#2994: Batman, Robin, Alfred, & Clayface

BATMAN, ROBIN, ALFRED, & CLAYFACE

THE NEW BATMAN ADVENTURES (HASBRO)

Criminals beware…these relentless Caped Crusaders are ready to fight the forces of evil anytime, anywhere, and stop even the most devious villains in their tracks!

Gotham City’s Dark Knight Detective, Batman never shirks his duty to defend the city against its many bizarre criminals, no matter how powerful.  Even if it means facing the awesome might of Matt Hagan, aka Clayface.  Empowered by strange chemicals, Clayface is stronger, bulkier and meaner than ever!  Of course, Batman is far from alone in his crusade for justice.  Tim Drake, as Robin, is the newest member of Gotham’s crime-fighting elite.  Along with Alfred Pennyworth, Bruce Wayne’s ever-faithful butler and confidante, Batman is ready to continue his battle against evil!”

It’s Christmas Day, a day that I usually devote to something a little more festive and Christmas-y.  For a number of reasons, I’m not feeling that one quite as much this year, so I’ve opted to instead continue my look into Hasbro’s late-game Animated Batman sets.  I suppose it’s not the oddest connection.  This one in particular does really push the surrogate family angle, which feels a little bit Christmas-y, I guess.  So, in the spirit of a little bit Christmas-y, let’s look at this here set of figures.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Batman, Robin, Alfred, and Clayface were released as a TRU-exclusive boxed set, released in late 1999 to expand the New Adventures of Batman line under the Hasbro banner.

BATMAN

Have I mentioned the need for a Batman variant in these sets?  Because they totally needed one, in each and every one of these. For this one, they went for a rather nifty little tweak for the variant.  He’s not animation accurate, but he’s a classic blue Batman, which is rather fun.  The figure stands 5 inches tall and he has 5 points of articulation.  Structurally, he’s another re-use of Detective Batman, which is really always a nice starting point.  It’s a good sculpt, and it still worked well here.  The change up to this one comes in the from of paint, mainly the cape, cowl, gloves, and boots are all bright blue instead of the usual black.  It’s a good look, and simulates the classic look quite nicely.  Batman was originally packed with a big missile launcher.  It was goofy, and I didn’t hang onto it.

ROBIN

Since Dick Grayson was Nightwing, TNBA replaced him in the role of Robin with Tim Drake.  Tim had previously been released in the  Bat-family set, and became the first of said family to get another go in the boxed sets.  The figure stands just shy of 4 inches tall and he has 5 points of articulation.  This figure used the same mold as the two single-carded versions of the same character.  It’s generally pretty on-model for the show design.  I suppose he’s a touch tall and lanky, but not overly so.  The cape is a separate piece.  It’s a little bulky at the collar, but otherwise a rather nice piece.  His paint work is bright, colorful, and fairly cleanly applied, which is cool.  Robin was packed with a weird sled thing, which I’m missing, of course.

ALFRED

The undoubted selling point of this here set, Alfred, much like Gordon and Lois, was granted his very first action figure here.  The figure stands just shy of 5 inches tall and he has 5 points of articulation.  He was constructed from a mix of unique and re-used parts.  His arms and legs came from Wildcard Joker, while his head and torso were all-new.  The head was quite a nice in-model Alfred from the show, and it’s certainly one of their stronger ones.  The Joker parts don’t technically match the show design, especially with the gloves that he never wore, but they approximate well enough that the re-use is understandable.  Alfred’s paint work is rather basic, mostly just black and white.  At least, unlike Gordon, the eyes are painted.  Always a plus.  The hair’s not the right color, at least not for a present day Alfred, but it’s admittedly a relatively minor thing.  Alfred was packed with a serving tray, which I actually still have, thanks to it being actually relevant to the character.

