Hot Collectibles: Batman Arkham Knight Review

These aren’t the figures of your childhood. These are not meant to soar through the air only to crash into other figures in the dirt and heat of playground battle.
Hot Toys Batman Arkham Knight

Hot Toys is a Hong Kong based company known for licensing the hottest geek-centric properties and creating some of the most detailed and intricately crafted action figures on the market.  But these aren’t the figures of your childhood.  These are not meant to soar through the air only to crash into other figures in the dirt and heat of playground battle.  These figures should be shown more respect as works of supreme craftsmanship.  These are collectables meant to be displayed and admired.

Packaging

The figure is packaged in a sturdy white cardboard box with the right side of the front of the box dominated by Batman in the foreground and Arkham/Gotham City behind him.  This image is pretty much the same one lifted straight from the game ads and box.  The back has quite some information, unfortunately most in Chinese, except for the very important “Choking Hazard” warning. 

While the black and White Batman logo and Batman picture on the right with the red accents make for a wonderful contrast against the white box, this probably won’t last very long as the white box is a dirty magnet.  The store figure I saw where I purchased this figure was looking pretty dirty and this was about a week after they received shipment.

The front flap opens, as with all Hot Toys boxes, affording you the opportunity to at least see what you are buying should you happen to come across this in the shop.  The interior art is quite dull if I am honest, but quite helpfully the list of credits under the main title gives you an idea of the team who made the figure a reality.  


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The windowed section gives you a nice view of the figure and ALL the accessories and as is usual with Hot Toys there are many different accessories from extra hands to Batman’s gadgets and even and additional, but very creepy half a face to allow you to swap out should you wish.

The secondary advantage of this type of box is that if you are someone who likes to keep their figures mint in the box, this affords you a nice opportunity to still display the figure, albeit in a somewhat inelegant manner.

Box Contents

As mentioned above the box does a great job of giving you a view of all the contents.  The list of contents is as follows:

  • Batman figure, obviously.
  • Extra, and pretty creepy, half a face.
  • Seven, yes I “said” seven, additional hands ranging from closed fist to hold a weapon to one with trigger finger extended.
  • Two additional ball and socket joints for the hands.  Be careful I dropped one of these and took ages to find it on my carpeted floor.
  • Batman’s Line Launcher from the game with beautiful blue accents.
  • Batman “gun” with a grappling hook attachment and a BatClaw attachment for when he absolutely has to pull that unreachable grate down.
  • A Batarang.  This looks like just a normal Batarang, not a remote or sonic one.
  • Explosive Gel applicator “gun”

Each and every item is beautifully sculpted.  The hands each look identical, except for the pose of course, so there is no way that you would see a missed detail leading you to break the illusion of reality.  The paint accents on the Line Launcher is unbelievable, making the item look like actual metal.  None of the items feel flimsy, even when you are swapping the grappling hook out with the BatClaw on the “gun”.  I didn’t change things too often, so these items never felt like they were becoming loose in the socket, but that is a distinct possibility as the hard plastic wears should you do that too often.  The Line Launcher barrels both move so that you can position them to show Batman about to launch a line to zip across.

Figure

The figure itself is a sixth scale figure or just over twelve inches or, for those of us who use a proper measurement scale, three hundred and nine point eight, eight millimetres. Or just a little longer than your average school ruler.  The figure boasts articulation at each of the major joints, such as knees, ankles, elbows and shoulders.  However this articulation is somewhat limited due to the costume, which I will get into later. 

The head a sculpted cowl that is attached to the figure at the shoulders, with the face being the part that can swap out via the aforementioned creepy half face.  This is slightly different that other Hot Toys figures, such as the Darth Malgus, as that figure came with a full head swap.  This is understandable as you don’t need a whole head for Batman since most of it is under the cowl and because the cowl is attached to the body, removing the head would be a little difficult.  The cape is, as you would expect, part of the cowl and flows directly from it.

