The Batman Superman, Martian Manhunter and the Flash 


"The 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 guest author."

The father and son team of Evan and Steve Jones check in with a review of the rest of the recent The Batman Justice League figures.  Take it away, Steve!

About a year ago, we saw the first pics of the ShadowTek Green Lantern, Hawkman and Superman figures. Fast forward a year, and GL and the big hawk are just starting to hit stores. But where was Superman? Sure, there was a two pack with a Kryptonite-clad version of Supes, but it just wasn’t the same.

Suddenly, there were reports that not only was Superman out, but so were Flash and the Martian Manhunter!

As we all came to know, the reports were true, and I’m here tonight to give you the scoop on these three awesome figures!

Packaging: ***1/2
The ShadowTek packaging tends to be very dull, with bland art and hard-to-distinguish pictures on the back. Why the high score?

Like I mentioned in my Hawkman/GL review, these figs don’t have features. That means there are no action feature explanations clogging the back of the card, leaving plenty of room for bios, stats and bases of operations, a very welcome change from what we have come to know.

Sculpt: ****
Like the rest of the figures in the The Batman line, their strongest point is the sculpt. They all remain very true to the artwork of the show and manage to keep that tricky “streamlined” look.

While Supes is my least favorite of the bunch, he still looks amazing. I guess you could credit most of that to paint work, since the body is the same one used for all the other members of the league. 

It’s a very nice torso, slightly beefier that Bats, which is to be expected. It seems that the body was originally intended for Superman anyway, as you can tell by the cut around the neck where his suit meets skin.

Supes’ cape is also very nicely done, but it’s a little small. It is made from thin fabric, keeping with the style of the rest of the line, and it attaches to his neck in the groove between his skin and suit.

Flash is my favorite of the group. The only real sculpted difference is the head, but the wide-legged stance and narrowed eyes on the figure work extremely well for the character.

Also, if you want to put him in a “running” position, the legs are cut in such a way that it won’t look too bad. You might have some trouble finding the center of gravity though.

The Martian Manhunter is also well done. He was the very first League member we saw on The Batman, setting the tone for the whole of season five. He really deserved a nice figure, and Mattel delivered.

The head sculpt alone is worth the money. But other sculpted details like his belt and harness (which helps to hide the “neck line”) are what really make him stand out.

It would have been impossible to correctly capture the structure of his cape with the thin cloth used for the rest of the line, so Mattel has gone for a harder, sturdier plastic. It costs him a bit of articulation but helps maintain the animated look that is vital for the figure character.

Paint: ***
Like Hawkman and GL, most of the details on the figures are painted. All of the lines are fairly clean, with little slop, like Superman’s big “S” or Flash’s lightning bolts. While this method tends to work well for small surface details, the painted-on boots and “underwear” really need to be sculpted, hence the lost star.

Articulation - ***1/2
Each figure has ten points of articulation: head (1), shoulders (2), elbows (2), waist (1), thighs (2) and knees (2). Like I’ve said before, while ten points might be a little low for a Marvel Legends figure (which are the acknowledged standard for articulation), it doesn’t affect the look of the figure, and it’s still enough for basic poses, making it perfect for an animated figure.

Accessories: Bupkis
While Hawkman and GL both came with nifty accessories, the other League members got zip. You really can’t count it against them though. What would they come with in the first place?

Fun Factor: ****
With this line, you really have to keep in mind that these are KIDS’ TOYS, based on a KIDS’ SHOW. Sure, they might not be perfect figures, but they make GREAT toys!

Any kid could have fun with these guys! They’re bright, sturdy and they’ve each got loads of personality and character. Throw in a villain or two, and let their imaginations run wild!

Things to Watch Out For -
There’s not much to look out for except bad paint apps. But, seeing how rare the figures are, you probably won’t have much of a choice.

Overall: ***1/2
These really are great figs, and while they might be meant for kids, they still look great with the rest of the line on the shelf.

I’m really looking forward to what Mattel has in store for The Batman in ‘08. Since the show is already into the back half of it’s fifth season, the line might not have much longer. But, like I’ve said before, with the success of the rest of the League members, I can easily see Green Arrow in the not-so-distant- future. 

Score Recap:
Packaging - ***1/2
Sculpting - ****
Paint - ***
Articulation - ***1/2
Accessories - Bupkis
Fun Factor - ****
Overall - ***1/2

Where to Buy-
Most people have reported finding these at Toys R’ Us, but I picked up mine at Wal*Mart. They’re probably your best bets.

Review by Evan Jones, Photos by Steve Jones (Dad)

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