#3088: Nightwing

NIGHTWING

DC DELUXE COLLECTOR FIGURES (DC DIRECT)

Back in the early 2000s, everybody was starting to really try out the 1/6 scale game.  Hot Toys hadn’t quite overtaken the market, so there was still this sort of fledging “anyone could take this over” kind of vibe.  So, a lot of companies tried just that.  Among them was DC Direct, who decided that the best way to stand above the competition was to literally have their figures be taller than the competition, so they scaled everyone up by about an inch, with the argument that they were still 1/6 scale, the heroes were just supposed to be that much bigger than the average person.  Despite some odd notions right out of the gate, the line was a modest success, running from 2005 up through 2010.  Not a terrible run, all things considered.  They got a pretty decent swath of characters out there, which included a pretty solid focus on the Bat-Family.  Dick Grayson was present in both his Robin and Nightwing identities, the latter of which I’m going to be taking a look at today!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Nightwing was the 14th release in DCD’s Deluxe Collector Figure line, hitting retail in the fall of 2007, during the line’s third year.  All of the figures were designed as standalone releases, but he hit right in the midst of a streak of Bat-related characters.  In a line that had certainly had a more classic focus, he was a decidedly more modern figure, sporting the character’s then-current design.  The figure stands about 13 1/4 inches tall (due to DCD’s insistence on that extra large scaling) and he has 30 points of articulation.

The figure’s head sculpt was the most notable new piece included here, as was pretty standard for the line.  The head sculpts for this line up to this point were, to be blunt, kind of ugly.  I mean, not terrible, but they were none of them particularly attractive people.  Nightwing marked a very earnest effort on DCD’s part to fix that issue.  Ultimately, the sculpt winds up looking a heck of a lot like Brad Pitt, with maybe a touch of Tom Cruise thrown in for good measure.  That certainly errs away from kind of ugly, and results in a not so terrible look for Dick Grayson.  The base sculpt is unmasked, with a mask piece that can clip into place, which sits surprisingly well on the face.  They did the same on Green Lantern, and I’ve always liked how well those turned out.  There are actually two masks included, one black and one blue, to cover the two looks he was shifting between so frequently at the time.  I personally really like the blue, but both work well.  In terms of paint work, it’s not as incredibly lifelike as Hot Toys, or anything, but it was about on par with most Sideshow offerings of the time.  It’s a little thickly applied, but other than that, it doesn’t look too bad.

Nightwing’s outfit is, predictably, mixed-media in its nature.  It’s made up of a bodysuit, glove cuffs, and boots.  Not a lot of pieces to this one, though that’s proper for the design.  The bodysuit is actually really nicely tailored, for as simple as it is, and the blue for his symbol really stands out well.  The boots (which are actual boots that slip over the feet) and glove cuffs are pleather pieces, with a plastic sculpted bit at the end, for the whatever they are things that he sometimes has on his costume.  They seem a tad bulky for his usual look, but ultimately work out alright.

The figure was built on what was the only available male base body at the time of his release.  It’s probably a touch bulky for Dick’s usual proportions, but it’s not truly atrocious, and he was certainly better served by this base body than most of the female figures were by the only female base body the line ever had.  It’s generally rather stiff in its movement, and notably can put its arms all the way down by the sides, but it does look pretty damn heroic, so I’ll give them that.

Nightwing got an alright selection of accessories, with two sets of hands (fists and bendy for posing to grip or gesture), his eskrima sticks, three batarangs, and a display stand.  The bendy hands are better than most of this type, but still not ideal for actually holding his weapons; actual gripping hands would have been better.  The display stand is notably really big and bulky and, due to how it’s designed, also kind of a risk for damaging the costume if you aren’t careful, which is kind of a shame.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I had a handful of figures from this line when they were new, and while they were never figures I felt were amazingly high-end, I’ve always had a soft spot for them.  Nightwing was one I always wanted, but it wasn’t until after his release, as he changed quite a bit between prototype and release, and by then I had missed a lot of opportunities to get him.  Thankfully, I got another shot at him when a whole batch of the Bat-themed characters got traded into All Time a few weeks ago.  He’s a figure from a line that’s been abandoned, and with good reason.  DCD made a lot of weird choices with these figures, and they suffered for it.  However, taken in a vacuum, I do really, really like this figure.  He’s honestly a lot of fun, and just feels really true to the character.

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.

