Ever since DC Collectibles revealed its new DC Essentials line I’ve been curious if this will be the definitive DCC figure line. The company had a few, OK a lot of false starts, but DC Essentials looks to hit all the sweet spots for collectors with strong sculpts and fantastic articulation. Today, I’m looking at No. 1 in the line the DC Essentials Batman. Let’s see if he’ll set the tone for the line or cause me to light the Batsignal as the search for the definitive Rebirth Batman is over.
Packaging: DCC never has the flashiest packaging. Considering the price point on these, it’d be nice to see that money going towards at least some aspect of the presentation. But no, it’s pretty much the same thing we’ve seen with all the DCC lines.
There’s a slate grey accent, a bat logo on the top and a Batman portrait on the side. The back might be even more disappointing as it’s got plenty of space for a bio or at least some comic references for this particular figure. In a welcome contrast from the DC Icons line, the figure impressively takes up most of the package space.
Likeness: The DC Essentials Batman is based on designs from Jason Fabok. He’s one of my favorite artists at DC and a terrific architect for the line.
In all the important ways, this looks like the embodiment of the Rebirth outfit in figure form. Batman has a stern, but neutral expression. I love the head sculpt as it’s done in a way to trap the light around the eyes to give that shaded cowl look in 3D.
I’m torn whether I think Batman’s arms are too long. They seem to be a tad extended, but match up to the proportions of other DC figures. There’s no slender waist and legs here as they look to be a realistic size for an athletic guy. Original production photos showed a big gap between the hips and lower torso. That’s been resolved now and there’s not much of a diaper look at all.
DCC sculpted the gloves and boots and the cape is a separate piece. My one minor nitpick is the utility belt might be a tad small.
Scale: Hopefully you’ve held on to some of your DCC figures and didn’t sell them off after the switch to the Icons scale. Essentials Batman is the old school 7-inch scale. That means he’s going to be looking down at your Marvel Legends Captain America.
This wasn’t a deal breaker for me since I already have the DC Classics line to match up with the Marvel Legends figures. But these figures will really only be in scale with each other.
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Paint: Seemingly the eternal question with Batman is the cape and cowl color. In Rebirth, various colorists will give it more of a black leather look. But it seems the most common and semi-official color choice is blue. In figure form, that flat blue doesn’t look as striking as it does in the comic, but I’m not sure I’d want DCC to attempt the cape/cowl shading look from the comic either.
What is here looks good. The bat logo is sharp and there’s no sloppiness on the utility belt pouches. There’s a very soft change in shade on the lips to show that distinction from the rest of the skin tone and the line work of the cowl is spot on.
Articulation: OK, this is why you’re considering the DC Essentials line in general — the promise of better, far more functional articulation. And does it deliver? Big time. The interesting thing about this line is I’m not used to a highly articulated 7-inch figure.
This figure has some real heft to it and some of the joints are tight. Thanks to DCC’s shaky reputation with poor quality control there was a little hesitation about moving some of them, but the parts seem sturdy and don’t feel fragile at all. My figure has a slightly weak knee joint so he buckles slightly when standing straight. Hopefully that was just a random one off issue, but it’s the only problem with any piece on the figure.
DC Essentials Batman has:
- ball-jointed shoulders
- wrist hinge
- knee (double-jointed)
Accessories: And here’s the rub. If you’ve gotten a Batman figure in the last 10 years or so chances are you’ve got a pretty decent Batarang collection. DCC just gives the Essentials Batman one batarang. That’s it.
The Icons figure came with an additional set of hands, a second batrang and a rappel gun. Considering many competing lines have one accessory at the minimum and a Build a Figure part, Batman comes out real light.
That’s disappointing considering he’s one of the few A-List characters that really should come with a ton of accessories.
Worth it? Somewhat bizarrely, the DC Essentials figures are cheaper than the Icons figures by a couple of dollars. While the lack of accessories is a pain at least I can see some of the cost went to the larger scale figure. Realistically for a specialty line with minimal accessories, $22 would be the pricing sweet spot.
Rating: 9.5 out of 10
I really like this figure and the overall potential for the Essentials line. Adding appropriate accessories would definitely help. If Batman is indication of the quality of the line I’m hoping it is more successful than Icons.
Where to get it? Start off with your local comic book store. Failing that you can always try Amazon or Entertainment Earth.