Sunday, March 13, 2011

Mattel Retro-Action Batman 8" Figure REVIEW 1

This is the Mattel Retro-Action DC Super Heroes Batman 8" Figure with cowl and cape removed, showing the man behind the mask: Bruce Wayne. The head sculpt cannot be compared with Hot Toys standard but given the price point and that these aren't marketed as collectibles but TOYS, it is what it is - FUN!

Like I said in my earlier post "The Postman Cometh", these Mattel figures are meant to bring back the memories of the Mego 8-inch (200 mm) scale action figure days (hence Retro-Action) and I cannot resist these articulated and clothed superheroes.

Mattel Retro-Action DC Super Heroes Batman 8" Figure comes carded and the style of the card is done to reflect the good old Mego days. Interestingly Mattel chose pink as a color for the card when all four figures in this wave are guys.

Here's Batman without his mask (cowl) and cape, wearing just his costume (Batsuit), utility belt, gloves (with HUGE pointed tips) and boots. At least Mattel didn't produce the mittens that the original Mego figures came with (phew! that's a relief) but instead chose to paint the hands and added gauntlets to represent the gloves - good call.

Though the suit has been drawn many different ways by different artists, and the stories themselves have described Batman as modifying the details of his costume from time to time, it is most often depicted as consisting of a scalloped cape, a bat-like cowl, a pair of gloves, boots, a yellow utility belt, and dark briefs over a tight-fitting body suit with the image of a bat emblazoned on the chest, either as a part of a yellow ellipse or black entirely.

Mattel's Batman costume is secured at the back by a snap fastener (button) and the utility belt can also be removed. The scalloped fins on the gloves have been a part of the design very early on but only in "Batman Begins (2005)" did Christopher Nolan give us a reason for the spikes on his gauntlets: they are now tempered bronze "scallops" to deflect blade attacks and also used for climbing.

The bat symbol on the chest has also alternated from a simple black bat to a bat design on a yellow ellipse. The yellow ellipse was introduced in 1964 as part of the "New Look" Batman stories, and was meant to be a connection to the Bat-Signal.

Another close look at Mattel's Retro-Action Batman Bruce Wayne head sculpt

Close-up pictures of Mattel Retro-Action Batsuit from the back since this will be covered by the cape once it is put on

Also note the gauntlets for his gloves with the rather large scalloped fins and decent looking boots

And here's the cape and cowl. The original incarnation of the cape was a wing-like structure inspired by drawings by Leonardo Da Vinci. This eventually evolved into a more cape-like design of varying length. The cape is occasionally depicted as bulletproof. The cape varies according to the current writer, sometimes being depicted as bulletproof and fire resistant, and other times being nothing more than simple fabric that tears easily and sustains constant damage and is continuously replaced.

In addition to concealing his features and contributing to his imposing appearance, Batman's cowl has sometimes served other purposes. Occasionally, the cowl is depicted as having defense mechanisms such as electric shock or stun gas in order to prevent unauthorized removal.

Bruce Wayne suits up as Batman in the next post. Stay tuned ;p


desmond said...

Nice for a vintage figure..the mask is removable!!

John said...

My theory for the card colors is that they are based on the original Mego Box and card colors for the primary figures in each wave. For instance, Batman's Mego packaging was pink, Superman's was yellow, Wonder Woman's was light blue, and Shazam's was blue. You will see each of these colors in the corresponding colors for Retro-Action DC Super Heroes blister cards.

alex teo said...

thanks John for that interesting bit of information :) growing up NOT having the Mego figures as readily available, that's a most logical explanation CHEERS