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DC Collectibles: Batman Arkham Knight Man-Bat

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One of the better moments in the Arkham Knight game is no doubt the “jump scare” you get when you cross Man-Bat for the first time on a roof ledge. The side mission where you hunt down the unfortunate Kirk Langstrom is one of the better boss battles of the game, and sadly that can sound like faint praise.  

Now, the DC Collectibles line for Arkham Knight has been a more consistent experience, but even so, nothing is ever a sure thing when we’re talking DCC . . .

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Man-Bat sure looks the part of a must-buy, especially in the box. His packaging runs almost as large as the original Arkham Croc, and he is displayed inside very nicely.

DSCN1747With that packaging, Man-Bat brought the reassurance that he was priced the same as the regular figures, putting him around $25 dollars. As we get into the figure itself, it does well to keep that price point in mind.

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Out of the box, Man-Bat definitely cuts an imposing profile. Larger than the even too-big Batman figure, his combination of creepy sculpt, pallid colors, and impressive wingspan are a strong first impression.

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Get in a little closer, though, and the paint work didn’t quite deliver on the solid sculpting. While the skin tones and wing colors look pretty good, the medical monitors and “dirty” overspray feel a lot more amateur. On the various tubes and such, it’s interesting to note that they are hard plastic, instead of a softer material. It’s a little odd, considering the wings themselves are a good, pliable plastic, but that’s not the only odd choice made where that goes.

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All around, though, the sculpt work is solid, even to the point of being a little unnerving, what with his lack of pants.

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Articulation is where we start getting mixed results. He has a good ball-jointed neck, hinged shoulders, ab-crunch, ball-jointed thighs, thigh cuts, single knees, and swivel ankles. The points move about as well as most DCC figures, which is to say they still could work on functionality, but at least they’re making an effort.  The lack of a waist swivel and double knees in particular hold back the body from being just about right, in terms of movement.

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No, the big problem here is the wings. Initially, I had thought some of the articulation in the promotional images had been obscured; there was certainly at least a bicep swivel and some hinged wrists, something like that. In the store, I concluded, “Oh, they must be soft plastic with a bendy wire, like Clayface,” seeing as there were no visible joints. Even the seams where the two mediums meet on the arms lent credibility to that conclusion.

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Alas, it isn’t so. The arms are one solid piece, connecting to the softer plastic of the wings and hands. And while the wings are flexible, there’s really no way to change them from their splayed position. This might have been a result of the design, or a concession to get the look of the wings game-accurate, but it a big letdown for what would otherwise be a really neat figure.

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Mattel’s Man-Bat from almost a decade ago dealt with this problem by giving the figure conventional articulation and by just cleverly splitting the wing sections. The result doesn’t work in every pose, but it does work in most.  In fact, this one and his white SDCC version (that VeeBee got me a billion years ago) are still two of my favorite figures, period, not just from DCUC/DCSH.

Now, back to that price point — it’s fair to say, even with some diminished posing/play value, that is is still a lot of figure for your dollar. In comparison to most modern lines, this is essentially a build-a-figure at standard figure pricing, and that’s tough to beat. But on the other hand, so was the DCUC Series 10 brown Man-Bat. And he had a build-a-figure part, too.

So if you enjoyed the game (which I did, in spite of some similar letdowns,) are fond of Man-Bat, or just monstrous bat-villains in general, he’s still worth picking up. But definitely not at over-retail pricing.

 

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