Mattel's Batman Begins Action Figures
Bruce Wayne as Ninja, Spin Blade, Zipline Attack, Power Punch, Bomb Blast, and Scarecrow
and bonus Mego Batman
by Mr. Stinkhead
Batweek pushes on as we look at the Mattel action figures based on the new Batman Begins movie. A couple of weeks ago Lando checked out Battle Gear Batman (the standard looking Bats with a suit case full of gear), so we'll look at the rest of the line today, including Scarecrow
In the Microman Batman article I explained that I was happy I could collect old and new Batman figures. The first part of this article is about the Batman Begins figures currently in stores. And then at the end, I take a real quick look at the classic Mego Batman from the 70s. This particular figure was a Christmas present from Jager and Lando. They're pretty cool guys in my book.
am one of those guys that only like standard Batman when
it comes to collecting figures. I am not a fan of Batman
in high lighter colors, or massive missiles on his head,
or super powered roller blades. Batman lurks in the shadows
and skulks around town. When we received this set of figures,
my first thought was Oh great, here's Chicken Farmer
Batman, and I bet there's a Slip N Slide Batman...,
but no. I applaud Mattel for keeping the
wild colors and accessories in moderation. The different
colors are muted and dark, so they don't stand out horribly,
yet they're different enough to help parents pick out the
Batman their kids don't have. Let me show you what I mean.
Ninja Bruce as Batman
The first figure I cracked into was Ninja Bruce. I love picking up the double-identity figures, even if you're getting only half a Batman... it's like two figures for the price of one. Check out the Bruce Wayne/Batman from The Batman. I also like the fact that though it doesn't say so on the package (Warner Bros doesn't want to give us a free shout-out by calling him a Millionaire Playboy in the moviethat's cool... whatEVER), you are getting a Millionaire Playboy action figure.
Ok, all that aside, it's a decent likeness of Christian
Bale. In Ninja mode you clip on two shoulder guards
and a forearm blade, and pull a rubber mask over his head.
This rubber is cool. Very, very stretchy (making it easy
to put on and take off) but it doesn't feel frail in my
hands. I'm sure it'll break after strenuous torture, but
it's pretty durable for how thin it is. I want a gooey monster
action figure made solely of this material. You have neck,
shoulder, elbow, waist, hip, and knee articulation.
So let's suit him up as Batman. Remove the clip on armor. The cowl and chest piece are made of the same stretchy rubber, and there is a cloth cape attached to it. Simply pull it down over Bruce's head, and "buckle" the belt in the back. When it's on his head, it looks decent, as far as it doesn't look like a blob of rubber on a plastic head, it looks like a Batman action figure. I also like how you could lie Batman on his back, and pull up on the nose like the goons in the 1989 Batman. Good thing that pesky Vicki Vale isn't snooping around!
Bomb Blast Batman
As you can see, this Batman is a deep gray with a slight blue tint. It looks different from all black Batman, but doesn't stick out like a guy in a Gorn outfit at Celebration III (nerd test!) I like his soft rubber wings. Not as soft and flexible as Ninja Bruce's gear, it's nice and firm, but slightly flexible, so you could pop it off his back and wing it at your sister (without serious bodily harmto the sister... you may get bodily harm in retaliation, I don't know).
Kind of like Battle Gear Batman, this one has a scope that lines up over one of his eyes. This one rests on his right shoulder instead of clipping to his head. The look works for me. He also comes with a box that you fill with little plastic bombs. This box clips on his arm.
Roto Blade Batman
I'm not sure if this appears in the movie. At Toy Fair they explained that they took some liberties in coming up with figures. This one has cock-eyed wings, one of which shoots a spinning blade. He also has what looks like a Bat radiation mask that fits over his cowl. The wings and chest/backpack pop off pretty easy. I thought that might be for a "battle damage" type scenario, but that doesn't seem to be the case. Though his outfit is a little brighter shade of bluish gray, it doesn't stand out too bad from the rest.
Power Punch Batman
This Batman is also a lighter gray, but he also has some
"battle damage" printed on him revealing high tech Bat under-armor.
Also, if you twist his waist, it'll lock into place and
a button on his back will release him, giving him that "power
punch" effect. He comes with two separate arm attachments
that clip on. One launches a spring loaded missile (aka
giant Bat back scratcher). I liked how this one had a hinge
so it goes up to his shoulder, but allows the elbow to move.
The other fits on the forearm only, and by spinning the
little jog wheel on the side, the "power knuckles" rapidly
move in and out.
Zipline Attack Batman
Another Zipline for Batman! Does anyone remember Sky Commanders? Anyway, this Bats comes with a handheld harness with wheels so he can slide along on the included Batrope (with a Bat anchor on each end). He also has a backpack and arm attachment. The arm attachment has snap out wings and a missile firing capability. Here's the odd part, the harness and backpack have places to hold missiles, you get four with the set, but only the one arm attachment actually fires the missiles. I do like the look and feel of his gear and costume, again, not black, but not obnoxious, but the pieces fit together in a way I wasn't expecting.
The only figure with "Try Me" packaging, the Scarecrow has a twofaced-head. Press down on his raised right arm, and his head spins around. The more scary of the two faces has light-up eyes if you hold it under a light source. Pretty cool looking. He has neck (kinda) shoulder, elbow, wrist, waist, hip and knee articulation. He also comes with a detailed but frail looking gun that'll squirt water. I love stuff that squirts.
Overall I was impressed with the detail and color choice on these variations of "standard" Batman. I do understand they have to make them different colors so that an un-informed consumer can make the right decision; but with that obligation, I feel they did a good job with their color choices. These also seemed pretty durable, and would also be perfect for the younger fans. We will be reviewing the scale Batmobile on Friday, and most of these figures do fit nicely inside.
These figures are available in stores now. Check out the Batman Begins toys on Amazon.com, and all of our Batman coverage.
I don't have a ton of info for you about this classic Mego Batman. It originally came out around the time I was born (a little before), but it is considered one of the iconic Batman action figures. He's based on the standard Mego body, so there is tons of articulation. He has a cloth jump suit and the Bat emblem is a decal (but still firmly in place without wear or tear after all of these years) His removable mask is a nice touch. Pull it off, and he looks like a hobbit from the Ralph Bakshi cartoons!
Update!Thanks to Stately_Wayne for notifying me that this Batman actually has Mego Robin's head! Thanks for the heads up S_W. I am not going to "fix" him though, I like him the way he is.
My favorite part are the oven-mit gloves. I love the oversized gloves he has. It's cool he has the spikey gauntlets, but without fingers, they look like he's ready to make a Bat casserole before he'll sling a batarrang at you. His cape is also nice too, seems like the material my windbreaker was made of back in elementary school. You know, you'd snap only the top button around your neck and have an instant cape! WATCHOUT!
I was especially proud my guys were able to track one down in such good condition, complete with box! The happy Underoos style illustrations are classic, and on top of the box, they give you some quick directions. Place him in any action position! Sure can.
So here's one more entry in the vintage Batman catalog. I'll keep hunting down memorable Batman figures, old and new. You can probably find this puppy on eBay or at a toy show if you look long enough.
All photographs are ©2005 MillionairePlayboy.com.