#1735: Batman – Dark Knight Returns

BATMAN — DARK KNIGHT RETURNS

DC COMICS MULTIVERSE (MATTEL)

Hey hoooo, it’s a Mattel review.  Haven’t done one of these in a little while.  Ooooooo boy, this’ll go well.

Running parallel to Hasbro’s hit line Marvel Legends, Mattel has their own DC line, DC Comics Multiverse.  It started as a 3 3/4 inch line, before making a jump a few years ago when 3 3/4 inch figures were largely dropped by the toy industry.  One of the earliest offerings from the reformed Multiverse was a set of commemorative figures celebrating the 30th anniversary of Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns.  Of the three figures offered, I’ve looked at two.  Today, I’m looking at the last of those three, Batman himself!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Batman was a Walmart-exclusive release from the DC Comics Multiverse line.  The figure stands 7 inches tall and he has 25 points of articulation.  Batman’s actually just a slight retooling of an earlier Batman Unlimited Dark Knight Batman, with a new head.  By extension, that means he shares a lot of pieces with the DKR Superman I looked at back when they were first released.  It’s very similar to the Masters of the Universe Classics base body, but Mattel to this day insists they are completely separate molds.  I guess I just have to believe them.  It works well enough for what they’re going for.  Obviously, it doesn’t really look that much like Frank Miller’s artwork, but it melds decently enough with the DCUC style that Mattel was trying to carry forward.  In the context of the whole MotU concept, and even Superman to a smaller degree, the body works, but for Batman, it feels a little….lumpy?  Balloon-y?  I don’t know.  It just feels somewhat off.  The new head goes for a more reserved look than the prior DKR Bats, though he’s still a little grumpy.  I think it’s perhaps a little large for the base body, and it’s definitely on the softer side.  Compared even just to the other two figures from this same assortment, it looks rather off, as both Superman and the Son of Batman figures have much crisper details.  Batman’s sculpt has a quality not unlike mashed potatoes, if I’m honest.  It’s kind of lumpy and ill-defined, even by Mattel standards.  Also bad even by Mattel standards?  The paint.  Sloppy doesn’t begin to describe it.  It looks like the yellow paint was applied from across the room.  It’s just everywhere.  His logo’s at least not terrible, but the general lack of paint overall just makes the rest of the mistakes that much more noticeable.  Batman was packed with a single accessory: one lone batarang…with “CHINA” stamped on one side.  Apparently he gets all those wonderful toys from China.  Who knew?

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

So, I bought the Superman figure at full retail, and I liked him well-enough.  And I got the Son of Batman for a decent discount, and he was alright.  I already had the Unlimited figure of this guy, though, so I wasn’t in much of a hurry to get him.  I ended up buying him *not* from Walmart at all.  I instead found him at an Ollie’s, for $3.  That was enough to get me invested.  I gotta say, I’m really glad that I didn’t pay full price for him, because…well, he’s just not that strong a figure.  I guess I’ve had worse figure, but there’s not a lot that this figure does right.

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#1654: Thanos

THANOS

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Fun isn’t something one considers when balancing the universe. But this… does put a smile on my face.”

