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The Bat Pod - 1/6 scale
Hot Toys Dark Knight

Dark Knight Batman Bat Pod sixth scale action figure vehicle by Hot Toys

I was watching television last week, when I heard a quiet, muffled weeping. Who was crying softly, suffering from such grief and anguish?  It was my credit card.

This sudden plastic emotional outburst was caused by Hot Toys hammering the poor thing all at once. The second version of the Batman, the Bank Robber version of the Joker, and the huge Bat Pod all shipped at just about the same time. I can only imagine the emotional turmoil that my little plastic buddy felt. Perhaps it was akin to my wife's reaction when she opened the bill.

First up, I'm looking at the Bat Pod. It's pretty rare that we get sixth scale vehicles. Even more rare that we get high end sixth scale vehicles.  Hot Toys has already prove they can do it with the release of the Aliens Power Loader, but the price tag (around $300 SRP) is certainly enough to scare off even the true believers. You can get it cheaper, and I have some very good suggestions at the end of the review, but cheaper doesn't mean cheap.

Being the bat-freak I am, money be damned - I had to have this, as well as their even more expensive Tumbler coming out soon. Hey, I have a bunch of sixth scale Batmen on the shelf that need something to do! But is it really worth all that green for the average sane collector? Let's see!

Btw, I'm going to be running a guest review of this same item on Thursday night from Jeff Parker, so if you're looking for more than one take on it, keep your eyes peeled for that.
Dark Knight Batman Bat Pod sixth scale action figure vehicle by Hot Toys
Dark Knight Batman Bat Pod sixth scale action figure vehicle by Hot Toys
Dark Knight Batman Bat Pod sixth scale action figure vehicle by Hot Toys
Dark Knight Batman Bat Pod sixth scale action figure vehicle by Hot Toys
Dark Knight Batman Bat Pod sixth scale action figure vehicle by Hot Toys
Dark Knight Batman Bat Pod sixth scale action figure vehicle by Hot Toys
Dark Knight Batman Bat Pod sixth scale action figure vehicle by Hot Toys
Dark Knight Batman Bat Pod sixth scale action figure vehicle by Hot Toys
Dark Knight Batman Bat Pod sixth scale action figure vehicle by Hot Toys
Dark Knight Batman Bat Pod sixth scale action figure vehicle by Hot Toys

Packaging - ***
The box is similar to something you'd get with a statue, with an outer sleeve, inner flap box, and interior foam insert. The only assembly is attaching the guards/controls to the handle bars, and removing two red pegs that keep the wheels from turning in transit to you. You'll want to keep at least one of these pegs around, on the off chance you display this thing on a slight incline. If you live in San Francisco, remember to turn your wheels toward the curb. If your display shelf tilts, remember to use a red pin.

However, even with that basic construction, it took forever to figure out just what to do to assemble those damn bars. There is a single sheet of instructions, but they are quite simplified, and anyone with any past experience with collectibles like this knows you want to be absolutely sure before you start pushing and shoving.

Sculpting - ***1/2
This bike would qualify for the title 'mixed media', with a liberal use of plastic, metal and rubber to get the final look. They were smart enough to use metal for the key structural pieces that might take the most pressure as you're posing Bats on the bike, giving it a structurally overall solid feel.

I was fortunate enough to see the actual prop in LA when I saw the film there, and this version is an extremely close match. The soft rubber tires have the exact tread, the foot pedals match the original design, and all the small doodads and gizmos included mostly for show are here as well.

As it usually is with actual movie props though, there's not a ton of detail on the real deal. The pod had to look good on screen, in a fairly dark environment, and that's what they went for.

That does mean that when it's translated down to something you hold in your hand, that it might seem a bit, shall we say...short on detailing. Yep, there's some wires here and there, the occasional tube or trinket, but nothing compared to the level of detail I suspect we'll be getting with the much more complex Tumbler.

That's fine by me, since it matches up with the actual vehicle. No need to add stuff that wasn't there just to pretty it up.

The scale here is very good, with the Pod stretching 23 inches long including the guns, and standing about 6 inches high. It looks just right with the Hot Toys Bats, although you're going to find that just like with the much smaller Mattel version, it's a bitch to get Batman in position. You'll need to take your time, and I found that working from the back forward - getting the feet and knees in place, adjusting the hips, then the chest, then the neck and shoulders - worked the best for me.

There's no kick stand, but with those huge, wide, fat tires, there's no need. It can sit fine on it's own, even with Batman riding on the seat. But as I said, getting Batman on the seat is a whole 'nother story though. It was tremendously frustrating trying to get him in the proper pose, and working with the adjustable cape (which I'll discuss further below) was a royal pain. I never did get him to hold the handle bars just right, since they kept popping off. I may end up gluing them in place once he's in a regular display. Not being able to get the Batman to work properly with the vehicle without taking blood pressure medication is the main reason for the pod losing a half star here.

Paint - ****
Batman is not the kind of guy to put a lot of color on his ride. Stick with basic black, gray and silver, and let the machine's performance do the talking for you.

While there isn't a wide range of colors, they did manage to use the basic color palette to provide some additional detailing, including the wear on the tires. There's no unintentional slop, and in fact, there's no intentional slop either. Batman keeps his machine clean, or at least Alfred does. 

