BATMAN & ROBIN (KENNER)
“Gotham City becomes a very cold place when Mr. Freeze, Poison Ivy and Bane triple team to plot the icy demise of Batman and Robin. The crimefighters respond immediately by using the Batcomputer deep within the Batcave to develop an array of cutting-edge weapons that can be used in their battle against this multitude of fiendish foes. Discover the Secrets of the Batcave! – secret technology that gives Batman , Robin and Batgirl the ultimate ability to save Gotham City!”
After the box office success of Batman Forever (I know, I’m surprised, too), Warner Brothers decided to fast track its follow-up, Batman & Robin, with its entire production process coming in at under two years, which, when you’re dealing with a block-buster of this caliber, isn’t a lot of time. The end result was less than stellar. Batman & Robin holds the lowest earnings of any Batman film to date, and is still regarded as one of the worst comic book films ever made. With all that said, it did succeed on one front: it was a pretty excellent toy commercial. The toyline that accompanied the film was easily the best part of the whole thing. Amazingly, though I dove into the Batman Forever line, I have as of yet not looked at any Batman & Robin figures. I’ll be changing that today, with Iceboard Robin!
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Iceboard Robin was released in the first basic series of Kenner’s Batman & Robin line, which hit shelves in 1997, alongside the film. The first series had two Robins included, with this one being the “standard” movie Robin. The figure stands 4 3/4 inches tall and he has 5 points of articulation. Robin sported an all-new sculpt. Robin is actually the most fortunate of the film’s main characters, as he was the only one whose design didn’t change during the production process, meaning his was the only standard figure that was actually film accurate. Additionally, Robin’s design, which was a pretty nifty merging of more classic Robin characteristics with the then current Nightwing costume from the comics, is really one of the nicest of the film’s designs in general, if you can get past the general Chris O’Donnel-ness of the head. The sculpt does a nice job of capturing the look from the movie, and is generally a lot sturdier and more sharply detailed than the Forever figures were. Pre-posing on this figure is at a minimum, but he’s a little better than the straight standing poses of prior figures. There’s a more natural stance here, and it’s actually pretty darn nice. The cape is a plastic piece, as were most of the capes on this round of figures, and it plugs into his back fairly securely. Robin’s paintwork is pretty basic, which the majority of stuff being molded plastic. However, the red detailing of the uniform is pretty cool, and has a slick metallic finish to it. Iceboard Robin was, stay with me on this, packed with an iceboard, which is really just a big, goofy stand. He also included a missile launcher, but mine is missing that piece. Oh no, whatever will I do?
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I was too young to see Batman Forever in theaters (though I sure got in on those toys), but Batman & Robin hit at the perfect time for me to be all about it. I was very excited prior to the film’s release (and even after, if I’m honest, because I loved it. In my defense, I was 5), and this guy was part of the hype. At the time, Toys R Us was running a promotion where you got reprints of Robin, Batgirl, and Mr. Freeze’s first appearances if you bought one of the toys from the tie-in line, and my mom was awesome enough to take me over one day after work. Unsurprisingly, given my more recent collecting habits, I opted for Robin to be my qualifying figure purchase. Quality of the film and of the actor playing Robin aside, this figure holds up well, and is just a genuinely fun offering.