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Review of Robin, Joker, Creeper - Animated Batman action figures

DC Collectibles
Date Published:
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Overall Average Rating: 3.5 out of 4

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Creeper, Joker, Robin Animated action figures by DC Collectibles

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Introduction

Regular readers already know the drill: Batman is one of my all time favorite characters in any medium: check. Animated Batman of the 90's, one of the best incarnations of the character: check. Kenner's animated Batman one of the first figure lines to get me sucked in hard to this insanity: check.

But one of the things I haven't mentioned before is a very special aspect of how the show handle the gallery of characters - it was able to breathe new life into tired, old characters we'd seen a million times before; it was able to introduce new characters we'd never seen before and make them more than a mere throw-away; and it was able to bring lesser known characters to the forefront, intriguing fans with their story when we'd passed them over previously.

Two of those three are highlighted by the figures in tonight's review.  The Joker is the definition of an overused character, and yet with the combination of character design, great writing, and terrific voice acting (from Mark Hamill), they created one of the greatest incarnations to date. Robin is another long term character, and he is one that I've had very little use for over the years. But on the animated shows, I actually enjoyed him, a true rarity for me.  And finally, there's the Creeper, a superhero that's been around since the 60's, but was never high on my radar.  But he was handled deftly on the show, and the design became a personal favorite.

Creeper, Joker, Robin Animated action figures by DC Collectibles

With each figure comes a paper insert showing off the planned figures announced so far and which show and episode they hail from. For the Creeper, it's his first, The New Adventures of Batman episode "Beware the Creeper!"; for Robin, it's the Batman: The Animated Series episode "Robin's Reckoning" (actually a two parter); and for the Joker, it's the classic Batman: The Animated Series episode "The Last Laugh".

These figures are shipping now, and run around $22 depending on the retailer. While we still have quite a few figures on the release schedule for this year (including Harley, Bane, and several others), I'm hoping we see even more announcements at SDCC in a couple months.

Click on the image below for a Life Size version
Creeper, Joker, Robin Animated action figures by DC Collectibles

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Packaging - ***1/2
I love the look of these packages, with the inclusion of the appropriate show logo and plenty of character personalization. They show off the figure quite well, and include both basic instructions and a roster sheet showing the other characters currently released or planned, along with the episode name that each is taken from. That's a really nice touch, particularly since the accessories tend to be so episode specific.

It's not collector friendly though, and you'll have to destroy it to free them.  There's a few twisties with each too, but these are minor nits at best.

Creeper, Joker, Robin Animated action figures by DC Collectibles

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Sculpting - ****
While you can find minor nits here and there with all three of them, I have to say that these are excellent translations of the terrific on screen designs.

All three have plenty of sharp cuts on the details, and match the overall style of the specific episodes extremely well. While these are animated, and therefore not going to be uber detailed, what's here has been added with great attention to the proper look. They could have gone an easier route - simply painting the yellow rectangles on Robin's vest, for example - but they don't, and I have to give them extra props for that.

As I said, there are nits. Robin seems a little small to me in comparison to Batman, particularly based on his look in the two part episode.  His sculpt and articulation do work extremely well together though, and the expression works well for plenty of poses.

Creeper, Joker, Robin Animated action figures by DC Collectibles

The Joker actually goes the other way, and is bulkier than feels right to me. This may be caused by my memories of the Kenner figure rather than the show though, and the extra bulk isn't a major issue. I do love his maniacal grin, and the overall head sculpt looks terrific.

Finally, there's the Creeper. The face seems just a tad elongated to me, but once again the expression and attention to detail shine. One of the issues with this particular character is the huge boa he wears on his back. It's always going to be heavy and throw off his center of gravity - no different here. The did try to shift the weight closer to his center by keeping it tight to his back and bunching it up above his shoulders, but you'll still have some issues getting him to stand and staying that way.

These are a 6" scale line, with Joker right about there, Creeper slightly taller, and Robin slightly shorter. They'll fit in fine with the rest of the series released so far.

Creeper, Joker, Robin Animated action figures by DC Collectibles

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Paint - Creeper, Robin ***; Joker ****
I've heard that some people have had issues with paint chipping or flaking off of their figures with normal handling - thankfully, I have not had any such issues so far.

