Sideshow Collectibles has revealed their coming Armored Batman Premium Format Figure and I will now give my initial thoughts on this piece based on the material currently available. This should not be considered a review, but rather as my first impression of the piece.
- Price: $524.99
- Exclusive: Swap out right hand with grenade launcher
- Expected to ship: Jan 2017 – Mar 2017
Sideshow Collectibles announced this piece as a surprise reveal right in the midst of the Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice hype-athon. Literally on the day of the world premiere of the film! This is the first Premium Format, based on the new movie, that takes aim at collector’s wallets, and it does so for a take-down price of $524.99. Quite a substantial amount of green, but alas, thus art the times in which we liveth. Does it hold its own? Let’s have a looksy!
The first thing that catches one’s eyes is of course the impressive stature of Batman in his armored suit. Obviously, the design they went with in the movie is heavily inspired by the legendary comic book The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller, in which we find Batman facing off with Superman… Hmm, ring a bell? Anywho, most of us have probably gotten somewhat used to the look of it by now, since it was revealed and displayed at conventions starting a long time ago.
The design is pretty rough. There’s not really any bells and whistles going on. It’s mean and efficient. Very much in tune with the vision that Zack Snyder has for the DC universe.
So the armor itself does not possess an awful lot of petite details, but instead there is a lot of wear and tear. It’s a damn beaten up armored suit that Batfleck is sporting here, and I wouldn’t be all too surprised if the battle-damage is caused by our friendly neighborhood Kryptonian.
One thing that I am a bit concerned with is the exposed mouth/chin area. Our only glimpse of Bruce Wayne underneath. While I can in part recognize Ben Affleck’s mouth and chin, I feel that the likeness is a bit off. Now, I wouldn’t say that Sideshow has the best track record of nailing the likeness of actors, and yes, sometimes a little gets lost in the mold and cast process, but with companies like NECA and Hot Toys nailing the likeness time after time, and really improving their craft, it would have been great to see a perfect likeness of what little Affleck is visible to us here.
This is a mixed media statue, in that we find a fabric cape present in the design. Again, I would have preferred a sculpted cape. Why is that? Well, a sculpted cape is posed perfectly according to the vision of the sculptor, and nothing is lost in translation. The drama and intensity of the scene in which the character finds himself, is more vividly portrayed compared to a clonky piece of material that is difficult to pose perfectly. That’s why I prefer a sculpted cape. However, I must admit, that the way that the cape runs across the shoulders and are pinned at the collar of Batman looks pretty good. But when you look at how the cape falls down behind Batman… It looks too stiff. At least it is folded in order to add some depth and a bit of flowing lines. Just not enough to make it look organic.
Other than that, the sculpt is good. It’s menacing. Brutal. Just like how Snyder’s Batman is portrayed in the movie, and I honestly consider it a fine nod to the comic book heritage of the design.
The pose is simple. It’s a static pose, but it has dynamic qualities to it i.e. his tense stance that evokes a specific scene or setting (Superman is probably standing across him).
The armored Batman needs to illustrate power and endurance. I feel that this is communicated well in this pose. It basically feels like he’s ready for whatever Superman has to offer, and he seems like someone who could handle that kind of beating.
I find the pose very complimentary to the concept and character design here.
The alternate hand with grenade launcher… A very unusual gadget for our Dark Knight, but this isn’t any Batman we’ve really seen before. At least not on the big screen. I guess that this added extra is a fitting detail to the Batman that we experience in Snyder’s latest movie. A more aggressive and harsh version of Batman. I suppose that is what a long career of crime-fighting might do to you. Especially when living in Gotham, having to deal with the loss of sidekicks and all that.
It feels like the optimal exclusive, if I have to be honest, and I think it’s pretty good looking in combination with the rough armor. I’d say go for it!
This statue features one light-up effect: the eyes. Obviously, this makes an awful lot of sense. It makes the piece come alive, so I can’t really argue with the logic there. However, I’ve developed quite an aversion towards light-up features in general. Mostly because, I’d be ever concerned with the life-span of these features. I know there’s a good chance that the light-up will serve me for the time I need it to, but there’s also the risk that it could break. Poor wiring, faulty diodes, battery leakage (if I’m a dweeb) etc. Also, I don’t see any AC plugin on the base. So I suspect that it only takes batteries. I really don’t like to have batteries inside my statues for too long stretches of time.
So, while it looks good, it just gives me more headaches or worries than I feel up for. But that’s just me. I know you all love them lights. Yes, you do. Don’t argue with me.
So what about the base? Well, I like it! You don’t hear those words out of my mouth all too often these days. But in this case, I actually feel that it is a rather good looking base. It has good dimensions that flow well with the size of the statue. It appears rough and solid i.e. broken pavement or floor. It gives me the illusion that it is a heavy piece, and I like that. The display base (that’s what I’ve started calling those things that make for the very bottom of the base) is also very rough and bulky. You have these heavy duty bolts and a worn looking metallic collar going all the way around. I find that this theme compliments the base very well, and the color palette is spot on.
So, for once, I’m actually quite satisfied with the base. It also helps with a base that isn’t half the height of the character, and makes the piece stand way too tall, like we’ve seen it with so many other pieces these days. Also, the base seems to be BESTA friendly, and that’s a quality I hold in high regard these days.
I think that this is a fine piece by Sideshow. It seems to convey the mood and atmosphere of the movie quite well. If you are a die-hard fan of… Batman, Zack Snyder, Ben Affleck (you know you love him) or just DC Comics and their movies in general… This seems like a must-have. The price, however, is rather steep. But as a wise man once said: “You can’t put a price tag on love. But if you could, I’d wait for it to go on sale.” I don’t imagine this to have a low edition size. This is a movie based piece, and Sideshow will want to cash in on the hype and popularity of the movie right now. That’s why it’s up for pre-order from day 1, basically. So I wouldn’t rush into this… and seriously… watch the movie first! Don’t give in to the hype blindly. You owe it to yourself to watch the movie first, and get a feel for the character, and how the suit here acts in living colors.
Anyways, I still feel that this is a solid piece by Sideshow. They made some good choices, but in my opinion, they could’ve made a few more. Throw in a sculpted cape (no, I don’t have it in for the tailors at Sideshow, I know at least one of them is totally adorable!), and work a bit more on the likeness. What little there might be of Ben in this sculpt, it could at least have been closer to the 100% likeness. Right now it’s more like 70-80%.
Right, that’s enough babbling. If you read everything, then I thank you, and admire your stamina. You, sir, or ma’m, deserve a medal and a hug. Thanks for stopping by!
Until next time.