So, just when you thought it couldn't get any worse, Mattel full-on body slams our nuts again and straight-up redefines the meaning of "getting Mattled" with this year's Batman exclusive – Unmasked Batman. What's better than a pain-in-the-ass, you-can-only-get-it-via-raffle Batman figure? One that's blind boxed and has two variants, each one rarer than the last!
You know, one really has to wonder if Mattel is hording some of these figures to sell on eBay and turn a higher profit. I'm serious. What motivation do they really have to do two chases of an exclusive? Do they think it'll be fun for us? What, in the last two years of them doing exclusives, could possibly make them think that this was a good idea!?!?!
Version A is that standard one that they've been showing for a while – it's Batman in the act of removing his mask. The idea behind this figure is... interesting, but does it really need a figure? Not really. As I sit here and type, I think of all the other possibilities and my bilious rage for and hatred of Mattel gurgle to no end! But we're stuck with this nonsense, so I'll just forge ahead...
The figure is built around the base of Zipline Batman... you know, the one truly worthwhile Batman figure in Mattel's first four series. The core of the figure is all the same: gray body, black boots and trunks, big yellow utility belt, all that. The sculpt is the same, so if you liked seeing it under all the various crap glued to the variant figures, then you'll like it here.
Sculpturally, the arms, hands, head and cape are new. The other Batmen have double-sided cloth capes, but this new one is sculpted and cast in a soft flexible PVC and is the only good thing about this figure. The arms are balljointed, but I can't help but wonder why. He has no elbow joints, so his arms are permanently stuck at 90 degrees. There are peg joints at the gloves, but his hands are sculpted with that pseudo-pinching pose that's designed to see them fit up under the edges of the mask.
Oh, and that mask! That mask! Since Batman's pulling his mask off, he's put his thumbs under the edges. The mask is plastic, so it doesn't actually move, which means that Mattel had it sculpted with the edges pulled a bit away from his face. Move the hands away, and Bats now has cutsey little wings on his cheeks. There is no point to this figure not pulling up his cowl, unless you really needed a retardo-does-the-jig Batman.
The shoulder-balljoint money could have been spent on a much-needed paint wash, gold detailing on the belt buckle or any number of things that could have improved this pointless figure. Why couldn't the belt have been cast in brown rather than yellow? Why waste the money on such a bizarre head sculpt? Why? Why? Why? What's the logic in doing a figure like this? If only there were chase versions of it that were better choices, as far as figures go, that are much more difficult to come by?
I'll now hand the review over to my comrade yo go re, because he, being a right bastard, got not only the chase version, but ended up with the ultra-chase version as well. How I hate him.
Hi, folks, yo here. Rustin's right - where I was expecting to get two copies of the same figure he did, I lucked into two different versions (thanks to Mrs. yo), proving that Mattel really did have the balls to offer two variant figures of a con exclusive. While the regular figure is Batman removing his mask, the variants are both Batman after he's taken it off: the same reused Zipline body and the same plastic cape, but that's where the similarities end.
To begin with, Fully Unmasked Batman doesn't get new arms like Unmasked Batman - since he doesn't need to be holding on to his mask, he's got the straight Zipline Batman arms. Way to drop the extra dough, Mattel. The head is new, giving us Mattel's first look at Bruce Wayne. It's a good enough design, giving the billionaire playboy the sort of generic charm he'd need to have to keep people from guessing who he really is. Additionally, the removed mask hangs at Batman's shoulders. It's a plastic piece, so it doesn't move at all, and while it's not a feature anyone would have missed if it wasn't there, it's good that we got it.
The second variant, limited to only 500, is a battle damaged version of the same figure. What's "battle damaged" mean? Well, apparently it means that he got a black wash and has a paint-app tear across his stomach. Totally worth a new figure. No one would want that on all the figures. Dumbasses.
Unmasked Batman was sold in a blind, black, Bat-logo'd box, so you didn't know which version you were getting, and couldn't try to beg the booth workers for a different one. The figure's packaging is actually pretty nice - a blue-tinted representation of the Batcave, it's got stalactites and a bit of computer-generated equipment all around, and translucent panels - clear on the front, blue on the back - to allow you to view the figure inside.
Mattel could have made this a completely awesome exclusive, if they'd wanted to. Give us interchangeable heads, like last year's Keldor. Since they probably couldn't get elbow joints that would have provided a wide enough range of motion, interchangeable plug-in arms, one set bent and one set straight, maybe with his gloves removed. Give the whole thing a paint wash. Give us even a single accessory - a Batarang, a red Batphone, something.
Oh, and if you insist on holding a raffle, hold it on preview night, as well - we didn't pay extra money and fly out a day early to not buy anything.
Do you know what the phrase "getting Matteled" means? Tell us on our message board, the Loafing Lounge.