Sunday, February 23, 2014

When You Care Enough To Send The Very Best...

I love my girlfriend. She knows me pretty well. My likes, my dislikes. My hobbies and everything else in between. Ever since we have been together, she has fed my Batman obsession and has fed it well. Thanks to her, I was able to add a few things to my Batman collection like t-shirts, watches, POP vinyls, Blu-Rays among other things.

This year, for Valentine's Day, she topped them all.

Seriously, how awesome is this? She gave me a Batman heart with some Bat-gummies in them. I am seriously tempted to tear open that sucker and inhale the contents inside, but I am restraining myself. I want to put it up on my shelf along with all my other Batman items. I will admit, I can hear Carly Simon's "Temptation" whenever I see that heart.

As you can see, she also bought me the Kotobukiya ArtFX DC New 52 Batman statue. I was floored when she got this for me. She knew that I wanted this for a very long time and now it's all mine. I have fogged up too many a display case looking at this and now that I have it, it's even more fantastic than I imagined. I have gushed over this piece long enough. On to the review.

The statue comes in a clear plastic package. You can see the statue inside the package as clear as day. The Batman logo is on the top left hand side and the DC Comics logo is on the top right. The lower middle lets you know which statue your buying (if you couldn't tell just by looking through the plastic) as well as the Kotobukiya name and various warnings under that.

On one side of the box, you get a picture of the Dark Knight.

On the other side you get the bat logo.

That back has the New 52 Justice League logo. The upper right corner also has the Artfx logo.

Out of the box, I am gushing again. The detail on this statue is terrific. The bat logo is featured prominently on his chest, the sculptor, Goutaro Takeuchi,  sculpted the chain mail in the Bat Suit's armor as well as all the details on the costume. I love the metallic finish on this costume.

They also did a great job on Batman's cowl. The paint job is great. They painted the cowls eyes without any spillage of white anywhere on the cowl. The sculpting of the cowl was done just as good as the outfit. The ears are not bent inward or outward. The cowl has folds in the neck and where the eyebrows would be and has the lines that would make up the cowl.

When holding the statue, I was a bit surprised at how much it felt like I was holding an action figure. It seems that the statue is made of  a hard plastic or PVC, not plaster or resin like other statues. There is no articulation in this statue. Just the Batman and the base which he stands on.

The base is a black plastic base that has Justice League imprinted into it.

Here's a better shot of the base.

Check out the back of the statue. Look at the detailing on the cape and the back of the cowl. Fantastic. The cape is made from a black plastic, but it detracts nothing from how awesome this looks.

Now, if you didn't know and was asking how the statue stood up, you can now tell from the picture. Most statues has pegs in the bottom of their feet and the peg would go into a hole on the base. Not this statue. It has magnets on the bottom of Batman's boots. That leads me to believe that there is a piece of metal inside the base for the magnets to attract itself to. I think it's pretty cool. It's different, I will give you that. I do think a peg would be better.

Overall, I think my girlfriend knocked it out of the park with this awesome Valentine's Day gift. Plus, it is my very first Batman statue and I cannot thank her enough for it. But, to be honest, my very favorite gift was not the Batman statue. It was Gina coming all the way from the warmth of the California sunshine to the cold and snowy temperatures of New York City. Now, if that isn't love then I don't know what is.

Happy Valentine's Day. Thank you for spending it with me.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Just Keep Giving Us The Bat Goodies, Please!

As we get ready to celebrate 75 years of the Batman, we have already been given an anniversary Detective Comics#27, we have a slew of Bat goodies coming out, which includes some statues, figures and a Hot Toys 1966 Batman and Robin, and we got official word that we are finally getting the 1966 Batman T.V. show on DVD later this year. All of this has made me a very happy geek.

Now comes word that Warner Brothers will be releasing another long over due Batman series to DVD.

Coming June 3rd, we are finally getting the 1968 Filmation The Adventures of Batman. This series debuted as part of the Superman/Batman hour, but later was repackaged as Batman With Robin The Boy Wonder and given their own 30 minute show on CBS. Olan Soule was the voice of Batman in this series and Casey Kasem was the voice of Robin. Both would reprise their roles a few years later, but this time on ABC in the Super Friends.

As a Batman fan, this is a series I have long wanted on DVD. Mind you, I have only seen a handful of these cartoons, but I enjoyed the ones I seen. They have been available for digital download on Amazon for a while now and I downloaded the first episodes with featured the Joker and Penguin as the villains. In my opinion, the show captures the spirit of the comics at that point in the '60's perfectly.

I have a few of the Filmation releases, including the 1977 New Adventures Of Batman And Robin in which Adam West and Burt Ward reprise their roles as Batman and Robin. I always felt the animation was good for it's time. I was never a fan of their re-using footage over and over again, as well as the placement or coloring of costume symbols from time to time, but that all just adds to the fun of these shows.

I cannot wait to pick this series up. I have always felt that The New Adventures Of Superman was the best series that Filmation had ever produced, but after seeing a couple episodes of Batman, I think this series will give Superman a run for it's money. This DVD will be a first day pick up for me and I cannot wait to spend the whole day watching this series.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Total Heroes Batman

Man, I love adding new Batman figures to my collection. Especially if I can find them for a great price. I have ranted before about how I feel figures are too expensive these days, so when I see an action figure released for a decent price I am usually on it like Mike Millbury is all over Jeremy Roenick. What, no one got the hockey reference? Sheesh, tough crowd.

