After all the comics I’ve read throughout the years, I think I can say I have a firm grasp of how Batman should be portrayed. And yet, despite knowing for a fact that a lot of stuff was done just plain wrong in the Tim Burton films, when I see Michael Keaton in the cape and cowl– that’s Batman to me. I’m instantly captivated because that was the hero of my childhood. And so, it’s not surprising that of all the Hot Toys to come out these past few years, the Batman Returns figure was one I was looking forward to most. But is it everything I hoped it would be? And, seeing as how you ended up here, chances are you’re just as big of a Batman fan, so is it something that’s worth your hard-earned dollar?

Unboxing

Hot Toys never fails to create great packaging. Not only is it highly functional, offering the best protection possible for each individual piece, but it sports some beautiful imagery. The attention to detail is so good that even the snow-swept Bat symbol boasts a frosty texture. Inside you’ll find a list of artists credits and, behind that, the figures themselves safely enclosed behind clear plastic.

Reviewing the Figures

Here’s what’s included with the Batman Sixth Scale Collectible Figure:

Authentic and detailed likeness of Batman from Batman Returns

  • It really is spot-on. Perfectly sculpted and expertly hand-painted. As always, those glistening Hot Toys eyes are so lifelike it’s eerie. Speaking of which, you can adjust the eyes of this figure! The only problem with the head/cowl of Batman is that there was a warning in the instruction manual about the ears being delicate– and I feel like the points at the edge of the scalloped cowl’s base could be just as breakable.

(1) Batman head with separate rolling eyeballs and patented Interchangeable Faces Techniques

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  • The back of the cowl has a hidden panel that opens with some gentle prying. The compartment is magnetized so the panel seals up nice and tight when you’re done using an included tool to adjust the Dark Knight’s gaze or poke out the mouth piece.

(3) Interchangeable mouths capturing Michael Keaton’s facial expressions

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  • This is a bit of an overstatement. The initial face is simply a closed mouth, which works perfectly, but the other two… I’m not sure what they were going for. These two mouths look almost identical and feature slightly open lips, slightly revealing the top row of teeth. I don’t see myself ever swapping in either of them.
  • I wish one mouth was the “F*** you, I just put dynamite in your pants” grin.

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Body with 30 points of articulation. Head to toe, he measures 32 centimeters.

  • You’re not buying this thing for the articulation. While 30 points of articulation may sound nice, the rubber suit restricts you from making Bats look even remotely acrobatic. But let’s be honest, in that batsuit, Keaton wasn’t able to move his body very well either so I guess this toy really is film-accurate! Also, if you do decide to pose the arms in any special way, know that the rubber at the joints might crease over time.

Nine (9) pieces of interchangeable gloved palms including:
– (1) pair of fists
– (1) pair of relaxed palms
– (1) pair of palms for holding weapons
– (1) right palm for holding grapple gun
– (1) left palm for holding line launcher
– (1) open left palm

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  • I love the variety of hands you get here, but this is where we reach my  number one complaint with the Batman figure and that’s the fragility of the gauntlet spikes. You want to swap out hands? BE CAREFUL. The spikes on Batman’s arms are this weird paradox of being sharp enough to skewer the cape yet brittle enough to break off just from you looking at them too intently. I hate the gauntlet spikes. The spikes on my Sideshow Gotham Knight are A-Okay and the Hot Toys Adam West spikes are equally as durable. What happened here? There’s even a warning in the instruction manual that expresses how you should exercise caution when bringing your fingertips anywhere near the spikes of the arms or the ears of the cowl.

Cape

  • I think the faux leather cape looks great and has a nice texture, but some might find it to be a bit too full. The way it drapes can look a little cumbersome if you don’t fold and adjust it just right so I can see some collectors opting for a custom-made cape.

(1) Batarang

  • Not just any batarang! This is the batarang that Batman quickly programmed while fighting the Triangle Circus Gang, the batarang that zoomed from target to target, a bad ass weapon that only a well-trained poodle could overcome.

