Packaging - ***
The Dark Knight Rises logo is nice and prominent, and the bubble has an
industrial feel to the cut and shape. The graphics are solid, and the
bubble shows off the figures well, but they do seem a bit oversized
considering the scale of the figure itself. They also lack much
personalization, using largely generic text across the set.
also found it a tad annoying that while they tell you to collect all
six figures to build the Bat Signal, they don't show you what the six
figures are. Only three are shown on any one card, depending on which
one is actually in the package. We know one of the figures still to
come Officer John Blake (played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt), but
sixth figure remains a secret at this point. Perhaps Blake has an alter
ego...or perhaps we're finally getting a Neeson Ras!
worth pointing out that two of the packages have a coupon code inside
the bubble. Redeem the codes for twenty bucks worth of merchandise, and
you get a movie ticket for one admission. Not bad considering the price
of a movie ticket these days, although whether you will be able to use
it for the IMAX version or not is yet to be seen. I tried redeeming my
codes (they were only on the Batman and Bane that I picked up) and got
a web page stating that the promotion won't start until June 10th.
Sculpting - Bane
***1/2; Batman, Alfred, Catwoman ***
Bane and Batman have very detailed sculpts, but sadly, we've seen this
Batman before. Instead of giving us a brand new sculpt for the new
film, they've re-issued the previous Movie Masters Batman. Sure,
there's lots of good detail work on the textures of the costume, the
Bale likeness is decent, and the deeply set eyes and stoic expression
work great. But I have to knock off a half star for the re-use - I was
expecting something new.
Bane doesn't suffer from that
so all the nice sculpting on the face and costume gives him a boost
over the others. I'm not sure if you can really tell it's Hardy under
that mask, but then you aren't really supposed to, are you? It would
defeat some of the point of the mask...
Speaking of which, the
style and detail are much, much better here than what we saw on the
weak 4" version. Mine is a little tilted to one side though, most
likely a manufacturing slip.
His brown coat is a soft rubber,
the underlying shirt is the same. That's nice if you want to remove the
coat, because then the arms still match. Of course in the movie when he
removes the coat his arms are bare, but it's still an option. Removing
the coat isn't easy though, and I can't guarantee you'll get it back on
once it's off. Be forewarned.
Catwoman is all new and all
femininity. I can't say I'm loving the head sculpt - I can see a little
bit of Hathaway in there at the right angle, but it's not a dead on
likeness. While she's still on the skinny side, it's an improvement
over the usual extreme gangliness of the DCUC figures, and the detail
texture work on the costume is great. Her hands are sculpted to hold
accessories as well - like a whip, perhaps?
One of the cool aspects of the
figure is the moving goggles/ears.
When I learned that the Catwoman character in the flick didn't really
have 'cat ears' (thank God), but instead got that look from flipping up
the goggles on to the top of her head, I thought it was genius. Here we
get to see them in action. The goggles come flipped up on her head in
the package, but are a soft rubber, and can be brought down over her
eyes as well.
That leaves the always
dependable Alfred. Michael
Caine has played him beautifully in the first two films, and I'm
expecting his role to add greatly to the dramatic emotional moments in
the upcoming film. Of the four figures, his actually has the best
likeness. Looking at the figure quickly, there's no doubt it's supposed
to be Caine. But with a longer look, you start seeing something not
quite right. It's more like one of those look-alikes you can hire for
your party, although I have to say I've never been to a party that
needed a Michael Caine look-alike. It's close - but not quite.
does have one cool aspect that's somewhat unusual - his tie is a
separately sculpted piece! That's why mine is a bit off center, since
it's only glued at the neck.
Paint - ***1/2
the likenesses really don't live up to the Movie Masters mission
statement, the paint work is well above the average mass market work.
Lips and eyes are very clean, cut lines are generally sharp, and there
are some very cool little touches like the glossy lens on Catwoman's
Overall, the paint work is what
creates the majority of
the small detail, even helping to bring out the sculpted details that
While I love the clean lines on
and the pattern on Alfred's slightly askew tie, I have to say that Bane
really wins in this category as well. Unlike the crappy little 4"
version, all the belts and buckles are intricately painted, and what is
basically a brown outfit really pops.
