1/11/14

Attack Wing Batman (aka Azrael)

I recently discussed Mattel's 2014 'Evergreen' Batman line and it's shift from the larger 5ish inch scale to around 3.75 inches. Amazingly I was able to find Azrael right away while shopping at Target last week. Apparently these are hitting pretty heavy now, as Target resets their toy aisles after Christmas. There was only one Azrael, so he might be short packed, but only time will tell if he's hard to find or not. My guess is that he won't be, and anyone who really wants one will be able to get one at retail easily enough.

Anyways, Azrael is really a great looking figure! Here he is posed next to Batman and Robin from the infamous Infinite Heroes line of a few years back. The scale isn't a perfect match, but it sort of is considering the fact that Azrael is all armor. He should be a bit bigger than the tights clad Batman.

If there is anything 'bad' about this Azrael and this smaller scale Batman action figure line, it is that it will invariably be compared to Infinite Heroes and many fanboys are going to deride it for that fact alone. I admit there are a lot of similarities, especially with figures like Superman and the standard Batman, but Azrael has enough going on in his sculpt and design to make him stand out against his blander compatriots. And he was only $6.99 at Target, so the line is clearly the more economical of all Mattel's current offerings.

But gripes aside, this really is a great stylized version of Jean-Paul Valley in his hardcore nineties Batman costume!

Here's what the packaging looks like. 'Azrael' isn't mentioned anywhere on the packaging. His official title is 'Action Wing Batman.' I'm okay with that. No modern kid needs to be burdened with all that convoluted backstory! But us collectors know who this is, and that's good enough. In fact, I really don't care what you call a Batman variant as long as the Batman variant makes sense or is in some way relevant to a storyline or the character's history. It is refreshing that AzBats made the cut so early in the line before the inevitable Street Luge Batman!

The cardbacks on this line are a lot of fun. I love the cartoon/comic panels, and the pics of other figures in the line. I might get that Robin if I see him, his accessory actually looks pretty neat!

Speaking of accessories, Azrael's accessory is pretty lame. An axe and a body-cuff...?!?! Ugh. The less said about this drawer-fodder the better.

Azrael (or Attack Wing Batman) has nine points of articulation, which appears standard across the board for this line. Neck, shoulders, knees, elbows, hips. All swivel - no ball joints. But Azrael ain't doing any Yoga in that outfit anyways, right?

The sculpting details are really nice, and I think this stylized cartoony look really works for Azrael. My only real regret is that he isn't in the previous larger scale, since I have a handful of nice figures in that scale already.

Thankfully he fits right in with the Infinite Heroes figures I already have. As much as people loved to hate Infinite Heroes, it really did have some great figures. I think this new line is going to have a few good ones too, and a few dogs as well. You'll just have to buy what you like and leave the rest!

The 1990s. Oh how I don't miss you (but kind of do)!

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