It’s hard to write an opening for something related to Batman: The Animated Series, because everyone knows it, everyone loves it, and I can only share my own personal anecdotes so many times before I get “repetitive” or something. I do not know.
Anyway, McFarlane has a bunch of great action figures and has started producing more pieces based on the 90s animated Batman shows. This particular wave is pretty cool, in that two of the figures have a “cel-shaded” design to mimic the coloring of the series. Check out McFarlane’s take on the animated Batman and Catwoman below.
Of the two figures shown here, Batman is less representative of the “cel-shaded” design. It looks good, but not as good as Catwoman.
Say that, as a Batman character himself? This guy is pretty good.
Based on the Batman design of The New Adventures of Batman series, Batman has the broad build and gray and black costume of the Dark Knight from the animated series’ “fourth season.” The sculpt is fairly faithful to its animated counterpart, from costume to props. The figure includes several additional sets of hands, a grappling hook launcher, and a Batarang as well, which is pretty much in line with Batman’s most popular gadgets used in this particular cartoon.
The accessories are what impressed me the most about this figure, to be honest, as the variety of hands allowed for a ton of different fun poses. The grappling hook launcher can be held by a few different hands, but there’s also a hand that already has the launcher molded in, which is really nice. Sometimes these smaller accessories can be difficult to balance when posing, so having a fixed piece adds to the display of the figure.
The Batarang is really cool too, although it’s quite small and thin, so it can be easy to lose it if you’re not careful. Still, it fits perfectly in multiple hands, so again, the choice is yours.
Back to the figure itself, the sculpt is great, although I wish another cape was included. The one included with the figure flows in a way that favors one side, which looks cool, but can make posing awkward depending on the positioning of the rest of the figure. The paint application is also solid, but as I said earlier, the cel-shaded look isn’t exactly strong. There are lighter shades around the shoulders on the cape and inside her thighs, and that’s about it. What there is looks good, but barely enough to consider it a variant.
Even still, a good Batman toy is a good Batman toy, and it’s a really good Batman toy.
If you’re going to make a “cel-shaded action figure”, then Catwoman here does it well. And yeah, it’s a great figure in its own right, which is…well, not a bonus, because you want a solid piece, but it’s still nice to be able to say that.
Unlike Batman, Catwoman is based on her original Animated series design, which I appreciate because it’s a much more interesting costume. Rather than an all-black bodysuit, the grey, black, and yellow outfit is much more striking and dynamic, and lends itself incredibly well to cel-shading. Oddly enough, there’s not much more shading than found on the Batman figure, but the coloring of his legs, torso, and gloves grab your attention while still being subtle.
Catwoman comes with two extra pairs of hands, a whip, and an unmasked head. The only downside to the whip is that it’s made of plastic, so it collapses when put down. It would have been nice if there was a flexible wire inside, so you could put it in a bunch of different shapes and such, but I also understand why that wasn’t the case. These can be messed up very quickly.
The alternate head is particularly beautiful, capturing Selina’s likeness from the TV series. The heads go on and off with relative ease, which is good, as I’ve reviewed some parts where it was nearly impossible to swap out replacement accessories and it can hurt.
Other than the whip, the only complaint I have is that the figure is difficult to pose and stand on its own, since it has such a slim and tiny cut. Accurate screen? Yes. Easy to balance? Do not make me laugh.
Either way, it’s a great figure, and really sells the idea of cel-shading, as well as being a great Catwoman figure on its own.
Globally: Both figures look great, with Batman standing out with his awesome accessories and Catwoman edging out the competition with a figure that looks amazing. and corresponds to the “cel-shaded” theme. You can’t go wrong either, whether you’re a fan of the anime series or just a general action figure collector.
McFarlane provided each figure for the purposes of this review.