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Knightmare Batman

Batman v. Superman
by yo go re

  1. Batman
  2. Batman Returns
  3. Batman Forever
  4. Batman & Robin
  5. Batman V: Superman

Fearing the actions of a god-like superhero left unchecked, the formidable, forceful vigilante from Gotham City takes on the revered, modern-day savior of Metropolis, while the world wrestles with what sort of hero it really needs. And with Batman and Superman at war with one another, a new threat quickly arises, putting mankind in greater danger than it's ever known before.

The bio doesn't tell us anything about Knightmare Batman, but does it really need to? I mean, there's no more famous character than Batman, right? And what's the one thing everybody knows about Batman? Say it with me, class: "He has prophetic dreams." Wait, what? What'd you say? Was it literally anything other than that? Well that's weird! Are you saying that waking up from one prophetic dream only to find you're in another prophetic dream isn't a typical Batman trope? How odd! It's almost like that was written by someone who didn't understand the first thing about Batman.

In an effort to save money/slow the geometric growth of my Batman collection, I try to limit myself to Batmen that are something out of the ordinary. Well, "Trenchcoat Batman" is definitely something new! [Is it really? --ed.] The batsuit in BvS was a return to cloth rather than rubber or armor, so his chest is sculpted with seams, small wrinkles, and stitched-up rips. Since this is... the future? A Guatemalan Insanity Pepper-dream? A dumb TeeFury Mad Max mashup? Something. Anyway, since this isn't Normal Batman, he's accessorizing his batsuit with some cargo pants (as one does). There are two straps around his thigh, and thick pads sewn into the knees. He's also got a scarf around his neck, and some sort of cloth strips tied around his hands and wrists, like a boxer. Because of all that, none of this figure's pieces are shared with the Batman from the first wave. The belt on my figure was assembled backwards - remember, the buckle goes in the front.

The movie had (more than) its fair share of problems, but none of them were Ben Affleck. He was great as both Batman and Bruce Wayne, which is rare. The only "likeness" we can see is a little bit of chin and mouth, but the great thing is that you can definitely see the similarities between this figure and Daredevil. His Bat-mask has very short ears, because the designers were aping Dark Knight Returns. The toy comes with a pair of goggles that can rest on his forehead, or fit down over his eyes. There's a slight molding error on top of the head: it dips in like he's suffered a traumatic skull injury.

Mattel continues to be in the slow reading group when it comes to articulation. Knightmare Batman moves at the ankles, knees, thighs, waist, torso, wrists, elbows, shoulders and neck. You'd think, with large kneepads on the pants, Mattel would have a good idea of where his legs are meant to bend, but no, the hinge is at the top of the boot, several (scale) inches lower than you'd expect. The wrists are plain swivels, which is acceptable, if less than ideal. The elbows are swivel/hinge, so at least he has that going for him. The coat is plastic, but it's flexible enough to move out of the way slightly when you pose the figure.

Batman comes with three small batarangs, but what he's conspicuously missing is the gun he used in the scene. No, Batman doesn't usually use a gun (at least, not a lethal one), but he definitely had one in the dream sequence - you can even see him holding it on the side of the packaging! The toy's hand is sculpted with the trigger finger extended, so it certainly feels like the toy was meant to come with a gun at some point during production.

If you buy all eight BvS figures, you can build Batman's Grapnel Blaster, a silly name that goes out of its way to avoid the word "gun" (suggesting that the aforementioned loss of the theoretical accessory may have been a specific choice by Mattel, or a mandate by DC, who would have more control over licensees than over the filmmakers). This figure comes with... I don't know, the kicktail. It's a pretend gun, it doesn't have real parts. It goes under the barrel, but sticks out farther. There's no way I'm building the full gun blaster, but this at least looks like some weird architectural detail or piece of industrial equipment, so it can make decent scenery.

Taking a brief break from making 6" DC figures has not given Mattel the time needed to get their work up to modern standards, but they sure dove head-first into that $20 pricepoint, didn't they? Knightmare Batman is about as good as we can ever expect from Mattel, which means nothing about it is as good as a Hasbro movie figure would be, but it has a lot more new pieces.

-- 04/14/16

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