Does Mattel have the 6″ Michael Keaton Batman rights?

So I came across this exchange on Twitter:

If that’s true, then is Mattel withholding a Movie Masters Keaton Batman simply out of spite? Or will we finally see one at San Diego Comic Con (if not sooner) this year?

When the Nolan Batman films came out, they more or less made me forget about the Burton films. But in the years since The Dark Knight, I’ve come to remember how much I loved the Burton films as a kid. All the talk at the time was about how dark and moody they were, but compared to The Dark Knight they’re flat-out fun. And you will never convince me that the Tumbler is cooler than the Burton Batmobile. Nothing on this earth is cooler than the Burton Batmobile. James Dean and Jack Kerouac reciting “Howl” at the Cavern Club while Thriller-era Michael Jackson dances in the background is not half as cool as the Burton Batmobile.

Anyway, those with a Keaton Batman jonesing who can’t drop the cash on the Hot Toys version can enjoy the far-cheaper and yet still incredibly awesome NECA 18″ figure, due this August.

What I’m Watching for at Toy Fair 2013

So Toy Fair starts today – well, officially it starts tomorrow, but there are two major events today: the Hasbro event, which is going on as I write this, and the Four Horsemen’s Toypocalypse party tonight, which will unveil their Glyos-based Power Lords toys.

Anyway, I thought I’d run through a breakdown of the toy lines I’m keeping an eye on this year:

  • S.H.MonsterArts – Obviously. I suspect there won’t be any new reveals, with the possible exception of Mothra and/or Battra from 1992’s Godzilla vs. Mothra. Biollante may be there, hopefully with a release date. I’d love to see a SHMA BioGoji (Godzilla as he appeared in Godzilla vs. Biollante), but I think that’s a long shot. Of course, my dream would be to see anything from the 1960s-1970s-era Godzilla films, but Tamashii doesn’t seem to be there yet.
  • Masters of the Universe Classics – I’m not sure if there will be anything left to reveal, but I’ll post my thoughts on anything new.
  • Star Wars Black 6″ – I’m hoping for pics of the other figures – R2D2, the Sandtrooper and Darth Maul. Evidently there will be a Boba Fett SDCC exclusive. If this is the only way to get a Boba Fett for this line and he turns out to be difficult or prohibitively expensive to obtain, I will not collect this line. I just don’t need to deal with that shit in my life.
  • Pacific Rim – My most anticipated movie of 2013 is apparently getting 6″ action figures from NECA. If you could only see how hard I’m crossing my fingers hoping these will look like they’re in scale with S.H.MonsterArts. They’re bleeding. My hunch, though, is that the figures will be a little too tall, since some of them will be as tall as 8″. Still, I am definitely on board for this line.
  • Aliens/Predator – I’m guessing we’ll see some new stuff from NECA. Hoping for more Predator soldiers (Jesse Ventura pleasepleaseplease) and Aliens Marines, and maybe a Ripley, or the Alien Queen.
  • Batman 1966 – The Mattel 6″ figures look quite nice, actually. Entertainment Earth revealed the Riddler and the Penguin, while TNI revealed Batman himself and what the article says is an in-scale 1966 Batmobile that will supposedly retail for $50. I at first thought it was just a re-issue of the Hot Wheels Batmobile, but maybe not…? $50 just seems low for that big a vehicle, but I suppose the Wind Raider was only $45. Anyway, the figures look great and appear to be almost entirely new sculpts, which is a refreshing change of pace for a superhero line from Mattel. I’m not sure whether I’ll be buying these figures or not, but I’m definitely tempted to at least get Batman. The figures will evidently be $16 apiece, which seems surprisingly cheap for a Mattel licensed line with new tooling. It almost makes me wonder if Warner Bros. is subsidizing this for some reason.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – I’ve only been cherrypicking this line, but I will no doubt continue to do so, especially if they start bringing more of the 1980s cartoon and Archie comics characters into the mix. (I still think Bebop and Rocksteady are better designs than Dogpound or Fishface.) A new Ray Fillet, might I suggest…?
  • Power LordsI’m curious to see what the figures look like. I understand entirely why going the Glyos route makes financial sense, but the small size and lack of articulation on the Outer Space Men kept me from really getting into that line, and if Power Lords are presented the same way, I suspect I’ll pass on most of them as well. Truth be told, while I was very fond of the few Power Lords figures I had as a kid, they were never a full-on obsession like Transformers, and my toy budget is going to be tight this year…I’ve got to draw the line somewhere. Okay, forget all that – based on this preview pic at IAT, even if the Power Lords are Glyos-compatible, they don’t look it.

I think that’s it…actually, I feel like I’m forgetting something, but anyway: what are you looking forward to seeing most at Toy Fair this year?

Contest > Win a Funko Dark Knight Rises Batman from Superheroden.com!

Batman_Chibi_Bobble1

 

Superheroden.com has kindly donated a Dark Knight Rises Funko POP! figure for a contest here on PGPoA. Make your other Funko POP! figures swear to him by filling in the blanks in our second “Bat-Libs” contest!

Here’s how to enter: I’ve written a small paragraph about Batman and Robin engaging in their usual heroic derring-do. (To avoid any accusations of having tailored the paragraph to a particular entry, I’m sending it to the Power Pals ahead of time.)

This paragraph has a few blanks – blanks YOU must fill. In the comments below, provide the following:

  • An adjective
  • A plural animal/person noun (cows, punks, etc.)
  • A transitive verb (i.e., a verb in which you do something to something else – push, kiss, kill, etc.)
  • A person’s name

Entries are due by 11:59pm Monday, December 17. The winning entry will be selected by me and will be announced by the end of next week. Good luck, and be sure to visit Superhero Den for more great Batman and superhero merchandise!

Rules:

  • Winner must have a U.S. shipping address for the prize to be mailed to.
  • PGPoA Power Pals and Poe’s friends and family not eligible.

Review > Arkham Asylum Batman (Play Arts KAI, Square Enix)

The Arkham series of videogames is my favorite take on Batman since The Animated Series. Yes, I even like it more than the Nolan films, which are great but are bit too grounded in the real world to really feel entirely like Batman to me. Batman: Arkham Asylum and Batman: Arkham City straddle the line between the grim and gritty realism of The Dark Knight Returns and the Dark Knight Trilogy while still giving us all the “unrealistic” villains like Mr. Freeze, Clayface and even Solomon Grundy.

Both Mattel and DC Collectibles has tried their hand at Arkham-based action figures. Mattel inexplicably allowed someone other than the Four Horsemen to sculpt Batman and several of the other figures, made them all out of scale with DCUC and half of them out of scale with each other, and gave them middling-to-bad articulation. DC Collectibles’ offerings have great sculpting but minimal articulation (although the upcoming Series 4 does appear to finally have ball-and-hinge hips).

So – where can one turn to for fully-articulated action figures based on the Arkham games? For now, the answer is Japan-based company Square Enix and their Play Arts KAI line. Continue reading “Review > Arkham Asylum Batman (Play Arts KAI, Square Enix)”