Sunday, August 31, 2014

Viking Batman

Viking Batman

Viking Batman is a very...ahem interesting figure with an interesting history of acquisition. Flashback 1995. For those who don't know I lived in Venezuela between 1994 and 2000, which is where I acquired a large number of my figures. 125 approx, all usually wave 1 or 2. Very rarely did wave 3s and 4s come to toy stores. Strangely enough we'd sometimes get exclusives on the shelves. AAanyways, I went to a party of a childhood friend (he was no friend, but a bully), and his mom noticed that. So embarassed they did a quiz game and I, being smarter than everyone else, won the main prize... VIKING BATMAN! And it was a bootleg. I've laughed at that every day since. In fact, I acquired THE REAL Viking Batman THIS YEAR! Batzarro is sitting somewhere else. Thing is, bootlegs can be found everywhere on the planet, but they are more pervasive in Latin American countries on this side of the globe. Someday I'll take pics of Batzarro, but I'm just relieved at the fact that THE REAL Viking Batman can at least hold his axe. I guess he is worthy...

HE ALSO COMES WITH ONE, not two, BUT ONE ELBOW JOINT! This is for his hip swinging action. Swing the hip to one side with the arm extended, let go and he will swing the axe forward-sideways. Neat, huh? He's obviously posed like all the other figures in the line *groan*, and is in my opinion the blandest looking one in terms of color. But he's nicely detailed with a fuzzy sided cape and an armored Bat-symbol.

He also looks like he's smiling. There's a reason why I put off so long on buying him, because of the bad karma carried on by the bootleg version and's kind of my least favorite. But he's not bad. He's very fun and very nice you're holding him up close. Comes with axe, cape and shield.

Final thoughts: He's a nice Batman with a nice historical theme. I would have preferred more fuzz, or like a bear coat overall. I dunno. He has too much Batman and not enough Viking in my opinion. This contributes to how bland it is, and how easy it was to bootleg...

"Your dishonorable Nordic misdeeds are over, my friend..."

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Gladiator Batman

Gladiator Batman

I've always been quite fond of this figure. Must be the fact that he comes in a mostly neutral pose and is covered with some nice blues and golds. I personally love it.

Perhaps most interesting is the weapon he comes with. The launcher is actually his arm, which kind of sucks, but at the same time it's kind of original and unique. The missile/axe becomes a sort of double firing/melee weapon. The axe can be held on the other hand as seen in a picture down below.

The cape is actually made of a harder plastic than other figures in the line.

Most of the figures in this line are very detailed, and Gladiator Batman is no exception. I love his gold chain armor, his helmet, just everything about him is nice.

What can I say? Being a gladiator is dangerous!

"My Heeerrrroooo!"


"NNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!" Could it be that the armies of the North have arrived? Find out later, same bat-time, same bat-computer!

Egyptian Batman Vs. Egyptian Catwoman

Egyptian Batman Vs. Egyptian Catwoman

This weekend we travel back into the far past, into ancient Egypt. Now for all of those who have studied Egyptology to a degree like I did, Egypt is indeed a fascinating ancient civilization that still holds many undecipherable mysteries forever entomed in the sands of North Africa. Now, I didn't study Egyptology out of an initial fascination, but because I'm majoring in Anthropology hoping to do a PhD in Archaeology in the future, and Egyptology was a good filler class. I also have many Egyptologist friends, one who specializes in Pharaohs and gods. Let's pretend this is unrecorded history.

I also wanna mention Batman: Book of the Dead. This was probably my favorite Elseworlds story of all time, despite the not so good writing. The art was fantastic, and it gave new rise to Batman's origin story. It came two books which tell the story of how Bruce's parents were Egyptologists who stumbled upon a mystery and were murdered by it. Young Bruce, mourning, stumbled upon one of the treasures they had brought back: the classic round yellow and black Bat symbol, as well as that one bat in the Grandfather clock inspiring him to become Batman. Flashback to the past...: The ancient Egyptian gods were actually Aliens who helped build their civilization, 'till Seth killed Ra. The Waynes were onto Nekrunh, a god whose represented animal was a Bat, and he witnessed it all, but most gods were on Set's favor, and therefore Nekrunh took the truth to his tomb after being chased and murdered by his fellow gods. Turns out the Waynes had a lead into this tomb, which upon revealing it to the world, it would mean having a real Egyptian god in their hands, but Joe Chill, a rival Egyptologist (or maybe he was working for some disgruntled Egyptologist competitor) killed the Waynes. Fast forward to the future. Batman further researches this stuff with his enormous wealth and resources, and finds Nekrunh's tomb, but messes it up and the Nile River's water comes flushing in the chambers in a typical Indiana Jones sequence. Upon his exit he encounters Chill, and watches him drown after a battle, fulfilling his revenge. Turns out that Nekrunh stood for justice and truth, and Batman is the embodiment of what this ancient alien god stood for. Coincidence? Mystery? Whatever. I remember upon finishing book two I yelled "I NEED THIS TO BE TURNED INTO AN ACTION FIGURE ASAP"... Maybe someday.

