#1277: Pirate Two-Face & Pirate Batman

PIRATE TWO-FACE & PIRATE BATMAN

LEGENDS OF BATMAN (KENNER)

Remember when I reviewed Buccaneer Batman, the inexplicable pirate-themed Batman variant from super wacky ‘90s Legends of Batman line?  Well, he wasn’t the only inexplicable pirate-themed variant in the line.  Not by a long shot!  Today, I’m looking at the *other* pirate-themed Batman from the line, dubbed “Pirate Batman” (real original on that one, guys), alongside one of his pirate-themed foes, Pirate Two-Face (again, great job on the name, guys…).  Let’s have a look!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Pirate Two-Face and Pirate Batman were released in 1996 as one of the two two-packs from Kenner’s Legends of Batman.  These two wrapped up the Pirate subset that was started in Series 3 of the main line.

TWO-FACE

“After a tragic accident left half his body hideously scarred and half his mind horribly insane, the once promising ship’s captain Pirate Two-Face sailed the seven seas as the most ruthless pirate leader in the annals of history.  Upon boarding captured ships laden with treasures, Pirate Two-Face would decide the fate of the crew and passengers with the flip of a coin.  His unpredictability, unchecked greed, and sword fighting skills could be challenged by just one man, Pirate Batman, who he eluded at every port of call.”

So, in this pirate scenario, Two-Face is more or less unchanged, it seems.  Mostly, they just threw the word “pirate” in there a lot.  Fair enough.  It’s worth noting that this was Two-Face’s only figure in this line; Joker, Catwoman, and Riddler all had standard comic figures, but Harvey was stuck as a pirate all the time.  I mean, at least he got a figure at all, right?  The figure stands about 5 inches tall and he has 7 points of articulation.  Pirate Two-Face was a unique sculpt, and it’s actually a pretty solid one.  His design plays up the “good vs evil” dichotomy, but in true pirate style.  Rather than his usual suit, Pirate Two-Face is half naval officer, half dastardly pirate captain.  His naval officer side is clean and pressed while the pirate side is disheveled and wrinkled like crazy.  His collar on the pirate side is even slightly popped, before settling back down on the “good” side.  The pirate side gets the usual facial scarring (which is surprisingly gruesome for a kid’s toyline), and he also seems to have lost an arm and a leg along the way, replacing them with a peg-leg and some sort of swiss army knife-sword-hook combo replacing them.  As a whole, he really sells the pirate angle pretty well, while still sticking close to the Two-Face side of things as well.  For paint, Pirate Two-Face is generally pretty good for the time; his colors are obviously split down the middle, with blue on the right and red on the left.  The changeover works pretty well, though there’s a bit of slop right on the line, where some of the primer coat under the red shows through.  Most annoyingly, the paint for his belt doesn’t continue all the way around, so it’s just flat blue and red back there.  It looks kind of sloppy.  Pirate Two-Face included no accessories, which is slightly odd, since his hand seems to be begging for something to hold.  He does have a “sword-fighting action”; when you turn the wheel in his back, his sword hand spins.  Woooooooooo!

BATMAN

“Taking it upon himself to make the world’s waterways safe from marauding bands and looters, Pirate Batman relentlessly scoured the seas in pursuit of the most villainous of them all—Pirate Two-Face.  Armed with a razor sharp sword and dagger, Pirate Batman was renowned for his extraordinary dueling ability and courage in the face of danger.  He ceaselessly hunted his evil foe with the split-personality, hoping to rid the seas of his maniacal menace once and for all!”

