot of ground work for the modern interpretations of the character, so it’s a pretty distinctive choice for him.  It was also nice to see them go for something a little bit older.  It does have the sort of odd side effect of not putting John in the outfit he’s been sporting since the early 2000s, which would match a good number of other figures in the line, but we’d seen that look a couple of time recently at this point, so the change-up was seemingly a show of good faith that they might possibly do more than one John.  How foolish we all were.  The figure stands about 6 1/4 inches tall (since this is after they’d started to address the early scale issues of the line) and he has 33 points of articulation.  He got the improved articulation set-up that came with the fourth series forward, which included the addition of drop hips, which makes for a much better posing situation.  John’s sculpt was completely unique.  It’s a pretty nice offering.  He’s got a larger build than Hal did, which feels appropriate for the character.  The head’s not my favorite take on John (that’s still the DCUC version, which just really slaps), but it’s certainly better than a lot of other recent takes.  It at least gets away from the “generic black guy” issue that I had with the McFarlane and Mezco figures.  It’s honestly not a bad translation of how he looked in Mosaic specifically, which is really the point.  The figure’s paint work is pretty decent; he matches up with Hal alright, keeping that satin metallic finish for the green, as well as the high gloss finish on the white.  Application’s pretty clean for the most part.  The eyebrows are a little bit misaligned, and there’s a spot of green missing on one of his shoulders, but otherwise things look pretty decent.  John gets a solid selection of accessories, including two different forearm/hand combos for both gloved and ungloved looks, since he alternated in Mosaic.  The gloved look gets an extra right hand, with a hole in place of the ring, allowing for use of the three construct attachments.  It’s a shame there’s not another one for the ungloved hands, but I understand the line being drawn somewhere.  He also includes a power battery, for all those recharging purposes.


I slept on a lot of Icons, unfortunately, and John was one of those that I really slept on.  Thankfully, I got another chance with him, since one got traded into All Time a couple of years ago.  I already wanted one, so he was an easy sell for me.  While the Mosaic design isn’t top of my list for John’s look, I can appreciate the variety, and I think it did turn out pretty well.  And, at least he actually got a figure in the line, which is more than can be said for a lot of DC’s prominent heroes.

Thanks to my sponsors over at All Time Toys for setting me up with this figure to review.  If you’re looking for cool toys both old and new, please check out their website.

#3215: Batman Beyond



Before their demise, DC Collectibles had quite a run with their Batman: Animated line, dedicated to specifically the Batman side of the DCAU.  The stuff was mostly based purely on Batman: The Animated Series and The New Adventures of Batman, but towards the end of things, they tried expanding their reach a little bit more.  Keeping things within the Bat-family, there was one single boxed set based on Batman Beyond.  I’m gonna let you know upfront, I’m not doing the whole set.  But I do have the BB, so, you know, there’s that!


Batman Beyond is one-third of the “Batman Beyond” three-pack from DCC’s Batman: Animated line, which was released in early 2017.  The figure stands about 5 3/4 inches tall and he has 24 points of articulation.  The articulation schemes for these figures were always spotty, up until the last assortment, and BB is more of that.  He’s not terrible.  The head and the ankles do okay on the range of motion, but the elbows and knees are, on the flip side, kind of restricted.  He also has the issue of no lateral movement below the hips, which plagued so many of the line’s figures.  The ankles do at least work out a bit better in conjunction with everything, so he’s not quite as pigeon-toed.  The quality of the sculpt is at least pretty good.  Honestly, this is probably the closest to an animation-accurate Batman Beyond we’ve ever gotten.  Yeah, that was the aim of the line, but they also tended to miss the mark, so them getting it so close here was definitely an accomplishment.  BB’s paint work is pretty basic, but it’s checks all the right boxes.  The colors match the cartoon, and the application is actually pretty clean.  It’s again a pretty nice change of pace, given how fuzzy the work on other figures in the line tended to be.  BB was packed with four sets of hands (in fists, gripping, and two different styles of open gesture), a removable set of wings, two batarangs, and a display stand.  My figure is without the batarangs and stand, but he’s got everything else.  The wings being removable is nice, since, you know, not everybody does that.  I’m not super keen on the way they get broken up by the joints, but I suppose it’s kind of a catch-22.  It could be worse, though, and when posed properly, they honestly look better than I’d expected.


