November 23, 2010

Batman Related

Some more filler for you. Not sure if anyone was following the "Battle for the Cowl" on my other blog, to some this may be old news, but I just realized I left the audience over here at Batman the Animated Toys just hanging. Sorry about that. Anyway here is my current "just Batman" collection that I threw against my challenger.

click image to see larger

Hopefully durning the upcoming holiday break I will be able to dig out my BTAS collection and do some photo shoots for this blog. I am thinking about taking the above Batman shelf down and rotating out the army of Batman for some BTAS villains. If I do you will be the first to get the news. Oh and just in case you don't already now, I won the contest between myself and Reis at Hey, Look at my Toys!


October 20, 2010

Combat Belt Batman

As Bubbashelby would put it, this is a "cheat post" since it was ran on my other blog sometime ago here. Though I think it was time to migrate it since it was the inspiration for this blog. I had enjoyed photographing this toy so much that I took one of the images and made a header, then that lead to setting up a little blog for fun and then contacting my blog buddy and brother from another mother Bubbashelby to see if he was game to talk about some BTAS stuff. Here we are, so I hope you enjoy this post and I look forward to more.

Back when Hasbro held the Batman license a little cartoon made a debut called Batman the Animated Series. Hasbro not missing a beat released some of the best all around Batman figures ever. These things were spot on to the cartoon, well with the exception of all the multi colored bat suits with skis and jet packs and the like. Combat Belt Batman was the only way you were getting a "regular" looking Batman from the cartoon in the sea of goofy Suit Batmans.

This Batman not only combines the look of the show, but has a pretty cool play feature, that actually makes sense, the utility belt! If you didn't feel like wearing the Combat Belt, you could remove it and not ruin the look of the figure.

So what comes on a Combat Belt. You get the standard issue humongous grappling launcher with rope and hook, you also get a bat-a-rang that fits into the launcher and has a storage loop on the belt, plus you get a neat little set of Bat-Cuffs for apprehending Gotham City's Goons.

Combat Belt Batman is by far my most treasured Batman in my collection. You know that question people ask, what is the one item you would grab in an emergency? Well besides the Family and Pets, Vintage Boba Fett, and the family pictures. Combat Belt Batman is right there with them. Of coarse I might have to grab his Batmobile as well, especially if that's were he is at at the time, no time to stop and think about these things...

October 18, 2010

Battle for the Cowl

Not necessarily Batman the Animated Series, though I will have some of my BTAS collection in the upcoming photos, I thought I would post this here as well just in case anyone is interested in seeing to geeks go head to head in a battle royal of Batmans.

From the Eclectorama post:

So, some of you may have noticed that my buddy Reis made a comment on my last post that I was flaunting my Batman Collection and he pretty much challenged me to a face off, de hombre a hombre. Apparently Reis fancies himself a Batman collector, oh how cute. So let it be known that I accept your challenge Reis, and as soon as we agree on some terms to the competition we will be having a Batman face off, a Battle for the Cowl. Which will end with one of us giving up a Loose Batman from our collection and a custom illustration for the winner. Oh wait I should say I will be getting one of Reis' Batmans and he will be drawing me something when I win.

More later as the terms and the spoils are settled on. Plus I will post more on my efforts to thin out my collection soon.

Update: The Rules have been agreed upon and are as follows:

1) Toys/Statues/Etc. have to be open, not sealed on a card or in a box.

2) Batman has to be 3-D and head-to-toe, meaning PEZ dispensers and busts are out.

3) Variations count, meaning Reis's Pink Foo Foo Batman can be used, as well as all the countless color variations that Hasbro and Mattel have made.

4) No repeats, so Reis will not be able to use his fifteen bootleg Batmans he went and picked up at the dollar store an hour ago. Just one, buddy, sorry.

5) I guess that means Bootlegs are allowed... if you have to Reis.

