Batman Maquette

The Warner Brothers stores, are, sadly, closing.  Many collectors have come to enjoy shopping there, particularly for their gallery items.  These items are the types of things we've never had much of an opportunity to purchase before, at least not so easily.  Statues, prints, lithographs, animation cels, and more have been the staple of the gallery areas.

Now with the stores coming to an end, most collectors are concerned that finding these items in the future will be tough.  It's likely we won't see the same number or quality of items as we have through the stores, and because of that, many of the pieces are selling out quickly in these final weeks.  Current rumor is that all stores will close by May 25th, although not all stores believe that.

I received the new animated Batman maquette from my lovely wife this weekend as a birthday present.  The price has risen this year on the maquettes - they were $150 last year, but are now $175.  I never picked up the first version because I was never impressed by the extremely static pose they used (it was based on control models used by the animators, and these are generally very static since they are reference material).  However, this new version is in a terrific dynamic pose, and I'm glad that this saw the light of day before the lights went out on the stores.

Sculpting - ***1/2
Beautiful work once again.  These higher end maquettes are generally very well sculpted, as you would expect from the price tag.  Most important here is the pose selected.  It's dynamic, intimidating, and yet not extreme.  And while it is never as difficult to capture the look of an animated character as one that is living and breathing, they have still done an above average job getting the look perfect.

There are two big differences between this maquette and the first.  The pose is obviously one, as I mentioned that the first was far less 'mobile'.  The first was also based on the newer look of Batman on the animated series, while this figure is based on his original look.  Technically, the first version goes better with the small Robin maquette they've also produced, but for those of us that are big fans of the original show, this is the statue to have.

Paint Ops - ***
These are hand painted, I'm assuming, and as such the ops are pretty good.  There's a little sloppiness around the face, but it's not too bad.  At this price I'd love perfection, but since hand painting is never perfect, this isn't unacceptable.

Value - ***
A year ago I would have ranked the value on this as only **.  But considering the ridiculous prices that the other maquettes, particularly the original Batman, are now going for, the current retail price is a pretty good deal.

 Overall - ***1/2
A truly beautiful maquette, even in it's simplicity and straight forward design.  Through a static object, we are given the sense of motion, of power, and that's really the trick for any artist.

   From the collection of Michael Crawford

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