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Dark Knight Batman - 1/4 scale figure
Hot Toys

Dark Knight Batman 1/4 scale figure by Hot Toys


I love quarter scale - it makes for a truly impressive display, but it's not for those with serious space issues. Of course, it also means you collect a whole lot less, which is probably a good thing for some of us.

Enterbay hit up the Dark Knight movie in this scale, producing both a Joker and Batman that were extremely well done. They're Enterbay after all - we expect it.

Not to be outdone, Hot Toys has started their own quarter scale series, and kicked it off with a Dark Knight Rises Batman/Bale. There's actually two versions, a regular and a 'special edition' that includes an extra cowl, perfect for posing with the unmasked Bale head. Tonight's review covers this special version, but outside of the one additional accessory it's identical to the regular release.

This is not a cheap figure, coming in at $465 or so depending on the retailer. Go after the special edition, and you can expect to pay another $50 - $100, which is quite a bit for a single accessory.

Packaging - ***1/2
The packaging for the new QS (quarter scale - duh) series is beautiful, some of the most attractive Hot Toys has ever produced. Similar to the QS002 Endoskeleton, there's a head shot of the character attached to the front of the box, giving it a three dimensional quality. While it's large, there's no real waste or excess, and it keeps everything extremely safe inside both foam and plastic trays.
Click on the photo below for a life size version
Dark Knight Batman 1/4 scale figure by Hot Toys
Dark Knight Batman 1/4 scale figure by Hot Toys
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Dark Knight Batman 1/4 scale figure by Hot Toys
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Dark Knight Batman 1/4 scale figure by Hot Toys
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Dark Knight Batman 1/4 scale figure by Hot Toys
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Dark Knight Batman 1/4 scale figure by Hot Toys
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Dark Knight Batman 1/4 scale figure by Hot Toys
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Dark Knight Batman 1/4 scale figure by Hot Toys
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Dark Knight Batman 1/4 scale figure by Hot Toys
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Dark Knight Batman 1/4 scale figure by Hot Toys
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Dark Knight Batman 1/4 scale figure by Hot Toys
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Dark Knight Batman 1/4 scale figure by Hot Toys
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Dark Knight Batman 1/4 scale figure by Hot Toys
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Dark Knight Batman 1/4 scale figure by Hot Toys
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Dark Knight Batman 1/4 scale figure by Hot Toys
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Dark Knight Batman 1/4 scale figure by Hot Toys
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Dark Knight Batman 1/4 scale figure by Hot Toys
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Dark Knight Batman 1/4 scale figure by Hot Toys
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Dark Knight Batman 1/4 scale figure by Hot Toys
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So why the drop in score? Because for the first time in I don't remember how long, this package isn't completely collector friendly. The cape is in the very last layer of packaging, and it's held in place by soft plastic straps taped in place. You're going to have to damage them to some degree in getting it out, and if you're like me, you'll take the short route and just cut them. I think they could have come up with a better solution, had they wished to maintain the truly collector friendly nature of the box, but they decided to forgo that nicety this time around.

Sculpting - ****
There's several distinct sculpting areas on this figure - the cowled heads, the Bale head, the suit, and the accessories.

The accessories are as amazing as usual, and I'll go into greater detail in their section. Suffice to say, they are all excellent sculpts with lots of great detail and realism.

The Bale head is a big reason for the four star score. It's one of the best Bale's we've seen, and the extra large scale means they can make it even more scary real. This is a slightly older Bale, representative of the third movie. The excruciating detail that we've come to expect in the skin texture, hair, lips, eyes, and wrinkles is all there. I might expect it, but it still amazes me every time.

The cowled heads aren't quite as good. The skin texture, lips and eyes are all still amazing, and the little details, like the skin texture around the eyes covered in black, makes the difference. 

But there's something off about the shape, and they seem a little too elongated to me. The magnetic neck - more on that in the Articulation section - already tends to make the figure look a bit too much like a giraffe. Add in a tall head, and he looks a even odder.

The suit work is terrific, and some of the issues we've seen with previous versions (like the belly and chest that tends to buckle out) are much improved here. Small details look great, and the armored pieces are tightly attached to the underlying body suit.

This is a big figure, coming in at a full 18 inches tall, not including his point ears. Unfortunately, he's slightly smaller than the Enterbay Joker, so if you were hoping to put them side by side, you'll have to adjust the display a bit to allow for the height differential.

Paint - ****
There's not a ton of paint here, but there is a ton of black.

Thankfully, it's all clean and consistent, and there's a nice variation in shade to give the figure some visual interest. The skin tone is the usual spooky real, and I mentioned how the sculpted skin texture around the eyes is done up in black, which looks like makeup, just as it should.

Where there's teeth on the lower face pieces, they are very well done, and he's definitely a fan of whitening toothpaste. The gold belt looks metallic, not plastic, with a very clean, consistent coverage.