#2980: Gotham City Enforcement Team

BATMAN, NIGHTWING, COMMISSIONER GORDON, & BATGIRL

THE NEW BATMAN ADVENTURES (HASBRO)

“By day, they are ordinary citizens of Gotham City.  At night, they take on a crime fighting identity known only to a certain few, but respected and feared by all.  This is the Gotham City Enforcement Team, committed to righting the wrongs of society and getting crime off the streets for good!”

Last week, I delved into the late-game Animated Series tie-in sets that Hasbro used to help officially launch their tenure with the DC license.  I’m going to continue down that road today, moving away from Superman, and into the slightly-more-loved-by-Hasbro realm of Batman.  Much like with Superman, Hasbro used these sets to delve into some of Batman’s less toy worthy supporting players, intermixed with some of the more toy worthy ones to keep things more exciting, I suppose.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

The Gotham City Enforcement Team, which included Batman, Nightwing, Commissioner Gordon, and Batgirl, was released in the summer of 2000, technically as a Toys R Us-exclusive (although due to their partnership at the time, Amazon also offered them for online ordering).

BATMAN

“The people of Gotham City see Batman as an almost mythical figure, able to tame any adversary, no matter how powerful.  But now, with so many bizarre criminals running amok in Gotham City, Batman turns to his trusted friends and allies to aid him in his battle against evil.  The Dark Knight was evened the odds by creating more amazing weapons, gadgets and vehicles, all of which are available to his crime fighting team.”

You’re really not getting one of these sets without a Batman to go with it.  This one went for the far more basic take on the character, specifically his New Adventures look, since that was the general theme of this set.  With that in mind, this figure is, at his core, a re-issue of Detective Batman from Kenner’s The New Batman Adventures line.  The figure stands 5 inches tall and he has 5 points of articulation.  The Detective Batman sculpt was a pretty strong one, replicating the design from the shown pretty much spot-on.  It’s a little stiffer than the BTAS stuff was in terms of posing, but it still works alright.  It’s a very clean, very bold sculpt, which just really works.  It’s not a shock that Kenner and Hasbro both strove to get a lot out of this one.  His cape can be removed, and had been adjusted to a plastic piece, rather than cloth at this point.  It looks a lot nicer, though I suppose it’s more limiting from a posing standpoint.  The figure’s paint work is pretty basic for a Batman.  The grey is a bit brighter than the single release, and they’ve also adjusted the cape so that it’s two-tone now, with a lighter grey liner, which was a really cool touch.  Batman was originally packed with a weird capture-trap thing, which was super goofy, a theme of the accessories in this set.  I don’t have mine anymore, another theme for this set.

NIGHTWING

“After graduating from college, Dick Grayson — once the young sidekick of Batman known as Robin — traveled the world to study criminology.  While living abroad, Dick realized that he had outgrown his youthful role as Batman’s assistant.  Upon his return to Gotham City, Dick used his trust fund from Haley’s Circus to buy a building and convert its top two floors into a high-tech, urban headquarters.  He developed a new heroic identity called Nightwing, and, with the blessings of his one-time mentor, Batman, joined the battle against evil.”

I’ve actually looked at a Nightwing from this line before, though it was under the “wacky variants” heading, and not just a standard.  This figure is actually just that one, but painted up in the standard colors, since that mold was actually a little more accurate than the initial sculpt had been.  He’s just shy of 5 inches tall and he has 5 points of articulation.  As I noted when I reviewed the sculpt the first time, it’s pretty much spot-on to the show, and I stand by that.  Much like Batman, it just really works.  The paint work is clean and bright, which is nice for this look.  He was packed with the grapple and shield of the single release, now done up to match the standard Nightwing colors.  No grapple for mine, but he does still have the shield.

COMMISSIONER GORDON

One of the few incorruptible cops on the Gotham City Police Department, James Gordon rose to the rank of Police Commissioner.  Commissioner Gordon worked tirelessly to clean up the GCPD and is now loved by Gotham City’s citizens and hated and feared by its criminals.  Though he cannot officially sanction Batman’s methods, he is an unofficial and behind-the-scenes supporter of the Dark Knight and uses his position to support Batman’s crime fighting efforts in any way he can.”

