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REVIEW: Hot Toys’ Batman (1989)

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Background

Witnessing his parents being murdered on the streets of Gotham City in his childhood, Bruce Wayne vows to avenge their deaths against crime as costumed dark vigilante – Batman. Under the control of The Joker criminal empire, Gotham City is full of gloominess and fearfulness. Batman starts his battle against his greatest foe – interfering with his evil plans, ruining his poisoning scheme and finally eliminating him with his hi-tech crime fighting equipment. Promising to defend Gotham City, he will appear whenever the Bat-Signal shows up high in the sky.

Back in 1989, Tim Burton directed the second big screen Batman film (there was one back in the '60s). Featuring Michael Keaton as Bruce Wayne (a year after his appearance as Beetlejuice) and Jack Nicholson as The Joker, the film was a box office success. It also started a string of eight Batman films over the last 23 years.

With the recent popularity of the Batman films, Hot Toys has released two sixth-scale figures based on the 1989 Batman license. Thanks to Sideshow Collectibles, we'll be taking a closer look at Hot Toys' Batman (1989 Version).

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The Facts

Batman (1989 Version)
Series: DX Series
Manufacturer: Hot Toys
Authorized Likeness: Michael Keaton as Batman
Material: Sixth-scale articulated figure
Dimensions: 12” tall
Points of Articulation: Over 30 points
Outfit: Bat-suit with poseable cape and Batman logo on chest; Utility belt; Pair of black boots
Accessories: Three interchangeable faces capturing the “classic Batman facial expressions”; Seven interchangeable hands including: Pair of relaxed palms; Pair of fists; Right palm for holding grapple gun; Right palm for holding remote radio; Left open palm; Extendable gauntlet; Gauntlet; Batarang; Remote radio; Grapple gun; Three smoke capsules; Timer bomb; Two Ninja wheels; Bat Signal cut-out; Light-up figure stand with Batman nameplate, movie logo and the DX series title
Pricing: $239.99

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Packaging

The box that the Batman figure comes package din is similar to other Hot Toys' sixth-scale figures. The front of the box, with its grey and black color-scheme, has a muted image of the Batman figure's face.

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Inside, the color-scheme turns to yellow and black. There's a short bio (reprinted above) on the left interior panel. The right removable panel features the included bat signal accessory. Behind that, the Batman figure is packaged within two layers of cut foam.

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Our Opinion

Well, it only took 23 years to produce the perfect Michael Keaton Batman collectible. It's not a coincidence that Hot Toys' line of 1989 Batman figures has been released amidst the reboot of the wildly popular Christian Bale portrayed Batman film trilogy. And while a number of figures have been released from the more recent trilogy, Hot Toys' has only released Keaton's Batman and Jack Nicholson's Joker from the '89 movie. (That's really all that is needed...although a Batman Returns Penguin might be nice).

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As far as sixth-scale figures go, this version of Batman doesn't have much sculpting work on it. The Michael Keaton authorized likeness is contained to those three interchangeable faces. Attached by magnets, they give you the option of going with a closed mouth, opened mouth or bloody faced Batman.

Also, this figure features Hot Toys' PERS (Parallel Eyeball Rolling System). You can pop off the back of Batman's head - also attached with a magnet – and move the eyes via a little joystick. If you've ever seen this feature in action, you know the wide range of display options it offers.

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As far as accessories go, the 1989 Batman is well-stocked. It comes with a number of weapons. But with that being said, I wish you'd be able to attach a few more thing to the utility belt (it's only the grapple gun via a magnet and hook). I guess the only thing collectors might have wanted would be a Michael Keaton as Bruce Wayne swap-out head.

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There are a ton of different display possibilities. The display stand features the Batman logo on the base and a pair of upward facing LED lights on the front. Unlike some other – basic - display stands, you'll want to make use of this one.

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As far as pricing goes, the $239.99 tag is a little steep. You'll obviously need to be a fairly big fan of Tim Burton's Batman version, a Batman collector or a Michael Keaton groupie to pick one up. But you won't be disappointed. This is a high quality sixth-scale figure with all of the bells and whistles of a Hot Toys' DX series piece.

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You can purchase one at the following:

Sideshow Collectibles: $239.99

Hot Toys Batman 1989 Grades
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