The prizes, well the loser has to draw a picture for the winner declaring that they are indeed the champion and they also have to give up an agreed upon loose figure from their collection. Reis is putting up a 1978 Mego Pocket Heros Batman, I have a Campbell's Soup Mail Away Batman on the chopping block (Really? I can't believe you do not have that one.) We will both be posting a collection photo and close up photos of the collection along with our figure counts on the morning of Friday, October 29, 2010. So be there and witness my victory!

Wish me luck!

October 7, 2010

Gotham City Enforcement Team

I'm kind of cheating here by re-posting old pictures and articles from my Toyriffic blog but 1) I had a better picture taking set-up back then and 2) you probably didn't read Toyriffic in 2008 anyways (if you even do now ;) )

So today let's take a look at the Jim Gordon action figure from the year two thousaaaaaand!

I love James Gordon. So in 2000, when another Batman Animated themed box set was released - The Gotham City Enforcement Team - with an exclusive James Gordon action figure, I was all over it like guano on a cave floor.

Jim Gordon is the closest thing to a father (besides Alfred, who could be argued to be the closest thing to a mother) Bruce Wayne has. His character is pivotal to a complete understanding of Batman. His character was handled extremely well in the animated series (as was everything about that now classic cartoon,) and he was voiced with strength and heart by Bob Hastings.

Gordon is lacking his trademark overcoat, and came with two ridiculously over sized handguns as accessories. That's was clear that these sets, with "exclusive, never before seen" figures were akin to Hasbro-house cleaning. They were most likely popping together prototypes and other pieces that had been acquired over the years and trying to get them out while the fire was still hot, or at least lukewarm. Purely business, I'm sure, but as a fan, how can one complain? They were giving us stuff that we would never have seen otherwise.

Gordon is right on target to his animated series look. He also uncannily resembles my grandfather.

He has a shoulder holster molded to his side...which makes up for a lack of a decent gun...although I did give him a gun from a Playmobil cowboy. I cut the barrel down to give it more of a police issued look.

September 16, 2010


Of all the villains to appear on the Batman Animated Series, Bane was one of the biggest surprises. First appearing in Batman: Vengeance of Bane #1 (January 1993,) Bane's first ever animated appearance occurred not long after in the episode titled simply "Bane," which aired in September of 1994.

As if the animated appearance wasn't surprise enough, Bane even made Kenner's action figure roster!

Bane comes complete with his signature Venom tube, which is attached to the back of his head and runs to his wrist gauge. The wrist gauge can be removed, but the tube doesn't come out of the back of his head.

Bane has an action feature - his arms lock upright and with the flick of a switch he can "throw" objects, like the plastic girder he came with (not shown,) or Batman himself.


September 8, 2010

Harley Qwednesday is here!

I recently started a new feature called Harley Qwednesday on my Toyriffic blog because darnit, I love Harley Quinn! Harley Qwednesday posts are weekly posts (on Wednesdays, silly!) that highlight our favorite card carying red and black harlequin Harley Quinn.

And as everyone knows (or ought to know,) Harley Quinn got her start on Batman: The Animated Series. It occurred during season one, in the episode "Joker's Favor" and it was, for me and millions of Bat-fans the world over, love at first sight.

So what better way to honor Harley Qwednesday on this blog but by re viewing and then reviewing the episode Joker's Favor?

Okay, I'm glad we all agree. So without further ado, here it is:

The episode Joker's Favor begins with your regular Joe Nobody, Charles Collins, who ends up cussing out the wrong driver on the freeway... namely the Joker!

The Joker then decides to...hey, who cares about all that jazz - this is Harley Qwednesday, not MonJokerDay; let's get to the meat (or should I say cheesecake) of the episode - Harley Quinn!

We first glimpse Harley sitting on the edge of a desk painting her nails, as the Joker threatens to destroy the Commissioner or some other nonsense. But we aren't paying attention anymore to his old song and dance, because we are in love.

In this first scene Harley acts as little more than a brightly clad goon cheerleader; we next see her cutting Joker's hair as he calls on Charles Collins for some reason or another, completely irrelevant to our dollface Harley.