The primary selling point of this set was Commissioner James Gordon’s very first action figure.  It was kind of a big deal at the time, and it would serve to inspire a handful of others, which is always cool.  As with most of the set, Gordon is TNBA-based.  It’s not my preferred of the two designs, but it’s admittedly the one that’s easier to translate to three dimensions, and it was technically the “current” look at the time.  The figure is just under 5 inches tall and he has 5 points of articulation.  Gordon was an all-new sculpt, and it’s a little bit of a mixed bag.  The head is fantastic; it’s got a lot of great detail work and is generally just a spot-on take on his later animated design.  The body, on the other hand, is a little rougher.  He’s definitely got too much paunch on his stomach, and the slightly odd posing of the upper body as a whole doesn’t really help so much.  Generally, it’s not the worst thing, but it’s not quite there.  The paint is even more not quite there; it’s very basic and drab, and missing key details.  Most notable?  He’s got no eyes.  At all.  It’s kind of creepy, really.  Gordon was packed with two very oversized revolvers, which just generally never felt very right for the character.

BATGIRL

“Barbara Gordon has just graduated from college with a degree in computer science.  She has landed a job on the police force, working elbow to elbow with her father, Commissioner James Gordon.  And each night she fights crime as Batgirl, alongside the greatest crime fighter the world has ever known.  This double life sometimes threatens to put Barbara in a sticky situation, and each time she puts on her costume, she knows she is stepping outside the law that she was raised to respect.  Yet Barbara believes that the good she does as Batgirl outweighs the risk to herself and her father.”

Batgirl technically got a single-carded release in Kenner’s BTAS line, but it was during the Duo-Force era, and it meant that she wasn’t in her standard colors.  That mold would be re-decoed for the first of the box sets under Hasbro (which was just the main four in metallic colors), and then would be further improved upon for this release.  Yay!  The figure stands just under 5 inches tall and she has 4 points of articulation.  Technically, there’s a joint at the neck, but since the head and cape are all one piece, it’s effectively useless.  The sculpt for this figure is pretty clearly meant to be the BTAS version, not the TNBA version like the others  It’s not absurdly far off, but it’s also not nearly as sharp and clean as it should be.  Ultimately, it’s an okay offering, but probably the weakest of the ones included here.  The paint does at least put her into her New Adventures color scheme, to do it’s best to sell the idea.  I prefer that scheme, and it looks good on a toy, so I’ve always liked it here.  Batgirl was packed with a big ol’ missile launcher, which I don’t have anymore.  Not an incredibly loss, since she couldn’t really hold it anyway.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

For my eighth birthday, this set was quite high on the list of things I wanted.  So high, in fact, that I actually ended up with two of them, in a continuation of a running gag that would go across my birthday for a few years where my grandmother and my aunt would wind up buying me the same gift with an eerie level of frequency.  I only kept one of them, of course, but these days I kind of wish I’d held onto both.  Though not really new to me, Batman, Nightwing, and Batgirl would become my definitive versions of the characters growing up, and while he’s far from perfect, Gordon was the only one I had for a good while. In general, this was a set that got a lot of mileage for me, and it remains one I’m very fond of, even now.

#2928: Nightwing

NIGHTWING

BATMAN: THE CAPED CRUSADER (SPIN MASTER)

I think I’m finally hitting an okay pace when it comes to these Spin Master DC figures.  I mean, it’s at least a consistent one.  Sure, that consistent pace is, like, one figure per month, but that’s still something, right?  This year’s theme for their Batman line is Bat-Tech, which is outfitting all of the Caped Crusader’s allies and foes with new variant costumes that are all techy.  Largely, I’m picking up the actually new characters, but there are a few intriguing variants mixed in, and I’m always a sucker for a good Nightwing.  So, you know, here we are.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Nightwing is part of the sixth assortment of Spin Master’s Batman: The Caped Crusader line, which is the second assortment under the “Bat-Tech” banner.  This is the same assortment that included the previously reviewed Batgirl, making Nightwing a logical inclusion.  The figure stands about 3 3/4 inches tall and he has 17 points of articulation.  Structurally, the figure is the same as the prior Spin Master Nightwing.  It’s a reasonable enough sculpt, not perfect, but certainly serviceable, and the consistency isn’t a bad thing.  In order to fit with the “tech-y” nature of the set, Nightwing’s color scheme has been tweaked.  It keeps the same basic Nightwing feel, but he’s molded in a smoky translucent plastic, which is fun, and he’s got a bunch of the tech details like we saw on Batgirl and Batman.  They’re fun little details, and I also enjoy the slight change-ups to his basic suit’s layout of details.  Nightwing is packed with the same baton pieces that the prior release included, but in sparkly blue plastic instead.  He also gets two different guns, one of which has a piece to allow for hooking it up to his back.  Guns feel a bit in contrast to Nightwing’s usual loadout, but I guess they’re not real guns, so that’s better maybe?  I’m only gonna use the batons anyway, so it doesn’t really matter.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

After getting Batgirl, I found myself really liking the Bat-Tech set-up as a whole, and, I am, as noted before, a sucker for a good Nightwing.  Max wound up finding this one during one of his stops, so he was nice enough to enable me pick one up for me.  He’s not drastically different from the last one, but he’s still a lot of fun, and keeps the spirit of Spin Master’s whole set-up really going.

