I remember these catching my eye when they hit the pegs some time ago, but they didn't fit into my focus at the time and I'd stopped keeping up with DC after the New 52 craze tapered off. But at a quarter the original retail price, I could no longer contain my curiosity.
Having never read the We Are Robin arc, Duke Thomas is a stranger to me. My love for a variation on a theme, and longtime fandom for the Boy Wonder overcomes any unfamiliarity with this current incarnation, however. The Ultraman helmet threw me a little initially, but I liked the red jacket, pouched belt, and big sneakers. A really nice unmasked head is included, as are the nun chucks accessory. His ankles are completely immobile due the hightops, but he has the typical Multiverse articulation points most others enjoy. I just love his muted color scheme, which varies from previous Robins, yet still somehow espouses the pluck those who assist the Batman possess.
According to DC Wikia, Duke Thomas was one of hundreds off civilian teenagers who formed the We Are Robin movement to fight crime in Gotham City. Eventually he would leave the movement to join the Bat Family officially as The Signal.
Batwing's first appearance was in 2011's Batman Incorporated, the "Batman of Africa", David Zavimbe, a Congolese police officer fighting corruption in his own government, crime lords, and against global terrorism as part of Bruce Wayne's Batman Inc. Luke Fox, son of Lucius, took over for David in a newly designed suit, after which this figure appears to be inspired by.
The matte black glider wings on this action figure simply peg onto the back, which seems insulting when Hasbro gives us an action figure like Archangel for the same retail price, but for five dollars I'm fine with that. I probably now own ten or eleven Mattel Batman figures, which has been a slowly burning fire of mine for years- I was really glad to pay five bucks for this one. While there's little paint, the eyes and insignia on his chest really glow when the light catches them. The entire body has a subtle metallic glint that looks rad, and the blue around his bat symbol and eyes sparingly and neatly applied. An understated, but good looking action figure.
Pictured below: Batwing with DC Multiverse Rebirth Batman and Zero Year Batman,
and Duke Thomas with DC Multiverse Cassie Sandsmark.
These are some nice looking action figures, though not evolved beyond Mattel's previous DC Universe Classics in articulation. Hasbro's Marvel Legends regularly surpass in this category, and have been improving aesthetically on a consistent basis, putting them head and shoulders above Mattel for 6" action figures in my eyes. That said, I have a deep admiration for DCUC that goes back a few years, before Hasbro's reintroduction of Marvel Legends in 2012. Duke and Batwing could easily fit into your DC Universe Classics lineup, particularly Batwing, who reminds me of that rare all-black Knight Shadow Batman variant from the early DC Superheroes line, predecessor to the famed DCUC.
See my post on the diorama I built this Fall, the featured background on many of these photos!
More Later- Make It FUN!