McFarlane Toys The Batman action figures and vehicles review

We’re less than a week away from Batman’s latest big-screen outing and you know what that means: lots and lots of merchandise. Given that McFarlane Toys have the DC license, of course they’re going to make some sweet action figures based on the characters in the film, and they’re offering quite a few different pieces for every Batman fan. There are heroes, villains, variants, and vehicles, and we’ve got them all for review, so check it out.

Batman (regular and unmasked)

What would a Batman line be without the Dark Knight himself? I’ve seen it posited that there have been more action figures made of Batman than any other fictional character ever, and by a wide margin, so of course the Caped Crusader is going to get some representation here.

The Batman line has two different versions: the standard Batman figure, along with an unmasked variant.

The standard figure looks just like Robert Pattinson, except, you know, only a few inches tall. Considering the suit is mostly black and very, very dark gray, it doesn’t look boring in the least, with the armored panels and padding making for an interesting looking suit. The pop of silver from those darts or whatever they are on the gauntlets look nice, and help to break up the darker hues. The only real gripe with the paint application would be that he has that “side-eye” look that a bunch of McFarlane figures have, and while it doesn’t bother me too much, I know that it’s a sticking point for other fans.

I’ve also seen reports that some batches of this figure are shipped with an upside-down torso and the incorrect cape, with the “bunched cowl” cape from the unmasked variant attached instead of the regular one with the high collar. My figure was fine, but again, be on the lookout when shopping around for the figure. I will say that I was impressed with the sculpting of the cape, and the pants as well, as they imitate the look of fabric as well as any other McFarlane figure that I’ve seen and reviewed.

As for accessories, Batman comes with a grapple gun, and at first I was kind of frustrated, because it doesn’t sit right in his gripped left hand. The handle slides in okay, but it sits at an angle that just doesn’t look right.

And then I realized that there’s a stud on the side of the grapple gun, and a hole in Batman’s open right palm. So yes, this stud attaches to that hand, and… it really doesn’t look any less silly. I guess it’s supposed to look as if the grappling gun comes out of a hidden compartment in his gauntlet and rests in his hand, which makes sense, but it still looks kind of goofy.

The unmasked variant is largely the same figure, save for the aforementioned cape with pulled back cowl and Bruce Wayne’s tortured face on full display. The likeness is pretty spot-on for Pattinson, with the mess of hair and shadowy eyes reflecting the anticipated tone of the film. The bunched up cowl resting atop the cape looks really cool, adding an extra layer of intricate sculpting to the piece.

Rather than a grapple gun, this Batman comes with a pretty large Batarang. It fits fairly well in this figure’s hand, either by laying the “bladed” ends in his grasp or having him hold it from the middle. If you get both versions of Batman, the Batarang and grapple gun can be paired together in either first to show the Caped Crusader ready to go with his dual hammers of justice.

Order the Masked Batman from Amazon or Entertainment Earth.

Order the Unmasked Batman from Amazon or Entertainment Earth.

Catwoman (regular and unmasked)

Selina Kyle also gets double the representation in this line, as she comes in masked and unmasked versions as well.

…yeah, that’s really all I have to say.  Let’s go.

The standard Catwoman figure has one advantage over the look we’ve seen from the movie, in that she has a full face mask. I think the ski cap look from the film is kind of weird, and takes away from the look of the rest of her suit which is otherwise a pretty great take on the Catwoman costume. Maybe it will be different in the film, I don’t know. From the clips we’ve been shown, though, the wide open eyes and thin strip of cloth covering her nose, leaving the rest of her face bare, is pretty lazy. So, advantage: action figure.

The catsuits have some interesting texturing and detailing, though it’s ultimately just a black bodysuit without any identifying features. Even still, there’s some variety in the types of material they’re trying to emulate, with her chest and torso fairly smooth in contrast to the bunched folds on the arms. Could this indicate that Selina wears some lightweight armor, and not just a form-fitting leather outfit?  Quite possibly, and even if not, I like the look it gives the figure.

Since Zoë Kravitz herself is quite petite, the Catwoman figures are understandably very lean, so it was kind of hard getting either one in an interesting pose without support.  It can be done, but it’s a challenge. That’s not necessarily a knock against the sculpting and build quality, though, because in general the figures have strong joints that allow for pretty diverse poses.

The unmasked variant, as I said, is almost the exact same figure. The only differences are the visible face with a pretty good Kravitz likeness, the bunched up mask sitting atop her head, and the whip accessories. The standard figure has an unfurled whip that looks and seems cool in theory, but would have been better if it was prehensile. Perhaps a soft plastic with a metal wire within, so the whip could be twisted and pulled into a variety of ways? The unmasked variant, on the other hand, has a whip that’s been rolled up for storage. Again, it’s cool in theory, and I kind of like how it looks in Selina’s hand, but the figure would have been all the better had there been a small hook to hang the whip from, or a stud like Batman’s grapple gun so it could fit into a hole on Catwoman’s belt. As it is, the figures and accessories are good, when they could have ultimately been great.

Order the Masked Batman from Amazon or Entertainment Earth.