There was already a Buccaneer Batman in Series 3 of Legends of Batman, but I guess Kenner felt a second one was needed to be made.  The bios for the two indicate they actually might be two different people, which is a somewhat interesting idea.  The figure stands about 4 1/2 inches tall and has 6 points of articulation.  Of course, one of those points is on his right shoulder, which does jack-all in terms of posing, thanks to the outstretched arm.  The figure is actually a complete re-hash of Series 1’s Power Guardian Batman.  Admittedly, the Zorro stylings of that figure lend themselves to a pirate-theme as well, so it’s not a terrible re-use in theory.  Unfortunately, it wasn’t one of the stronger sculpts when it was new, and two years later, it felt even more out of place with the rest of the line, especially the pirate subset it belonged to.  He’s more pre-posed than even the worst of the Total Justice figures, in this really deep lunge.  Remember when I said Buccaneer Batman had the widest stance I’d seen?  Well, this guy’s topped him on that, which has the added bonus of making him virtually impossible to keep standing.  Also, I’m not really sure what’s going on with the left arm; it’s just at an odd angle, and the hand’s doing…something.  Not really sure what.  And it’s at least half an inch too long and isn’t attached to the shoulder in a natural way at all.  In general, the proportions are just super wacky on this guy.  The cape is a removable piece, and while it looks okay, it never really seems to sit right and it falls off a lot.  Pirate Batman’s paint is decent enough.  His scheme is actually somewhat reminiscent of the “Gotham By Gaslight” design, albeit slightly bluer.  I personally find this design to be a bit more exciting than the Power Guardian look, so I guess that’s a plus.  The figure is packed with the sword and dagger mentioned in the bio (they’re the same pieces included with the PG version).  He’s also got his own sword-fighting action, which works fairly similarly to Pirate Two-Face’s.  Honestly, it’s probably the best thing about the figure.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I don’t actually recall seeing this set when it was new.  It wasn’t until years later that I even knew that it existed.  When I dug out my Buccaneer Batman to write his review, my interest in completing the set was piqued.  A few months back, while picking up Super Awesome Girlfriend’s comics, I noted that the store had this set in stock.  Super Awesome Girlfriend, being who she is, insisted on getting them for me.  Pirate Two-Face is pretty cool.  Goofy, but cool.  Pirate Batman is…well, he’s the other figure in the set.  And that’s about it for him.  He just feels really tacked on, and almost as if he’s from another line entirely.  Still, the set’s more than worth it for Two-Face!

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#0816: Batman & Two-Face

BATMAN & TWO-FACE

BATMAN (MATTEL)

BatsTwoFaceMatt1

For day 15 of the Post-Christmas reviews, I’ll be taking a step back to a few years, and actually looking at a Mattel product. Weird, right? In 2002, the DC license moved to Mattel from Hasbro (who had inherited it via their buyout of former holder Kenner), marking the first time in over a decade that the license had formally changed hands. It was something of a quick change, resulting in Hasbro being unable to release some of the product they had designed beforehand. When Mattel took over, they ended up making use of some of these already existing designs (which were all Batman-related), releasing them as a quick, one and done line of two-packs, each containing Batman and a supporting player. That wasn’t enough, apparently, as they also occasionally trotted the figures out for re-release over the years, usually single-packed and with wonky color schemes. Today, I’ll be looking at a pair of figures from one of those re-releases.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Batman and Two-Face were released in 2008, in a line simply branded Batman. I should specify here that they were both single releases, which I’m just reviewing as a pair here for my own convenience. There was also a Joker figure in the set, which I don’t have.

BATMAN

BatsTwoFaceMatt3First up is Batman. Not just any Batman, though! No, this here is a wacky variant Batman! The figure stands just shy of 5 inches tall and has 5 points of articulation. The sculpt is based on the New Batman Adventures version of Batman. It’s not a terrible recreation of the design, but I don’t think it’s quite as good as the prior Kenner version of the design, and it’s definitely not as good as the recent DCC version. However, it’s still a pretty decent sculpt, and it’s clear which version of Batman this is supposed to be. Plus, it’s got a much more natural pose than the Kenner version, which is a nice change. Wait, didn’t I say this was a wacky variant Batman? Why, yes I did! That all comes from the paint. Instead of the traditional grey for the body, he has this odd orange/silver thing. It’s not based on any particular look or anything, just random orange and silver Batman. How ‘bout that? The paint is decently applied, for what it’s worth, so there’s that. Batman included no accessories, just like all of the other Batmen who used this same exact mold.

TWO-FACE

BatsTwoFaceMatt2So, Batman was a wacky variant, but Two-Face is an actual adapted design, right? Not really, no. But that’s okay! Because toys! Like Batman, this figure stands about 5 inches tall and has 5 points of articulation. It’s worth noting that this guy feels like he’s just a bit smaller-scaled than Batman, which is especially notable when you compare head sizes. The sculpt is also based on his New Batman Adventures design, and it’s not quite as strong as Batman’s. It’s not terrible, and the body in particular is a pretty decent Timm-style suit sculpt (which is probably why Mattel ended up using a tweaked version of it several times in their JLU line). The head is pretty off, and it has a really obvious mold line running along the chin, which looks pretty bad. The paintwork is kind of interesting. It’s definitely not show-accurate, but it’s also not quite as out there as Batman, since it isn’t all that far-removed from some of his classic color-schemes from the comics. That actual application is reasonable enough. The colors are pretty vibrant, and most of the paint stays in the lines, which is nice. Two-Face also doesn’t include any accessories, but he does have his coin sculpted in his hand, so at least he isn’t totally lacking.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Batman and Two-Face were given to me for Christmas by my Super Awesome Girlfriend. And where did she find these 8 year old action figures? Some second hand store? Nope, it was CVS of all places. I was genuinely shocked by that. Neither of them are particularly standout figures, but they kind of a nifty throwback to the wacky variants of old, and I was happy to receive them.

