Original Costume/First Night Out Harness
Toy Fairs Limited Edition 2011 - Hot Toys
following is a guest review. The review
and photos do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Michael Crawford
or Michael's Review of the Week, and are the opinion and work of the
|Jeff's back with a look at another of Hot Toys 'exclusives' for 2011 - tell us all about him, Jeff!
In the world of convention exclusives it increasingly seems that
manufacturers are damned if they do, and damned if they don’t. As
whatever they do or don’t decide to release will almost certainly cause
outrage in some quarter.
Anyone who has recently tried to pick
up an original costume Bats from the limited batch released for the
Dark Knight in 2008 will tell you that unless you were willing to part
with the best part of $500 (with some asking for well over a thousand)
you were going to be very disappointed.
And so it was that Hot
Toys decided to revisit the figure, but not just a plain re-hash, oh
no. This is in effect the big brother to the Takara version that was
released back in 2005, as like that version this comes with the ‘first
night out’ harness, a ‘Bataclava’ (sorry, bad pun), a Bruce Wayne
sculpt, a grappling gun, a bomb and Batarangs. But this version
improves on that one in oh so many ways.
Firstly and most
obviously is the screen accuracy (I know there are some ‘fans’ out
there who will say the ears a micron too long/short and the paternation
on the palm of the gloves is too obscure… WHATEVER), but in terms of
looking right to anyone other than an anal Bat-pedant, this is to my
eyes the best available at this scale. The new Bale sculpt by Ko Jun is
the strongest version of a Bruce Wayne portrait to date and the
inclusion of the three alternate mouths that can fit inside the cowl
(similar to the Batman DX reviewed here-
http://www.mwctoys.com/REVIEW_030310b.htm) adds even more to the
I’m lucky enough to still have my first release
of the original suit, so the best display option for me is to go with
the harness fitted and the balaclava held in his hands, as this is one
facial sculpt I feel it would be criminal to leave in the box. Then
just fit the new cowled head to the old body.
I think its fair
to say that the original Batman Begins (BB) was woefully under
represented by Hot Toys, but when the movie came out they were still
very much finding their feet. That’s obviously not the case now as they
are well established and very much respected in the collector’s
The Dark Knight (along with Terminator Salvation and
Iron Man) has been one of the most prolific licenses that HT has
represented to date. I’m hoping that with the10th Anniversary set of
Scarecrow and Demon Bats and now this it might become something of a
yearly BB exclusive tradition, much like the Lost Predators, well I can
usually really like the convention exclusive packaging, but this didn’t
fire me up so much. It has a nice quirky feel, as in a graphic way it
mimics the way the harness fits over the armoured bodyglove, but it
just feels a tad flat considering how cool the figure inside is.
follows a similar form to ones we have gotten the Marvel characters in
so far, meaning it’s a simple lift off lid with the figure in the
bottom half with a printed card divider and a tray of accessories
attached to the inside of the lid. I was hoping he might come in a nice
snug foam surround, but instead it’s the usual vac formed tray.
So it’s an interesting and well put together little box, but on this occasion it doesn’t quite do justice to the contents.
Sculpting - ****
Jun already gave us an amazing Christian Bale sculpt in the form of the
two John Connor figures for Terminator: Salvation, and building on the
work he did there he now delivers the best 1/6th Bruce Wayne sculpt to
date. I liked the two earlier portraits that Yulli did of the
character, but times have moved on and the quality seems to leap
forward very rapidly at Hot Toys.
So not only is the skin
texturing and deep detailing on the hair even stronger, but the actual
likeness is fantastic. The expression is focused and determined, which
is just what you want for Wayne’s first night out as a vigilante in the
mean ‘narrows’ of Gotham City.
As I mentioned above there is
also a selection of three different mouth expressions that fit snugly
within the cowl, and yes they do fit ultra-tightly so the superfine
hairline gap where they but up to the mask is virtually invisible. The
expression the cowl has fitted when opened from the box is relatively
neutral, the second is in more of a determined grimace (think Joe
Dredd) and the last has the lips slightly open as if in mid-sentence or
breathing when fighting. They have also had a slight tweak to the way
they are engineered to fit and be changed over from the way the DX02
worked. For that one you needed a little tool to push the mouths out
from the inside, where as now a tiny magnet does the job of holding
them in place. This makes swapping over a lot easier.
and accessories are also sculpted, but I shall cover those below. Well,
actually I shall cheat a bit, because as I said the base suit is the
same as the previous version of the outfit.
The only real
area of paintwork is the main Bruce Wayne head and the selection of
mouths that fit into the cowl. And it has to be said, just when you
think Hot Toys have reached the pinnacle of their abilities; they then
pull another triumph out of the bag.
The flesh is as lifelike as
ever, with super subtle changes in its tonal values and even showing
the gentle mottling that covers the skin, the eyes are wet and glossy
and everything is basically as it should be.
I know it gets
repetitive, but Mr Hong Jin Chul (JC to his friends) just keeps getting
better, and this is just utter perfection.
In terms of
design and functionality, as far as I can see the actual rubber suit
seems to be a straight re-use of the one used for the original TDK
version covered here that was also modified and ‘distressed’ for the Demon Batman that I reviewed here.
So I’m gonna be lazy and say that for a detailed analysis of the suit
I’d direct you to read over those. Heck there’s no point in me writing
the same thing twice.