There's also a good mix of
matte and gloss finishes, especially on Batman and Catwoman. The glossy
paint on the joints does make them a bit sticky, but once you work them
out a bit all is good.
Articulation - Batman, Catwoman
***1/2; Bane, Alfred ***
does articulation in this scale pretty well, and all the joints here
are high quality with solid pins. The figures can take a wide variety
of poses, and they can hold even deep stances easily.
the ball jointed necks don't work particularly well on Bane, Catwoman
or Batman. The sculpt restricts things a bit too much to get any real
tilt action. Alfred is better, although not quite as good as their best
All four figures have pin/disc
ball shoulders with cut
wrists and pin elbows. Three of the four (excluding Bane)
cut biceps as well.
The waist is cut, and there's
ab-crunch on all four. All four have the same leg articulation too -
hinge hips (think DCUC), pin knees, pin ankles and cut thighs.
Other than the necks, the joints
work as intended, with a good range of movement, and solid strong pins.
Accessories - **1/2
The only real accessory for all four of these figures is the included
Collect and Connect piece for the Bat Signal. While I think it's a cool
extra, not everyone will, and not everyone is going to want to pick up
all six figures to complete it.
the wealth of goodies that figures like Batman, Bane and Catwoman are
sure to use in the film, it's a disappointment that we didn't get any
There's one paper extra that
I'll mention, although
I'm not quite sure what it's for. Catwoman comes with a cardboard
background, showing a wall blowing outward into the city. Not sure if
it's just supposed to be a background for her, or if it fits in with
one of the later figures, but right now it's pretty useless.
Fun Factor - ***
these aren't quite ideal action figures - Mattel's work with both the
DC Universe Classics and the Masters of the Universe Classics is better
- they are still solid toys with good play value. There's plenty of
conflict play potential with Batman, Bane and Catwoman. And
Alfred...well, there must be some kid out there who wants to play with
an old man in a suit.
Value - **1/2
You can expect to pay around $16 at most retailers. That's not a great
deal, but considering it's about the average cost of any action figure
in this approximate scale, then it's worthy of an average score here.
Had we gotten an accessory or two thrown in, I would have bumped this
you are going to the movie (of course you are) and you buy the figures
with the movie ticket rewards, you can bump this up another half star.
You'll have to buy two figures to get the $20 requirement, but you'll
be saving at least $10.
Things to Watch Out For -
a lot of the joints were sticky, particularly in areas where there was
a lot of glossy paint, I didn't have any trouble with breakage or
frozen joints. A little pressure freed them all up, but take care
anyway, as every figure might be different.
Overall - Bane ***1/2;
the rest ***
Out of this set, Bane is the best overall figure. I'm a little bummed
that the mouth mask isn't quite straight on his face, but I also have
to admit that I never even noticed until I looked at the close up
photos. Now I can't not see it.
the overall sculpting is great, and I love the paint work. The
articulation is decent, and his lack of accessories is the least
troubling, probably because I don't yet know what he should have.
Batman is a great sculpt - but you probably already own this figure.
The only real reason to pick it up is to complete the Bat Signal, which
was the plan of course.
Catwoman and Alfred are both
figures, but neither are exceptional. They'll flesh out the display
nicely, but the aren't going to be a center piece for any collector.
really do like what I've seen so far of the Bat Signal too, and I think
it was a creative concept for them as a Collect and Connect extra. I'm
just hoping we won't have to wait too long before the 5th and 6th
figures are released.
Packaging - ***
Sculpting - Bane ***1/2; Batman, Alfred, Catwoman ***
Paint - ***1/2
Articulation - Batman ***1/2; Bane, Catwoman, Alfred ***
Accessories - **1/2
Fun Factor - ***
Value - **1/2
Overall - Bane ***1/2; the rest ***
Where to Buy -
Your best bet for these figures right now is Toys R Us, Target of
Meijer. I've only seen Catwoman and Alfred at Meijer so far.
Earlier this week I checked out the new 4" figures of Batman and Bane from
Dark Knight Rises as well.
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