#0800: Two-Face/Harvey Dent

TWO-FACE/ HARVEY DENT

THE DARK KNIGHT (HOT TOYS)

TwoFaceHT1

Wow, it’s kind of a big day here. I’ve actually managed to write 800 of these things, AND it’s the last day of 2015. How about that. Well, let’s close out the year in style, with another Figure In Question “deluxe review!”

I’ve got quite a large selection of Hot Toys figures, and the vast majority are based on various Marvel Studios properties. However, the property that actually got me into the realm of high-end collecting was their rather impressive selection of figures from The Dark Knight. Wait, didn’t I just talk about how I only thought Dark Knight was okay, not great? Why, then, would I start shelling out the big bucks on figures from said movie? What can I say? My buying habits are an enigma! While everyone always praises Heath Ledger’s performance as the Joker, I’ve always found that one of the unsung parts of the film is Aaron Eckhart’s turn as Gotham District Attorney Harvey Dent, known in the comics as Two-Face.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

TwoFaceHT2Harvey Dent/Two-Face was released as part of HT’s Movie Masterpiece Series, as number 81 in the line. He’s the fifth figure from the Dark Knight sub-set, after Begins-style Batman, Joker, Dark Knight Batman, and Bank Robber Joker (and, if you count the Tumbler and the Bat-Pod, he’s the seventh Dark Knight item to carry the MMS label). Two-Face stands about 11 ½ inches tall, placing him at a height just below Batman and Joker. Going by the actor’s heights, this isn’t too far off. Going by the solicitation for the figure, he has “over 30 points of articulation,” which is the best count you’ll get barring actually stripping the figure down to count the joints (which I won’t be doing). Harvey is based on his appearance in the last half or so of the film, from right before his capture by the Joker, up through the end of the film.

Appropriately for a character such as Two-Face, this figure includes a pair of head sculpts. The first is based on his scarred look from the last third of the film, which is his more distinctive “Two-Face” look. The right half of the face is a very good likeness of Eckhart, looking rather intense and angry. The texturing on the face is a little softer than a TwoFaceHT3lot of other HT figures, but it’s actually fairly realistic, and helps to further highlight the differences between the two sides. The hair is very finely detailed, and a pretty good match for the look from the film, if perhaps a bit too neat and tidy. The left side of the face is a fairly impressive sculpt purely from an aesthetic stand point, however it has a number of inaccuracies, particularly around the nose and chin. Given how closely the figure was released to the film, one assumes a certain degree of this has to do with the final look from the film changing from preliminary designs. The overall effect really isn’t bad, though, and the sculpt truly is a nice piece of work. The second head presents a pre-accident Harvey. While you might think that the two sculpts would be more or less the same on the right side, this doesn’t appear to be the case. They’re certainly similar, but there are a few differences. The hair is (unsurprisingly) parted a slightly different way, and the general demeanor of the face is less intense. While this is in keeping with the character from this point in the film, the end result is a sculpt that I don’t feel has as strong a likeness as the scarred head. Nevertheless, the sculpt is still a very nice piece. Both heads sport some excellent paintwork, in keeping with the usual work from Hot Toys, and they both showcase incredible realism.

Harvey’s outfit is made up of seven different pieces. He has a jacket and dress pants, a tie, button down shirt, belt, and sculpted shoes. The jacket is probably the weakest piece here. The tailoring isn’t terrible, but it’s a little bunchy and oversized. To replicate the burnt nature of the left side of the jacket, it’s been coated in a rubbery sort of material. While this is nice in theory, and perhaps the most plausible way of creating the look in a mass-TwoFaceHT5produced sense, it only further bulks up the jacket, and makes Two-Face look a little flabby. The tie is oddly plastic-y, but it looks reasonable enough and does a pretty fair job of replicating the look. The shirt, pants, and belt are all pretty nicely tailored and serve their purposes pretty well. The shoes are a fairly often used piece, but they fit the part and are quite well sculpted.

