Packaging - *
This is some of the ugliest packaging I've seen in years. Really. The
card fronts are so plain, I thought they were bootlegs.
The funny thing is, these are even more 'collector friendly' than the
recent Hulk and Iron Man cardbacks. You can easily cut the tape on the
sides, cut the perforated bubble on the bottom, remove the figure, and
then put it back later with just some tape. The irony here is that no
one will ever want to do that - the packaging is just too damn ugly to
Sculpting - Batman ***;
The number one complaint folks will have about these is scale, no doubt
about it. Why? Because some of us - me included - would like to pose
our various DC figures together. And when one towers over the other,
it's a bit annoying, particularly since it's completely unnecessary in
These figures are also back in the scale of the first movie, just over
5". The Joker stands about 5 1/4", and Batman is about 5 1/2" tall.
Thankfully, Batman is taller than the Joker, but these two are not
going to fit in with the DCUC stuff.
detailed sculpting on Batman is alright though, with a nice version of
the new suit. For the first time ever in a small scale Batman line like
this (that I can remember), the head is actually a bit too big on this
figure, all the more obvious when you put it next to one of the Batman
Begins figures. It's a minor annoyance, and actually gives a bit of a
more realistic look to it. Does it look like Bale? Well, I've always
contended that he shouldn't look too much like Bale in the cowl - the
disguise wouldn't serve much purpose if he was instantly recognizable -
but I think what there is of his exposed face looks enough like Bale
(or maybe Bale's stunt double) to work.
Some of the sculpting (like the belt details) is a little soft, but
overall this figure is a slight improvement on the 5" Batman Begins
basic figure. The cape is cloth though, which might put some folks off.
I don't mind, particularly in this scale, but fans of rubber capes may
take issue. His hands are sculpted to hold accessories, although he
doesn't have much to hold, and he stands great on his own in the one
The Joker is a bit of a different story. The expression is nice and
evil, but the hair tends to over do the clown effect, reducing (at
least for me) the impact. I have no idea if he has the weird brain
surgery look to his hair in the film, but I'm hoping not.
The body sculpt belongs to a whole different figure. The sculpt (and
the paint on top of it) is for a cartoon version, an animated Joker,
not a the movie version. There's no real detail work, and certainly no
texturing of any kind. Where there are few details added, they are done
inconsistently. For example, the watch chain is actually a sculpted
line on his pant leg, but is only painted on his pelvis. All the smooth
surfaces and basic appearance adds up to Saturday morning television.
He does stand fine on his own in the one basic stance, and he can hold
his goofy briefcase in his grip. The hand sculpts are as basic as
everything else, but at least they function.
Paint - Batman
***; Joker **
The cartoony appearance of the Joker is only further exacerbated by the
silly paint job. With a green coat, bright green pants and matching
hair, he's more frog than clown prince. In fact, his gloves and jacket
are the exact same green, and I think his hair and pants are exactly
the same green as well. The green jacket is
between the arms, body and tails. The colors are extremely bright, and
there aren't very many of them, making him look much more like a
bootleg figure (fitting considering the packaging) than a normal
Ah, and then there are the more basic issues, like the knee pegs that
are dark green even though his pants are a lighter bright green.
Definitely not a good look. EDIT - I've heard from some readers who
have gotten like colored knee pegs, so watch for it in the package!
Batman is better, but
with his basic black costume, there's less to screw up. He still has
some eye issues, although they aren't as bad as the recent Hulk line.
They did use some different finishes on the various parts of the
costume to give it some visual pop, and the face paint on the lower
half of the face is clean and neat.
It seems to be a basic trend right now, with Indy, Hulk, and Dark
Knight, to cheap out on the paint costs. Unfortunately, this will end
up hurting sales, so the saved pennies on the unit costs will just come
back to haunt them as lower profits do to less product moving off the
shelf. Pay me know, or pay me later.
Articulation - **
With Mattel producing the excellent DCUC figures, you'd think better
articulation would become standard across their DC lines. Sadly, this
is not the case.
