Monday, 23 February 2015

DC Collectibles The New Batman Adventures - Batman Review

New adventures of Batman DC Collectibles.

I have always said, that if DC make updated figures based on Batman the Animated Series, with better articulation - I would buy them all. It is my favourite cartoon series of all time, and I love every facet of it, I adore it and wish I could climb through the TV and live in that world.

So DC Collectibles called my bluff, and announced a large looking line of characters from the show, who look just like they do on the screen.

The first wave featured mostly figures based on the redesigns from the New Batman Adventures, so I decided to skip them as I prefer the original designs and figured I would save some money. In fact, I didn't realise this line was even out until I saw that amazing looking Batmobile at New York Toyfair.

Fate conspired for me to find this figure in a comic shop at the weekend, where I buckled whilst my wallet wept for me tumbling down the Rabbit hole.

Click the button below to read the review.

Batman the animated series from DC Collectibles

The sculpt is pure Bruce Timm, and if you squint it could be mistaken for a shot from the show.

The lines are beautifully done, and recreate that minimalist approach that was employed by Timm when creating these character designs originally.

A problem arises with the hip joints having visible peg holes on the front of the leg. They break up the look of the figure and not in a good way. It is a shame as the prototypes didn't have these so I am at a loss as to why they changed it?

New adventures of batman head dc collectibles

The head sculpt is nice, with a more rounded chin that the first design from the show which looked like a brick (an awesome brick),

Again here, the minimalism plays it part in turning the small amount of detailing into a strength as it brings out the character from the show and emphasises the scowl on Batmans face.

It does have some interesting articulation, with the next being on a ball joint but it can't mode up and down a great deal. The ball joint can be raised though, as you can remove the head, to get greater articulation at the expense of aesthetics.

DC Collectibles Batman articulation

A mixed bag is probably a generous way to describe the articulation on Batman, and if you know anything about DC Collectibles, you were probably expecting this. They have a reputation for focusing on the sculpt, and being very lacking in articulation and yeah that comes through here.

If you went down a check list of his points articulation -you'd be pretty impressed.
In practise though, it doesn't quite work and is usually restrictive in some manner.

There's some cool stuff going on with the hands being on hinges so they can rotate and also move up and down. The feet are also hinged and on ball joints so you get a good array of direction, but it does not sacrifice anything with the sculpt as he still has tiny pointy feet. Curiously, his boots can also swivel which is a really cool touch as it gives extra options in terms of display.

But then you have big things like the shoulder hinges only moving so far, so you cannot get really dynamic poses from the arms. The legs have wisely taken Mattels approach to articulation by introducing a cut at the sides of the hips which gives you a great range of motion without hampering the aesthetic of the design. The problem here is that his tiny feet make it tough to get him to balance, and his legs never look comfortable in the positions you put him in.

I love ab crunches on figures but I am really glad they left it out here as it would have spoiled the look.

It might surprise you, if you know little of DC Collectibles, or the old DC Direct, when I say that the articulation at work here is actually much better than your usual figure from them.
So I will say it is a good step forward, and hopefully it will continue.
The Batman Animated Series characters really deserve to be able to demonstrate just how dynamic they can be.

Batman accessories

Batman comes with a plethora of accessories - though most of these are hands (wonder if these can store in his utility belt).

He comes with a cool stand, that has some lovely line art on it (even my failing eyes can see how gorgeous it is). There is a grappling hook accessory that can't fit into his hands, which also has a hook than can separate from the gun. Sounds great, but there is no string or anyway to attach any so it seems kind odd? Not sure why it is included as it is effectively useless.

Fortunately one of the hands comes with a grappling hook molded in, and this is much better and makes for some fantastic poses.

DC Collectibles Batman grappling hoom

There is a Batarang here which can slot into a couple of his hands, non of which hold it that securely.

Batman's hands all have a hinge to give them extra articulation and all easily plug into his forearm. I have seen pictures on the web, where people have had theirs snap, so it is not something I plan to do often (punching hands are where it's at anyway).

DC Collectibles Batman with his Batarang

The final accessory is an alternate cape that drapes over his shoulders. This is the look more associated with this particular design from the show, and it makes Batman look that extra bit more menacing and cool.
As it covers the shoulders and upper arms, you would expect it to restrict articulation but due to his lack of side movement the only thing it really blocks is him having his arm pointed above him.

I'd have liked another cape, one which was able to wrap around him, as often seen in the show. The capes are made from rubber, but an optional clot one would have been fantastic.

To change the cape you have to pull the head off, and it is really tightly wedged in there. On mine, if something is going to break - this is it.
It is actually quite scary, and reminds you of how fragile DC Collectibles figures are, and why they have a reputation for breaking easily.  They could have had the ball joint fixed to the neck, and then have the head pop off the stalk, which would have made it easier to move and also safer.

DC vs Masters of the Universe

Reading back through this (Ha, as if I usually proof read any of my articles), I find I have listed a lot of complaints about this figure, but a lot of that is as someone who kept buying DC Direct figures back in the day despite the disappointing articulation - that is the filter I view these through.

However, this are better than the standard DC Collectibles fare, and their focus on sculpt is works supremely well in this situation.

DC Collectibles Batman the Animated Series

Despite my gripes, it is a wonderful figure and I defy you to look at it and not find yourself humming the cartoon theme tune.

I cannot wait to get Robin, then the Joker, oh and the season 1 Mr Freeze, and Catwoman, and Bane, Killer Croc too.....sigh, I am just going to buy as many as I can get.

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1 comment:

  1. Recently brought this….