Batman is the best, and for many, Batman: the Animated Series is the best Batman. As a great big fan of the series, I was delighted when Diamond Select Toys sent some of their resin busts last year. Until you see one of these things in real space, you might think—as I did—that they’re lesser versions of statues. And in size, at least, there’s some truth to that. But once you have one of these on your shelf, I think you’ll find that you never think about what it’s not, because you’re too busy celebrating what it is. I asked the good folks at DST to send me a wider assortment from the line so that I could evaluate some more mainstay characters, and they were good enough to oblige.
The Animated Series Batman cuts such an iconic silhouette, and that’s at least half the charm here. Diamond got the rest of him right, too, but the show’s spartan visual language emphasized the larger forms of characters over the sorts of detail that you find in modern comics.
The paint job is quite good, and I especially appreciate the cape. The line where gloves meet arms isn’t as clean is maybe it could be, and it’s pronounced enough that you can see it in the picture above. Other than that, though, the paint is spot on. And unless you’re close up on him, you won’t notice anyway.
The sculpt is also impeccable, but the nature of Batman’s facial expression is such that he looks much better from a below than from above. My pictures were all taken with the bust on the top of my bookcase, so my perspective is slightly beneath, and captures him at his best. From above, though, the mouth is tougher do discern, and the impression is not quite as good. Again, though, distance is your friend, and unless you’re standing right in front of him, this detail is irrelevant.
Overall, Batman looks like Batman, and I’m delighted to have him on my shelf.
Robin looks great. Maybe it’s because the clearly delineated features of his costume make clean paint application easier, but his paint job is sharp and tight. The bright red, green, and yellow really pop, and his skin tone is a good transposition from screen to real-world object.
The pose isn’t very dynamic, but that simplicity is part of the appeal. The gloves, utility belt, the face—the sculpt and paint are good enough for young Master Grayson to get away with standing around on the job.
Mark Hamill’s portrayal of the Joker on The Animated Series is the gold standard. My favorite interpretations of the character are zany enough to deceive the average person into thinking that he’s a harmless buffoon—until they have their own run-in with him, of course.
I love the details that Diamond went with on this one. He’s a clown with a deck of cards, but he also has a gun. But the gun is a trick gun, and maybe now you’re thinking he’s not much of a threat after all. But how do you know he doesn’t have a real gun in his pocket? Or that he won’t shove that trick gun down your throat and laugh in your face while you choke on it?
The paint job is fantastic, and all of the important details are handled with care. I don’t have anything else to say, except that I love it.
I believe in Harvey Dent. But I also believe in Big Bad Harv. And The Animated Series is largely responsible for my belief in both. Other than Freeze, I don’t think any character benefited as much from the respectful improvements that the show brought to many of Batman’s rogues.
This bust captures both halves of Two-Face quite well, and the paint is nice and clean at the division—something more important for this particular character than for any other. Things aren’t quite as clean on the infamous coin on top of his left hand, but it’s not terrible, either, and I’m personally displaying this in a spot where the coin won’t be noticeable.
Bane with a mouth-hole has always perplexed me. Why take a big, imposing terror and give him the goofiness of lips poking through a mask? Thankfully, Diamond’s chosen facial expression for their Santa Priscan terror diminishes one of the few poor aesthetic choices made by the show’s creators.
The rest of the sculpt is outstanding. Bane’s sheer size is impressive enough—larger than the other busts we’re looking at today—but his muscles, and the somewhat smallish fit of his shirt where the arms connect to the torso, are just as imposing as his size.
The paint is very close to perfect, with some odd color artifacts in a few spots on his arms—it looks like maybe one of the tones used to render his skin were applied a bit too heavily at times. You can’t see if unless you’re really close, and you may not even see it in my picture, so it’s not much cause for concern. If you’re a fan of Bane, I can’t see you not absolutely loving this bust.
Still one of the best values on the collectible market
My DST Man-Bat bust was already one of my favorite collectibles, and these new ones rise right up beside it. They’re small enough—and affordable enough—that you can have quite a few of them on display, but their fidelity to the Animated Series character aesthetics will make you feel like you got the better half of the deal. I recommend these to any fan of the show.