Toy Review: The Flash Movie Batmen, Supergirl and Batcycle by McFarlane Toys
NOTE: McFarlane supplied The Flash movie figures for this review.
It’s symptomatic of The Flash movie’s marketing as a whole that the box of toy review samples for it did not contain The Flash himself, but rather two versions of Batman, his ride, and Supergirl. The movie’s publicity uses the Michael Keaton return as Batman as more of a primary hook than anything else, and also uses Ben Affleck’s version in an allegedly disproportionate manner to his actual screen time. For collectors old enough to remember the release of the 1989 original Keaton Batman, the reliance on toy versions of him addresses an overdue imbalance — supply couldn’t meet demand back then for fledgling company Toy Biz.
Kenner later more than made up for that, but their Keaton Batmen used a modified Super Powers body, and never actually tried to replicate the movie suit in detail. The notion of simply duplicating what we see onscreen took a backseat to play features. Keaton Batman figures are finally having their moment, with a recent Mezco 1989 figure and these new McFarlanes.
Yeah, It’s Him
So let’s address the Keaton Batman first, or, as the packaging calls him, “Batman (Multiverse).” From a distance, the likeness looks a bit weird. Up close, however, it’s definitely him — like many McFarlanes, an extra layer of paint at this scale can throw it off a bit by making his face even slightly fatter (and eliminating forehead folds). This is especially notable when compared to Supergirl, whose face is actually sculpted in fleshtone plastic rather than painted. As such, she has the best likeness of the three.
Keaton’s hair color here may look more blond than old-man white, but there’s no doubt who it is. Note that this is the “Gold Label” unmasked version, exclusive to Target. Most retailers receive a cowled edition.
More like Supergirl, please.
McFaralne Toys has used soft capes before, for the Batman TV show figures and Super Powers, but generally avoided them for 7-inch DC Multiverse. They had to this time, to allow Batman to sit in the Batmobile and Batwing. The Keaton figure’s cape is nice and big, expandable to do the scary silhouette but also folding nicely back over his shoulders for more neutral poses.
He’s Not Gonna Kill You …
The figure is surely more posable than Keaton’s ’89 costume ever was, with McFarlane’s standard 22-joint system. Design-wise, it’s an evolution of the Batman returns armored look: a little sleeker in the torso and abs, with the boots and gloves looking the same as they ever did. His belt is now black, but the logo and cape fixtures are Returns all the way. As accessories he includes the classic ’89 Batarang and grapnel gun in solid silver paint.
If the Affleck Batman represents his movie costume, it’s an odd mashup. He sports the panther-like cowl of the Batman v Superman suit on top of a tactical costume more like Robert Pattinson’s. It even has some dangling clips on his belt that don’t connect to anything. And he’s certainly not instantly recognizable as Affleck. Compare to the Justice League figure (left) that nailed the chin cleft and is definitely Batfleck.
This Batman’s cape is narrower than Keaton’s, mainly because its key function is to billow behind him on the Batcycle. Speaking of which …
The hugely improbable design of the new Batcycle is reminiscent of Judge Dredd’s Lawmaster in the comics, which was deemed unworkable for the movies. Two massive tires at the front, and one at the back directly behind a big exhaust vent. Unlike some other toy cycles, there’s no steering mechanism here, nor play features. It’s just a Big Chonk, and quite similar to the White Knight cycle we already got. For the kids, it arguably should’ve included a missile, or headlight, or something. The carbon scoring details are nice, but it’s basically just a thing to sit there. Tip for drivers: detach the figure’s hands and put them on the handlebars first. Save yourself headaches and finger pain. $29.99 seems a lot for relatively little, unless this is your first Batcycle.
McFarlane movie Batmen sort-of scale with each other, in the same way the movies cheat scale. In actuality, of the actors Keaton is easily the shortest and Affleck the tallest, with Bale about halfway in between. Everything is relative in the Multiverse, though. Now, can we please get the BvS suit, arguably the best translation of the comics Batsuit ever? More than just Zack Snyder fanatics would buy it. Since a Flash figure didn’t come with the samples, here’s how the last Ezra Miller figure matches up …
Supergirl does not do the cloth cape thing, and indeed feels very McFarlane-y in the way her cape is posed sweeping to one side. You can play around with it using the included flight stand, but without it, she has to lean forward to stand since that plastic thing is hefty.
The headsculpt is beautiful, and an example of how to do these things right. Skintone-colored plastic all the way, and a nicely textured Snyder-verse style costume too. Wouldn’t the Supergirl on Keaton-Batman’s world be Helen Slater, though? Maybe the movie explains this. Be forewarned that the trading cards included with these figures do seem to be accurate this time and include some spoilers.
The packaging is standard DC Multiverse, with the movie logo at the top and, oddly, anime-style illustrations of the characters on the package. Were actor photos not allowed?
For value, it’s tough to beat these figures, which still hold down a $19.99 price point even when most 6-inch figures have gone way over, and most other 7-inchers are double that. More such DC movie figures would be welcome.
Check out many more looks in the images below.