With Christmas come and gone the toy shelves of many stores have become quite bare, making room for all manner of new lines and figures. Slowly trickling into the market are the Batman v. Superman toys: masks, small scale figures and, of course, Mattel's revamp of the DC Multiverse Line. The Multiverse line received a lukewarm reception from collectors when it was introduced, mostly due to the fact that it solely focused on DC video game design, save for a few based on Reeves' Superman and Keaton's Batman, and had a strange shifting scale, starting out with your standard 6" scale for the Injustice figures before going to an odd 4" scale for the Arkham series and the classic movies. Of course, Mattel has been no stranger to odd scaling issues; many collectors became annoyed that the Movie Master line could never seem to make up its mind, featuring short Dark Knight figures, small-headed Green Lantern figures, and then the Man of Steel line that paired up better with the 6" scale Hasbro preferred for their Marvel lineup.
2016 has seen Mattel revamp their line, streamlining the different figures and learning from some of Hasbro's designs. The 4" Multiverse line has ended and now the 6" line will be divided into two categories: one celebrating all manner of DC properties (including TV's Arrow, The Flash, and Reverse Flash, along with Multiversity's Superman), and the second focused on Batman v. Superman.
Wave One of the Batman v. Superman line is made up of four figures. The first is Superman himself, who is a reuse of the Man of Steel Movie Master with a new head. The second is Batman in his Frank Miller-inspired costume; this figure uses the same basic body as many other past Batman figures from the Mattel 6" line with obvious sculpting changes. Rounding out Wave 1 are the figures we will discuss here today: Armored Batman and Wonder Woman.
DC Multiverse Line (Batman v. Superman Wave 1)
Retail Cost: $19.99
The first thing you will notice, sadly, is the price. Yes, the price has jumped from the $15-16 range the Movie Masters were originally at to $20. Definitely a gulping moment for collectors (I actually got out of line and walked all the way back to the toy department to put the figures back before convincing myself to get them) but once you take them out of their package you see why the increase in price.
Armored Batman is BIG. He has a good weight to him and if he were in the hands of a child I would fear for whoever got this Dark Knight chucked at them. Armored Batman stands taller than Superman and is most certainly wider. The figure perfectly captures the design we've seen in the trailers, with scratches and dings in the heavy armor. The level of detail is very impressive; the boots have spiked tread soles and the inside of the palms of fine lines running along them. One very cool detail is the helmet, which features texturing and paint to show that it has been put on over Batman's cowl. It truly gives the impression that Batman has placed this over his costume and that underneath the armor is the movie batsuit.
The figure has a fair amount of articulation, though it is lacking in a few areas. The head is on a ball joint but due to the thickness of the neck you get very little up or down motion, leaving you with mostly side-to-side. Making up for this is his abs joint, which allows Bruce's upper body to either shift down for great post-beatdown poses or look up to mimic the Comic-Con footage of him staring at a hovering Superman. The shoulders are on the standard ratchet and rotate joint, and each arm has bicep, elbow, and wrist swivel. The hips also have the standard hip swivel found on most figures this size, and there is waist and thigh swivel and a jointed ankle.
The figure is made of a nice sturdy plastic and save for a slightly loose joint on one of my figure's ankles everything is firm and tight.
While the figure does look impressive there are two downsides. First and foremost is his weapon; Armored Batman comes with a 'gun' (most likely a gadget like we've seen in the Arkham games) made of a softer black plastic. While it also has great detailing the gun simply can't be held properly thanks to the butt of the gun being too long and thus jamming into the figure's wrist when he goes to hold it. The only way to have him hold it would be by the very tip of the handle. This is a small drawback as the figure is so imposing on his own that a weapon isn't needed.
The other issue is posing. While Armored Batman has a ton of joints and thus can be put in all sorts of iconic poses, getting him to stand so you can display him is another matter and this is because of his cape. Due to its weight the figure is back heavy and likes to topple over like Bruce just got socked by Harley Quinn's sledgehammer if you don't have him adjusted to counter the weight. I've been able to get mine to stand straight and go into action poses but it is definitely something you have to fiddle around with and can mean minutes have screaming at Batman to stop toppling over. This is a figure for someone willing to learn the balance points and not for someone in a rush who wants to plop him down on their desk.
