Review: DC Universe Classics: Batman Beyond
Just when you think we're done reviewing DC Universe Classics figures....
I was surprised when I heard that Mattel was producing this figure. While he's drifted into the comics, Terry McGinnis originated in another medium altogether. He was a created for the show, Batman Beyond, which tells the story of a troubled teen fifty years in the future who meets up with an elderly curmudgeon named Bruce Wayne, who passes the mantle of Batman on to the boy.
I remember when I first heard about the show. I was 100% certain it was going to suck. And, I should add, I was 100% wrong. You see, I assumed the show was trying to make Batman more accessible to a younger demographic. Actually, that was what the WB had been pushing for when they asked the creators of Batman: The Animated Series to develop a new program. But Bruce Timm, Paul Dini, and company are the real deal. They developed an intelligent series which integrated cyberpunk with superheroes and earned a spot on my dvd shelf right between its predecessor and Justice League.
It's also one of the darkest shows I've ever seen broadcast as a "Saturday Morning Cartoon". There was violence, death, sex... you name it (okay: the worst of it was implied and not shown... but you get the point). Batman Beyond was mature stuff for its time slot.
Now, I should point out that there was no character named "Batman Beyond" on the show: while wearing the suit, Terry was referred to as "Batman" by everyone other than Bruce, who called him "Terry". The title "Batman Beyond" is usually used to designate this Batman vs. the original Batman.
Terry is one of five figures in Wave 4. We might have one more to look at later, but don't expect to see them all. I should also add that there's a variant version of this figure who's not wearing a mask.
Appearance: 6 out of 10
This is a low score for a figure I actually like a lot. His head sculpt is really good, and I think they nailed the expression: it may not make 'logical sense,' but this conveys his expression from the show when angry.
Why so low then? It's the plastic. He's shiny and reflective when he should absorb light. The red bat symbol is what's supposed to stand out: the black is supposed to be shadowy and dark. He really needed a matte paint, and he didn't get it. I understand that there are always issues of cost control, but... come on. He comes with one little accessory (and an arm). They could have afforded some paint or at least a less reflective plastic.
Packaging and Extras: ----
I've had nice things to say about the DC Universe Classics packaging before, and it all holds. If you care, the packaging looks good, and they chose a good pose for Terry in the box.
Just like with Wave 3, you get a piece of a larger figure. Collect all the parts, and Connect them into a bonus action figure. That's why they call it a "build-a-figure." Or was that something else? No matter.
You get Despero's arm with Terry. My wife and I have a bin full of extra pieces, and that's where this is going: we don't have enough interest in owning Despero to justify buying the whole wave. Still, who knows what custom projects might be on the horizon? You can never own enough severed arms.
If they'd gotten the coloration even CLOSE to right, I'd have given them a point here. As it is, this is going to take some paint and time to correct. Good thing I'm married to a master.
There's a long list of things I'd have liked included: more batarangs, flames you could put in his boots, attachable/detachable wings, etc. I'd also have liked a base, but I'll get over that. After all, I've got a spare:
Play and Display: +1
Well, for all his flaws, this Batman has a good range of motion and good balance. As usual, you can thank Mattel for developing some of the best articulation possible without damaging the figure's appearance.
I'm giving Batman Beyond a bonus point here.
Price Tag and Final Analysis: 7 out of 10
Overall, this is an excellent figure which gets dragged down by one major flaw: the shiny paint. Even with that problem, I'm glad I got him. I really like the character, and this is a good approximation.
Was he worth the $14 I paid? Not really. But if you give it some time (or if you're lucky), hopefully you'll be able to find these closer to the $10 to $11 range they should be selling for.
In fact - and I don't want to get your hopes up too high - there's a chance these might eventually find their way to the clearance racks if you're lucky. I'm expecting Wonder Woman to be the figure everyone's after from this wave: there just might be extras of Terry.
That's Batman of the Future to the Brits, by the way. If you have any comments, visit my blog.