Monday, June 25, 2012

Review: Mattel Movie Masters Dark Knight Rises Catwoman

I’ve been tenaciously seeking the perfect piece of The Dark Knight Rises merchandise to get the old hype machine purring, and at this weekend’s Supanova Pop Culture Expo I finally found the item I’d been questing for. Thanks to our friend Drew at Red Griffin Games I was able to snare a Mattel Movie Masters Catwoman, based on the likeness of Anne Hathaway in the upcoming film.

Most of what I’d seen up until this point had been the basic line of figures aimed at kids (and they pretty much consist of multiple tricked-out Batmans and the occasional Bane) but this is the much-coveted line for the "adult collector"! A more detailed, larger, articulated figure for the distinguished and discerning manchild! (Or ladybaby).

How does this new version of our favourite crazy cat lady fare? Why not join me... after the jump!

I kind of like the muted tones and jagged torn-up look of the packaging. It's like Lord Christopher Nolan is saying, "You guys like Batman? Well I'm going to take everything you like about Batman and I am going to rip the shit out of it. I'm even going to personally go to the toy shelves and rip the shit out of the packaging. And if you so much as look me in the eye I'm going to get Tom Hardy to jump up and down on your pelvis." Okay, Christopher Nolan probably never actually would say that.

What's kind of weird is that the bubble is directed like Batman's arm gauntlet with the spiky fins on one side and the strapping on the other. This is for the "adult collector" because if a kid even touches this, it will poke his goddamn eye out.

But before we unleash Cat Hathaway, let's look at the back of the box and see what we're missing. It's instantly going to clue us in on why the packaging is so much bigger than the figure! 

Okay so each figure comes with a piece so that you can build a giant "bat-signal projector". Providing you collect all six. Except only three are shown? Well, I know there's a Batman because I saw him at Red Griffin, but who are the other two mystery figures? I'm going to guess Joseph Gordon Levitt and Thanos.

And how about that! A Movie Masters Michael Caine! I'm buying that so I can finally roleplay my Blame it on Rio fantasies. Thank you Mattel! You thought of everything!

Now let's stop our dilly-dallying and examine the actual figure. The packaging is so big because Catwoman is packed with the huge rooftop base and light switch...

It's a pretty great value add as a display stand, although it looks a little naked with the missing bat-signal. Oh right, we were going to talk about the figure. Well, the back of the package promises a "premium collecting experience." Let's give her a test-drive...

There's no doubt that there's a lot of articulation here and she can strike a variety of poses and stands on  her own pretty well. I also like the overall sculpt and texture of the figure...

But it's sadly far from perfect. The biggest articulation problem is that the long hair, while accurate impedes movement of the head. She is facing straight-forward and has a very vacant expression so she looks very wooden in an action pose when you can't turn or tilt her head. She keeps staring forward like a mannequin and it really limits how you can display her. 

I also take issue with the hand sculpts which look like they're designed to clasp some sort of weapon or accessory. The problem, of course, is that she doesn't come with one. I'm guessing that the Nolan Catwoman has no love for the whip or we wouldn't have gotten one. Her only weapons appear to be the blades on her heels and thus her hands are permanently clasped in a phantom wank. I should have thought of a better phrase to describe that but once it was in my head I couldn't let it go. I apologise. Perhaps I should have said "ghosturbation".

And while we're talking premium features I'm  kind of disappointed that her goggles aren't articulated. They're permanently affixed to the top of her head to create the "cat ears" illusion. (In the movie they will swing down over her yes and rotate around to form over her face). Instead Mattel have double-dipped by releasing a goggles down variant instead, which to me is kind of a dick move with a "premium collecting experience". 

So with her hand and head limitations, I feel like the best pose you're going to get her in is also the simplest....

Which is fine for me, it's probably how I'd display her anyway and I do like her overall look, but I'm not sure that it's really quite as "featured" as Mattel wants it to be. That said, it's still going to look great on the shelf and it's a nice way to start getting really amped for the movie. If you're going to collect some Dark Knight stuff then these are definitely what you want to focus on - they're leagues ahead of the smaller kid's stuff. I do wish, however, that I'd at least picked up the Movie Masters Batman as well so that I could draw a comparison. Another time perhaps! I'm yet to see these on store shelves.

Plenty more Supanova haul coverage coming soon!

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