Toy Review: Batman the Brave and the Bold Action League – Aquaman & Black Manta

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Aquaman’s been something of a joke for years but in the Brave and the Bold animated series, he embraces by becoming almost Captain Hammer. He’s done great things and tells those stories constantly to anyone who will listen. His stories have great names like “The Mystery of The Stolen Statue” and “The Secret of the Mechanical Sea Monster.” No wonder Black Manta keeps trying to kill him.

As King of Atlantis, Aquaman often finds himself protecting his home city from the underwater villain, Black Manta.

The protector of the seas and the King of Atlantis, Aquaman has never quite fit in with the other heroes. Between being able to talk to animals and wearing a hideous orange and green outfit, he doesn’t match the other caped crusaders. But he is a very well known hero. Aquaman is sporting an entirely new sculpt, which seems surprising when many of his details could have easily been painting on instead of sculpted.

Aquaman’s chest had a few scale details on his front and back which work very. The idea that he’s covered in scales but without having the figure look messy is a great method and reminds me of the old Green Goblin figure from the 90s Spider-Man the Animated Series line. His arms have the same scale detail, while his gloves have a fin sticking of the back making them look unique. His head sculpt is good with his full beard but the paint doesn’t quite line up. There’s slop on the back and his face looks like he has a double chin, so be sure to check before buying.

His legs suffer from a basic problem of toy making: you can’t paint yellow over black and make it look good. His yellow belt looks really painted and doesn’t match the look of the rest of the figure. His black underoos have undefined edges and are blurry upon close inspection. Oddly enough, he’s missing his boot lines. So instead of being a guy in green boots and tights, he’s wearing thigh-high green boots. And people wonder why they make fun of him. It just seems odd since his legs are sculpted specially for him, give the belt and fins on his boots. To top it all off, he has difficulty standing. Aquaman moves at the standard four points: waist, arms and neck.

Almost always whenever a comic character has the name “Black” in the title, they’re black. Black Panther? Yep. Black Lightning? Yep. Black Cat? I said almost always. Black Manta isn’t any different but with that mask it’s impossible to tell. But Black Manta is one of, if not the, villain most associated with Aquaman so it’s great getting such a classic pairing.

Black Manta has been slightly recolored for the Brave and the Bold show, his all-black suit is now a dark purple and his traditionally red eyes have been made yellow. But this new paint works well because it allows for details to be seen on the figure, like his gloves, belt and boots that would otherwise have been lost. Black Manta is holding a harpoon-like weapon.

His articulation is the standard four but his neck is near impossible to move because of the tubes hanging from his head to his backpack. Those tubes were supposed to be painted red based off the drawing on the package but they’re solid black on the figure. Manta’s arms are basic, cast in purple and with painted gloves. But it’s the waist down that’s got the most detail.

His belt is black with two holsters strapped to his legs. His black boots look great but it seems a little odd that his feet are the same style as all the other figures, shouldn’t they be flippers? For all the flaws Aquaman has with paint, Black Manta doesn’t have any and looks great.

As a two-pack, this is great. Big-name superhero with his archnemesis – excellent! It’s like getting Batman and Joker together. When combined with the Batman and Ocean Master 2-pack, this is a great aquatic set. While Aquaman’s painting can be messy, Black Manta looks much that much better in comparison.

Batman the Brave and the Bold Action League Wave 1
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Written by jestergoblin

January 19th, 2010 at 12:06 am

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