Thanos has arrived.  Maintaining my non-spoilery stance on discussing Infinity War, I will say this much:  it’s Thanos’s movie.  The other’s may reside in it, they may all have their moment, but the film as a whole undeniably belongs to the Mad Titan.  Josh Brolin, the Russo brothers,  Christopher Markus, and Stephen McFeely did the character a lot of justice, and he’s finally more than just a shallow, looming threat.  Also, he’s a Marvel Legend!  How ’bout that?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Thanos is the Build-A-Figure for the first Infinity War-themed series of Marvel Legends.  He’s undeniably the best choice for the slot, and it’s nice to finally get the MCU version of the character in Legends form.  He’s using Thanos’s casual look from the film, which I know kind of upset some people, since it’s not the armored look we’ve been seeing over the last several years.  That said, it’s unquestionably his main look from the movie, and in light of that, it would have been silly to do a different look.  The figure stands 7 3/4 inches tall and he has 28 points of articulation.  Thanos is certainly a big one, towering over even the above-average Proxima Midnight.  It’s certainly appropriate to the movie, though.  He sports an all-new sculpt, patterned after the movie design.  It’s pretty decent.  The expression on the head is a little goofy; I get what they were going for with the slight smile, but he ends up looking more like he’s a bit gassy than content with his killing spree.  It’s far from awful, though, and the detail work on the wrinkles in his face is absolutely top-notch. The proportions of the body are pretty good, though his neck seems a little stubby.  Once again, the detailing and texture work is exceptional, especially in his tunic, and what’s left of his armor.  The gauntlet is sharply detailed, and matches up very nicely with the depictions of it on-screen.  One rather frustrating thing I noticed about Thanos when compared to earlier BaFs is how easily he pops back apart after assembly.  This is especially an issue with the arms, which frequently pop out during normal posing.  Obviously, this is a bit of a tricky area in terms of figures that don’t come pre-assembled, but Hasbro’s done better in the past.  Hopefully Thanos is just an aberration on that front.  Color-wise, Thanos isn’t the most thrilling figure, since his movie design is mostly dulled out variations of purple.  The figure captures the look pretty well.  It’s a lot of unpainted plastic, but what paint is there is mostly applied in a clean manner.  There’s a bit of slop on the edges of the Infinity Stones, but it’s pretty minor.  Thanos, being a Build-A-Figure, is an accessory himself, so he doesn’t include any of his own.  For the most part, he doesn’t feel too lacking, but I do think this figure would have really benefited from an extra head with a different expression, just to cover all of our bases.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Obviously, I put this guy together from the pieces included with all the figures in this series.  Going in, I think completing him was my main goal, but as I picked up the individual figures and as I slowly assembled Thanos, I started appreciating the individual figures a bit more.  I mean, this guy’s certainly not bad, and I’m happy to have finished him, but ultimately, he’s sort of middling.

#1628: Man-At-Arms

MAN-AT-ARMS

MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE (MATTEL)

“Man-At-Arms aka Duncan was a mentor to the young Prince Adam as well as a foster father to Teela.”

Most of my knowledge of Masters of the Universe comes from the 2002 reboot of the franchise, which served as my introduction to the context, and also provided the backbone of my MotU collection.  As such, most of my reviews here on the site have also been from the 2002 series.  Today, I’m going into less charted territory, and looking at a vintage offering.  So, let’s look at He-Man’s mentor, Man-At-Arms!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Man-At-Arms was part of the first assortment of Masters of the Universe figures, released in 1982.  The figure stands 5 1/2 inches tall and he has 6 points of articulation.  MotU was largely about getting as many uses out the same few bodies as possible, and Man-At-Arms follows suit.  He uses the standard Barbarian body (seen on the previously reviewed Tri-Klops figure), meaning he’s got those same goofy, overly-muscled proportions seen on the rest of the line.  They picked a style and they stuck with it.  Man-At-Arms had a new head, as well as add-on pieces for his chest, shoulder, and shin armor (mine’s missing the shin armor).  The head is infamously missing Duncan’s signature mustache, present on all other incarnations of the character, due to the figure’s design being put into production before Filmation added the mustache for the cartoon.  It results in a slightly different look for Duncan, but not an outright terrible one or anything.  The helmet has some pretty decent detail work going on, as do the clip-on armor pieces.  Man-At-Arms has a pretty simple paint scheme.  For the most part, he’s just molded in the appropriate colors, with only his face, helmet, belt, and boots getting any actual paint.  Application is mostly pretty clean, but the boots in particular have some definite slop.  The armor has no paint at all, making it look rather cheap and goofy, which is a real shame given how much detail went into the sculpt.  Man-At-Arms included a mace, to be held in his right hand.  It was the same color as his armor, and a little small and non-threatening, but I guess if you have muscles like that, you can afford for your weapons to be small and non-threatening.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

With the exception of a few personal favorite characters, the vintage Masters line isn’t one I really go out looking for.  That being said, the 2nd Ave Thrift store nearby seems to have gotten in someone’s ’80s toy collection, which has been slowly trickling out.  This guy and a few others popped up, and for a few bucks for the set, I felt like I could do a lot worse.  This line’s not totally my thing, but Man-At-Arms isn’t a bad figure.