While I kept up with this line pretty closely when it first launched, by the time this set came along, I had kind of gotten burned out.  With just about everything eventually going on serious mark down, I opted to hold out on this one.  Unfortunately, it wound up being short-printed, since just about everyone else was seemingly burning out around the same time.  It wound up picking up quite a hefty price on the aftermarket, and that was all she wrote.  Well, until a Batman Beyond got traded into All Time all by himself.  I’m still looking for the best possible version of the character, and, honestly, this one’s better than I’d expected.

Thanks to my sponsors over at All Time Toys for setting me up with this figure to review.  If you’re looking for cool toys both old and new, please check out their website.

#3205: Nightwing



After retiring from his duties as Robin, Dick Grayson continued to hang around with the Titans for a while, before settling on a new identity, Nightwing*.  Nightwing’s become a pretty recognizable fixture in his own right, and has become a pretty standard play for animated stories that want to let Dick grow up, or even perhaps contrast him with another Robin.  2014’s Son of Batman aimed to contrast him with Batman’s newly discovered son (spoilers: Batman has a son), Damian, granting Nightwing a rather sizable role in the story.  It also granted him another action figure, which is where my interests really lie.


Nightwing was released in 2014, as part of the four-figure tie-in line for Son of Batman, which was part of the overall line of figures based on DC’s animated films of the time.  Nightwing was figure #09, making him the final of the four figures in this set numerically.  He’s sporting Nightwing’s costume from the film, which is honestly not a bad one.  In an era when the comics version was saddled with the New 52’s odd choice to go red and black with his color scheme, this one sticks to a more classic set-up, inspired somewhat by what he’d been wearing not too long before in the second season of Young Justice.  It’s probably amongst the best of the DC animation costume designs of the era.  The figure stands just over 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 15 points of articulation.  Nightwing has more than a few parts in common with the animation-inspired Green Lantern that I reviewed back when these figures were new…and when the site was still not even a year old.  Crazy times, really.  The base body has a nice, medium build, which matches well with the character’s design from the film.  He gets a new head and lower arms, as well as some belt pouches which have been glued in place at the waist.  The whole thing makes for a decent enough set-up for the character, given how he looks in the movie.  The head feels very true to the character in terms of likeness and personality, and the new lower arms allow him to actually hold his accessories, and even give his left hand a slightly more unique pose than “fist.”  The joints haven’t held up particularly great over time, but for the most part, it’s a solid sculpt.  The paint work on this guy is alright.  These figures were definitely on the messier side, just really for the whole run of the line, but Nightwing wound up at least a little bit better than the first series of figures.  There’s still some slop and some fuzzy edges, but nothing too terrible.  Nightwing was packed with his two eskrima sticks, which is honestly impressive for this line, which was generally not fond of giving the figures much of anything.


Son of Batman was not a movie I particularly enjoyed.  The concept was there, but the execution was lacking, and it was kind of the movie that got me out of really keeping up to date with the DC Animated fare.  Nevertheless, one of the few things I did like about it was Sean Maher’s turn as Dick Grayson.  I came very close to buying this figure on multiple occasions, but, for one reason or another, I just kind of kept putting it off, and then he’d gotten a bit pricey on the aftermarket, so I just dropped it.  He’s been on my list to look out for since then, and I was lucky enough to snag a loose one that got traded into All Time a little bit ago.  He’s not a perfect figure, but he’s fun, and I can get behind that.

*Okay, it wasn’t an entirely new identity, because it was actually the identity that Superman used to use while visiting the bottle city of Kandor.  But don’t tell Dick that, it’ll just make him sad.

#3200: Batman



Ah, DC Essentials.  The second use of the very generic name for a toyline, by a very generically named toy company, with figures that are exclusively DC’s heavy hitters, making finding any information regarding the line next to impossible if you don’t want to scroll through a bunch of nonsense.  That’s great staying power for a toyline, right? Well, no, but then again, DC Direct/DC Collectibles was never much for keeping things going.  They just tended to get bored and move to the next thing…which is kind of what happened to the company as a whole after DC left Diamond Comics in 2020.  Now they exist only as sub-division of McFarlane Toys.  And that’s somehow worse than just being defunct, I feel.  Alas.  I suppose I’ll just review one of my un-reviewed DCC figures I’ve got sitting here, going all the way back to the beginning of the second DC Essentials.  Let’s look at Batman, I guess.


