Monday, March 7, 2016

Review: DC Comics Icons Batman

Figure Information
Manufacturer: DC Collectibles
Figure Number: 1
Origin Series: Batman: Last Rites
Scale: 1/12 (6-inch)
Height: Approximately 15cm tall
SRP: $24.95


Batman is figure number 1 but he did release along with 4 other characters as part of the 1st wave of DC Comics Icons and as part of the initial releases, you do get a glimpse on how the line packaging goes (as this is true for the first 9 figures in the line). It's very clean, simple and presentable, as you get a the line name at the front, a window big enough to inspect the entire package content, the figure number and the character's name. Note that in the "Icons" label, the logo changes depending on the character which is pretty entertaining if you ask me.

Nothing notable at the sides design-wise but one side does show you the figure number, character logo AND the best part for me, showing you which comic run/event the character's rendition was based on and for Batman, it is from the "Last Rites" story arc. The back does show you all of Batman's other wave mates in the form of Deadman, Green Arrow and Mister Miracle.

If you look at the top of the box, you'll see the character's logo as well.


First and foremost, the Icons Batman sports a traditional blue Bat suit rather than the modern black which we usually get. Now, I do not read comics but from what I looked up, Last Rites is a comic book event which happens around the time when Bruce Wayne "died"; regardless of what happened in the events, I am not sure how accurate this Batman mold is to the comics, so I'll just discuss what the figure presents.

Since I'm using anew camera for this review, photos here in the details section will be much more useful than all my previous reviews! :D Anyway, I'll start off with the head as usual, Icons Batman really has great sculpting in the head as the mouth and facial muscles are sculpted in quite nicely, additionally the wrinkles and some molding in the mask helps in giving the figure a good amount of  realistic feel to it; that there's a man underneath that mask. If you zoom in on the photo below, you'll see that my piece actually does have some minor paint mess here and there and that the right side of the face's skin (to your left if you're viewing the photo) have some scratches in it, so, if you're buying one soon, do check the piece and get the most clean looking one.

Viewing the head from either of the sides does actually allow you to view that there is indeed a sculpted lower portion of the nose right there and that's just amazing if you ask me. The bat ears also makes it to a point that it's not just a pointy ear planted in there as there is a degree of layering involved in it which again, is a great attention to detail. The cowl is technically just this dark blue which is very clean overall and there's no difference in the blue that's used for the head mold and for the cape and cowl, which is great since I like color consistencies.

The cape is made of soft material so it won't be much of a hindrance in articulation and as far as the detailing in it goes, I like it a lot, the wrinkles definitely make it look a lot better rather than just leaving straightened out.

Going to the body mold, I love how muscular DC Collectibles made this Batman look like, the amount of muscular features in this figure is absurd and the sculpting looks really great and well defined; it's definitely something I'm impressed with as Icons Batman is my very first figure from DC Collectibles and is also 1 of 4 starting figures for the somewhat new DC Comics Icons line. Additionally the muscular build really helps emulate that there's this really powerful guy inside that suit.

One thing that I totally am amused on my piece is the fact that my Icons Batman seems to have the Bat logo printed twice, if you look at the photo below, you'll see that the logo looks like it casts out a shadow but in reality, it's merely a double print. It's not that noticeable and this definitely is an error but it really does amuse me and it really doesn't bug me since it looks like it's casting a shadow.

Going to one of the caped crusader's most notable features, his utility belt, I was absolutely stunned to see how the details in each pouch and even the buckle are meticulously sculpted in there and while I wasn't able to snag a photo of the pouches at the back, do know that those are equally detailed as the ones on the front and sides.

Lastly, going to Batman's gauntlets and boots, very minor detailing as everything looks smooth in these two and while I do love the consistency in blue in everything else, DC Collectibles seems to have used a glossy for these two. Now I have no idea if it's really supposed to be that way in the comics but personally, I would've loved it if they didn't make it glossy.

Size Comparison:

As for size comparisons, DC Collectibles completely advertised this as a 6-inch line and by measurement, Icons Batman just stands more or less as exactly 6 inches tall, personally, I think he needs to be just slightly taller but anyway, below's a comparison with Icons Batman standing next to other Batman figures I have which is S.H.Figuarts Injustice Batman and then next to MAFEX TDK Batman version 2. In both cases, Icons Batman falls short though it is more evident with the MAFEX one, I think Icons line will fit just right in with S.H.Figuarts.

Comparing with other lines that I own, here's Icons Batman standing next to figma Captain America and I must say, the scaling is perfect between these two lines as Cap and Bats are almost as tall as each other. 

And now to the main comparison since most of the folks at the west who collects action figures seems to always use Marvel Legends as a point of comparison, so, here he stands next to my Marvel Legends Agent Coulson.

