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Review of Batman One:12 Collective
Action Figure
Mezco Toyz
03-23-15

Dark Knight Batman One:12 Collective figure by Mezco

Introduction
A review of One:12 Collective Batman action figure from the Dark Knight Returns by Mezco: 

In 1986, DC released the four part series "The Dark Knight Returns", written by Frank Miller. This series (the first book was the only one titled DKR, but the overall series took on that name with the single volume compendium was published) re-defined Batman, and we are still feeling the effects in the books and films today.

In the series, a middle aged Batman comes out of retirement when he sees Gotham falling into criminal despair. Before it's over, he must face off against Superman and the U.S. Government, not to mention the Joker and Two-Face once again.

Miller's influence on the comic book world can not be underestimated. As both writer and artist, he brought a dark, gritty feel to Gotham, and it's success meant that same approach was reproduced throughout the comic universe.

When Mezco announced a new line of 1/12th scale action figures (that's 6", for the mathematically challenged) that would mirror many of the better aspects of the larger 1/6th market, like cloth uniforms, great articulation, and cool accessories, collectors were interested...but guarded. It's generally accepted that getting cloth outfits below 1/6th is tricky, and below 1/9th (Mego sized)? Pretty much impossible to do without it looking baggy, thick and out of scale.

This new series is appropriately called the One:12 Collective, and their first release is Batman from the Dark Knight Returns. There's actually four versions of this figure: the one I'm reviewing tonight, which is the regular release, a dark blue and gray version that is a Mezco Direct store exclusive, a light blue and gray (with yellow symbol) that's a Previews exclusive, and a black and white version that was given away only at Toy Fair this year.

Mezco has plans to do other licenses in this series of course, including Judge Dredd, which should ship later this year. You can pick up the regular release right now for around $65.

Click on the image below for a Life Size version
Dark Knight Batman One:12 Collective figure by Mezco

Packaging - ****
While it's said that a package isn't as critical as a figure, especially when it's something that you're likely to buy sight unseen, that's not entirely true. A cool, classy package sets the tone for your attitude, it gears you up (or down) for what's inside. A great package builds anticipation and expectation, while a crappy one starts you off with a weaker outlook on the content's quality.

This is the former, where the high quality clear outer slip cover sets the tone for all the cool that is to come. There are graphics printed on this clear cover, including some basic instructions on the included accessories on the back. Remove the exterior slip, and you have a very high quality five panel box, with multiple plastic trays to hold all the accessories and the figure. All of it is very collector friendly, and it all works great.

Although you can easily return the figure and the accessories back to the box itself if you'd like, they even include a plastic zip bag with the One:12 logo on it, perfect for storing those extras.

Dark Knight Batman One:12 Collective figure by Mezco

Sculpting - ****
Batman is beefy, solid, and big in the Dark Knight Returns, and has a grim, determined look on his face in every panel. There's lots of gritted teeth and angry attitude - this was not your Adam West Batman.

Mezco has provided two portraits, one with a simple down turned, determined expression, and one with a gritted "I didn't take my Metamucil today so get the Hell off my lawn" look. While there's the hint of Mezco style in both, they also capture Miller's artwork extremely well.

The underlying body is all new for this series, and captures his bulk perfectly. This is enhanced by the solid, chunky boot sculpts, and the properly scaled hands.

About scale - they've said this is 1/12th, but their stretching it just a bit. Batman actually comes in at about 6 3/4" tall, very similar to the MOTUC He-man, and therefore not too different from the Mattel Unlimited version that used the MOTUC base body. He fits in fine with the Mattel DC line, since those figures tend to be slightly above 6" as well, and this version of Batman is supposed to be big, comparatively. So while he really isn't exactly 1/12th, he'll fit in nicely with the current industry standard for 1/12th.

Dark Knight Batman One:12 Collective figure by Mezco

Paint - ***1/2
The paint ops are clean and sharp, particularly around the mask and eyes. No poor edges, and no bleed to speak of.

The black of the costume cloth - like the symbol and cape - also match the black plastic pretty well, something that can be tricky with a mixed media figure like this. It gives the costume a more consistent overall appearance.

Perhaps the best work is on the soft rubbery belt, where the pouches have just the right amount of wash to bring out the detailed sculpt. It adds a lot of realism to the overall appearance of the figure.

On the downside, we have the teeth, lips and gums on the gritted head sculpted. It's not awful, but it's not quite at the same level of quality as the rest of the application.

Dark Knight Batman One:12 Collective figure by Mezco

Articulation - ***1/2
The beauty of a figure with a cloth costume is that you can have all the articulation you want, and no ugly joints. This figure is the perfect example of that concept.

The underlying body has ball shoulders and hips, pin elbows and ankles, double pin knees, cuts at the top of the boots, waist and ab-crunch, ball wrists, and even some rocker movement at the ankle. The stretchy material means that it all has a terrific range of movement as well, and you should have no trouble finding just the right pose, over and over again.

My one nit is with the neck. It is a ball joint, and the post itself can also move forward and back at the torso. But the design and sculpt doesn't allow for much tilt, hurting some of the poses a bit. It's a minor nit, but the reason for the loss of a half star for me.

Dark Knight Batman One:12 Collective figure by Mezco

Accessories - ****
This guy is nicely outfitted with extras, perfect for the character.