The cape is not a rigid or semi rigid plastic, but a premium feeling faux leather.  The cape drapes nicely over the shoulders and behind the figure, however because the cape has no rigidity in it at all you cannot set up a pose where the cape is flaring as if Batman is leaping off a ledge to glide without some modifications on your part.  This is a con, but it is also in my opinion not a bad thing as I in order to give the cape the proper look, Hot Toys could have used a fine wire sewn into the cape as they did With Darth Malgus’ cowl, but to properly “mould” that wire so that it is curved or in those case pin straight requires the skills of a Hot Toys sculptor.  The cape shows no sign of battle damage and is obviously meant to show Batman from early on in the game.  A nice accessory, in my opinion, would’ve been to have a second damaged cape with bullet holes and tears in it as is shown in later parts of the game.

The suit itself is a light grey, lighter than I expected, but still appropriate.  The suit is made to look armoured as you can clearly see rivets and seam lines for each plate on it, however the suit is made of a flexible plastic or rubber material.  The suit is textured like a basketball, which is a detail that I don’t recall seeing in the game.  Another nice touch, that again I never noticed in-game, is that Batman is wearing the traditional circus shorts on the outside of the costume.

As mentioned above the suit limits articulation as it has being tightly fitted to the figure so that there are no bulges and other deformations and so that you can see the figures muscular build.  During my manipulation of the figure I never moved the arms more than ninety degrees laterally for fear of overstretching or even tearing the suit.  The pictures on the Sideshow website shows a greater range of movement, however if they tear the suit they can bin one and replace it with one from the storeroom!  One piece of too much articulation is in the joints, as the picture shows you can bend the foot back unnaturally and expose the inner mechanics of the joint.  This shouldn’t happen in normal use but is something to be careful of doing.

The utility belt is, as expected, highly detailed with many, many pouches.  How Batman knows which one holds which gadget only he know.  The belt is made of hard plastic and is not removable.  It does move slightly, so is not part of the figure or attached.  The belt is painted in a goldish hue and not a stark yellow and accents the grey of the suit nicely.  The gauntlets, shin guards and the boots are all hard moulded plastic.  These pieces allow for the hands and ankles to move as they are separate, overlaid pieces.  Be warned that the gauntlets can come off the arms as the hands act as blocks.  The blades on the gauntlets are surprisingly thick and sturdy while still looking quite sharp and dangerous.  Unless you apply a concerted amount of force to the blades they should not bend or break.  The paint job on these pieces is, as with other pieces, exquisite with some nice distressing techniques used to give them a used and worn look.

Articulation

I have already spoken about articulation above, but want to round out the issues here.  As stated, the suit limits articulation as it is quite tight fitting.  On my shelf the limited movement on the shoulders is the biggest issue as I am too afraid to force the arm above the shoulders and head to pose the figure properly with the line launcher or even the Batclaw as if he is ready to grab something above him.  The elbows and knees do have the full ninety degree range, but the waist has very little both forwards and back.  The head, due to the sculpted cowl, has limited range both up and down and sideways, which is a nice unintentional nod to the Burton Batman which was notorious for the fact that Michael Keaton couldn’t turn his head to look around.

Articulation

The Arkham City Batman is a beautiful figure, worthy of any collection.  The accessories are highly detailed and made from premium materials.  The paint job is so intricate that you can see Batman’s five o’clock shadow and each accessory looks almost real.  I am confident that even microscopic inspection will reveal no paint bleed or missed details.  The faux leather cape and costume look good from any angle and distance and only close scrutiny of the costume will reveal that it is not armour plating.

The multitude of hands and accessories gives you an almost infinite number of combinations and permutations of gadgets and poses, however the difficulty in moving the figures limbs the way you may want to limits the number of poses that I was comfortable with trying out.

At $230 (excluding shipping and taxes for the Sideshow version) this figure is an expensive piece, but one that would be at home in any collection.  I see this as more of an articulated statue rather than a true action figure and as such should be manipulated once in a while as you decide to change your display.  This should most definitely not go with Johnny to school for some fun.

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