The day when we can go to the theater and have "The Dark Knight Rises" beamed into our eyeholes is steadily approaching, and now that seemingly never-ending amount of time can be filled with Mattel's latest DKR Movie Masters! Series 1 includes Batman, Bane, and Alfred-- cause somebody has to make the damn sandwiches! These figures are in the same scale as the previous Bat-centric Movie Masters and were done by Mattel's sculpting gods, The Four Horsemen! As you probably know, most of the Movie Masters figures borrow heavily from parts re-use, especially when it comes to guys in suits. Are these latest MM figures worthy of closing out Christopher Nolan's epic trilogy? Does the possibility of a working Bat Signal return a little hope to our geek-filled lives? Well, read on for a look at "The Dark Knight Rises" Movie Masters Series 1!
*To avoid confusion, photos that feature Alfred brandishing a pistol come from us snatching it from the plastic clutches of Gary Oldman-- the figure of Gary Oldman, that is. We would never take a gun from the real Gary Oldman for fear of brutal retaliation.
The figures in the DKR Movie Masters line all come packaged in the same style of blister card. The clear portion of the blister looks like it has been shattered on the top, while flanking the left and right are made to resemble the sides of Batman's bladed gauntlets. The figure's name is placed on the lower front of the package and that's about it as far as character specifics go. The back of the card only pictures the figures in the first wave, along with pointing out which pieces of the buildable Bat Signal are included.
Bruce Wayne, unlike Iron Man, doesn't feel the need to change his costume for every film... just the first two. Thus, this Movie Masters figure has been born from the same mold that birthed the "The Dark Knight" M.M. toy from a couple of years ago. We've recently gotten this same figure in, not one but, two different two-packs so there's not much else to say on the matter. The figure is still solid and the shoulder pads have been placed to allow for a better range of shoulder movement, so that's a plus. Also, the paintwork differs here with more gray being added to panels within the armor and glossy black on the boots and gloves. While most of you probably have this toy, the need to complete the Bat Signal will force you to buy it once again. At least it's a solid figure that represents the Christian Bale Batman and not another Joker Henchman, right? Right?!
Tom Hardy plays Bane in "The Dark Knight Rises", although with the addition of a voice-muffling-face-thong you'd be hard pressed to tell-- well, besides his massive physique. Oh, it's been covered by a bulky trenchcoat? That's, genius! Well, whatever Nolan has in mind, we're hoping to be blown away by it. In the meantime, we've got this Movie Masters figure of Bane, which also has the distinction of being the only completely new sculpt in Wave 1. All of the details are here and we can thank the Four Horsemen for that. The oddly-shaped mask, strapped chest harness, bdu pants, and large coat are very detailed and match up closely to stills from the film. The figure is mostly molded in the correct colors of plastic with additional paint to bring out the details. Other than a color difference at the mid-thigh point, and a visible mold line running across the head, this figure looks great! When it comes to articulation, Bane's ass-kicking potential is in full effect thanks to a ball-joint neck, swivel/hinge shoulders, hinged elbows, swivel wrists, hinged torso, swivel waist, swivel/hinge hips, swivel thighs, hinged knees, and hinged ankles.
Bruce Wayne's man servant and surrogate father has received his first Nolan-verse figure ever (finally!) thanks to this wave of Movie Masters figures! The best part? This is our first Michael Caine figure! That's right, now we've got a Harry Brown figure and the rest of our collection better keep in check unless they want this senior citizen to break out some vigilante justice so graphic it'd make Batman puke in his cowl! The figure itself will be really, really familiar to anyone that has owned a previous Movie Masters figure sporting a suit-- which has been about 90% of them to date. he shares hands with the Jim Gordon figure from the two-pack, but is graced with a magnificent new headsculpt. The paintwork is minimal on this figure, but the head has been painted very cleanly. Our only problem is on our figure, it looks like he scored a paintdrip right on the end of his nose. When it comes to Alfred's articulation, not only can he be positioned to bring Master Wayne's favorite beverage to him on a silver platter, or to sweep up bat-droppings in the Cave, but he can also kick far higher than even Batman himself!
This Movie Masters line features accessories that actually makes it well worth buying up all of the first and (upcoming) second series! Each figure comes with a piece that, when combined, create a working Bat Signal! Hell yes! We don't care how jaded of a collector you are, that is pretty friggin' cool! The 3 pieces that come with these figures actually attached together and make up the central part and base, so while waiting for series 2, these pieces won't have to end up strewn about your Bat Cave.
All in all, these Movie Masters figures are exactly what we had seen during Toy Fair 2012, so the large amount of re-use on Batman and Alfred wasn't a surprise. For fans who haven't picked up any of these before, you're going to be in for a treat. For those of us that have been to this rodeo-- that Bat Signal becomes a very compelling reason to pick up figures like Batman again... for the possibly 3rd or 4th time. That, plus we just compared buying these to a rodeo, so can you really even pretend to resist now?! For more on these figures, be sure to check out the Matty Collector website and Facebook page, and start getting in the Batman spirit before "The Dark Knight Rises" hits theaters in July!
Stay tuned to MTV Geek for all your Mattel and "The Dark Knight Rises" coverage!