Mondo has entered the collectible Batman figures game with a 12-inch Dark Knight inspired by Bruce Timm’s artwork from Batman: The Animated Series. As a company, Mondo has a reputation for stellar posters and vinyl records that sell out in a flash, so it came as no surprise when their first foray into Batman figures sold out so quickly. However, now that all of the pre-orders have been mailed and customers have their copy in hand, did Mondo’s attempt at a 1/6 scale Caped Crusader live up to the hype? Let’s take a look…
The bright yellow box flaunts the artwork from Mondo’s BTAS vinyl album cover that came out a few years ago. The front of the box flips open to reveal not only a window the box’s contents, but the opened cover also displays a quote from the series. I like the design of this, but wish they had gone with a different quote. I know something like “I am vengeance, I am the night…” would’ve been too obvious, but when Batman uttered the line “Reports of a huge bat creature the size of a man. Remind you of anybody?” he was actually referencing Man-Bat in the episode “Terror in the Sky.” And it turned out he was wrong and the huge bat creature was Francine Langstrom, so we’ve got a couple degrees of separation here. There were better quotes out there, in my opinion. Anyway, the interior of the box keeps things simple with clear plastic molds holding everything together. No instructions, no foam, it’s pretty straightforward and I think the Dark Knight himself would approve of Mondo’s directness.
What’s in the Box
You have two different options for the figure. Well, none at the moment since the Mondo exclusive version and standard version are currently sold out (but will hopefully be back in stock soon). The standard edition costs $125 and includes Batman, a set of swappable hands, three head sculpts, two batarangs, loaded grapple gun, discharged grapple gun, gas mask, crime scene spray from “On Leather Wings,” thermos of chicken noodle soup from “Heart of Ice,” tape recorder (evidence from “On Leather Wings”), and a figure stand with Bat symbol base.
The Mondo exclusive edition costs $150 and comes with everything listed above, plus another batarang, a thumbs-up hand (for recreating the scene and now popular gif from “Be a Clown”), goggles from “On Leather Wings” (to be used after squirting the spray from the standard kit around the crime scene, of course), a GIGANTIC windswept cape, and a H.A.R.D.A.C head sculpt from “His Silicon Soul.”
The quantity of items you get, especially with the exclusive edition, is quite impressive. With multiple expressions to choose from and a wide variety of episode specific accessories, you’ll always be coming up with new ideas for how to display your Batman. The only element that I really wish would’ve been part of this bundle but is absent is a Bruce Wayne head sculpt. That addition would’ve really pushed this figure over the top for me.
First off, this Batman figure is a lot bigger and heavier than you’d expect it to be. Batman stands 12 inches tall and is made out of thick, sturdy PVC/ABS material that boasts fairly stiff joints, which means you can pose him in nearly any position without even employing the bonus crotch-grabber stand. In total, Mondo’s Batman possesses 30 points of articulation, but those points don’t offer a great deal of range. Sure, you’ve got a stomach crunch, but if our hero ever drops the keys to the Batmobile it’ll be up to Alfred or one of the sidekicks to pick them up for him. And forget about kicking thugs anywhere higher than the shin! This figure’s hardy plastic and tight joints are designed with traditional, heroic poses in mind. So if you, for some inexplicable reason, were wanting to spend $125+ to make Kevin Conroy’s Batman do the splits, look elsewhere. However, if you’re satisfied with accurately recreating iconic shots from the series, you’re likely going to love this figure.
Paint application is overall quite good, although I would have liked a slightly darker shade of black on the cape and cowl, and there was a small but noticeable blob of paint left on the wind-swept cape I received. The accent highlights of light blue tracing the cowl and gloves and the shadow shading on Batman’s face might put you off at first as being overly stylized, but I assure you that this added detail looks fantastic when you find the right pose and the right lighting for your display. Those accents lend the figure added dimension and texture, but if you over-light your display or position Batman in a way that doesn’t complement those highlights you might find them to be more distracting. Personally, I love them. I think that they are adding a little something-something that’s missing from the ongoing DC Collectibles action figure line, and I absolutely adore that line.
The accessories that come with your new figure are excellent, the activated grappling gun in particular. That thing wows me. See, the hook is attached to a line of bendable but durable wire so you can make it look like The Dark Knight just fired it at a gargoyle or maybe even a nearby flying Man-Bat. A wiry grapple gun should now come standard with every new Batman figure in my book. It’s just a really cool idea that makes this collectible far more dynamic and eye-catching. The hands are nothing new, but I do wish that Mondo had included a better hand for grasping the thermos, as I will definitely be posing Batman ready to hurl that thing at Victor as soon as I get the upcoming Mr. Freeze figure in my possession.
However, as pleased as I am with the little trinkets and head sculpts that come with the standard edition, I gotta say that you need to get the exclusive version. The standard edition is good, but the exclusive is truly great. It’s an extra $25 but it’s totally worth it so you get that enormous cape and the H.A.R.D.A.C. head sculpt from “His Silicon Soul.” Getting that bonus head instantly transforms this deal into you getting two figures for the price of one. And there’s no other Duplicate Batman figure on the market right now! Sure, you can find a PVC statue here or there, but not a poseable figure. DC Collectibles is going to have an action figure this summer, but for now this is the one and only premium quality H.A.R.D.A.C. Batman, and as a fan of that episode I found this bonus feature irresistible. Now, as for the cape, you’re going to need to use the stand to support your Batman if you plan to use this cape– and you should. The billowing cape really makes this collectible sing, but it’s thick, heavy, and throws Batman off-balance worse than an attack from Count Vertigo.
I really have very few qualms about this piece. I had hoped for the matte blacks to be a little blacker, the ball-joint head means that having Batman go cape-less gives him an ugly pencil neck look (so don’t pose him sanz cape), and a Bruce Wayne head would’ve made this damn near perfect. The highlights emphasize the straight-from-the-cartoon appeal, the build quality is heavy and durable, and the plethora of accessories gives you a wide range of options for how to display him. It’s a top-notch BTAS collectible.
It’s a great 1/6 scale Batman figure, but it is the BEST (and only) H.A.R.D.A.C. Batman Duplicate figure to date. I think it’s well worth the money, but I would recommend seeking out and spending the extra $25 for the Mondo exclusive version with the windswept cape and Duplicate head. However, since both are currently sold out, you should probably go ahead and pre-order the Mr. Freeze that Mondo is releasing later this year.
Disclaimer: Mondo provided Batman News with a copy of this product for the purpose of this review.