Sunday, July 31, 2016

Action Figure Review: Batman and Mutant Leader from One:12 Collective DC Universe by Mattel

  After picking up the PX Previews exclusive Dark Knight Returns Batman from Mezco's One:12 Collective line, I had to jump in and grab another figure. I managed to find this set, Mezco's convention exclusive from 2015, for about the original retail price simply because the original owner had removed the set from the box for display. It was perfect when it arrived and I was amazed to be able to add such a cool piece to the collection. For more details about this series head to the link above and check out my first look at a figure from this series. I'm amazed by these toys and the only thing I can compare them to is 1/12th scale Hot Toys. That's just what they remind me of with the mixture of amazing sculpts and actual fabric outfits. This review is going to be a beast so let's jump right in and check out the Dark Knight Returns Batman and Mutant Leader set from One:12 Collective, shall we? More fun after the break...

The Facts

Height: 6 3/4 inches

Articulation: Hinged ankles with lateral rockers, boot swivels, double-hinged knees, swivel thighs, swivel/hinge hips, ball-jointed waist, ball-jointed mid-torso, ball jointed swivel/hinge shoulders, swivel biceps, double-hinged elbows, swivel/hinge wrists, hinged neck, and a ball-jointed head.

Accessories: 8 swappable hands and a utility belt.

 The Facts:

Height: 6 5/8ths inches

Articulation: Ball jointed ankles, double-hinged knees, some swivel hips, some sort of ball-jointed hips, ball-jointed waist, ball-jointed mid-torso, internal shoulder ball joints, swivel/hinge shoulders, swivel biceps, double hinged elbows, swivel/hinge wrists, ball jointed neck, and a ball-jointed head.

Accessories: 4 interchangeable hands, a crowbar, and a "knockout foam" effect.

Combined Set Includes: Accessory bag and display base.

Original retail price: $150 dollars
 The Positives:

* First and foremost, the articulation on this figure is incredible. I may not have been able to accurately describe all of it above since it's almost all hidden by Batman's suit but it works. This figure doesn't feel at all fragile, brittle, or rubbery. It's solid, durable, and truly amazing. While it's essentially a variant of the PX Previews exclusive Batman I've already reviewed, it's still insanely impressive.

* Bruce has an awesome mixture of paintwork on his boots and gauntlets that show the mud, oil, and blood he's wallowed in during this fight. You can see that the costume is nicely stained and dirtied up as well. The overall effect is really quite impressive, particularly considering that these are 6 inch figures.

 * This battered and bruised Batman head is different than either of the two portraits included with the individual Dark Knight Returns Batman figures, so that's a pretty cool feature. It also looks pretty sweet. I love the angry but determined look on Bruce's face and the various bits of bruising and bleeding on his headsculpt. This is just top-notch work right here.
 * The battle damage on Bruce's chest is awesome. Not only is the bat logo a a cool rubbery like application (that stays on amazingly well) but it's sliced up reveal some bloody flesh underneath. This effect works so much better with real cloth than it ever could have with plastic. Interesting fact: While this is the costume Bruce wears in his second (and final) fight with the Mutant Leader, this damage is closer to the injuries he sustains during the first encounter.

* Check out the bite on Bruce's shoulder? I love this little detail! Again, it's painted on the torso underneath and the spandex-like material of the batsuit is actually torn away here.

 * Not only does Batman come with that awesome utility belt (one of the coolest looking utility belts I've ever seen) but the utility belt has been given some paint applications to simulate blood and filth that has spattered it during combat. It's really easy to fit on the figure, it stays on tight, and it just looks incredible.
 * I'm almost always a fan of an actual cloth cape over a molded plastic cape and, my word, this cape is amazing. The material is excellent and the cape just drapes over Batman's shoulders perfectly. It turns out that Mezco has affixed some rubber pieces to the cape that help it to drape and hang naturally by adding weight and creases in the right places. Furthermore, the cape is actually stained and looks like it has been through a few rounds of combat with Batman since Alfred was able to give it a good washing.
 * Batman comes with four pairs of hands to give Bruce a variety of options for thrashing the bad guys. He's got a standard set of fists, a right handed pistol grip, a left handed grip, a pair of open hands with the figures somewhat splayed as if he's flying through the air or getting ready to grapple with some unlucky lowlife, and a pair of fists each gripping four small, sharp batarangs. They all look great, swap easily, and make playing with this figure way more fun. I love the versatility here!

