Thursday, November 20, 2014

Sideshow Collectibles Sixth Scale Batman

I had my eye on this incredible Sideshow Collectibles Sixth Scale Batman for several months, finally ordering him when I did my Hot Toys Amazing Spider-Man, another favorite character that warranted having a premium format figure in my collection. Like that figure, this Sideshow Batman is in a class above what I normally buy. I found one for $189.00, shipping included, and finally caved (pun intended). I'd normally feel guilty about paying that much for an action figure, but not after having him standing there in front to me- pretty impressive. Batman came with a respectable number of accessories as well: three sets of extra hands and one kryptonite ring-bearing fist, an extra head with longer ears, two interchangeable face expressions, four batarangs, a grapple gun, and a figure stand...

What appealed to me about this Sideshow Batman was his "evergreen" quality- he's not a movie franchise Batman, nor is it an homage to any particular artist's rendition of the character or reference to any published story arc. He just a classic, comics-inspired Batman in Silver Age blue and gray, and I like that...

This figure isn't quite as articulated at the Hot Toys Amazing Spider-Man, but he does plenty. The neck has decent range, and his ankles have rocker joints that make wide stances easy. While the torso swivel is somewhat limited, the pelvic joint completes the figure's needs. The single jointed elbows are fine as the biceps are too muscular to allow for much more range there. The knees have nice double joints, his hips a hinged swivel with an additional swivel at the top of the thigh, and the shoulders have a butterfly hinge inside the torso that adds subtlety to the figure's range in this area...

Batman's grapple gun has a rope incase you want to display him with the hook deployed, which has three articulated claws at the end. His hand grips it quite snugly... 

I've warmed to the New 52 Batman without boy shorts and grew to love the all-black '89 Batman, but grew up with the traditional Dark Knight garb. I like the seams down the front of Sideshow Batman's shorts. The utility belt is military-style with lots of great detail, it's lined pouches inspired by Frank Miller's Dark Knight. I prefer the short eared cowl, which features lots of nice shading repeated in the gloves and boots. Cast in plastic, the sculpted stitching and creasing in the gloves and boots is extremely detailed...

The clenched facial expression can be plugged into a hole in the mouth of the cowl, adding a great deal of personality to the figure. Sideshow Batman's eyes are silver without pupils, set deeply into the cowl under a furrowed brow like in the comics- a feature I admire in a Batman figure.

Sideshow Batman comes with three smaller shuriken, and one larger batarang, which he holds pretty well, their wings fitting snugly between his thumb and curled forefinger...

And a starring feature of this figure is, of course, the cape. What could be more important on a Batman figure? It's satiny outer finish looks appropriately leathery, it's seams running from his cowl to it's scalloped ends. The enormity of this cape is notable, yet it drape over the Dark Knight's frame quite nicely. It's really something. I've seen some reviews that criticized it for not having wires inside the seams for posing, but I'm personally glad it didn't.

An action figure like this deserves more than one post, so I'll retire here with a promise for that in the future- this initial photo session was executed right out of the box and there's more to do. If you are a sixth scale collector, pick this one up. If you are a Batman fan, buy this action figure. There is little to nitpick about with this Batman, and it is without a doubt the best in my collection now. While I regret not ordering the Hot Toys '89 Batman awhile back, this Sideshow Batman makes up for that.
More Later- Make It FUN! 

Monday, November 17, 2014

Hot Toys 1:6 Scale Amazing Spider-Man

My love of Spider-Man goes back to my early childhood in the '70s- some of my first comics featured the webslinger, I had both the 8" and 12" Mego Spider-Man dolls, and was fascinated by the Amazing Spider-Man TV show starring Nicholas Hammond. The animated Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends show followed in the early '80s, cementing my childhood love of the character first introduced to me through his appearances on The Electric Company in 1977. I have several Spider-Man action figures I love, but have thus far never purchased any action figure of quite this caliber. I've often admired Alex's world class 1:6 collection at ToyHaven, and have a respectable collection of DC Direct's 13" Deluxe Figure line, but Hot Toys is in an entirely different class. I'd long been in search of a larger scale Spiderman of this caliber, and as a fan of the redesign of this character's costume featured in the 2012 blockbuster, this Hot Toys version was the one for me...

I scored this for about twenty-five dollars below it's initial retail cost, shipped free, and must say the packaging is the most deluxe I've ever laid my paws on, The "shoebox" Spidey came in has a funky, angled lid, decorated in a beautiful, full color theatrical image, glossy web patterning over it's surface, which reflects subtly when viewing from different angles. Inside, the accessories are plenty, including four webs, four extra sets of hands, two extra wrist pegs, a display stand, and an interchangeable Peter Parker head...

Andrew Garfield's likeness in the extra head accessory is pretty great, resembling the actor with realistic accuracy. There's a difference plainly evident when you pay for a Hot Toys figure as compared to those half the price, and the facial paint and sculpt are a big part of that. The slender body type also fits Garfield's physique realistically, completing the illusion...

The masked head on this is incredible! The head is sheathed in fabric so it creases realistically when moving side to side, locking down easily onto two prongs mounted in the body. The honeycomb pattern in the lenses looks fantastic- the kind of deep detailing that set this Spidey apart from others.

