Wal-mart Batman Two Packs 

Toys R Us and Wal-mart have both been working with Hasbro to get older figures back on the shelves.  Of course, the TRU versions also include a new figure, whereas all the Wal-mart sets so far have been simply repaints of previous figures.

This time we get three boxed two packs - Batman and Robin, Batman and Two Face, and Batman and Riddler.  The Two Face is the TNBA version, while the Riddler is the original BTAS version.  And of course, we've seen these Batmen many times before.

The sets are just under six bucks each, and should be at most Wal-marts very soon.  Ours is always slow to get new stock, so if we have them, I bet you do.

Packaging - ***
These come in fairly nice, small boxes.  They are collector friendly - you can take the figures out with no trouble and pop them back in again later - and the graphics and text are decent.

My favorite aspect of the packaging though is the cardboard insert.  It matches the insert in the recent Shadows of Gotham four pack from TRU, with the bats flying and the yellow center.  It makes for a nice consistency across the packages, and looks good to boot.

Sculpting - ***
You won't be surprised by any of these sculpts, but almost all of them are top notch.

The Batman in the Batman/Robin set is the best of the more recent sculpts, although his ankles are a bit thin.  Robin is also the basic sculpt, from the later shows.

The Batman that comes with Two Face is one of the more recent goofy versions. I'm sure a reader who has been keeping better track of the various Batman re-decos will let me know just where this one first showed up. Two Face is the second version (TNBA), which was also originally a Wal-mart two pack (Arkham Asylum).  He's one of the better later villain sculpts.

Riddler comes from the very early BTAS line.  So early it seems to me that it was in the first series, or perhaps second.  It's a great sculpt, and this one doesn't suffer from some of the paint problems of the original.  But more on that later.

The Batman that comes with the Riddler is the biggest disappointment though, since it's my least favorite Bats sculpt of the entire BTAS universe.  It doesn't stand well on its own, and looks dorky on top of it.  I believe the first time we saw this Bats was with the first version of this same Two Face, in the Wal-mart two pack with the Arkham Asylum gate.  We've seen him plenty of times since though!

Paint - ***
Although these are just repaints, they are very good repaints.  The color choices on both Two Face and Riddler are great, and the Riddler doesn't suffer from arms that are a different color from his chest.

All three Batman repaints are nice, especially the Batman that comes with Robin.  The jet black outfit with dark blue cowl, cape, gloves and boots really looks great.

The Batmen repaints are good because there aren't any weird colors - almost everything is blue, gray, black or yellow.

Riddler really is the winner in the paint department though, improving on the original with a glossy, metallic paint job, and a new question mark on his hat.  He's not perfect - there were some splotchy areas on his paints - but he's better than the first version, and that's tough to do.

Articulation - **
This is Hasbro, remember.  There's neck, shoulders and hips, the usual five points.  On some that's fine, but a couple of the Batmen versions have a very hard time standing on their own.

Accessories - **
Here's where they drop the ball on these.  Batman and Two Face come with the same two guns that Two Face came with last time around.  That's not too bad, and I wish we'd gotten Riddler's cane.  But instead he and his partner come with the nose cannon again, which we just got with the Ras figure in the TRU four pack.

And to top it off, the Batman/Robin two pack comes with the grappling/rope accessory.  Overall, pretty disappointing in the accessories department.

Value - ***
While they are light on accessories, less than three bucks a figure is still a pretty decent value.  This is particularly true if you don't have this Two Face or Riddler, since you can always find a kid some place that will happily take the Batmen off your hands.

Overall - **1/2
The best thing about these sets is getting two great villains at an excellent price.  For those that already have this it's not that exciting, but there are plenty of folks that missed out on these characters the first time around, particularly the Riddler.  Also, these sets are great for kids, giving them a chance to play with some wonderful figures.

Where to Buy - 
There's only one sensible place - your closest Wal-mart!  They should have these on the shelf now, and plenty of them...for awhile.  I wouldn't dawdle around though if you really want a set, since none of these new re-issues have lasted too long on the shelf.

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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