DC Infinite Heroes "BATMAN ALLIES" 3-Pack
A trio of Batman backup...
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Despite rumors to the contrary, Mattel's DC Universe Infinite Heroes line is not dead... not yet, anyway. There are still new figures showing up on store shelves as we speak, including the single-carded 75th Anniversary series and a few more Three Packs. A few weeks ago I discussed the "Sinestro Corps War" set (see that review HERE), but this time around weíre getting back down to Earth, and specifically Gotham City. In the latest Three Pack #17, that I prefer to call "Batman Allies," you'll find Robin, Nightwing, and Batwoman!
Let's get the packaging out of the way first. I can't remember how many times I've discussed it, because the Infinite Heroes Three Packs haven't changed since the first series came out! It's a short, wide box with a nice big window to see the figures. The packaging itself is still decorated with the yellow and red starburst background and "Crisis" logo despite the single figures moving away from that moniker. The bottom of the front panel has the pertinent info of the figures' names and the number (but no title) of the set.
The back of the box has biographies and statistical information for all three characters, along with images of other available Three Packs (Sinestro Corps, Animal Man/Starfire/Adam Strange, and Green Lantern/Black Hand/Star Sapphire).
Like the Animal Man/Starfire/Adam Strange set before it (you can see my review of that one HERE), the Batman Allies consist of one new figure and two that are re-packaged. In a surprising move, however, this new set actually gives collectors a chance to pick up some previously hard to find figures instead of guys who sat on shelves forever. Let's take a look at each Gothamite individually.
Robin is a repackaged figure who was previously available only in the hard to find "Mallah's Revenge" Value Gift Pack. The Tim Drake incarnation of the Batman sidekick, this Robin is faithfully recreated with his iconic red, yellow, and black costume. Also true to the character, Robin has a one of a kind kid-sized Infinite Heroes body that's appropriately short and skinny. Though small, Drake still has a decent sculpt, with anatomical/musculature details, a very intricate utility belt, long cape with lots of creases, and a very good head sculpt that actually looks like a young man.
Unlike Batman, the various Robins have always had a flair for bright colors and this one is no different. Drake's costume is mostly a solid red, with black boots, gloves, abdomen, harlequin mask, and cape. Bright yellow highlights really stand out on Robinís utility belt, torso "rectangles," and the signature logo on his chest. The inside of his cape is also yellow. Finally, Robin's face has a standard flesh tone while his eyes are pure white within his mask.
Robin has standard articulation for a male Infinite Heroes figure, with joints at the neck, ball-jointed shoulders, elbows, waist, hips, and knees. Most Heroes aren't super-poseable, but Robin is actually helped out by his very functional cape. Most of the regular-sized figures are weighted down by their capes (see Batman and Superman), but Robinís hands really well and can serve as a prop for running poses!
The other repackaged figure in this set is Batwoman (Kate Kane). She had one prior release as #13 in the single-carded line, and was among a short wave of figures that was relatively hard to find, making her a great inclusion here. This Batwoman has a very unique look, combining the statuesque base female Infinite Heroes body that works perhaps best on Wonder Woman and Starfire with a dark and brooding ensemble seemingly borrowed from her male namesake. The additional parts on this figure have good sculpting, from the detailed utility belt complete with bat symbol to her spiked gloves and long cape. Kane's head sculpt is good with really intricate hair, although the expression on her face is sort of bland.
Batwoman is dark, with a nearly all black costume. The alternating color here is a deep red that appears on her boots, gloves, belt, chest bat symbol, and lipstick. Kane's face is a very light flesh tone, and her eyes are also white within her high mask. Her long hair is brown, while the inside of her cape is a dark maroon color.
Batwoman's articulation is the same as all previous female figures in this line, and it's not great. With joints at the neck, shoulders, torso, V-crotch hips, and knees, there isnít a whole lot of posing potential. She is helped out by the included display stand at least.
The final member of this trio is a new figure that's sort of a repaint at the same time. The package refers to him as Nightwing (Dick Grayson), but he's more properly called Renegade. I have to admit that I wasn't familiar with this storyline, but it sounds like Grayson takes a break from his normal routine to adopt a new identity that he uses to pal around with bad guys including Deathstroke's daughter... or something. Anyway, there was already a regular single-carded Nightwing in the Infinite Heroes line, so this one was done a bit differently.
The first Nightwing utilized the Infinite Heroes 1.0 body and the character's traditional black and blue costume. Renegade here has the 2.0 body instead, and the story specific red and brown costume. That mid-series body has increased articulation over the original with joints at the neck, ball-jointed shoulders, ball-jointed elbows, forearms, waist, hips, ball-jointed knees, and ball-jointed ankles. The sculpt is okay, featuring the basic body with no new or additional parts. It's muscular without being huge, fitting for Nightwing in any incarnation. The head sculpt seems quite good with a strong jaw line and distinct facial features. Unfortunately, it's kind of hard to tell on mine because of the poor paint...
As mass market 3 ĺ inch figures the Infinite Heroes rarely have perfect paint jobs, and that's not the end of the world. Thankfully, they're rarely as bad as what I've got on my Nightwing. His body is okay; there's not too much you can screw up with lots of solid brown and black (boots and gloves). But, that's where the good ends. The red "wing" across his torso has a bad botch on his chest, and on the figure's back itís visibly uneven. Grayson's shoulders have a lot of smudged paint too. The worst offender, unfortunately, is Nightwing's face. Where there should be a seamless transition from mask to face is a mess of misapplied paint. Iím not much of a customizer, but I'll be trying my hand at this guy.
Multi-packs are often a mixed bag. Usually you get a unique figure with some repacks for somewhat less than youíd pay for each individually, making the value very dependent on character choice. For that reason, I think this set is quite good. Robin and Batwoman werenít the easiest figures to get (Robin has only been available in multi-packs!), so for collectors who missed out on them the first time around this is a great chance to fill in your Gotham City ranks. While Batwoman is a little stiff like all of the female figures, Robin is really top-notch. Iíd even recommend the new Nightwing with his different look and better articulation, so long as you can find one with a better paint job than mine!
For even more images of this set, CLICK HERE!
Review and Photos by Scott Rubin