Packaging - ***
The cardbacks are fairly basic, and the artwork is pretty uninspired.
That's too bad, since Mattel had the chance here to give us something really new
and exciting, but we get the same old, same old.
I do like the embossed nature of the bubble with
the bat signal, and the bubble itself is also formed to add depth to the
appearance of the signal. It's a nice touch, and shows at least a little
spark of creativity. Also on the big plus side - not a single twisty tie!
Sculpting - Batman ****, Joker ***1/2
Zipline Batman is, in the simplest terms possible, a-freakin'-mazing.
This is by far the finest Batman sculpt we've ever gotten in an action
figure. The guys better known as the Four Horsemen were responsible (they
also did some of the Harry Potter, and most of the MOTU lines for Mattel) and
they've out done themselves.
There's just the right amount of detail here -
not so much that he looks constipated, over defined, or too extreme, but enough
to capture the perfect look. From the butt kicking boots to the Gucci
belt, he's a work of art. I would like to point out just how excellent
this cloth cape is as well. I'm a huge fan of cloth capes when done right,
and this is the definition of 'done right'.
Joker isn't quite at that same level. I
really do like the sculpt, and it is in a style that I enjoy. It may be
too stylized for some though, and the long neck and stretched face may not be
everyone's cup of tea. Even I admit that the head appears too small
compared to the rest of the body, particularly in profile.
Still, he's a solid sculpt, and there's lots and
lots of detail. The Joker compares extremely well to DC Direct, and
Zipline Bats blows them away.
Paint - Batman ****, Joker ***1/2
Batman only uses a handful of colors - black, gray, yellow, flesh - but every
one of them is clean, neat, consistent and excellent. I'm particularly
happy around the face and cowl, where over spray would have been easy, and
around the yellow of the belt. Yellow is a tough color to get consistent, but
they managed it fine.
The bat symbol on his chest is particularly
impressive, and the style and clean lines really set off the look of the entire
figure. I did notice that the arms and legs are a higher gloss plastic
than the torso, but it's not a big enough difference to cause an issue.
The Joker is also perfect, at least in terms of
quality. There's no over spray, sloppy lines between colors, and even the
smallest buttons on his jacket are nicely done. There is a little
inconsistency on the white of his spatz, , but overall the paint application is
My only fault here is the choice of white for
the face. It's simply too white for my tastes, so white that it takes away
from the detail of the sculpt and paint application on the mouth and eyes.
Articulation - Batman ****, Joker ***1/2
Batman has neck, ball jointed shoulders (with lots of room to move!), cut
forearms at the glove line, waist, hips, and knees. The articulation is
well thought out, and he can easily use the 'zipline' accessory he comes
with. There's great range of motion in the shoulders, and the knees and
hips actually allow for some psuedo-running poses.
The Joker has neck, ball jointed shoulders,
wrists, waist, hips and knees. While he has pretty much the same number of
points, his aren't quite as useful. The shoulders have slightly less range
of motion, and the arm sculpt doesn't allow for them to come in as close to the
body. The leg sculpt also reduces the usefulness of the knee articulation,
but you can still get him to hold quite a few poses, and stand just perfectly on
Accessories - Batman ****, Joker ***1/2
Both figures are well outfitted with extras. Zipline Batman has great
firing weapon that snaps to his arm, and actually looks good - a rarity for
Batman accessories. It comes with two different projectiles, one a simple
missile, and one a grappling hook with a rope attached. At the other end
of the rope is a batarang. Hook either end to something, and the fourth
accessory, his pulley assembly to 'zip' down the line, comes into play.
The pulley sits on the wire, and second removable batarang acts as the
The accessories all look great, and actually
work. There's nothing silly about them, and they are a million miles
beyond the infamous nose gun.
The Joker comes with four accessories as well -
his cane, a gun, and two projectiles for the gun. One projectile is the
usual 'bang' flat, and the other is a set of cards on the end of the rod.
The gun fires fine, although you won't be putting any eyes out with it.
The only disappointment here is the cane.
I've never seen any accessory made of plastic this soft. I could swear it
was a piece of licorice. The sculpting on the jester head on top is great,
but it's so limp that it's embarrassing for him, and combined with his name
('Quick Fire'...har har), he's destined for years of therapy.
Value - ***
I paid ten bucks each at Kaybee, and I'm betting they are between $8 and $9 at
TRU. That's a decent value, especially if you consider they are a) more
articulated the DC Direct b) have more accessories and c) have as good or better
sculpting, all for 35 - 40% less.
Overall - Batman ****, Joker ***1/2
Are you a big Batman fan? Then rush out to your local store and buy
Zipline Batman, without hesitation, right this minute. You will not be
disappointed, and this is the finest Batman we've gotten to date. The
Joker isn't perfect, but he's a damn sight better than most produced by
Hasbro. He ranks up there with the 7" version from Hasbro and the
Legends of the Dark Night versions as a great looking comic-based figure.
Where to Buy -
These have been showing up in decent numbers at Toys R Us, and I found mine at a
Kaybee. I suspect Meijers and Wal-mart will carry them as well, so don't
stoop to ebay or a dealer - Mattel will make plenty of this first wave.
Patience...as if I have a lot of room to talk!
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