The Batman is as good as we'll get with Nekrunh. The cards say that Catwoman is a pharaoh who is evil, and Batman a son of one of her consorts, so after viewing all sorts of injustices done against his fellow countrymen, he steps up and beats them up. These two are really nice sculpts. Catwoman comes with clawed glove knuckles, a ornamental helmet and a staff cat's paw weapon which ends in a small tail. OH and she has a tail coming out of her sculptural butt. Batman is more or less the same, but blue instead of purple, comes with a staff weapon, cape and helmet. I think the colors on these two work absolutely great, and even the poses are great, BUT they can't stand up easily. You have to prop them against something. THAT is why posed figures suck.

Also, those costumes look pretty dang warm. Egyptians used sandals and wore light clothing most of the times. This must be one of the later dynasties. I wanted to say that this Batman was friends with Moses, but naah. Still very nice figures with nice cards and nice backstories to both. Now, my favorite Egyptian love tale is the one between Cleopatra and Mark Antony... This is what really happened!

Cat-Patra: "Oh Bat-Antony, I love you"... Bat-Antony: "Turns out that Bat-man was a rogue member of the ancient Bats... Augustus Strangeous corrupteth him by telling him lies!" Cat-Patra: "Then we must fight Augustus Strangeous!" Next up: Gladiator Batman!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Energy Surge Batman

Energy Surge Batman

Somewhat inspired by the armored Batman in Frank Miller's famous armored Batman who beat Superman up with a costume that drained all of Gotham City's energy, this figure is its own thing. It's a very unusual figure, and the rarest one in the line.

I can't tell you how much I love this figure. He's clad in silver chrome, but he's painted in a way that he isn't as silvery as Silver Knight Batman, but he's got some dark highlights on his boots and all over its armored body that just look so good! The cape also isn't toally black and it's somewhat more rubbery than other plastic capes we have seen. His grimace is menacing as hell, and I love that tube weapon! The tube plugs into a hole on his chest, suggesting that the weapon draws energy from some power source built on the suit. The missile is spring loaded and doesn't shoot as far as say...Crusader Batman's missile. But it's a very cool looking missile. Reminds me of Cyborg. The entire figure reminds of Cyborg. Mash this figure up with Cyborg Batman's laser eye and then it would be a true Cyborg inspired Batman.

Probably one of my favorites of the entire line along with Flightpack Batman and another figure that is yet to be reviewed, this Batman is AWESOME. He's posed in a dramatic sort of way, and it's easy to picture him reciting Shakespeare or yelling at the tomb of his parents. I'm not just saying he's awesome because he's the rarest, but because this is a very nice stand alone Batman figure.

They just don't make them like this anymore... Comes with removable cape, which remarkably actually stays on the figure, gun and missile.

Highly recommended, this figure isn't that hard to find anymore because most collectors have moved on and collect Hot Toys or premium figures that are available in the present.

That's it for futuristic themed Batmen, next up we'll start with the ancients!

Flightpak Batman

Flightpak Batman

Flightpak Batman AKA Iron-man Batman, one of my favorites in the line. I'm an absolute sucker for vac-metallized parts and this figure has held surprisingly well over the years. I remember hunting for this figure for a long time and finding nothing, 'till my mom went on vacation and miraculously brought it to me even several years after it had been out of the shelves. This is an awesome figure, but as I age, my opinion on the figure goes down. Let me tell you why.

The figure's main gimmick is its vac-metal coloring as well as its oversized backpack, which makes it a "deluxe". the other deluxe figures are Silver Knight Batman and Desert Knight Batman. Oh yeah and the next entry Energy Surge Batman. 100th edition Batman is also vac-metalized. The posed right arm is a PAIN. If it were not folded, he'd be a very neutrally posed figure. Also, the backpack follows that whole Knight's End/Knight's Quest Batman circle symbol, which leads me to believe THIS IS ACTUALLY AZRAEL, posing as Batman in the stratosphere and in space. This is definitely some sort of space suit, and to be honest, he makes a better armor suit than Tony Stark hehe!

The action gimmick is that the halves of the flightpack open up revealing a very cool shiny blue Batman figure inside, but the feature doesn't work if the figure is holding his weapon. Remove the weapon, store it in one of the peg holes, lower the right arm as down as possible, push the button and there you go. Quick armor action. You may resume play by putting the phaser on the figure's hand. Lame/cool/eh if you ask me. Still all that blue, all that shiny... Lovely detailed figure.

This is a very hard figure to picture at night. The shininess just bounces the light all over. Figure can be found under $20 on ebay. I highly recommend it even though it's just "some stinky variant" because it's...really REALLY cool despite the drawbacks. Next up: The ELUSIVE Energy Surge Batman!