#1239: Katana

KATANA

DC COMICS MULTIVERSE (MATTEL)

Hey, remember when I was talking about Suicide Squad yesterday?  Well, I’m gonna do some more talking about it today.  If I’m very lucky, this will be my last bit of talking on the Suicide Squad front.  As noted yesterday, one of the biggest flaws with the movie was just how under-utilized anyone not named “Deadshot” or “Harley Quinn” was.  Boomer at least got some characterization (mostly due to Jai Courtney’s scenery chewing performance), but today’s focus, Katana, gets a whole lot of nothing.  No fancy introduction, no particularly good fights, next to no dialogue, and no anything else that would make her even slightly interesting.  Karen Fukuhara really tried to inject something into the character, but there just wasn’t anything there to work with.  Anyway, she got a figure, which I’m looking at today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Like yesterday’s Captain Boomerang, Katana was released in the second Suicide Squad-themed assortment of Mattel’s DC Comics Multiverse, which hit well after the movie’s release, thereby guaranteeing that most audiences would have zero interest in the figure.  You know what might have solved this problem?  Shipping all six figures at the same time! (In Mattel’s defense, the most recent series of Multiverse wasn’t split in two, so maybe they’re learning)  The figure stands about 6 1/2 inches tall and has 25 points of articulation.  The ab crunch can move a little bit this time, but not much more than Deadshot’s.  Of course, the elbows and knees are both unable to make it to a full 90 degree angle (really restricting for a sword wielding character).  Also, the ankles on this figure are essentially useless, which makes it very hard to get her to stand.  How do you screw up ankles this badly?  Okay, the movement’s not good, but it’s all for the sake of the sculpt, right? Well, that wasn’t the case with Boomerang, so it’s probably not a shock to find it’s not the case here.  All of the joints stick out like sore thumbs, her torso is flat and thick, her arms are super spindly, the legs and pelvis continue the trend of not really looking like any human ever, and the head doesn’t really resemble Fukuhara at all. Perhaps the worst piece of this already pretty bad sculpt is the sash which holds the sheaths for her swords.  The sash itself is super thick and juts out really far from the figure’s hip, in a way pretty much no real fabric ever would.  The sheaths are separate pieces, and they are actually too small to properly fit in the proper slots, leading them to shift out of place a lot.  This is particularly bad with the smaller front sheath, which tends to naturally fall so it hands straight down, thereby making Katana look like she has a certain appendage that she shouldn’t really have.  It’s really a mess.  Who looked at that and went “yeah, that’s okay?”   As far as the paint goes, Katana’s alright, I guess.  The colors are all pretty basic, but there’s at least some interesting character work on the left leg and the back of her jacket.  She looks way too clean to be from the movie, but she fits with the other figures in that regard.  Katana includes a long blade and a short blade, neither of which she can actually hold properly, as well as the head and pelvis of Killer Croc, the CnC I’ll never be finishing.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

After determining that Boomerang was only $1, I went back and also grabbed a Katana figure.  Not really sure why her, aside from the whole $1 thing.  I was actually in a bit of a hurry, so these were the only two I grabbed, and by the time I made it back to that particular Walmart, they’d been mostly cleaned out.  Alas, no more crappy $1 action figures for me.  I’m not gonna lie, Katana’s a really rough figure.  I’d have a hard time telling you whether she or Boomerang was the worse figure, just due to the large number of issues associated with both of them.  For $1, I feel like I got what I paid for, but I can’t imagine ever being willing to spend even close to full retail on this thing, even if I *had* liked the movie.

#1217: Michone

MICHONE

THE WALKING DEAD (MCFARLANE TOYS)

michone1

So, I guess The Walking Dead TV-show starts up soon.  Or maybe it already started back up.  I don’t actually know, because I haven’t watched the show since about fifteen minutes into this season’s premiere, nor will I be going back.  But, I’ve still got all these figures, so…yeah…  Here’s Michone.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