The rubberized texture of the mask extends down onto the chest of the bodysuit, raised webbing neatly highlighted in black, repeated on the boots. The blue spandex has a thin honeycomb pattern of  rubber throughout, giving it a tactile quality as such, but far more flexible than I first imagined. The boot soles are movie accurate, like that of an athletic shoe, and Spidey also has the webspinners at his wrist. I'm not sure he could look more like who we saw in The Amazing Spider-Man. Again, while some were not so enchanted by the movie's reimagining of Spider-Man's iconic blue and red garb, I thought it honored the classic design and am quite fond of it. I love a variation on iconic character's outfits.

Spidey is super-articulated with double-hinged knees & elbows, two abdominal joints, butterfly joints in the shoulders. double-hinged hips, swivel biceps, and more. It's my understanding there was a snafu in the engineering of the figure leading to a number of broken shoulders, and Hot Toys recognized this by including a slip of paper illustrating the threshold of articulation in that area. That said, you could break this body if confused about what position the joints are aligned in, hidden by the body suit. He is slender, delicate, and to be handled with care. Still, I put him through the paces in three pretty extensive photo sessions, so expect to see another post or video here with more of this amazing action figure...

More Later- Make It FUN!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

HW Batmobile Video Review!

I recently scored two pretty epic action figures I'll show off here in the next couple weeks, but while you're waiting to see those, roll on over to my Super Fun Hot Wheels Blog and check out my new  HW Batmobile video review!

Make It FAST- Make It FUN!

Friday, October 31, 2014

The Batman Adventures Annual #2 1995: Demons

I found this outstanding Batman Adventures annual from '95 last weekend in the used bins at one of my local comic shops! Author Paul Dini and artists Bruce Timm and Glen Murakami pay tribute to Etrigan creator Jack Kirby within this issue, making it an extra special treat for myself. Head on over Batman the Animated Toys Blog and read my post on this wonderful book!

Happy Hallowe'en! Thanks For Reading!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Hot Wheels 75th Anniversary Batmobiles

I was surprised upon finding a Hot Wheels Batman 75th Anniversary dump bin at the local Wal-Mart after work on Friday for $0.84 each! I picked two of the eight available that were favorite portrayals of the Dark Knight Detective, the '89 Batman film and Batman: The Brave and the Bold animated series Batmobiles. Head over to the Super Fun Hot Wheels blog to see more ...!
Make It FAST- Make It FUN!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Comic Shop News 2014 Fall Preview

I thrilled at the recent and fantastic Comic Shop News 2014 Fall Preview, featuring Sam Wilson (formerly The Falcon) taking on Steve Roger's duties as Capt. America, According to Comic Shop News,  issue #25 of Captain America will detail the passing of the mantel, Captain America & the Mighty Avengers #1 will see Sam assemble the Avengers with a whole new mission statement, and All-New Captain America #1 will gather Cap's gallery of rogues united by Hydra to attempt the takedown of this yet untested Capt. America & Nomad! I stopped reading recent Captain America title after he escaped Arnim Zola & Dimension Z, but must assume Ian will continue his role as Nomad, assumed after having lost contact with adoptive father Steve Rogers in the tumultuous getaway. I don't know if you are one comfortable with change, but this all looks very interesting to me ...!
More Later- Make It FUN!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Hot Wheels Iron Man Car

And now for a little crossover action, take a spin over to our little brother blog, Super Fun Hot Wheels, and check out the Hot Wheels Iron Man car! I launched this blog back in June, and have had a fast time exploring the world of diecast cars- I think you will enjoy it as well....   ==O{+==}>O
Make It FAST- Make It FUN!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Marvel 75th Anniversary Magazine

I had to share this very cool Marvel 75th Anniversary Magazine I picked up for FREE last Wednesday at the comic shop. Sure, every other page was an ad for Marvel swag or congratulatory message from licensing company that manufactures Marvel swag, but there were several other aspects about this handsomely produced, full magazine format that made it like a gift. A recap of the major crossover events is to promote trade paperback collection sales, but was a nice checklist to see what I've read so far, even if lean on the details. And in the pages before the "Event Horizon" article, a fairly generous fan-elected Top 75 Marvel Comics checklist was printed...

While I'm old enough to remember getting Marvel Mego dolls, it's easy to forget that some younger readers might not be as well read on the subject as I. The "Marvel Legend Toys" article also touched on the earlier Marx figures, the Secret Wars figures of the '80s, and into Marvel Legends and Infinity Series figures produced today. We also get a play-by-play of Marvel Studios development of the franchise onto the silver screen, and the company's foray into the digital age and comics online.

Splash pages featuring six of Marvel's brightest new artists fill the middle of this 75th Anniversary special, Nick Bradshaw being one of my favorites! The stunning work of Mahmud Asrar, David Marquez, Sara Pichelli, Valerio Schiti, and Ryan Stegman are also showcased...

And throughout most of the magazine, we are given a decently written, running tour of the events through the decades that shaped Marvel into the entertainment giant it is today. Stan Lee gives a candid interview about the early decades here, and Marvel artist Walt Simonson talks about working on the very successful run of Thor during the '80s. Again, it's easy to forget that some kids may be hungrily consuming this history for the first time. I was thoroughly impressed by this quality publication, and must extend my thanks to Marvel for keeping it classy!

More Later- Make It FUN!