Uh oh! It’s time to make a lot more room on the shelf because the latest in NECA’s gloriously giant Quarter-Scale figures has shown up at my doorstep with a resonating thud. With my space limitations being what they are, I have to be batshit crazy to be collecting a line of figures in this scale, but I was so impressed with NECA’s Cap and Iron Man that there was really no turning back. I also got a crazy good deal on this figure, but more on that later. Some may think this one an odd pick-up for me as I have frequently confessed to not being the biggest Batman fan around. I grew up watching Adam West in the role, and I like Batman as part of an ensemble cast in the Justice League comics, but I’ve never taken to any of his own books. Even stranger, I absolutely hated the 1989 Batman movie when I first went to see it. I found it was too dark and really boring. Well, something happened along the way because sometime in the early 2000’s, I happened to watch it again on DVD and I warmed up to the flick quite a bit. I think Keaton did a great job playing a role that first seemed like a prime example of egregious miscasting. Plus, this version of the Dark Knight’s costume has long been my favorite. Buy a giant figure of it? Why not!
As one might expect the box for this figure is huge. That having been said, it doesn’t waste a lot of space and it doesn’t bother with a lot of high end frills in the presentation. It’s a simple window box with a nice Batman inspired deco that really invokes the movie. If you were around in 1989, you’ve got to remember this deco on every single goddamn thing you can think of. It was down every toy aisle and on every fast food cup. The entire country had gone Bat Crazy! But one thing we didn’t have was no eighteen inch Batman figure and now we do! The accessories are stored in an enclosed tray attached to the side of the cardboard insert. It’s all collector friendly so you can keep the box to store your figure if you want, but it’s like they just decided that the figure is so impressive, we’re not going to spend a lot of time on the box it comes in. I imagine it helped keep costs down too, which lends itself to the fact that at under $100 retail, these figures feel like a pretty great value.
Have I mentioned this figure is big? For the record, Batman stands at about 18-inches tall to the tips of his bat ears. He comes out of the box with his copious cape partially stuffed into a clear baggie. The problem is that it also adds a lot of rumple to the cape. You see the cape on the figure pictured on the back of the box. Yours will not look like that unless you do something about it. I am going to have a go at ironing at some point, but to do that first I need to borrow an iron so I couldn’t do it for this feature. The cape is connected to the figure so that it can be worn over the shoulders or swept back off the shoulders. The former makes for a nice shrouded and spooky look, while the later is great for action poses. Anyway, the figure itself is quite well done. The chest features sculpted muscles and there’s a ton of detail in the gauntlets and boots. The belt is actually a separate piece, so it can slide up and down a bit, but it does not appear to be removable. As expected, the deco here is mostly black on black with a little black thrown in. Joking aside, I really dig the mix of high gloss black and matte black used for the suit. The bulk of the suit’s matte finish makes it look really close to the rubbery material used for the on screen costume, while the glossy paint on the gloves and boots add a little something to jazz it up. Even the tiny gripping points on his palms are individually painted silver. I’ll concede that the ’89 Batsuit doesn’t offer as much opportunity for paintwork and detailed sculpt as say the Captain America or Iron Man figure, but what’s here is pretty damn good. For some reason I expected the matte black plastic to have a lot of scuff marks, but there isn’t anything like that.
What’s even better than good is the cowl and head. The cowl itself features a very cool and accurate texture and has the bat symbol attached and neatly painted. The seams on the back of the hood are also part of the sculpt, which I found to be a very nice touch. The head itself is actually a fully sculpted Keaton portrait with the hood and cowl placed permanently over it. The exposed lower half of the face is really spot on Keaton and the eyes feature black paint and look every bit as good. I was really blown away by the portrait on NECA’s Quarter-Scale Captain America and I have to say that while this figure’s costume shows a little less, the end result is still every bit as good.
The other figures that I own in this line weren’t really big on accessories, but Batman here bucks that trend. I’ll confess I don’t really look for a lot of accessories with these bigger figures, but let’s see what we got. For starters, he comes with three extra hands to replace the fists that come on the boxed figure. One set is designed to hold the two posts, which are used to pose Batman with his cape spread apart. The posts, which look like police batons, slide into tiny holes in the cape’s lining and the effect is fantastic. When I first heard NECA was engineering this I didn’t think much of it because I knew I’d never have the space to display him like that. Now that I’ve seen it in action, I’ve decided I really need to find the space because it looks too amazing not to make use of it. I have to blame this display option for the makeshift studio setting I had to cobble together to accomodate how freaking big he is with his cape spread.
Next up, you get a batarang that actually folds up into a neat little package via three hinges. It’s a very nice piece and the cape hands also double as a way to hold it.
Finally, you get the grapple gun, which comes with a deployed grapple, a string to attach to it, a harness to attach the gun to the back of the utility belt, and a hand for holding the gun. The gun has a folding handle and looks pretty good in Batman’s hand. NECA probably should have stopped there because the rest of this ensemble is either useless or just crap. You can break the down into two pieces to attach to the belt rig, but the belt rig snapped in half the moment I tried to attach it to the belt and honestly, based on the way it’s designed, I don’t see any way it could have done anything other than break. Ok, so no big deal. I was only attaching it to shoot a picture for the review and I doubt I would ever have used it otherwise, but it’s still no fun to have a piece break right out of the box like that. So, Boooo… Boo, NECA… BOOOOO!!! The deployed grapple also seems like a waste because it doesn’t interact with the gun at all. What am I supposed to do? Tie it the ceiling and hang my Batman figure, which weighs the same as a small toddler, from it? I shouldn’t complain about useless extras because they are just that… extras. At least they don’t impact on the quality of the figure.
Batman features some useful points of articulation. I was particularly happy to see some rotation in the cowl, as I didn’t expect there to be any head movement at all. All in all, he seems a bit less poseable than the other two Quarter-Scale figures in my collection, but then the suit has its limitations. What’s here is pretty good and you can indeed choose from a number of different display options.
I hemmed and I hawed about which Quarter-Scale Batman to get. On the one hand the Adam West Batman looked more interesting and tugged at my nostalgia strings. On the other hand, the Keaton Batman looked like pure badass. It was a sale at Entertainment Earth that nudged me toward the Keaton Batman and I was able to pick him up for $65 shipped as part of their Deal of the Day. For sixty-five bones I’ll buy these figures all day long. If I paid the $100-120 he’s going for at a lot of online retailers, I would have gotten a lot more up in arms about the broken piece or the rumpled cape, but with the money I saved, hell I can go buy me an iron to smooth that shit out. Maybe this figure doesn’t have the wow factor of my giant Iron Man or Captain America, but it’s still a great display piece, so no regrets here. Now, NECA, you have to do a Nicolson Joker to go with this guy. I mean it… YOU HAVE TO!!!