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Batman

Review – Mafex – The Dark Knight Rises Batman (v2)

DC is over here trying to reboot it’s cinematic universe and here I am still stuck on the Nolan Batman films.  Maybe things will shape up and the new Batman will end up being amazing, but for now, I’m satisfied with Christian Bale’s take on the character.  I really just don’t feel Ben Affleck as Batman and I don’t like the design of the newer suit(s) as much.  As such, for now, I’m sticking with this Batman from Mafex as my “Batman in toy form”.  This is the second release of this figure, it fixes a lot of the quality issues that plagued the first release.  This seems to be quite a trend with Mafex, a lot of their figures get “second runs” with better joints.

Mafex The Dark Knight Rises Batman

Not every issue was fixed.  One common problem I’ve had with all of the Mafex figures I own is the head/neck joint pop off way too easily.  I have this issue with both The Joker and Superman.  I don’t know if the peg needs to be longer or the ball bit needs to be a bit larger, but the heads just tend to pop off too easily on these guys.

Mafex The Dark Knight Rises Batman

Otherwise the figure is pretty solid.  I particularly love the cloth cape, cloth goods at this scale tend to be great or garbage, and this one leans more to the great side.  The sculpt and scale are all nice, he fits in well with other 6″ figures as well as a lot of other Batman related toys.  The unmasked head looks very much like Christian Bale.

Mafex The Dark Knight Rises Batman

He includes a variety of appropriate accessories as well, a Bat-Grappeling hook, the EMP rifle that he uses during the bike chase, and a few different hands.  A few batarangs or flash grenades might have been nice to flesh out his accessory count a bit.  It’s not a bad assortment but considering how much The Joker included it’s a bit of a let down.  It’s not nearly as anemic as Superman or Catwoman however, both basically came with nothing.

Mafex The Dark Knight Rises Batman

Mafex The Dark Knight Rises Batman

The bottom line is, this is probably the best figure of this version of Batman available.  The only other real releases for the Nolan Batman were from Mattel, and they tend to be kind of mediocre.  This is the “old” Batman design though, which may be a turn off.  The price is a bit higher as well being an Import, though a lot of the older Mafex releases go for fairly cheap compared to most imports (ie Figuarts and Figma).  If you are interested in this figure, definitely go for the Version 2.0 release.  It fixes the joint problems and includes the unmasked Bruce Head.  The easiest way to tell the difference is if it includes the Bruce Wayne head or not.

Weekly Wednesday Haul: Out of Town Deals Edition

So last weekend, I went out of town to help my brother move.  After everything was settling down we went out running around his new area a bit and one of the stops was the local Toys R Us (and Ross).  Across these stores, I picked up Marvel Legends Nuke, Sherlock Holmes, and a sweet Classic Adam West Batman with Batcave.  All on some sort of mark down or clearance.

All of these are figures I kind of wanted on some level but didn’t really want want, so finding them for less is definitely fortuitous.  Since Ross has been getting the Giant Man wave in, I’ve been picking them up in order to build Giant Man.  It turns out I needed more of them than I remembered and I can’t find the leg and arm I already had.  They will turn up, they are probably just packed for the move.

Sherlock is neat, but I forgot that he’s a smaller 5-5.5″ scale range, so he’s a little short, but he’ll work.

Batman is really neat, and as simple as it is, the BatComputer is cooler than I expected.  The cardboard wall and computer turn around to become the office entrance to the Batcave.  It’s a simple but neat effect.  Also, having an Adam West Batman will be fun for any future photos.

Review – Mafex – The Dark Knight Joker

I’m not a huge fan of the “Nolan Batman” films as a whole, but The Dark Knight is one of my favorite movies in the broad sense.  Batman Begins, The Dark Knight Rises, both are kind of mediocre, The Dark Knight is so good though.  A lot of this is because of the Joker as the villain.  Loving Heath Ledger’s Joker isn’t an uncommon opinion at all for sure.  Unfortunately, in the US, Mattel has the license for DC figures, and produces most of them.  Mattel, honestly, isn’t the greatest toy company, mostly because they tend to have wonky articulation and really spotty assortments.  The Dark Knight Rises 4″ line had cases of like 23 Batmans and 1 Bane or something ridiculous.  There was a version of The Joker released in the US, but I really wanted something nicer.

Enter Medicom and Mafex, and their Dark Knight Joker.  This isn’t Mafex’s first figure, though they don’t put out a ton of product.  Actually, especially previous to this Joker, Mafex has had a really awful reputation for releasing really crappy figures.  Not so much from a design standpoint but from a quality standpoint.

I’d heard that they had gotten better with this release, and I opted to go ahead and pick up the Joker here as my first figure from their releases.  I have to say I was not disappointed.  Though I also need to say, there are still some quality issues, particularly in the joints on these figures.  As of writing this review, I’ve picked up three figures from the Mafex line, and all of them have had joint issues of some kind, most often in the neck.  My Joker sometimes has problems with his arm falling off.

Aside from this issue, I’m really satisfied by this figure.  The sculpt is great, the weapon assortment is great.  The smiling head is a little too happy, which is kind of weird, but the normal glowering head is spot on great, and it’s really the onle that would be used most of the time anyway.

There’s a bit of hindrance to articulation by his coat, though the Joker, especially this iteration of the Joker, is pretty slow and shuffling in his movements anyway.  He’s not exactly an athlete or a ninja on any level.

So the question is, is it recommended?  It’s probably the best Heath Ledger Joker available in this scale.  That said, the join issues could be a turn off.  I’d recommend him, but not for a tremendous mark up, unless you’re a huge fan of this Joker.  I add the last part because now that we’ve moved on to the DC Cinematic Universe and the Suicide Squad Joker, this Joker probably isn’t going to get any sort of future release in a better line (Figuarts).

SDCC 2016 – Justice League Trailer

Shifting gears a bit on these SDCC trailers, I want to take a moment to give some thoughts on this Justice League trailer.

I should probably preface this by mentioning, I have not yet watched Batman vs Superman, or Man of Steel.  I’m not as much of a fan of DC as I am of Marvel either.

I do like Batman quite a bit though.  The character, less so the Nolan movies.  I’m still not really sold on Ben Afleck as Batman, though he does seem pretty alright in this trailer.  He does sort of fit with the idea of the “older guy” batman, which I believe is what they are going for.  I’m still kind of disappointed they didn’t roll off the Nolan Batman Trilogy when they started making their DC Universe for the big screen.  They are definitely trying to push into that Grimdark tone, they even have an excuse to not use Christian Bale.

In general I kind of wonder what DC’s logic is on these movies.  I guess maybe they just don’t want to completely copy Marvel’s model, but they DO already have a Flash on TV, and people seem to mostly like that show.  Yet, here we have a new Flash.  I like the effect of the Flash, the lighting both in the later fast shot and the slow motion lighting during the earlier slowmotion shot (in the trailer).  I’m not real sold on the character here, he seems a little too cocky or something.

Aquaman seems alright, Wonder Woman we’ve seen before, I’m still not really sold on Gal Gadot as WW.  Cyborg doesn’t get a ton of screen time here, I almost missed him the first time I watched this.

This leaves two questions, what is this bug evil force that Bruce Wayne is recruiting for, and where is Superman?