Monday, August 18, 2014

Review 1: Play Arts Kai Square Enix "Batman: Arkham Origins" Batman 10.5-inch action figure

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Batman: Arkham Origins is a 2013 action-adventure video game developed by Warner Bros. Games Montréal and released by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment for Microsoft Windows and the PlayStation 3, Wii U and Xbox 360 video game consoles. Based on the DC Comics superhero Batman, it is the successor to the 2011 video game Batman: Arkham City and is the third main installment in the Batman: Arkham series.

The events in Arkham Origins take place about five years before Batman: Arkham Asylum, in midwinter Gotham City. Batman, an experienced crime-fighter in the second year of his career, is not yet the veteran superhero of Arkham Asylum and Arkham City. Designers aimed to make the younger Batman's outfit look "assembled versus manufactured", pieced together from a number of sources. Holmes said, "[Batman's suit is] not something that was made in a factory. He's taken pieces of tech either he's invented, he's fabricated or things from the Wayne facilities, and he has made this costume out of these pieces."

I don't play video games but when I first saw the preview pictures of Play Arts Kai Square Enix "Batman: Arkham Origins" Batman action figure, I was excited. Being a long time Batman fan, I always enjoy seeing how different artists tweak the batsuit. Some I like and some I don't: case in point, the Square Enix DC Variant Batman which was too manga and anime-like for me. This was the first Play Arts Kai Square Enix action figure I pre-ordered, even before I got the Play Arts Kai Square Enix RoboCop 2014 version 1.0 action figure which I have already reviewed HERE, HERE and HERE.

I have seen the NECA Batman: Arkham Origins 1/4 scale Action Figure (previewed HERE) and although it's nice, 18 inches is unfortunately just too big for my liking. I like the minute details that can be achieved with 1/6 scale figures and don't really see the need to go into 1/4 scale. Even Hot Toys' venture into that particular scale was purely to compete with EnterBay as they prefer to continually pump out 1/6 scale figures on a regular basis because that's what most people want and are comfortable with.

Scroll down to see the rest of the pictures.
Click on them for bigger and better views.

The inner flap reads: "Batman: Arkham Origins" is the story of the Dark Knight before he became the hero we now call Batman. Evil swarms in Gotham City. Among the various villains that roam the streets, one young man stands against the wicked all by himself. None other than Bruce Wayne, he is clad in an all-black costume and confronts evil, albeit inelegantly. Instead of his typical gallant and controlled demeanor, this Batman is a touch unrefined. However, as he gradually matures, he gets closer to the image of the Batman that we all know and love."

There's also a figure display stand included with assembly instructions as well as instructions on the switching of the various hands and weapons.

Play Arts Kai Square Enix "Batman: Arkham Origins" Batman is kept in the main tray along with three extra gloved hands plus two weapons, his grapnel gun and batarang.

Here's Play Arts Kai Square Enix "Batman: Arkham Origins" Batman collectible action figure out of the box. Batman is 10.5 inches (26.5 cm) tall from the soles of his feet to the tip of his ears.

Described as "The Dark Knight emerges to bring order back to a dark world. Clothed in a special body suit and armed with self-engineered high-tech weapons, this young dark hero fights alone as he stands up against the Black Mask and the army of criminals that roam the streets of Gotham City."

Some close-up shots of Play Arts Kai Square Enix "Batman: Arkham Origins" Batman 10.5-inch action figure. I really like the detailing and the etchings are more pronounced than the NECA "Batman: Arkham Origins" 1/4 scale Action Figure. I also like how they painted Batman. Much better than NECA's version IMHO. My one minor peeve? The crotch area seems a little small with not enough height and makes the belt sit too low when Batman is posed standing. Otherwise he looks great in action poses because the crotch doesn't get in the way. Scroll down to see the pictures of Batman in action poses. More action poses to follow in the NEXT toy blog post.

I really like the sculpting of the head sculpt with the grim and determined facial expression of this Square Enix "Batman: Arkham Origins" Batman. One major issue that stopped me from buying Play Arts Kai Square Enix action figures in the past were the head sculpts. They were always too anime / manga looking... even when they were figures of non-anime / manga related characters. Not so this time around. I think Play Arts Kai did a great job with the sculpting and design of this Batman figure.

Play Arts Kai Square Enix "Batman: Arkham Origins" Batman's cape is the weirdest thing I've ever seen. It's made up of five different sections: top section of cape goes up and reveals left and right sections. The outer sections are connected to the inner ones via hinges and the inner sections are connected to the Batman figure via a ball joint attached to Batman's back. It doesn't really get in the way of posing Batman though. Check out my NEXT post to see more.

As I mentioned earlier, figure display stand is included with assembly instructions. Here's the assembled Play Arts Kai Square Enix figure display stand. I'll show you how it works in the NEXT post.

Play Arts Kai Square Enix "Batman: Arkham Origins" Batman's accessories: three extra gloved hands plus two weapons, his grapnel gun and batarang.

Here's the Play Arts Kai Square Enix "Batman: Arkham Origins" Batman 10.5-inch action figure in a dynamic leaping pose. I was going for the famous Frank Miller "Batman: The Dark Knight Returns" jumping down from the sky look. Missing the lightning in the sky backdrop here. As you can see, Square Enix Batman poses rather well. I removed part of the display stand in most of the pictures for more dramatic effect. I couldn't use the display stand that was included with this figure for this pose because the figure was too heavy for the flimsy stand. Scroll down to see the rest of the pictures.

Inspired by the Australian boomerang, the Batarang could incapacitate a foe, knock weapons out of assailants' hands, or travel long distances to attach itself to objects. Batman also developed smaller Batarangs that worked like Japanese shuriken or darts, sharpened to cut into criminals' hands or arms in order to disarm them.

The original concept of the Batarang was developed by Bill Finger and first appeared in Detective Comics #31 (September 1939). The items have since become a staple of Batman's arsenal, appearing in every major Batman television and movie adaptation to date. Following the backlash against the camp Batman television series, the franchise has avoided the overuse of the "bat-" prefix, other than the Batcave and Batmobile. Though shown prominently, the batarangs are very rarely referred to by name.

In the picture below, you can see the figure stand I used to achieve this pose. It's similar to the ones that used to be included with Hot Toys MMS figures before they went all fancy with light-up features and unique designs.

Some close-up shots of Play Arts Kai Square Enix "Batman: Arkham Origins" Batman 10.5-inch action figure in a dynamic leaping pose

NEXT: More pictures of Play Arts Kai Square Enix "Batman: Arkham Origins" Batman 10.5-inch action figure in a pose inspired by the drawings of Neal Adams.

Related posts:
June 2, 2013 – Kotobukiya Batman Arkham City Collectors Edition 14 cm (5.5") Statue posted in my toy blog HERE
October 28, 2013 – Review of DC Direct Jim Lee inspired All Star Series 1: Batman 6.75 inches Tall Action Figure HERE
November 4, 2013 – Check out Mattel DC Universe Batman Legacy Arkham City Batman 7-Inch Action Figure HERE
February 8, 2014 – Preview pictures of the Kotobukiya DC Comics Batman Arkham City ARTFX+ 1/10 scale Statue posted HERE

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