CLAYFACE

Clayface hadn’t had a toy release since the BTAS days, and that one was rather scarce by this point, so I guess a re-release wasn’t the worst idea.  The figure stands just over 5 inches tall and he has movement at his shoulders, and that’s it.  The set’s definitely very New Adventures-themed, and the shaping of that design was quite different, but this figure nevertheless uses his BTAS mold, largely unchanged.  The only actual adjustment is to the left arm, which rather than ending in a shooting spike formation like the original, is now just an arm with a fist.  The whole thing isn’t the worst sculpt, but much like Batgirl and Poison Ivy, it suffers from rather plainly not being accurate to what it’s supposed to be representing.  Also, this release has some major issues with a sticky residue building up on the figure’s surface over time.  You can clean it off, but it comes back, and it’s just generally not so pleasant.  The paint work on this figure, or at least the coloring, marked a change, since he was now a much paler tan.  No idea why, but he was.  Clayface was packed with a safe and a bomb to go inside it.  He couldn’t really do anything with it, of course, and I lost mine, so there we are.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This set does hold a bit of significance to this particular date, as the year it was released, it was very definitely the item highest on my Christmas list.  I’d gotten the Bat-family pack the year prior, and I desperately wanted this set to expand my roster.  How could you not want an Alfred?  Well, and I also didn’t have a Clayface, and the blue Batman did rather excite me too, so it was really just Robin I didn’t need.  Even he was a solid release of his own, and wound up becoming my go-to figure for him.  In retrospect, it’s maybe not the most thrilling set, but I’m still very glad I got it, and I remember it quite fondly.

#2645: Robin

ROBIN

DC C3 CONSTRUCTION (PLAY ALONG)

In 2004, Marvel Minimates entered their second year, making them by far the most successful Minimates offering up to that point.  Not that it took much, of course.  That same year, the brand attempted to expand…in a fashion, anyway.  Since Marvel’s cavalcade of super heroes proved successful, there was an attempt to get DC in the game as well.  Due to how the DC license was split up at the time, there was no space for a straight forward DC Minimates release at quite that time, but through a bit of loophole abuse, Art Asylum was able to partner with Play Along, who held the license for DC-based construction sets.  Dubbed “C3” (for “Create, Construct, Customize”), the sets each included at least one Minimate as a pack-in figure.  The first round was Batman-heavy, and included multiple versions of the Caped Crusader, as well as his trusty sidekick, Robin, who I’ll be looking at today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Robin was included in the “Mini Batmobile” set, one of the first 7 sets released in the DC C3 Construction line in the summer of 2004.  There was also a Batman included in the set, but I’m just focusing on Robin this time.  Robin was one of the comic-based figures, and was specifically based on the Tim Drake incarnation of the character.  This was noteworthy for being the only Minimate version of Tim ever to be produced.  The figure was based on the standard ‘mate body, with the new C3 feet, of course, so he stands 2 1/4 inches tall and he has 14 points of articulation.  While he’s got the C3 feet, he’s still without a hair piece with a peg, showcasing the slow evolution of the line.  He gets a new hair piece, cape, belt, and gloves.  They were pretty decent pieces overall, but for whatever reason, the add-ons for this guy are really rubbery.  This is the biggest issue when it comes to the hair, which has a lot of trouble staying properly in place, as it’s not rigid enough to actually clip on.  It still looks okay, but it’s not ideal for play.  The gloves are definitely the nicest pieces, though, and have some pretty sharp detail work.  The paint work is pretty solid.  It showcased a bit more detailing than earlier Marvel efforts, with the mask and boots in particular having quite a bit of creative lighting to them.  The face and musculature remain fairly basic at this point, but it allowed him to remain at least somewhat consistent with the animation-based figures from the same set.  Though Robin was effectively an accessory himself, he nevertheless did get an extra of his own, namely Tim’s signature bo staff.  It’s another soft plastic piece, but it still looks pretty cool.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

When these guys were shown off, the Mini Batmobile was the one I most wanted, and was subsequently the first one I got.  As with many of my early ‘mates, I lost most of the parts to both the Batmobile itself and the two figures it included.  Batmen are a dime a dozen, but this was the only modern era Robin, so I’d been looking for a replacement for a little while.  Thankfully, when All Time got in that large collection of Minimates last year, I was able to snag a replacement Robin.  He’s definitely one of the coolest C3 offerings, and honestly holds up pretty well, even after all this time.

