McFarlane Toys Batman Beyond, Birds of Prey, and animated action figure reviews

With over eighty years of history, and a presence across multiple mediums, DC Comics has a deep, deep well of characters and content to merchandise.  You can pull from comics, movies, TV, video games, and even books and radio shows and still barely scratch the surface of all they have to offer.

And it’s a well that McFarlane Toys isn’t afraid to tap, as they’ve been offering a wide range of different DC figures in the short time that they’ve had the license.  They’ve provided us with several action figures from comics, movies, and two different animated series for review, so let’s just dive right in and check them out.

Batman Beyond

Let’s start things off on a high note, shall we?  Good ol’ Terry McGinnis here looks absolutely amazing, with a spot-on paint job and great detailing on his suit. The extra piping and texturing is a little odd, given the sleek look of the suit in the animated series, but it actually adds to the figure without being distracting.  The included display arm allows for some really cool poses, and I love the boot jet flame attachments that make it look like Batman is really flying through the air.  The only downside is that the wings can’t be removed, only folded down, but considering how awesome it looks when you extend them behind Terry and pose him with a Batarang, all is forgiven.

Available at Amazon

Shriek (unmasked)

One of Batman Beyond‘s more memorable villains, Shriek’s figure has a solid build that includes Walter Shreeve’s unmasked head.  I thought Shriek had a really cool, unique look in the show, and it translates well to action figure form, with those chunky gauntlets giving him a really interesting silhouette.  The suit looks really good, and despite that size of his arms, it’s easy to pose Shriek and keep him relatively well-balanced on his own.  The two included “sound disk” accessories are a neat idea to visualize his powers, though they’re kind of difficult to get on the gloves.  In fact, they seemed to be molded to fit the left hand, as the right hand’s fingers were spread differently, so they couldn’t fit into the small slots on either disk to stay on well.  Still, it’s a faithful looking figure, and complements Terry’s Batman well.

Available at Amazon & Entertainment Earth

Armored Batman (The Dark Knight Returns)

As far as alternate looks for Batman go, there’s hardly a more iconic or recognizable costume than the heavy armor he dons for his fight with Superman toward the end of the seminal The Dark Knight Returns.  Pound for pound (literally: this guy is heavy), this figure might have some of the best sculpting and detailing of the bunch, with plenty of small chips and nicks in the armor that give it a worn-in feel.  The two sets of hands come off and snap on easily, so you can give Batman a more stoic look or keep him on his guard while he’s waiting to attack.

My favorite details are the boots and cape, because they’re just so ridiculously massive yet fit the figure perfectly.  The boots have a ton of tread spikes on the bottom, which tracks with some of the shots from the final fight in TDKR, and the cape… have you ever had to pick up a heavy curtain, like one that’s used in stage productions?  How thick and heavy they are?  That’s what this cape feels and looks like.  It’s made of textured rubber, which adds to the weight of the figure, and hangs off his back like an ominous black veil.  It’s big, kind of impractical, and pretty awesome, much like the armor from The Dark Knight Returns.

Available at Amazon & Entertainment Earth

Animated Superman (black suit variant)

While I’m not one to rank the black suit Superman wore when he returned from the dead as one of my favorite looks for the Man of Steel, I don’t deny that it looks cool.  A striking contrast to the bright primary colors of his normal outfit, the stark black and silver are certainly memorable, and look great in certain contexts.

This animated-style Superman in the black togs definitely looks cool, especially with that molded silver cape flowing out behind him.  I’ll always prefer the standard look for Supes, that’s to be sure, but I love how clean this two-toned costume looks.  The pops of silver in the shield and belt look absolutely amazing against the black of the rest of the body suit, and despite the more somber color palette, you can still get some nice heroic poses from the figure.  The second set of hands and bent metal beam accessory are nice touches, and fun to play around with, though my personal favorite poses came from using the closed fists.  All around, though, this is a unique Superman figure that definitely flies high.

Available at Amazon & Entertainment Earth

Animated Flash

There’s no denying that the Flash was the Justice League cartoon’s heart and soul, serving alongside Martian Manhunter as the series’ breakout stars.  This figure perfectly captures the youthful exuberance of an animated Wally West in plastic form, with one of the most faithful molds of the lot.  He has the same amount of articulation as the other figures in the line, but there’s just something about his mold that allows for some dynamic poses.  The bright red costume looks incredible, and the yellow and white accents enhance the Scarlet Speedster’s color scheme.  The cocky little smirk on his face gives the figure another bit of fun character, too, and the attachable lightning bolt accessory make this a cool display piece alongside being a great figure for play.

Available at Amazon & Entertainment Earth

Harley Quinn (Birds of Prey)

At this point, there’s no denying that Margot Robbie is Harley Quinn, as she nailed the role in the first Suicide Squad and has only gotten better in each successive outing.  Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) showed that Robbie is a genuine star and loves playing the character, even if the film wasn’t a huge financial success.

It also had some drastically different looks for Harley, that were as striking as they were memorable, despite not following her trademark red and black or red and blue color schemes.  Even still, they fit the film’s tone, and it was definitely fun seeing Harley get around on rollerskates and knock some heads in with her mallet.  The final figure from this batch of McFarlane toys perfectly renders Harley’s vibrant gold overalls look… almost.

Practically every detail about this figure looks great, even if you’re not a fan of the look itself.  Personally, I loved the texturing on the overalls, with alternating diamond patterns and some expertly sculpted folds and wrinkles.  The small detail of the suspenders under the overalls was a nice touch, and her skates are pretty intricately molded and painted.  Her mallet looks nice and weathered too, with some nice pops of color against the chipped “wood” textures.  Even the various tattoos on Harley’s arms and face have a nice application, despite the fact that I’m not a fan of the inclusion of the tattoos in the first place.

Then there’s here face, which doesn’t look much like Robbie.  I can’t quite put my finger on what makes it look so off, but I think that the figure’s face is more rounded, where Margot’s features a slightly sharper.  It looks okay for a general Harley Quinn action figure, sure, but not really for one that’s supposed to look like a famous actress.

Even still, she also comes with that fabled egg and cheese sandwich, which is the best possible accessory for this Harley.

Available at Amazon & Entertainment Earth

OVERALL: This is a fairly varied batch of figures, with heroes and villains representing Batman and other DC properties across a variety of mediums, and there’s hardly a dud in the bunch.  Like all of McFarlane’s figures, the details are second to none, and it’s nice to see different takes on familiar characters.  What’s more, there’s something here for every type of DC fan, whether you like movies, comics, television series, or all of the above.
McFarlane Toys provided each figure for the purposes of this review.

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