Looking for a sweet, highly detailed Batman figure to put on display in your home or office? The Gotham Knight sixth scale figure by Sideshow Collectibles is great, because it possesses a certain purity. It isn’t trying to be Keaton or Bale or Kilmer or Affleck or even the popular design from the Arkham video game franchise. It isn’t Frank Miller’s Batman or Jim Lee’s or Neal Adams’ or Capullo’s or Bolland’s, either. It’s a work that pays homage to all. A piece that makes a statement that isn’t “I like Batman ’66” or “I love Nolan’s Dark Knight” or “Arkham City is my jam”– it simply says “I like Batman.” It doesn’t pigeonhole you as a fan of one specific incarnation ,and that’s one of the reasons why I really dig it. Plus it just looks cool.
The packaging itself is quite nice. The minimalist lid design features nothing more than a bat symbol on the top with the name BATMAN underneath, and a golden bottom border that reads “SIXTH SCALE” and showcases the Sideshow logo. On the side you’ll find the name BATMAN again, but this time it is accented by a gilded silhouette of embossed bats in flight above the bold lettering. The base of the box flaunts an up-close, hand-painted illustration of the toy design.
What’s in the Box?
When you lift the lid you’ll be greeted by a large slip featuring the full illustration of the Caped Crusader set before a yellow and black collage of imagery focused on the assorted gadgets and other accessories included with the figure. Pull this away and you’ll come face-to-face with the perfectly sealed collectible and his interchangeable heads. Unlike many Hot Toys figures, removing the Sideshow collectible from its packaging is a hassle-free affair. The protective clear plastic cover and all individual hand- and foot-wraps can be taken off with ease and the character I received proved to be quite flawless except for a single loose string on the belt. Behind the black tray holding Batman and his assorted heads is a second tray stocked with hands, batarangs, a stand and other gear that was intact and easily removed from the packaging.
- Fully Articulated Body
- Three Portraits (Short Ears, Medium Ears, and Long Ears)
- Three Swappable Expressions – compatible with the Batman Sixth Scale Figure
- Detailed Belt with Pouches
- Two (2) Batarangs
- Folding Grappling Hook with Rope
- Grapnel Dart Gun
- Various Alternately Posed Hands
- Fist with Kryptonite Ring
Reviewing the Collectible
You’ve seen me and Elena review Hot Toys figures distributed by Sideshow before, but Gotham Knight is a collectible that Sideshow actually makes in-house, and I think they did quite well. Sideshow describes the piece as being inspired by “a number of timeless comic book appearance” and while we could pick apart all of the tiniest details and trace their origins, I feel that the figure most reminds me of Alex Ross’ art, but with the option of swapping in a long-eared head that looks more like something Brian Bolland or Ethan Van Sciver would draw (the short-eared figure will definitely be a favorite among fans of Miller’s Dark Knight). At first glance, some might even see an homage to the fan film Batman: Dead End.
About a year or so ago, Sideshow released a similar figure simply called Batman. That toy had essentially the same design, but varied in chest logo and overall color scheme. Fans who didn’t care for the blue hue of the cape and cowl can now rejoice because the almost identical Gotham Knight comes in grey and black, plus some new gadgets and replaceable facial expressions. Other than those changes, the figure is basically the same. However, if you wish to own both, you’ll love the added possibilities provided by the plethora of interchangeable gadgets and facial expressions you can swap between the two.
That’s where Gotham Knight most excels: options. This figure allows you to customize the Dark Knight that most resonates with you. I used to review comics here for over two years so I’ve been in more than one debate over whether long ears or short ears on the cowl are better, but with this toy you get to define your hero’s look and I think that’s pretty cool. And the neck is nothing more than a ball joint so swapping things out is effortless. You’ll also get to choose his temperament with the assorted mouths that pop into place inside the cowl with ease.
Want to do a fighting pose? In addition to the figure’s versatile articulation, there are a variety of interchangeable accessories that can make your Batman look more animated. It includes fists, karate chop hands, gripping hands, and even a hand that wears a kryptonite ring for those who want to show off a Caped Crusader who’s ready to coldcock Kent. When it comes to gadgets you get two shiny (and surprisingly sharp) batarangs, a grapple with genuine black rope and articulating hooks (also surprisingly sharp), and an odd grapnel/dart gadget (I really need to stop being surprised by how sharp the pointy things are). Plus there’s a two-piece stand that can be adjusted for upright poses or mid-air poses! That’s right, you can make Batman look like he’s kicking or gliding or in the process of delivering a
Superman cobra punch.
I really love how expressive each face is and I think that the overall construction of the figure is terrific. I like that the eyes are just white lenses, and that the cape is faux leather on the outside, cloth on the inside and absolutely huge. I appreciate that there’s no gaudy armor and find it funny how pop-culture seems to be diverging in opposite directions with this now. For decades we had fans clamoring “make the movies more like the comics and have the suit use special material and not so much armor!” but the movies (and now games, I’m looking at you, Arkham Knight) always added more and more bulky layers. Today? We have Batfleck, who looks like he was ripped right from the pages of the classic comics while modern comics are adding excessive lines and armored plating to the costume in order to copy what the movies were doing wrong. Crazy world we live in, eh?
Anyway, I digress. I like the Gotham Knight. He has a lot of great swivel- and pivoting articulation from ankle to neck, the quality of materials used is superb, and I think the paint and sculpting of the individual heads is spectacular. On the negative side, I wish that the pockets of the belt were functional. I also think that dart/grapnel gun is odd-looking and I would’ve preferred a more traditional gadget like the ones included with the original blue and grey Batman figure this piece is derived from. The cradle is a little too small for Batman’s balls (who didn’t see that one coming?), and I feel that the shoulder joints are a tad fragile– I popped my Batman’s arm out of its socket and had to Riggs that thing back into place on two occasions while creating an ideal pose.
- Mike Najera (Paint)
- Bernardo Esquivel (Paint)
- Nathan Mansfield (Sculpt)
- Andy Bergholtz (Sculpt)
- Tim Niver (Sculpt)
- Adrienne Smith (Sculpt)
- Michael Norman (Sculpt)
- Pia (Sculpt)
- Kevin Ellis (Costume Fabrication)
- Esther Skandunas (Costume Fabrication)
- The Sideshow Collectibles Design and Development Team
It’s a great amalgamation of some of the best Batman designs ever to see the page of a graphic novel. I also love how versatile the toy is with so many customizable pieces, facial expressions, and cowls included with the figure. This is a timeless Batman collectible that will make a captivating addition to your shelf or desk. You can buy this or the original blue and gray design at Sideshow.com.