michone2Michone was released in the first series of McFarlane’s comic-based The Walking Dead line, which hit around the same time as the TV show’s series premiere.  The figure stands about 5 inches tall and has 18 points of articulation.  So, right off the bat, there’s the weird scale thing.  I’ve looked at the TV line and one or two of the comic figures, so the scale’s not new to the site, but it was actually new to this particular line.  It was an odd choice to say the least, since the rest of the industry was doing either 3 3/4 or 6-inch scale at the time.  McFarlane’s gotta be different.  Michone is based on her first appearance from the comics, which is a fairly standard look for her, but at the same time a bit gaudy compared to the character’s look as the series progressed.  The sculpt is alright, I guess.  It certainly wasn’t as bad as some of how of the other figures from the earliest days of this and the TV line.  That being said, while the sculpt isn’t bad, it’s also michone3kind of boring.  The pose is just sort of her standing with her hand holding the katana downwards.  There’s also pretty much no trace of Charlie Adlar’s art style in the sculpt; she instead looks like just some generic sort of super model or something.  Not exactly very indicative of Michone as a character.  I guess it could be worse, though.  She’s not the ultra-hideous figure that the first Rick was.  At the very least, the paint on Michone is actually pretty solid.  The colors are vibrant, which works surprisingly well, and all of the application is very clean.  Miocene was packed with her katana, a power drill, and a spoon.  The sword is pretty much expected, but the drill and spoon are some pretty fun issue specific pieces, even if she didn’t use them in this outfit.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I bought the corresponding Rick figure from this line first, which didn’t really make me want to pursue any of the others.  But, Cosmic Comix had their biggest sale of the year going, and she was 40% off, which was enough for me to go for it.  It’s hard to get super excited about this figure, but she certainly could have been far worse.

#1034: Tom Riddle

TOM RIDDLE

HARRY POTTER & THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS (MATTEL)

TomRiddle1

Welcome to The Figure In Question, where I refuse to let any of my guest reviewers have an area of coverage all to themselves.  Tim covers Metal Gear?  So do I!  Christian has AmiiboMe too!  Super Awesome Girlfriend has some Halo?  I’ve got that covered!  The only guest reviewer with something I hadn’t covered was Jill, over there with Harry Potter.  Well, now I’m doing that too!  That’s right, I bought this figure new,  11 years before starting the site  and 10 years before meeting Jill, all to upstage her.  That’s all it could possibly be!  *ahem*  So, here’s this Tom Riddle figure.  Let’s have a look, shall we?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

TomRiddle2Tom Riddle (better known as Voldemort) was released in the second assortment of Mattel’s Harry Potter & the Chamber of Secrets figures.  He’s based on Christian Coulson’s portrayal of Tom from the second movie (in case the name of the line hadn’t clued you in).  The figure stands just over 5 inches tall and has 13 points of articulation.  That may not seem like a lot of articulation, but Tom here was actually one of the best articulated figures in the line, believe it or not.  Tom featured a sculpt that was unique to him.  It’s….well, rudimentary would probably be a good way to describe it.  The proportions are rather off, with poor Tom getting quite the melon of a head.  And, while the face doesn’t look too unlike Coulson, the hair isn’t even close.  It’s a totally different style entirely.  Also, with the upper half of the figure is sculpted very dynamically, the legs just sort of hany there, and, deapite their incredibly obvious joints that are not in the slightest bit worked into the sculpt, there are pretty much no poses that help them match the rest of the sculpt.  The robe has a very nice texturing to it, but none of this texture translates to the rest of the figure, which just make him look even further imbalanced.  The hands are actually not bad, what with the cool sculpted poses.  Of course, the poses mean that he has to have a peg hole in his palm to be able to properly hold his accessory, but it could be worse.  On the plus side, the paint work on Tom is actually pretty decent.  There’s some nice, subtle work, especially on the robe, which looks quite realistic.  Easily the best paint of any of the figures in this line.  Tom was packed with a single accessory, but it’s a good one: the diary that brings Tom “back to life”.  He can sort of hold it, thanks to the peg at the base of the book’s spine.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

So, I never really had a lot of the  Harry Potter figures, but, as noted in the intro, I got this guy new.  Chamber of Secrets was my favorite book, and I quite liked the Tom incarnation of Voldemort.  I ended up finding this guy at the KB Toys that used to be near my family’s summer vacation spot.  He, like the rest of Mattel’s output from the movies, hasn’t aged particularly well.  He’s not awful, though.

#0980: Arkham Origins Boxed Set

BATMAN, JOKER, DEATHSTROKE, & BLACK MASK

ARKHAM ORIGINS (DC COLLECTIBLES)

ArkhamOrigin1

Video game adaptations of comic book characters have a somewhat rocky history. For every — there’s a Superman 64; for every Spider-Man 2, there’s an Aquaman: Battle for Atlantis. The Batman: Arkham series is probably one of the best adaptations out there, though even it hasn’t been totally immune from criticism. Perhaps the most criticized game in the series is Arkham Origins, a prequel game that wasn’t even developed by the same group as the others. Today, I’ll be looking at several figures based on that game.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Batman, Joker, Deathstroke, and Black Mask were all released as a big boxed set as part of DC Collectible’s Batman: Arkham Origins line. They were all also available individually, with Batman, Joker and Black Mask being in Series 1 and Deathstroke being in Series 2. The figures are pretty much identical in both releases.