Seeing that Coulson falls in one of the more shorter Marvel Legends, definitely, Marvel Legends will be bigger than DC Comics Icons but hey, you can still makes things work if you're into toy photography. Anyway, I do think Marvel Legends are just way too big to be in exact 6-inches or it might just be the other way around (that SHF and etc lines are the ones that are less than 6 inches tall) but yeah, as for me, my collection is mainly on Japanese figures so Icons' scaling works better for me in every possible way.

And to prove that I really Batman needs to be slightly taller, here is Icons Batman next to the Icons Hal Jordan Green Lantern.

By one look, you'd know that Hal is taller than Batman and supposedly if the stats on search results is true, then these two should have the same height.


What got me totally sold on the Icons line is that each and every release would normally have accessories and with it comes at least a pair of alternate hands, something that ML needs to have for all their releases. Anyway, Batman comes with a pair of alternate gripping hands, 2 batarangs and a left hand with a molded in line launcher; while only a few, these are still welcomed additions in my book rather than nothing.

Anyway, the alternate hands are really for gripping his batarangs but you can also make shift it for a pair of  slight open hands for certain shots.

The line launcher is, for me, the weakest of his accessories since it has this playable rope gimmick which isn't really useful for shots and if you actually try to hook it, you'll need solid hook points as  you'll find Batman to be heavy enough to actually pull on the rope.

I would've liked it if we got a hand with the grapnel or at least a pair of open hands instead since I really find the the line launcher hand to be completely useless.

Articulation Points:

I was definitely looking forward to articulation when I first got this due to the frame breakdown that DC Collectibles posted before but ultimately, the frame didn't live quite up to my expectations as there are some parts that's quite disappointing. 

Starting with the head, while it is on a ball jointed neck, you can mostly just rotate the head left or right as well as very minor tilt. Up or down movement is supposedly there but it just doesn't stay so it's technically non-existent for me which is definitely a bummer for me since looking up is very useful for a dynamic character like Batman.

Batman's arms can fully rotate despite having the cape at the back; as I've mentioned in the details section, it is made of soft material so rotating his arms will temporarily warp the cape and allow you to continue with the full rotation.

Arms can also be raised sideways up to a near 90 which is quite decent. Icons Bats also has a swivel and you can fully rotate the arms from there. His elbows are double jointed though due to the muscular structure of the mold, it pretty much just bends to somewhere above 90 degrees. Lastly, his wrists do work similarly to old figma wrist joints and that of Marvel Legends'.

Batman's torso is on a ball joint and unlike the head, this, thankfully, works really well with a decent stretching and crunching ability as well as a useful torso rotation which can sub for the Icons frame having no waist swivel capability.

To further his body crunching ability, Bats also has a hinge in the bottom of his abs which does bend just a bit but again, when combined with the torso joint, it does give you a good amount of crunching.

Batman's hips are on a ball joint but his kick forward is very limited and can raise just around 45 degrees more or less, I think this needs improvement for future releases while splitting sideways gives a full 90 degree split. One of the biggest downsides of the frame is not having thigh cuts, one might say that you can utilize the boot cuts in exchange for the loss of it but it just doesn't work on some poses. 

Knee joints are double jointed as well and it works as intended this time, bending to a very satisfying amount. Ankles can move the feet up and down as well as tilt it to a very good range!


I've replaced the old "Poseability" section with this "Gallery" section as I want to shorten my reviews even by a bit. What I'll do now is just drop a quick comment on how the figure's accessories and articulation would work together and then just present a photo gallery of the figure.

Batman's lack of a thigh cut and limited neck articulation definitely gives a backlash on how enjoyable the figure is as some poses will look very unnatural if you only rotate the leg via the boot swivel and Batman does lose more expression with a very poor up or down head movement. You'll definitely find yourself either having Batman use his batarangs or just do CQC for making the most out of his frame and set contents.

Final Thoughts:

While there's definitely a need for improvement for the Icons line and with Batman just being the start along with a few more figures as of this writing, there's still time for DC Collectibles to improve on the first two waves' flaws and hopefully, we do get it for the upcoming ones. 

While not a perfect figure by any means, I do think the figure is good overall and I'll definitely invest in the Icons line for my fix of DC comics characters not because they're the only ones who does the comic versions at a good price and at a scale that I prefer but because I am content with the Icons figures that I have at the moment (I have 4 as of this writing). Scaling + price might be an issue for other collectors but mainly being a Japanese figure collector myself, I do think it's more justifiable than how much you pay for a school uniform figma nowadays and that DC collectibles definitely care for details because, for me, articulation isn't always what's important. If you want a more affordable 6 inch Batman then I definitely suggest giving this figure a try.

Before I end, I pre-ordered my Icons Batman from Play Giant, do check out their branches at Shoppesville Plus Greenhills and Glorietta!

I give the caped crusader a 3.5 out of 5.

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