Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Toy Review – One:12 Collective Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Batman from Mezco Toys


By Phantom Troublemaker

If you’ve been following me here or anywhere else on social media – like FacebookTwitter, or Instagram – you know that while I recognized some issues with Dawn of Justice, I liked it a lot more than many people. Especially the extended cut once I saw it. And the one thing that everyone seemed to agree on was that Ben Affleck was great as Bruce Wayne and Batman.

You can read more of my thoughts on the movie here and check out our BvS episode of the Needless Things Podcast.

Mezco’s One:12 Collective action figures are the best I have ever owned. They’re basically the toys I have dreamed of my entire life. Check out my reviews of the Dark Knight Returns Batman and Judge Dredd for more about how incredible those figures are.

I hadn’t planned on buying this Batman. At the time he was initially up for preorder there were several other One:12 figures slated to hit before the end of the year and they took priority. I knew I’d rather have Daredevil, Captain America, Space Ghost, and Shazam over this movie Batman. It’s not that I didn’t want Ben Affleck’s Batman. I think the suit design is the best we’ve seen in a live action movie and like I said – Affleck is great. But I’ve already got one One:12 Batman and there’s no doubt in my mind that Mezco will be doing a standard version like their other comic book characters at some point. Compared to different characters and an “ultimate” comic book style Batman, this one just didn’t fit in the budget.

But then all of those other figures got delayed by months. The earliest any are going to hit is March, and I’ll believe that when I see it. So after getting some sweet Christmas cash and jonesing for One:12 figures, I ordered this one from BigBad. I mean, a Batman is a Batman, right? And I have a whole shelf of them. It’s not unprecedented for me to have tons of different versions of Batman. And it’s not like Mattel’s version cut the mustard.


FIRST GLANCE

I have discussed the One:12 figures with some other collectors and a common reaction is that they’re always smaller than you think they’re going to be. Intellectually we all know that they’re twelfth scale figures – roughly six inches – but it’s always surprising to get your hands on one and realize they really are. I’ve finally figured out that it’s because of the fine detail and the quality of the soft goods.

We’re so used to seeing Hot Toys releases that look almost exactly like these. Our brains are used to this kind of quality at sixth scale. More than that, we’ve spent our whole lives knowing that this style of figure – smaller clothed figures – run around 8” like the classic Megos. So there are two levels of expectation that have been bred into us by years of following toys.

Anyway, Batman looks incredible. From the sculpt of the plastic portions to the fit of the suit, it’s all fantastic. I don’t know that I’ve ever owned action figures that are as instantly gratifying as these. As soon as you open the box you’re glad you made the purchase.

PACKAGING

This is the same gorgeous style of box that DKR Batman and Dredd were in. Apparently it’s the standard for One:12 Collective releases, and I’m good with that. It’s beautiful.

The exterior shell is a plastic slipcover with various elements printed on it such as the title logo, the BvS emblem, and all of the images of the figure on the back. The graphics are beautiful and eye-catching and it’s clear that a lot of thought went into putting over the fact that this is a deluxe toy. This piece slides off easily.


The box itself has a monochromatic image of Batman on the back. It’s all done in a lovely flat finish that looks so much classier than glossy print. The box is made of a thick, sturdy cardboard.


The front panel opens to reveal the figure and accessories and an embossed, flat black Bat symbol. There are two magnets in the front panel to keep it closed.


The box opens easily. Inside there are two plastic trays, each with their own cover. These separate easily and are not taped together, which I liked. The bottom tray holds the arm and armature for the display stand. Everything else in is in the top tray. The figure itself had a couple of plastic pieces around it to protect against scratching. Rather than tape, the accessories have a piece of film over them that clings to the plastic.


This is a fantastic box. It’s a perfect combination of everything that collector packaging should be – it has a beautiful design, it’s easy to open and remove the figure, and it’s also completely resealable with no sign of damage; not even tape marks. Mezco put together a box that is utilitarian and attractive and it might well be the best I’ve ever owned. I didn’t have even a second of difficulty removing any piece of the toy from the box, and that’s significant.

LOOKS

I should’ve gotten a better picture of the head. But I do like that in this picture you can tell that the cowl and the face are separate pieces. My flash didn’t do the figure any favors, as it washed out all of the details on the jaw and made the washes on the cowl, gloves, and boots look really inconsistent in places. Trust me – this is not the case. Everything looks wonderful together in person.

The cowl sculpt has the subtle frowny eyebrows that are a trademark of almost every Batman. The ears look great and are pointy enough to stab you when swapping the heads, so be careful. The eyes are nicely painted and feature the blackout on the skin around them. The blackout that Superman magically whipped off when he removed Batman’s mask…
The head, neck, and cape are separate pieces. In the pictures they don’t look like they match up, but they do. The cape and neck are nearly perfect. The cowl has the wash, but like I said – my pictures are not representing it well.


The cape is huge, but not overwhelmingly so. The movie version was CGI more often than not and did a whole lot of majestic flapping and waving and unfurling. The figure version is made of a light material that is designed to look leathery on the outside and has a shiny lining. It is the perfect weight for this scale, as it is light enough to fold and pose, but heavy enough to drape properly. 



I don’t love the mud deco around the bottom, but my assumption is that it is present throughout the movie and is therefore accurate. I’m not saying it doesn’t look good, but I am usually not a fan of wear and “battle damage” on my figures. It’s personal preference, not quality.