#2659: Nightwing

NIGHTWING

DC C3 CONSTRUCTION (PLAY ALONG)

The DC C3 Construction line was divided into two segments: cartoon-based and comic-based.  In both cases, the products were mostly based on current iterations of the characters.  In the case of the comics stuff, they were largely focused on what was going on at that moment in the Batman side of the DCU, which meant a bat-family that was made up of Tim Drake as Robin, Cassandra Kaine as Batgirl, and Dick Grayson as Nightwing.  It’s that last one that’s going to be my focus today!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Like last week’s Batman, Nightwing was released in April of 2005, as part of the “Mini Flyers” assortment of DC C3 Construction, which would prove to be the line’s final assortment.  He was part of the very cleverly named “Nightwing Mini Flyer” set.  Man, how did they come up with those craaaaaazy names?  Nightwing was patterned on his late ’90s/early ’00s costume, which is ultimately his most memorable and lasting design.  The figure is built on the fully upgraded C3-style Minimate body with the shorter style feet *and* the peghole on the head, to allow for better hold on the hair piece.  He makes use of add-ons for his hair, wrist cuffs, and boot pieces.  The wrist cuffs were previously used on Power Man, and would go on to be used on so many other figures, but the hair and boots were new to this guy, and would remain unique to this release.  Like Robin, his hair piece is made of a much softer plastic than usual.  That said, with the peg on the piece, it has a lot less trouble staying in place.  In terms of paint work, Nightwing’s generally pretty decent, but is not without a few missteps.  Notably, on this particular copy, the face is printed a little bit high on the head, which makes him look like he’s got a big chin going on.  The actual face looks pretty good though, as is the detailing on the torso.  The only thing I’d really like to see changed would be how dark the blue is, since it’s easy to miss it on the black plastic.  Of note, that was one thing that the DCD release ended up changing.  Nightwing was packed with his pair of Eskrima sticks, which were their own new mold, albeit one that was very similar to the mold used for the Daredevil billy club pieces.  They were kinda small, but it was nice to get something for him.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

When the Mini Flyers originally hit, Nightwing was the one I was most interested in, due to that whole “being a big Nightwing fan” thing that I’ve got going on.  I wound up getting him at the time, but wound up losing most of his parts over the years.  Thankfully, when the other C3 figures came into All Time, so did he.  He’s pretty decent overall.  There are some issues that the DCD release would fix, but there are also some parts that this guy did a little better, so it winds up as something of a toss-up between the two.

#2327: Nightwing

NIGHTWING

DC MULTIVERSE (MCFARLANE)

“Dick Grayson began his crime-fighting career as the original Robin—Batman’s protégé and crime-fighting partner. An expert acrobat and skilled fighter, Dick eventually left the nest and ventured out on his own as a new hero called Nightwing. His childhood experiences as a circus acrobat and trapeze artist make him extremely agile. He is a superior fighter and a highly skilled martial artist who has been personally trained by Batman. Nightwing is a keen detective, a natural leader, and a strategist with advanced knowledge of a variety of technologies.”

