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Click to see!Mattel's Batsignal and Attack Armor Batman
by Mr. Stinkhead
and yes you can enter to win Scarecrow

These super-articulated Batman figures are not only the most bad-ass Batman figures recently produced, but they are also hot collectibles because they're very difficult to obtain. The quick version of the story [Ed note: here we go] is that they're not being released in American mass market stores. They're technically in the Deluxe assortment of the comic book styled figures. However Target, Wallyworld, and TRU have decided they don't want to carry any more of these Batman and only want to focus on the animated and movie based Batman figures. So Mattel got a bunch of these figures to Diamond Comics to distribute them to comic book and independant toy stores. So technically, you should be able to get Scarecrow and Bane sometime this summer. However for the time being, these ultra-articulated Batman figures are unaccounted for by either Mattel or Diamond, and only available overseas.

Click to see!It makes it that much more frustrating when you get one of these puppies in your greedy little hands. They are simply put, the best-overall Batman figures I've ever handled. Not as articulated as Microman Batman or as detailed as DC Direct's Alex Ross Batman, but the marriage of articulation, durability and overall look and feel are perfectly metered out to produce one helluva figure. Micro Batman is articulated sure, but his arms will pop off if you breath on em. And that Ross Batman looks great on a shelf, but the fool is the man who tries to put it in any kick-ass poses.

Click to see!There are two Batmen covered here. The first is Batsignal Batman (black cape)... that's right, he comes with a working light-up Batsignal. Aim it towards a wall and see the illuminated bat insignia call our hero to duty. And it's got a killer sculpt too.

The other figure is Attack Armor Batman (blue cape). He features a tad bit more articulation, a more stylized look (based on the work of Tim Sale) and comes with some cool snap-on gear. The other major difference is his cape is a little more transparent, and a bit more starchy than silky-smooth Batsignal Bats's cape. His cape is also a bit longer and drags on the floor.

Click to see!Batsignal Batman

The overall look and feel is top notch. Here is a great looking Batman, via Four Horsemen. He looks a lot like Zip line Bats (who kicked off this line) with articulation added. Traditional black and gray color scheme, human-sized proportions, nice Bat-tread on the Doc Martins, ample pouches on his utility belt... it's a good look for him.

Click to see!Articulation For the record he sports: neck, hinged ball joint shoulder, biceps, elbow, twisty forearm (at the glove), hinged wrist, ribcage, waist, hip, knee and ankle articulation. (whew) Not only that, but each one is good and solid. A nice tight joint that holds most of the poses. Tight, but smooth. You know a lot of times when you first get a figure and you have to gently force the joints out of hibernation? It's a nerve-wracking experience as you ask yourself "is this supposed to move?" and "any harder and it will break right?" and "oh crap do I have glue for that?" Well I found 90% of the joints to be nice and smooth, no extra force needed. In fact, I had to comment to myself how nice the joint was on this figure as I turned the head around. When's the last time you turned your head and thought "Oooh, that's nice?" I rest my case.

Click to see!Accessories
I have not been this excited about an action figure's accessory since the brain in a bell jar, from the Transcorcher Xevoz pack. The Batsignal, to me, is everything an action figure accessory should be. It's great for display, it's great for play, and it's logical. We get a lot of accessories that are dished out of guilt... especially World of Springfield kids. And a lot of Batman figures come with missile launchers, shields, rocket-packs that we have no intention of using. I have a tackle box full of accessories that I keep only because I may need to sell them "out of package but complete" on eBay one day. (I am meticulous when it comes to keeping track of accessories). This Batsignal looks great. It's got tons of detail worked into every surface. It looks dynamic, and you can swivel it up and down a bit. Batman looks stinkin'-slick posed by it. And then it actually works! Now it doesn't light up like you think it would (the light emits from a hole in the middle) and the resulting projection is a reverse of your traditional Batsignal in the clouds. Whereas you'd be expecting a circle of light with a bat shape blocked out, this projects a lit up bat surrounded by a dark circle. Odd, but works great. Kudos to the designers at Mattel for producing a Batsignal that lives up to the hope.

Click to see!You also get a shiny silver snap-on chest plate and a cool arm-mounted firing grappling hook. Here's a bit of irony. This Batsignal Batman comes with more "Attack Armor" than Attack Armor Batman does. Weird. You know, I would never really use snap-on armor when displaying this beautiful piece of action figure, but it's surprisingly not obnoxious. Coming from wave after wave of white, camo, orange, puke green—bat suits and armor, this is nice and subtle, and not terribly off base. I do like the missile launcher. It shoots decently, and you can wind the string back in with the dial at the back. It's not rigged for him to zip line like zip-line Batman, but it's pretty cool.

