Saturday, January 2, 2010

The Dark Knight Movie Masters: Survival Suit Bruce Wayne Figure Review

From my previous purchases with, I've come to a sobering conclusion that anything I buy from them will yield nothing but lost cash and broken dreams.  Despite all this, I decided to purchase a few figures from them yet again to see if anything had improved.  From their available choices, I opted to purchase Survival Suit Bruce Wayne (it was made available for sale via on December 15, 2009 for public consumption).

The Good:

  • Survival Suit Bruce Wayne has 19 points of articulation: ball-jointed head, ball-jointed shoulders, swivel upper arms, hinged elbows, swivel hands, ab-crunch joint, swivel waist, swivel/hinged legs, swivel thighs, hinged knees, and ball-jointed ankles.

  • The belts and straps that make up Bruce's "survival suit" are detailed enough that it gives the illusion of a separate sculpt from the rest of the body (if you examine under the belt from the back of Bruce's torso around the waist, you'll see that a thin piece of black plastic is molded in-between the waist).

  • The "ski mask" accessory actually fits Bruce's head.  When I first saw images of this on various toy websites, I was worried that the mask would make his head look bigger than the rest of his body.  It seems Mattel addressed this issue by making the "ski mask"of thin rubbery plastic that actually fits Bruce's head and doesn't make his head look big.
  • Although the Bruce head sculpt has been re-used (it was first used for the Batman "Chase/Variant" unmasked figure) it accurately portrays a very concerned or very pissed off Christian Bale.  Just looking at this figure's face reminds me of Bale's rant on the "Terminator Salvation" set heard all over the news.
  • We finally got a Survival Suit Bruce Wayne figure!  How about that?

The Bad:

  • I haven't mentioned this before, but the package design (if you can call it that) is very boring.  The words "Dark Knight" and the bat symbol smashing through the top-center of the packaging is the only dynamic piece, everything else is plain.

  • Let's talk about accessories.  Repeating the mistakes of the previous Movie Masters figures, Survival Suit Bruce Wayne comes with an over-sized accessory (which in this case is the "ski mask").  Despite the fact that the "ski mask" is made of pliable material, I doubt (and rather not risk) the over-sized accessory can fit on anyone of those larger figures, such as Hot Toys.  In a more brilliant move, this "MattyCollector exclusive" doesn't come with an "evidence baggie" as seen in the previous releases of their Movie Masters line.  The removable "ski mask" for Survival Suit Bruce Wayne is a nice touch, but it needs a little more, such as a few scaled-down batarangs that can fit in Bruce's pre-posed hands.
  • Although the mask fits perfectly over Bruce's head due to the material used, it also attracts dust and all sorts of grime like a magnet.  The over-sized mask accessory also has the same "dirt attracting" problem.
  • Despite the $5.00 decrease in overall price, $15.00 (not including S&H and taxes) is still too much.

  • The paint application is all over on this figure.  Bruce's left eye has a bit too much white paint, which gives him a weird look that I really can't describe.  Also add a very visible dab of brown paint right next to his left eye.  Lots of black dots all over Bruce's left ear as well.  The paint applications on Bruce's "survival suit" (mainly the belts and straps) are carelessly applied: too much black paint, too little gold paint, etc.
  • For some reason, there are specks of gold paint splattered all over the top of the over-sized mask accessory.

  • Bruce's left wrist joint is stuck (my Batman Begins Movie Masters figure had the same exact problem with his right wrist and it broke off).  That is unacceptable.
  • Bruce's swivel/hinged legs are way too loose for a new figure that's just been removed from its packaging.
  • You'll notice that SS Bruce is leaning on his left foot.  This gives him the "hunched over" look.  This looks more like a design flaw than an intended sculpt because it makes Bruce Wayne look like... an over-roided Carrot Top.

  • As you can see from the picture above, Mattel's quality control team is sleeping on the job (what is the Joker as Gotham City Thug doing on the back of the Survival Suit Bruce Wayne figure?).

The Ugly:

  • I mentioned the $15.00 price-tag earlier, but I'll mention it here again.  If I'm expected to cough up that much cash, then the quality control and level of sculpt should match that price.  Who's ever heard of paying $15.00 for a mass-produced toy?  Mattel must be out of their minds.  There's no way of justifying the sale of an action figure of this quality for $15.00.  There's just no way.

Additional Notes:

  • Survival Suit Bruce Wayne is noticeably shorter than both his unmasked (Dark Knight suit) and masked (Batman Begins suit) counterparts.

  •  Although SS (Survival Suit) Bruce Wayne re-uses the same "unmasked" head sculpt as the chase/variant figure of the "Dark Knight," SS Bruce's face is noticeably less tan (or more pale), whichever way you look at it.

I purchased this figure online via MattyCollector for approximately $23.00 (price includes S&H and tax; I recommend purchasing more than one figure if you find something else you like mainly because it "justifies" the S&H costs).  I recommend waiting for these figures to be released at Toysrus around sometime in May 2010.


Because of the overwhelmingly negative aspects of this figure, this is a definite "pass" for me.  Paying approximately $23.00 for this sub-par figure is absolutely ridiculous.  For a toy line pretentiously named "Movie Masters," it has absolutely failed to live up to that name.  The high price and interestingly (and quite questionable) "kiddie" accessories (oh sorry, I meant accessory) makes this line a complete failure.

Score: (out of five)

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