Wednesday, 21 August 2013

DC Collectibles Arkham City Nightwing

A little background. I have been a Batman fan since I was very little, since the early 80's when I was given Batman annuals and comics and it grew from there.
To this day I still buy Batman comics and, even with the launch of the New 52,  they still evoke the same feelings and remind me of my childhood.

I have also always been a fan of the Robin character. Specifically the Tim Drake version of the character, as I love the updated late 80's/90's Robin costume and he was my favourite version of Robin.
Dick Grayson though, really became one of my favourite characters as Nightwing. I liked the early, frilly costume with crazy neck - but when they updated it, it nailed it.

Black outfit, with blue stripes running down the sleeves, and round the chest - its a great, simple costume (of which I have never found a tshirt that resembles it). The Dick Grayson character works so much better as Nightwing as well. Hes a very dynamic character, being a gymnast so he is involved in some great action scenes.

So I have always wanted a decent Nightwing figure. I had the Legends of Batman 90's Kenner figure, but it wasn't in this costume. Then in the early 2000's DC Direct did a line based on Jim Lee's designs from Hush, and I somehow missed the Nightwing figure from that line. I routinely looked for it on EBay, but couldn't justify the high prices. The DC Classics came and somehow passed me by, so I missed that version of Nightwing too and again, its far too expensive for me on the secondary market.

So, that long story leads to me here really. DC Collectibles released a version based on Nightwing's appearance in the Arkham City game, and I finally took my chance to grab it.

Is it a good figure? Short answer - not really. For the longer answer - read on!

First off, its a very nice sculpt. Taken just as a static object, it looks fantastic. The level of detail on the suit, is incredible with lots of meticulously sculpted rivets and seams and nice textured feel. All work to give the appearance of an army costumed that is not too heavy, and wont restrict him from doing back flip kicks to the faces of evil ninjas.

The Nightwing logo is slightly raised and lines up okay with the blue stripes down the arms - the dark blue is absolutely gorgeous. The little rivets are painted in silver, and they really help to set the look off.

It all helps to give the appearance of a suit that is functional, and protective

The high level of detail continues to the back of the suit, with some lovely sculpting on the spine section. 

There are 2 small clips, which can be used to store his weapons - 2 fighting batons. Handy for smacking bad guys on the nose I guess. 
The batons clip in very securely, and it is a nice touch, and gives you options for display.

The head sculpt is pretty nice. The mask is slightly raised and painted neatly in shiny black paint, and the face itself looks fine. Hair is molded nicely, giving him a Grayson style mullet.

However, this is where the problems really start to show through. The bottom of the hair is solid, which completely prevents his head from moving up. It blocks it totally. So you have Nightwing's head, perpetually looking downward. Turning it sideways helps a little, but then his head is pondering a question from you.

This poor degree of articulation carries over into the rest of the figure and kills it for me. Just look at that picture above, and tell me that when you think of Nightwing, you picture a drunk maraca musician

I am not someone who obsesses over hyper articulation, but Nightwing is a dynamic character, and here its very hard to get him into any kind of good pose. Articulation is in the figure but it is highly restrictive.

The shoulders can rotate outwards but only so far, but he has bicep swivel which helps to counter this. Sadly, this means it breaks up the blue stripe design running down the arms of the suit.
The elbow can move forward, but only a little - there is not that much movement and its not 90 degrees. The wrists do swivel which is nice, but it is spoiled by the highly restrictive articulation in the rest of the arms.
The is no waist swivel or ab crunch here

The hips move outwards, but like the shoulders - not very far. It is not helped by a lack of ankle articulation, which makes posing him steadily really difficult. His feet are completely flat which means his legs have to be completely straight for him to stand with any degree of stability. Anyone with vintage Masters of the Universe figures, whos legs are deserting them, will understand how hard it can be to get certain figures to stand properly.

He can stand with his legs spread, but you are relying on balance here, and often you will find yourself adjusting his arms to try and balance the weight a bit.
His legs do bend at the knees, and bizarrely have a swivel at the shins. Possibly the place they need it the least

It is possible to get him in some okay poses, but it takes a lot of effort and praying that he wont topple over with the slightest vibration.

It's a massive shame, but the articulation really lets this figure down. Nightwing is a character that needs a toy to reflect his dynamism, and this toy does not do that

The base sculpt is nice, but DC Collectibles penchant for sculpt over articulation hampers this toy.

Seeing the pictures of there Batman figures from SDCC 2013 though, fills me with hope that they have finally upped their game and started adding great articulation. Mainly because there is a new Nightwing figure in there, based on his New 52 appearance, that I will no doubt end up buying.

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