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Click herespacerMattel's Batcave
from the upcoming show The Batman
By Lando Da Pimp

I think the Batcave is the coolest Superhero hide away. Screw you Fortress of Solitude! Here Batman can monitor Gotham City, research villains, and gas up the Batmobile. Mattel now has a new Batcave play-set based on the new Batman animated series. At Toy Fair the short video of the cartoon was very promising. The look and feel is very dark and I can't wait to see the first episode. In the meantime you can get a look at the toys based on the show.

Click hereI have never owned any of the previous Batcave play-sets (check out the Hot Wheels Batcave)so I have no real comparison as to how this one fares. Let me tell you from the outset it looks really sweet. The first thing is that it's 42 inches high! That is one of the tallest sets I have ever seen. The Batcave has multiple levels throughout. The top of the set is inside of Wayne Manor. The entrance to the cave is behind Bruce Wayne's bright orange entertainment center. If you have the Bruce Wayne figure you can place him in the elevator behind the center. When you close the door another door below in the cave opens. Here you can have a Batman figure ready to battle crime. Nice addition but I miss the pole! The elevator opens up into Batman's computer center the heart of the cave.

Click hereThere are a lot of cool play-set features. The most prominent is the zip line that Batman can slide on to different areas of the cave. The areas on the side have four different areas where they can attach giving you the opportunity to design the cave the way you want. One of the side areas is a place where you can make Batman fight the Joker with a push of a button moving the figures on moveable areas. The coolest feature though is the entrapment level where the Joker can fall through the trap floor into a net below.

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Well those are all good points to the cave set but here is the downfall. The set doesn't stand up by itself very well. It is extremely top heavy and only supported by hollow plastic legs. You are supposed to attach it to a door using a plastic clamp, but that doesn't hold it to well. The cardboard drop-back is a disappointment. It is a great drawing of the cave's inner dwellings but, the piece was folded to fit in the packaging and does not stay attached very well. I was really aggravated because of the zip line. I love the zip line and it does work however the tension on the line makes the set fall apart after a while.

I would have liked to seen an area for the Batmobile. It seems to me that this is never added in to the other sets but I may be wrong. And as I said before the pole was always my favorite way to enter the cave.

Click hereI purchased two of the Batman figures to use for the review. The first is the Zip line Batman. This of course is the only normal looking Batman available. As always there are no "regular Batman" figures. They all have some kind of gimmick. All I ever ask is to have a Batman that doesn't have outlandish accessories or colorful costumes. This zip line Batman is great except for one thing. You can't remove the zip line accessory from his right hand. It's stuck there. The look and feel resembles the Batman from the early years and is a nice sculpt.

The Joker figure is not the figure most people would remember. He has been outlandishly sculpted to look insane. I like it. It's a different take on the character that is at time not the sinister crazy guy that he is supposed to be. Joker comes with the huge joke hammer that fires a missile when struck. The hammer is a bit large but does go along with the crazy look and feel.

Don't let the bad points deter you away from buying the set entirely. The set is still very cool. Nothing a little extra super glue and re-enforcement can't help. I am very eager to check out the cartoon from which this set is based. It definitely has a different feel from The Animated Series (TAS). It is an impressive undertaking to make it such a huge memorable set. It looks great but just like an action figure, if it can't stand on it's own how good is it?

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All images and article © 2004

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