It’s a familiar story to most collectors. A figure comes out, you procrastinate picking it up, and next thing you know it’s going for all the monies and you missed your shot. One of those instances for me was the Oracle figure that DC Direct released in their Birds of Prey set over ten years ago. Well, when I got wind that DC Collectibles was taking a shot at the character from the Arkham video game series, I wasn’t hesitating this time and pre-ordered this set the moment it was solicited. For a while I forgot it was coming, but here it is!
So far, I’ve only played the first two Arkham games and Knight is still confined to my sad pile of games waiting to be played. Nonetheless, I like the aesthetics in the series and I’ve been starting to collect some of DCC’s Arkham figures, so you’ll likely start seeing some of these featured here from time to time. This set comes in a sizable window box, which gives you a great look at both Barbara Gordon figures and all the accessories. It’s a little roomier than it needs to be, but it also feels like something special. It’s also collector friendly, which is great because I tend to keep these multi-figure sets from DCC in the box, as they display really nicely. Let’s start off with Batgirl…
The Arkham Knight version isn’t a huge departure from the New 52 look. The black body suit is still very tactical in appearance with sculpted panel lines and ribbed sections under the arms and between the thighs. Here, her boots, gauntlets, belt, and bat symbol are all painted with a snappy gold instead of the traditional yellow, making for a very sharp looking suit. She retains the scalloped boot tops from the New 52 look, but her belt is far more intricate and ornate. It almost looks like it’s sculpted to look like a ring of laurel leaves. You also get some tiny painted snaps and fasteners near her shoulders. I like the look of this suit a lot and DCC did a fine job executing it here.
The cape is soft and pliable, with a scalloped bottom edge. It features a painted gold finish on the interior and a thin gold border running around the outside. It’s just the right length and weight so that it doesn’t throw off the balance of the figure too badly. Even in some precarious action poses, she does not tend to topple backwards. That’s a good thing, because she doesn’t have peg holes in her feet to accommodate a traditional DC Collectibles figure stand.
Where this figure stumbles a bit (just a bit) is in the portrait. It’s certainly not bad, but I fell like there’s something a little off about it. The plastic used for the skin is soft, and the face is pretty, but the green eyes are a little dead and the face is a little too full and rounded. On it’s own, I would probably be OK with it, but she’s going to be sharing a display case with the New 52 Batgirl that DCC put out just a few years back, and the inevitable comparisons are just not that favorable. On the other hand, the sculpt work on the cowl and hair are both fantastic. Maybe I’m just being picky, because this was a somewhat pricey set.
The articulation here is slightly better than what I’ve come to expect from the modern DCC figures. You get rotating hinges in the shoulders, elbows, and wrists. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, have double hinged knees, swivels in the thighs, and hinges in the ankles. There’s a ball joint just under the chest and another in the neck. The addition of thigh swivels is a very welcome treat. To help with those action poses, Batgirl includes no less than three pairs of hands. The fists are attached with the other options being open hands and gripping hands. I love that the open hands have the interior gripping parts of the gloves painted black.
Batgirl comes with a batarang. It’s a static piece with no hinge in the middle like we’ve seen on some of DCC’s other batarang accessories. This is also pretty big accessory, so big I wonder where she would possibly keep it. It sure as hell isn’t going anywhere in that utility belt! Still, I dig that it’s substantial, she can hold it very well, and it’s a very nice sculpt along with some silver paint on the edges. Let’s move on to Oracle…
Oracle comes out of the box seated in her wheelchair, which is a completely separate piece, but obviously integral to displaying the figure. DCC did an impressive job with the chair’s sculpt and paint. The parts that are supposed to be metal have a metallic gray finish with orange trim. The cushions are off white with a matching orange paint. All four wheels are designed to roll. There are no pegs or tabs to secure the figure in the chair, she just sits right in it.
The sculpt and paint on this figure are both excellent. She’s wearing yellow shorts and a lavender and yellow jacket with a grey and pink striped shirt peaking through the top. The outfit is rounded out with some finger-less gloves, yellow sneakers, and white socks. The detail in the clothing goes above and beyond for DCC. For a company that’s used to doing either spandex costumes or panel-lined armor, they really went all out with the little details on Oracle’s civvies, right down to the little buttons pinned to her jacket. The paint is pretty clean too, with one glaring exception: Mine has a glob of yellow paint on her left shoulder. It’s not a big deal for me, but had I been able to buy her at a store, I could have picked out a better one.
The portrait here is solid work. It’s not easy to do glasses in this scale and make them look good, but DCC pulled it off here with aplomb. That having been said, the I would have appreciated it if the two portraits matched a little closer. Apart from the red hair, the likenesses on these two figures don’t do a lot to suggest that they’re the same person.
All of Oracle’s articulation is in her upper body. There are rotating hinges in the shoulders, elbows, and wrists; She also has ball joints below her chest and in her neck. My only nitpick with Oracle is that I wish she sat a little straighter on the wheelchair. The way she’s pre-posed has her perpetually leaning forward, which actually would work fine if there was a computer desk to put her in front of. I am able to get her seated back further and looking fine, even if her feet aren’t quite touching the foot rests.
Oracle comes with a few nifty accessories, the biggest of which is her backpack. This piece is designed to hang off the back of the chair and it fits quite nicely. It has a trendy pink camo deco along with a peace sign painted on the back. There are a number of sculpted books and whatnot peeking out of the open pouches and there’s a pouch for her water bottle. The bottle is even removable. I am a little surprised that they didn’t include a laptop with her.
Oracle also comes with a pair of stylish headphones, which are not designed to fit onto her head, but rather just hang off the back of the chair.
I like this set a lot and both figures are quite solid. Best of all, Oracle’s design is versatile enough so that I don’t mind her standing in with my comic based figures. Speaking of which, it’s a shame that DC Collectibles hasn’t done a modern comic version of Black Canary because posing Batgirl in her place alongside Oracle and Huntress makes for a nice picture, but granted doesn’t make any sense, leaving me one Bird of Prey short. These figures set me back fifty bucks, which sounds about right when you figure about $20-22 a figure and then factor in the wheelchair as a very large accessory. It’s always possible this set will drop in price eventually, as many of DCC’s Arkham video game figures do, but this was a case where I wasn’t willing to take that risk and with the figures in hand, I’m glad I didn’t.