I am nothing if not a creature of habit.  The habit of which I am a creature in this case, apparently, is trying out DC lines with the same two characters.  First Superman, then Nightwing.  I did it with Spin Masters stuff, and lookie here, I’m about to do it with the McFarlane stuff too.  You can’t say I didn’t try to warn you!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Nightwing is part of the…well, it’s still the first assortment of DC Multiverse, but it’s like distinctly separate from the one that Superman’s in, I guess?  This one’s got a different price point because there’s a build-a-thing, and so it’s…I don’t know, it’s all a little confusing, or maybe its not.  Forget it Ethan, it’s McFarlane.  Like Superman, this Nightwing figure is, at least in theory, based on specific appearance, namely “Better Than Batman,” the first volume of his Rebirth title, which reintroduced the black and blue color scheme.  Much like the “based on Action Comics #1000″ translated to “McFarlane take on Classic Superman” for yesterday’s figure, “based on Better Than Batman” here translates to “Mcfarlane take on Nightwing’s most recent costume.”  Nightwing stands 7 14 inches tall and he has 35 points of articulation.  He’s pretty much the same height as the Superman figure (and a little taller than the basic Batman), which makes him a little tall for Dick, but believe me, he’s not the worst case of internal scaling in the line.  His articulation isn’t too different from Clark’s.  There’s better range in the arms for this guy, which is good, but I didn’t find the neck joint quite as useful this time around.  The legs are also still kind of clicky and heavy on the ratcheting for my taste, making him not a ton of fun to pose.  I will say he’s pretty stable on his feet, though, so kudos to McFarlane on that.  Let’s discuss the sculpt.  By and large, I don’t like this sculpt quite as much as the Superman, largely due to this one feeling far more uneven.  The head’s definitely the strongest part, and I definitely get an effective Dick Grayson vibe off of it.  Not sure if it’s quite a Rebirth Dick Grayson vibe, but that’s really splitting hairs.  The body’s where things get funkier.  At first glance, I thought this figure’s arms were too short, and he was kinda giving me T-Rex vibes.  In-hand, it doesn’t seem like it’s the arms that are throwing things off, but perhaps the torso?  I think it’s too large relative to the rest of the figure.  It’s hard to say for sure, but it definitely looks off.  The legs, especially below the knee, also seem slightly…mishapen?  With the right posing, it doesn’t look bad, but there’s definitely something weird about this figure’s proportions in general.  As with Superman, the costume has been given an assortment of extra little details littered throughout.  I myself tend to prefer a more streamlined Nightwing, but these details still work better on him than they did on Superman.  Nightwing’s paintwork is more in line with McFarlane’s usual output than Superman was, being a little murkier on the details, and slightly washed out.  It’s not a bad look, but compared to something like the Essentials figure, he looks almost unfinished.  Maybe that’s just my classic sensibilities kicking up, though.  Nightwing is packed with his batons, a piece of the mini-Batmobile, a display stand, and a card.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

While I was sold on Superman, I was still kinda on the fence with this guy.  I liked parts of him, but I wasn’t sure about the whole.  Max wanted the mini-Batmobile piece, so he bought this guy, and ended up pretty much just giving him to me.  He’s not a bad figure.  Honestly, he’s probably about as good as the Essentials figure, which also had it’s pluses and minuses.  However, I still personally prefer the Essentials release and its slightly cleaner approach to the character.  Both figures have their merits, and neither one is truly definitive, so I guess I’m just gonna have these two nearly identical Nightwings in my collection.  Oh, the oddity of me.

#2315: Nightwing

NIGHTWING

BATMAN: THE CAPED CRUSADER (SPIN MASTER)

Remember how I ended yesterday’s review by saying I wanted to see more from Spin Master with their DC stuff?  Well, it happened sooner than I expected.  Like, you know, right away.  Don’t you look at me like that.  We all knew what this was, okay?  Look, just sit back and enjoy this Nightwing review, alright?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Nightwing is part of the first standard assortment of Spin Master’s Batman: The Caped Crusader line.  Rather wisely, Spin Master has opted to separate out the Bat-characters from the main DC line, which means that the main line-up won’t get too overshadowed by the Bat-family.  This Nightwing figure is based on the character’s DC Rebirth design, which is my favorite of his more recent redesigns.  I dig the New Adventures vibes.  The figure stands 3 3/4 inches tall and he has 17 points of articulation, for real this time!  No broken joints on this guy!  Nightwing’s sculpt is an all-new piece, but given its generally generic nature, I wouldn’t be surprised to see it get re-used for some similarly built characters.  He’s actually smaller in build than the Superman figure, which is nice to see, given that the far more expensive DC Essentials version didn’t even get that.  You know there’s a problem when your $30 collector’s figure gets outclassed by an $8 toy….I’m getting distracted, aren’t I?  Yeah, it’s a decent sculpt.  It’s not perfect; the neck is a smidge too short, and the hair’s not my ideal choice for Nightwing.  The hands and feet are also a little chunky, but given that the same is true of Superman, that feels more like a stylistic thing.  Also, it’s nowhere near the level that it was on Mattel’s old Infinite Heroes line, so I can give it something of a pass.  Nightwing’s paintwork is all fairly basic, but the bright blue looks really nice, and the application is all pretty sharp. There are one or two spots of missing paint on mine, but nothing too bad or figure ruining.  As with the Heroes Unite line, the Caped Crusader line is also doing the blind-boxed accessories.  There are currently two different accessory sets available for Nightwing.  Mine has the “Harbor Defender” selection, which is a pair of batons (with built-in gauntlets), a scuba mask and tank, and a batarang.  I found the accessories a little more interactive for Nightwing than with Superman, and really like the batons in particular.  He’s also got a collector’s card like Superman’s.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Again, Max’s fault.  I mean, in a slightly different fashion than yesterday’s review.  And, admittedly I get a lot of the blame on this one, since I did actually buy it myself, but Max let me know that the Walmart near All Time had this guy, and said “if you’re gonna grab one, mind getting one for me too?”  At that point, I felt a little obligated, because what was I gonna do, make Max stop on his way home?  That just wouldn’t be very nice, now would it?  So, I got my Nightwing, because obviously I wasn’t just gonna buy one for Max.  As with Superman, I’m very happy with this figure, and am further intrigued by the rest of the line.  Also, this has perhaps set a precedent of me trying out new DC lines by buying Superman and Nightwing.  Possible spoilers for future reviews?  You’ll have to keep reading to find out…

