Toy Review: Batman the Brave and the Bold Action League Single Packs

without comments

There are a few things in toy collecting that bug me. First are toy companies that make getting their product near impossible. Whether it’s NECA teasing us about TMNT or anytime Mattel releases a new product, collectors are bound to get disappointed. But there is another aspect of collectors that bother me more and those are the ones who have a sense of entitlement. I personally follow a very important rule: one month a year I do not buy any toys for myself. That month is between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Part of that comes from my time working at Toys R Us, where I would see grown men (who would come in daily looking for a specific G.I. Joe) fight small children and parents for toys they were buying for the holidays.

But sometimes this policy I have doesn’t always work out and I occasionally miss things. And that happened to me when Mattel barely released their Brave and the Bold single packed figures. Four of them are easy to find but Atom has proven to be impossible at anything less than a 600% mark up. Good work Mattel, releasing a figure whose power makes him smaller and not thinking people who collect both Action League and Brave and the Bold figures will want him. And he’s the only unique character in the whole assortment that hasn’t been released any other way yet.

The first version of Batman released in this assortment is the same as the version of Bats that came with the Top, only in blue and gray. It’s currently the only way this paint job has been released. Batman shares heavy reuse with all of the other Batman figures that are on one knee. They all share the same legs, torso, head and left arm. Only his right arm is different, which isn’t terribly exciting. There’s not much else to say about this figure, sure he’s better than the impossible to stand version, but he’s still another Batman variant. At least the paint is good and all four points of his articulation aren’t inhibited.

The second single Batman figure is a direct repack of the one that came with Metamorpho/Rex Mason the Element Man. No new paint or anything that sets him apart besides a different code stamped to his foot. He’s still a good figure, but he is just a Batman with a batarang. Plus the fact that he’s identical to the other single packed Batman besides his right arm isn’t doing him any favors. His paint is fine and his articulation is standard. I have no idea why anyone would ever buy either of these figures unless they’re disillusioned like me.

Finally something slightly new, Blue Beetle has replaced his cannon arms that made him look like Mega Man with a pair of fists. Using the same body, legs and head as the one packaged with Plastic Man, there isn’t a whole lot to talk about. The sculpt still looks good but there are two points with noting.

First off, his arms are a brand new sculpt! Most companies would have taken the easy way out and just attached someone else’s arms to the Blue Beetle but this one has special sculpted shoulders! The other thing is a painting issue. The last Blue Beetle I got had some personality because his eyes were looking off to the left. This one tried to copy the look and missed. His right eye is straight ahead while his left has almost left his eye! From the side, both sides look fine, but from the front, I think he got punched in the head one too many times by Kanjar Ro.

The other hero is the stunning Green Arrow. Much like Blue Beetle, he’s very similar to his 2-pack figure but is given a different arrow notched in his bow. This version has the exact same arrow that the Blue Bowman came with, an odd cross between an arrowhead and a snow cone. Sadly, the paint on the Blue Bowman was so exception that I can’t help but feel underwhelmed by this version of Ollie. Sure, he looks good but the boxing glove arrow fits the flavor of the Brave and the Bold much better than his giant snow cone of an arrow (unless he’s fighting Mr. Freeze or Captain Cold).

The final figure in this assortment is the one I wanted the most and of course the one I wasn’t able to get: the Atom. Of course Mattel wouldn’t make enough of this figure and not release him in any other way. Though recent samples have had him show up in a red outfit that may point towards a re-release down the road. But you’d think Mattel would have the foresight to see that both collectors of the Action League and collectors of the 5-inch scale line would want a tiny version of the Atom. Part of me is okay with it though because the Atom is in the stance that I hate so much.

I never saw any of these figures released in stores and bought them off Mattel’s online store. As a completist, I can’t recommend these packs. Only the Blue Beetle and Atom seem remotely close to owning, while the Batmen are pointless repacks. The figures cost half a 2-pack each, which makes sense but they may need a discount to really move. Or I’m just bitter about not getting an Atom for myself.

Written by jestergoblin

February 24th, 2010 at 12:06 am

In addition to commenting, be sure to stay up to date by visiting the Hasbro Heroes Forum!