The suit is remarkable. Every aspect of Mezco’s One:12 figures is impressive, but this work with fabric and designs is where they truly shine. The base material is stretchy and features a design that captures the look of the movie suit. It looks great, but the details on top of that are the mind-blowing part. All of the seams are some kind of rubber that has been fused with the fabric. I don’t know how they do it, but it’s not just a screen print. This stuff isn’t going to rub off. The Bat symbol is the same material, only thicker so that it stands out. The detail in the symbol is all there, from the texture to the seams and what look like “scars” from previous battles.


One nitpick – the Bat symbol on mine is off center. It doesn’t line up on top of the seams like it should. I don’t care because it’s not even noticeable until you’re up close, but if you’re super picky you will. It’s unfortunate that these figures are pretty much online-only, because it means you’re not going to be able to pick and choose like we so often have to with other companies’ figures.


Batman’s gauntlets are all plastic and the same basic shape as traditional Batgloves, but with some cool additional details. I wasn’t aware of just how much brass coloring was in this Batsuit. It’s on the knuckles, the fins on the gloves, and the toes of the boots. I didn’t care for it at first, but I’ve grown to like it. These are all “attack points”. It’s almost like Affleck’s Batman wants to highlight how he’s going to maim you. Plus the brass matches the utility belt and makes a lot of sense from a design perspective. Otherwise the gloves have texture and detail that matches the rest of the black portions of the suit.


The utility belt is a great mix of the different versions we’ve seen through the years. It features pouches and capsules. The base is grey with metallic copper details that match the ones on the gloves and boots.


The back of the utility belt has a sculpted closure and a more basic belt design that’s almost military. There’s also a peg to store the grapnel gun.


Like the gloves, the boots are reminiscent of classic Batman designs, with the raised portion under the knees. The textures, seams, and folds are all intricately sculpted, as are the soles and treads. The brass toe caps match the other highlights on the figure.

ACCESSORIES

Batman comes with a stand, a posing armature, a cape armature, an extra head, three sets of extra hands, three Batarangs, a grapnel gun, three grapnels, a smoke grenade, a Bat branding iron, and a storage bag.


The hands swap out easily with the default hands, but stay put well. You’ve got two Batarang hands, a hand for the grapnel gun/Bat brand, an open fist, and “it’s an operating table and I’m the surgeon” hands.


This grapnel gun is a very different design from anything we’ve seen before. The wooden handle, in particular, stands out. It’s a very cool design, but it isn’t very Batmanly. That isn’t the point here, though. The point is that Mezco did a great job making a toy version of the movie prop. The sculpt and paint are excellent and the three grapnels are above and beyond what I find necessary for this figure. Each one fits in the barrel of the grapnel gun. I particularly love the one with the lien attached because that’s such a classic toy feature. We all loved the ones with climbing gear.


The gun fits perfectly into Batman’s hand or plugs onto the peg on the utility belt.


The three Batarangs are hard plastic and pointy and sharp. The metallic silver looks great. I wish there was a place to store them, but I don’t know where it would be.


The smoke grenade and brand look good. I’m surprised at the paint and detail on the brand. It’s such a disturbing accessory, but it’s very well executed.


The extra head is Batman’s angry head. Mrs. Batman packs it for him when he goes on big missions. It’s a little tough to switch the heads out. With the pointy ears it’s difficult to get them situated on the ball connection. The angry head looks great and I think I prefer it to the default sulky head.


The base and armatures are crazy. The base is super shiny and will scratch easily, so be careful. There’s a removable peg so that you can simply stand the figure on it, but there are also two armatures if you want more extravagant poses. One holds the figure in various jumping or kicking or gliding positions, the other clips onto the cape so that you can pose it in any number of dynamic ways.


This is a brilliant piece of toy engineering and I salute whatever mad Mezco designer came up with it.

FUN

This figure is all kinds of fun. The posability goes above and beyond anything you’ve seen from a twelfth scale action figure. The head and neck are jointed, the knees and elbows have double joints with DEEP pivots, there’s a waist and abdominal joint, the shoulders have an incredible range.


This is still an amazing figure to play with and pose. I would say the biggest limitation comes from his feet, which have a very shallow pivot. They do swivel, but they just aren’t as functional as I was expecting. It’s not any kind of big deal at all, but it is noticeable compared to the DKR Batman figure. They’re better than Dredd’s, though.


Obviously the huge number of accessories add a lot to the play value. Being able to change up the look of the figure is great and the multitude of weaponry make for near-endless posing options. This Batman has stayed on my desk since I opened him, forming an uneasy awesome toy alliance with NECA’s newest Ash (which I plan to review soon given it was the 2016 Action Figure of the Year).

I also want to emphasize that he’s much sturdier than you probably think he is. I’m not saying that you should buy one for your kids, but I would be much more comfortable handing a One:12 figure to my nine year old son than I would any DC Collectibles release.

OVERALL

I am so glad that things worked out in such a way that I was compelled to buy this figure. It’s a fantastic Batman. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t tempted to go ahead and order the matching Superman. And I guess that’s how they get you.

This one isn’t quite as perfect as the prior two releases, but I love it. I want to give it a perfect score, but it’s basically just the crooked Bat symbol that keeps me from doing it. As I said – it’s barely noticeable and I don’t care. But it shouldn’t be that way and I’ve got to acknowledge that.

Otherwise this is truly an elite action figure and one of the very best that I own.

4 out of 5

I can’t even imagine how much the forthcoming One:12 Batmobile is going to be. Maybe we’ll find out at this year’s Toy Fair.

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4 comments:

  1. Just got mine in the mail on Saturday. He is very, very impressive. Haven't given him my full attention yet but I like what I'm seeing.

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    1. Yeah, my Cap is still in the box because I just haven't had time to open him properly. It's not like popping open a Star Wars figure.

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    2. The regular One:12 version. I didn't like the classic one as much. I might have some time today.

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