Order the Unmasked Batman from Amazon or Entertainment Earth.

The Penguin

Colin Farrell looks like he’s having the great time that I hope to have when I see the movie next weekend. Among all the seriousness and gloom of The Batman, Farrell’s Penguin seems positively delightful, and I am here for it.

To get it out of the way: no, he does not come with any accessories, save for swappable hands, one of which is “finger guns.” Honestly, I think that’s great and fitting for this Penguin, who definitely seems like the kind of guy who would give you a smug wink and shoot the guns when something didn’t go your way. Some might take issue with it, but I’m fine with it.

And the fact that the rest of the figure is pretty stellar helps too. This is one of my favorite pieces of the entire line, thanks to the great details on his outfit and the appropriately gross and scarred look on Cobblepot’s face. His coat has a ton of little wrinkles, which always impresses me when these figures try to emulate fabric, and his trousers bunch up against his shoes wonderfully too. As a bonus, he even has spats, which is always a great look for an old-timey gangster type, which Penguin tries to evoke in spirit if not practice. The only drawback to the figure is that he’s kind of large and bulky, so his posability is fairly limited, but then again, the Penguin isn’t exactly a felxible character. He’s going to stand tall and try to appear strong in the face of opposition, and this action figure can certainly do that in spades.

Order the Penguin from Amazon or Entertainment Earth.

Bruce Wayne (drifter)

Real talk: this is my favorite figure in The Batman line. I was surprised, because a “street clothes” look for a character should pale in comparison to the more lavish and fantastical costumes of the other heroes and villains, but no. Bruce Wayne here is immaculately sculpted with a ton of incredible detail.

Just look at the patches on his knees, or the layers of shirts he has on underneath his bulky jacket. This figure is deceptively complex, and I grew more impressed with it the longer I looked at and handled it. Much like the Penguin, the way his pants bunch up in different areas looks natural and real, be it at his knee and hip joints or the subtle shading around the cargo pockets.

His backpack accessory is just as detailed, and is made of soft enough plastic that you can easily slip it onto Bruce’s arms and rest it on his shoulders. It might sound weird to say that the best figure in a superhero line is the (relatively) normal dude, but facts is facts: this figure rocks.

Order the Drifter from Amazon or Entertainment Earth.

The Riddler



The Riddler.

I don’t like his look. At all. I’m not saying that he needed to have question mark-laden spandex, but you at least want to look at a character and be able to identify who they are. I mean, if Batman didn’t have a pointy-eared cowl, a cape, and a bat on his chest, we’d be up in arms about his look, so why can’t that extend to his villains too? This pseudo-Zodiac Killer vibe just seems wrong and off, like it’s trying way too hard to be gritty and realistic.

But, it’s what we’ll have to live with, and as far as an action figure reproduction goes, this is pretty solid. The green coat follows in the footsteps of Drifter Bruce and Penguin’s outer garments, managing to look more like a parka than the other two figures’ heavier jackets. Much as I dislike the mask, it’s sculpted well, with whatever transparent material is covering the back of his head blending nicely with the solid green headpiece.

Then there’s the included accessory, which can be described as nothing but an ice scraper. Maybe it’s supposed to be a small axe? I don’t know. It looks like Nygma Nashton is getting ready to go to work on a snowy day. A roll of duct tape would have been an odd accessory, but at least fitting given what we’ve seen of the film.

No matter. As much as it sounds like faint praise, this is about the best figure you could hope to get based on this version of the Riddler, and I do mean that in the best way possible.

Order the Riddler from Amazon or Entertainment Earth.


What is a Batman without a sweet ride?

Well, still Batman, but the sweet ride is a nice bonus.

The Batcycle here is pretty sweet indeed, with a great design and solid construction. The engine block and exhaust pipes have some cool paint effects that make them look like real, fairly weathered metal. There’s not a lot more to say about it, other than you kind of need the included stand to keep it upright, and it takes a bit of tinkering to get Batman on it just right. Either way, it’s a cool looking cycle and fits with this line perfectly.

Order the Batcycle from Amazon or Entertainment Earth.

Drifter motorcycle

Where the Batcycle is sleek and cool, the drifter motorcycle here is rough and worn.

And it looks awesome.

Much like the drifter Bruce Wayne figure is a lot more interesting looking than the actual Batman action figure, this beaten up motorbike has a lot more character to it because it doesn’t look sleek and perfect. There’s a crack in the headlight, and an open chassis so you can see right through the body and pick up on all the little details on the engine and undercarriage. Like the Batcycle, it doesn’t stand up remarkably well on its own, and it also takes some meticulous posing to get a figure on it just right, but other than that it rocks.

Order the Batcycle from Entertainment Earth.

Overall: Setting aside personal aesthetic preferences, this is a fairly strong line of Batman figures. The posability varies from figure to figure, with some offering a wider range of motion than others, but the detailing on each piece is great and the likenesses are spot-on. Throw in two really cool motorcycles that pair well with the Batman and Catwoman figures and you’ve got yourself a great movie line.
Disclaimer: McFarlane Toys provided each figure and vehicle to Batman News for the purpose of review.

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