Guardian of Gotham City Batman
Posted 08/06/01
Overall score - **
1/2 out of ****

(originally posted at the Comic Book Galaxy)

Ah, yes - another Target exclusive.  Seems like the only place to shop for toys anymore is Target.

This time we get the latest offering in the DC 9" series, and the big surprise - it's another Batman!  I really have to work on my sarcasm.

This time we get the Caped Crusader in his modern duds, along with a second Bruce Wayne head and tuxedo.  This figure has long been called the Secret Identity Batman, and come this fall we'll get a Superman/Clark Kent just like this.

Regular retail on this puppy is $20.

Packaging - **1/2
Hasbro tried - they really did.  The box is sturdy, and the graphics aren't too bad, if a little plain.  No, you still have to pretty much tear the package apart to free him, so they've still got a long way to go to make a collector friendly box, but that's no surprise.

When I say they tried, I'm talking about the pose that Batman is in.  I'm sure it's supposed to be some sort of action pose, but instead looks like a severe case of osteoporosis.  You can't see the whole Bruce Wayne outfit easily because the die cut front gets in the way.  Like I said, they tried.  To bad that doesn't count for a whole lot.

Sculpt - ***1/2
My favorite part of this figure is the sculpt.  Both heads are well done, although if you have the earlier removeable cowl Batman, you already have the Bruce Wayne head.

The new current age Batman head and cowl is a very good sculpt though, and captures the serious look without slipping into the constipated look.

Articulation - ***
It's a DC 9" body.  It has all those points its always had - neck, shoulder, elbows, waist, wrists, bicep joint, hips, knees, ankles - but it's not as well proportioned as the type 1 Famous Covers body. 

Outfit - **1/2
I'm talking about the Batman outfit here.  The body suit itself is fine, although not being able to remove it is a problem.  I'll tackle that issue in the next section though.

The belt is pretty standard stuff, and the cape material is good.  No hem on the cape though - I don't know why Hasbro doesn't seem to understand that concept.

There are really two problems with this outfit that reduce the score - the velcro to hold the cape in place, and the cuffs on his arms.

The velcro is cheap - instead of snaps, you get two very small pieces of velcro intended to hold the cape on under the cowl.  Perhaps snaps would have been to thick to allow the cowl to sit down properly, but I suspect they were just cutting corners.

And also in the cutting corners department, the cuffs on his wrists are made from a very soft plastic, and aren't goint to retain their ability to stay on his arms very well over time.

Accessories - **1/2
In the accessories department, I'm counting the whole Bruce Wayne outfit.  As I said earlier, the head sculpt is nice, but is the same one from the previous RC Batman.

The tuxedo is also very nice for the most part.  The quality and materials they used on the pants, jacket and cummerbund all stand out.  The shirt isn't quite as nice, with a neck opening that's way to large, a bow tie that will never really look right, and oversized buttons.

But the real problem here, is that this costume is designed to fit over his bat suit, sans cowl, cuffs, belt and cape.  That means it had to be made large, and he ends up looking like he's wearing his dad's tux to his junior high school prom.

Oddly, with this oversized suit on, the Bruce Wayne head appears too small.  Who'd have ever thought that could happen.

Value - **1/2
At $20, the price is about $5 too high.  Considering the great outfits and lockers we got with the 9" Evolution X-men figures, $20 for an extra head and oversized tux is not a great deal.  It's not terrible, and the die-hard 9" collector shouldn't pass him up, but at $15 you wouldn't feel quite so bad about it.

Overall - **1/2
While I almost gave this figure three stars - I really wanted to.  But I just couldn't overlook the flaws just because I'm a major Bat nut.  For the die-hard collector, it's a must have, and if you weren't able to get Batman the first time around (or second, or third), then this set is for you.  But I really was looking forward to the Bruce Wayne part more than the Batman part - I already have enough Batmen on the shelf - and I have to say I was disappointed in that aspect.

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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