is as I said a big box, not quite up their with the Power Loader but
still pretty damn large. Mine arrived in a brown corrugated box and
within was a custom made black printed box, but like a Ukrainian,
Matryoshka I still needed to delve deeper. This black box is purely to
protect the actual box proper that is housed within. It’s a full colour
large scale affair with its own carry handle (this handle fits through
the black outer box as well for transport from your place of purchase).
There are plenty of photos of the Pod covering this inner case. One big
photo on the front alongside the movie logo and seven smaller pics
showing the many details on the back. Once you’ve opened this you’ll
find a tray of Styrofoam with a card covered corner, under this card is
the ‘bonus’ Bat-cape that comes with wires and a special rig that
attaches to the back of the TDK Batsuit to mimic the ‘flowing’ cape we
saw in the movie. You’ll also find an instruction sheet on how to
attach this to the figure. It’s pretty straight forward and the solid
rig part clips onto the upper back, you then slot the fasteners from
the cape onto the front of the suit and slide the concealed wires into
the grips at ends of the bendable metal arms that stick out from the
back of the rig. It’s an ingenious bit of kit designed by TS Wong (at
least the box credits him as ‘accessories supervisor’, so I guess this
was his baby).
The sheet also has instructions
on how to construct the Pod itself. Thankfully this is pretty minimal
and just consists of fitting the handlebars and forearm armour onto the
metal posts. Mine was a tight fit, but I got their in the end.
The main thing in the design of
a box for a model this complex (and fragile) is not to get too overly
clever, just make sure it gets from A to B in one piece! and I’m glad
to say mine made it from Hong Kong to the UK without even a dink on the
Bike design is due a massive evolutionary leap, according to many ‘designers’
and the Pod is a nod to a possible direction things might go, however
Chris Nolan’s lack of ‘actual’ knowledge of ‘real’ motorbikes is partly
what led to the Pods radical
look, and as I’ve always had a soft spot for Kaneda’s bike
from AKIRA I
can’t wait to see what some of these future designs will be like.
But as far as this beast is
concerned it’s top marks absolutely no question, this just looks like a
1/6 facsimile of the screen seen vehicle thanks to the sterling work by
Ming Yeung who sculpted this thing. From the asymmetric
handlebars, through to the rubber tread on those
super-wide tyres, it’s all there.
The fore-cannons, handlebars,
engine cowl, wheels, hell every square centimeter of this thing is
covered in fine details. I think this is one of those occasions where
I’ll let the photo’s do the talking, but I will comment on how
impressed I was with the detail under the engine cowl. This is
removable so as to get at the well-hidden battery compartment for the
working headlights; it’s this kind of hidden detail that really sets
Hot Toys apart at the moment.
All this super detail could have
been let down had it not been for the exceptional paint apps, but more
on that later.
It has to said that you’ll spend
more than a little time finding just the right position to pose your
TDK Batman on the bike, and getting his feet on the plates, knees in
the rests and hands on the controls can be… well, lets just say a might
But if you persevere you’ll get
a very good approximation, and considering the nature of the new
Batsuit, I wouldn’t want to leave him in a prone position for too long
anyway. No, mine will be displayed straddling the Pod or standing next
to it. The wheels also have two removable red pegs; these lock the
wheels so as to stop your $200+ investment from rolling off of your
shelf, but are easily removed for the ‘freewheeling’ mode.
Most of the Pod is a matte
grey/black with areas of gun metal and steel, a palette that translates
as raw industrial power, and if you’ve seen the movie you’ll know
that’s exactly what this thing has… by the shed-load!
It’s basically a highly mobile
heavy artillery platform that the Batman uses to take down the
The odds may seem stacked
against our hero, especially as the agent of chaos is baring down in an
wheeler truck which is available to purchase should you need
a new set of wheels!
But the Pod has quite a few
surprises up its sleeves, and a truck is quite frankly no match for a
pissed off Batman on an über-super-bike!