Batman is figure 1 in the DC Essentials line, officially kicking off the line in an assortment that also featured Deathstroke, Flash, and Reverse Flash.  Early run for the line had two pairs of two themed figures for each series.  In Batman’s case, he paired off opposite Deathstroke.  You know, classic Batman foe Deathstroke.  The way it’s been.  Ever since the beginning.  Just Batman and Deathstroke all the time.  Sure.  Anyway, the Batman figure that I’m actually supposed to be writing about is based on his Rebirth design, which he’d gotten not terribly long before this figure hit, and which was consistent with most of the other figures in the early line.  The figure stands 7 inches tall and he has 34 points of articulation.  Batman was based on the standard male body for the line, which served as the starting point for the vast majority of the line’s figures.  It’s not the worst thing, but it’s certainly got its flaws.  Those overly long arms still look goofy, and I’m not as angry about the exposed torso joint pegs as I was when the line was new, but they’re still not great.  Also, I still have issues with the same base body being used across the board for all of the male characters, regardless of how they *should* be built.  In Batman’s case, it’s a touch skinny.  All that said, it’s not a terrible offering by any stretch.  He gets a unique head, forearms, boots, cape, and belt.  The new parts do at least mesh well with the base body, and I quite like the head’s rendering of Batman’s short-eared look.  It’s very clean, and I really like it.  Batman’s paint work is generally okay.  The application is fairly clean, and the colors look overall rather nice.  That said, this costume was pretty consistently depicted as being black and grey, and for some reason, they’ve gone for a dark blue.  It’s not a bad look, but it’s not as striking as it could be.  Batman is packed with a single batarang, and that’s it.  It’s more than most of the line got, of course, but it still feels light.


When Essentials first hit, the price point per figure was far too high for me to really be grabbing too many of them.  I got, like, two of them at full price and waited on sales for the rest.  But, even on sale, Batman wasn’t really high on my list.  That is, until Batman got traded into All Time shortly after I went back to work following the 2020 shut down.  I’d gone two months with no new toys, and he was a good deal, and, well, I was an easy mark.  He’s not a bad figure.  Not a great one, but not a bad one.  That’s kind of Essentials as a whole.  They were at least a consistent offering.

Thanks to my sponsors at All Time Toys for setting me up with this figure for review.  If you’re looking for toys both old and new, please check out their website.

#2391: Atom



In October of 2017, I reviewed Mattel’s take on Brandon Routh’s Atom from Legends of Tomorrow.  It may be the greatest letdown I ever experienced under Mattel’s tenure with the license, and given how badly they ran things for the last five years or so, that’s saying something.  Don’t drink and buy toys, guys.  The thing about the figures from the CW shows was that both Mattel and DC Collectibles had their proverbial fingers in the pie, and that meant we got multiple options for several of the characters.  As a rule, I tended to go with the DCC versions, but Mattel’s Atom got the jump on DCC, which is why I got that one.  I always meant to get the DCC version as a follow-up, but, well, I didn’t.  Until now, anyway.


