The Batman Green Lantern and Hawkman


"The following is a guest review.  The review and photos do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Michael Crawford or Michael's Review of the Week, and are the opinion and work of the guest author."

We've got a new guest reviewer tonight, Evan Jones.  He's looking at some of the new The Batman figures - take it away, Evan!

Hey Everyone!
Last year was a bit of a dry one for The Batman figures. The last real “surge” was back in the Fall of ‘06, with the Arkham six-pack, Gearhead, Card-Attack Joker, and Clayface and Mr. Freeze variants. Sure, there was Robin and Killer Moth, but that was about it.

Fans of The Batman were overjoyed to finally see some new products at the ToyFair last year. There were no new bad guys, but we did see prototypes of Green Lantern, Hawkman, and Superman figures. Well, it’s the new year, and you can bet you’re about to see a whole new crop of The Batman products hitting stores nation wide. 

Packaging - ***1/2
It seems like Mattel has been changing their The Batman packaging with every new year. What with the Extreme Power in ‘06 and ShadowTek in ‘07, you could have sworn they’d have something new to offer in ‘08. Despite what you might have thought, Mattel’s decided to stick with the ShadowTek theme.

So why the high score? I’ve NEVER liked the ShadowTek packaging. It’s unattractive, hard to spot, and isn’t MOC-collector friendly. But, there’s something different about these.

You see, Green Lantern and Hawkman are actual FIGURES. They don’t have any stupid action features or anything to take up space on the back of the card. So, instead of instructions on how to use some oversized cannon, you get stats!
That’s right! REAL character stats! Things like height, weight, and base of operations occupy the back of the card, making these figs oh so much sweeter!

Sculpting - ****
The strong point of The Batman figures has always been the sculpting. I have a complete set, and have never ceased to be impressed by the sculpt work. These are no exceptions.

It seems Mattel has come up with a new “basic body” for their male characters. That’s right, GL and Hawkman have the SAME body. But it works very well. Slightly bigger than Batman, broad chest, squared off shoulders. What more could you ask?

Hawkman obviously has the most “unique” aspects of his sculpt. The head sculpt has been captured VERY well, and he has a “streamlined” animated look about him. The harness is a separate piece that has been attached. The card actually shows his hawk symbol as a sculpted element, but it’s just painted on the actual figure.

Hawkman’s wings come separated from the figure, and are easily attached by snapping one on top of another in a small raised “disc” set into his back.
Green Lantern’s sculpt is simple, yet effective. The head matches up very well against the reference material, and the only real “flaw” is that his ring is just painted on, as has become the craze in recent GL figures.

Also, since the figures share the same body, Mattel has decided to cut corners, and paint on the “edges” of the gloves and boots instead of sculpting them.

Paint - **1/2
Why the low score? Because Mattel has left so much to paint, and has failed in executing their decision. 

As I mentioned above, the “edges” of the gloves and boots are only painted on, and where I would have hoped to find straight, crisp lines, I found blurred, uneven edges that were, simply put, very disappointing. 

Also, upon further inspection, I found that the pegs that supply the articulation in the legs are molded in TAN, not GREEN, the color of the surrounding pants. Very disappointing Mattel, but it’s what we have come to expect from mass-market toys.

Articulation - ***
Both figures have ten points of articulation: neck (1), shoulders (2), elbows (2), waist (1), hips (2), and knees (2). I would have expected Hawkman’s wings to be articulated, but unfortunately, once you attach them, they do not move.

Many would say that ten points is simply not enough, and while I do enjoy a well-articulated figure, I think that ball-joints on animated figures just wouldn’t look quite right, and that the ten points on these figures work just fine.

Accessories - ****
The Batman figures aren’t exactly known for their great accessories. Usually, it’s just some disposable firing weapon. Not this time. Hawkman and GL actually come with some really great accessories.
Green Lantern comes with his power-lantern, which has been molded in a really neat translucent green, and Hawkman’s got his signature red mace. These are both show- and character-accurate accessories, and have been constructed VERY well!
Good job Mattel! (Also, I just wanted to mention that the green light coming from Gl’s lantern in the first pic is a photo effect, not an actual feature.)

Fun Factor - ****
The Batman has always been aimed at kids, not adults, and the toys are no exception. These are sturdy, well constructed toys that can be fun for kids and grown-ups alike. I mean, come on! What kid doesn’t want to play with a guy that’s half hawk!?

Value - **1/2
I picked these up at Wal*Mart for about seven dollars each, and considering all the factors of the figures, I would say that that is very reasonable.

Things to Watch Out For - 
If you have a choice between two or more of these guys in the store, make sure you pick out the ones with the best paint, because it can be a real killer.

Overall - ***1/2
These are two of the best figures in the entire The Batman line. No doubt about it. If you see either of these guys, be sure to snatch ‘em up. Also, if you’ve been wandering about the rest of the League, Supes, Flash, and Martian Manhunter are popping up on Ebay for about forty bucks each, and while Mattel says they have no plans to make a Green Arrow, with the popularity that these guys have been generating, I really don’t see that as an option.

Score Recap:
Packaging - ***1/2
Sculpt - ****
Paint - **1/2
Articulation - ***
Accessories - ****
Fun Factor - ****
Value - **1/2
Overall - ***1/2


Where to Buy -
I picked mine up at Wal*Mart, but I’ve also seen them at Target, and they should be hitting places like Toys R’ Us in no time.

Evan Jones is an action figure customizer/collector located in the United States. With the help of his father, Steve (the guy behind the pics) he was able to put together this review.

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Figure from the collection of Evan Jones.

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