Harley's value as more than just another goon is then evidenced briefly as she is seen sans make-up/costume, dressed as a limo driver in order to pick up Charles Collins from the airport. We also discover at this moment that Harley is a blonde. Rawr.

Harley continues to pretty up the background as Joker unveils his nefarious scheme. Which includes stuffing Harley in a hot cop outfit and infiltrating Jim Gordon's award ceremony. Her personality shines early on as she is stopped by Bullock, who asks her to read him his rights. Spinning her billy club, Harley responds "You have the right to remain silent" before cracking Harvey on the shin and sashaying away, muttering "jerk" under her breath as she continues on. Rawr again!

Paralyzing gas freezes everyone in their place, Joker pops out of the cake, and Harley plants a bomb on the Commissioner (and a kiss on each cheek too - Rawr again again!) Batman saves the day (yawn) Harley gets a couple good lines (Joker: "Looks like I need a new hobby." Harley: "Macrame's nice." Batman handcuffs Harl to a pipe (Rawr rawr rawr rawr!) Batman stops the Joker. The end.

The amazing thing about Harley Quinn's debut is the subtlety with which it happened. No huge fanfare or origin story (although that did come later.) Just a deranged cutie in a costume and domino mask with some great lines and a very distinct and lovable voice characterization by Arleen Sorkin. And ironically she spends more screen time dressed in civilian clothes than in her now legendary harlequin get-up.

So there you have it. The debut of Harley Quinn. The rest, as they say, is history.

August 3, 2010

Beware the Gray Ghost!

New animated style toys coming out! One of my, and I'm sure many others, favorite BTAS episodes involved the Gray Ghost. While I was running around in San Diego a week or so ago I snapped this picture for our readers. It looks like it's part of a three pack including a Batman and the Joker, which I have a ton of, but of course I will think about grabbing one of these for the Gray Ghost. Makes me wish I would have picked up the last BTAS three pack with Batgirl, Penguin and Nightwing. Maybe I'll see it out again next time I'm at a Target. That reminds me, has anyone ever seen the Batman Beyond three pack? I missed that one as well.

Now I'm looking at this a little closer and just noticed the standard JLU Batman has the yellow oval Bat Symbol, sweet!

April 13, 2010

Woman Driver

Back in 1993 McDonalds released a set of toys based on the Batman: Animated Series. The set was really well excecuted and included a few "action figures" as well as a few characters in vehicles themed after their personalities. When properly executed, I really dig that sort of thing. And these were properly executed.

I'm sure between Charles and I we will cover all the toys from the McDonalds series over time; today we take a look at Poison Ivy in her plantmobile.

Ivy's driving a plant based vehicle (natch,) with a huge gaping venus flytrap maw at the front that opens and closes as the vehicle is rolled forward.

The toy is very cutely designed. Reminiscent of the Wacky Racers, I can really see Poison Ivy scooting around Gotham City in a "little spruce coupe" like this.

"Feed me!"

Ivy herself is simple but cute and really looks like her cartoon counterpart. Not bad for a McDonald's freebie!

Now get out of the road, there's a sale on roses at the nursery!

March 22, 2010

My Blood Runs Cold...

Today we take a look at the second character design of Mr. Freeze in Batman: Animated continuity, which first appeared in the re-christened "The New Batman Adventures" episode Cold Comfort. To be fair, I'll post a spoiler warning here if you haven't watched the episode. And if you haven't watched the episode WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?!?!?!


Now that that is over with.

Mr. Freeze was given a much more Grand Moff Tarkin/Nazi General look for his redesign in the updated cartoon, and the action figure looks like it literally stepped straight off the screen. This is one action figure that delivers!

Dubbed "Insect-Body Mr. Freeze," (the reason why is the "big reveal" of the episode,) Freeze appeared in the Mission Masters sub-set of The New Batman Adventures action figure line, released by Kenner in 1998.

Click the picture to look closely at the cardback, for all of you who are into that sort of thing.