Atom was figure 3 in the Legends of Tomorrow line from DC Collectibles.  He hit shelves in late 2017, and was in an assortment that also included Kid Flash and White Canary, though as is often the case with DCC figures, the assortment had no bearing on them actually getting to stores together.  As such, Atom hit a bit after the other two.  The figure stands 6 3/4 inches tall and he has 26 points of articulation.  The Multiverse Atom was pretty awful in the articulation category, as was true of most Multiverse figures of the time.  This one’s not perfect by any means; after all, he’s DCC, and they have mega troubles with articulation, too.  As much as I liked the Kid Flash from this same assortment, his articulation did leave some things to be desired.  There are definitely some spots on this guy, notably the hips and the mid-torso joint, which aren’t sporting a lot of range, and in fact feel a bit like they may break if pushed much beyond their basic positioning.  He also comes from the period after DCC decided that lateral movement on the legs didn’t need to be a standard thing (the decision that pretty much killed my interest in their Batman: Animated line), but at least in Atom’s case, they did manage to make it work so that it doesn’t completely ruin the figure’s posing options.  Additionally, the rest of the joints all have some pretty solid range on them.  I mean, this guy can actually bend his arms!  That’s crazy.  Matty Atom can’t do that!  I also quite like how they’ve articulated the shoulder pads so that they don’t hinder his movement; it woks very well.  The articulation is far better worked into the sculpt on this guy than it was on the Mattel one, which is funny, given that it’s far more useful on this guy.  His sculpt is a pretty solid recreation of the suit design from the show.  The detailing is all pretty sharp, and the layering works to make him look convincingly like a guy in a suit of armor.  The whole face is sculpted on this one, and it’s a respectable likeness of Routh.  He’s got a separate visor piece, which again helps selling the depth on the sculpt.  Paintwork on this guy is pretty decent.  Mostly it’s just basic work, but there aren’t any missing details, and I do quite like the metallic finish on the blue sections of his armor.  It works far better than the flat blue on the Mattel figure.  The visor is actually a clear blue plastic piece, unlike the solid black that Matty went for.  This guy is packed with four sets of hands (fists, gripping, open, and fists with a blast effect), as well as jet effects to plug into the back of the suit.  It’s a shame we didn’t get an unmasked head, but given how Mattel’s attempt went, maybe it’s for the best.


I intended to pick this guy up as soon as he was released, because I was just really let down by that Matty figure, but he ended up being one of the figures that DCC didn’t really get out to everyone.  My LCS didn’t get him at all, and I just never did get around to ordering one online.  By the time I thought about it, he had gotten a little pricey.  In the midst of being stuck at home, I ended up looking around again, and happened to find him through a third party seller on Walmart.com of all places, for about a third of his going rate.  I was a little skeptical and was fully expecting to receive the Matty figure instead, but was pleasantly surprised when the correct figure arrived.  He’s not perfect, but he’s so much better than the other figure, and I’m glad I finally tracked him down.

#2368: Deadshot



CW’s Arrow wrapped up its eight year run at the beginning of this year, sending off its main character via the Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover.  Seems like the perfect time for me to finally get around to reviewing the toys, doesn’t it?  So, am I looking at Ollie?  Or maybe one of his sidekicks?  Diggle?  No, no, I’m doing my thing and looking at the Arrow-verse version of Floyd Lawton, better known as Deadshot, who was a recurring character in the show until Warner’s kinda silly “no brand confusion” rules required him to be rather suddenly removed so that no one would accidentally mistake him for Will Smith.  Because these two look so much alike, right?  Well, at least he got the toy.


Deadshot was figure 6 in the Arrow line from DC Collectibles…wait, hang on, that can’t be right.  Let me double check my notes…yep, he’s really figure 6.  That just seems really off for some reason, that Deadshot of all characters would pop up that early in the line.  I guess they were still trying to push him pretty hard…you know, before pretending this version didn’t exist and all.  The figure hit shelves in April of 2015…a month after they removed him from the show…okay, seriously, this can’t be right.  No, apparently it is.  Well, I guess he *was* solicited a while a head of that, and that would have been right when the show was amping up to have him be a major part of that Suicide Squad arc that they had to drop.  Man, Arrow was weird.  And DC Collectibles was weird.  It’s okay, they’re both no more, so we’re totally safe from their weirdness.  Weirdness defeated, this figure stands 6 3/4 inches tall and he has 30 points of articulation.  He’s pretty well-articulated for a DCC figure, especially one of their TV figures.  He doesn’t have any obviously missing joints like a lot of them, and can pull off a number of cool action poses.  I do wish there was some more range on the arms, especially those elbows, so that there was a little more variety to how he could hold his rifle, but it’s better than I was expecting.  The sculpt is likewise one of the nicer ones I’ve gotten from DCC.  It’s based on his later appearances from the show, after they started doing the Suicide Squad stuff.  It’s a good approximation of all of the signature elements of his classic comics design, while still being CW-ish enough to work in the more real-world setting of Arrow.  It’s also really darn close to what they ended up giving Will Smith in the movie.  Throw a mask on this guy, and like the movie version, you’d have a pretty respectable comics design.  The sculpt does a respectable job of translating all of that into a workable figure. A lot of the DCC TV figures wound up with kind of softer sculpts, and that’s kinda true here, but there’s enough going on that it’s not too bad looking.  The head’s also sporting a passable likeness of Michael Rowe as seen on the show, which is always a plus.  His paintwork is suitably realistic, with the base colors looking clean, and a decent amount of accenting being worked in throughout.  They even managed to do some not totally terrible stubble, which I consider quite a victory.  A Deadshot without some guns would be kind of pointless, so this guy includes three of them.  He’s got a sniper variant of the Galil (which, fun fact, is the Israeli version of the AK platform), as well as two identical Beretta 92s.  The two Berettas are a little odd, since he can really only hold one at a time, and he’s only got the one holster, but hey, I won’t complain about getting an extra accessory.  Special thanks to Tim for helping with the gun ID there.


