Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Thermo Attack Batman

Released alongside The Dark Knight Rises toy line, but not directly tied to any movie or television series, the Batman: Power Attack figures have been generating a lot of nostalgia among collectors for when Kenner was at the wheel of the Batman toy franchise. With good reason as the Power Attack line currently features roughly fifty Batmen (your number of Batmen may vary), decked out in outrageous color schemes and mission gear. Today we're going to look at one of the neon offerings of this line, Thermo Attack Batman.

I should mention that half the reason I bought this guy was from reading Phil Reed's review of him on Battlegrip and staring at the pretty pictures until I caved. So if you want to read a better review of Thermo Bats here, read his. If you're still here however, I'll give you my two cents.

The Power Attack line is centered around Batman using various armor suits and gadgetry to combat members of his rogues gallery whose quirks might justify spending a ton of money designing and building said armor suits and gadgetry. The Thermo Attack armor for example is designed to combat Mr. Freeze, presumably keeping Bruce warm and toasty while slicing through ice with his giant saw weapon. The neon orange is so Robin can spot him easily after he gets buried in an avalanche and needs to be dug out when the armor's servos freeze.

Joking aside, there are a lot of things I like about this figure. The armor simultaneously evokes Lex Luthor's power armor, the Anti-Monitor's armor and Superboy Prime's armor that copied it's design. The orange, blue and silver color scheme works well together, again reminding me of the Anti-Monitor. In addition to three villains at once, the armor also resembles what Bruce wears in The Dark Knight Returns when he brawls with Superman. The oversized, bladed gauntlets and heavy boots give Thermo Attack Batman the look of a solid, hard hitting figure who doesn't even need a weapon to beat larger opponents to a pulp. I also have to mention his big, honkin' belt because it looks like he stole it from He-Man's wardrobe.

The slightly stylized head sculpt seems to be a merging of the more realistic DCU Classics and a more cartoon-ish look, such as the recent The Batman line. You can see in this pic that the blue plastic the majority of Bats is molded in has small metallic flakes swirled through it. It's a subtle effect, but very nice.

Since it's a line directed pretty much entirely at kids and kids are less inclined to care about their toys being able to assume yoga positions, Thermo Attack Batman has only eight points of articulation; hinged shoulders, elbows and hips, swivel waist and ball jointed neck. This means you won't be getting any real dynamic poses out of him, but standing on a shelf with his weapon hefted on his shoulder, he looks pretty impressive.

Thermo Attack Batman's only accessory is a large, neon orange saw...thing. It's a really big buzz saw blade on the end of a handle and frankly, it seems a little brutal for Batman. I'm sure Mattel would tell you it's solely for sawing through ice Freeze puts in his way, but I can't help seeing an angel of death Batman sawing goons in half in showers of blood... Anyway, the weapon ends in the grooves and hook that mark it as a missile for a spring loaded launcher. This confused me at first until Phil of Battlegrip informed me it is the same mold as one of the launching weapons on the new Batmobile that's part of the line. Which is a neat reuse of parts, but also I think a missed marketing opportunity. Since at least one other figure uses a recolored Batmobile missile as a weapon too, Mattel should have made a blurb on the packaging referring to the single pack figure's versions of the weapons as "powered up" weapons for the Batmobile or something along those lines.

Just slightly shorter than Mattel's DC Universe Classics figures, the Power Attack Batmen could display right alongside them without a real issue, as the Batmen here comparing weaponry illustrate. I should note that the line reuses a lot of parts between figures; the majority of Thermo Attack Batman is recycled as Toxic Takedown Batman with a hazardous materials handler theme and color scheme.

I'll admit, this line isn't for everyone. If the lack of articulation, reuse of parts between figures and outlandish colors turn you off, I would skip the Power Attack line and buy DCU Classics before they disappear forever. If, however, you were one of the lucky few to have grown up with Kenner's Batman lines, well, you're probably already on the way to the store. This figure is a great spiritual successor to the old Kenner style and is a great, solid figure for introducing your own kids to the wonders of wacky Batman variations. My only complaints with Thermo Attack Batman are his lack of knee joints and the fact that the blade of his saw weapon doesn't actually spin. But these are minor issues overall and at about nine dollars a pop, I'm already planning on getting most of the other figures in the line (If you see Blizzard Buster Batman, you tell me!) In addition to a few crazy armor Batmen, the line also contains a pretty nice classic suited Batman sculpt in both black and blue color schemes and a decent looking Robin, so Batfans have options. And honestly, The Dark Knight Rises figures look god awful, so Power Attack is your best choice for Batman.

No comments:

Post a Comment