#2269: Batman

BATMAN

JUSTICE LEAGUE ACTION (MATTEL)

As toys have become more of a collectors game, and toy companies have begun to cater to said collectors, there’s been one major issue plaguing our favorite brands: how do you keep mainstay characters affordable and easily available to younger audiences who haven’t quite latched onto that collector’s game?  The answer? Evergreen lines.  These are lines with figures that don’t follow the same sort of assortment break-down of collector lines, and aim to keep the big names on the shelves, while also producing a cost effective line.  There are a handful of different levels to these sorts of lines, and furthest down the list are the very basic figures that serve as fodder for the shelves at drugstores and places like Dollar General or Family Dollar.  Figures that are cheap, plentiful, and can stand up to some play.  I’m looking at one such figure today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Batman is part of Mattel’s budget Justice League line, which features all of the iconagraphy of Justice League Action, but sports figures that are otherwise unrelated.  This specific Batman variant was also offered a few years ago under a purely Batman branding, but saw release, as is the intended purpose of the line.  The figure is about 5 1/2 inches tall and he has four points of articulation.  He moves at the neck, shoulders, and waist; no hip movement for him, although some of the line’s more recent offerings have added that.  Structurally, this figure feels quite similar to the Ultra Hero Series and offerings like it, which I can certainly dig.  His sculpt is a fairly clean, rather basic affair.  All of the important details are there, but it doesn’t really move beyond them.  His cape is a cloth piece, slotted into his back a little clumsily, but it’s sturdy and won’t be going anywhere.  As far as paint, he’s pretty basic.  The color scheme is slightly non-standard, being mostly black with a yellow emblem and belt.  It’s not a bad look, though, and the paint for the logo and face is pretty decent.  He’s got no accessories, which isn’t much of a surprise given the usual price point on these things.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I got this guy in a big box of presents from my in-laws.  He clearly wasn’t meant to be the star attraction or anything, just something small that they presumably picked up for me while somewhere else.  I can’t say he’s the sort of figure I’d buy for myself, but as a gift, he’s kind of nifty in his own way.  And, of course, now I’m looking at what else has been done in this style, because I have a serious problem.

#1959: Booster Gold

BOOSTER GOLD

JUSTICE LEAGUE ACTION (MATTEL)

When Hasbro first launched their Titan Heroes concept, most toy collectors balked.  Cheaply-made, all plastic 12-inch figures?  What kind of a collector market is this meant for?  Well, the answer is: none.  They were purely aimed at being a cheap toy for parents to buy you kids, without having to worry about scolding little Johnny about breaking his $20 Black Series figure.  And, if the masses of Titan Heroes and similarly-themed competitors visible at retail are anything to go by, I’d say it was a pretty successful move.  Mattel tried to get in on that success with a couple of similar lines based on the licenses under their banner.  By far the most successful has been their running DC line, which has most recently been based on Justice League Action.  It’s gotten us an interesting assortment of characters, including today’s focus, Booster Gold!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Booster Gold was released in the larger scale Justice League Action line at the beginning of 2018.  Based on the post-52-inspired costume of the cartoon, the figure stands 12 inches tall and he has 17 points of articulation.  He’s more posable than a Titan Heroes release, but still feels a little bit restricted; the lack of ankles is kind of throwing me.  Still, you can get some decent poses out of him, so there’s that.  The sculpt is decidedly more rudimentary than a lot of figures (though, honestly, not too far removed from Mattel’s higher end product from around the same time), and rather skinny and lanky.  The legs in particular seem rather long for the body.  The same basic body is shared between figures in this line, and while I can see it not being a very good fit for a lot fo characters, it’s not terrible for Booster, especially not Booster from the show.  It’s also largely hollow, meaning it feels very lightweight, and could potentially be prone to breaking, though I myself had no issues with it.  Booster’s head was a new piece, and it’s an alright one.  It’s very stylized, very blocky, and very sparse on the details.  It’s not very accurate, though.  I mean, it’s not *unlike* Booster on the show, but it’s certainly squarer and a little less expressive.  That being said, it’s not a bad piece, and does still read pretty well as Booster Gold, big dumb grin and all.  Booster’s color work isn’t all that much done with paint, but instead relies heavily on molded colors.  For a kid-aimed line, it’s a sensible choice, and it works out alright.  What paint there is is fairly cleanly handled, and the figure is bright, colorful, and eye-catching, which are the most important things.  Booster has no accessories, not even his robot buddy Skeets.  Booster without Skeets seems very odd to me, but that’s the path Mattel chose.  This is why the lost the DC license.  No Skeets.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’ve not really followed this line at all, apart from seeing the odd figure in various toy aisles.  I stumbled upon Booster while out looking for some last minute Christmas decorations.  I wasn’t really looking for him, but who am I to turn down a Booster Gold action figure?  He’s not amazing or particularly notable or anything, but he’s not awful, and for the discounted price I got him for, I quite enjoy him.  Even if he doesn’t include Skeets.