#2248: Red Robin

RED ROBIN

DC UNIVERSE CLASSICS (MATTEL)

“Tim Drake already had impressive detective and computer hacking skills when Bruce Wayne offered him the opportunity to train and become his protege, Robin. But when Batman disappeared, Drake went incognito and became Red Robin to find him. During his search, he masterfully formed an alliance with Ra’s Al Ghul that eventually dismantled Ra’s League of Assassins and paved the way for Bruce Wayne’s return. Drake continued to use his brilliant deductive and martial arts skills as Red Robin, working with The Outsiders and Teen Titans.”

Hey, remember a few weeks ago, when I was talking about the history of the name Red Robin?  Let’s touch on that again.  Though the name was originated by Dick Grayson in the alternate future of Kingdom Come, only one of the four Red Robin figures is Dick.  The other three are Tim Drake, who has pretty much laid claim to the name.  It wasn’t quite as cleanly Tim’s at first, though, especially when he got his first Red Robin figure, which I’m looking at today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Red Robin was released in “All Stars” series of DC Universe Classics.  Originally, “All Stars” was supposed to be the refitted incarnation of DCUC post-New 52, with this just being the first series.  Unfortunately, demand was pretty low on this particular assortment, and practically non-existent on the proposed follow-up, which retroactively makes this assortment essentially just Series 21 of DCUC, rather than the first series of the new line.  As a continuation of DCUC, Red Robin’s place in the line-up makes a little more sense, given how the line-ups for DCUC assortments tended to go.  The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 23 points of articulation.  Red Robin was built on the DCUC line’s medium male body which was an odd choice to say the least, given that this is meant to be Tim, and that his last DCUC figure, which is only supposed to be him about a year prior in-universe, is a heck of a lot smaller.  Admittedly, that figure is widely agreed to be really under-sized, but this one definitely goes too far the other direction, making the 19-20 year old Drake look like he’s a good decade older.  It’s worth noting that this is the same base body that Mattel used for both Dick Grayson and Jason Todd, making you wonder if this figure was originally designed to be one of the two of them, rather than Tim.  He does look a fair bit like the Jason Todd version, but that incarnation was rather short-lived, so perhaps Mattel opted to slap a new name on it for more longevity?  I don’t know.  It’s genuinely just possible that Mattel was just being Mattel and simply put him on the wrong body; that’s pretty in character for them.  Scaling issues aside, it’s worth noting that Red Robin got a decent selection of new parts, including a new head, cape, straps, belt, forearms, and shins.  These parts mesh well with the pre-existing parts, and the end result is a pretty clean looking figure, which does a solid job of capturing the costume design from the comics.  His paintwork is all pretty clean.  By this point, most of the nicer accent work from earlier in the line was gone, but there’s still nice touches like the shiny finish on the boots and gloves, as well as the slight accenting on his tunic.  It’s also pretty clean, which is really the most important thing.  The plan for “All Stars” was to cut down on production costs by removing the Collect-N-Connect pieces, so this figure does that, his only extra being a staff (which my figure is lacking).

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Though demand for the overall assortment was pretty low, Red Robin was really the only figure contained therein that anyone really wanted, which made him a little bit harder to acquire.  Not helping matters was that regular retailers had pretty much given up carrying the line by this point, so if all you wanted was Red Robin without his three case-mates, you were kind of out of luck.  Because of this, I didn’t get him new.  Instead, I got him last year when All Time got in a DCUC collection.  Choice of base body aside, he’s a pretty fun figure, and I’m glad I finally got one.

