It’s been a few years since I’ve made the trip to San Diego, and honestly I need to quit bitching and go again, but one of the benefits of watching from home is that it gives you time to absorb, digest, retain all that information that kind of overwhelms you in person.
Or at least that’s the theory. I have found it hard to really process just how much stuff Hasbro and NECA especially pumped into this showing. Hell, even Mattel had things I might buy again. Might.
But as has been the way now for several years, my first focus is always One:12 Collective. Compared to those years past, this was a little bit more of a restrained showing for the line, no doubt because while a lot of the figures on display have been seen before, many of them still haven’t made it out of production. I know this pisses folks off to the point of “quitting the line” several times, but it is a concern, and I wonder if some of the focus this summer was more on getting existing product out than adding more awesome stuff to that backlog. Just speculation, but there’s my take.
There was still plenty new to discuss, and we will, but today I wanted to start with a sort of auspicious reveal- one that actually didn’t show until just Wednesday, three days post-con. But if you know me, you know why.
Previously I have talked and reviewed figures that are part of Mezco’s Batman “trilogy.” This started with the sleeper might Ascending Knight figure, their version of Year One, and is going to be followed sometime this coming Winter by Sovereign Knight- essentially their modern Batman. At Toy Fair we got our first look at this figure, a very Arkham games -meets- cinematic mix of carbon fiber and leather looking materials, and it started to become clear, even if not totally necessary yet, that this Batman was gunning for top spot.I kind of readily accepted the idea that even though I didn’t NEED this Batman with the urgency I needed some of the others, that time would come. As fate would have it, just barely.
With a proprietary suit similar to Ascending Knight, a deep blue reminiscent of the MezEx Dark Knight variant, and a golden chest oval, the Previews Exclusive Sovereign Knight hit me like a ton of bricks this week. And gave my spirits a boost at a time of year I occasionally need it.
There’s so much to talk about in it’s design, but really words fail compared to the pics. The segmented armor of the two-tone gray suit amplify that Arkham Asylum vibe to the point I can easily see folks mixing and matching a few extra parts and getting nearly on-model versions. I’ve mentioned now much I enjoyed the royal, vibrant blue of the PX Ascending Knight, but this darker blue is like the best of both worlds. And to cap that off with the classic oval, with some nice armored textures, this Batman is taking deadly shots at my own personal “locked in” Batman mental image. Normally, I really like to get into the nexus of a design, chase it back to certain comics, media, etc. But this figure feels more obvious. Here, its the Arkham/real world elements painted with a classic 1970s-1980s filter. It’s almost like a game “skin”. I love it.
The 3 masked heads we’ve seen for the standard version are in attendance, and I dare say they look even better in blue. But what really got my attention is the correction of an omission (at least to me) in the regular version- this one comes with an unmasked head. This pictured version is likely just a mockup (like some other elements) but it’s clear he’s the same guy we got with Ascending, just a bit older.
Being a Previews Exclusive, this Batman is already up for pre-order with comic shops, like our buddies at BigBadToyStore.com, and that certainly helps cut down on the stress for an exclusive. But the biggest reason I wanted to talk about this figure first, other than my giddiness, is because you’re going to want to get your order in while the getting is good on this one, trust me. We will get into the other reveals next week.