THE AFJ REVIEW: NECA 1/4 SCALE BATMAN (BAT-FLECK)
By Jarrett Kruse
Visiting the NECA workshop was like going to that friend we all had as a kid's birthday parties where you knew they were not going to skimp out on the goodie bags. Instead of loads of candy, gifts and noisemakers, NECA treated AFJ to the unbelievably cool 1/4 Scale Batman from Batman V Superman. Whatever misgivings I had about the film were thrown into the recesses of my brain as I marveled at this 1/4 Scale wonder. I mean, this is the future to me. 1/4 Scale figures are gaining momentum among Junkies and I honestly think that if you are a quarter scale virgin, now is the time to pick one up. Why? Simply stated it is a huge ratio of bang for your buck. You are just not going to get a better deal on these for under $100 and when you miss out, they tend to rise a good deal in price for those Junkies that want to see their plastic pieces rise in price. I have the NECA Keaton Batman & West Batman in 1/4 Scale and wouldn't think of trading or selling, they are just too damn nice.Simply stated, this is the best iteration of Ben Affleck's Batman yet. The first thing I noticed when I took this behemoth out of its case was the facial likeness to Affleck. It is dead on and tough to argue that this looks different than when he is suited up as Batman in the film. Particularly, the eyes really sold it to me as did the semi-5 o'clock shadow on the figures mug. The movie accurate detail of Affleck's face makes this Batman have all of the accoutrements on say a 7-inch figure but on a much grander scale. Since the costume first appeared online, I have never really had any big issues with it. One of the main complaints I heard was the Bats' ears were too short. However, I disagree and think that the shorter ears lend itself as a tip of the hat to Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns.
As a gadget buff and always thinking my life, at some point, would call for the need of a utility belt (it hasn't), my eyes went to the midsection of the almost 19-inch tall figure. That is where Batman's amazing utility belt lies and it is a real gem. It is relatively loose and not over bearing from the figure as a whole. The belt is movable and is thankfully not melded to the the figures body; it is its own entity. As if that were not enough, I giddily checked to see that the monster figure with 30, yes, 30 points of articulation comes with two sets of hands, two different Batarangs, and Grapnel accessory with a clip that allows it to be attached to Batman's already dope looking utility belt. For me, these little touches had me pushing all of my chips into the NECA pot.
The aforementioned 30 points of articulation does not sound like it could work on a figure this size. My mind just does not go there when thinking about a 1/4 scale figure. However, NECA again has made me a believer because this masterpiece can keep up with the hyper-articulated competitor figures like Marvel Legends vying for the ultimate articulation crown. So this is a tremendous feat to have that kind of articulation on this scale and this price point. The suit itself is I would say crazy accurate to the film with an almost battle-damaged feel to it. You can actually see scuffs on the Bat-crest and each of the lines on his entire imposing build. It looks like actual fabric from even just a foot away which I love. I also think that they nailed the boots and gauntlets on the figure. Bats has gold-ish brass knuckle type pieces on his gloves making him look even more like a vigilante than Gotham's favorite son. I got the impression in the film that he was not dressing up as Batman and branding people with the Bat-symbol to win any philanthropic awards. The boots are beyond steel toed and look like they have kicked the crap out of many a bad guy. Again, that weathered, battle-damaged vibe of the piece translates incredibly well. It is totally unapologetic and the only thing missing is his rifle from the film.
I painstakingly looked for flaws on the 19-inch figure, which will go great with my other NECA 1/4 scale Batman pieces, but I could not find any glaring problems with the piece. I wanted to note the cape in particular because it is actual cloth and I believe it to be nylon. I would love to put some wiring in there (pipe cleaners) to get the cape to pose. I think that that small addition is really going to make this Batman sing. The packaging for Batman is the Fort Knox of action figure housing. It has a glorious 20-plus inches windowbox that will give you a perfect idea of what you are spending your hard earned Junkie dollars on.
**CHECK OUT PICS OF 1/4 SCALE BATMAN THAT I TOOK AT TOY FAIR BELOW!!**
THE FINAL WORD
I assure that you are not going to get a better figure for just $89.99. NECA continues to set the standard for 1/4 scale figure excellence at an affordable price point. For devout Gothamites, picking this one up is a no-brainier.