Silver Age Batman Action Figure
By Hervé St-Louis
March 21, 2003 - 13:58
Sculptor(s): Tim Bruckner
The Silver Age Batman came as a two pack with the Silver Age Robin action figure. Both share the same rooftop base and a suction cup with a rope and a handle, allowing the characters to be posed as if they were climbing a wall.
The Silver Age Batman is modelled after Carmine Infantino's redesign in the late sixties. Compared with the Batman of the previous generation, he sports the yellow oval around his bat symbol. The blue on his costume is lighter and somewhat aqua. The Batman's belt is also more streamlined into tube objects bolted on a yellow base.
Just like in the comics, Batman's hears are longer than in the past. The Batman's upper face is painted black and there are blue highlights on his shorts. Batman's cape is short. It barely reaches the figure's calves. The figure also comes with a soft rubber belt.
The Batman is made of the same regular plastic all Dc Directs are usually made. However, upon opening my figure, there was none of the usual stench and oily deposit under the figure's armpits. Batman now has one of those soft plastic capes I like so much, though they tend to gather dust faster and be more difficult to clean. Their advantage is that they don't weight down the figures too much, which can make them fall.
The sculpt is a straight pose with the right leg leaning more than the other. In the prototypes first seen months ago, the legs were aligned. Batman's body has an average build. One of his fists is open, but has problems holding the batarangs that came with the set.
The paint job is clean. I could not see any defects on my figure. This is a good thing. I don't get to carefully choose my toys at the store. The retailer and his staff bring them to me from the storeroom. This means that most figures must have been well painted.
The Batman's scale is perfect. He towers over the recent Birds of Prey ladies, Kyle Rayner I, Barry Allen and Blue Beetle. However, he is slightly shorter than Aquaman and the Silver Age Superman.
The articulation is standard but with some improvements and over past DC Direct figures. Batman's neck, shoulders, elbows, hips, knees and ankles are articulated. Unfortunately, there are also some problems. The shoulders of Batman are less flexible than Robin's or even Metamorpho.
The ankles feature a new design that makes them stronger than previous DC Direct figures. Instead of being held together by a thin middle piece, the lower parts of the ankles have two prolonged pieces, on the sides of the ankle perched higher than usual. By strongly surrounding the middle part of the bottom of the leg, this secures the ankle's articulation.
The quality of the diorama is plain. There is a bat-like gargoyle with bat's ears sculpted on the edge of the roof. Compared with traditional gargoyles, such as the infamous Batman statue from over a decade ago, and many comic book illustrations, this one is too simple. There's no pretending that Batman will be crouched on this roof top looking moody.
The Silver Age Batman and Robin two pack costs the same price as usual DC Directs sets with two figures and some accessories. I still think retailers price these too much, but I digress. The bricks' design is simple and definitely not elaborate, when compared with some recent dioramas of marvel characters such as spider-man and the ultimate Captain America.
The way the peg holes are set up on the roof highly encourages fans where to place Batman and Robin on the base. The central position allows one figures to be aligned directly with the gargoyle. The other character seems to stand farther back on the right side of the base looking more on the right than straight forward.
Batman stands up well. In fact, he stands so well, that I haven't placed him on the stand that came with him. He has stood up for several weeks now, withstanding the regular commotion on my action figure stand, which is but an extension of my desk.
The packaging for the figures was innovative. It seems that Dc Direct is finally investing more in package designs. Batman and Robin came in a large box with a cardboard poster of the bat signal. Lots of period looking images and captions were found on the box. It was like opening a sixties toys, not that I would know, since I wasn't born back then.
About availability, my gut feeling is to purchase it wherever you find it on the spot. My regular supplier had extra sets, which haven't sold yet, but their prices were higher than my reserved set. This suggests that retailers want to take advantage of the popularity of Batman to sell more stuff to gullible casual fans.
This Batman is also the first Dc Direct action figure available since the company was set up and since Hasbro renounced the Batman and Superman toy licence. PVCs and statues have been available, of course. One can expect more Batman from Dc Direct. If they are all of the same quality, this collector and fan will be there again
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