Deadshot is a figure that I have looked at and almost bought countless times over the course of the last five years.  It’s been the same one, too.  This one Deadshot figure has been at Cosmic Comix since he was released, and I’ve just kept looking at him and ultimately passing.  Despite not really ever getting into the show, I did like their take on Floyd well enough, so it’s not like I didn’t like him, but, ironically, I could never pull the trigger.  However, Cosmic is moving locations later this year, and to prep for that they’ve been running sales on some of the stuff they don’t want to relocate, which included Floyd here.  At half-off, I really couldn’t say no again, so he finally came home with me.  I’m actually really surprised by how much I like this figure, and I’m definitely glad I finally bought him.

#2349: Green Lantern



So I totally neglected to review anything green for St Patrick’s Day….for like seven years running.  Look, it’s not one of the one’s I really mention.  In fact, I’m only bringing any of this up because I happen to actually be writing today’s review *on* St Patrick’s Day, and, well, it’s Green Lantern, who’s…well, green.  Also, writing this particular intro spares you all from having to read another “I’m a glutton for punishment because I keep buying toys from lines that have wronged me before” intro.  Aren’t you happy to have missed that?


Green Lantern is figure 19 in the DC Essentials line-up, heading off his assortment, which hit right after the New Year.  Like Nightwing, he was one of the earlier figures to be shown off, but it took a while for him to be slotted into the line-up.  For this assortment, he was paired off with a Sinestro figure, which makes sense.  GL is seen here sporting the same basic look he’s kept since after Green Lantern: Rebirth, though this one does take something of a more modern bend.  The figure stands 7 inches tall and he has 34 points of articulation.  He gets a new head, hands, and shins, and the rest is…well, the rest is the basic Essentials body, for better or for worse.  Okay, it’s kinda for worse, if I’m honest…but I’ll get to that.  The new parts aren’t bad on their own.  In particular, the head is quite a nice piece, and I like it more than DC Collectibles’ last attempt at Hal.  I like that this one’s got some personality to it.  The problem I have with it is how poorly it fits the body it’s sitting on.  It’s a little too small, and it definitely sits too high on the neck.  It shouldn’t be this hard, guys; you’ve had 18 previous figures to get this scaling of the parts down.  At least the hands are a nice combo, though as with all of these figures, I wish he had a few more to choose from.  The shins just give his boots actual raised edges, which, hey, at least they didn’t screw up something this simple.  GL’s paintwork is…fine.  Like, it does what it’s supposed to, but it also raises some pre-existing issues with the sculpt.  The way the split works on the forearms for the gloves just really exaggerates how bad those overly-long arms look.  Seriously, how have they not fixed those?  How do you leave something that glaring uncorrected on every figure in the line?  You be DCC, I guess.  Hal includes no accessories because, I mean, there’s no easy accessories you can give to Green Lantern, right?  What could you possibly include with a Green Lantern figure?  Do any items that might be “essential” for a Green LANTERN figure come to mind?  No?  Well, not for DCC, anyway.