A couple of weeks ago, I picked up a Total Heroes Batman from Toys R Us. On my initial searches for this figure I had come up empty. I did find Aquaman and seeing how nice it was made me determined to pick up Batman. The next trip over, I found Batman sitting behind a very nice Superman. But the Man of Steel was not the object of my desire on this day. I finally had the Batman figure I wanted.

Total Heroes is a line that is more geared toward the younger toy fan. Meaning, it's meant to be played with. Because of that, the price is set for parents to be able to pick up the figures without breaking their banks for it. So, at $9.99 and money tight for me these days, the price was certainly right and I walked off it it.

I like the card this figure came with. Nice Jim Lee Batman drawing on the top left corner, Batman style lettering next to it, nice window that shows off Batman and his accessories and the Total Heroes line mentioned on the bottom. The figure does display nicely if you are going to leave it in package.

But that's not me.

The back of the card has another Batman drawing with character bio underneath. The rest of the figures that are avalible for purchase are shown to the right.

Out of the package I think this figure is pretty nice. I like the "boxy" look to the figure. The figure is not going to be as detailed as a one that costs 20.00, but I think the details on this 10.00 figure puts some of those 20.00 ones to shame. The muscles are pretty well sculpted as well well as his head. The cape is made of cloth, which I prefer.

The figure has a movable head that can turn all the way around, elbow joints, wrist joints, waist swivel, knee joints and ankle joints. The shoulders can rotate and can extend the arms, but not very high.

The figure is also painted very nice from the cowl to the body to the gloves to the bat symbol on his chest. The belt is also sculpted beautifully.

The nice paint job extends all the way down his legs and his boots. I personally feel that the square toed boots help the figure stand. When I had it standing, I didn't feel like it would fall over at any point.

The cape looks nice, I think it's a little too narrow on the top. Just little more to cover the shoulders would have been nicer.

Love that the belt wraps all around Batman and the paint job and sculpts are as solid here as they are in the front.

If you feel like you need a stand for this figure, the bottoms have holes for pegs, which I really like. I am not getting on my soapbox again regarding the lack of stands.

What was really sweet is that a 10.00 figure came with 3 accessories. Ok, they might be small, but I know some more expensive figures that come with nothing but the figure. I'll take the grappling gun and 2 batarangs anyday.

The grappling gun barely fits into Batman's hand. It's sturdy once you get it in his hand, but its a struggle to get it in there. Plus, the finger doesn't go into the trigger. Looks kind of funny the way he's holding it.

The batarangs, however, fit perfectly in his hands. If I was going to use an accessory to pose with this figure on my shelf it would definitely be the batarangs.

Despite a few minor flaws, I really dig this figure. For the price point, you are getting a very nice figure. Maybe it's a little cartoony for some collectors, but I never minded some different looking figures in my collection. Besides, for what you're paying, you get 3 accessories and some nice points of articulation on this figure, so I say go out and get this for your Batman collection. I like it so much, I will be on the look out for the variant figure.

Me likey very, very much.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Who Needs A Bank When I Have Batman and Spidey?

I love the bank busts I see at my comic book stores. They look real nice displayed and always catch my attention when I pass by the display. I've seen some nice ones too. Superman breaking the chains, Wonder Woman, Wolverine and his claws and even Darth Vader. But my favorite ones, obviously, are the Spider-Man and Batman bank busts. I never had the chance to pick them up, but I was able to get a couple as a Christmas gift.

Right off the bat, I have to say how cool these busts look in their packaging. Both packages have a clear window so that you can see what your getting. Marvel has their logo on the lower left corner and a drawing of the character your picking up on the right. DC just has the Justice League on the left corner and a drawing of Flash, Superman and Green Lantern with Batman leading the way. I'm not sure if that's the way it is on all the packages or if it's that way to indicate your buying Batman.

A drawing of Spider-Man appears on either side of the box.

The back of the box has a picture of the bank your purchasing. Not sure why when we have a clear window to see the figure. I think another really nice drawing would have been better or maybe the other banks in the Marvel line.

East West Distributing, the makers of the bank, did a nicer job with the DC bank. Instead of a white package, we have a nice blue one with a drawing of the Justice League on either side.

Yes, we have another picture of said bank, but I'm ok with it because the presentation on the box is a lot nicer than the Marvel box. Plus, I am guessing the drawing of the Justice League on the front and sides are the characters we get in DC's line. Couldn't Marvel do the same? Maybe come out with an Avengers line? Include Captain America, Thor, Hulk and Iron Man with Spider-Man? Maybe they have. I haven't seen theses banks until I got them for Christmas.

Here's the banks out of their boxes. First up is the Caped Crusader.

Now, Spidey.

Both banks are made of hard plastic. They smaller than the banks that you see in the comic stores, but size ain't everything. To me, it's the way they will look on your shelf that counts and I think these will look really good.

What the Batman bank has over the Spider-Man bank are the sculpts. The Batman bank has so many details going for it from the folds in his cape, to the muscles on his body, to the brow frowning under the mask to even the sculpting of ears under the cowl. The Spider-Man is a very nice bank, but it doesn't have the details that Batman has. Batman's paint job is even better as some of the black on the lines of Spidey's webs disappear at some spots. Again, I still like the Spider-Man and I am quite pleased that I have it.

So, I will wrap this up by stating that I think these banks are very nice. I believe they are exclusive to Walgreens as the Walgreens website is on the back of the boxes. The slight edge goes to DC for it's presentation on the packaging, to the paint job to the details on the bank itself. But I still love the Spider-Man and I am glad I will be able to add him as well as Batman to my collection.