Batman & Bat-Pod
Review by Atom
The Movie Realization line is an off-shoot of the Super Imaginative Chogokin line by Bandai. Batman & Bat-Pod are seen in the latest silver screen adventure of, well... Batman. If you haven't seen The Dark Knight and want to avoid spoilers hit the back button as knowing what the Bat-Pod is spoils a very cool moment in the movie. You have been warned, for all the rest. Read on.
Based on a design sketch by Masakazu Katsura and was sculpted by Takayuki Takeya. Let me say right up front - it's a real winner.
The package is large for an S.I.C./Movie Realization release coming in at 20 by 11 by 6 inches. It opens very much like a shoe box with the lid held in place by Velcro. The box front and inside lid features artwork by the concept artist, Masakazu Katsura the sculpt was based on.
Inside the figure, bike and accessories are neatly arranged in a vacuum formed tray. The annoying part is all of the little bits like spare hands, grappling gun, Batarang, etc. Are all stored in the top lid held in place by tape. This doesn't really lend itself to easily storing the fiddly bits when not used as they tend to fall out when you try to take the top lid out. This is obviously not a big complaint but I do expect a well thought out design from Bandai at this point. Ah well, into the ziplock bag for these little bits.
When you free the figure and the bike from the package you notice the weight and heft of both pieces. But it was the bike that really surprised me, it's main frame is all die-cast metal! But I get ahead of myself...
First, the Batman figure. The S.I.C. line generally reinvents the designs of the characters they choose to do in this series, giving them a more edgier design. It's almost akin to a McFarlane figure but without the disintegration, those figures tend to suffer after a short period of handling. However, Batman here is under the Movie Realization banner and while it is slightly re-imagined it looks very close to his later suit in The Dark Knight. With the only design choice, I question being the red armor fiber showing through the chest plate.
Other than that it looks very sharp. It's a nice solid figure with tons of articulation, a staple of the S.I.C./Movie Realization franchise and “Bats” doesn't disappoint. With generous points of articulation everywhere an action figure fan would expect, the addition of double jointed elbows and knees allows for some excellent looking poses and allows the figure to really look like he is “riding” the bike.
The cape is formed plastic and that's fine by me as it looks good when he's riding the bike and still fairly dynamic in action poses by itself. Anything you could want to do with the figure pose-wise is pretty much possible and looks natural.
Accessories are bountiful in the package including:
Clear display stand
Two extra sets of hands (2x clenched/closed fist, 2x formed hands for gun and batarang)
Now for the real star of this set, the Bat-Pod. So if you have read this far you do not care about spoilers or you have already seen The Dark Knight. You have been warned...
The Bat-Pod is an escape vehicle for the Tumbler (Batman's tank/batmobile from the first film, Batman Begins). It is the front wheel hub of the Tumbler converted into a motorcycle. This vehicle is involved in a very spectacular chase through Gotham City and is really a signature moment from The Dark Knight.
Well, Bandai gives it the treatment it deserves in this release with the whole main frame being made of die-cast metal. It is a nice solid chunk of metal and feels like a solid toy, yes this could be used to commit manslaughter with. Seriously, it's that nice.
The free rolling wheels are made of rubber and not only do the wheels feature realistic tread they look worn in the middle from having been used on the Tumbler.
Paint detail is extraordinary with no detail spared, rust is painted around rivets, metal parts have scrapes and wear showing and overall the detailing makes the bike look very real.
The bike can be displayed standing but they do include a clear stand to keep the bike from rolling off your shelf. Bandai really did go above and beyond for this release.
Bottom line, it is a really nice action figure all by its self, combined with the Bat-Pod it's stellar! Action figure fans and Batman fans really do want to get this set. A piece like this really shows the difference between the American and Japanese toy markets and how they approach a famous, international character. While there are plenty of nice domestic batman toys out there this Movie Realization release by Bandai is heads and shoulders above any of those releases.
While a toy at $75 is not cheap, it's a real steal for what this is.
Comments26 comments posted
I was under the impression that this was more in line of 1/18 or 1/15 scale like the recent Mospeada offerings. Unless the reviewer is 4' tall, it's about twice the size I thought it was.
I'll again bring up the quote "courtesy of Angolz". I take that as you got it for free to review in trade for a mention (advertising). If this is the case I'd like to see you specifically state this and whether or not you personally would've spent the $100 (shipping) for it.
It's just that I can't respect what you think of something if you got it for free and had the taint of payola attached to it. I'd much rather see what you think of something when you bought it yourself and put your money where your mouth is.
Duke, do you intend to keep bringing up the nature of our sponsorship programs until you get the answer you're looking for?
Some retailers pay us money for advertising (hence the banners on the side). Some offer us discounts when we shop at their sites. Still others offer discounts on toys we intend to buy anyway for purposes of reviewing on the site. As a courtesy, we plug them in the review text.