BATMAN

ArkhamOrigin3Batman manages to get a slight tweak to his design for each Arkham game. Oddly, the Arkham Origins design was even more advanced than the Asylum and City designs, despite this design supposedly predating those looks. Maybe looks are deceiving? The figure is about 7 inches tall and he has 31 points of articulation, which is quite impressive for a DC Direct/Collectibles figure. The sculpt on this figure is pretty solid. It does a pretty great job of capturing Batman’s Origins look. One of my issues with a lot of the Arkham-based Batman figures is that they all seem to be stuck with pinheads, which this figure manages to mostly avoid. I mean, his head is still smaller than his biceps, but it’s fairly true to the game and, it’s also not as drastic as some of the others.  The rest of the sculpt is quite beefy (seriously, this is a beefy, beefy Batman. He has all the beef), but he has very sharp detail work, and just all-around pretty cool looking. I especially appreciate the choice of a straight hanging cape, since Batmen have a tendency to go for absurdly flowy capes. The paintwork on this figure is rather subdued, and very well carried out. Everything is nice and clean, and he’s got some really great accent work, especially on the stubble and the shadows on the grey parts. Batman included a weird gun thing that I feel certain someone more familiar with the game than me could ID. His elbows hinder him from really holding the thingy in any truly believable way, but hey, he’s a cool Batman. Who cares if he can hold some weird gizmo the right way?

JOKER

ArkhamOrigin2Joker serves as a primary antagonist in (most of) the Arkham games. Seeing as he’s Batman’s greatest foe, I guess that’s not too strange a concept. While other Arkham Jokers stuck more closely to the classic Joker design, this one goes for a more subdued “real world” look. Well, for the clothes, anyway. The face is pretty standard, and clearly made to look like a slightly younger version of the guy from the prior games. The figure is about the same height as Batman and has 16 points of articulation. He’s got about half the articulation of Batman, but he’s got even more restricted movement than you’d expect. He’s not going to be doing much more than just stand there. That wouldn’t be terrible, but he’s also got some weird issues, like his arms sticking out at weird angles. Also, while the sculpt looks okay on its own, it doesn’t do a particularly good job of capturing the in-game design. Like, his whole face is just kind of the wrong shape. And his body just feels kind of soft and lumpy, especially when compared to the much sharper Batman sculpt. The paint doesn’t really help matters. The basic work isn’t terribly, but there’s a lot of bleed over. Also, they tried to vary the look of his skin with some grey accents, but it ends up just making him look splotchy and unwell. Joker includes no accessories, making him the only figure in the set not to have any extras.

DEATHSTROKE

ArkhamOrigin4Do you guys remember when Deathstroke wasn’t over-exposed and annoyingly shoved into tons of stories where he didn’t belong? Because I do. I actually kind of used to like him, even. Somewhere along the way to being overexposed, he also seems to have become inexplicably linked to Batman, which is a little odd, but I guess it isn’t a horrible fit. Deathstroke made his debut Arkham-verse appearance in Arkham Origins, sporting a look that was a pretty decent tactically-based update of his original comics appearance. This figure stands the same height as the other two figures and has 27 points of articulation. His overall movement is comparable to that of Batman, though he does get a different articulation scheme on the hips, which seem a little flimsy by comparison. I think Deathstroke’s sculpt is probably my favorite in the set. Not only is he a great recreation of the in-game look, but the sculpt is also loaded with lots of really cool texture work, which makes him truly look like a battle-worn gun-for-hire. My only real complaint is that the articulation could have probably been worked into the sculpt in a smoother way. The paint on this figure is also pretty solidly handled. He’s by far the most colorful and exciting figure in the lot, and the metallic used for his armored pieces is really sleek. Deathstroke has the most accessories of all the figures in the set, with a katana, a pistol, and a staff.