#2143: Nightwing

NIGHTWING

LEGENDS OF BATMAN (KENNER)

“As Robin, he fought crime beside Batman all his life, and with every bit of his mentor’s determination! Now Robin has grown up, and he has a new super-hero identity: Nightwing! His sonic blaster and armored cowl make him a force to be reckoned with! Together, Batman and Nightwing can take on any villain in Gotham City!”

In 1994, we were in between Batman movies, but the holders of the DC license over at Kenner didn’t just want to sit and wait for one to role out in order to release new toys.  The went with a radical concept: basing figures on the comics…well, at first anyway.  Legends of Batman began as a rather straight comic Batman line, with one or two Bat-variants worked in, but it would eventually morph into a full-fledged Elseworlds-esque line.  For today’s review, though, I’m sticking wit the line’s early focus, with a look at Batman’s former sidekick, Nightwing!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Nightwing was released in Series 1 of the Legends of Batman line.  He’s based on Nightwing’s early ’90s design, which was still current at the time of this figure’s release, and figured into Knightfall, a storyline that was a prominent inspiration for early Legends figures.  The figure stands 5 inches tall and has 5 points of articulation, as was the standard for Kenner figures at the time.  Nightwing sported an all-new sculpt, and you can definitely see a lot of the origins of things like Total Justice in this figure’s sculpt.  He’s heavily pre-posed, and exactly what that pose is supposed to be is a little up in the air.  They were definitely going for dynamic, but dynamically what, that they never settled on.  This intended dynamic look is also passed on to the hair; it’s early ’90s Nightwing, so of course he’s got the mullet, and it’s just whipping around back there like crazy.  On top of the pre-posing, Nightwing is also really bulked up.  This wasn’t uncommon for this costume to showcase Dick bulked way up to near Schwarzenegger-ian proportions, and this figure follows suit.  Strictly speaking, it’s not inaccurate, but it sure is super goofy.  He’s more bulked up than most of the Batmen in the line, which is downright silly.  Nightwing’s paintwork was rather muted compared to the comics design, which honestly robs this design of it’s one real selling point: that it was eye-catching.  Also, despite the “feather” detail being sculpted into the figure’s torso, it goes unpainted, with the figure relying on a removable shoulder piece to provide the yellow.  Unfortunately, if you’re like me and your figure is missing that piece, it makes Nightwing look especially incomplete.  In addition to the removable shoulder piece, Nightwing includes what is obviously the most appropriate accessory for him, a missile launcher!  Clearly this is Dick Grayson’s signature item.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

While I wasn’t quite into collecting yet when this figure was first released, I did still get him within the decade of his release, albeit as a used offering.  My cousin Rusty had this one, and I always liked it.  Since he knew I was a bit more of a Batman fan than he was, he ended up giving it to me.  Sure, he didn’t have all of the parts, but it was a nice gesture.  The figure’s definitely dated, even moreso than some of his compatriots, but your can’t really say he doesn’t live up to the comics design.

#2092: Nightwing

NIGHTWING

DC UNIVERSE CLASSICS (MATTEL)

After his parents were murdered, young Dick Grayson was adopted by Bruce Wayne, becoming his ward… and, as the first Robin The Boy Wonder, his partner in the war against crime. Years later, Robin struck out on his own as Nightwing and now lives in the corruption-ridden city of Bludhaven where by day he serves as a member of that city’s police department.”

