Your Home for Toy News and Action Figure Discussion!

First Look – Mattel Arkham Origins Batman and Deathstroke

Well, hot damn, Mattel, It ain’t over til it’s over!


I’ve been in the peculiar spot of watching the great Mattel  Club DC Infinite Earths meltdown of 2013 as a spectator this past year.  As I’ve mentioned many times before, I purged most of my DCUC collection, save some favorites, and moved into other areas of the hobby.  I made my peace with the fact that I wasn’t going to get the figures I wanted, and I got to make it well before everybody else had to, and I got to do it on my own terms.

So imagine my surprise when Amazon dropped off a double-knee’d Batman figure at my house this morning.


 Arkham Origins is shaping up to be a worthy prequel to the blockbuster Rocksteady series,  and I already squared away my time off work so I can spend a few days after the release going all-in.  And thanks to DC Collectibles, I’ve become pretty confident that I will have some excellent figures to go with it, God and Quality Control willing. But Mattel had a last gasp to throw in here as well, and it certainly should at least make your list of considerations for game merchandise.

Both Batman and Deathstroke ship single-carded on the “Batman Unlimited” banner, and I have to say, I still like the look of it. Good character art on the side, little bio on the back, and some cross-sell, just like the ones you find clearanced at a Target near you.  Don’t go getting your hopes up on leads for new figures or anything, though, only Bats, Deathstroke and beware, beware Beware the Batman are on the back.


On the “pros” side, I think these have some of the best sculpting and paintwork I’ve seen on any Mattel figures in recent memory. Batman has some serious love put into his armor, and it has nice touches like silver rivets and grey wash along it. Even his rubber-plastic cape has some good texture to it. Slade’s armor also looks great, and the metallic blues are very eye-catching in person.  He also gets the best accessory loadout in recent memory, with his G36-ish rifle, 1911-ish sidearm, katana (ish?), and staff.


Also very much “pro,” Batman finally got the articulation he needs to freakin’ crouch. He rounds out with I think the best count of points of articulation on a Mattel Batman yet, with a well-ranged ball neck, ball shoulders, ball elbows, hinged hips, waist and thigh cuts, double knees, and hinged wrists and ankles. All he’s missing was some kind of abdominal joint, which might have been an attempt to keep the armor sculpt. Even better, all the joints work very well, with only the ankles having much restriction.  Needless to say, though, it’s the double knees that take this from a decent figure to a good figure — and they do it without hurting the sculpt in the least.


Good don’t mean perfect, though, and there are some “cons” to go with that list.  In a spat of what looks like give-and-take, Batman gets zip to Slade’s arsenal.  Just as well, since he has closed fists, also an albeit minor downer for me. And where Batman gets some good functional articulation, Deathstroke does not.  Oh, sure, most of it’s there, with a decent ball-neck, shoulders, knees, ankles and elbows, hinged hips, and cut waist, and wrists, but it’s not nearly as useful as it ought to be.  The “elbrows/kneebrows” are restricted enough really impact their usefulness, and his hips are hindered from going forward pretty severely.

And while this might not necessarily be a “con” for everybody, it’s going to no doubt piss people off-DSCF1123DSCF1125


These guys, for whatever reason, are NOT “Arkham scaled.” Now, why Mattel would depart from an established scale for an established “universe” for it’s last two figures is anybody’s guess, but these are clearly more scaled toward the DCUC side than the DCC/Arkham one. On the plus side, for me this actually increases these figures’ viability. No doubt the DCC versions will skew toward the 7-inch figure scale, so I’m free to use these guys with my remaining mish-mash of 6-inch figures. So I’ve got a double-knee’d Batman to beat up on Stormtroopers to tide me over until I get another (also very articulated) one to beat on Aliens and Predators.


So if you’re okay with a last-minute scale change, and a bulky armored tank of a Batman, then snag this one without hesitation.  Deathstroke, not so much, but no denying he does look good.  Problem is, he’s not going to look good with the other Arkham figures; he’s going to look like Deathstroke Jr, so he might be a pass, depending on your mercenary needs.



12 thoughts on “First Look – Mattel Arkham Origins Batman and Deathstroke

  1. I have had good luck with giving “knee rows” a greater range of motion. First, I boil and pop the offending joint. Second, I get out my trusty Dremel Tool with the spherical high speed cutting head attached, I proceed to carve out the back of the knee socket and sometimes part of the lower back of the thigh. This procedure works quite well on bulky figures like Deathstroke as there is usually a lot of plastic to work with. Once the rough cutting is done,I swap out a sanding or smoothing head in the Dremel to get rid of any obnoxious flashing from the rough cut and finish the mod of by sanding it smooth with sanding sticks. Usually, I end up repainting the joint socket to match. Many times I just boil and pop the joint back together and enjoy the greater posing capabilities the figure has due to the mod. This method can be used on “elbrows” as well, but your carving can quite limited as to what you can do because of the bicep muscle being so prominent and facing toward the front of the figure.

  2. Nope, just the “kneebrows” for him. It’s too bad, he probably would’ve benefited from them a lot, as restricted as the ball-joints are on the figure.

  3. DisThunder, any way you could include more photo goodness of bats in action, comparison shots for height & scale considerations, please? (in the arkham origins thread, of course) i can never get enough of your shots, brother, thx!

  4. I think there’s room for both. It really depends on what you’re after- if you want to build an “Arkham Origins” collection, or add to your existing Arkham-verse, then I would pass on them. If you’re just adding these to a DCUC, or even more so a Marvel Legends-scaled collection, then these are what you want.
    Based on just articulation and sculpt alone, though, I think DCC is going to crush it.

  5. Wow thanks for posting! I didn’t know if they’d make it out or not. And I for one and glad it’s more DCUC scale, I was hoping for it. Deathstroke is roughly the same size as the DCUC one I take it? Also lots of custom potential there.

  6. Thanks a lot for posting this. I had given up hope that these would make it to retail. Your review was very helpful and thanks for mentioning that you bought them on Amazon. I either glossed over them, or didn’t realize that those where the Mattel versions whenever I’d do a daily sweep for new Batman action figure listings for the past several months. I immediately dashed over to Amazon before I made it through the sentence of your second paragraph. I’m a big Batman and Deathstroke fan so I’m really looking forward to getting these. I even got an extra Deathstroke for my little boy.

  7. DAMN!!! Those looks BAD AZZ. I didn’t know Mattel was making these and I Pre-Ordered DC Direct versions. Guess what those got crossed out and instead will get these. I just can’t wait to find them.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *