DC Nano Metalfigs and Batcave Nano Scene review

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There are toys and figures of all types these days: LEGO sets, action figures, busts and statues.  If you’re a collector, chances are you’ll find something out there to like.  Jada Toys, makers of remote control and metal toy cars, have a new line of collectibles: Nano Metalfigs.  The die-cast metal figurines, each about an inch and a half in height, are fun, affordable pieces from properties like Harry Potter, Street Fighter, Marvel Comics, and more.  Naturally, they have quite an expansive line of DC Comics characters, and were kind enough to send us a few items for review.

First is a set of twenty figurines, with quite a variety of heroes and villains.  As there are a lot of characters here, I’ll cover different groups together.  I pretty much just took them out of the packaging, going left to right in groups of three, so… don’t read too much into how they’re arranged.

The first Superman and Wonder Woman figures are perfectly fine.  I like Supes’ pose and flowing cape, and Diana has some nice detailing.  Of her two figures in the set, this one is far and away the better of the two, drawing inspiration from her current Rebirth look (cape, sword, shield, and skirt).

Supergirl looks ok.  Her design is based on her New 52 costume, which I’ve never been a fan of, but as a figure she looks fine.  Her pose is kind of dynamic, like Superman’s, so that’s a plus.

Aquaman has a nice, commanding pose and a great accessory in his trident, as well as some nice paint application.  Green Lantern is kind of boring, and doesn’t even have a speck of paint to indicate his power ring, but overall he’s fine.

Killer Croc, however, is great.  His body mold is big and hulking, he has a great expression on his face, and the bumps and ridges on his back look fantastic.  The different textures used to indicate his scaly exterior make this one of the most visually interesting characters in the set.

Cyborg is… fine.  I like that they went with a hybrid of the more classic, The New Teen Titans-esque George Pérez design and his current look.  His arm cannon is kind of neat, but the paint job is a little flat and just a tad sloppy.

The second Superman figure is pretty decent.  His pose isn’t as dynamic as the first, but both figures are based on the New 52 design so there’s some nice visual continuity there.  I particularly like the small detail on this figure where he’s holding part of his cape in his right hand.  It’s not much, but gives it just a touch of personality.

Wonder Woman, on the other hand… oof.  Points for including the Lasso of Hestia, but this figure is just not good.  It’s based on her New 52 costume, which isn’t bad, but her backside… well, she’s practically wearing a thong.  After such a great looking figure in the first batch, this one is disappointing.

Thankfully, that’s made up for in the next batch.  Robin looks pretty good, and the fact that he’s wearing the classic Tim Drake costume helps.  I love the two-toned cape with the black exterior and yellow lining, and that splash of color really makes this a striking figure.  Mr. Freeze is great as well, with his ridiculously huge freeze gun and bulky costume.  Love how the icy blue and silver paints play off each other, too.

Amazingly enough, the Parademon here is probably the best figure in the entire set.  His pose is great, he has an awesome expression, and the paint job and detailing is stunning.  Never did I imagine that one of Darkseid’s disposable minions would be the highlight of a group that includes something like four Batmans, but here we are.

Lex, Brainiac, and Two-Face have some great designs and attitude to spare.  Luthor looks great in his ridiculous(ly awesome) green and purple armor, which like Croc and the Parademon has some cool texturing.  Brainiac has one of the most intricate paint jobs of any figure in the set, and while Two-Face’s outfit is fairly plain, that evil cackle is wonderfully realized.

And then we have Metamorpho.  Metamorpho is awesome, is always awesome, and will always be awesome.  His figure?  Pretty awesome.  The fact that he’s in this set at all?  Totally awesome.

Martian Manhunter would have been one of the best figures if he didn’t have possibly the worst application flaw of any of the characters included in the set: there’s a BIG red smudge on his right fist.  In case you didn’t know, J’onn J’onzz’s skin is green.  He does not have a birthmark.  For a figure that otherwise looks really good, that’s upsetting.

Batman makes up for it, though, in his sleek silvery-grey and blue getup.  There’s not too much to the figure other than it just being a nice, solid looking Batman.

The final grouping has some of the better figures as well.  Flash has a fantastic pose, and I love how the reds and yellows of his costume look with the shiny paints Jada Toys used.

Batman is reminiscent of the Thomas Wayne Flashpoint costume Earth-2 Batman costume. The red in the chest symbol and the cape lining pop out against the silver and black used on the rest of the costume.  About the only thing negative I have to say about it is that he’s in the same pose as two of the other Batman figures here, but that’s a pretty minor quibble.

Here’s a pretty solid endorsement: in addition to the set that I was sent, I went out and bought three more figures to include with the review.  So yeah, these things are fun enough that I paid for more to review.  They’re some good ones, too.  At a local Walmart, I got a Suicide Squad movie outfit Katana, a Batman: The Animated Series Batman, and a BTAS Joker.  There’s apparently an Adam West Batman out there too, but I have yet to find it.

Each of these figures retails for less than a dollar, and for some pretty heavy duty metal figurines that’s a steal.  Surprisingly, my favorite of the three is Katana.  She has a great sculpt and incredible details, like the red sash that wraps around her torso.  Even with the limited color palette, the red, white, and black in her costume is striking and looks great even on such a small frame.

The animated Batman… look, it should be great.  It is great.  The problem is, the one I got has the “Made in China” stamp across its right forearm and upper torso.  It’s kind of funny, but makes what should have been the best looking Batman figure a curiosity instead.  (It is kind of funny, though.)

On the other hand, Joker looks really good.  I love his broad/hunched shoulders, and the way his head is cocked slightly to the side gives the figure a lot of personality.  It would have been nice had he come with, say, a cane or a laughing fish in his hand, but I’ll still take it.

Jada Toys were also kind enough to send their Batcave playset for review, and man, this thing is awesome.  It comes with another Robin (the same from the other set, though his tunic is maybe a tad shinier) and another Batman (same pose as the non-Animated other two, but with a black/silver costume).  They’re fine figures, but… seriously, this set is great.

It’s a little more complex to put together than I’d expected, with a sticker sheet and quite a few smaller pieces to assemble.  I loved the details on the stickers, which aren’t just generic computery images but nicely thought out displays.  There’s what looks like a profile on Two-Face, a cool global relay, and some… well, computery images, but they’re Batman computery images so it’s all good.

It’s not just the stickers, though.  This whole playset is incredibly detailed.  There are multiple levels to put together, with some cool (though difficult to assemble) scaffolding and walkways, a neat little river, and some exposed pipes and grates that make it feel like the Batcave.  I particularly love the way the rocky walls look: they’re craggy with a nice textured paint job that makes it look like real stone.  It’s actually kind of pretty, as far as imitation plastic rocks go.

The interactivity and playability of the set is kind of surprising, too.  Fully assembled, it’s a bit over a foot high and about eight inches wide.  Not massive, but given the size of the metalfigs it’s plenty big.  There are little slots all over to place the bases of the figures in, so you can pose all of your favorites around the Batcave as you like.  There’s a sliding garage door at the back, some “transport tubes” that look pretty cool and kind of spin, and best of all…

Awwww yeah.  Light up Batsymbol.

So yeah, I really dug these.  The figures are varied, fun, and incredibly affordable, and the playset is insanely detailed and the perfect piece to display all of the metalfigs.  The individual figures can be found for less than a buck at big box stores, and the combo packs and playset can typically be found for less than twenty.  While they aren’t articulated in themselves, the figures come in some fun poses, perfect for displaying on your desk at work.  With a wide selection of characters and properties to choose from, Nano Metalfigs are sure to have something for any and all fans.

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