Overall, it's another amazing Hot Toys production paint job, with nothing to complain about.

Articulation - ****
This figure is surprisingly well articulated, with a much better design than the Enterbay counterparts.

One of the reasons for that statement is the hands. Swapping hands on the EB 1/4 scale Joker was an absolute nightmare - here, it's easy peasy lemon squeezy. Swapping the heads is easy as well, although you'll want to pull upward on the neck with an even strength and pressure.

The cowled head and neck are not connected in the usual way. Instead, there's a very strong magnet in the neck post, and a metal ring on the inside of the two cowled heads. This ring keeps the head in place on the neck, but allows you to get just about any tilted pose. I'm not a huge fan of this style joint - we've seen Hot Toys use it before with Batman - but I have to admit that it works quite well this time, and allows for more posability than you'd get from a normal joint system. He still looks a bit like a giraffe, but it's a minor nit, and if you tilt the chin forward, you can negate some of the effect.

This new suit allows for greater mobility than previous versions, and you can get reasonably deep stances and raise the arms at least parallel to the chest. The lower joints are clicky, which allows them to maintain poses even under the extra weight of the figure.

I really like the ankles as well, which have enough side to side rocker movement to allow him to keep his feet flat on the ground in most stances.

The PERS system is available with one of the two cowl heads. They've gone with the two post system where you operate each eye independent of the other. This means there's no complex mechanism to break, but you do have to be very careful to get each eye just right and keep them there.

They include a small tool to reach each eye stalk and adjust it, but I found that more effort than it's worth. The inner ring that holds the head in place on the neck is actually designed to be removed, and once it's out of the way you can reach the stalks with a finger.

Accessories - ****
I was astounded by the number of accessories included with this figure - it's crazy.

I mentioned the two extra heads in the Sculpt and Paint sections, and they go a long way to boosting this score too. As I mentioned, the two cowled heads attach to the neck with a strong magnet, but the Bale head is a full head and neck piece. Swapping is easy enough, and there's an extra black rubber neck piece to cover the exposed skin. The Bale head fits down a bit lower on the body than the other two, making him a bit less giraffe-like.

Both the Sonar head and the PERS head come with special lower face mouth poses. There are two additional mouth poses, small pieces of just the lower face. These four all pop in and out of either head, giving you eight potential different expressions. Start moving those PERS eyes around, and you have a practically unlimited number of looks.

There's swappable hands too - 3 more sets to go along with the fists he comes wearing. There's a pair of relaxed pose hands, and two more pairs designed to work with various accessories.

The belt is extremely well made, but it might take a minute or two to figure out how to unclasp it in the back. There are posts on the top clasp that snap into the bottom. Don't force it - once you figure it out it's easy to open and close.

There are 7 different pieces that fit on the belt. There's a small tube and a small pouch that are just ornamental. There's an additional pouch that's actually an opening radiation detector (the large square) and a folding ultrasonic cutter. That's the one that looks like two tubes side by side. One tube folds down, and the cutter tip slides out. How cool is that!

The grappling gun has a clip-on holster as well, and it fits inside nicely. The gun has spring action barrels, as well as two 'bullets' that can be inserted in the end of each barrel.

One of his other weapons is the sticky bomb gun. This comes in two pieces, each folded up neatly into a square. In this folded configuration they can be hung on the back of the belt.

Remove them, follow the instructions for unfolding them, and they connect to make the very cool gun. In the photos you'll see them on his back, then off but still folded, unfolded, attached, and finally in his hands.

He has a couple small extras that don't really fit on the belt, but are nice extras nonetheless. There's one of the small round mines, as well as three real metal batarangs.

If you don't want to go with the cape look, he also has the flight pack, which snaps on tightly to his back and shoulders. Unlike the cape, it's pretty easy to attach and remove.

Another weapon is the EMP gun, which lights up. The switch is on the bottom of the barrel cover, with the battery compartment inside the first cylinder. The light is nice and bright, and the included batteries are pretty much a requirement at this price point.

Finally, the regular edition has a very cool base diorama. The broken rubble base has a hunk of girder sticking up, as well as an extra little chunk you can put anywhere. There's a scarecrow mask, flattened out, as well as the Joker's mask and Bane's mask. These make for a terrific addition to just about any pose.

The special edition version also includes a soft rubber cowl that works great with the Bale head sculpt. He can hold it in one of the posed hands, contemplating his chosen path.

There's a little tool to adjust the eyes (you don't really need it, but it can be useful), as well as a couple extra wrist pegs. I think that's it, although with this stack of extras I could be forgetting something!

Outfit - ***1/2
This new outfit is more stretchy cloth, less hard plastic and rubber. There's still plenty of armor, but this is a more dynamic and flexible uniform that allows for greater posability. The sculpted pieces look terrific, although there are a few issues here and there with the specific fit.

