If you want to read the "long story" on this figure, skip to the diatribe past the pictures. Otherwise, just enjoy the toy :)
This is Survival Suit Bruce Wayne. This figure is from the Movie Masters line and although it's labeled as "The Dark Knight," this figure recreates a scene in Batman Begins.
Remember before Bruce decided to be a Bat, when he put his gear together and held a stapler to Detective Gordon's head? Good times.
My favorite part about this scene in Batman Begins is how it's reminiscent of the similar pre-Bat costume scene in Mask of the Phantasm. Bruce is trying to thwart crime, but he just doesn't have the "edge" he'll need; that split second of fear, intimidation and surprise that the bat costume gives him.
Like most of the Movie Masters figures, Bruce comes with an inexplicably large accessory item, in this case a ski mask. If I had any Mego or Retro Action dollies, I'd put it on them. Otherwise it's pretty useless.
The back of the package shows a few more of the new releases in the Movie Masters line, as well as a close-up of Beanieman.
"Criminals are a superstitions, cowardly lot.
I know, I shall go to Vail, Colorado!"
The beanie is made of a soft stretchy rubber and is removable, revealing the excellent likeness of Christian Bale formerly only available on the variant unmasked Batman figure.
The costume has all sorts of details too, buckles and straps and stuff on his belt, and perfectly recreates the movie moment in it's design.
With Alfred on vacation, Bruce decides to do his own laundry.
3 hours later:
Good luck to all who are going to run to Toys R Us to find this figure. Be sure your Karma is clean before you go!
And now for my long toy rant. Read on if you need to get some sleep:
Two years is a lifetime where pop culture is concerned. So many toys, TV shows, movies and iPads have been released in the last 24 plus months it's hard to remember the golden days of Spring 2008. A new movie was about to be released called The Dark Knight, and dreams of awesome action figures based on the iconic characters in the film danced in our heads.
In addition to the kid based movie tie in toys, Mattel used The Dark Knight to launch a new action figure line: Movie Masters. Larger collector aimed figures with movie accurate sculpts, this toyline seemed to answer all our hopes and dreams and even gave rise to speculation on where the line could go after The Dark Knight (a movie accurate Keaton Batman, anyone?)
Then the Mattel curse hit. Lead infested toys, scalper speculation about the Joker action figure, QC issues, limited variants, schizophrenic distribution, etc etc etc. The line, although producing some excellent figures in it's short run, soon died of over saturation of a few figures (Joker, Goon) and extreme difficulty in finding some key movie moment figures (maskless Batman, Ghoul Batman etc.)
Mattel had a long list of figures it was planning to release as the line went on, but retailer interest waned when shelf upon shelf of Jokers and Goons couldn't be given away for years on end. Mattel then promised to release them on their website direct to consumers. But after raising the price five to ten dollars depending on the figure, fans of the line felt cheated and frankly robbed.
Then, almost exactly two years after The Dark Knight hit theaters, a strange thing started to happen. On top of the half full aisles of Joker and Goon action figures, clearanced to $4.98 at Toys R Us, new Movie Masters Dark Knight figures have started showing up, unannounced and unexpected - and in Two-Face's case, BEFORE he goes on sale at Mattycollector.com!
The figures people are finding are:
Survival Suit Bruce Wayne
Joker (as he appeared in the Jail Cell escape scene)
Scarecrow (in a suit)
"Night Vision" Batman
Some toy collectors are even getting these new figures for $4.98 because Toys R Us isn't paying attention to new or old product; they just see this release as the same stuff they've been unable to sell for years. Some collectors are getting them for $12.99, the retail price these new figures are supposed to sell for. Regardless, Mattycollector.com is still charging $15 plus shipping for the only one they list as "coming soon" (Two-Face is scheduled for a May 17th release,) so either is a good deal.
No one knows how many of these will hit retail or if all Toys R Us stores will get them. But with so many clearance figures hanging around, it's unlikely many stores will want them. I can't see this line being anything more than appealing to a niche market at this point anyways.
Frankly it could go either way; no one cares about the line, so it's plentiful, or the release is limited due to lack of demand, so it's as rare as an online comment praising Mattel's customer service. Only time will tell. And it's been two years already!
Toy collecting is a weird beast indeed.
So good luck to anyone out there wishing to get these figures.