Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Toy Review – The New Batman Adventures Nightwing from DC Collectibles


I’ve gone back and forth over which Robin is my favorite (right now it’s Tim), but Dick Grayson will always be my favorite Nightwing.

Yes, I know. Dick is the only Nightwing.

Nightwing isn’t even my favorite of Dick’s identities. I thought he was an excellent Batman and was actually disappointed when Bruce came back.

Of course, none of that has anything to do with the continuity of the DC Animated Universe. Here, we first got to know Dick as a teenage Robin who was wearing Tim’s costume. He had the same origin, but to me felt different as a character than any other version of Dick Grayson. He seemed more self-reliant and fleshed out and less like Batman’s lackey. The creators of Batman: The Animated Series seemed to have a soft spot for Grayson and were taking good care of him.

I also wonder if it had something to do with Loren Lester’s excellent voice work as the character.

When the show was rebooted as The New Batman Adventures, Dick returned as Nightwing. The show told fantastic stories about his father/son and also working relationship with Batman, touched on his mentor/big brother relationship with the new Robin, Tim, and even explored the complex feelings between Dick and Barbara Gordon.

Over the course of two different shows, a lot of character work went into Dick Grayson. His story is perhaps the most interesting of any recurring character on those shows. As such, a Nightwing figure was a must-have.

Also, he has a kickass 90s mullet.

FIRST GLANCE

This is one of the sleekest figures so far in the series. Nightwing has an incredibly simple design, which makes him perfect for the aesthetics of the line. That doesn’t mean he’s basic, though. Plenty of care went into getting the details that are there right and giving us a great Nightwing.

PACKAGING

These come in just about the simplest blister card you could ask for and I love it. The character specific information is all on the plastic blister because the backing cards are all the same.


It’s classy packaging, but it’s as simple as can be – much like the style of the cartoon these figures are adapted from.

LOOKS

The head sculpt is one of the most fun of the line. When you’re dealing with a mullet and a domino mask, there are a lot of options. How much action in the hair? What kind of expression on the face – happy, angry, total party dude? DCC went with neutral hair (good) and a serious face (also good). Nightwing is the ultimate “business in front” guy. Later on he might cut loose at the local Blüdhaven honky tonk, but right now he’s kicking your ass.
The paint is solid, with different glosses on the mask and the hair. The white eyes are brilliant and clean and the mouth is placed well.


Nightwing’s body is about as basic as it could be with one very important distinction – the emblem. Rather than just a painted-on logo, Nightwing’s blue bird is a separately sculpted piece that stands up beautifully from the body sculpt. I’m really impressed with the sculpt and the design of this piece.


The bodysuit itself is matte black and has a great profile. Dick should have an acrobat’s physique and he does here. The musculature is clearly defined, but not overbearing. What’s interesting is that this does feel specifically like Nightwing. This body doesn’t look like it could be reused for, say, Riddler or the Creeper.


Nightwing has itty-bitty little feet. Initially this didn’t present a problem, which surprised me. I was able to get plenty of poses out of the figure initially. Now that I’ve had Nightwing for a few months, though, he’s having trouble just standing up straight. He’s one of the handful of these figures that has fallen over every time I walk into the room.

ACCESSORIES

Nightwing comes with six extra hands, binoculars, a Nightwingarang(?), and a stand.


The hands all look good and are fairly easy to swap out. The variety of poses is nice, but I would’ve liked some “karate” hands.


The binoculars and throwing star have great sculpts – very clean. The paint on the binoculars looks great and is one of the reasons we’re paying a premium for these figures.


The stand is the big, clunky thing that I’ve come to resent but also realize that there’s no way around using them. After taking all of my figures off of the stands, I’m now going to have to dig back into storage and pull them all out. I still wish they were black instead of white.

FUN

I had more fun playing around with Nightwing than any of the other animated figures. He can achieve tons of fighting and acrobatic poses and looks pretty good in all of them despite the ugly hip joints.


He has hands specifically for the throwing star that work great.


I was surprised to find that he can use the binoculars properly.


This is one of the more fun figures from the line and he actually stayed on my desk for a while when others that came out at the same time went on the shelf.

OVERALL

This is a great Nightwing! If you’re a fan of the animated shows or just of the character I highly recommend it. I’m bummed that he won’t stand up straight on his own anymore, but he can maintain a more dynamic pose.

While I really dig Dick in Tim’s costume (as seen in The Animated Series), to me the iconic grouping is Batman, Nightwing, the Tim Drake Robin, and Batgirl.

4 out of 5


If you want one, buy from Amazon and help Needless Things pay the bills!:

2 comments:

  1. I'm really tempted by this guy although I'm just not digging this line that much. I've enjoyed what I've picked up, but the articulation just feels off to me. Still, this guy was one of the very, very few TNBA figures I owned (I still have him) and I just remember how cool and sleek he felt. Glad to see this figure captures that appearance.

    As for Dick's identities, I'm also not that big of a fan of him as Robin. I really do like Dick as Batman (that was a fantastic, albeit unusual, run) and I'm totally digging Grayson. I'm a trade reader and I'm behind on it, but I love the undercover super spy version of Dick.

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    1. The hip joints, man. If they had just done well-concealed ball joints I'd be so much happier. They wouldn't have as much range, but they would look SO much better. Everything else is great except for the Harley figure, who needs a re-do.

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