* Like Batman, the Mutant Leader has some incredible articulation. On any figure there's two qualities that help to define the articulation: The amount of articulation and the quality of the joints given. Not only has Mezco loaded the Mutant Leader up with joints but they also all have excellent range of motion and are sturdy and functional. This guy is too much fun to pose!

 * I love the Mutant Leader's sculpt. The work here is absolutely incredible and does an impressive job of translating Frank Miller's artwork into three dimensions. The paint work is just incredible, too, and really brings out those nasty, pointy teeth. The translucent visor looks great and, while not removable, is a separate item attached to the head. The effect of being able to look through and see the Mutant Leader's eyes is just incredible.

 * The Mutant Leader has a wicked looking body sculpt that captures his monstrous build. And, yes, he also has his weird pointy nipple covers. These things, along with the spikes on his wrists, are actually sharp. I mean, you do not want to accidentally sit on this figure. Mattel has a Mutant Leader coming out in their DC Comics Multiverse line sometime soon but I doubt he'll look this menacing.

 * The Mutant Leader's pants are actually made from a pleathery material that looks pretty good. You don't typically see actual clothing on 1/12th scale figures but Mezco has just done an amazing job here. The pants are appropriately worn, too, with some nice scuffing and mud stains on them. They're not removable at all, so don't try it unless you're planning to really customize this guy.

 * This guy has some nasty feet, right? Look at the sculpt and the paint detail on those. Nasty! Also, the spikes on his ankles are actually really sharp, so be careful!

 * Like Batman, the Mutant Leader's hands are easy to swap and feel insanely sturdy. He only has two pairs of hands, basic fists, a gesturing right hand, and a gripping left hand. They all look good though with some nice, subtle paint effects.

* Here's the Mutant Leader's crowbar. This thing actually looks like it's made of metal. The size is perfect, it fits well in the right gripping hand, and the paint job really convinces you that this isn't a piece of plastic. It's a very cool accessory.
 * Since Mezco has blended together both of Batman's fights with the Mutant Leader it's cool to see the "knock out" foam effect from a capsule of some sort that the Caped Crusader throws to get out of his initial losing fight. While it only appears in one panel in DKR, this is a great accessory that works really well. It simply attaches over the Mutant leader's head to cover his face with a splatter of a incapacitating foam. I initially thought this was supposed to be the handful of mud and sewage Bruce tosses in the Mutant Leader's eyes during their second encounter, so I suppose you could use it as that, too. It's definitely the foam, though.

* Perhaps one of the coolest thing about this set (that's already pretty insanely cool) is that it comes with this mucky, nasty base that seems to pair well in representing either of Batman's two fights with the Mutant Leader. The base is made from polyresin and is a pretty cool extra that's large enough to hold both figures in a battle.

* Check out the puddles that are pooling on the base. Doesn't that look insanely real? Seriously, when you go to touch it, even in person, I always kind of feel like I'm about to touch something wet and slimy. This just has that kind of look to it. Excellent paint applications here!

  * My gosh, just check out the leaking pipe on this base. Is that not an incredible detail? Stuff like this reminds me of the carefully crafted displays at museums! I love this kind of stuff!

* There's tons of junk nearby covered by muck and accumulated filth. It looks awesome and makes the battlefield seem crowded and covered with strewn junk while not making it seem to busy. Your focus will still be on the figures here.

 *  It might not be a big deal but it's pretty cool that Mezco includes a labeled plastic bag with each release to store the accessories in. I like this since it gets annoying to keep opening and closing the deluxe boxes to pull out more accessories so this offers a neat way to keep your extra hands and such close at....hand. These definitely encourage you to change up your displays more often.