I’ll admit, this was moment of weakness on my part.  I’ve gotten prior Essentials figures, and I know what’s up there.  But I was at my comic store, and there was this new Green Lantern figure that I didn’t have, and….well, I kinda caved.  I then got home, opened him up and kinda regretted it a bit.  It’s really those damned arms.  I’ve hated them since the start, and they just feel like they’re even worse here.  It’s not helping that the last Essentials figure I picked up actually fixed the issue, making its return even more frustrating because they CLEARLY KNOW IT’S A PROBLEM!  Ultimately, the figure’s not the worst thing ever.  Honestly there’s a lot of him that’s genuinely good, but it’s all hidden behind the albatross that’s hung around the line’s neck since the very beginning.

#2264: Batgirl & Donatello



Over the summer, DC Collectibles launched their Batman Vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles line with a crossover Mikey as Batman figure, before moving onto the main series of two-packs.  I looked at the first two sets when they hit at the end of September, and liked them enough to stick around for one more, which is my personal favorite pairing of the line, Batgirl and Donatello.  They had a little bit of wait associated with them, but they’re finally here, so let’s have a look at them, shall we?


Batgirl and Donatello are the third Batman Vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles two-pack, who were supposed to hit stores in October, but ended up hitting throughout November in most locations.  As with the other offerings from this line, they are available exclusively at Gamestop.


Barbra Gordon as Batgirl is no stranger to animation, having been a regular fixture since The New Batman Adventures.  This version of Babs is based on her recent(ish) “Batgirl of Burnside” redesign from the comics, which, in addition to just being a solid design in its own right, also really lends itself well to the style of animation from the movie.  The figure stands just over 6 inches tall and she has 26 points of articulation.  Barbra’s articulation is about on par with the Damian figure from the same line, so she’s pretty mobile, and has a slightly better range than the main Batman.  That said, she’s still a bit more restricted than any of the Turtles, especially at the right hip, due to the structure of the belt.  The sculpt on this figure is another nice, clean recreation of the film design, and ends up looking quite flattering in three dimensions.  Like Robin, her cape is a sculpted piece, rather than cloth like Bruce’s, but it’s sensible for the shorter style.   The paintwork on Batgirl is pretty decent overall.  It’s bright and colorful, but not quite as sharp and clean as Batman and Damian were.  It’s certainly not bad, but I feel like it could be just a little better.  As is, she feels about on par with one of the middle-of-the-run Batman: Animated figures: not terrible, but not as strong as I’d prefer.  Batgirl is packed with a respectable selection of accessories, including three sets of hands (fists, closed grip, and open grip), a batarang, a blowdart, a small vial, her cellphone, a grapple with two attachments, and a slice of pizza.


Donatello is the resident tech expert of the Turtles, as well as a fan of purple, so he pairs off pretty decently with this more recent incarnation of Batgirl.  The figure stands 6 inches tall and he has 28 points of articulation.  His articulation scheme follows the same set-up as the other three Turtles, so there’s a lot of range to be had, and he’s generally a little more mobile than Batgirl.  The joints on my figure were a little on the looser side, more like Leonardo than like Raphael.  I wasn’t super thrilled about that, but it’s not terrible. It’s not bad enough to cause any difficulty standing or anything.  Design-wise, Donnie follows the lead of the 2012 show, making Donnie the tallest and skinniest of the four Turtles.  It works quite well for the character thematically, and translates pretty well to the design of the toys.  The head does end up looking a little bit off in my eyes, mostly due to it departing the most from that classic Turtles shaping.  That said, it’s more a question of finding the right angle for it.  Donatello definitely has the best weapon storage of the four, I think largely because it’s the one area where he doesn’t stray from the classic design.  There’s a spot on the back where the staff can slide in, and it stays pretty securely, and doesn’t feel like it could snap at any moment.  After changing up the coloring slightly for Raphael, Donatello is again approximately the same shade as tho other two.  His paintwork is alright.  It’s clean, it’s bold, and it looks decent.  Donatello is packed with three sets of hands (fists, gripping, and flat), his Bo Staff (which splits in the middle for an easier time putting it in his hands or on his back), an extra helmeted head, a TCRI canister, a shellphone, and another slice of pizza.  Now we’re up to seven slices!