There's no conspiracy here.
We're a website that reviews toys, Duke. To suggest that we're on the take--regarding toys--and that you can't "respect" our reviews--of toys--because because of the "taint of payola" says more about you than it does about us. Again, they're toys. Please consider that you may be taking all of this a bit too seriously.
We like toys, that's why we have this website. If we were looking for some sort of pay-off, we probably would have started a website reviewing consumer electronics, computers, or automobiles. But, alas, we have other hustles in our grown-up lives, and thus have nothing to blame for our tragically nerdy toy addictions!
So, to answer your question, our sponsorships have no influence on our reviews. If we like a toy, we say so--whether we got a discount and plug the retailer or not. If we hate a toy, we say so--whether we got a discount and plug the retailer or not. What more would you like us to say?
Do you really need to hear in a positive review whether we would have bought the item without any discounts? How about this: just assume the answer is Yes...then we'll all be happy. If that isn't possible for you, then I'm not sure what to tell you.
We'd love to have you stay and continue to comment, but if find that you simply can't find it in your heart to respect our reviews, then by all means, stop torturing yourself. There are plenty of toy sites out there.
"Again, they're toys. Please consider that you may be taking all of this a bit too seriously."
Sigh. That comment is used too often by people who don't seem to believe that what they are passionate about is really worth a damn.
CollectionDX isn't Reuters or the Associated Press but if you guys truly have pride in this site then there is nothing wrong with considering questions of integrity or taking things seriously. It devalues the efforts of people who appreciate and write about pop culture, like Josh and Matt alt in their respective books.
One of the things I used to like about Japanese reviewer "PONY" (http://www011.upp.so-net.ne.jp/pony-hp/TOYSROOM.htm)is that because he DID shell out hundreds for certain items, he does have more of a reason to be genuinely critical as one of that company's consumers.
I don't know if any of this matters here, though, because this looks like one kickass figure.
Excellent job taking a quote completely out of context. When I suggest that Duke Togo is taking this a bit too seriously, I'm responding to his insinuation that we're in the pockets of our sponsors. On one hand, perhaps you could see that that would be a tad insulting. On the other, ludicrous.
I never said that I wasn't passionate about toys. If you feel that I implied that at any point, please enlighten us. I took his statement questioning our integrity quite seriously and if you read my whole post above (or Nekrodave's below), I'm sure you'll find that his statement was well-considered based on the content of our responses.
None of this has anything to do with not being passionate about this hobby. If we weren't passionate, we
A) wouldn't have started this website or continue to contribute to it and
B) wouldn't be having this discussion.
Again, I'm sorry, but the implication that we're some sort of *corrupt gang of toy reviewers* is the height of silliness to me. As Nekrodave mentioned, we've all written negative and sponsored reviews of new toys...so even if one were to take the allegation seriously, it clearly has zero merit.
Hey Duke Togo,
When you see something like "Courtesy of Angolz", often times yes, it is either obtained for free or at a discount. However, I maintain a strict code here at CDX where I encourage my writers to be open and honest about each toy they review. We also make advertisers aware of this, that providing us with review samples does not guarantee them a positive review (or any review at all for that matter). Because of this policy, advertisers tend to be selective about what they send us, opting for items that they know CDX and our readers are going to like.
If we here at CDX were limited to just reviewing the toys we could personally afford, well, we'd have a lot less toys on CDX.
Sounds like someone missed several lukewarm Saint Seiya reviews or this Macross review in which Atom explicitly says that unless you're a diehard fan "it's a pass"? That means "don't buy it", fyi. And those reviews are sponsored by the very same Angolz. And how could you have possibly missed Josh's sponsored review trashing the SOC Jeeg? Any interest I ever had in that toy went right out the window after seeing that. Where were you then? Or the many anime figure ones where he says they're well made, but not his thing, ie; he wouldn't personally buy them? Like the Revoltech Ricky sponsored review just a few days ago? Sorry, I can't respect what you think of our reviews until you read them all and stopping cherry picking which ones you want to complain about. You're barking up the wrong tree.
"This must be settled the way nature intended....with a vicious, bloody fight!"
Principal, Flatpoint High
I was trying to bite my tongue on this but I cant. I don't think you get it! All of our writers take pride in giving the readers unbiased toy reviews. Our policy is to give an honest review whether or not we purchased the toy ourselves or get it in exchange for advertising services.
"the other fat bearded guy at CDX"
Unlike these other writers, I have neither shame nor pride. I am entirely willing to be showered with free toys in return for writing glowing reviews of same. In fact I am in something of a quandary as to why this hasn't happened already.
well... i'd polish lead to gold for an abundant supply of monthly japanese toys too.. i guess that's the reason i'm not in the toy review business...
life needs to be bittersweet;
you work the sweet side, and i'll manage to embitter it.