Mattel’s DC Universe Classics was born out of DC Superheroes, a line that was itself born out of their earlier Batman line.  DC Superheroes introduced some Superman characters into the mix, but was otherwise still very Batman-focused.  When it came time for DC Universe Classics, there was no corner of the DCU unavailable, so Mattel got a lot deeper with their coverage.  However, they still didn’t stray too far from the Batman side of things, meaning it wasn’t a huge surprise to see two of his sidekicks crop up early in the line’s run.  I’ve already looked at the Robin, so how about the former Robin, aka Nightwing?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Nightwing was part of Series 3 of DC Universe Classics, alongside the previously reviewed Tim Drake Robin, Green Lantern, Sinestro, and Deathstroke.  He was the third figure Mattel had done of Nightwing at this scale, and like Robin before him, this figure marked the first time that the Four Horsemen worked on the character.  Nightwing is seen here in his traditional blue/black costume, which had been his consistent look for over a decade when this figure hit shelves, meaning it was a pretty safe choice.  The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 23 points of articulation.  Nightwing used the mid-sized male body, which was first introduced for this very assortment, and would be used simultaneously for both him and Hal Jordan.  It’s a little on the bulky side for how Dick is usually portrayed, especially in the shoulders, but within the context of the line, it worked alright.  Nightwing had a unique head, forearms, and shins.  The head depicts an early-to-mid ’00s Nightwing, as denoted by the hairstyle.  While I might like it to be a little more expressive, it’s otherwise a pretty strong take on the character, and there’s plenty of detail work, especially in the texturing of the hair.  The forearms and shins depict the most inconsistent element of this Nightwing costume: the cuffs for the gloves and boots.  They were frequently all different shapes, sizes, and positions, and by the time of Hush, Jim Lee had removed them completely.  That streamlined look is honestly my preferred interpretation, but to Mattel’s credit, there’s been very little action figure coverage with these pieces included, so it does help the figure stand out from DCD’s offerings.  The paintwork on Nightwing is mostly pretty basic, straight color work.  The blue is appropriately bright, and the application is clean.  There’s some ever so slight accenting on the hair, which helps bring out the sculpted textures, and that’s pretty nice.  Nightwing was packed with his usual Eskrima sticks (which he can store on his back, another unique feature of this figure), as well as the head/torso of the Grundy CnC.  Why he got the largest piece over the comparatively much smaller Robin figure is anyone’s guess, but mine didn’t have it anyway, so it doesn’t really matter.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Okay, it’s a DCUC review, so you know the drill: this assortment was hard to find at retail, and I never saw a Nightwing in person.  I managed to track down GL and Sinestro, my two main wants, in-package and new, and got the reissue of Robin a little later, but Nightwing never turned up.  I already had the Hush figure, so I wasn’t too worried about it, but when this guy was among a large DCUC collection that got traded into All Time Toys last year, I jumped at the opportunity to get him.  I’ve got a lot of Nightwing figures, and I can’t say this one really stands out from the pack, but he’s certainly not a bad figure.

#2054: Nightwing

NIGHTWING

DC ESSENTINALS (DC COLLECTIBLES)

I’m a little bit of a glutton for punishment, aren’t I?  How else can you explain the fact that I just keep returning to the toylines that hurt me?  There are, of course, a few entries under that title, but the one I’m concerning myself with today is DC Essentials.  It’s DCC’s second line by that name and also their second attempt at a line of consistently styled and highly articulated versions of their characters.  After they put Icons out to pasture, this became their new focus, which, for DCC, generally means rereleasing many of the same characters all over again.  Today, I look at a figure I already had as an Icon, Nightwing!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Nightwing is figure 12 in the DC Essentials line.  He was actually one of the first figures to be shown off when the line was announced, but found himself pushed back a little bit.  He’s based on Nightwing’s Rebirth design, which is fairly heavily inspired by his appearance from The New Batman Adventures.  It’s a nicer redesign than either of his New 52 looks, so I really can’t complain.  The figure stands 7 inches tall and he has 34 points of articulation.  Apart from a new head and hands meant for gripping, Nightwing is just using the same body as Reverse Flash and Superman before him.  Like I mentioned in the Superman review, the fact that they’re using the same base body for all of these characters is one of the iffier aspects of the line, as these three should really not be sharing a build.  On the plus side, the general build works okay for Nightwing, at least in a vacuum.  The downside is that the body still has all of the issues it had before.  The forearms are definitely too long, and those pegs on the ab-crunch still really bug me.  I will say, I do like his new headsculpt, and I think it’s one aspect of this figure that I really prefer to the Icons version of the figure.  In particular, I like the slight little grin on his face.  Nightwing’s paint is fairly straight forward.  The blue makes for a nice contrast to the black, and he’s fairly eye-catching.  However, the application’s a little spotty, with a lot of fuzz around the edges of the blue.  Also, my figure has a rather noticeable smear on the back of his head, which, for the record, I could not see in the package.  Nightwing includes his usual escrima sticks, and that’s it.  In his defense, that’s two more accessories than the prior Essentials figures I’ve reviewed, but it’s still quite a bit less than his Icons counterpart, or really any comparable figures.  Given the MSRP on these is several dollars higher than a Marvel Legend, that’s really a let-down.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

