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1989 Batman 1/4 Scale Figure
NECA

Batman Michael Keation 1980 1/4 scale action figure by NECA


One of my favorite scales is 1/4 scale, where an average 6 foot figure would be 18" tall. While it takes a lot of room to display figures (and statues) in this scale, the larger size allows for greater detail and a much more impressive set up.

Lots of companies have dabbled in this scale over the years, including McFarlane, Palisades, Diamond Select Toys, SOTA, and Mezco, and now we have a couple - Hot Toys and Enterbay - that are going crazy mad with their extra large ultra high end figures. But NECA has produced the most, over the widest range of licenses, and this last year they really stepped up their game.

The latest release is the 1989 Michael Keaton Batman. This guy just started shipping over the last month or so, but there's one Hell of a deal going on for him right now (today only!) at Entertainment Earth. He's 35% off, ringing up at just $55! I've had this guy here for awhile, planning to review him, but with the sale today it seemed the perfect opportunity.

The next release should be Thor (from The Dark World), and from the photos I've seen coming in from folks overseas that have received him, he looks to be outstanding.

Packaging - ***1/2
This is a large window box, similar to what we've seen with their other releases. There's too many twistie ties of course - have those wire clippers handy - and it's not collector friendly either. But it does have a very cool front graphic, with the box designed to look like the torso of Batman. It's a nice touch, and garnered this box an extra half star.

I might of gone higher, but there's no instructions. They needed instructions this time - more on that in the Accessories section.
Click on the photo below for a life size version
Batman Michael Keation 1980 1/4 scale action figure by NECA
Batman Michael Keation 1980 1/4 scale action figure by NECA
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Batman Michael Keation 1980 1/4 scale action figure by NECA
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Batman Michael Keation 1980 1/4 scale action figure by NECA
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Batman Michael Keation 1980 1/4 scale action figure by NECA
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Batman Michael Keation 1980 1/4 scale action figure by NECA
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Batman Michael Keation 1980 1/4 scale action figure by NECA
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Batman Michael Keation 1980 1/4 scale action figure by NECA

Sculpting - ***1/2
This is a Michael Keaton Batman of course, and they've done a good job capturing the look. In fact, whenever I look at a figure like this, I wonder really what the point of the cowl is - only a moron couldn't recognize who this is just from the jawline lips, and eyes.

I also really like the sculpt work on the cowl and body, where they've added a texture to imply the rubber costume material. That's the sort of attention to detail I always love.

I do have one nit though, and that's with the torso. The lack of detail around the sides and back looks odd with the cape pulled back. It creates an elongated look to the torso, messing up the proportions, at least to the eye. It's a minor nit though, and not one that would be any sort of deal breaker.

Paint - ***
In general, the paint ops are clean and neat. The black is consistent, and they've used a combination of matte for the body (that implies the rubbery nature of the suit nicely) and gloss on the boots, gloves and gauntlets. The varying finishes adds some visual interest to the otherwise very monotone color scheme.

The work on the yellow symbol is good, and even the lower face is clean, with a good skin tone and well done lips. My only gripe is the eyes, or more specifically the iris'. They are painted a bit too close to the nose, and a bit too high up in the sockets. I get the idea - he's suppose to be giving you the deadly stare. They needed to drop them down and over just a smidge though, to get the perfect effect.

Articulation - ***
While these large figures aren't super articulated, they are a massive improvement over the old 'five cut joints if you're lucky' style of a few years ago.

The neck is usually a ball joint, but the thick, large cowl makes that a moot point. I can't blame them here, since the cowl did the same to the on screen character. It was easily the most restrictive bat suit design of all time.

The ball shoulders work great though, and allow the figure to easily hold the cape out fully extended. You can raise the arms above the chest with almost no trouble.

The elbows and knees are pin and disc style, so that they can move forward and back, as well as turn. The wrists are similar, and I had no trouble swapping the hands this time around. The material they used was a little softer than on the disappointing Superman, and I had no fears of breakage.

The ratchet knees are a little tight, but you can get them to work. The ball hips work great, and the ab-crunch and ball waist are pretty important. Since the neck doesn't turn very well, the ab-crunch and waist can be used to at least get a little twist and lean in the torso, upper shoulders and head.

Finally, the ankles work like cut joints, turning side to side, allowing you to keep him standing in basic poses. There's not a lot of rocker or forward and back movement because of the costume, so keeping them flat on the floor is not possible, but he can maintain his center of balance in deeper stances.