* You know I rarely talk about packaging on here since most of my toys rarely stay in it for any time at all. When the packaging is cool and reusable, though, I'll definitely mention it. This packaging is very collector friendly and very, very cool. It starts with a slipcover over the main box. The front side has the familiar and iconic silhouette of the Dark Knight himself.

* Turn the box around and you get this cool silhouette of the Mutant Leader. His visor is actually a cutout piece that shows off the red of the box underneath this slipcover.

* Remove the slip cover and you get this cool stylized artwork of the Mutant Leader and Batman going at it. I love the red and black color scheme here.
The Negatives:

* My only technical negative with this set is that on both figures I would like to see a bit more lateral ankle movement. It's make finding good, solid stances for these guys even easier.

 * While I didn't even think about it on the first figure I picked up, looking at this Batman I realized his cape was not removable without damaging the figure. I can understand that as if it were loose it could prevent the cape from sitting right. Of course, one of the unique things Bruce does during his second fight with the Mutant Leader is fight without a cape. It would have been cool to have that option.
* I'm not going to really hold this against Mezco as I know they've released a lot of variants in this line and seem to be creating "idealized" version of characters in this series, but which fight does this represent? The first or second fight between Bats and the Mutant Leader? The outfit Bruce is wearing is from the second fight but the battle damage he has sustained is from the first fight. This seems to be an amalgam of both fights which I can respect. No need to sell two of these sets to us with minor differences, you know?

 I'm still amazed by these figures and I can foresee myself really getting invested in Mezco's Batman offerings. This set not only features two of the coolest action figures you could find on the market right now (in some form or another: There is a single packed Mutant Leader with different headscupts) but it comes with a really nice display case. While it tends to sell for upwards of $200 or $250 dollars, keep looking around and you might get lucky on this set, too. I did and I think this set is, without a doubt, confirmed Epic.

I've reviewed quite a few other Batman figures, including the PX Previews Exclusive Batman from Mezco's One:12 Collective.

If you want more Batman, check the following reviews out:

Batman by Mattel (2003)
Arctic Shield Batman

Batman by NECA (2013)
1/4 Scale Michael Keaton Batman

Batman Animated by DC Collectibles (2014)
The New Batman Adventures

Batman: Arkham Asylum by DC Collectibles
Batman: Arkham Asylum, Batman: Arkham Origins, Batman: Arkham City Bruce Wayne, Batman: Arkham City, and Batman: Arkham Knight five pack

Batman: Arkham City by DC Collectibles (2011)
Rabbit Hole Batman

Batman: Arkham Origins by DC Collectibles (2013)

Batman: Classic TV Series by Mattel (2013)
Surf's Up Batman

Batman: Classic TV Series Bendables by NJ Croce (2014)

Batman: Power Attack  by Mattel (2012)
"Blast and Battle" Batcave

Batman Unlimited by Mattel
Beware the Batman
The Dark Knight Returns Batman
Planet-X Batman
Vampire Batman

DC Comics Icons by DC Collectibles (2015)
Batman (Last Rites)

DC Comics Multiverse (6 inches) by Mattel (2016)
Batman from Zero Year

DC Comics Multiverse: Batman: The Dark Knight Returns by Mattel (2016)

DC Comics Multiverse: Batman v. Superman by Mattel (2016)
Armored Batman
Batman Unmasked
Knightmare Batman

DC Comics Unlimited by Mattel
Injustice Batman

DC Total Heroes by Mattel

DC Total Heroes Ultra by Mattel
Batman Beyond

Legends of Batman by Kenner
Cyborg Batman
Dark Rider Batman
Dark Warrior Batman
Deluxe Flightpak Batman
Deluxe Silver Knight Batman
Egyptian Batman & Egyptian Catwoman
Gladiator Batman
Knightsend Batman
Pirate Batman and Pirate Two-Face
Samurai Batman
Ultra Armor Batman
Viking Batman

Young Justice: Invasion by Mattel


  1. Man! This is such an awesome range! Wish I could afford the Judge Dredd.

    1. These are incredible. The Judge Dredds are pretty impressive. I'm only picking up the Batman related figures (I think, Daredevil and Punisher are pretty tempting) and they have really blown me out of the water. I wish I hadn't passed these up last year!


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