Sunday, January 31, 2010

Hot Toys MMS DX 02 Batman The Dark Knight Review I

This is IT!!! If there ever was just one ULTIMATE 1/6 scale, approximately 32cm or 12.5-inch Batman you need to have, Hot Toys MMS (Movie Masterpiece Series - Deluxe) DX02 "The Dark Knight" Batman 1/6 scale collectible figure is the ONE. It's packed with lots of cool stuff and it comes in an equally cool and impressive box. The box is similar to Hot Toys MMS DX01 The Joker figure (check out my full review HERE), even down to the colors except where the side and inner panels of The Joker box was bright purple, Hot Toys DX02 Batman box is black.

The inside cover flap i.e. inner flap is done with a black matte and glossy finish, similar to Batman's costume and looks very nice but much harder to take proper pictures of.

The description reads: "As the various crime factions gain a stronghold over the city, BATMAN teams up with LT. JIM GORDON and District Attorney HARVEY DENT to take the syndicate down. Their efforts intimidate the reigning mob bosses, coercing the mob to hire an outsider to sabotage DENT's case against them. The outsider proves himself to be an overwhelming force to be reckoned with as he terrorizes the city, destroys lives and drives BATMAN to his ethical limits."

As we all have come to expect by now, there are three layers or trays on top of each other. This first tray shows three batarangs which look to be 1:1 scale except they are made of plastic. Die-cast metal would have been really something. SIGH, no matter, just a minor flaw in an otherwise GREAT product.

The line at the bottom reads:"I'm not a hero. I'm whatever Gotham needs me to be."

The top tray is removed to reveal Hot Toys DX02 Batman (sort of a version 2.0 as they had released an earlier version of this Batman already) with what seems like three Batman heads.

Batman headsculpt features Parallel Eyeball Rolling System (PERS), Translucent Iris and detailed paint applications as well as Interchangeable faces featuring Authentic likeness of Christian Bale as Batman and detailed paint applications.

Additional neck post and an interesting gadget (doohickey) - to be revealed in later posts

The backpack which hides Batman's cape and deploys as a glider in the film when Batman traveled to Hong Kong to bring back the Chinese mafia accountant Lau, our very own Ng Chin Han :)

Also included in tray number two is the much anticipated Sticky Bomb Gun, also used in Hong Kong.

The Batman Sonar Vision headsculpt features light-up "Sonar Vision" device as well as detailed paint applications and of course, the new and much improved Batsuit with bronze color utility belt

The last tray reveals Batman's cape (supposedly made of "memory cloth" in the film), another utility belt, two 1:6 scale batarangs, mini-mine and his grapple gun with gun holder. It also contains five extra gloved hands and the deluxe figure stand with LED lights.

Hot Toys DX02 Batman straight out of the box. I really dig the new Hot Toys narrow shoulder True Type body they used for this figure as it makes a world of difference. The earlier first version turned out BULKY and this is a VAST improvement over it.

A close look at the "Sonar Vision" Batman headsculpt with the outstanding facial expression (one of three in this deluxe version)

The whole scale and size looks so much better now from the mask / cowl to the neck (not so scrawny like before) to the chest and shoulders

The new Batsuit, made of hardened kevlar plates on a titanium-dipped fiber and broken into multiple pieces of armor over a more flexible bodysuit for greater mobility. Also a tremendous improvement over the previous version by Hot Toys.

This neck post which is connected to the "Sonar Vision" headsculpt houses the three cell batteries (included) for switching on the sonar. You can make out the "on-off" switch at the base of the neck.

Lights ON!! In the 2008 film, the Batsuit's "sonar-vision", where signals emitted by mobile phones are converted into images in a similar way to echolocation, allowed Batman to "see" in the same way bats use sound to see. In order to view the images, white lenses fold down from Batman's cowl to cover his eyes. Aesthetically this gives Batman, for the first time on film, the 'white eyed' appearance he is always depicted with in the comic books and various animated television series.

What can I say? I only just opened the box and taken out the figure and already, I'm drooling. I haven't changed heads and played around with all the other stuff yet.

Review II - Different DX Batman heads
Review III - Bats in Hong Kong SAR
Review IV - More Hong Kong Batman
Review V - Sonar Vision Batman

To see the earlier version, click on this link.

Check out the awesome 1:6 Batpod HERE

Comparison pictures
of the two 1:6 scale Hot Toys TDK Batman and why this one is the BEST!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Toys City Fallschirmjäger Oberst, Ardennen 1944 Preview

1:6 scale 12-inch Fallschirmjägers and Germans have been done to death since Dragon started releasing their first WWII German NCO "Hans" (full review HERE) in 1999. Most recently, there was DID 1/6 scale 12-inch Ultimate Edition World War II Luftwaffe Fallschirmjäger (German Air Force Paratrooper) "Dirk Kluge" from Victory to Defeat 1942-1945 (previewed HERE) and now Toys City has announced that they too will be releasing Stefan Hofmann, a 1:6 scale Fallschirmjäger Oberst (Ardennes, 1944)

Talk is that this head sculpt resembles British actor, Ray Stevenson who was most recently Frank Castle aka The Punisher in "Punisher: War Zone (2008)".

