By Phantom Troublemaker
Note: This review was dictated into my phone live as I opened the figure. That’s why it reads so weird. As I was editing it I realized that this might be why certain toy reviewers come off as weirdo idiots. You can’t just dictate speech into a written review because we don’t speak the same way we write. Or at least, we shouldn’t.
I cleaned up some word errors and the worst grammar offenses, but otherwise left it intact because, quite frankly, if I wanted it to sound normal I would have had to re-write the whole thing and that would have defeated the purpose of the review. So sit back and enjoy the weirdness of my spoken words transposed into internet print.
Welcome to a very special Hampton Inn hotel room toy review!
This Batman was at Barnes & Noble on clearance for fifty percent off - otherwise I never would have bought it. Also I wanted to do something kind of different and keep myself occupied. Thanks to the nature of my job I'm sequestered during non-Snowpocalypse and I need to keep myself occupied. Sitting in front of me is a toy from a line that I have never purchased from before, but it is a Batman. So it will be a fine addition to my Batman shelf. I'm actually pretty excited because I’ve had an eye on the Figuarts line for a long time – mostly due to the Godzilla stuff - and I just think it's going to be really interesting to open up one of these figures that I've never even touched before.
The box is small. It's a fancy box with a nice flat finish. The graphics look really nice. On the back it has the figure in a bunch of different poses. The front is a nice window with some graphics on it - there's a smoke effect on the bottom that’s pretty cool. You can see most of the figure, but I will say it's kind of behind the busy box front. It's a really good-looking, but I feel like you need to be able to see everything and appreciate the figure to be ready to spend the original fifty-eight dollar asking price.
Inside the box there are a bunch of plastic pieces holding the figure and all of the accessories. It looks like there's a ton of stuff in here that you can't really see from outside the box, which is one of the reasons I wasn't crazy about it. If I was selling premium action figures I’d make sure potential customers could see all of the goodies.
I do like that there aren't any twist ties or anything in here. There's some kind of film stuck to his butt, presumably to preserve the paint job there. Just by pulling this guy out of the box I can tell there are a ton of joints.
Everything is packed very securely and everything pops right out of the plastic interior trays. I really like this setup.
I honestly didn't realize these figures were this small.
My son got the Mattel version of this figure a few years ago for Christmas and I thought the design of this Batman was great. The armor looks cool and has some nice coloring and it's just a solid Batman design for a video game. I'm going to have to give Bandai a lot of credit because the figure doesn't look as flimsy and janky as I kind of expected it to. Historically I haven't been a huge fan of Japanese action figures because so often even though they have fantastic articulation they don't look great aesthetically. I can already tell the articulation is insane, but just standing here as an action figure it looks really good - it is not betrayed by all of the joints that it has. It looks like a solid action figure.
The head sculpt is solid. The eyes are painted accurately. The cowl has super sharp, dangerously pointy ears that you could probably kill somebody with if you needed to and he's got a big Batman jaw. It looks good. I'm not usually a fan of a cowl that goes all the way to the chin, but it works for this particular design.
The Batsuit is plated armor on top of a bodysuit and the plates have amazing detail. I love the metallic hue of each of the armor plated pieces and the sculpted detail on them is really nice - particularly the battle damage on the chest plate. You guys know I'm not a huge fan of battle damage but in this instance this is a Batman from a really messed-up world where Superman is going crazy and killed - I don't know if it's a bunch of people or just Joker. But this poor guy has been through some tough stuff so I’m good with some dents and whatnot. This Batman has that kind of damage on his armor. There are scrapes, nicks, and cuts on the chest plate, the shoulder plates, the gauntlets and the biceps. Actually, all of the armor pieces have some form of damage on them. It’s consistently random throughout the figure, if that makes sense. It looks like real damage, not like planned sculpts.
This is the first Japanese figure of this style that I've owned and I'm really, really impressed so far with the detail and the general construction and design. And it's sturdier than I thought it would be. I say that as I'm actually sitting here handling the figure as I'm talking about it to you guys.
The arms have shoulder plates that are a separate little piece so that they don't interfere with articulation movement. The biceps are armored and the gauntlets have Batman's trademark fins on them. The fins are very sharp just like the ears. I would never ever give this to a kid. I don't even think I'd let my son hold this thing it's so dangerous.
The chest piece is actually two different pieces with an upper body plate and then kind of a midriff armor piece that looks really good. All of the colors are slightly different, which I like because it actually makes the chest stand out more.
