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Oct
29

Back and Almost Better Than Ever!

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Before he spoke like a chain-smoker, before the suit had nipples, there was a hero that truly understood the darkness, and had a very recognizable mouth. Do you know who am I referring to? Well he has a new toy now, and its pretty cool, even after all these years.
Can’t say I remember when I first saw the initial movie, it would have been some time after it was released in 89′ as I would have been around 4yrs old, there’s a good chance I saw the sequel in theaters though. Anyways if you have not figured it out yet I am referring to the Batman movies starring Michael Keaton, directed by Tim Burton.

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Now I am not hear to argue if they are better than later Batman adaptations, if they have stood the test of time or if they were ever good movies to begin with. Though I do have much to say on the subject, I will save it for another day and instead focus on what you all came here for! A quick review on the newest Michael Keaton Batman action figure!

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No I am not talking about the awesome figure you see above. Do you remember that one? Did you have it? He was sooo awesome! Oh man now I need to go find one in decent condition. That Bat-Rope was the funnest thing in the world! Sure it could have been longer… but whatever.
The figure we’ll be looking at today is the new 3.75″ figure out of Mattel’s new MULTIVERSE line which seems to focus on the various incarnations of beloved characters, as such currently features figures from the first 2 Bat movies, along with a Chris Reeves Superman and Zod!
The line was announced at NYCC last year and has been growing since it started to hit shelves to include more figures from the Arkham games as well, all in 1/18 scale.

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At first I was not excited by this reveal at all as I had been a big collector of Mattel’s DCUC line and was still mourning that it had come to an end. Combined with the fact that I had dropped the 1/18 scale some time ago, this announcement had nothing to pull me in, even with a Christopher Reeves Superman. Did I mention I needed one?
When they started to hit the pegs all I could ever find were the game-inspired figures, designs I was never a fan of to begin with, so it was an easy pass. One day I was meandering around a Target and ran into Keaton here and it just brought back so many good memories that I had to grab him, there were plenty of Zods and Penguins as well but they would have to wait for another time.

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I bought the figure not really expecting much, a neat little figurine to add to the Superman/Batman shelf, never to actually be picked up and ‘played’ with. Surprisingly the figure offers much more articulation than I had expected. The sculpt and paint are really nothing to make much noise about as its all pretty simple, but still very well done. The fabric cape is fantastic but I really hate the way it bunches in the back, hopefully I just got a crummy one and yous guys have better luck with yours. Overall first impressions were positive though.

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“Not bad, not bad at all!”

In case any of you were wondering, no he does not have the super cool Bat-Rope belt.
I fully understand if you want to close this page in disgust and never come back, I mean really, do we not have the technology required to give all Batman figures this necessary crime-fighting feature?!

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He does have a waist-swivel though, so thats good. I think Batman here has a swivel neck, but it might just be a very limited ball-joint. Ball-jointed shoulders which are definitely hindered by the cape, NO bicep swivel, single elbows and a wrist swivel.
Along with the figure, we get ONE accessory; his grapple gun from the movie. Its not very exciting at all, I am sure its a matter of time before I lose it. Oh, also need to point out that he is left-handed! His right hand is in a fist whereas the left is ready for non-lethal guns and non-existent batarangs.

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“I’ll show you non-lethal!”

As mentioned earlier, the cape is nice but a pain when it comes to posing. It gets in the way when the arms go forward, bunches up even stranger when the are pushed back. A bicep swivel would be really nice but the cape would still be a bother. Its attached under the chest area of the cowl, not sure how else they would have done it without causing the interference… maybe a lighter fabric?

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Oh the problem of capes, some things just don’t translate that well into plastic. I wonder how the Hot Toys Batman from the same flick pulls it off, alas that is something I will never know firsthand hah.

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Vinyl-y, bunchy cape aside the articulation in the upper body isn’t all bad, the lower body does however seems to be the better half.
Batman is one of the few characters that actually uses a vehicle to get around and its not just a lame way to sell more toys, as such sitting skills are a must when it comes to Batfigs IMO. So really thats all I was asking for in this dept… sitting! Do you remember Keaton’s ride? Definitely one of the best!

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Happy to report that when it comes to lower-body articulation this Batman has inherited only good things from the previous DC figure lines! Surprisingly he possesses the neat hinge hips that were a huge part in my liking DCUC over Marvel Legends back in the day. As such he has pretty decent movement front to back as well as to the sides. Along with good hips he has a thigh-swivel which is appreciated, but just makes me more annoyed by the lack of bicep-swivel!

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What is hurting him here is the lack of ankle movement, its all solid boot. An ankle swivel, at least a hinge would be a beautiful thing, without it he can’t really do much literal but kicking. So… you win some, you lose some?
He is a pretty cool figure nonetheless, especially for those of us that grew up with this particular Batman, the days when impersonating Batman took a lot more than just THE VOICE. But enough old man ranting, how does he stack up along others in his weight class?

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Here he is compared to a movie Baroness, a tall Silver Surfer MU, a movie Hellboy from Mezco and Sub-Zero from Jazzwares. Overall he fits in pretty good, maybe a tad on the tall side, but not too shabby. Articulation-wise he is found lacking, if not for the DCUC style hips he would be at the bottom of the toy bin. Of course when you compare him to Mattel’s previous attempts at DC at this scale hes a homerun!

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I am still looking froward to picking up a few others from the line, that Reeves Supes and Zod are a must, Catwoman is a maybe… I can only hope that the Superman movie gets some more releases! Maybe its the Jolt Cola talking but I am just loving that so many characters from the 90s are getting plenty of love as of late.
Nothing like picking up great figures you would have wanted back in the day, today! The only problem is the desire to pick up the Batmobile and other Bat-merch that would fit so nicely with these!

Final thoughts; although Bats here isn’t perfect by any stretch he is still a huge improvement over the original figure that came along when the movies were released, he also fills a void many of us probably didn’t know we had! Am I pleased with my purchase? Short answer: Yes!

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Now lets take some quick fun shots!
I must admit I am saddened by my lack of 3.75″ figures; an issue I must remedy ASAP!

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“Have you ever danced with the Devil in the pale moonlight?”

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“Well Clark, you will just have to accept that I have a different way of doing things.”

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“A black bat huh, very original.” – HB

Its only a matter of time until Mattel gives us a 1989 Joker, then we’ll really be cooking!
Oh and maybe a Jim Carrey Riddler? Arnold as Fries?! Will definitely need to find myself a Batmobile! >_<

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