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Captain Toy/Michael's Review of the Week

Review of Batman Unmasked variant action figure
Batman V Superman Multiverse

Mattel
Date Published: 2016-06-03
Written By: Michael Crawford
Overall Average Rating: 2.5 out of 4

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excBatman Unmasked variant Multiverse action figure by Mattellbvs

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Introduction

Mattel is always up for producing variants whenever possible, and for their Multiverse Batman V Superman series, they've come up with two - a Superman with painted laser eyes, and a Batman with a removable cowl.  Both of these are a Toys R Us exclusive in the U.S., but internationally they are a bit easier to find. Not that being a TRU exclusive makes them all that difficult, as I've seen them popping up in pretty good quantities at several stores in my area.

While I picked up both (OCD completionist, don't you know), I'm only reviewing the Batman tonight, called 'Batman Unmasked' on the package.  Expect to pay around $20 for the figure, depending on your geographic location.

Click on the image below for a Life Size version
excBatman Unmasked variant Multiverse action figure by Mattellbvs

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Packaging - ***1/2
This is the same package as the rest of the 6" Multiverse line, of course.  It is collector friendly, and you simply slide the trays out one side and pop the figures and accessories free. While there's a nice picture on the back showing which figures come with which BAF piece (or in this case, Build A Prop Replica, or BAPR), there's not a ton of character personalization. I'm also not a huge fan of tri-logo packages, but that's just me.

excBatman Unmasked variant Multiverse action figure by Mattellbvs

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Sculpting - **1/2
From the neck down, this is the same Batman you've already bought in the Multiverse line. The sculpt is solid, if not exceptional, with some decent textures on the suit and sculpted details where applicable.  He stands about 6 1/2" tall, fitting in nicely with the rest of the line, and he stands just fine on his own.  While the left hand is sculpted into a fist, the right is in a general gripping pose that works pretty well with a variety of items, from gun stocks to candy bars. You'll understand by the end of the review.

It's not what comes below the neck that is driving you to buy this figure, however.  It's all about the unmasked head sculpt, and there you'll encounter my old friend disappointment. Believe it or not, there's actually a little Affleck in there...but only a severe head injury or perhaps extreme inebriation will allow you see it. It looks as if the sculptor took young Ben and aged him up, but as a normal person would age, without the benefits of Hollywood stardom like cosmetic surgery and personal trainers.

It's a pity too, since this figure is all about the unmasked appearance. You can certainly put the mask on, but it's not a good look for him. I do like the detailing in the hair, and some of the issues with the likeness are probably due to the weak paint job...but it's still a sub average sculpt.

excBatman Unmasked variant Multiverse action figure by Mattellbvs

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Paint - **1/2
I've said many times that I can only judge and review the figure I have in hand.  The experiences of others - good and bad - don't effect my scores. That means the score here is based on the figure you see in these photos, the one I have in my hands right now.

The work on the body matches up pretty well with what we saw with the normal Multiverse Batman. The cut lines are generally clean, and the small gold details on the knuckles and boots look good. The gray body suit is a little darker in color than the original, which some people (like me) may prefer. There's a fair amount of slop on the belt, and the wash they used on the gray body suit doesn't knock my socks off, but it's average work overall.

But just like in the previous category, it's not the body you're going for here, but the portrait.  And there the paint work falls short.  I picked mine out of a half dozen that were on the peg, and I had to work to get the eyes you see in the photo. The left eye isn't too bad...and then the right is just a big old round dot, slipping down right on the lower lid.  Add in the cartoon grouchy eyebrows and a slightly odd looking five o'clock shadow, and you have your lower score.

I will say that I like the painted loose hairs on the forehead, but it's not enough to save the overall look.