The card art on the front shows you what old Freezy has been up to since we last saw him. Yipes - spidery upgrades!

The absolute beauty of Insect Body Mr. Freeze is the fact that his "action feature" in no way detracts from his figure's look and form. You want a solid Mr. Freeze figure, you got it. But you also get the spidery goodness of his new form. Wow, the toy designer who got this one past his superior will forever have my gratitude!

His head and face sculpt are also spot-on to the cartoon.

"You would prefer another target, a military target? Then name the system!

err...umm..I mean...

Revenge is a dish best served...cold."

Mr. Freeze comes with a simple black plastic Freeze gun.

"Hold it right there, you!"

Of course the part that shoots this action figure over the top is the "Insect Body" feature, which Freeze's head can be attached to after detaching it from his "human" body.

Creepy and cool, Insect Body Mr. Freeze is one of the only characters from the redesigned New Batman Adventures to see plastic during the cartoon's time. The cartoon, the toys and the era were heading towards an end, or an evolution if you consider the Justice League and JLU cartoons...

...but what an era it was!

March 4, 2010

Quick to the Batcycle!

Finally a post of my very own! Thought I would start with something I had passed on back in 1992, The Batcycle. In the early days I would pass on stuff like this because the figure would not come off the vehicle, now I love these for what they are. The shows influence can be seen all over this Bat vehicle, from the front fender to the sloped windscreen and the Bat wing rear fender.

A great example of packaging, all the selling points front and center, a great piece of art for that action feel and the shows logo! I really love the look of this card.

The back of the card featuring some cross sell items, one that inspired this site, and a great set of photo instructions.

A great art deco front end on this cycle, I would love to have a bike like this Batman should be proud. This cycle always reminds me of a scene in the Batman: Mask of the Phantasm Movie where Bruce Wayne takes a motor cycle to apprehend a street gang. More on that movie later.

Batman does sit up so you can rev the cycle. This is some sort of switch to allow you to rev the bike safely with out damaging the motor.

When you have it ready to go you push him forward and let her rip! I have yet to make a successful run, but he supposedly can ride wheelie. I don't doubt Batman can do this, he has skills.

Cool feature is the cycle is wide enough to just sit and it looks like Batman is taking a corner.

The head on Batman does move and he comes with a cloth cape to flap in the breeze.

Has some detail on the controls, a gas cap and the head lamp is a sticker.

Another great view of that front fender, I love the silver fin detail on the front.

A parting shot of the rear wheel detail.

All and all I'm pretty happy with this little side purchase. I actually have a nice packaged one since I was trying at one time to get a set of the first series or so of BTAS figures in packages. This one was an impulse buy at a really, really low price and I couldn't pass on it again. Now I'm off to rid the streets of Gotham City of crime!

February 7, 2010

New Face

One of the most amazing aspects of Batman Animated inspired toys is their staying power. The toys have long outlived the cartoon that spawned them, and even today one can walk into a local pharmacy and walk out with a toy from the toon!

Case in point; I found this Two-Face hanging on the pegs at a CVS Pharmacy (previously Longs) a couple months ago here in California. Only three figures comprise this new "line," (a Batman and a Joker in addition to Two Face) and the other two aren't the best repaints ever, but Two-Face here is a great addition to any Batman Animated collection.

I know this particular figure has been released a few times before, but I think this is one of the best detailed versions yet. Dent's suit is the perfect match between chaos...

...and sanity.

My only gripe is that his coin is a gold color, and we all know Harvey Dent's double-headed coin is a silver dollar. This is certainly an easy fix for anyone who is so inclined, so it isn't anything that should make one avoid the figure. I don't know if these guys are showing up anywhere besides the pharmacy/drug store circuit, but he was somewhere around $7.99 or so at CVS. Toys are always more at stores like that, so it's no surprise, but I didn't already have a Batman Animated Two-Face, so I snagged him. Should you try to track one down yourself? I don't know, why don't you flip a coin.

"Call it!"