The colors have a realistic, mechanized appearance, just like tooled metal. You should expect that anyone you show this to is going to want to touch it - that's a natural response to something this cool.

Articulation - ***
The vehicle has a number of 'articulated' points. Obviously, the wheels roll, although my back wheel rubs slightly on each pass. Remember to replace one of those little red pins if you don't want it rolling right off your shelf.

The engine compartment also opens up, and this is where the batteries are stored for the light up feature. That was an excellent design idea, since it hides them completely from sight. No ugly battery covers, no visible screws or switches.

The handle bars also turn slightly to the left and right, although they don't turn the front wheel in any way.

Accessories - ***1/2
Accessories with a vehicle? Yep!

There is a replacement cape included for your new suit Hot Toys Batman. This cape has wires through the edges, allowing it to be posed in a dynamic fashion. Pop off the old cape and pop on the new, and you have the start of a more poseable outfit.

But that's not really enough if you want to get the appearance of him actually driving the Pod. To get the cape to flow out straight behind him, you need something more sturdy than just some thin wires, and that's where the cape frame comes in.

This frame attaches quite well to the armor on the back of your Batman figure. The fact that this was designed so well in advance shows just how smart and forward thinking the folks at Hot Toys are. The frame has several thin metal slats which can attach to the bottom of the cape as well, and these are much thicker and studier than basic wire. This allows you to get that ultimate driving pose!

I had some difficulty getting the slats to attach to the cape (again, the instructions are not exactly detailed), but once you figure it out you can really get a great looking pose.

Light Up Feature - ****
The light up feature is designed extremely well, and has two very, very bright LED lights. As I mentioned, the battery compartment (which requires two AAA batteries, not included) is well hidden, and the switch to turn it on is on the bottom of this engine compartment. The switch looks to be quite high quality, much better than the simple push button switches we had with the Aliens Dallas, Kane or Power Loader.

Fun Factor - ***
This is not a toy in any way, shape or form. I wouldn't even roll it across the floor slowly without Lloyds of London insuring it first. While there are plenty of metal pieces used in critical areas, there are also lots of easy to break small details, so you really have to handle it with care.

Still, the average bat-fan is going to be giddy just opening it up. Can you really put a price on the giddiness of a Bat-fan? Yea, my wife can.

Value - **
As much as I love this vehicle, I gotta tell you - it's NOT worth $300. Had the second suit Batman been included, yep, it would have been a steal.  But as it stands, this feels much more like a vehicle that should be down around $200, especially when you compare it to their Power Loader from the year before.

Now, I have sponsors that have it as cheap as $235, so at that price, I'm giving it **. If you end up paying closer to $300, you can drop another half star off this category.

Things To Watch Out For
I had one Hell of a time getting the handle bars put together, and the instructions were weak. I did finally get them on so they'd stay, but I had to be very careful as I was doing it to avoid snapping the thin plastic supports. Thankfully, the lower handle bars themselves are made of metal.

In general, you'll want to take lots of time with every aspect of this vehicle. Breaking something is certainly possible, just as it is with any high end delicate collectible. This isn't made for the sand box, and because of that they can add much more detail and realism. But all that detail comes with a price - you have to be careful handling it.

Overall - ***1/2
Pick this crotch rocket up for around $200, and you can add another half star for the perfect score. But at $250 - $300, this is as expensive or more so than the Aliens Power Loader. That 'vehicle' was just as large, with tons of articulation, and much more complexity. Hell, it even had a figure included!

For the big fan though, this is a must buy. Combine this with the new suit Batman, get that cape flowing out behind him, and you'll have an amazing display that will illicit oohs and aahs from your most crumudgenly of friends. Or go all out - pre-order the Tumbler, pick up the original suit Batman, and put that pair on shelf next to them!

Score Recap:
Packaging - ***
Sculpting - ***1/2
Paint -****
Articulation - ***
Light Up Feature - ****
Fun Factor - ***
Value - **
Overall - ***1/2

Where to Buy -
There are a number of great online options:

- Showpiece Collectibles has a great price at just $236.

- Urban Collector is carrying it for just $236 as well.

- CornerStoreComics has it at $260.

- Alter Ego Comics has it at $265.

- Entertainment Earth has it at $295.

- Forbidden Planet has it in the UK for 300 GBP.

- or you can search ebay with the sponsor MyAuctionLinks.com.

Related Links -
I've covered a lot of the Hot Toys product so far, but let's look at just the Dark Knight stuff:

- I just covered the Joker and Batman busts at Quick Stop, and I also had a guest review of both the Joker and Batman as well.

- I covered the first Batman and Joker they did for the film, and I've had a guest review of the second Batman. You can expect a Bank Robber Joker review very, very soon.

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

Reader Ratings!
Here's your chance to weigh in!  Select your rating for this figure(s) to the right.  Yea, it's a five star system and not a four star system like mine, but it's the best I've been able to come up with so far.  You can only rate once from any particular IP.  My score converted to a five star system for comparison: 4.38

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Dark Knight Batman Bat Pod sixth scale action figure vehicle by Hot Toys



Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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