I brought up the fact that I'm reviewing and scoring this particular figure because believe me, there are far, far worse examples out there. I got lucky finding one even this good, and you'll want to pay particular attention to the face paint when selecting yours from the peg.

excBatman Unmasked variant Multiverse action figure by Mattellbvs

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Articulation - ***
The articulation is pretty much what you'd expect, particularly if you have the normal Batman in this line.  Rotating hinge shoulders, cut biceps, pin elbows, rotating hinge wrists, ab crunch, cut waist, double hinge hips, cut thighs, pin knees, and pin ankles give you a lot of joints, but the overall design doesn't work all that well with the sculpt, limiting some of the posability. He can take some pretty natural basic stances, but fighting stances are more clunky and awkward. The removable cowl also effects the neck, and while you can certainly turn and move the head, the cowl won't necessarily line up - see below.

excBatman Unmasked variant Multiverse action figure by Mattellbvs

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Accessories - ***
Regular readers know that a figure with a BAF piece (or BAPR piece in this case) get an automatic **1/2 base line. This is the not the same piece you got with the non-variant figure, but is a small grapple hook and rope designed to attach to the front of the gun. It's not necessary to complete the gun, and actually looks fairly silly attached to the front. The Superman variant includes a similar but slightly different projectile attachment as well. I find it interesting that they went through the effort of creating an additional accessory to make these variants more attractive to buyers, but I wish it was something a little less goofy.

His only other accessory, which boosts him that extra half star, is his removable cowl. It looks fine when he holds it in his right hand, but on his head is a different story. It's simply too thick to look decent.  I love how the texture matches the cape, and it does blend in visually where it lays on the shoulders. But the thick rubber makes it look too large and bulky, and buries the eyes and lower face.

excBatman Unmasked variant Multiverse action figure by Mattellbvs

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Fun Factor - ***
He might not be the best looking Batfleck, but he's still a decent toy. Kids will like the removable cowl feature, and the articulation is solid and sturdy enough to stand up to normal play.  While this is part of a 'collector' line, it's actually a much better toy than a collectible. If you're wondering whether to grab the cheaper figures for your kids or these, go for these - they'll love you for it. If you're looking for something for the true collector, look into the One:12 scale Batman from Mezco, due later this year.

Value - **
The $20 price tag is a bit tough to swallow, particularly after I just reviewed a figure like the Marvel Legends Nuke. Hasbro is killing it in this scale right now for the same price point, which puts a ton of pressure on Mattel to step up their game.

excBatman Unmasked variant Multiverse action figure by Mattellbvs

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Things to Watch Out For -
Absolutely pay attention to the eyes when picking yours out on the shelf.  This is a figure with a tremendous amount of variation in paint, and you'll see really, really horrible paint jobs, and some that are middling.  I haven't seen anything great, but at least try to find one with straight eyes.

Overall - **1/2
The Multiverse figures based on the Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice film have been much like the film itself - tremendously middle of the road. The movie is no Civil War, but it's no Fantastic Four (any version) either. The figures aren't up to current Marvel Legends standards, but they are better than the Mattel movie line.

The cheaper movie figures are God awful, and the Multiverse line has been decent, but not exceptional.  Paint is weak, sculpting is mediocre, and the articulation promises more than it delivers. This figure falls pretty much in line with that same theme, falling short when compared to other 1:12 collector lines like Marvel Legends and Star Wars: Black.

BTW, someone has been picking up some of the Mi World stuff, as you can see in the photo below. See, Batman can hold a candy bar! I may do a review of a couple of the sets - what do you think?

Score Recap (out of ****):
Packaging - ***1/2
Sculpting - **1/2
Paint - **1/2
Articulation - ***
Accessories - ***
Fun Factor - ***
Value - **
Overall - **1/2

excBatman Unmasked variant Multiverse action figure by Mattellbvs

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Where to Buy 
These are a Toys R Us exclusive in the U.S., but available more widely in International markets. You can also search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
The last Batman V Superman figure I checked out was the Knightmare Batman, another Multiverse release. Other Multiverse figures in this scale that are related included the recent Dark Knight Returns set from Walmart, as well as a Batman comparison and a Wonder Woman comparison between the Multiverse figure and the regular movie figure.

You should also hit the Search Reviews page, in case any other applicable reviews were done after this one was published.

Discussion:
Want to chat about this review?  Try out one of these terrific forums where I'll be discussing it!

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This product was purchased for the review by the reviewer. Photos and text by Michael Crawford.

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