The Flash: Batmobile and Batman Unmasked by McFarlane

I can think of few toy reveals that rippled outward with such a shockwave of excitement than McFarlane’s take on the Batmobile from the upcoming Flash film. It speaks volumes of how iconic that design has become in the three decades since it appeared in the ’89 Batman film, and makes me wonder why Mattel didn’t cash in on some of that love back when they had the DC license. And while I have no interest in seeing The Flash movie, I guess I have to at least be thankful that it resulted in this ’89 Batman resurgence and some cool toys. Today I’m checking out both the Batmobile and the Target Exclusive unmasked version of Michael Keaton as Batman. Let’s start with the Batmobile! This thing is a little too big for my regular photo staging area, so I had to improvise!

This sweet ride comes in a fully enclosed box that’s drab and boring. It’s a pretty good sized box, but that’s to be expected as this is a 7-inch scale car with very little assembly required. In fact, all you have to do is free it from it’s plastic bag and plug in the rear fins to get it ready to patrol the streets of Gotham. If you pop open the canopy, you’ll find a collector card hidden in there, similar to what we see included with all of McFarlane’s DC Multiverse figures.

Oh yeah… that’s the stuff! This design is still as dead sexy as ever, and McFarlane did a nice job recreating all those sleek curves. But make no mistake, this toy is a textbook example of give and take, so let’s get some of that stuff out of the way first. McFarlane had to play with the size here a bit to get it at the price point they wanted. As a result the car is a tad smaller than it should be, but I don’t find it that noticeable. It certainly doesn’t feel as downscaled as McFarlane’s 66 Batmobile. Along with the scale, the car also lacks the heft you might expect. The plastic is nice and sturdy, and the toy actually feels quite rugged in hand, but in the end it is mostly just a plastic shell. Indeed, as we’ll see the only play feature you get is the opening canopy and the rolling tires. I’m guessing pop up machine guns would qualify as forbidden by Warner Bros weird No Guns policy. Sure, I would have happily paid a bit more to get some extra gimmicks, but I’m also fine with them being left out. Finally, the profile of the canopy is definitely higher than the actual car, but it’s another thing that doesn’t really bother me all that much.

With all that having been said, I think this toy looks fantastic. The car has a beautiful glossy sheen to it that makes it look like it just rolled off the assembly line. Alfred really is an expert at buffing and waxing! You get some beautiful sculpted detail in that bullet shaped turbine in the front, and while I recall that being black in the film, I think the gunmetal gray here looks good. There are sculpted panels where the machine guns would pop up are present, as well as some additional panel lining on the sides. Yes, under bright lights the canopy is gray, but the variance between the gray and black is a lot more subtle in room lighting. When I first took it out of the box I barely noticed it, but under studio lights it can’t be missed. It’s not optimal, but it sure isn’t a deal-breaker for me either.

The rear of the car has a central turbine in gunmetal gray with two pairs of silver exhaust pipes and two sets of red taillights. The organic curves of the fins look great, as does the sculpted vents positioned between them. The tires are made of rubber and have gold bat symbols on the wheels, and you get some silver pipes and detail on the side cutouts, as well as circular vents angled away from the rear wheels.

To open the canopy, there’s a button just in front of it on the hood. It releases the catch and allows you to slide the canopy forward to reveal the driver cabin. There’s only one seat and while it isn’t accurate, it works fine for this toy. I’m extremely happy with the level of detail in here. You get a fully sculpted seat, which even has some sculpted stitching on the cushions. The banks of instruments and gauges are all picked out with silver paint and it all looks really sharp. The steering wheel is positioned dead center, but does not turn. Let’s switch over to have a look at Unmasked Batman and then we’ll get him in the Batmobile!

I’m using McFarlane’s in package solicitation shot here because mine got pulverized in shipping. It’s the same style packaging we’ve been seeing in the DC Multiverse line only branded for The Flash film and with the foil Gold Label corner. You get a stand and a collector card too. I almost wasn’t going to buy this figure, but he was billed to ship before the regular masked version. And I’m pretty glad I did, because my masked version probably won’t arrive until next week and I wouldn’t have had anyone to put in the Batmobile!

I won’t get too long winded here, because I’ll probably do a comparison when the masked version comes in. The suit is a lot different than I expected and I would have preferred something mare akin to the ’89 film. Here it looks more like sculpted armor and less rubbery, which sure ain’t bad, but just different. The sculpted muscles are a tad more pronounced and angular in some areas, particularly in the abs, I really love the detail on the forearm bracers, you get some panel lines in the upper legs, and the boots look great. Yeah, I’m bummed that the belt is now black instead of yellow, and a little surprised that the bat symbol is more orange than yellow here. Still, I think the suit looks great and I especially dig the glossy finish.

The cape is cloth, and while it looks a bit thin under the studio lights, it looks fine with the figure in hand and under normal lighting. Obviously, they went with softgoods here to make him work with the Batmobile, but I really wish they would choose softgoods over plastic more often. It just makes the figure so much more fun to play around with. Speaking of which, Batman hits all the usual points of articulation that are standard for the DC Multiverse line. The only thing I can really complain about are the continued lack of thigh swivels.

And then there’s the portrait. Well, from certain angles I can see Keaton in there, but not enough to make the likeness anywhere near a slam dunk. I actually think the flat paint is what’s letting down the likeness more than the sculpt. Considering you had to buy a whole different figure to get the unmasked head, I think this probably should have turned out better.

Batman comes with two sets of hands: One pair of fists and one pair of accessory holding hands. The included accessories are his grapple gun and a batarang, both of which are silver. Both are nice sculpts, but it’s a little odd that they aren’t black. Maybe they’re silver in the film? Someone will have to let me know, because I’m not going to see it.

Getting Batman into his ride is pretty easy, thanks to that cloth cape. He sits a little close to the steering wheel, but if you have more patience then me, you can probably get his hands on the wheel. I’ll make more of an effort when the masked Batman comes in.

Overall, I like this figure a lot, but I’m sure I’ll like the masked version even more. Chances are, I’ll wind up leaving this one in the Batmobile and displaying the masked version beside it. Then again, I do have McFarlane’s giant Batwing coming in at the end of this week, so I guess one of them may wind up sitting in the cockpit while the other stands beside the Batmobile. As for the Batmobile… If you’re looking for a perfect rendering of the 89 Batmobile that will hold a figure, well this isn’t it. But then, I don’t think such a toy exists. The old Kenner Batmissile Batmobile released in 1992 is your best alternative option, but it’s scaled for smaller figures, has some silly play gimmicks, and has it’s own share of inaccuracies in the design. It’s also selling for three or four times what this one is if you can find one complete and in good condition. Considering that McFarlane’s put this out at $60 seems like quite an amazing feat, and considering how quickly it sold out everywhere, I’ll go out on a limb and call it a success. I pre-ordered this at three online retailers just to be sure I got one. Only one of those retailers delivered the goods and that was Target. Another retailer outright cancelled, and my Amazon pre-order is in limbo and will likely be cancelled too. There’s certainly some room for improvement in this toy, but I love it and I’m glad I was able to get one!


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