Of the three, the Joker has the superior paint job. The face looks amazing, from the teeth to the eyes to the hair, and the white skin tone is even and sharp. The purple suit is consistent, and there's almost no slop to be seen, particularly in hand.

Robin does have some slop, particularly at the cut lines between colors. The edges around the suit details are a little fuzzy, especially the belt and buttons, and the black on both capes has a bit of a rough edge at the bottom. In hand it's not horrendous, but not above a B.

Creeper, Joker, Robin Animated action figures by DC Collectibles

Creeper actually has less slop, although there are still some edges on the suit that are a bit weak. His bigger issue is one of mismatched color on different pieces of plastic, most notably his thighs and hips, although there's a bit of a problem with the arms and torso as well. The yellow skin isn't consistent, and it's actually more noticeable in person than in photos. That's unusual, since it's often the bright lights that make the different wave absorption properties of the plastic obvious. This time, the bright light washes things out a bit, making it look more consistent, but in hand in a normally lit room the differences are much more clear.

Creeper, Joker, Robin Animated action figures by DC Collectibles

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Articulation - Creeper **1/2; Joker ***; Robin ***1/2
Here's one category where the figures start to show some differences, based on how well the articulation works with the particular character design.

These are much more articulated than the old Kenner series, with lots of the pin/disc style ball joints. There's ball shoulders, elbows, and wrists, with a traditional ball neck, cut waist, and pin knees and ankles. The ankles also sport a great rocker joint (except for Joker), and hinge hips. Robin adds a cut joint at the top of his boots.

All this works great for Robin, who can raise his arms high, tilt and lean his head, and take fairly deep stances. You can get a natural flow to his stance, much more so than the old 5 point Kenner figure.

On the flip side is the Creeper, who has plenty of articulation, but is hampered by two issues. First, that huge boa. The weight makes taking and maintaining almost any stance a real trick.  Add in loose knee and hip joints, and you have a perfect storm for shelf diving. Thankfully he does have the stand, but even that is a bit dicey. Again, because of the 'pelt', the clamp can't go around his waist or torso. Instead, you must move the clamp as far back as you can on the extension (if you want him on the white plastic base), and put the clamp around the lower part of the boa. It's not perfect, but he will stay upright.

Creeper, Joker, Robin Animated action figures by DC Collectibles

However, this is a figure that could really use all this articulation. He liked to leap and crouch on the show, but sadly, he can't do much crouching here.

The Joker is a bit more traditional. While they've given him plenty of articulation, they've also done what they can (on all the figures) to maintain the aesthetic appeal of the sculpt. On both Joker and Creeper, they widened out the chest and shoulders at the shoulder joint, covering it a bit and keeping a clean V look to the torso. It hampers things, but the Joker can still raise his hands above his head.  His single pin knees and basic ankles wont allow for deep stances though, further hurting him in this category.

An important improvement between these figures and the first series is obvious in the photo of Batman and Robin together. Collectors complained about the obvious pegs in the hips and knees, and DC Collectibles listened. You can see that they are now hidden, and the figures look much better...and yet the articulation remains the same. Bravo!

They've also fixed the issue with breakage that was so prevalent with the figures in the first wave. While all these joints have just as good of movement and are not any larger or bulkier in appearance, they are all much sturdier and less prone to damage. Word is we may see a re-release of those first four figures with these improvements.

Creeper, Joker, Robin Animated action figures by DC Collectibles

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Accessories - ****
These guys are loaded with goodies from their respective episodes.

All three come with three sets of hands. For Creeper, there's a set of fists, a set of gripping hands, and a set of claw-like gesturing hands.  With the Joker, there's those fists, as well as two sets of different gripping hands, designed to hold the other accessories.  Finally, Robin has fists, a set of gripping hands, and a set of relaxed hands.

That's not all for Robin though, as he has one more left hand, sculpted with his grappling gun already in the grip. He comes with a loose grappling gun too - not sure why, since there's no where to put it on his body.  His only true weapon is a bolo with a long rubber 'rope' attached. He can grip this and use it like a whip, or throw it at the legs of a fleeing villain to bring them down. The bolo is very rubbery though, and will probably end up in the junk drawer.

His last extra is a second cape, sculpted so that one side drapes over his right shoulder. It's definitely a cool look, and with the grappling gun sculpted into his left hand, it can be used to create some pretty cool poses. Simply pop the head off and the capes swap easily.