#2212: Red Robin

RED ROBIN

DC COMICS MULTIVERSE (MATTEL)

The name Red Robin is one that’s been with almost as many former Robins as the name “Robin” has.  Originally introduced in Kingdome Come as the identity of an older Dick Grayson, the name made it’s first foray into the “mainstream” universe as a possible moniker for Jason Todd, who was at the time flirting with potentially reforming after being Red Hood for a bit.  That went nowhere, and the name was eventually revived again by Tim Drake following the events of “Battle for the Cowl,” which ended with Damian Wayne taking over the main Robin identity.  The name’s pretty much stuck with Tim since, and that’s the name he’s got for this here new figure I’m looking at today!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Red Robin is part of Mattel’s final series of DC Comics Multiverse, which is a Bat-themed series.  As with most of the rest of the line-up, he’s officially a Rebirth figure, and depicts Tim in his updated Red Robin costume from post-Doomsday Clock and Heroes in Crisis.  It’s not a bad design, and really gets close to his classic ’90s appearance.  The figure stands 6 inches tall and sports 29 points of articulation.  Robin is built on the same base body as Kid Flash and Ray, which is to say he’s built on pretty much the best base body that Mattel produced under their tenure with the DC license.  It’s got balanced proportions, a solid articulation layout, and just generally plays pretty well.  It’s also pretty well scaled to Legends and DCUC, which is certainly a step up from the prior body Tim was on. Tim has a new head, upper torso, forearms, knees, and shins, plus add-ons for his cape and belt.  These new parts work pretty well with the existing, making for a figure that does a pretty solid job of capturing Robin’s look.  I was particularly surprised by the new upper torso piece, which has actual sculpted elements for the logo and the details on his sides. That was definitely surprising, and it adds a fair bit to the figure.  I will say, I’m not personally as much a fan of the shorter hair on Tim as seen here, but it’s not inaccurate, so I can’t fault Mattel there.  The paintwork on Tim is fairly solid.  It’s bright and eye-catching, and represents the look from the comics well.  Tim is packed with two sets of hands in fists and gripping poses, as well as his usual staff, and the arm of Killer Croc.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I picked this guy up during my rather disappointing early morning Force Friday run at the beginning of October.  I had passed on him once before and not seen him since, but knowing he was on the same body as Ray made me really want to pick him up.  As with so much of this late-run product from Mattel, he’s genuinely a good toy, and that’s really kind of sad.  Why couldn’t they get these things together earlier?

#2122: Robin

ROBIN

DC UNIVERSE CLASSICS (MATTEL)

Tim Drake is the third youngster to serve as Robin, partner to Batman. Through rigorous and constant training, Robin keeps his physical edge, which, along with his knowledge of computers, makes him a formidable foe of Gotham City’s villainous population. Tim balances his activities as Robin with his school and friends… but he is always ready to answer the call to action.”

Mattel’s DC Universe Classics line was rife with distribution issues, pretty much for its entirety, but especially at its start.  This meant that key characters had figures that were virtually impossible to find, which was a major barrier for entry.  To offset this, Mattel tried to at the very least offer up repaints of prior molds.  Series 3’s Robin figure had a direct rerelease in their World’s Greatest Super Heroes sub-line, but even still was hard to find, and to top it off, he wasn’t in the costume most collectors hoped for.  Mattel attempted to kill two birds with one stone with today’s figure.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Robin was one half of a Walmart-exclusive “Dynamic Duo” two-pack, released in 2010 under the DC Universe Classics banner.  No points for guess who the other half was.  This Robin makes use of the exact same tooling as the Series 3 version of the character.  That figure was not without its flaws, but one of the most stand-out issues was one of scaling.  He was pretty darn tiny when compared to the rest of the line, especially when you remember he was supposed to be the older Tim Drake of “One Year Later.”  It was a major blow to a figure who might have been pretty nice otherwise.  This figure changes up the entire paint scheme, going for something that more closely resembles Tim’s original costume.  While the sculpted details don’t all exactly match up with his older design (the scallops on the gloves and cape, and the pouches on the belt being the main errors), it still works surprisingly well, and in fact the head sculpt with its short and spiky hair actually makes more sense for this color scheme.  Additionally, the traditional Robin colors are just more appealing to my eye, and on top of that, the fact that it’s supposed to be a younger version of Tim means that the scale issues are a lot less pressing on this release.  The only drawback to this figure was that he lacks the original’s combat staff, since the set only included a single batarang for the duo to share.  Ah, classic Matty.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