All of the Multiverse Line comes with a Collect and Connect piece. In this case, Batman v. Superman's line will create, if you purchase all 8 figures, Batman's grapple gun with a stand. Unfortunately, due to Armored Batman's size, he got the smallest piece… a seemingly random piece of plastic that, if I'd been shown it all on its own without any background, I'd assume was scrap. When put together with the other 7 pieces, should you collect the entire line, I am sure it will look impressive but if you are getting this figure all by himself you might as well toss the C&C piece or sell it on eBay.
DC Multiverse Line (Batman v. Superman Wave 1)
Retail Cost: $19.99
The Amazon Princess at long last is appearing in a DC Movie and it is no surprise that Diana is part of Wave 1 of this line.
Wonder Woman, in package, suffers a bit compared to when you have her out and posed. Due to how they put her in the plastic one of her shoulders is rotated the wrong way and it makes her look misshapen and odd and I can see some collectors passing on her, feeling she doesn't look like the character. The position of the figure in the box is also odd; while in store I thought she looked manish and not at all resembling the box art. Once you get her out of the package and posed correctly, however, Wonder Woman instantly becomes one of the gems of this line.
The sculpt and paint on this figure is very clean and well done. While some of the figures I saw in the store suffered from the common issue of paint chipping on the tip of the nose (an issue I've seen both in Mattel's DC line and Hasbro's Marvel line), the paint otherwise is well done. There is no bleeding of the colors and those fearing Diana's costume would be too dark or that the toys would make them too bright can breathe easy as they hit upon the perfect balance. If you want to get real nitpicking the paint apps on her feet make her look like she is wearing tennis shoes when close up but otherwise the detailing is great. The sword and shield she comes with aren't an afterthought at all, with tons of detailing work done on them. In fact the shield itself is more detailed than the movie version, featuring a bird design in the center.
There are two minor complaints concerning the sculpt. First is that while the lasso of truth is included it is sculpted very small on the figure's belt, to the point that it looks more like a necklace than a lasso. Second is that due to Diana showing a lot of skin, with bare biceps, shoulders, upper body, and thighs, the seams on the figure stand out more than they did on Armored Batman. This is a tradeoff we must suffer through, though, if we want the articulation provided.
Yes, this figure is very articulated though again, like with Armored Batman, there is a nitpick. While Woman Woman does have a ball-jointed head her hair means there is NO way to turn her head. The hair is made of the same hard plastic as the rest of her and thus can't be even lifted up to allow her to look over her shoulder. The result is that Wonder Woman, just like Keaton's Batman, can't turn her head. Maybr Lucius Fox will make her a motorcycle helmet.
The figure comes with the standard shoulder joint and bicep, elbow, and wrist swivel. The elbow joint isn't cut very deep so while she can bend her arm she can't bend it as much as Armored Batman or Superman. She has a waist swivel, standard hips (though, again, because of the sculpting, this time on the skirt, she can't move them as far as her male counterparts), thigh swivel, knee joints, and ankle tilts.
Wonder Woman can pull off a ton of great poses and doesn't have some of the weight problems Armored Batman does. The only real issue is that when holding her shield the weight of it can make her topple but I found that it was easy to get her positioned corrected so that this didn't cause a problem.
The figure comes with three items: two accessories and a Collect and Connect piece. The sword is very detailed and made of a nice hard plastic; no bendy-sword syndrome for this weapon. The shield is big and heavy but the thick arm bands hold it firmly in place. You will have to be slow and careful putting her shield on, as the bands are very tight and require wiggling to get her arm to slide in. The Collect and Connect piece is half of the base for the grapple gun; this piece and serve a purpose, though, as I found it can, with friction, hold up Man of Steel Superman to create a quick and dirty flight stand.
The DC Multiverse line is a worthy successor to the Movie Masters. The increase in scale size means they can easily be displayed with other DC heroes (or the Arrow and Flash figures from the other wave if you want to make Stephen Amell's wish to be part of the Justice League come true) and the Man of Steel line. While there are minor issues with the figures and the price can be a bit intimidating, these figures are perfect for fans who have been waiting to create their own Justice League for quite some time.
Wave 2 of this series has yet to be revealed by is rumored to include Aquaman and Knightmare Batman (aka Desert Battle Batman) though the latter may be a chase variant based on the look. Wave 1 is currently showing up at Target and Wal-Mart.