When the figures were first shown off, Nightwing was actually one of only two that I really had any interest in, but then I got the Icons Nightwing, who I really liked.  I also got Reverse Flash and Superman, who made me less than enthusiastic for the line, so when Nightwing first popped up, I decided to pass.  However, Cosmic Comix was running a sale on Free Comic Book day, so I was able to grab him for a far more reasonable price.  Ultimately, he’s still not swayed me on the line, but I don’t hate him, because at least he’s a semi-decent Nightwing figure.

#1452: Nightwing

NIGHTWING

DC ICONS

I’ve had a bit of theme to my purchases as of late, so for the next few Fridays, I’ll be sort of transferring that theme to the site and taking a weekly look at DC Collectibles’ DC Icons line.  Last week, of course, I looked at Supergirl, the first Icons figure I’ve bought in quite a while.  She was a pretty solid figure, so I went back for more, and grabbed the latest version of Dick Grayson, aka Nightwing.  I’m always in the market for a good Nightwing figure.  Is this one?  Let’s find out!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Nightwing is part of the fifth series of DC Icons, alongside Supergirl and the Super Sons.  He’s figure 24, which makes him the first in the set numerically.  Poor Nightwing is actually the last man standing from his initial series-mates; last summer he was first shown off in a series with Shazam, Sinestro, and Deadshot, but those three ended up cancelled, and Nightwing was pushed back a ways to be released alongside Supergirl.  Lucky him?  Nightwing’s package cites that he’s based on his appearance in “Hush,” which has always been one of my favorite Nightwing designs.  It dates back to the Hush line’s Nightwing figure, which has long been my favorite figure of the character. Hush’s more streamlined Nightwing design is really strong, so the design makes a lot of sense here, but it’s still a bit weird to wrap my head around a Hush-based figure that doesn’t actually look like a Jim Lee drawing.  Of course, there are worse things than a figure that looks like an Ivan Reis drawing, so I’m hardly going to complain.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 33 points of articulation.  The upscaling was somewhat evident on Supergirl, but it’s in full force on Nightwing.  He’s not really going to fit in with earlier Icons figures (especially not the Series 1 Batman, which is a little sad), but he’s now a little more at home with something like Marvel Legends.  Just for reference, he’s just a smidge shorter than a Bucky Cap-based figure; the only real inconsistency is the head size, but that’s minor.  Nightwing gets an all-new sculpt, and it’s a very strong one.  The articulation seems quite well worked in, and the figure feels very svelte and streamlined.  The build seems about right for Grayson and the etched-in edges to his logo are very nicely handled.  I wasn’t 100% sold on the head at first (it’s my love of that old DCD Nightwing’s head kicking in there), but after taking the figure out and viewing it from a number of different angles, I’m really happy with it.  Nightwing’s paint work is very strong, apart from one minor issue: the color of his mask.  If this is really a “Hush” Nightwing, then the mask really should be blue, not black.  To be fair to DCC, only the original release of the Hush Nightwing figure got that detail right; all of the re-issues changed it to black.  I have to wonder if it’s some sort of “brand identity” thing.  Beyond that, the paint’s great.  The glossy sheen helps the blue to pop really well up against the matte black, and I also like the high-gloss boots.  This is a very polished looking figure.  Nightwing is packed with his standard Escrima sticks, a batarang attacked to a grapple, and three pairs of hands in fists, and two variations of gripping.  Not a bad assortment.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

It’s all Cosmic Comix’s fault.  No, really.  They sold out of Nightwing initially, so I just bought Supergirl.  And I only would have bought her, content, and unaware of this figure’s existence.  And then they had to go and ask me if I wanted them to order me one.  Darn them and their clear knowledge of my collecting habits….

This figure’s a very strong offering.  I wasn’t sure about him, just based on how much I love that old Hush figure, but this one’s awesome, if for different reasons, maybe.  Regardless, this figure’s so awesome that I went online to see what other Icons figures were coming out, and that’s when I discovered that not only was the line essentially over, but that there were a ton of really cool figures that I wanted that got cancelled.  Now I am a sad Ethan.  But at least I got Nightwing, right?