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Alfred & Michelangelo

Batman vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
by yo go re

That's funny, I didn't expect to be having leftovers until after Thanksgiving...

Remember back in 2005 when DC Direct made the first Alfred Pennyworth figure in their Hush line? It was a special day, because there'd never been a toy of Batman's friend and confidant before. (Well, there was a Kenner BtAS-style one in a 1998 four-pack, but you recall what those figures were like.) Here we are a decade and a half later, and two different companies have both released Alfreds at functionally the same time: Mattel doing a comic/live-action version in the DC Multiverse line, and DCD doing this one based on Batman vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Alfred is of course wearing his fancy butler tuxedo: black dress coat with long tails, a maroon vest, white Windsor-collared shirt with a black bow tie, white gloves, black trousers, and black-and-white wingtip Oxford shoes. Always the impeccable gentleman! The shirt and shoes get some black outlining to accentuate Josh Sutton's sculpt, and it's been applied with remarkable clarity and consistency; the same goes for the strap of the tie running around the back of his neck. The only thing we might have wanted would be similar outling on his buttons? But maybe they tried that and it looked bad.

In the cartoon, Alfred has been given a very long, gaunt design, the better to contrast him with his muscular employer and all the ninja mutants. The head in particular is exceedingly thin, to the point where it almost looks wrong. The animation could flesh it out, so to speak, by careful use of shadow, but the toy doesn't have that option.

Alfie may be a manservant, but he moves just as well as the fighters do: head, shoulders, elbows, wrists, waist, hips, knees, and ankles. He's also got an array of extra hands, meaning you can pick between fists, flats, grasping, or pinching. Pinch, Alfred, pinch for all you're worth! There's a coffee cup here, but it's white - the one in the cartoon was a Superman mug, and also he carried it on a tray, not by hand. There's also a skateboard, but technically that belongs to the other figure in this set.

Despite the joke we used to open this review, Alfred and Michelangelo are not simply together in this set because they're the ones left over after everyone else was paired off in more logical ways: in truth, Alfred and Mikey spent a lot of time interacting in the movie; there's easy conflict to be found when you put the prim and proper uptight butler with the youngest, silliest Turtle.

Michelangelo is the shortest of the brothers, just barely breaking the 5" mark. He also has the smallest limbs, really selling the idea of his youth. His skin is slightly more yellow than Donatello's, and slightly more blue than Leonardo's. The wraps in the center of his belt form a capital letter M, and his knee and elbow pads are large and square and squishy, like he's wearing baseball bases tied to his arms and legs. It's cool how all four figures get their own sense of fashion.

While the body is the same seen on the Mikey as Batman SDCC exclusive, the head is new. It would have to be! But it isn't just a question of the cowl being removed - he's still smiling, but his mouth is closed rather than open, and the ties of his mask fall around his neck in a different way. And that's not all!

It's weird, but the exclusive figure didn't include his nunchucks. This one does, and thanks to their real metal chains, they can be tucked into the holsters on his hips very easily. You get your choice of fists, chopping hands, or gripping hands, only one of which (the gripping) was included with the exclusive - that figure also got "thumbs up" and "fingers splayed" hands this one doesn't. Both Alfred and Mikey have slices of pizza, so if you've been buying these sets as they've come out, you now have eight slices and thus a full pizza. The skateboard is Mikey's, of course, though Alfred does confiscate it from him at one point. Although the wheels don't roll, it is detailed nicely, with sculpted grip tape on top and deck rails underneath. There are decorations tampoed on the bottom, like stickers he would have put on there - including an homage to the old Mondo Gecko toy!

Michelangelo was a standout in Batman vs. TMNT. His interactions with everyone were great - with Batman, with the villains, with his brothers, and yes, with Alfred. Would it have been more fun if the Bat-family had another hero in the movie, like Nightwing or Spoiler? Yeah, absolutely. But getting Batman's butler in a two-pack with his ninja foe is still fun.

-- 11/27/19


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