So, you know those crappy distribution issues that prevented me from easily acquiring the original Robin release?  Well, they reared their ugly head again when it came time for the repaints that were supposed to address the issue…which didn’t really fix things, did it?  Whatever the case, I didn’t get the set new, but I was able to get ahold of Robin on his own thanks to one being traded into All Time Toys last December.  I’m glad I finally got my hands on this one, as he really manages to salvage the sculpt of the original, without being held back by scaling or overly-time-specific costumes.

#1692: Robin

ROBIN

DC UNIVERSE CLASSICS (MATTEL)

In a similar fashion to Toy Biz’s early Marvel Legends offerings skipping any thing Spider-Man-related due the Spider-Man Classics line that sort of launched Legends, thanks to the lead-in DC Superheroes line, Mattel’s DC Universe Classics was slightly slower introducing Batman and Superman-themed figures.  While Batman found himself in the line’s first series, he would have to wait another two series before getting his trusty sidekick, Robin.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Robin was initially released in Series 3 of DC Universe Classics, and then ultimately re-released in the World’s Greatest Superheroes sub-line.  He was Mattel’s second go at Robin, following the mold that went back to their original Batman line.  This one is based on Tim Drake, the third Robin, and still the current one at the time of this figure’s release.  He’s seen here in the costume he was wearing at the time, which was introduced following the “One Year Later” time-jump caused by Infinite Crisis and 52.  It’s a design that doesn’t quite have the staying power of Tim’s prior look, but it did stick around for a few years, and it’s certainly not terrible.  The figure stands 5 1/2 inches tall and he has 23 points of articulation.  This figure’s biggest flaw is his height.  He was a full inch shorter than the standard adult male from this line, but not in a “oh, he’s just a teenager who isn’t fully grown yet” way.  He actually looks like he’s a smaller scale than the rest of the figures.  It’s especially annoying because the later Red Robin figure, meant to represent Tim from just a few years later in the timeline, was just on the standard male body.  That wasn’t the right fit either, but at least he looked vaguely right scale-wise.  The most frustrating about the height issue is that the figure’s sculpt is actually pretty good.  Robin lacks some of the more annoying stylistic elements of the larger bodies, such as the goofy larger shoulders, or the painfully obvious hip joints.  His proportions are fairly balanced, and there are actually quite a few uniquely sculpted pieces, such as the buckles on his tunic and his utility belt, which add a lot of character to the figure.  The head’s maybe more of an early career Tim than one in this costume should be, but it still looks quite nice, and even the cape is a pretty solid sculpt.  Purely from an internal standpoint, it’s a strong sculpt.  Even his paintwork’s not terrible.  I mean, there’s no crazy detail work or anything, but the application is all pretty clean, and there’s some slight accent work on the red sections of the costume.  He was originally packed with a combat staff and the left arm of the Collect-N-Connect Solomon Grundy.  The re-release (which is the one I had), dropped the CnC piece.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

When Series 3 of DCUC was unveiled I was thrilled.  I wanted every figure in the set.  To date, of the five figures (six if you included the CnC), I own three, and this one’s not even the original release.  Why?  Mattel’s sucky distribution, that’s why.  I desperately wanted Robin, but I never actually saw him at retail, so I finally settled for the re-release, which I found at Baltimore Comic-Con a few years back.  He’s a frustrating figure.  I love so much about him, but he’s cursed never to really fit-in with his line-mates.  Fortunately, last fall I got the similarly mis-scaled DC Icons Batman, so at least they both have a companion.

