#0575: Man-Bat

MAN-BAT

BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES (DC COLLECTIBLES)

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While I love pretty much every episode of Batman: The Animated Series, there are two episodes I love above all the others.  The first is “Heart of Ice,” the episode that re-invented the character of Mr. Freeze and made him into one of Batman’s most memorable Rogues.  The other is “On Leather Wings,” which is the very first episode of the series, and is responsible for kicking things off with a serious bang.  The episode steered away from the more established Bat-Rogues in order to focus on the lesser-known Man-Bat.  Man-Bat serves as the logical counterpoint to Batman, and allows for a unique way of introducing the audience to the main character.  The episode perfectly established the tone for the rest of the series, and has some of the best writing and animation of the entire show.  It was an important moment for the series, and Man-Bat is a key part of it, so it’s no surprise that Man-Bat showed up in the latest round of BTAS figures from DC Collectibles.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

ManBat2Man-Bat is figure 07 in the Batman: The Animated Series/The New Batman Adventures line from DC Collectibles.  He is the third and final figure in Series 2 (Poison Ivy was supposed to be the fourth, but she got pushed back due to production issues).  The figure is just shy of 7 ½ inches tall, has a wing span of 15 inches, and has 15 points of articulation.  The design of the character means that he’s a little less articulated than some of the others in this series.  That said, he’s actually the first figure in the line to get any torso articulation, and most of the articulation has a pretty great range of movement.  The only point that’s really limited is his head, which really would benefit from the ability to look upward.  As with the Kenner figure, this version of Man-Bat is based on the Kirk Langstrom Man-Bat from “On Leather Wings” as opposed to the Francine Langstrom (wo)Man-Bat from “Terror in the Sky.”  The figure’s sculpt is, generally, a pretty great translation of the show’s design for the character.  The only real mis-step, as far as I can tell, is the figure’s head.  It’s not terribly far off from the show design, but it seems like it’s a little flatter, depth-wise, than it should be.  In particular, the jaw line seems too shallow.  That being said, it’s closer than Kenner’s attempt, and the differences can be chalked up to the show design not translating quite as well to three dimensions.  Man-Bat is a much larger figure than the others in the line, but that doesn’t mean he gets left out of the accessories game.  The most ManBat3important extra pieces are definitely the extra arms, which are sculpted in a more relaxed position. The default arms are sculpted in an outstretched fashion, which can take up a lot of shelf space and limits the possible poses, so it’s good to have the extra pieces.  Now, it’s too bad that DCC couldn’t find a way to work in elbow and wrist movement, but I can certainly appreciate their desire to not hinder the quality of the sculpt.  These make for a decent enough compromise.  In addition to the arms, the figure includes three medicine bottles, a tape recorder, and a display stand.  The bottles and the recorder are episode specific, and pretty nifty to have, even if Man-Bat can’t really use them.  The stand is pretty much an essential piece of the figure, however, due to his inability to stand very well on his own.  But, at least it’s there, right?

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

If you’ve read the last two days’ reviews, it should be no surprise that I got Man-Bat from Amazon.  It doesn’t make for a terribly exciting story, but it’s relatively stress-free on my end.  Man-Bat was a figure I was really looking forward to, mostly due to how much I love the character’s first appearance on the show.  It’s too bad that DCC couldn’t come up with a way to articulate the arms, but the swappable parts do make up for it a bit, resulting in a pretty fun figure, and probably one of the best Man-Bat figures to date.

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