Interestingly, he has a rope burn scar on his neck like that of Lieutenant Aldo Raine, "Aldo the Apache" from the 2009 war film "Inglourious Basterds" written and directed by Quentin Tarantino and starring Brad Pitt as Aldo. Hot Toys will be releasing a 1:6 scale Lieutenant Aldo Raine pretty soon (preview pictures of the prototype HERE)

It looks like they started to do an Aldo Raine sculpt, but someone said it looked like Ray Stevenson so the sculptor switched gears mid-sculpt and took it the other direction. It resembles both but looks like neither. Pretty funny ;D

Toys City Fallschirmjäger Oberst, Ardennen 1944 will come with: Realistic headsculpt, T2.0B body, Brown gloved hands. His Gear: Luftwaffe peaked cap, Fallschirmjäger Oberst (FJ officer) uniform, Luftwaffe-Sumpfuster "Field Div. Smock", FJ trousers, Officer's leather belt, Brown P-38 holster leader, German FJ boots (side-laced), M38 helmet, Telescope, Goggles, Six-pocket MP40 ammunition pouch. Weapons: FG42II assault rifle, MP40 submachine gun, Walther P-38. Insignia: Paratrooper Badge, WWII German 1939 Iron Cross First Class Medal, Silver German Close Combat War Badge

Embroidered Major collar-rank and chest eagles

German FJ smock with the 'pocket' was for holding the flare pistol (not included). Carrier for the MP40 submachine gun.

Nicely painted 2nd model FG42 assault rifle

1:6 WWII German Pleather side-laced jump boots

There are enough new stuff produced for this set to justify getting it, at least not re-hashed stuff thrown together.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Bruce Wayne to Batman by Mattel

Having seen The Batman by Mattel in the previous post, here's a look at the man under the mask. In the first season of "The Batman", Bruce Wayne (voiced by Rino Romano) is 26 years old and in his third year as the Batman, protector of Gotham City.

Animated Bruce doesn't look anything like Christian Bale Bruce Wayne in "Batman Begins (2005)" but I did like this new animation style they used for this series although Bruce's chin looks a wee bit too sharp IMHO.

Mattel Bruce Wayne comes in basic black body suit before his transformation into Batman

Accessories for Bruce Wayne's transformation into Batman include his cowl with cape, snap on belt, gloves and boots. I would have much preferred it if these had come in black instead of blue.

Bruce also comes with a ULTRA BIG batarang, which fits in his hand. It's asymmetrical in shape and looks almost like a sickle.

Mattel Bruce Wayne in Batman outfit with his enormous batarang, ready to cut villains down to size

The snap on accessories appear oversized but because this is more of a toy based on an animated series, the exaggerated look does come across nicely. My only qualm is the color. Black would have been better and might even work better too because it won't over emphasize the difference and might help blend everything in nicely.

Hmmm... Anybody out there know what kind of paint works well with this type of soft rubber and plastic. Will those spray paint used for wall graffiti work? Perhaps it's time for a new paint job.

The Batman cowl helps to hide Bruce Wayne's sharp chin and Bruce does looks better with the mask on. There have been many Bruce Wayne figures with removable Bat cowl and not all of them pulled it off nicely due to scale reasons but this one actually works well

The add-on cowl is big, as can be expected for a figure of this scale and size, and looks more like a helmet but I dig the RoboCop-like look it has given this Batman

To quote RoboCop: [after shooting perp in groin] "Your move, creep."

Other Mattel "The Batman" action figures:
The Batman by Mattel, Mattel The Joker, Man-Bat, Batman & Man-Bat face-off, Bane, Bane vs Batman, Batbot, Mr Freeze and Anti-Freeze Batman

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Batman by Mattel

"The Batman" is an American animated television series produced by Warner Bros. Animation based on the DC Comics superhero Batman. It ran from 2004 to 2008. After being hooked on the 1990s "Batman: The Animated Series" which started me on my quest to collect the toy figures of the series which in turn propelled me into the world of toys and toy collecting, the new series got me excited all over again.

Perhaps in line with the new Batman movie to be released in 2005 (i.e. "Batman Begins" and we all know how well that did :>), the new animated Batman also had his new beginning. He also had much shorter ears, and a return to the retro black and gray costume but with a more modern style animation which I liked and enjoyed watching.

So, when "The Batman" toys produced by Mattel came out, I had to get them too even though I'd moved on to focus on 1:6 figures by then.

In the first season of "The Batman", a young Bruce Wayne is in his third year of trying to establish himself as The Batman, protector of Gotham City. While crime in Gotham is at an all time low, new foes emerge and Batman confronts his rogues gallery for the first time.

Sporting a black and gray Bat-suit, this Batman figure has four points of articulation (two legs, left arm, and neck).

This was actually a later version Mattel Batman.

The first Batman figure from Mattel based on "The Batman" animated series was "Zip Action Batman" with a retractable grappling hook. Unfortunately, the grappling hook on his right arm is a permanent fixture so as to include the mechanism inside his arm. This meant that he had to walk around with the massive contraption attached to his arm :(

The new figures were approximately 5 and half inches tall whereas the "Batman: The Animated Series" or BTAS figures were just 5 inches in height

Batman works really hard to build ripping muscles to take out all the trash of Gotham City

Mattel was able to reproduce the toy based on the animated series quite accurately

Somehow I do not have the same affinity for Superman. He is what we Singaporeans would call "Foreign Talent" - ha! ha!

My very first post and the few after that was on the original "Batman: The Animated Series" figures way back in July 2007 (seems like a long time ago now). Almost all the villains from the comics appeared in the series and figures were produced of them including Joker, Penguin, Catwoman, Harley Quinn, Riddler, Two-Face, Phantasm, Mr Freeze, Poison Ivy, Bane, Rhas Al Ghul, Scarecrow, Man Bat, Clayface, Killer Croc and many others. There was also Alfred the Butler, Batgirl, Nightwing and Batman of the Future.

Other Mattel "The Batman" action figures:
Bruce Wayne to Batman transformation, Mattel The Joker, Man-Bat, Batman & Man-Bat face-off, Bane, Bane vs Batman, Batbot, Mr Freeze and Anti-Freeze Batman