When the line was shown off, this was the only pack I actually knew I wanted, so I went ahead and pre-ordered it through Gamestop.  Ultimately, I ended up seeing the others in person and decided to pick them up, which only made me more anxious to pick up this pairing.  So, it was getting more than a little frustrating when people were finding the set and I still hadn’t heard any word on mine coming in, what with it being, you know, the only one I actually bothered to pre-order and all.  Fortunately, Super Awesome Wife has her connections and made darn sure that this set eventually got to me.  As the set that features my favorite Turtle and my favorite of the Bat-cast from the movie, there’s a lot riding on this one.  I do enjoy it overall, and I’m certainly happy to have the figures, but if I’m entirely honest, I’ve cooled off a bit on the line since it started, meaning I don’t really see myself going back for the standard Mikey/Alfred or the Shredder/Ra’s sets.  If they opt to do maybe a non-movie-based follow-up with a Nightwing and Casey, we might be back in business, but that’s something of a longshot.

#2181: Robin & Raphael



Obviously, no company in their right mind would release just *one* of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, so that means for the purposes of these here Batman Vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles packs there’s a necessity for a Batman-character to go with each of them.  Yay for the Bat-Family and their now needed inclusion!  Today’s pack is all about teenage rage and an appreciation of the color red!


Robin and Raphael are set two of the GameStop-excluisve Batman Vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles line.  They actually ended up showing up at the same time as the Batman and Leo set, despite the initial plan being one set a month.


There have been six Robins in the mainstream DC universe, and the crossover opted for the most recent of them, Damian Wayne, Bruce’s teenage son.  For the purposes of unique builds and designs, he’s actually a pretty solid choice.  The figure stands 4 3/4 inches tall and he has 27 points of articulation.  Compared to the last animated-inspired Damian figure I reviewed, this one’s a far better articulated offering.  Additionally, his smaller stature means that his joints have a better range of motion than his father did, making him easier to get decent poses out of him.  Robin’s sculpt is a clean recreation of his animation design.  The build is conceivably accurate for a young teenager, going for a slightly cartoony interpretation without looking too goofy.  Unlike Batman and Mikey, Robin gets a sculpted cape rather than a cloth one.  Given the smaller size of the cape, it actually ends up working out alright.  He’s got a separate folded down hood piece which sits atop the shoulders of his cape.  It doesn’t stay in place amazingly well, but it’s easily removed if it bugs you.  Robin’s paint work is certainly the most colorful of the bunch we’ve gotten so far, which is a nice change of pace.  The application is still clean, and the line work still works very well.  Robin is packed with an even more impressive selection of accessories than his dad, with three sets of hands (fists, open grip, and closed grip), a batbomb, two batarangs, a grapple with two hooks, an extra head with the hood pulled up, a staff fully extended and collapsed, a Gotham City manhole cover, and a slice of pizza.


Raphael is something of a rage machine, which makes a degree of sense for pairing off against the usual ragey Damian.  Raph stands 6 inches tall and he has 28 points of articulation.  Raphael’s construction is much like the other two Turtles, and the articulation works much the same as with the others.  The range of motion’s pretty solid on all of them, and his joints are tighter like Leo’s.  Raphael’s sculpt goes for making him the largest of the four turtles, which is an approach I can certainly get behind.  It makes him a rather hefty figure, which pairs him off well with the quite small Robin figure.  It’s a strong sculpt, and I think it’s probably my favorite of the three Turtles I’ve looked at so far.  Raph’s paint does mix things up a bit, making his skin tone a duller shade of green than the other two turtles.  The lines here are also a bit bolder, adding to that overall chunky thing he’s got going.  Raphael includes three sets of hands (fists, open, and gripping), an extra head wearing a helmet, his sais, and a slice of pizza.


I picked this pair up at the same time as the other two, and this was honestly the set I was slightly more interested in.  While Damian’s not my favorite Robin, I’ve developed a real appreciation for him.  This figure’s honestly the best one the character’s ever gotten, meaning he’ll pair off real well with Batman in that regard.  Raph is a pretty darn solid figure in his own right, though, and I don’t feel this set is quite as one-sided as yesterday’s.

