DC Direct/Kubrick
Batman Figures

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Hello collectors! CreativeSuite here with a review of the Kubrick Batman box set from DC Direct. If you don’t know what a “Kubrick” is, I’ll give you a brief history: A few years back, a large toy company in Japan called Medicom started producing small “Lego-type” figures called Bearbricks. These figures came in boxes with no window, so you never knew what style of bear you were going to get. As some bears were more rare than others, a collecting frenzy began that still continues today. Medicom is still making the Bearbricks, but has added MANY other licenses to the Kubrick lineup. Movie properties include: Star Wars, Planet of the Apes, Kill Bill, Rocky, Minority Report, Back to The Future, Alien(s), and Terminator 3…just to name a few. Very few Kubricks make it to the US, and those I have found command VERY high prices simply because they come from Japan. The only two movie/comic based Kubricks that have had wide domestic distribution have been Planet of the Apes, and now Batman. 

Packaging - ****
The set comes with 5 figures. Batman, Batgirl, Robin, Mr. Freeze, and the Scarecrow. Excellent packaging! DC Direct went the extra mile to make this packaging not only display nice, but also collector friendly. No twist-ties to be found anywhere! The figures snap in the form-fitting plastic tray with ease. The front has a top gatefold flap with two die-cut holes to view the Batman and Robin figures. Lift the flap up to reveal the rest of the figures! The graphics on the front are bold and stand out very well. The inclusion of the Japanese writing under the bat logo is a nice touch indicating that this is a unique imported item. The back shows a graphic of each figure included. Overall better packaging than I had expected. 

Sculpting - ****
When seeing a Kubrick for the first time, most people immediately compare them to a Lego, but upon closer inspection, you find they are quite different. A Kubrick is a bit larger, and is not intended to be interchangeable with large building sets. The plastic is solid and is of a different quality than Lego, and the paint-ops are a bit more detailed. The sculpting of the Batman Kubricks is simple, yet accurate. Each character is easily identified, with most costumes made up of smaller pieces that fit nicely together, rather than being just painted on. The additional touches, like sculpted utility –belts and removable hats/helmets adds a lot to make these figures look more detailed than other block-type figures. The figure parts can be easily removed, and most parts can be switched with other Kubrick figures to make interesting combinations (see pic). I think Medicom did the best job they could with the limited constraints of the basic figure design. 

Paint - ***
The paint-ops are clean, with very little slop. There were some slight off areas around Batman’s mask and on Mr. Freezes chest-plate. The facial detail is well done, making each character easily identified. Small touches, like the simple painted muscle detail on Batman, and the black on Mr. Freeze’s helmet edge show that even the smallest detail can make a difference.

Articulation - ***
Although not very heavy on articulation, Kubrick figures offer more than you would expect. 8 points total. (That’s more than many McFarlane and Star Wars figures!) Wrists, neck, waist (although some of the utility belts restrict movement), and ball-and-socket legs and arms. The way the legs are articulated makes for some nice sitting positions. All figures are solid, and stand well on their own.

Accessories - Bupkis
I was very disappointed in the lack of accessories for this set. The single boxed figures don’t come with accessories either, but I was hoping that for the US release, Medicom would have included at least a batarang or two. Where is Mr. Freeze’s gun, The Scarecrow’s scythe, or even a staff for Robin??? The Kubrick Planet of the Apes box sets came loaded with accessories and even generic figure stands and backdrops! No accessories is a big let-down.

Value - ****
The average price of the individual “mystery box” figures imported from Japan is between $7-$12 EACH. (This does NOT include the rare secret figures, which can fetch as high as $100 online. And yes, Medicom has a habit of including up to three secret figures in any given series.). So paying between $19 - $25 for a nice box set of 5 of the figures is a very good deal. I’m REALLY hoping that Medicom notices that the Batman set is selling, and makes plans to release other box sets in the US soon. I know the Star Wars, Matrix, Alien, and Back to the Future sets would sell like mad! (Check the online auctions for the Star Wars Bounty Hunter Kubricks to see the high prices and crazy demand!)

Overall - ***1/2
I have been hooked on Kubrick figures since my first Planet of the Apes set, and I think this Batman set is very well done. The only thing keeping this from a perfect score, is the lack of accessories. Somewhat odd is the choice of villains for this first series. (Perhaps The Joker and The Penguin were held back for a second series.) I encourage comic and block-figure fans to get this set to send a message to Medicom that they need to get more offbeat stuff like this to the US. (There is a fantastic Kubrick Marvel series I would love to get a box set of.) In Japan there is an extra Azrael figure as well as a “secret chase figure” in the single figure assortment, otherwise I think the DC Direct box set is a great way to get this unique series to US collectors.

Where to Buy:
Most local comic shops should have this set for about $19 - $25. Online prices are about the same. Be careful when ordering to make sure you are getting the 5-figure DC Direct box set, NOT an imported individual figure! I got mine online from Tower for $19.99.  Online options:

- Action-HQ has the full set of 6, including the Azrael figure, for $60, or you can just pick up the Azrael for $17.

Figures from the collection of CreativeSuite.

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