Thursday, January 9, 2014

The Best Batman Toy To Ever Batman

You can make yourself more than just a toy...
I have only recently discovered the existence of Sideshow Collectibles, the leading distributor of authentic pop-culture-inspired collectibles.  As described on their website: "Sideshow distributes unique offerings from notable pop culture and figural companies including Hot Toys, Medicom Toy, Museum Replicas, Bowen Designs, Electric Tiki, Pop Culture Shock Collectibles, Enesco and many others."

The collectibles (which are far more than mere action figures, models, or toys) are the highly detailed work of brilliant artisans.  The likenesses of iconic on-screen comic book heroes like Hugh Jackman, Christian Bale, and Robert Downey Jr. are, at times, beautifully unnerving in their accuracy.  When one first glances at pictures of these figures, it is sometimes difficult to believe the stills are not taken of the living actors themselves.

While every figure is beautiful in its own right, the attention to detail and the obvious love and passion of the artists clear, there is one particular set that represents everything I've ever loved about action figures, toys, and The Batman all in one astounding collection.

Hot Toys has perfectly recreated the Batman Armory from Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight.  The set comes in a few different varieties: Armory with Bruce Wayne & Alfred (Batman figure included in all sets), Armory with Alfred, and Armory With Batman.  Each collection is quite pricey, perhaps even more than you might imagine.  All of the collectibles on this website are fairly expressive, enough so that customers can elect to enter into monthly payment plans if a one-time payment is too steep.  The attention to detail is unparalleled, however (based on the images I've seen.  It's important to note I have not personally seen a figure in real-life, but there reviews on youtube), and the figures are hand-made.

If you're a true fan, an avid collector, and you possess the disposable income, I could think of no better accent to one's desk or bookshelf or mantelpiece.  This is an amazing work of art, not simply a toy, and any Bat-fan would be lucky to have this (provided they would take excellent care of it - this is not for children, at least not your average child!).

I think the best deal is simply the armory itself, which includes a complete Batman figure (you construct him out of detachable hands, mouth-pieces, and head pieces, all of which are interchangeable to create different looks) for $385.
"So that's what that feels like."
The lowest payment plan available is $57/month for six months.  I know that's steep.  And I know many will think, "How could anyone pay that much for a toy?".  I would simply respond that value is difficult to determine for something like this.  There are those who would pay a thousand dollars and feel justified doing so.  It's best to think of this as a work of art, because it is, and in that way it becomes less preposterous a financial prospect.

Given my own financial situation, the possibility of purchasing this is simply out of the question, but even if I did have a steady job making at least $30,000/year, I would still probably only feel justified in spending $150-200 for this.  But that's just me, and gives no indication into my fandom, only into my buyer's guilt.  If you have the means and can do so guilt free (thinking of this as rare art helps), then go for it!  And don't let anyone else play with it!

When I was younger, I would spend hours arranging my action figures, dismantling their accessories and laying them out on my desk.  I collected a wide array of primarily Batman and Star Wars figures.

There was something intimate, comforting, and cathartic about the obsessive process of dismantling, reassembling, and displaying.  And I had no idea anyone felt the same way.  The process made the action figures more real, but it also nurtured an appreciation for authenticity, detail, and honesty in me.  That care, that sort of nearly-paternal instinct I once felt as a child, has been replaced with more adult, real-world pursuits in the years since.  Sometimes at a cost.  But I see in these figures a chance to reignite those feelings of protectiveness, fascination, and imagination.   I see, in all of the creations displayed on Sideshow's website (but particularly in this Armory), the love I once felt as a little boy, realized once again in the craftsmanship and minute details of this sculpture.

The collection is 1/6th scale (size chart available on the page, the palm view gives you a good idea of how big it is), and includes a bevy of gadgets (some are attachable to The Dark Knight's belt), a Batman head with Hot Toys' patented Parallel Eyeball Rolling System that allows you to adjust the actual eyes of the figure to whatever position you desire, three different mouth pieces for different facial expressions (they even get some of Bale's goofy lip-movements right!), several different hands (one for Batarangs), and the beautiful Armory itself which has remote-controlled lights.

There's nothing more impressive a Bat-fan could get save a life-sized version.

Enjoy browsing Sideshow's site for your own favorite heroes.  I promise you won't be disappointed.

Thanks to Sideshow Collectibles for the images, and their dedication to beautiful work.

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