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.
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.
|Posted 10 November, 2008 - 18:57 by Atom|