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Hunt the Dark Knight - The Dark Knight Returns ArtFX statue
Kotobukiya

Hunt the Dark Knight Batman statue by Kotobukiya


Batman has seen many unique styles and designs over the years. Some have been mere blips on the radar of pop culture, some best forgotten. But a few have been legendary, game changing designs that have put the Batman back on the map. As I write this, I'm watching an example of one - Batman: Mask of the Phantasm, a film that highlighted the exceptional noir designs and writing of Bruce Timm and Paul Dini.

Another was the The Dark Knight Returns, a four issue comic released in 1986. Written and drawn by the exceptional Frank Miller, this dark, gritty version of Batman would effect the style of the character for many years. While some critics - usually those still trying to cling to the cutesy, amusing Batman of their youth - panned the book, most felt it was one of the best Batman stories ever told.

Even with all that success, there hasn't been a lot of merchandise. There was an excellent Batman Black and White statue, and there's been a smattering of action figures from DC Direct over the years. Now Kotobukiya has stepped it up with the release of their latest ArtFX statue, based on a scene in the third book, The Hunt for the Dark Knight.

This very large statue is currently available from most retailers for $110 - $120.

Packaging - ***1/2
They use a nice, big box, complete with windows on three sides, allowing you a great view of the statue inside the package. The graphics and text are well designed, and the snap together interior trays are completely collector friendly.

This isn't a numbered limited edition, and there's no Certificate of Authenticity.
Click on the photo below for a life size version
Hunt the Dark Knight Batman statue by Kotobukiya
Hunt the Dark Knight Batman statue by Kotobukiya
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Hunt the Dark Knight Batman statue by Kotobukiya
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Hunt the Dark Knight Batman statue by Kotobukiya
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Hunt the Dark Knight Batman statue by Kotobukiya
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Hunt the Dark Knight Batman statue by Kotobukiya

Sculpting - ***1/2
This is a big statue, taking up almost 12" in height if you use the base. You don't have to use the base - it's a separate piece, and the posts are on the base, not the feet. I had a little trouble getting mine to seat all the way down on the one foot, but it still works pretty well. Likewise, it stands great without the base, so you can't go wrong either way.

In this particular scene, Batman is beating the crap out of the insane clown, the Joker. Crouching over the prostrate foe, Bats is about to deliver a massive blow. It's a great scene, full of power and action.

There's enough detail work, considering the comic style, and the cuts are all sharp and deep, giving him plenty of pop. While this is a plastic statue, not resin, it's still extremely heavy. Because of the material, it's also very sturdy, and is much less likely to be damaged over time.

However, the plastic does mean that pieces were molded separately and then glued together. Some of these seam lines are gaping a bit, and they are more obvious here than they would be with an all resin statue.

I've always like the bulky design for Batman, since it's very fitting for the age it's supposed to represent. I also like both expressions here - the gritted determination on Batman's face, and the wild lunacy on the Joker's. It's fitting that these two have this look during such a deadly encounter.

Paint - ****
Kotobukiya's statues always have exceptional paint work, so it's no surprise here. Every cut line is sharp, every color is consistent, and there's no slop, stray marks, or poor definition.

They've included a slight wash on some areas, like the Joker's tie, to make them a bit dirtier. The look works, especially with the white areas like the glove and tie, setting them apart from the bright white face.

Articulation - Bupkis
This one is an FYI category only - it has no effect on my overall. This is a true statue, with no articulation.

Value - **1/2
Since I have sponsors selling this in the $110 - $115 range, that's where I'm grading it. At that price, this is a solid value. It's a huge statue, much larger than most Kotobukiya's since it's so thick and beefy. Their ArtFX series has been around $100 for quite a few years now, so the slight increase seems justified.

If you end up paying closer to $130, you can drop a half star off in this category.

Things to Watch Out For -
Not a thing! This is a very sturdy, solid statue - no breakage fears here.

Overall - ***1/2
I love the Dark Knight Returns books, and 20 years ago I wanted them to do the film with Eastwood as the Batman. Sadly, that never happened, although it is possible that we'll still see the books eventually adapted - plenty of people have expressed interest, including Zack Snyder.

It's a pity that Affleck's Daredevil left a bad taste in everyone's mouth - I'd love to see Miller's Daredevil series properly adapted to film as well. Can you imagine how great a Whedon Daredevil could be?

Back to the statue - this is a huge, hefty, well done statue of one of the greatest Batman incarnations of all time, complete with his arch nemesis. If you liked Kotobukiya's other ArtFX Batman, you'll love this one, and you should be watching for their next release based on the Killing Joke.

Score Recap:
Packaging - ***1/2
Sculpting - ***1/2
Paint - ****
Articulation - Bupkis
Value - **1/2
Overall - ***1/2

Where to Buy -
You can get this guy directly from Kotobukiya for $130. Online options include these site sponsors:

- Urban Collector has it in stock for $109.

- Things From Another World has it for $117.

- Big Bad Toy Store comes in at $119.

- Entertainment Earth has him at $130.

- or you can search ebay for a bargain.

Related Links -
Check out the great Batman Black and White statue, which has been recently re-released by DC Direct. And don't forget the action figures produced by DC Direct about 10 years ago.

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

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Hunt the Dark Knight Batman statue by Kotobukiya


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

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