For example, my knee pads aren't quite lined up, and I haven't figured out how to adjust them. I think that if I play with the legs for awhile I'll be able to get them in the right spot, but it will take some effort.

The boots are flexible enough to allow the ankles to do their thing, staying flat on the floor in deepish stances. The shoulder armor lifts up to allow the arms to raise, and there's even some movement in the torso.

While the overall costume is great, I had to dock the figure for the cape. It's very light weight, maybe too light. There's no inner lining, no hem on the edge, and no wire for posing. Because it's light weight, it hangs nicely, but it's pretty basic considering the price.

On top of that, the cape is supposed to attach to the suit by inserting two plastic tabs into the shoulders. They snap in place and hold the cape on tightly.

Only problem - it's extremely difficult to get them in place. The instructions aren't very clear, so it was with a lot of experimentation that I managed to get them correctly inserted. Press the short end of the tab that's attached to the cape in first, pushing the cape in with it. It has to go in far enough to allow the back, which is bent in a clip, snaps tight into the suit shoulder. It's not easy to do, and even once you get it right, the cape tends to pooch up a bit at the shoulders.

There's several custom capes out there than you can pick up to replace it, and it's certainly not a bad idea.

Light Feature - ****
There's not one but TWO light up features here, and both work terrific.

I already mentioned the light up EMP gun. There's a small switch on the bottom of the moving barrel cover, and the batteries are contained within the first cannister. The single bulb is bright, and lights up a number of the protruding tips simply by proximity.

There is also the sonar cowl, which he uses to give himself true bat vision. The switch and batteries are buried up inside the neck, and again, if you pull out the neck ring, it makes it a lot easier to get to them.

The batteries for both light up features are included and in place, which is pretty much a must have at this price point.

Fun Factor - ****
This isn't a toy, although it's a lot more like a giant action figure than most 1/4 scale figures. Great articulation makes it a ton of fun for the adult collector, who will spend hours working with him to get just the right look. With the multiple faces, PERS eyes, and a ton of accessories, you could change his look every week and never get bored.

Value - ***
The original going rate for this figure was about $465, but it's been rising at some retailers. I'm going at the sub $500 price tag here, and while it might seem surprising that you could get a good value at that price, you are. There's three heads, two light features, PERS eyes, great articulation, and a ton of extras that make this guy worth the price of admission.

I wish the special edition was a little cheaper though, because the additional cowl is a great extra to go with the Bale head, yet it really isn't worth the higher price most are charging. It's definitely a conundrum.

Things to Watch Out For -
When you're removing the neck rings, try to pull them out straight. There are small plastic posts that hold them inside the head, and these can get bent or broken if you pull at too much of an angle.

You'll also find the cape more than a little frustrating. It is possible to get it in place, but you might find the need to put a lot of pressure on the clips. Be careful what other parts of the body and costume are also getting squeezed when you're working on the cape.

Overall - ****
There are a few issues here, and two of them really bug me. The shape of the cowls is off to my eye, and getting the cape attached is just so damn annoying.

I'll be going with the Bale head in my display, something similar to the final photo down below. That makes the cowl issues a bit less annoying, but doesn't mean they get a pass.

But even with these issues, this is one of the coolest figures I've seen this year. I was overwhelmed by the number of excellent, useful accessories that they included, and all the extreme attention to detail. There's no way you can argue that this isn't an extremely expensive figure, and part of me is pretty surprised that there's a market out there than can support a line like this. But you are getting your money's worth, which makes the sticker sting a little less painful.

If you have a Batman fan on your Christmas list and he (or she) really, really, really deserves an outstanding present, this is an ideal choice. If they don't already love you, they will when they open this baby up.

I've included a ton of photos this time around, a necessity because of the extreme number of accessories. Be sure to scroll all the way down!

Score Recap:
Packaging - ***1/2
Sculpting - ****
Paint - ****
Articulation - ***1/2
Accessories - ****
Outfit - ***1/2
Light Up Feature - ****
Fun Factor - ****
Value - ***
Overall - ****

Where to Buy -
Online options include these site sponsors:

- Alter Ego Comics has him at $465.

- Big Bad Toy Store comes in at $530.

- or you can search ebay for a bargain.

Related Links -
Other Hot Toys QS figures include the new Endoskeleton. Enterbay is also doing quarter scale figures, like the Joker. Other Hot Toys sixth scale Batman figures include the 1989 Mime Joker, the Nicholson Joker, Bane, their DX12 Batman, Jim Gordon, as well as the Keaton Batman. If you're a fan of the Joker, you should also check out their DX11, their most recent of their Ledger Jokers.

Discussion:
Want to chat about this review?  Try out one of these terrific forums where I'll be discussing it!

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Dark Knight Batman 1/4 scale figure by Hot Toys


This product was provided for the review by the manufacturer. Photos and text by Michael Crawford.

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