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Robin & Raphael

Batman vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
by yo go re

The Batman vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles sets were meant to come out one a month, but GameStop got the first two simultaneously.

The first set featured Batman, so it's only natural the second would feature Robin. The cartoon never specifies which Robin this is, but it's not difficult to figure out: even if this Elseworlds tale didn't hew closely to the regular continuity, it's not like Dick, Jason, or Tim would ever call Bruce "father."

This figure looks quite similar to the other animated Damian DC Direct has made - a similarly tiny body, and even almost the same costume. And that's despite them being designed and sculpted by different people each time! Son of Batman version? Phil Bourassa and Phil Ramirez. This one? Steven Choi and Paul Harding. There are only so many ways to do a 9-year-old in a Robin suit, after all. The yellow clasps on his red tunic are sculpted, the pouches on his utility belt angle out slightly, and he has stylized laces across the front of his boots. The gloves have the tiny hooks on them, tying him closer to Batman than most of the other Robin costumes.

Robin comes with an alterneate head. He does more to protect his identity than previous Robins, wearing a large hood along with his cape. You get your choice of either a head with the hood up covering it, or one that's exposed, revealing his short, messy, black hair. There's also an extra little piece to toss around the neck, showing the hood draped back against the shoulders.

The figure moves at the ankles, knees, hips, torso, wrists, elbows, shoulders, and head. The neck joint is a little loose, making the head bobble slightly, and the hips can pop off the balljoints if you turn the leg too far to the side.

His accessories include collapsed and extended versions of his battle staff, two tiny batarang, his grapnel launcher with open and closed hooks, and one of the thermal bombs he uses (which should be red, not orange). There are a pair of fists, and two sets of hands to hold his accessories. Also, there's a Gotham City sewer manhole cover, and a slice of pizza (though his father won't let him eat it).

Since the first set paired Batman and Leonardo, the leaders of their respective teams, and a future set will have Batgirl and Donatello, the brain geniuses, it makes absolutely perfect sense that this release has decided the TMNT counterpart of the angry, dangerous, jerkass sociopath Robin who no one likes... is Raphael.

With this release, we see that these "pseudo-IDW" Turtles will have more in common with the 2012 Nick Turtles than the 2003 or classic versions, in that they'll all have their own unique sculpts, rather than sharing the same basic body with minorly different heads. Not only is Raph beefier than Leonardo, with thicker limbs and a wider body, he's also half a head taller - the toy is right around 6" tall, and would look over Leo's head with ease. He has wraps around his hands, and the pads on his elbows and knees are more like modern tactical armor than Leonardo's samurai-influenced slats.

Raph has a squarish head with a big jaw and a scar by his left eye. There's also a second, alternate head, showing him wearing a kaiser helmet with a spike on top and goggles around the forehead. The mouth is open wide, too. It's directly from the movie: he rides a motorcycle that we can assume was built by Donatello, because it looks like Metalhead.

Sadly, we don't get that bike here: just sais, alternate hands, and a slice of pizza. That same slice of pizza. There's only one mold. The figure has balljointed ankles, double-hinged knees, balljointed hips, a balljointed chest, Revoltech wrists, swivel/hinge elbows, swivel/hinge shoulders, and a balljointed head. The hands are fists, open, or holding style, and the sais can slip into the back of his belt for storage. Whereas Leonardo was a very blue shade of green, Raphael is a dustier, yellower shade.

We give Raphael (and the career criminals who would call him their favorite) a lot of guff, but believe you me, it's nothing on the 1985 TMNT roleplaying game. He's especially good in this story, where he proves to be more emotionally mature than Batman himself. Pairing Raphael and Damian Wayne makes sense, and definitely has us excited for the next set.

-- 10/02/19


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