With most of the statues we look at, the characters are captured moments before or after doing something. Catching a character in action is complicated. To show them fighting requires a second character. Capturing Batman in the Batcave or the Batmobile would require some pretty substantial accessories. That quickly pushes these toys from being affordable expenses to wishlist items. With Diamond Select’s DC Gallery Robin statue, though, we’re getting exactly that–a character in action, a perfect comic-book frame in three dimensions.
The Boy Wonder
Every Robin has a few things in common with the others. They have black hair, talent with gymnastics, and they’re way too young to be fighting potentially lethal criminals. It can be pretty tough to differentiate them in isolation. The official description for this figure makes it clear that this is Tim Drake, but keen-eyed Batman fans won’t even need to look. Despite the commonalities between different Robin looks, we’re definitely looking at Tim Drake’s original Robin costume.
The one that, for many of us, strikes the perfect balance between the classic red-green-yellow color scheme and a sleek, modern look. This Robin first appeared in 1990’s Batman #457, making this design a hair over 30 years old. Comparing this design to Dick Grayson’s classic look with bare legs and flared gloves and boots, this design has aged so much better in 30 years than that one did. It still feels sleek and modern, making it the perfect look to capture.
Take to the Skies
The DC Gallery line has become one of my favorites in Diamond Select’s lineup, giving us statues that seem to capture every classic element of the character in one place. Robin is no exception.
Let’s start with the pose. Instead of going with Robin standing ready to fight or captured in a landing pose, this Robin is, true to form, leaping in mid-air, gracefully flying over a gothic chimney stack as he patrols Gotham City. This is the true stand-out feature for this statue. While every statue requires some amount of engineering to off the page and into three dimensions, but it’s a lot easier to make a character stand on their own two feet than it is to do anything else. But our favorite characters rarely just stand in their best stories. In having Robin leap, the sculptor and manufacturer gave themselves a (theoretically) more difficult job, but came out with an iconic look for Batman’s eternal sidekick.
There are a lot of nice little touches in here, too, from the ninja-style toes on his boots to the sharpness of the raised “R” on his chest. The character has a lot of different seams from where different molded pieces were assembled, but they’re cleverly hidden using the clean lines of Robin’s outfit. The only obvious junctions on the statue are the line where his green leggings join with the red leotard in back, and where his leg attaches to the translucent smoke emerging from the chimney. Both of these are well-hidden looking straight-on, so the end result is a statue that feels very much like a single piece. The cape in particular stands out as being excellent especially in light of the botched cape on the Batman statue we looked at recently.
The paint itself is clean and the right amount of bright. It would be easy to go overboard with the primary colors of the statue, but places like Robin’s chest and cape have definition paint to flesh the different parts out. The cape is yellow, but bends toward orange at the folds, while Robin’s musculature has enough shadowing to give the statue definition in any light. There really aren’t many places where the color bleeds or looks bad.
We have very few complaints about this statue. In this case, the sole complaint comes from his empty hands. The Bat family is known as much for its tools as for its gymnastics. It seems like Robin should be holding something here. His bo-staff, a grapple gun–just about anything. And while the engineering is impressive, we can’t help but wonder if the life of this statue will be as long as some of the more grounded variants. Plastic can bend and warp over time, depending on conditions and make-up. And as with any of these statues, looking up close reveals flaws that the eyes simply don’t find without ultra-detailed examination.
Like Scarecrow before, though, Robin is a great value at less than $50 for a statue that does such a good job of depicting a quintessential Robin look, and the shortcomings are small and easy to overlook.
Disclaimer: Diamond Select provided us with a sample unit to photograph and examine for review.