#0774: Robin

ROBIN

BATMAN: ANIMATED (DCC)

TimDrake1

When Batman: The Animated Series returned as The New Batman Adventures, virtually every character was given a snazzy new design. Some were very minor updates (such as Harley Quinn), but some were pretty drastic. Robin’s new design was definitely a pretty big change from his old design, but he had a good reason: he was actually a whole new character. Yes, he was now Tim Drake, the current Robin of the comics at the time. So, how about taking a look at one his many action figures?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

TimDrake2Robin is figure #10 in DC Collectibles’ Batman: Animated line, and is technically part of the third series of the line. He’s based on Robin’s appearance in TNBA, specifically the episode “Old Wounds,” which is a little amusing, since that’s actually a Dick Grayson focused episode. I mean, Tim’s got a decent role in that one, but you’d think they’d go for something like “Sins of the Father” especially since that’s the episode Two-Face was based on. But, he doesn’t have much in the way of episode specific stuff, so it doesn’t really matter anyway. The figure is roughly 4 inches tall and he has 26 points of articulation. His sculpt is all new, and it’s a pretty great translation of his 2D show design. The sculpt is nice and cleanly handled, and the details are all pretty sharp. He does seem just a tad bit on the large side, at least compared to the Dick Grayson Robin from Series 2. He looks perfectly fine when placed next to the Series 1 Batman, which is the important thing. Also, there’s an odd, sculpt/paint combo issue. For some reason, the red from his torso continues onto his arms. It’s not noticeable TimDrake4in a straight standing pose, but when his shoulders are moved, it starts to look a bit odd. It feels like just leaving the shoulders straight black would have worked out a lot better. The rest of the paint is pretty decent. The colors are nice and bright, and the details are all nice and clean. Robin has a nice selection of accessories, including a pair of bat-cuffs, a batarang, a grappling hook, three pairs of hands (in batarang grip, loose grip, and…looser grip?), a hand with the grapple sculpted into it, and a display stand with his design sheet printed on it. Like the B:TAS Batman, he skips the extra cape, though it’s less of an issue with this guy.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Like pretty much the entirety of this line, Robin was purchased from my local comic store, Cosmic Comix. Truth be told, I’ve always been more of a Grayson fan, but I did like a lot of what they did with Drake in the show. Plus, I’ve got both Batmen, I sort of need to have both Robins. This guy’s definitely well done, and a solid entry to the line. Definitely a step up after being somewhat let down by the second Batman!

TimDrake3

#0381: Robin

ROBIN

DC COMICS MULTIVERSE

Just when I thought I was out, they pulled me back in! Frequent readers of the blog will probably be aware of my less than stellar opinion of Mattel. For those of you who have only recently joined us, let me ‘splain….no it is too much, let me sum up: Mattel has a tendency to make bad decisions and when said bad decisions fail like they should, they like to place the fault on their fans. It’s not a particularly endearing quality. I am also not a huge fan of the current output of DC Comics. So, it would seem that Mattel holding the DC License would be a perfect partnership for me to ignore. However, I am stubborn, and in spite of my issues with Mattel and DC, I still like the DC characters and Mattel occasionally stumbles their way into a decent action figure. Such is the case with today’s figure, Mattel’s latest version of Batman’s faithful sidekick Robin.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Robin was released in the fourth assortment of Mattel’s DC Comics Multiverse line, which is their current “collector oriented” line of 3 ¾ scale figures. Robin is based on the character’s appearance in the upcoming Batman: Arkham Knight game, which seems to take fair bit of influence from the Damian Wayne Robin design. The figure clocks in at just about 3 ¾ inches tall and he features 18 points of articulation. Robin’s articulation scheme is the same as that seen on the Christopher Reeve Superman. It’s not bad, and it’s certainly better than what we saw on Zod, but he really would benefit from some ankle articulation, some sort of swivel in his upper arms, and maybe a mid-torso joint. As it is, the figure’s posing options are rather limited, which leaves him rather stiff looking. He’s good for a standing pose, but not much else. Robin appears to have a completely unique sculpt. Overall, it’s an okay sculpt, but it has some rather glaring faults. His head is a bit too small and his torso is too large, resulting in some serious pin-headedness. His torso is also rather flat, and his waist seems to sit too low, making the torso too long. All that being said, the sculpt does have some nice detail work, especially in the armor’s various engravings. The cape is not sculpted, but rather made of cloth. The material used for capes in this line seems to be inconsistent. They go back and forth between cloth and plastic with very little rhyme or reason. I personally prefer the sculpted capes, so the cloth isn’t a huge plus for me. This one’s not too bad, so there’s that. Robin’s paint is decently handled. It’s relatively straight-forward; there aren’t any washes or different finishes or anything. For the most part, it’s rather cleanly applied, but there are one or two areas, like the shoulders, where there is a bit of slop. Robin includes no accessories. His right hand looks as if it should hold a staff or something, so it would have been nice to get something, anything. As is, the figure feels light for the price.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I swore I was done with the DC Comics Multiverse line once I got Superman and Zod. So, why then did I end up with this guy? Call it nostalgia. I was visiting some family in mountains in North Carolina. We were picking up a few things at the nearby Walmart, and as I am prone to do, I wandered over to the toy section. I saw this figure and remembered something: on my very first trip to NC, back in 1998, my Dad bought me a Nightwing figure from the Animated Series line of the time. With this in mind, I was drawn to this Robin figure (for those of you confused as to what the two have to do with each other: Nightwing is an older Robin). So, here I sit in my family’s NC house with no internet connection or cellphone service writing this review and feeling nostalgic. This is certainly not a perfect offering, but I feel like it’s better than most of what Mattel and DC are putting out these days.