BLACK MASK

ArkhamOrigin5Oh great. Black Mask. He’s my faaaaaaaaaavrite. Okay, actually I don’t always hate Black Mask, as long as he gets a good story. He just doesn’t tend to get good stories, like, ever. Ah well. So, here’s Black Mask! The figure is 7 inches tall and he has an oh-so-exciting 7 points of articulation. He can like, turn his head and move his elbows less than 45 degrees, and move his legs at the hips, but not at the knees! Awesome, right? Okay, maybe not. This figure’s even worse than Joker on this front, which is just really weak. But his sculpt can still save him, right? Yeah, not so much. The head sculpt is admittedly not bad. I like that he looks like he’s actually wearing a mask, and I like the details of said mask. The rest of the figure is really just lame. The sculpt is incredibly soft and his pinstripes on is suit are so deep that he ends up looking like he’s wearing corduroy or something. Plus, his arms are stuck at a slight enough angle to make the fact that they don’t go back any further incredibly annoying. Black Mask’s paint is mostly off-black and off-white, which could be kind of striking if done right, but…it’s not quite there. I mean, it’s not bad, but it’s also not super interesting. It’s just there. Black Mask includes a pair of pistols, which are oddly chunky. Maybe they’ve been juicing.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’ve never played any of the Arkham games. I’ve gotten a couple of the figures before, but mostly because I liked the characters the figures represented, which isn’t really the true here. That being case, why would I buy this set? Because its box was damaged and Cosmic Comix was selling it for $20. Deathstroke is definitely the best that the set has to offer, and Batman’s no slouch either. Of course, on the flipside, both Joker and Black Mask are very, very weak figures, with little in the way of redeeming qualities. So, half the set’s great, and half the set’s pretty bad. At full price (which is $60-$70), this set is a pretty terrible value. At $20? Sure, Joker and Black Mask may be a waste of plastic, but Batman and Deathstroke are easily worth $10 each.

#0841: Farmer Zombie

FARMER ZOMBIE

THE WALKING DEAD MINIMATES

FarmerZombie1

I have *a lot* of Minimates. The vast majority of them were purchased because I actually wanted them, or was invested in the character presented. However, some of them I have for no other reason than “they’re Minimates.” Today’s focus, the Farmer Zombie, is one of the latter.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

FarmerZombie2The Farmer Zombie was released in the third series of The Walking Dead Minimates. He was double-packed, and could be purchased with either Prison Hershel or battle-damaged Tyreese. The figure is about 2 ½ inches tall and has the usual 14 points of articulation. The Farmer Zombie is based on a zombie that appeared in issue 49 of the comic. He uses the basic ‘mate body, along with an add-on piece for his hair/the saw-blade stuck in his shoulder. The add-on piece attaches from the bottom of the head, slipping over the neck peg, rather than plugging into the top of the head like most ‘mates. The piece works reasonably well, though it does greatly limit the posability of the head, since the whole thing’s all one piece. As with most Minimates, paint is this figure’s strongest suit. The base colors are suitably drab, and the detail work is exceptionally well-handled, with some great texturing and depth, which makes the guy actually look pretty darn creepy. The Farmer Zombie’s one accessory was a clear display stand, though my figure was lacking his.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Series 3 is actually where I stopped really picking up Walking Dead Minimates, so I didn’t get this guy new, nor did I feel any huge need to track him down later. I ended up getting him when I ordered a random loose “Mystery ‘mate” from Luke’s Toy Store, along with a few other items. I wouldn’t have gotten this guy otherwise, but I’m glad I did, because he’s actually a pretty well-put-together ‘mate.

#0751: Batman

BATMAN

BATMAN: ANIMATED (DC COLLECTIBLES)

BatmanTAS4

Hey, do you guys remember how last year DC Collectibles debuted their line of super awesome figures based on Batman: The Animated Series? And do you remember when I reviewed the first figure in the line, which was Batman? And how I noted that he was actually Batman from the second incarnation of the show? And then I pointed out that the original design was slated for release later on in the line? Are you getting tired of these questions? Me too. So, yeah, the original Batman: The Animated Series Batman figure is finally here. Let’s see how it turned out!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

