Arkham Knight: Catwoman by DC Collectibles

Yup, I’m still on an Arkham Knight figure kick and one day, I hope to get around to playing the game too! Honestly, even if I wasn’t starting to collect this line, I’d still probably have picked up Catwoman here, because I tend to pick up whatever Catwoman figures I can find. What can I say? I like cats and I like women. Meow!

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The packaging is the same as we saw last time with the Azrael figure. It’s an attractive and collector friendly window box with that stylish angled edge that features the figure’s name. I like the grittier box art too. The presentation here is just all around fantastic and if I weren’t so damn pressed for space, I’d keep the box. Sadly, that’s not an option.

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Free from her box, Catwoman is looking mighty fine. This isn’t a huge departure from Catwoman’s modern look in the comics, but it’s a quite a bit of a change from the Greg Capullo Catwoman I looked at a little while back. You get a much more realistic catsuit, and by that I mean it’s got all sorts of texturing and extra details. High friction areas are covered with a textured web-like honeycomb pattern while others are reinforced with just smooth padding. There’s a subtle mix of matte and gloss black to further distinguish the details. There’s also some crazy detail on the front laces of her high heeled boots. Those things must take forever to put on!

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While technically an accessory, I’ll mention her coiled whip here. It tabs into a slot on her right hip so you can display her wearing it when she’s not using it. It’s a great addition to the figure and I’ve to to say, I wish the Capullo Catwoman did something similar.

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The head sculpt is quite nice. Again, I can’t really vouch for the likeness to the in-game model since I’ve yet to play the game, but I like what we got here. The cowl has a sort of worn leather look to it and her red tinted goggles are sculpted permanently in the up position. I dig the way her hair falls over her left eye. The paint work on her green eyes and red lips is very sharp, and while Catwoman is often depicted wearing a choker, here she’s wearing a full-on kitty collar! Naturally, her front zipper is way down low to show off the kittens.

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Articulation is not something I expect in spades from DCC’s regular lines, but Catwoman here doesn’t make out too bad at all. The arms feature rotating hinges in the shoulders, elbows, and wrists. The legs have rotating hinges at the hips. swivels in the thighs, double hinges in the knees, and hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles. There’s a ball joint just under the chest and another at the neck. She’s by no means super-articulated, especially for a nimble minx like Catwoman, but I’m still impressed at how much she can do for a non-Icons DCC figure. If her hips had just a little more range of motion toward the front, she’d be really something.

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As far as accessories go, I already mentioned the coiled whip. She also comes with an uncoiled whip and a total of three pairs of hands: Fists, whip-holding hands, and scratching claws. And let me tell you, the claws on this kitty are serious business. They freaking hurt like hell the first couple times I swapped hands on the figure. I think some paint rubbed off on the inside pegs, because after a few times, swapping hands wasn’t so difficult or painful.

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The action whip is a lot of fun to play with. It’s a stretchy rubber and she can hold it really well.

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I picked up this Catwoman off of Amazon when they were running some pretty great deals on the Arkham Knight figures. I think she wound up being around $13 and hell, I’ll buy figures like this at that price all day long. Indeed, I would have been perfectly happy shelling out the $20-22 she usually sells for, because she really is that good. Yeah, I’m biased because I dig Catwoman so much, but this may very well be my favorite figure of the character in my collection.

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Arkham Knight: Azrael by DC Collectibles

It was a crazy, busy week for me, folks, and not a lot of time for toys. Luckily I had a few hours yesterday morning to sit down and open up a new figure for DC Friday, take some snaps and write him up. And what’s this? More figures from a game I haven’t played yet. Hooray! That’s OK, though. I’m familiar enough with Azrael, I dig his character, love his back story, but most of all, I absolutely adore what they did with his design for Arkham Knight. Even if it takes a while for me to get deep enough into my “To Play” stack of games to reach Arkham Knight, I had one look at this figure and knew that I needed it!

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Azrael comes in a window box, featuring that distinctive angled side with the character name, which DCC has been using for a while now. The artwork features the game’s logo on the front and eschews the usual clean, white look of DCC’s boxes for something dark and foreboding. It’s totally collector friendly and shows off the figure beautifully. You even get a nice piece of tissue paper to protect the cape.

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Oh, where do I begin? I guess with the Suit of Sorrows re-design that just looks so damn good. Medieval history is one of my passions, and I love reading about The Templars so it should come as no surprise that I love the look of this guy. Obviously The Order of St. Dumas bogarted the design from The Order of Solomon and the idea of seeing this white surcoat with the red cross in a modern urban setting just sings to me.

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The detail in the outfit is exceptional. I love the dirty, ragged, and ancient look of the coat with the chainmail exposed underneath it. You also get a bevy of straps, buckles, and pouches all of which seem to be the key ingredient in making a costume look edgy and modern. I really dig the spiked armor on his forearms, complete with sculpted straps to secure them to his arms. What’s more, every little detail on this figure is painted from the tiniest buckles to the weathering on the armor pieces.

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From the back, you can see Azrael’s cape, which is basically a row of strips with reinforced points at the ends. There are additional sculpted strips running across and bolted into place to hold the rather unconventional design together. The entire ensemble is cast in fairly heavy plastic, but it’s still pliable and definitely suits the figure.

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The portrait is partially concealed under a sculpted hood, which floats freely so as not to inhibit the head articulation too badly. The underlying head features a sculpted mask that gives me a hockey mask vibe and adds to the delightfully anachronistic flavor of this entire costume.

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On paper, the articulation here is excellent, in practice it runs up against the sculpt a bit. You get rotating hinges in the shoulders, elbows, wrists, and hips. The knees are double hinged, and the ankles feature both hinges and lateral rockers. There’s a ball joint just under the chest, and another in the neck. There’s a good range of motion in the legs, but the arms aren’t going to go much above the shoulders. Generally speaking, Azrael wants to be hunched over most of the time, so getting him to look straight ahead can be challenging. With all that having been said, his joints are all solid and he’s still plenty of fun to play with.

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Azrael comes with one accessory, and as you might expect it is indeed The Sword of Sin. This is a beefy and vicious looking sword with sword-breaker notches stacked near the hilt and a chunky grip.

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Even if I never get around to playing Arkham Knight, I’m still enjoying these figures a lot. I find the designs are so much better than what we’re seeing come out of the DC Cinematic Universe and I’m absolutely in love with what they did with Azrael here. Even if I didn’t follow or collect comic book figures (a scenario impossible for me to even imagine!) I’d still love to have this guy on my shelf as a stand alone piece. DC Collectibles took a fantastic design, poured on the love through some excellent sculpting and paintwork, and delivered an outstanding figure.

Arkham Knight: Batgirl and Oracle by DC Collectibles

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!

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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…

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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…

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.