Golden Age Batman and Robin
(exclusive to has been working for some time at bringing out new exclusives specifically for the collector market.  These two are the latest in those exclusives, and retail for $29.99 from the site,

Based on the Golden Age comic style, particularly of artist Dick Sprang, these two figures might appear odd at first glance, but they are intended to look as Batman and Robin did very early in their careers. 

First, a word about - I had some problems (as I know some others had) with this order.  Suffice to say, after more than one error on Hasbro's part, I was quite upset with the situation.  However, after sending an email to the customer support address (available on the site), I received fantastic assistance, and was quite impressed with their desire to make me happy.  They said that they have had trouble with their order fulfillment providers and are looking to switch very soon to avoid these types of problems again.  Also, they promised that more stock would be available on June 9th, and they'd be filling orders asap.

On to the review!

Packaging - ***
A good sign is that they seem to be learning a little more with each release.  With the packaging, they've given us a much sturdier box construction, far less likely than the earlier series to sustain damage easily.  The graphics are crisp and bright, and the box is marked 'Golden Age Collection' similar to the earlier 'Silver Age Collection' figures.  The figures are MUCH easier to remove from the packaging, and while there are still too many twist ties to make me completely happy, at least you don't have to destroy the box to get them out.  Another change - no plastic ties holding the capes in.  Instead, they are using the single piece of thread, like the 12" Star Wars often use.  This is much better, and doesn't leave the unsightly holes that the Silver Age Batman and Superman ended up with.

(RIGHT - picture from Batman, The Complete History by Les Daniels.)



Outfits - ***1/2
I really like these costumes!  They capture the look and feel extremely well, and they have fixed problems of previous figures.  The capes are an appropriate length, and the costumes fit much tighter than the earlier Silver Age Batman and Superman.  The belts are well done, and I like the snaps on Robins cape, allowing it to be easily removed.  Only one thing keeps these costumes from getting four stars - HEM THE CAPES!  I don't know why Hasbro hasn't done this yet.  Robins sleeves and shorts are hemmed, but why isn't his cape or the bottom edge of his shirt?  Just give us that one more touch...

Articulation - **1/2
Same as the other Hasbro 9" figures, except that Robin is based on the Anakin figure.  His torso, legs and upper arms are reused, but it works fine here.  While it's true that he was shorter in the comic in relation to Batman, I don't think that would have looked good in action figure form.

Sculpting - Batman ***, Robin ***1/2
These figures are supposed to look like the Batman and Robin of the 40's, but do they?  Personally, I think they've done a very good job capturing those likenesses, but Robin is slightly better than Batman.  Perhaps if they'd given a little more definition to the mouth and eyes...see the very bottom of this page for a couple suggested improvements by the fantastic customizer, Jonathon Moore.  If you notice in the drawing from the period below, the area around Batman's eyes is black.  Technically his entire cowl was blue, but it was always shadowed in the comics in this area.  I think painting it this way, and adding eyebrows, would have greatly enhanced the head.  While Batman does have a big head - pretty much a standard for the DC 9" figures now - Robin does not suffer from that particular malady at all.

Overall - ***
This line shows continued improvement from one release to the next.  I'm really looking forward to the release of the Masterpiece Edition Batman later this year, and hope to see this line continue with more unique and unusual characters.  Current rumor mill has a set of Alter Ego Bruce Wayne and Clark Kent figures also coming out in this line sometime this fall - while that sounds cool, let's see some villains, Hasbro!

Below is a 'artists rendition' of what the head sculpt could have looked like with some minor tweaking.  The head in the center is simply repainted to more closely represent the comic book shading.  The head on the far right is actually an alteration to the sculpt - the eyes are much closer to gether, and the mouth is smaller and set lower on the face. Thanks to my friend Jonathon Moore for this terrific picture!

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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