The 10 Best Batman Animated Series Figures Ever
Batman the Animated Series could be the most acclaimed cartoon of all time. Its art deco direction made it stand apart from any animation that had gone before. Dazzling colours and shapes were gone, and in came clean black and white lines.
A host of awards followed, and it even got its own spinoff series and movie. Inevitably, this included a tie-in toy line. But did the artistic nature of the characters transfer to action figures?
The line was hit and miss. The characters were simple and looked fantastic. Yet manufacturers Kenner missed a trick by overlooking the extended rogue’s gallery in favour of the same Batman mould in guises fans didn’t need.
But what were the standout toys in the original waves? Read on as we discuss the best of the Batman animated series figures.
1. Combat Belt Batman
There were a lot of Batman variations in this toy line. The same mould would feature in every wave, sometimes twice, in different variations. A lot of them were quite uncalled for, and some ended up being a bit silly. This classic was all you needed.
The figure had the closest likeness to its cartoon counterpart. It came packaged with a grappling hook, handcuffs, and a Batarang. All of these could be housed in the utility belt itself.
However, it was not the accessories that made this figure. Its design played in keeping with the cartoon, which had given us one of the best Batman iterations to date.
2. Bruce Wayne
This figure supplied you with Batman in both his civilian and superhero guise. Starting off with Bruce, you could clip on armored parts to turn the millionaire into his superhero counterpart.
Unfortunately, the Batman outfit looked rather clunky and was more Iron Man than Batman. Despite this, the figure was one of the more popular ones from the line-up. Bruce Wayne even got his own vehicle in the form of a streetcar.
Bane was literally the only figure you needed in series four (Unless you had to have cyber gear Batman in your collection). This steroid-induced super villain was one of the hottest properties in Batman at the time. For that reason, he came with very little in the way of accessories and gimmicks.
Bane featured body slam action, and his trademark venom tube attached to his arm. His accessory was a steel girder, which his body slam action could throw. Essentially, the figure had been designed so fans could use him to break Batman’s back, though they couldn’t put that on the packaging.
4. Mr Freeze
Mr. Freeze is one of the most important figures in the whole of the Batman line-up. It was in this series that he was given his backstory and turned from a bit part bad guy to a tragic, A-List villain. The figure itself was another simple, but effective homage to the cartoon design.
Featuring an icy blaster, the only other notable item is the large plastic dome over his head. Anyone who wanted the full freeze fight could also purchase the ice hammer vehicle. Surprisingly, this was a Batman vehicle and not for Mr. Freeze himself.
There were three Robin figures released under the animated series banner. All of them used the same mould but remained imaginative. This is the first, and the one that shone brightest.
Although it seemed to be a standard Robin figure, its accessory was an outstanding turbo glider. This clipped over his head and could let you drop bombs on enemies below. This glider idea could also be seen in the design for Lightning Strike Batman.
6. Two Face
If any criticism can be levelled at this figure, it is that the design from the series did not transfer as well to a toy. Something about the black and white colour scheme worked well in the art deco set-ups of the animated series. In figure form, it seemed a little muted.
However, all that doubt vanishes when you see the outstanding accessory Two-Face came packaged with. His missile launcher has a roulette mechanism, that only launches when it lands on fire. It has to work better than most of my horse betting strategies, right?
7. Lightning Strike Batman
While some of these Batman variants did get a little silly, some of them were actually great ideas. One of these was Lightning Strike Batman.
The outfit looked a little crazy. Batman’s black costume was crisscrossed with small lightning bolts. However, the magic was in the cape accessory.
When worn, it looked like Batman in the animated series, clad in his black cowl. Snap it open, and it turned into a nifty-looking glider that attached to his back.
Clayface arrived in the third series of Batman figures. A huge mound of…well….clay…. you would assume it would be hard to make a decent figure of him. Well, unless it was made from Playdoh.
The designers actually did a great job. Taking his look from the animated series and sculpting it to perfection, they added a swiping claw hand and firing spiked ball. While he may not have been as mouldable as his cartoon counterpart, he was a great-looking toy with lots of playability.
9. Poison Ivy
Something about Poison Ivy really popped with the art direction of the animated series. She is the art deco look of the cartoon personified, woman and nature combined. That makes a simple sculpt from her design in the cartoon simple and effective.
Where this toy comes into its own is the accessories. Ivy comes bundled with a large, man-eating fly trap. Her poison dart crossbow may be a bit of a throwaway add-on, but in total, this is a great figure with bags of character.
Scarecrow in this wave was a genuinely scary-looking action figure. Like many designs from the series, he had a simple, clean look enhanced with some amazing accessories.
The first of these was his clip-on crow. Not the most threatening of weapons, but a good tie-in with the figure, nonetheless.
His main weapon, however, was a cool sickle. This scythe could spin in his hand, giving Batman the thrashing (threshing?) he deserved. He also had a pretty mean stare.
After this first four series of figures, the Batman animated series figures carried on under numerous different guises. Figures of more villains, such as Mad Hatter, did begin to emerge. However, continued reliance on the same moulds did not really fire the imagination.
The best of these figures has recently been reissued by Hasbro, who later bought Kenner out. They include remakes of old classics, and even some brand new, never-before-released figures.
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