Looks like someone's complaining just because some people get free toys or get huge discounts for toys.
Some people can't really get their mouth to shut up when they want to say something bad all the time...
"I'm no ordinary ring."
thanks for the review on this Atom... and while im here i may aswell throw my two cents in. i love CDX because i love toys, and CDX loves toys and does great reviews. win win. i dont care how they came to aquire these toys i dont even really care if they like them or not. each to his own... i just want to know about the toys... if something tickles my fancy i'll look into it and see what other people think about it..
speaking of which im going to see if i can track this badboy down, it looks killer.
Tell my tale to those who ask. Tell it truly - the ill deeds along with the good, and let me be judged accordingly. The rest... is silence.
I think it looks real cool.
About the discussion, it doesn`t make a lot of sense to gripe about a collector's review site getting some incentives.
I have collected for a few years now, and I know I have invested a lot of money, and my collecting is humble compared to the site's admin guys so...how much money do they need to invest to get some respect?
They are doing fine, good reviews, plenty of pics, good times, most of the times.
Thanks for the positive comments, guys!
This site is about one thing: collections! Sure we have a lot of registered users who post great comments. That's awesome and in a way, that's the cornerstone of the site. But it's also about photographing your collection and posting the pics here. I like to think of it as "virtually playing"!
Hey, unless we're all hanging out in person, this is our best bet at sharing in this goofy hobby!
Anyway, if there were more hours in the day, I'd love to review more vintage pieces and more non-mainstream stuff...like my obscure Japanese vinyl glowies or weird American things like Mad Balls. Those things are part of my collection, and you need to know about them! ;)
Sure, we try to stay on top of all the great new toys that are coming out all the time. As a toy news site, that's obviously pretty important, but again, the cornerstone is our collections and raving about what we like!
The reviewer's opinion is really made irrelevant by the depth of the review.
By reading this review,and looking at the pictures,you can make up your own mind as to whether or not you should buy the item. And really,it's not hard to believe Atom can enjoy a finely detailed diecast figure and vehicle from the biggest motion picture of the year (and classic comic book) without being "on the take" or whatever other nonsense. That's just stupid.
That being said,I'm not going to purchase this figure,since it looks like Batman is wearing a red bra,and I'm not really into that sort of thing.
Let me put this down in a much far simpler perspective. Say, If I'm gonna get a free toy like this from Angolz but I'll be obliged to write something about it biasely.... What benefit will I get from it? the toy?! that's it?! that is so lame!! It's not equitable!!
..unless if Angolz will pay me..hehehe!!..then there we can say, there's a "taint of payola attached to it"!! "although this is not far from the truth" -morpheus... some writers/journalists are in fact doing this kinda thing.
but for this case, my reputation as a writer against a few amount of hongkong dollars and a 20cm batman action figure with his batpod? think about it! is it worth it? is it really?
"No Gnu is Good Gnu like Gary Gnu"
Oh! By the way!
With those red thingies on Batman's chest (looks like a Nike Airsole), he looks like a G1-Transformer...like Mirage or Jazz with the car headlights located on their chests.
Why'd they have to put those things on his chest?? ..and why'd they put a standing collar on his neckline?? I may never find out the answers.
"No Gnu is Good Gnu like Gary Gnu"
The written review was excellent, but the video really illustrates how solid & stable the figure appears to be!
I don't care for the bike, but I really love this representation of the dark knight!
Do they have a version of the figure without the bike or is he exclusive to this set?
...make it two...
if bandai released the whole set, i'd be more than happy to get them all. i mean, this is the best batman sculpt i've ever found on the market... had the batman and batpod already, courtesy of a friend :D
life needs to be bittersweet;
you work the sweet side, and i'll manage to embitter it.
Cyclone Blue hit the nail on the head! Atom gives good reviews to toys he hates because he gets to keep the toys he hates!
...and we all know how that feels like - having to keep the toys we hate. ;D
"No Gnu is Good Gnu like Gary Gnu!"
Unfortunately, my batman toys especailly the clear chest plate part has become discolorised which is the color became whiter due to the color was peeled off. so I would like to fix this problem.
Does anybody know how can I fix my Batman toys(clear part on his
Should I use any painting to fix it? Pleae give me your kind advice
I would be very appreciate that!
TKS a LOT!
I hope any of you guys would make a review if you can on those Dark Knight/Batman Masterpiece Editions of Hot Toys, Medicom RAH and DC Direct. They have amazing line-ups of Batman/Dark Knight 12" action figures of batman, the joker, harvey dent/2-face, the batpod and the tumbler.
I'm sorry but I'm just a very big batman fan!
Oh! Oh! Oh! ...if you could also get a hold on some of the Bruce Lee 12" action figures. They too look so amazing!
Please be a genie! Thanks!
"No Gnu is Good Gnu like Gary Gnu"