Harvey is an older HT figure, so he has less extras than some other figures, but he does still have a few. He includes:

  • 2 pairs of hands
  • An extra jacket
  • 2 coins
  • Campaign button
  • Revolver
  • Display stand

The hands come with one relaxed pair, plus a right hand for holding the gun and a left hand for holding either a coin or the campaign button. Both sets of hands are pretty well sculpted, and decently sculpted, though the thumb on the left hand has a somewhat visible seam on it.

The extra jacket is the same as the regular jacket, but without the rubber coating for the burnt side. The tailoring could still use a bit of work, but it’s a better piece overall than the other coat.

TwoFaceHT4The two coins are actually the same piece twice. It’s supposed to represent Harvey’s lucky double-sided coin. In the film, the piece is scarred in the accident that scars Harvey’s face. The coin here is small enough that it’s not really clear which version of the coin it’s supposed to be.

The campaign button is one of the ones worn by various characters in the film, which says “I believe in Harvey Dent.” It’s well scaled and well painted, resulting in a very faithful piece.

The revolver is a fairly standard piece. It’s nicely sculpted and scaled. The cartridge swings out and can be removed, which is a nice touch.

Last up is the display stand, which is just the standard piece, which “Two-Face/Harvey Dent” printed on the front, as well as the logo from Dark Knight at the center.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Two-Face was my second Hot Toys figure. After getting Joker, I wanted to have a companion figure, so my parents offered to chip in half the price of the figure as part of my Christmas gift for that year. Though the figure might be worth a small fortune now, I actually got him for well below retail, since nobody seemed to want him at the time. While he’s not the greatest offering HT ever put out, and I don’t really think he warrants the high prices he goes for now, he’s a pretty solid figure, and I’m certainly glad to have him.

#0788: Two-Face

TWO-FACE

BATMAN: ANIMATED (DCC)

TwoFaceAnimated1

When the characters on Batman: the Animated Series were redesigned for the New Batman Adventures revival, there was kind of a wide spectrum of just how far the changes went. Some characters received pretty radical departures from their previous looks, while others just had their old designs sharpened-up a bit. Two-Face more or less fell into the latter category of characters. He had a few changes, but mostly minor ones. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

TwoFaceAnimated2Two-Face was part of the first series of DC Collectibles’ Batman: Animated line, though he ended up only being released alongside Mr. Freeze, as Batman and Catwoman received solo releases in the preceding weeks. He is, appropriately, figure 02 in the line. This figure is based on the character’s appearance in the episode “Sins of the Father,” which is Two-Face’s first appearance in The New Batman Adventures, so it’s a good choice. The figure stands a little over 6 ½ inches tall and has 20 points of articulation. His sculpt is unique to him, though the suit is generic enough that it could possibly see some re-use down the road. The sculpt is okay overall, but it has a few small inaccuracies. The biggest is that he’s just a lot softer angled than he should be, especially on the shoulders. Presumably, this is in part about facilitating the movement of the joints, which is just one of the compromises of this style of figure. Also, as a first series figure, he has exposed joints at the front of his legs, which is a bit frustrating. His pelvis in general seems a tad low set as well. And, this is less an accuracy thing and more an aesthetic issue, the front tuft of the white side of his hair is a separate piece, and quite obviously so. There’s a pretty large seam, and it doesn’t really seat properly, which makes it prone to falling off (which mine has done a few times now). Aside from those issues, the sculpt is pretty well handled, and it does a fair job of translating his design into three dimensions. Two-Face’s paintwork is okay, but not without its drawbacks. There’s a little bit of bleed over at TwoFaceAnimated3the changeover from white to black on the suit, and the white paint gets kind of gloppy in a few places. But, the colors are pretty good matches, and he looks perfectly fine when viewed from a small ways back. Two-Face is packed with a handgun, a tommy gun, a pocket watch, a bag, two vials of chemicals in red and blue, a gas mask, three pairs of hands (trigger finger, fists, and open palm), and a display stand. Several of these (the mask, bag, chemicals, and watch) are specific to “Sins of the Father,” which is cool. I do wish the chemicals were more than solid colors, but oh well. Also, the relaxed right hand has a sculpted coin, since you can’t very well have Two-Face without it!

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

My local comic book store sold out of Two-Face when he was initially released, so I didn’t get him. I kept thinking about ordering him online, but I just never got around to it. Then, said comic book store got a few more in stock, just in time for their Biggest Sale of the Year TM. So, I not only got the figure, but I also got him at a reduced price. Which is probably for the best. He’s an alright figure, but he’s not as good as some of the other entries in the line.

TwoFaceAnimated4