I know the actual Pod toured
many US cities on the release of the movie, but being based in the UK I
wasn’t lucky enough to see this baby in the flesh so to speak. But
having trawled the
internet for reference
and watched the TDK DVD a couple of times the paint job all looks immaculate
to me. A top-notch application, and they even weathered not only the
bikes body but also the tyres… now that’s attention to detail. Great
Well, after the terrific light up features on the recent HT Nostromo
cosmonauts it comes as no surprise that the Bat Pod should have some
cool and incredibly bright head lights. As I mentioned above the engine
cowl lifts up to reveal another bar that has to be lifted and a small
screw needs to be undone to open the battery compartment. Once they are
in place you can flick a switch on the underside of the engine and two
bright lights come on, on either side of the front wheel amongst the
cluster of machine guns, cannons and grappling guns, it certainly adds
a nice touch.
Fun factor: ***
As always with HT this is not for little Billy to play with on the hall
floor, he’d have lots of tiny pieces within minutes of the first
So as a ‘play thing’ this would
struggle for any marks at all, but perhaps if you were dumb enough to
pay $295 (the official price from DC Direct) on this for a kid to
torture, you’d get what you deserve!
No… the price tag and the level
of detail will soon make any sane person realize it’s a construct and
display piece again, and for any fan of Batman, especially those
beloved of the masterpiece that is The Dark Knight, then this will be
the centre piece of your display (well, at least until the Tumbler is
However in many ways this is THE
vehicle of TDK, even more so than the Tumbler, and the iconic scenes as
it first burst forth from the wrecked Tumbler and at the close of the
movie as the Batman rides off into Gotham city, will make this a must
have item for many.
Considering this is a limited release of a (heftily) licensed product
that needed to be modeled and sculpted from the tip of its guns to the
end of the rear tyre, the official price tag of $295 seems to be in the
right ballpark to me.
If you’re willing to search around, I’ve seen them on eBay with a ‘buy
it now’ as low as $225, and Michaels sponsor Urban Collector has it up
for a pre-order of $236, if you get it for this kind of price then it’s
a four star item to me without a doubt. I’ve based my three star score
on the ‘official’ DC Direct price.
However, although I’m impressed
with the quality, and the price seems just about fair, I think these
tough economic times might mean these will be available for a little
time yet, so let your wallet… and conscience do the thinking!
But I also feel that when things
are back on more of an even keel economically, this will become one of
those must own grail pieces.
So happy hunting!
This is a very high quality and super detailed piece of merchandise
that screams full score at me, even with its relatively high price I
would urge Bat-fans to try and secure one. If I had to find a negative
it would be that the nature of its design and the accuracy with which
HT have translated this into a 1/6 scale model, means there are
obviously fragile elements.
Some metal has been used to
strengthen the high stress areas like the frame and handlebars, but
molded ABS plastic is used to flesh out all the details on the engine
and alike, so you will still have to exercise caution and respect,
especially when sitting Bats astride the Pod… or Bat-Hog as my
wife christened it last night, it kind of made me want to get another
to paint flames down the side and sit a hairy biker on it.
So to sum up, for me it’s as
near perfect as it could get, sure I’d have loved for it to retail for
under $200 but baring in mind single figures like the recent Medicom
ALIEN was demanding nearly that, it’s not realistically going to happen.
If you’re interested in further aspects of the Bat Pods design there is
more info here,
and this site
Packaging - ***1/2
Sculpt - ****
Paint - ****
Fun Factor - ***
Value - ***
Overall - ****
Where to Buy -
There are plenty on eBay right now for between $225 to $320, so it’s
worth digging around.
- Pre-order $295.00
Or some of Michael’s sponsors have it for ‘in some cases’ considerably
Collectibles has a great price at just $236.
- Urban Collector
is carrying it for just $236 as well.
has it at $260.
- Alter Ego Comics
has it at $265.
Earth has it at $295.
Planet has it in the UK for 300 GBP.
- or you can search ebay with
the sponsor MyAuctionLinks.com.