I've already sung the praises of the two head sculpts supplied, but they're a big factor in this category as well. The heads swap easily, and both will get a lot of use.

There's a nice assortment of hands too, eight in total. He comes wearing fists, and of course there's a pair of gun gripping hands. There's a pair that are holding hard plastic batarangs between the fingers, Wolverine style. Be careful with these - the batarangs are very sharp, and could snap with too much pressure. Don't press on them when swapping the hands! The final two hands are generic gripping poses, good for a variety of looks.

Did I say gun? Yep, he's got one. The revolver fits nicely in his hand, and has a great sculpt and paint job. It also fits in the holster on another accessory - his swappable left boot. The boots swap cleanly as well, and adds another variation in how you can display him.

That's still not all! There's a grappling hook with a long rope attached, perfect for scaling tall buildings. Again, the sculpt and paint are excellent, and the hard plastic they've used won't wilt or deform over time.

Finally, he has a display stand, but not just any display stand. The base is a yellow bat symbol, and comes in the package with a short black foot post. You can pop this post out (do it from the bottom up), and insert the long, clear plastic post. This post includes a waist clamp, and there is another attachment with four wired clips that are designed to hold the cape in various flying poses.

Using this flying post, you should be able to come up with all sorts of jumping/attacking looks, and the stand is tight enough to hold his weight easily. If you do have trouble, just tighten the small screws at the various points of articulation along the post - viola!

Dark Knight Batman One:12 Collective figure by Mezco

Outfit - ****
The costume consists of the gray bodysuit, black cape, and black undies. The material is thin and in scale across the board. The stitching and tailoring looks fantastic, and the quality is top notch.

I love the flowing fabric cape, and it's attached around the neck in such a way to allow the most realistic poses. It hangs perfectly, and looks great in just about any stance.

The dark bat symbol is consistent and clean, and the removable undies are tight and thin - I thought they were actually all one piece. Of course, a character with a tight fitting suit like this is easier to do in smaller scales, but that doesn't make their success any less commendable.  I will be very interested to see how they manage with characters that have multiple layers, like the Joker.

I wanted to mention the stitching one more time, because it's a critical aspect of the figure's ability to handle posing and re-posing over time. I had no fear of anything tearing or loosening, and the stitches are tight and sturdy.

Dark Knight Batman One:12 Collective figure by Mezco

Fun Factor - ****
This is a really, really fun figure. A good size, with great articulation and lots of accessories - you'll have hours of fun finding the perfect pose, and tomorrow you'll think of another. There's no fear of damaging anything, so you'll look forward to posing and re-posing, and swapping in different accessories will give him lots of looks.

Dark Knight Batman One:12 Collective figure by Mezco

Value - **1/2
There's not a lot to really compare this guy too - it's something new in the market, really. There's the statues that run about the same as these - $65 - and there's other 'collector' action figures that are in the $20 - $30 range, depending on the license and distribution method. The closest is probably the ThreeA figures that run $55 - $65, but licensing costs aren't quite the same in that instance. While I don't think you're getting any sort of amazing bargain, I do think you're getting what you're paying for, and therefore this is an average value right now. The fact that this first release is selling out right now at most retailers is another indication that the price point is realistic.

Dark Knight Batman One:12 Collective figure by Mezco

Things to Watch Out For -
Not much. I already mentioned the sharp, pointy batarangs, which could break if you put too much pressure on them when swapping hands. Actually, you're more likely to cut yourself on them...and that's about the only thing to take into consideration.

Dark Knight Batman One:12 Collective figure by Mezco

Overall - ****
When I first saw these at last year's Comic-Con, I was pretty excited. I love the concept, and while there's going to be some hurdles, I think Mezco has the chops to make it happen.

This is a really fun figure, with all the best aspects of a toy combined with everything you need for a collector. The market seems to agree, as they are selling out all over the place, and prices on this regular version are already reaching double the original retail on ebay. If you find this guy for $65 right now, jump on it - he's not going to last long.

I can't wait to see what else they produce in this line, with Dredd already announced and several other licenses lined up, including Universal Monsters. I can think of a whole bunch I'd love to see, but top of my list is STOS figures, because we haven't had anything in a long time, and their costumes would work perfectly with this style. Make it so, Mezco!

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

Dark Knight Batman One:12 Collective figure by Mezco

Where to Buy 
Online options include these site sponsors:

- still has them in stock (last time I checked) for $65.

- has him at $65, although they may be sold out at this point.

- doesn't have this guy, but they have the Previews version for $68.

- Entertainment Earth is sold out of this one for $65, but have the Previews version for $70.

- or you can search ebay for a deal.

Dark Knight Batman One:12 Collective figure by Mezco

Related Links -
We've seen a couple other versions of Batman from the Dark Knght Returns series of books, including this version from DC Direct, this statue from Kotobukiya, the Batman Black and White statue, and of course, the version from Mattel as part of their 'Unlimited' series.

Discussion:
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Dark Knight Batman One:12 Collective figure by Mezco

Dark Knight Batman One:12 Collective figure by Mezco

Dark Knight Batman One:12 Collective figure by Mezco

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Dark Knight Batman One:12 Collective figure by Mezco


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

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