Though I just got out of seeing Iron Man twice, I have to show you these new Batman toys. First up is from the new movie The Dark Knight, the sequel to the amazing Batman Begins. This reboot was very well received and for good reason. So now we're getting excited to check out the Joker duking it out with Bats, now that he has some experience under his belt.
This Movie Master line includes Joker and a Thug, and is intended squarely at collectors. So you have the line of 5 inch figures (the same size as Batman Begins) and those have the different colored batmen, and attachments such as missile launchers and rocket packs. This Movie Masters line features much more articulation and detail, at a slightly higher price point ($11-12).
Speaking of articulation, this Batman has an insane amount of articulation. Balljoint neck, hinged shoulders, twisty bicep, elbow, wrist, ribcage, waist, hips (both sitting and "high-kick split") thigh, knee and ankle.
And the detail is simply amazing. I have never seen this amount of detail on a Mattel figure before, and the other companies that do get into detail this nice, rarely attempt this level of articulation. Simply put, this is one of the best Batman action figures ever. I know, everyone has their own favorite suit, comic or movie or TV preference, but for $12, this is amazing. His cape is a flexible rubber that hangs nicely.
There is an acessory. It's a Bat mask that comes with an "Evidence" bag. I don't get it. Maybe I need to see the movie... but the Joker comes with a lifesized playing card prop replica, that makes sense, but a teeny mask? There has to be something they could reproduce at full size. I'll have to wait until I see the movie before I come up with a better idea. I do wish this figure came with a batarrang or something to hold. But it really doesn't take away from the figure at all.
I had heard about the Movie Master line at both Toy Fair and online discussions, so when I finally found a Dark Knight display at Wal*Mart, I looked all over for the words "Movie Masters", but they don't really put that on the front anywhere. The package is stand-out, but if you had asked someone to go get you a movie master figure, they may have been confused. I do really like the unique shattered bubble at the top, it's a great effect. A casual glance at all the figures available, you'll be able to tell that these are more for collectors. I'm very impressed with how Mattel handled this, and even put on the back that there is a Bruce Wayne (unmasked) variant floating around.
That should get you psyched for the movie, but let me tell you about a recently released collectible that is over 40 years overdue. The 1966 Batmobile from the TV Series, in 1:18 scale is finally here. First of all, a little history. George Barris designed the Batmobile for the 1966 show (as well as other shows of the period) and maintains the rights to that car's look. However DC owns the rights to the concept of the Batmobile and all of the insignia. To my knowledge, Mr. Barris and DC have never come to terms that both parties felt were fair, so this TV version Batmobile had never been officially produced. There are knock-offs of course and the comic version is very similar looking, but this the first officially licensed toy car from the show. The 1:64 (traditional Hot Wheels size) car came out last year, and we've been waiting for about 3 years since it was originally announced, so here it is, and it is indeed beautiful.
The doors open up, and every little detail is included. From the batphone to the little antennae in front of the doublebubble wind shield. Two minor gripes... there is no license plate decal (though there is a spot to stick one) and the dashboard is a little bare. But otherwise it's remarkable. Check out my photo tour of a faithful lifesized Batmobile (Gothom Cruiser) and check them out side by side.
now, a major warning. Most 1:18 scale die-cast
metal cars feature 2 major "functions" other than looking
good on the shelf. They should have opening doors, hood,
and trunk, and the steering wheel should turn the front
tires. Some collectibles feature additional functions, such
as fold-down wheels on the Back to the Future II
DeLorean, or a moving scanner on Knight Rider's
KITT. I believe on the Dukes of Hazzard General Lee, the
doors do not open, to remain on the show. But it would be
a reasonable expectation that the hood opens. Indeed the
hood on the Batmobile is a piece of plastic, so I tried
opening it. Instead I snapped it off. There
is no opening hood, and you should not try to remove the
hood that's there. I need some glue...
One will argue that this is the Batmobile. Others feel that the 1989 Tim Burton Batmobile is the best one, and there's a growing camp that likes the Tumbler from the current film franchise. Either way, these look great displayed next to each other. Which one do I prefer? Hard to say, but there is something that is more "Batman" about the 1966 Batmobile. Not saying that the other 'mobile's aren't sweet, but this one is clearly Batman's.
Check out all of our Batman coverage, located in one spot. Including some sweet Batmobiles and instructions on making your own working Batphone.