Click to see!Overall
This figure is impossibly sweet. Great look, great articulation, a working Batsignal, it's durable... the one downside? The price. $18—Ouch. Technically not Mattel's fault here. If Target, et al, decided to carry this, it should be in the $10 range (it is a Deluxe figure), but it's not. The exchange rate plus the fact that figures are priced more to begin with overseas anyway puts this slightly out of range. The big question though, is it worth it? To me, yes. As you know, every action figure line I fall in love with dies a fiery death (MOTU, Xevoz, C3(?)...) and I latched onto Batman (in general) to help me through. They couldn't possibly kill BATMAN I thought... well "we" were both wrong. It's true, there will always be more Batman for me to hunt after, it's a far from dead property... but my curse proved even too powerful for this specific line, and I guess a sacrifice had to be made. (Why does everyone else in the toy-reporting industry want me to start collecting these so-called "Marvel Legends"?)

Back on topic here, I felt that $18 (plus shipping) was a decent arrangement for me. Now it's true, these could possibly pop up in comic book stores later this summer when Bane and Scarecrow do. But it'll be at comic book store prices, and they can't always afford to undercut the retail price like TRU, Target, etc are able to.

Click to see!Attack Armor Batman

The Look
The first thing you'll notice about this Batman is that he's a little off-from-center than your typical Batman. Like I said earlier he's based on the look of Tim Sale's interpretation of Batman, and he has a more grizzled, hulked-out look. The most noticeable aspect is his tiny head. Yeah, he's got a smaller head but with longer ears. [Ed note: I always called them horns] so he stands as tall as other 6" Batman figures. It's an odd situation, sometimes you look at it and it looks comically shrunken, other angles it looks more acceptable. His utility belt is quite different and he has a different tread on his shoe. It's true, he has no Batsignal, but he does sport a bit more articulation than his brother.

Click to see!I'll go ahead an point out now that though I love the different hand sculpts these Bats have—BS has one open-finger-spankin' hand, and one for holding rope; AA has a closed fist and gun-with-trigger type grip—however I wish the American buying public was more acceptable to replacement hands. I love the assortment of hands you get with Microman Batman, and understand that the inclusion of extra hands instantly places the toy in the collectable category, and makes it even harder for toy stores to sell. They look nice, but I wish that I had the ability to change them. Kudos Mattel for taking the risk of giving us non-standard hands.

This guy has neck, hinged ball joint shoulders, bicep, elbow and twisty glove forearm. (No hinged wrist like BS Batman) Ribcage, waist and here's where it gets good—hinged hips and swivel thighs, knees and ankles. The joint below the utility belt allows for a sitting position, or a split type position, and I found this (in conjunction with the swivel thighs) to lend to some great action squatting poses. I wish BS had these joints. It's nice and solid, and he can look pretty mean.

Click to see!Accessories
Well Attack Armor Batman comes with a pretty nice missile launching shield thing (it is me or did my toys growing up not have nearly this many firing accessories?) and a monsterly sized Batarrang. I like the shield because it's got these great pop-out chrome wings, and I actually wish it would snap onto his back (not that I would do that mind you) but he does seem to have less "attack armor" than Batsignal Batman does. These are nice, but not really a selling (or detracting) point for me.

I love, love, love the poseability this guy has. He's pretty stinkin' close to the mobility that Microman Batman possess (yeah Micro Bats can get a lot more range, but those poses are the sissy boy ballerina poses... no offense Lando da Pimp) All in all, I do wish that he had a look closer to the Four Horsemen design, but the tiny head doesn't bother me so much that I'd research how to do a head swap on the Internet.

Click to see!All Together
The one last thing I have to point out on both of them is that they're nice and durable. If you have any of the other comic-style Bats, you know that they'll stand up to a bit of rough-housing. Well these two are no different. I wouldn't purposely shoot B.B.s at them from your cat blind, but if they should happen to take a header off your shelf, no worries.

What a Package
I'll tell you, it was the kindness of DiveBomb, our friend from who got these figures in my hands. He read my tales of woe from my search in France and offered to send these three to me for a box of Minimates. So the trade worked out well for us. Check out his site on everything Minimates.

Click to see!Did I say three? - Win my Scarecrow
That's right, DiveBomb also kicked in a Scarecrow that I've kept mint on card. It's a nice looking figure, just packed with articulation, but I'd rather give it to one of you guys to say thanks for reading this far. I will mail this to one lucky reader that is able to answer the following question and e-mail it in. Good luck.

My biggest hurdle during my search in France was that we didn't know how to ask for the Batsignal Batman in French. How do you say "Bat signal" in French?

Find that out and e-mail it to entry AT before June 10th.

I did end up finding a lot of hot women in France though. Ooh la la.

Hey, want to win some hard to find chase and variant figures from Batman Begins? Check out our new contest! and you can also win the 1940's 1:24 scale Batmobile from Corgi.

Check out the rest of our Batman related coverage including a whole host of action figures, a life-size replica of the 1966 Batmobile, and directions on how to make your own working light-up Batphone.

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