The cape is interesting because it comes in three pieces and is not attached to the figure. There are two side pieces and one main piece. The two side pieces plug into the main piece would you then attach to Batman's back. The cape is articulated at the connection points so you can get some poses, but in a neutral pose it's a little more dynamic than what I generally like. That's okay, though, because this is a completely different kind of action figure from what I normally collect and I'm happy to have some diversity in my collection.
The cape has a cool look with some different colors painted on and it all matches what's on the rest of the figure. Other than the points of articulation on the cape there's no posing it because it's made of very hard plastic and like the rest of the figure has some points that seem extremely dangerous.
The utility belt has pouches and capsules on it and is pretty cool and futuristic. It's actually very similar to the belt on the Dawn of Justice Batman. This is a separate soft plastic piece that moves a little bit on the figure so as not to interfere with the articulation.
There are a lot of distinct colors here but this is generally a very monochromatic Batman. They’re all dark and subdued. It's fitting due to the nature of the story in the world that he comes from.
Batman's boots have big plates of armor on the front and I wonder if these might even be die-cast. It seems odd to me that there would be any die-cast in this figure, especially just in that one spot, but for some reason his boots and calves are colder than the rest of the figure. It's a little cold in the hotel room is the reason that I'm noticing this. I wonder if maybe they're that way to give the figure better balance.
This Batman comes with five extra hands, an extra head, a grapple gun, two grappling hooks, and two Batarangs. I'm a little surprised it didn't come with a stand.
The extra head has some kind of gas mask or something on it. It's a fully masked head. The eyes are covered as well. It almost looks like a Transformer but it's also reminiscent of Batman Beyond or maybe Batwing from the current comics. You have to be extremely careful switching the heads out because those pointy bat ears will stab right through your thumb. You have to take the head off by putting your thumb under the chin and your finger behind the head and pulling directly up until it pops off. There's a peg with a ball on the end underneath that the head pops onto. To put the head on you have to hold the neck up straight because it moves and push back and down on Batman's forehead with a finger behind his head until you hear it pop into place. Once you get the hang of it it's not a big deal, but it's tricky to figure out initially.
The hands are a little easier to switch out because they're rubber. But you still have to be careful about the pointy arm fins. There are hands posed to hold the Batarangs, a hand for the grapple gun, and “I'm going to mess you up” hands.
The grapple gun is oddly huge, almost like it's for a different scale of figure. I like the look of it a lot. The sculpt is well defined and the two different colors of paint look really nice and match Batman, but the thing is just so huge. I also find it weird that it's just straight and that the handle isn’t angled at all.
Both of the grapples plug into the barrel. One is just the grapple and the other has a wire on it that can be posed. It's kind of a weird thing, but I guess the point is that the figure can look like it's firing it. It's not really long enough to be a good grappling line and I'm not sure that you need to pose a grappling line. Still, this is a neat piece and I dig it. And again - it's something else that's different from the rest of my collection.
The Batarangs are also unusually large. It's almost like this Batman is compensating for something, what with all of these oversized gadgets. They fit nicely into his Batarang hands and he can look like he's throwing them better than any other Batman figure I have thanks to his articulation.
This figure is tons of fun despite how dangerous it is. The articulation is off the chart. There are two joints under the head. The neck bands deeply downwards and side-to-side and the head swivels on top of that. Almost every joint on this figure is a double joint, which is incredible. The shoulders, elbows, hips, knees, and abdomen all feature two joints. There's bicep swivels, the wrists swivel and pivot, the feet turn and pivot at the ankles and have a toe joint. I'm not normally a fan of the toe joint but this one is so tight that it is actually functional.
I don't even know how to describe the hip joints they actually swing down and out and to the side so you could potentially have this guy ride a horse if you need him to. There seems to be no limit to this figure’s posability and I am amazed that they were able to achieve the aesthetic look that they were and still have this range of articulation.
Of course the accessories add a ton of fun as well. The multiple weapons, heads, and hands create a lot of options for playing around with this figure and make him something that's going to linger on my desktop for quite some time.
I'm a little torn about this Batman. I honestly don't know if he's a $58 figure, but at 50% off he is definitely worth $29. I'm amazed at how well engineered he is and how good he looks. While I still prefer the Mezco One:12 figures this is almost like a different category of collectible. If you've never bought an SH Figuarts figure I recommend you look for a character that you think you might like on clearance and buy one. I'm actually tempted now to go back and buy the Injustice Superman.
5 out of 5
Or, if you like my review enough, go buy one from Amazon and help support Needless Things!:
If you enjoy Batman, toys, or Needless Things, you might enjoy SupportPhantom.com.