Here, we have two figures with pretty much the same articulation, with
the exception of the neck. Batman is a bit better than Joker because he
does have a ball jointed neck, albeit one that doesn't move too far.
The Joker has a mere cut joint, and because of the sculpted pose of the
neck, it really is fairly worthless.
Both figures have cut shoulders, pin elbows and knees, a cut waist, and
T crotch. There are no cut wrists, a huge negative as well,
particularly for the Joker.
While I'm glad we got the elbow and knee joints, these really only
serve to make sure they can do minor arm poses and stand up straight.
They both do stand up on their own well as I mentioned earlier, but in
only one pose, with very little use to any of this articulation. The
worst is the Joker's elbows, which look terrible and add very little.
Accessories - Batman
**; Joker *1/2
Now, I realize this is the kid line, but even then the accessories have
to have some sort of play value. Retractable grappling hooks,
batarangs, firing missiles...Hell, I'd settle for something that
squirts. Instead we get lame accessories that kid's will lose in ten
seconds and not care that they lost.
The Joker comes with his 'destructo case', although I'm not sure what
it's going to destroy. It's huge and oversized, almost big enough for a
small sixth scale attaché...certainly big enough for the Sigma Six guys
to carry around. For the Joker, it looks ridiculous, which seems to be
a theme here.
The two halves of the case separate about a quarter of an inch, and one
or more of four 'pranks' can be turned out. The only one that appears
dangerous is the purple saw blade, with appropriate smiley face on the
side. Another is the usual pop gun with flag sticking out of the end, a
third is the trademark Joker card, and the last is what appears to be a
pink rubber chicken. The only thing these represent a danger to is good
taste. EDIT - you can pull the little items off the case and
stick them in his hand. This helps...a little.
Batman comes with
two huge gray 'gauntlets' that fit on either arm. Two gray blade like
attachments can then be slid into these for 'close combat' (the
package's words). There are also two brass colored 'fist covers', and
the same gray blades can slide into these and spin around. This is not
a mechanical feature - you spin them with your finger or by centrifical
All of Batman's items are merely cast in the colored plastic, with no
paint ops whatsoever.
Fun Factor - **
You can get some basic play out of them, but there's nothing here
that's going to do much for most kids. They'll want this Batman first,
because he's wearing the traditional outfit, but he's a little short on
worthwhile villains to fight.
Value - **1/2
Unfortunately, this is what passes for an eight dollar action figure
these days. I was just thankful they weren't ten.
Things to Watch Out For
Nothing really. I suppose you can try to find better paint, but several
of the issues are not a matter of quality but design - the glaring
cartoon colors, and lack of detail paint ops for example - so they're
all going to share pretty much the same level of suckitude.
Overall - Batman **1/2;
While this Bats has his issues, he's at least a bit of an improvement
over the basic Batman from the Batman Begins line due to the more
detailed body sculpt. He's not a huge improvement, but I'll be swapping
him into the comparison shot basket for future use.
This Joker is some sort of weird conglomeration of the movie figure and
an animated version. Even the cartoon version wouldn't be caught dead
in lime green pants. The poor body sculpt, lack of wrist joints, and
overall poor paint just further serve to push this one down in score.
The simple truth is that whether you're buying as a collector or buying
for a kid, spend the couple extra bucks and go with the Movie
Packaging - *
Sculpt - Batman ***; Joker **1/2
Paint - Batman ***; Joker **
Articulation - **
Accessories - Batman **; Joker *1/2
Fun Factor - **
Value - **1/2
Overall - Batman **1/2; Joker **
Where to Buy -
Obviously, you'll want to hit the big stores for these. I suggest Toys
R Us right now, Target soon.
- Related Links -
Let's look back at the
Batman Begins stuff:
- In the larger scale, there's my favorite, the Takara version, and
there’s the under $20
Action Cape version, the $200
Medicom version, The $120 Hot
Toys version, and the $70
DC Direct version.
- and if you’re looking for something more in the toy line, there’s the
Microman version, the
Collector Edition, and the
Battle Gear version.