Wednesday, May 3, 2023

Action Figure Review: The Riddler (Arkham City) from DC Multiverse by McFarlane Toys


   The Arkham series of videogames presents one of my favorite depictions of the Batman universe and I loved collecting the DC Direct/ DC Collectibles figures based on those games. Unfortunately, those lines haven't aged all that well. They're all still impressive looking figures, though, and it's unlikely we'll ever see characters like Anarky, Professor Pyg, Mad Hatter, and Copperhead again. Still, the figures haven't aged well as the DC Direct figures from earlier in the line are largely static while many of the DC Collectibles figures are prone to breakage due to the clear plastic used for the joints. I've actually been selling off a large number of my DC Direct/ DC Collectibles figures and using the money to build up my DC Multiverse collection, as the McFarlane figures are both really well articulated and extremely durable. The Riddler from Arkham City is one of the newer releases in this line and another figure I scooped up back in March during a crazy GameStop sale. The Riddler's riddles and taunting voice appeared in the original Batman: Arkham Asylum, but it wasn't until 2011's Batman: Arkham City that he first appeared. That's the game this figure is based on, so let's take a look at the Riddler after the break...

The Facts:

Height: 6 7/8ths inches

Articulation: Hinged toes, double swivel hinged ankles, double hinged knees, swivel thighs, swivel/hinge hips, balljointed waist, balljointed mid torso, swivel/hinge shoulders, bicep swivels, double hinged elbows, swivel/ hinge wrists, and a barbell jointed head..
Accessories: Cane, collector card, and display stand.
Non-Scalper Price: $23 dollars

The Positives:

* Typically you can divide the Riddler's costumes into two different looks: A snazzy green suit or a skin-tight green spandex outfit. The Arkham City version of the Riddler definitely goes with a snazzy, customized green suit, but it's a but rumpled. This take on the Riddler might still be brilliant but he's clearly let himself go a bit. The suit features a nice mixture of green and purple with lots of cool little flourishes like the question mark tie clip, the purple lapel, and the little question marks sculpted all over his jacket. While it's the Arkham City version of the Riddler, he could probably fit in a standard comic book display, too. 

* In Arkham City, Edward Nigma is a pretty annoying little guy who just loves to relish in how much cleverer he is than everyone else but who basically throws a tantrum when his puzzles are solved. McFarlane captured his look well. He's wearing glasses in the game, though here they're dark, like sunglasses. They move a bit, allowing you to have the Riddler peer over the tops of them and give Batman some major side eye. The "McFarlane Side Eye" works pretty well here.

* Here's a short of the numerous question marks on the Riddler's jacket and gloves. He's even sporting a massive question mark on the back of his coat. 

*The boots are pretty cool with a lot of detailing on them and a subtle paint effect that tones them down a bit, making them seem more worn and aged. 

* The articulation is really solid on the Riddler and allows for some excellent, expressive poses. He looks fantastic holding the cane in multiple different ways and the positioning of his head really adds a lot of character to each pose. I like posing him holding the brim of his hat, which works fine and seems very in character. He's solid, durable, and far more posable than the DC Direct figure from over a decade ago. 

* The Riddler's cane is pretty cool. It's a bit rubbery, but certainly not gummy or stretchy or anything. The detail is crisp and there are a few paint applications it it, too. Some of the McFarlane DC Multiverse canes have looked way too thick but this one seems about right, especially considering the Riddler has a lot of technology crammed inside there.

* As always, McFarlane Toys includes a display stand with each of their releases these days. It's just a simple disc stand with the DC logo on it but it works well and keeps the figure standing upright in most poses. It definitely allows for some fun posing with the Riddler. Let him go full Frank Gorshin or Jim Carrey; he can do it!

*  A collectible card is also included with the figure showing an image of the Riddler holding a trophy. A Riddler trophy would have been a cool extra, right? Anyways, this looks like something from the concept art for the game. There's even a bio on the back. 

The Negatives:

* It's pretty cool that the question marks on the Riddler's jacket are all sculpted but why not paint them? I'm sure it was a cost saving measure, but they're a part of his look and having them unpainted definitely seems like a cop out that makes the figure less satisfying and less accurate to the in-game model. 

* McFarlane Toys regularly uses what some collectors call a "diaper crotch" on the waists. It's a softer plastic overlay that is intended to hide the hip joints. Usually I think they look pretty OK but the Riddler's looks kind of weird. I think it's because the pattern of the legs and the waist just don't match up that great. It's not atrocious, but it could have been better.

   The Riddler is a decent figure and a nice version of the Riddler, but the slightly large diaper crotch and the unpainted question marks do kill my enjoyment a bit. He's still an improvement over the DC Direct Riddler (which didn't even have the glasses), though, but he's not as impressive as many of the other figures in the line. Personally, I'm really hoping for a DC Multiverse take on the Riddler from Hush or from the New 52 era. This guy is Good and definitely makes a nice addition to the Arkham subset that McFarlane has been building, but he's definitely not the best Riddler figure out there.


  1. MekaneckfrenchiefrogMay 4, 2023 at 2:15 PM

    Remember that UK band from the 1980's called Madness ? ("Our house, in the middle of the street ! Our house.."). Well, he looks like one of the guys in Madness, lol.

    1. I recognize that song but didn't know the band. Man, you're right. He does look like he'd fit right in with Madness, doesn't he? That's a great observation.

  2. That Greg Capullo figure was excellent. I do think the suit is intentionally too small on this version of the Riddler as it seems to match the game. He's very unhinged and seems like he just wouldn't care that his suit has shrunk or just isn't the right size.


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