#2180: Batman & Leonardo



Just at the end of last month, I took my first look at the latest branch of TMNT figures, specifically the cross-over ones from Batman Vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  The debut figure was a single figure crossing over both concepts, but the rest of the line is doing the crossover via packs of two figures, one from each of the two franchises.  Today, I look at the unquestionable lead of one franchise, and the disputed lead of another, with Batman and Leonardo!


Batman and Leonardo are the first of the five two-packs that make up DCC’s Batman Vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles line. The whole line is currently exclusive to Gamestop, but time will tell if that’s actually going to stick or not.  Whatever the case, these two started hitting Gamestop shelves last month.


Would you believe me if I said that the primary selling point of this set for me was another Batman figure?  I know, I’ve got hundreds of them at this point, why obsess over one more?  Well, if I’m being entirely honest, after the disappointment of DCC’s B:TAS Batman figure, I’ve been in the market for a decently handled vaguely animated Batman figure, and that’s what this one appeared to be.  Batman Vs. TMNT gives Bats a rather classic appearance, but with an interesting stylized flair, which translates well to this toy form.  The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 27 points of articulation.  Articulation was perhaps the best part of the Mikey figure, and while Batman’s not *quite* as good, he’s still pretty darn good in his own right.  The range on the legs and the torso is solid, and I felt like the feet were quite good for keeping him flat-footed.  The neck does okay for a single ball-joint, but is a little restricted.  The worst restriction, though, is to the elbows, which just barely make it to 90 degrees.  It’s not ideal for a Batman figure.  His sculpt is another all-new affair, which makes sense, given the unique stylizing from the movie.  It’s another strong sculpt as well, capturing Batman’s usual chiseled nature quite nicely, and just generally building an aesthetically pleasing version of the character.  Like Mikey, Batman’s cape is cloth, and it’s a virtually identical piece.  That’s a good thing, because I loved the cape on Mikey, and I love the cape on Batman.  It definitely makes for some fun with posing him.  Batman’s paintwork is fairly strong.  The base colors are cleanly applied, and the extra line work really helps to sell the animated appearance.  As with all DCC paint, I worry a little about how it will hold up over time, but it looks good now.  Batman has a fairly sizable selection of accessories.  He includes four sets of hands (in fists, wide grip, tight grip, and split finger grip), a batarang, a bat-bomb, a grappling hook with two hook attachments, and a slice of pizza.  Because yes, Batman needs pizza.


Leader of the Turtles, and fan of the color blue, Leonardo is a good pairing for Batman here.  Frequent readers will note that I generally don’t have a super high opinion of Leo, but this one has the benefit of being packed with the Batman figure I just reviewed and liked so much.  Leo stands 5 1/2 inches tall and has 28 points of articulation.  On the articulation front, if you read my review of Mikey, than you pretty much know what’s up here.  All of the Turtles appear to be using the exact same articulation layout, which honestly isn’t a bad choice.  It did seem that the joints were a little bit tighter on Leo, which is a slight improvement.  Leo is sporting an all-new sculpt, which appears to translate his design from the movie pretty well.  The mid-sized build definitely works for Leo when compared to the others.  It’s not all perfect, though.  This design moves Leo’s swords from their usual spot on his back to down on his left hip.  While I don’t hate this choice, it’s definitely something that works better in animation than in plastic.  Once in place, the sheaths prevent the left arm from sitting comfortably.  Additionally, they don’t really stay in place very securely, so posing will tend to knock them out of place a lot.  Getting them to stay on for the photos here was no small feat.  Leo’s paintwork is pretty much the same set up as everyone else, so it’s pretty clean, and the line work adds a nice dynamic sense to him.  Leo is, like Batman, decently accessorized.  He has three sets of hands (fists, gripping, and flat), his two katanas, the sheaths for them, and another slice of pizza.


When these packs were announced, the only one I really knew I wanted was the Donatello/Batgirl pairing.  The rest I was a bit iffy on.  But then I picked up the Mikey as Batman figure, and I really liked him, which persuaded me to check these guys out.  Batman’s the star for me, and is easily the best Batman figure that DCC has released.  He’s got some minor flaws, but not enough to hold him back in my eyes.  Leo is…Leo.  I don’t have a tendency to get excited about him, and this figure didn’t change that.  If you like Leo, though, I’m sure he’s pretty cool.