#0166: Robin

ROBIN

BATMAN (MATTEL)

 

This was my April Fool’s Day post for 2014.  The following is a proper review of the figure written March 24, 2017.  If you’d like to read the original post, go here.

The original version of this review was more a joke thing than anything.  Now a days, I’d have written the review both ways, but the figure was quite incomplete at the time.  Since I finally found this guy’s freaking head, I guess I can actually review him now!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The figure, officially titled “Battle Board Robin,” was released in the first series of Mattel’s 2003 Batman line.  Robin stands about 6 inches tall and has 11 points of articulation.  The main hook of this line at the time was that they’d brought in the Four Horsemen (who had just helped Mattel relaunch Masters of the Universe) to sculpt most of the figures, including the Bat-variants.  There was one exception to this in the first series.  Care to guess who it was?  Yep, it was this here Robin figure, which was handled by Mattel’s in-house team.  In their defense, it’s actually a decent enough sculpt.  It doesn’t look quite as good as the  prototype did, but what figure does?  His muscles are sort of impossible, and I’ve always disliked how stiff he was, bit there are some nice things about the sculpt.  The boots in particular look pretty solid.  But how about that head that I finally found after all these years?  Well, full disclosure: the reason it was missing when I found him was because I had fully intended to replace it with another one.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t particularly good at sculpting at 12, so the replacement I made wasn’t much better.  Ultimately, this one’s okay, but not my favorite Robin head.  I think it’s got a lot to do with the hair, which just doesn’t really look like anything Tim ever sported.  Also, still missing from the figure is his cape.  It was just two pieces of fabric glued together, and was too thick and short to actually hang realistically.  It’s kind of exhibit A of why I prefer capes to be sculpted.  In terms of paint, this figure was fairly basic colors.  For some reason the gloves are black.  Don’t know why, never did.  The accents on the muscles and some of the other sculpted work actually weren’t standard to the figure; I added them around the time that I tried replacing the head.  I really wanted to salvage this figure for some reason.  His only accessory was his titular Battle Board, which was really just a disc launcher than he could also stand on.  It was an odd choice.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

There’s actually not a particularly exciting figure regarding the acquisition of this figure.  He, Joker, and the basic (Zipline) Batman were all really hard to find when these figures started hitting stores.  I eventually found him at the KB Toys near where my family vacationed (I got him alongside some Star Trek: Nemesis figures.  Oh what a joyous day that was).  He’s not awful, but he’s also not super great.  The saddest thing is that Mattel never actually returned to this design for Robin (apart from an inaccurate repaint of the later DCUC figure), so this is the best there is from them.