Cut thighs would have really helped, but I can live without them, since they would have broken up the clean lines of the legs, and let's face it - this isn't a character that took a lot of deep, fancy stances.

Accessories - ****
They've included a nice number of extras, and a couple of them could use a little more explanation in the form of instructions.

There's five hands in total. He comes wearing two closed fists, and the box contains a set of gripping hands for a very specific purpose, plus an additional right hand designed to hold the grappling gun.

The extra right hand works fantastic - it's a perfect fit for the gun when the grip is extended. The gun itself has a folding grip, and the front section can be detached. The two pieces can then fit on his belt with the help of a clip that they've provided. I included a photo to illustrate.

Along with the grappling gun, there's a fully extended grapple, the big daddy kind. There's also a clear plastic rope that can be attached to this set of hooks through a small loop on the center post. The easiest way to attach it is to thread the plastic rope through the loop, then knot the end of the rope, which will not allow it to travel back through the loop.

The other end of the rope has a small black cape on it. I assume this is to attach it someplace...but I can't find a hole to attach it to. I'm sure one of my more observant readers will point it out for me, but this is where instructions would have been helpful.

They've included two metal rods with handles. These look like long, skinny batons, but what they really are is supports to hold the cape out wide. The two extra gripping hands are specifically designed to work with these two rods, and you can easily get a look that should satisfy.

Finally, he comes with a folding batarang. This baby folds at the center and along both of the wings. The tips are silver, with a nice matte black finish over the rest of the surface.

That's a nice set of extras considering the scale and the price, improving the Value score as well.

Outfit - ***1/2
I'm including the Outfit score here because of the cloth cape. It's a great design, and looks fantastic in person.

It drapes forward over the shoulders just like in the film, but because it is loose underneath the large cowl, you can adjust the edge to also be back behind the shoulders, or in any position between.

As I mentioned, they included two metal 'sticks' so that Batman can hold the edges of the cape out wide, a truly classic look from this film. Unlike the hot Toys version, which tried to do this by including holes in the cape itself, these rods are just designed to support the cape out from the arms. It's harder to keep the cape in place, but once you get it where you want it, it looks great. You won't have to worry about damaging the cape, either.

The exterior of the cape is a soft shiny material, while the lining is a basic black. However, they continue the shiny material around into the interior for a short distance, allowing you to fold back the front edge and yet not expose the different look of the lining.

There's no wire along any of the edges though, which did surprise me. Something along the bottom edge would have made posing the cape easier.

Fun Factor - ***1/2
While the articulation is a bit restricted, this is still a really fun figure. All the extra accessories gives you some display options, and you can work with the cape to get the ultimate pose.

Value - ***1/2
Under normal circumstances, this guy would run you about $85. With the accessories this one has, I'd go ***1/2 stars at that price - a well above average value.

But today, and today only (it's one of their daily deals), Entertainment Earth has this guy at just $55. That's a steal, and you can add another full star to my value score here if you pick him up at that price.

Things to Watch Out For -
Not a thing. Unlike the recent Superman, I had no problems with brittle joints or breakage, and the hands swapped pretty easily.

Overall - ***1/2
I made it very obvious that after a string of hits in this scale, I was disappointed in NECA's work on the recent Superman. Thankfully, that appears to be an exception and not a change in course, as this Batman is back to the level of quality, detail and value that has been the hallmark in recent months.

While I haven't picked up every release, I will be grabbing the new Thor based on the quality of this Batman, as well as the quality of the 66 Batman and the photos of Thor that have been posted so far. And while I'm sure supeheroes (and monsters) tend to lend themselves to this scale and style the best, how about a Katniss to stand next to my Kill Bill Bride?

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

Where to Buy -
Online options include these site sponsors:

- Entertainment Earth has him right now, today only, for 35% off - only $55! If you're looking to pick one up, better act fast.

- Urban Collector has him at $80.

- Big Bad Toy Store comes in at $85.

- CornerStoreComics has hiim at $100.

- or you can search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
Other 1/4 scale figures in this style include the recent MoS Superman, the 1966 Batman, Captain America, Tonto, Bilbo, Gollum, Aragorn, Gandalf, Iron Man, classic Predator, Hellboy, Abe Sapien, Alien, Lord of Darkness, Pumpkinhead, Beetlejuice, Jack Sparrow, and more!

Discussion:
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Batman Michael Keation 1980 1/4 scale action figure by NECA


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

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