The Joker has much more than his extra hands as well. There's a clear plastic helmet that protected him from the gas he used in the episode, which has a seam through the center. I tried opening it at this seam, but it may be glued - I wasn't going to force it. You don't have to, since the helmet fits over the head and rests on the shoulders just fine. I was a little annoyed that the seam runs front to back instead of side to side, but it's a minor nit.

He also has an ice pick, comb, telescope, and pearl necklace. It's a little tricky to get him to hold the scope, and the hand sculpt is a little shallow for the ice pick to sit in all the way, but with a little work everything fits within one of the gripping hands. A playing card would have been nice, but I prefer the episode specific items.

The Creeper adds a couple key items to his bevy of hands - a pool cue, a rat, and the best extra so far, an Adam West Batman Halloween mask. If you haven't seen the episode, watch it and you'll understand.

Finally, all three come with the small display bases that we've seen with earlier releases. The white base has a maquette style sheet drawing of the specific character, and there is a clear plastic rod and clamp for each. The clamp on Robin's is slightly different, lacking the front-to-back extension, but otherwise the stands are identical.

Creeper, Joker, Robin Animated action figures by DC Collectibles

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Fun Factor - Creeper ***; Joker, Robin ****
The floppy legs and heavy boa on the Creeper can make it a bit frustrating to work with, but the other two are all around excellent toys.  Kids of all ages will enjoy them, and adults who grew up watching the shows 20 years ago will find a particular appreciation for the style and design.

Creeper, Joker, Robin Animated action figures by DC Collectibles

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Value - **1/2
These will run you around $22 at most retailers, although you might find them closer to $20 if you search hard enough or buy in a set.

Other 6" scale lines are running at prices close to this - Star Wars Black, Legacy Game of Thrones, NECA Planet of the Apes, etc. are all in the $20 range, depending on the retailer. Clearance prices help, but for the most part, a Harriet Tubman (I'm a man ahead of my time - I'm going to call them 'tubbies') will get you a figure. Considering that all of these lines have far, far fewer accessories, I'd say the extra buck or two here is well spent, and makes these an average value. And remember - a **1/2 here does not effect my overall score up or down.

Creeper, Joker, Robin Animated action figures by DC Collectibles

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Things to Watch Out For -
Not a thing. The very first release had some breakage issues with the  joints, but that appears to be a thing of the past.

Creeper, Joker, Robin Animated action figures by DC Collectibles

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Overall - Creeper ***; Robin ***1/2; Joker ****
This line started off rocky, with both aesthetic issues and breakage problems. DC Collectibles jumped on it and corrected the problems, improving the line as they went. They should be commended on that, as far too often companies ignore such issues and just keep plowing forward with the existing problems.

These changes make this wave far superior to the first, and I love both the look and the style. The cool episode specific accessories are a terrific touch, and I can't wait to see what they have in store for us at SDCC.

Score Recap (out of ****):
Packaging - ***1/2
Sculpting - ****
Paint - Creeper, Robin ***; Joker ****
Articulation - Creeper **1/2; Joker ***; Robin ***1/2
Accessories - ****
Fun Factor - Creeper ***; Joker, Robin ****
Value - **1/2
Overall - Creeper ***; Robin ***1/2; Joker ****

Creeper, Joker, Robin Animated action figures by DC Collectibles

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Where to Buy 
Online options include these site sponsors:

- is at $22.

- has them for $22 each.

- is about $22.50 each.

- Entertainment Earth comes in at $23 each.

- or you can search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
I just covered the release of the deluxe Man-Bat, as well as the first series of Two-Face and Mr. Freeze, with Batman and Catwoman.

I have covered some other animated stuff, including the cool Quick fast food figures from overseas, as well as the Batman Animated Kubricks. I also covered some of the animated Justice League figures, which were similar to the style of the older figures.

And the Batman Black and White series has covered every conceivable version, as well as the animated style with their Bruce Timm release.

You should also hit the Search Reviews page, in case any other applicable reviews were done after this one was published.

Discussion:
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Creeper, Joker, Robin Animated action figures by DC Collectibles

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This product was purchased for the review by the reviewer (Creeper), and provided by the manufacturer (Robin, Joker). Photos and text by Michael Crawford.

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