Thursday, April 17, 2014

Toy Review – Batman: Arkham Origins Anarky from DC Collectibles

I’ve always thought that Anarky was kind of stupid. Of course, I’ve also long held the belief that anarchy is kind of stupid. Once you get past the cool looking “A”, the core belief system leaves a lot of room for poop in places where poop does not belong. And I can’t get behind that.
I can’t remember exactly when the kid that called himself Anarky showed up in the Batman comics, but his red dress and gold mask didn’t do much for me. I wasn’t familiar with V for Vendetta at the time (and still haven’t read it or seen the movie), but I get the feeling that Anarky is at least somewhat based on the titular V. 
 
Recently – due to the popularity of political awareness and activism that I really hope goes away soon because your average Facebook participant is not smart enough to know anything about politics; myself included – Anarky has been brought to the forefront of Batman-related non-comics media. He was set to be the Big Bad on the innovative and interesting Beware the Batman cartoon and joined the Riddler as one of the side missions in the not-so-great Arkham Origins
 
I didn’t get to see enough of Anarky on Beware to form much of an opinion, but judging from the way other characters were handled on the show I bet he’s going to be interesting.
I liked the Arkham Origins depiction of Anarky quite a bit, as he felt important to the game without taking away from the main plotline. His character design was also pretty good, at least until you realize that everybody in Origins has those stupid puffy winter coats. I understand that it’s Winter in Gotham, but for fuck’s sake – did they just cut and paste all of the bad guys?

FIRST GLANCE

Puffy coat or not, this is a cool interpretation of Anarky. His signature red and gold color scheme is intact, as is the creepy, expressionless mask. Like all of DC Collectibles’ figures this figure is covered in detail and totally faithful to its video game counterpart.
PACKAGING

This is as good as clamshells can get. The shape is cool and eye-catching. You might not ever see these in Target or Toys R Us, but if they were going to be on pegs they’d stand out.
The back features the new, nifty perforation that makes these so much easier to open than other clamshells. They’re still dangerous and the edges will still cut the shit out of your fingers if you’re not careful, but at least you don’t need scissors.

LOOKS
I love Anarky’s profile. From the hood to the collar and jacket to the boots, this is a unique entry into the Arkham figure universe. He’s really going to stand out on the shelf.
The hood is attached to the jacket and the head moves independently within the hood. This is probably the best way to have done this. Anarky is wearing his stupid bubble jacket on top of a hooded sweatshirt, which is what the hood is actually supposed to be part of. The mask is just an angular, blank face. It has glossy white paint and looks like ti should. Not that you can tell from my lousy pictures. DCC actually went to the trouble of making it look like a mask rather than just giving Anarky a white head:
I’m not a fan of bubble jackets, but this is a darned nice bubble jacket; partially because of the innovative articulation on the arms. Each arm is actually a poseable armature underneath a rubber sleeve:
It works really well. The rubber matches the harder plastic portion of the jacket that is on the torso almost perfectly. Before I laid hands on the figure I wasn’t even aware of how the articulation was done. I thought the arms just didn’t have joints, which didn’t surprise me given the articulation on Joker and Black Mask.
The torso is the hoodie, the jacket, and the backpack; which looks great. The buttons on Anarky’s lapel (do bubble jackets have lapels?) are sculpted and have nice little paint jobs. The backpack is probably my favorite part of the figure. 
While it would be cool if it opened, it looks great and has a nice thickness to it. It and its straps are separately sculpted pieces, so it has a presence that one sculpted on would not.
Anarky’s right hand is big and goofy. It’s made that way so that he can hold the oversized Molotov cocktail that comes with the figure, but he kind of can’t anyway and the hand is just huge. I think a better option would have been to have sculpted a hand onto the bottle and made it interchangeable with a regular hand.
The lower portion of the figure is just as full of detail. Everything has this thickness to it that makes Anarky more lifelike. From the pouch hanging off of his belt to the cargo pockets to the cord hanging from his belt loop. That cord is a separate piece that hangs somewhat freely. It is stupid and superfluous, but looks cool and adds another dimension to the figure. The kneepads conceal the double jointed knees and also have that thickness to them. Anarky’s boots have laces, soles, and a great texture; as well as that yellow trim that is present throughout the figure. It’s painted better in some places than others, but you can just tell yourself that he painted it on himself. I feel like his huge feet are there to match his giant hands.
ACCESSORIES

Anarky comes with a pretty amazing Molotov cocktail. The bottle is a separate piece from the rest. “The rest” consists of a translucent piece that is the fuel, the wick, and the flame. Each portion is painted. The fuel is a swirly black and brown, the wick is white, and the flame is a wonderful red and orange. Toy flames don’t often look very good, but this one does. The only problem here is how large this thing is. It’s a little silly. But maybe not given the slight exaggeration of things in the Arkham world.
FUN

Anarky has lots of articulation, but it isn’t all necessarily useful. His head is on a ball joint, but it doesn’t move much and is super hard to move because of the hood. The arms are pretty great. The rubber sleeves over armatures works very well, but I do have to wonder about the integrity of the rubber. It is pretty thick and seems sturdy, but I wonder how it’s going to hold up over the years.
Anarky’s big issue is the same as most other figures – from the waist down he just isn’t that effective. Very few companies have figured out that there’s really not much point in giving a figure double jointed knees if their hips and ankles don’t bend well enough to facilitate use of said knees. And while Anarky’s hips aren’t all that great, his ankles don’t even have joints. I’m honestly not even sure what you’re supposed to do with the knees, which is a shame because they are very well done and have deep bends.
This is still a fun figure to look at and pose.

OVERALL

Ankles and huge hands aside, this is a very good figure of Anarky. And you know what? I think this is the only figure of Anarky. Like, ever. That seems kind of weird to me. I’m sure we would have gotten one from Beware the Batman if Mattel weren’t incompetent boobs, but given that they are I think this might be the only Anarky we see for a long time. I’m glad it’s a solid one.
4 out of 5
Try your local comic book shop first. He might even be in stock. Otherwise, go to Amazon right now and order it so I can get a little something:






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