If I were to write a list of things I never imagined we would see come to be in 2014, a movie style Batman action figure from NECA would mos certainly be on that list. And yet, here we stand– after scaling down their 18″ Michael Keaton Batman for their 8-Bit video game collection, NECA have gone one step beyond, finding a way to release a movie accurate, full color version of the figure.
This in and of itself is a minor miracle– obviously the plan has something to do with how this Batman figure is being offered (he’s a gift with purchase, for sale along with a copy of the 1989 Batman movie Blu Ray), but it’s still impressive that NECA has managed to somehow circumvent both Mattel and DC Collectibles with this release, delivering the action figure both of those companies have failed to deliver.
But the fancy footwork involved with the release of this figure would be for naught if the final product wasn’t great, but that is not the case here– this Batman is amazing. The figure is fully poseable, with a remarkably well designed neck joint attached underneath the cowl so as not to interrupt the silhouette of the figure, while accurately causing the figure’s shoulders and chest to appear to move in tandem with the head, just like in the movie. We only get the lower half of Keaton’s face in the portrait, but it looks great, and casting this as a separate piece attached under the mask adds a sense of depth and dimension to the figure.
As for the rest of the figure, he’s damn near perfect– the proportions are great, the torso overlay masks the articulation at the abdomen, while the knee covers hide the half-ball joints there. The gloves and boots also do a great job of masking the ample articulation in those areas, making the elbows the only noticeable joints on this very well articulated figure.
Just like in the movie, this Batman is all black, but a variety of paint finished and dashes of colors break up any sense of sameness… the eyes and mouth and chest emblem and belt all serve to accent the black costume, as do the high gloss boots, shin guards, gauntlets and gloves. To offset the shine of these armored pieces, the rest of the figure utilizes a matte plastic which perfectly replicates the look and sheen of the rubber suit from the movie. I find the cloth cape to be a little thin, but the mixed media approach adds yet another variance within the black pallet of the figure, which is once again welcome. And while the cloth cape can’t be posed, it does not inhibit the figure in the way a rubber cape would, and it is cut in a manner that allows it to drape very organically over the figure.
Batman includes an alternate set of hands, so he can be displayed with one or two fists, a right hand the grips his grappling gun or a left hand holding his batarang. Between this and the articulation, you can get a great number of poses out of this guy.
While it would be a crime to not open a figure this cool, the throwback packaging– a riff on the 1989 Toy Biz gold and purple card art– makes it tempting to leave him mint on card. This Batman was first available through an eBay account apparently set up by Hastings, but the set is also available now at Toys R Us stores. For $25, the figure and Blu Ray combo is an unbeatable price. The movie still holds up, and has earned a place in many a collection, and this Batman figure is even more essential for any fan of the series.
NECA has been very vocal about their desire to tackle the cinematic super heroes in their universal 7″ scale, and they brought their a-game with this Batman figure. I hope Warner Bros and DC are paying attention, because this figure is already becoming a sales phenomenon, and he’s so damn good, he’s worth all the hype and more. With any luck, Keaton Batman will be the first of many awesome cinematic super heroes we see released in this scale from NECA!