Thursday, July 2, 2015

Toy Review –Batman: Arkham Knight Batman from DC Collectibles

Welcome to Arkham Week on Needless Things!

Every day this week I’ll be reviewing one of the new Arkham Knight figures from DC Collectibles, and on Friday we’ll be posting a special episode of the Needless Things Podcast where we take a look at the Arkham video game franchise.

Today’s figure is Batman in the Batsuit from the beginning of Arkham Knight.

One of the trademarks of Rocksteady’s Arkham games is taking the best elements from various interpretations of the characters they use and combining them into a composite that is, more often than not, the best representation of said character. Batman is no exception.
The Arkham Batsuits have been both the most realistic and yet the most comic book faithful of any of the media versions. From the first game we have seen suits that looked armored and flexible enough for a dude to wear while running around fighting crime. Each part of the suit is aesthetically cool to look at and yet also functional.

Look – I love Batman and I’ve discussed that enough here and on the Needless Things Podcast that I really don’t need to belabor it any more. Instead, let’s talk about Arkham Knight a little bit.

Tomorrow’s episode of the podcast will get a lot more in-depth and present more points of view, as I’m joined by Ryan, The Belligerent Monkey, Mike Nelson, and Crispy from Dragon Con TV. It was an awesome discussion and we had a lot of fun with it.

For now I’ll say that any time I haven’t been working, walking, eating, or doing something for the site I’ve been playing this game. The story is the most compelling of the series so far and I literally am having difficulty putting the controller down. I cannot wait to get to the next big plot point or reveal. Right now I am in the final section of the main story – very close to finding out who the Arkham Knight is - and I stopped playing to go and see the lousy Terminator: Genisys (review coming on Monday) and then work two nights. I won’t be able to play it again until tomorrow and it’s bugging me a bit. Partly because I just need to play, but also because I am worried about having the Arkham Knight’s identity spoiled for me. Jay apparently got careless with his browsing and happened upon it, and I know that’s got to suck some of the intensity out of playing it, though the game offers more than enough in addition to that compelling mystery (which I am 100% positive I figured out Tuesday night, but I won’t know until Friday).

Anyway, the game is excellent and we’ll get into it tomorrow, so be sure to come back and give us a listen.

FIRST GLANCE

Mrs. Troublemaker likes to make fun of the fact that all of the Batmans in this line have pinheads. She’s not wrong. They all seem a bit wee. Otherwise, though, this is an imposing Batman. This Batsuit is sleeker than the others, but also packed with detail. And articulation. I can’t wait to get it out of the box and test those joints out. Here’s hoping there aren’t any QC issues like those that are plaguing the Animated line.

PACKAGING

This new DCC package is great. The five-sided window box design looks very cool, and each franchise has its own graphical designs. Here we have some industrial, Gotham-looking stuff and a cool wireframe of Batman on the back surrounded by the rest of the first series figures.

We also have sculpting credits for Gentle Giant.

LOOKS

This cowl is the best yet, with layered plating and a new design for the ears that looks very cool. They sweep up from the rear sides of the cowl and are incorporated into the design in a way that the others haven’t been. The face is a good Caucasian color and the eyes are painted precisely.

The body armor has plating with gaps to allow for movement, which is actually comes into play in the game at one point. The plates on the shoulders are rubber to allow for movement and they have an awesome grid design painted on them. I like that while there is an overall design, there are parts of the armor that are clearly different materials with different purposes. 

The Bat symbol is on top of a thicker, darker piece of armor, clearly showing the reinforcement over Batman’s chest. Separate armor covers the shoulders, with the cape attached. I dig the definition of the cape versus the shoulder armor, while still maintaining the color likeness that comic book Batman has.

The cape itself has sculpted layers and variations in gloss and color. The designers managed to make it a little more interesting to look at without giving it spines or some kind of mesh or something. It’s made out of rubber and flexes well. Additionally, it’s longer than any of the other Arkham Bat capes, so it folds on the ground a bit.

I wouldn’t want a whole separate figure, but I’d be more than happy to buy a kit from DCC that would turn this into a gliding Batman figure. That’s something they haven’t done and I’d love to see it.

I love the in-game concept that Batman’s gauntlets are basically like a Predator’s. They have functions and an onboard computer. On the figure they have a ton of intricate sculpting and a metallic paint job. Visually this differs from any comic version quite a bit, but it makes too much sense and looks great. The gloves have armor plating on the back, so you can just imagine some goon getting backhanded and not waking up for ten hours.

The utility belt is my favorite Batman utility belt ever. The buckle in front has a low profile and is narrow, so it doesn’t look like it would be painful to squat while wearing. The pouches are nice and big (I’m a pouch guy) and actually look functional. I still have a little trouble believing that Batman is carrying the grapnel gun, the line launcher, the remote hacking device, the electrical pulse emitter, and whatever else back there all at the same time, but also – who cares?

Side Note: I might have gotten some of the gadget names wrong. I’m too nervous about spoiling the Arkham Knight’s identity to look them up.

The paint on the utility belt is absolutely fantastic. Not only are there several different colors used on the various sculpted parts, but it looks worn and real, like a Star Wars prop.

Batman’s greaves look like thick armor with tons of sculpted detail. Not only do they look pretty much projectile-proof, they also look like they would absolutely suck to get kicked with. Part of the magic of this suit and all of the thought that went into it is that it look s just as much like a weapon as it does armor.

ACCESSORIES

Batman comes with a Batarang, the line launcher, and an extra hand.

The Batarang is a larger and trimmer version of the previous Arkham Batarangs and no – we’re not going to discuss how Batman carries 8,000 of these around with him. The sculpt is excellent and it’s made of a very sturdy plastic. Batman can hold it just fine. There’s even some metallic paint on the edges.

The line launcher is beautiful. The fine detailing is immaculate and there are three colors of paint! The extra hand is sculpted to hold this, and it works nicely.

The hands switch out easily and stay put.

FUN

This is a sturdy figure loaded with articulation, which is not something I would have been saying about a DC Direct/Collectibles figure a few years ago. And they didn’t just load it with joints like Direct did with some particularly appalling figures years ago, they made sure everything was functional and worked within the context and profile of this Batsuit. The joints are concealed as well as possible within the sculpt. Extra parts – the cape and shoulder pieces – are flexible so as not to interfere with posing. This Batman can’t quite crouch, but he can definitely get a lot closer than most other Batman action figures I own.

While I would have been happy to have more accessories, what the figure came with was fair. They’re sturdy and it can interact with them.

It’s not the most spectacularly articulated figure ever, but this Batman has been on my desk for several weeks now. I’ve been fiddling with him during podcasts and while watching wrestling. It’s not so much the articulation as it is the simple depth of detail. There’s so much to look at that it makes the figure hard to put down.

OVERALL

I haven’t liked a costume design this much since Arkham Asylum. I feel like Rocksteady took the best elements of a potential real-world Batsuit and streamlined it as much as they could. I love just looking at it. And DC Collectibles did an incredible job of adapting it into the 3D world. Every inch of the figure stands up to scrutiny. If you’re a fan of the Arkham games or just a Batmaniac, this one is a must-have.

5 out of 5


Buy one from Amazon and help Needless Things pay the bills!:

No comments:

Post a Comment