The only difference I will advise you of
is the finish. The original suit had a more smooth and glossy sheen to
its final look, where as this one is a much more matte rubber finish.
When I got my original version out for the photos I was pleased to find
no deterioration to the suit whatsoever, I just hope I will find the
same with this one.
On a side note, I’m not sure how it would
have been doable, but if the ‘Bat logo’ on the chest had been removable
this would have been even more perfect, as it was obviously not there
when Bruce took his first foray into the dark underbelly of Gotham’s
nightlife. But I can live with it, as it makes for a stunning display
piece when lined up with the other figures released from Nolan’s movies
To make the transition from first night vigilante into
fully-fledged caped crusader you first need to remove the harness. This
is actually slightly trickier than you might first think, you need to
remove the belt then undo the sliding buckle at the front. Now shrug
off the rig like a vest and pass the leg loops down and over his boots
(or undo the tiny clips on the inner thigh). Now just attach the cape
using the pre-made holes in the suit (remembering to remove the small
plastic washers that keep the pegs in place on the cape) then finally
just swap the heads and job done. I have to admit I didn’t push the
cape ‘pegs’ fully into the holes as I plan on displaying him in the
harness, so I wanted to be able to remove it again easily. Hopefully it
was tight enough and looks OK for the photos though.
I was going to award this the same score as I did the first time
around. And to be fair what I will say is that in terms of articulation
it is identical to that figure. However, with the benefit of hindsight
I’d have to say it deserves more of a ***1/2 star rating, only a very
slight decrease I know. Underneath is a classic True Type, so there’s
little to complain about there, but the head to toe rubber suit does
mean you have to be realistic in your expectations. Though it does
still have that groovy ankle articulation.
Considering the basic figure when pulled from the box is in the ‘harness’ outfit, I consider the accessories to be thus-
- Batman head (cowl)
- Three interchangeable face sections
- Pair of relaxed hands
- Pair of fists
- Right hand for holding gun
- Right hand for holding Batarang
- Left hand for holding bomb
- Bat-suit cape
- Utility belt with cell phone and accessories
- Grapnel gun
- Two Batarangs
- Balaclava mask (or Bataclava as it shall now be known)
- Figure stand
although he’s wearing it, and dependant of your point of view you might
consider the climbing harness, belt and Bruce Wayne head sculpt as part
of the accessories too.
So, its an impressive haul, and let’s face it you can never have enough accessories… unless of course it’s to murder.
of the extra goodies are self-explanatory and have no actual moving
parts, therefore requiring little more from me other than to say they
are accurate and well scaled, but as they are again all re-used from
the figure I reviewed in the link above I guess you already know that.
I will say is that the ‘Bataclava’ was a surprisingly good shape, you
need to futz a bit, but once in position it matches up well over the
eyes and mouth with a good snug fit. Of course the irony is that with a
head sculpt this good you ain’t never gonna use it for display, but its
still nice to know that it works well if you do.
Factor - ****
aiming my score here towards the discerning adult collectors, the kinds
of folk who regularly drop serious amounts of dough on their 1/6th
passion. If you are a kid, if you want something to play with and throw
around the sand pit, then get yourself down to Toys R Us, I’m sure
there’s plenty of stuff in the bargain bins to keep you more than happy.
loved the original suit version released for TDK, and this is even more
of a peach. Those extra mouth positions make for even more pose options
when displaying the straight Bat-suit (and of course the new cowled
head can be used with the older version if you want to display the
harness version separately). It poses well when you consider he is
wrapped head to toe in a rubber suit, and for any true Bat-fans out
there (especially those that missed the first TDK release) this is just
about as much fun as you can get at 1/6th scale.
for money - ***
the convention exclusives including the Shadow Predator and grey Iron
Man ‘Secret Project’ had a price tag of $220 at the shows and $225 when
ordered direct from Sideshow, which I have to say is a little on the
I would however imagine this is to cover the
licenses and production costs on such a small edition size. That said,
I don’t know what the ‘official’ edition size was, but I would imagine
it is less than a regular production run.
So even taking into account just how much I like this figure (and I really do) it’s hard to call it truly great value for money.
whilst I say till I’m blue in the face that one should never consider
these toys as an investment, on this occasion, if you managed to get it
for the RRP or under, I think its safe to say you have a little nest
egg on your hands.
We all know
that licensed exclusives tend to come at a price, and even when it
wasn’t an exclusive a mere three years ago the first version had an RRP
of $175 from DC Direct. So I guess the convention price of $220
reflects the economy, inflation, the haul of extras and the exclusivity
of this release.
So it is once
again purely the price that keeps this from a full score. To my eyes
just about every other aspect is near perfection.
Where to buy
Sideshow did have a limited number of these to sell direct from their
site, but they disappeared faster than Colonel Gaddafi down a rat hole,
so unless you are lucky with the wait list you may need to visit eBay where prices are already well south of $350, with some asking for over $500 already.
as this figure was rather famously bought up from the Asian conventions
by scalpers, I would hope that SS getting and subsequently selling a
large batch might have already got this figure into a lot of the most
deserving hands. And I also hope it is soon reflected in pushing those
over inflated prices back down. I guess the amounts being asked
illustrate a free market economy for you, as without regulation these
things are “worth” whatever we are willing to pay. “Vive la
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This product was provided free for the review by the manufacturer.
Photos and text by Jeff Parker.