A funny thing happened while I was writing these action figure ranking posts. I took a trip down nostalgia lane with some of the lines, sure, but they also awakened memories I’d forgotten I even had. When I Googled an image to use for the last post, I was reminded of the existence of Batman: Knight Force Ninjas. Having never owned any of these toys, any memories I had about it had been pushed aside to make room for more Batman information in the past 25 years, but there was enough about this line I liked that it warranted its own post.
If you don’t know which toys I’m talking about, have another commercial:
They don’t make ’em like they used to, that’s for sure.
Vehicles and Playsets
4. Knight Star Batmobile: This looks like the Batmobile from the Legends of Batman toy line, just in a loud green color. Pass.
3. Batman vs. The Joker: This only makes too much sense. Batman and the Joker as Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em robots. The weirdest thing about this is there wasn’t actually a Joker toy in the main toyline, so this is the only representation he gets. Still, if you’re going to have a Joker, might as well be one you can punch.
2. Knight Star Batmobile Walmart Exclusive: Still that sickly green color, but this one comes with a figure. That always counts for something.
1. Combat Arena: You know I love a micro playset, and this one comes packed with some fun play features. It has little bitty Batman, Killer Croc, and Azrael figures, and they can duke it out in either a battle arena or a Batcave dojo, so it’s like having two sets in one. In this economy, that’s a steal.
12. Thunder Kick Batman: While I don’t condone violence (which is a weird thing to say, considering I write so much about Batman), I can understand why this Batman would need a real roundhouse kick action feature. That neon green mask just clashes with the purple gloves, which itself clashes with that blue bodysuit. He has to defend himself from being bullied.
11. Arsenal Cape Batman: These accessories are really cool, and the fact that they clip onto the cape is awesome too. The coloring on the figure itself reminds me of Zur-En-Arrh, which normally wouldn’t be a bad thing, but considering how that’s been used in the Batman comic title recently, it is for right now.
10. Hyper Crush Robin: There are some decent ideas going on here, like having a giant Bane cutout decoy on which to practice sick karate moves. There’s just… something that this Robin costume reminds me of, and I can’t put my finger on it. I get what they’re going for, making it look like a karate gi, and it doesn’t look terrible. Just… derivative, and it’s driving me crazy.
9. Karate Chop Batman: A fairly generic Batman that’s nudged up a few points because of the hilarious tied bandana mask. If it worked for pirate Batman, it works for karate Batman.
8. Power Kick Batman: These colors remind me of Thomas Wayne Batman, which is always a bad thing, but as opposed to Zur-En-Arrh that I typically love, this doesn’t fill me with as much disappointment.
7. Multi-Blast Batman: Remember after Bruce defeated Jean-Paul to regain the mantle of Batman, and when he came back after the whole Prodigal story he debuted a new costume with leg spikes because “Valley had some right ideas”? This would be if Bruce took literally every other element from the AzBats suit except for those stupid leg spikes, and the world would be better for it.
6. Fist Fury Batman: If you’re going to wear neon green as Batman, you at least need to have the confidence to run around without a shirt so you can show off your sick pecs and massive gains. That is the way of the ninja.
5. Tornado Blade Riddler: For a Batman toy line centered around ninjas and karate, they could have gone with villains like Sensei, King Snake, or Lady Shiva. Instead, they went with Riddler, the most punchable Batman villain of all, so Hasbro definitely understood this assignment.
4. Knight Blade Batman: Blue and gray all the way, baby.
3. Side Strike Robin: Not a bad Time Drake Robin at all. Cool sculpt, and I always loved the look of the black sleeves he wore in Robin #35 during Final Night. Some more traditional accessories would have been nice, like a bo staff or sling, but I won’t be too picky.
2. Tailwhip Killer Croc: Beats me what Croc has to do with ninjas. This is just a great figure, and I love the giant crocodile skull accessory.
1. Azrael: The one thing I remember this line being known for was that it had this amazing Azrael figure. And, I mean… why? Why is the best Azrael toy ever made from a Knight Force Ninjas toy line? Because this is genuinely impressive, with its spot-on sculpt and comic accurate detailing. He even has a sword and a dagger sticking out of one of his wrist gauntlets. Seriously. Incredible work here.
All images obtained from Figure-Archive.net, unless otherwise noted.