(1) Grapple gun

  • Don’t think the grapple gun is a weapon? Try telling that to the guy who tried to taze Selina Kyle– oh wait, you can’t, he’ dead (This is Burton’s Batman, so yeah, it’s safe to assume that guy probably died). The grapple gun is just as movie-accurate as the batarang and all other accessories you see in the photos I’ve included. The accessories that come with this figure are top-notch. Some of the best stuff I’ve seen since the Hot Toys Adam West Batman.

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(2) Napalm packets

  • See the golden squares in the photo gallery? They’re painted a subtle strip of blue at the edge. Don’t remember napalm being part of Batman’s arsenal in Batman Returns? That’s what he lobbed at Catwoman when she had him hanging from her whip.

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(1) Broken cowl (exclusively for collectible figures set) in two parts

  • “Bruce Wayne? Why are you dressed up like Batman?” — Yeah, Hot Toys included a broken cowl and you can combine it with the Bruce Wayne head, plant it on the Batman body and recreate the climactic scene from Batman Returns. Coolest accessory in the set, in my opinion. The only problem is that you’ll be so scared of breaking the points of Batman’s ears that you’ll be super nervous while making the switch.

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(1) Line launcher with interchangeable parts

  • About now you’re starting to see that when it comes to accessories, Hot Toys really did include everything. It’s pretty staggering when you realize you could actually build your own Arctic World lair, pose this figure from a great height, and extend a screen-accurate zip-line across the scene.

(1) Batmobile remote control

  • Now you just need a Batmobile.

(1) Signal-Jammer

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  • This thing is cooler than it looks! Not only does it feature a functioning button, but both it and the grapple gun are magnetized to stick to the utility belt.

Square-shaped LED light-up figure stand with Batman nameplate and movie logo (batteries required)

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  • Cool stand and the lights do articulate so you can point them however you like. However, while they are bright, they aren’t bright enough or positioned well enough to do a decent job of showcasing the figure. Still a nice attempt though.

And we’re not done, yet! This is the two-piece set, so we still have Bruce Wayne to discuss.

The Bruce Wayne Sixth Scale Collectible Figure features:

Newly developed head sculpt with authentic and detailed likeness of Michael Keaton as Bruce Wayne in Batman Returns. Movie-accurate facial features with detailed wrinkles and skin texture

  • Eh… not really. At first glance, sure. Absolutely. But go back and watch the movie or check out some still images and it’s apparent that the likeness isn’t quite as on point as some of Hot Toys’s previous sculpts. It’s still very impressive, but the hair’s not quite right, the skin tone is a little too dark, and the face should be a little longer. Sure, it’s a HUGE improvement over the prototype version (you’ll see that in the final photo gallery in the review– way too many wrinkles on that thing) but I wish it was as perfect as the Joseph Gordon Levitt or Gary Oldman or… any of the other Hot Toys figures I’ve reviewed.

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Eight (8) pieces of interchangeable palms including:
– One (1) pair of fists
– One (1) pair of relaxed palms
– Two (2) pair of palms for holding accessories

  • What’ he supposed to hold? It’s not like there’s a little champagne glass or anything.

Body with over 30 points of articulation

  • His foot keeps falling off. Truthfully, the body seems kind of cheap. Yes, the clothes are pretty nice– from blazer to bowtie and the soles of the shoes, the formal attire looks well done. But does it all add up to something that you say “Wow! I’m glad I spent the extra hundred bucks for this!” No, I don’t think so.

Figure stand with Bruce Wayne nameplate and the movie logo

  • It’s not as big as the other one, nor does it have built-in lights. Much like the figures they cradle, the Bruce stand pales in comparison to the Batman.

Overall

I love this thing. It looks awesome. The spikes could’ve been more durable and I wish that Batman’s interchangeable mouths showed more variety, but everything else is thoroughly impressive and totally lives up to my expectations. Would I have been just as happy with the Batman-only package? Yes, probably. But it’s still great to be able to showcase the Broken Cowl Batman or display Bruce and Batman side-by-side, and you can only do that if you own the set! You can order the Batman and Bruce Wayne Set from Sideshow Collectibles right now for $344.99.