BatmanTAS6Batman is figure #13 in DC Collectibles’ Batman: Animated line. Technically, this makes him the first figure in Series 4 of the line, but it seems DCC has completely given up on releasing these in actual assortments, so Batman shipped out on his own, though a few other figures arrived in the surrounding weeks. The figure is just shy of 6 ½ inches tall and has 24 points of articulation. The figure lacks the usual swivel joint on the lower leg, which is quite a pain when it comes to posing or even just trying to get him to stand, and also leaves him eternally pigeon-toed. The boots are even separate from the rest of the leg, so it looks like there should be movement, but there’s not. Batman’s sculpt has the task of translating a 2D character model into 3D, which is certainly not easy. From the neck down, the figure works pretty well. Everything seems proportioned right, and he’s more or less identical to the guy we saw on the screen. He seems a little on the small side compared to some of the other figures, but not terribly so. What about the head? Well, it’s hard to say. The prototype looked pretty dead on, but this doesn’t seem to have made it to the final figure. The shape of the eyes in particular seems off, and they feel way too small. It’s possible it’s a paint issue, so it’s hard to judge the accuracy of the sculpt. This figure only gets one cape, in contrast to the two included with the last Batman; all we get is the swept back look. To be fair, this is the preferred of the two looks, and the cape is accurate to the source material, but the option BatmanTAS7would have been nice. This figure makes out okay paint-wise. There’s the previously mentioned issue with the eyes, but other than that, the paint is pretty clean, and they seem to have done a pretty good job matching the colors from the show. Batman is packed with a B:TAS accurate batarang, a grappling hook, 7 hands (a pair of fists, a pair of basic grip, a pair for holding the batarang, and one with the grappling hook sculpted in place), and a display stand with his character design sheet printed on it. It’s not quite as much as was included with the last Batman, but it’s still a pretty impressive allotment.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Batman was purchased from my local comic store, Cosmic Comix. They had just gotten him and Poison Ivy in and I only had the money for one, so I went with him (I went back for Ivy later). I was pretty eager to get this figure when it was announced, what with it being my Batman and all, but I have to say, I was…disappointed with the final product. It really sucks to have to say that, to be totally honest, but it’s true. He’s not a bad figure, but the issues with the head and lack of movement in the legs hold him back. On any other figure, this might be forgivable, but on the definitive Batman, it’s a pretty big letdown. This figure is supposed to be repackaged with a new head in a two-pack with Phantasm early next year. It would be nice if DCC could fix the issues for that release. Until then, this guy’s certainly serviceable.

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#0593: Rick Grimes

RICK GRIMES

THE WALKING DEAD (MCFARLANE)

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When McFarlane Toys first launched their Walking Dead figures, they were…well, they were pretty darn terrible. The sculpts were weirdly proportioned, they looked very little like the characters they were supposed to represent, and their articulation was awkward at best. They had launched the comic and TV-based lines pretty much simultaneously, and both were met with a less than stellar reaction. So, the comic line went on hiatus and the show line…um, removed the articulation? Just for one series, anyway. Then the TV line revamped itself with Series 3, to a fair bit of success. The comic line followed suit, and has been doing a lot better. Let’s look at the line’s most recent take on the lead character Rick Grimes.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

RickComic2Rick was released in Series 3 of McFarlane’s comic-based The Walking Dead line. The figure stands about 5 inches tall and has 22 points of articulation. Losing a hand generally cuts back on articulation, so he’s down a few points there. Rick’s based on his look post issue 50 or so. He was pretty consistently grizzled from that point forward, so this figure can represent just about any point in the series after that. Rick has what appears to be an all-new sculpt. It’s possible his legs might be shared with a previous figure, but I really can’t tell. Like Andrea’s, Rick’s sculpt does a pretty great job of managing to look like artist Charlie Adlard’s illustrations while still managing to have a decent real world feel. I don’t think the head sculpt is quite as good a match for the art as Andrea’s, but it’s not too far off. The body sculpt does a great job of capturing Rick’s more diminished build as the series has gone on, and it features some fantastic detail work, especially in areas such as the bandaged arm. Rick’s paintwork is pretty well handled. His colors are RickComic4appropriately dulled without being too boring. He’s got a substantial bit of blood splattering, which adds a nice battle worn touch to the character. It’s also worth noting that, unlike Andrea, Rick’s arm joints are molded in flesh tone, so the color won’t scrape off. Rick is armed with his revolver, a hatchet, a shotgun, and an assault rifle, which is a rather impressive assortment.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I picked up Rick here at the same time as yesterday’s Andrea, from Cosmic Comix during a pretty great sale. I had actually though about buying him a few times before, but just never got around to it. I was happy that he didn’t have any of the breakage/molding issues that Andrea did. He’s not the most exciting figure of all time, but he’s a pretty solid take on the series’ lead character and definitely worth a purchase, though maybe for not for quite the full price.

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