The Hot Toys 1989 Batman – A Review

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He's so cool and he knows it.

Before we talk about the 1989 Batman from Hot Toys, let’s get something out of the way. I’m not rolling in dough like some other geek bloggers. I’m broke as a joke, so my toy collecting habit trickled down to almost nothing from the full on waterfall of geeky joy it was several years ago. And I don’t get toys from Sideshow or Hot Toys busting down my door. I don’t get free samples of anything.

That being said Hot Toys zeroed in on one of my geek loves that I couldn’t pass on, the 1989 Batman film. Gads, if I could get off as much as I did the first time I saw pictures of their 1989 Batman figure all the time, there would be no need for a lady in my life. So I did what any insane collector would do, I put it on my credit card and pre-ordered it. Now this was when I had some more money. 250 bucks didn’t seem like it was an insurmountable amount to pay for a collectible. Now I’m choosing between food and Batman… and I choose you, Batman.

The Basics

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Batman in a box.

Batman comes with his body, two extra lower faces (since you don’t have to change his whole head to change a mouth expression), and a bunch of accessories.

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Even the toy has toys!

The accessories that Batman comes with are a great assorment of “wonderful toys” right from the film (please strangle me for that reference). I don’t think they missed any and they even included some that weren’t in the movie, like ninja stars.

I'm tempted to put a handgun in there to anger Batman fans.

I'm tempted to put a handgun in there to drive Batman fans insane.

Batman is super posebale… to an extent. The rubber suit really limits some movement, but that’s pretty accurate to the movie suit too. I was suprised at how much you could get his head to turn, considering how restrictive that is.

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When Batman got a bad case of Pac-Man fever.

’89 Batman’s eyes can move around in creepy fasion via a parrelel eye control system. You pop off the back of his head and use a joystick to crank his eyes around. Strange stuff, but it really gives him some more expressions and it looks super cool.

Batman comes with a base that features some L.E.D. lights. They really give him a cool look when they’re turned on in the dark.

The Awesome

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The box is eh... but classy!

Wow, what a box! As my first Hot Toys product ever, I’m pretty damned impressed. The outside isn’t as colorful or flamboyant as other packaging that I’m used to, but it is quality. I feel like I’m Donald Trump here with all the class this box is bringing. In a nice touch, it’s got a removable bat signal that you can shine a flashlight on. Class!

The parrell eye system is great and it really adds to the “life” of the figure. It helps make up for the fact that his head can’t move around too much.

One thing I really appreciate is the detail in the facial sculpting. Even though most of Batman’s face is covered by a mask, that’s undeniably Micheal Keaton in there.

Talk to the bat hand.

Talk to the bat hand.

Did I mention all the amazing accessories? Even the wrist shield thing is here not to mention the “remote” he uses to call the Batmobile. There were three doohickies that I didn’t know what they were, but apparently they’re his smoke bombs. Groovy! It’s amazing that they’ve made some of the stuff that only ever appeared in Batman 1989 books and magazines that I poured over when I was a kid. And hell, the grapple gun that attaches to his arm even has a large spring for no reason other than to make it look just like the real life prop. Love that attention to detail.

"Batman to Vincent, I'm fucking awesome. Over."

"Batman to Vincent, I'm fucking awesome. Over."

The Not So Awesome

My biggest complaint is the cape doesn’t “act” the way I thought it would. It’s too… soft goodsy… if you’re not a collector you might not know what that means, it doesn’t hang the way I’d like to too. It’s like it’s too thick. Much like the in the real life filming of a Batman movie, I believe multiple capes would be best suited for Batman here. A real thin one that had the sides folded over automatically would have done wonders:

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Yes you can fold the pieces of cape to go over his shoulders, but It doesn’t look as good though. I’m convinced a second cape could do better. Luckily, I’m dating a professional costume designer who I’ll beg and plead to make me an extra cape. I’ll keep you updated. Regardless, they made a cape that straddles the boundaries to look good and perform all the functions that his cape should perform. They came up with a pretty good one, but it’s not exactly what I’d hoped for.

My second big complaint is that his his grapple gun won’t stay on his belt. The grapple gun pulls apart into two pieces just like in the film. One pieces goes on via an extra clip that goes onto the belt, the other piece is supposed to hang on magnetically. It’s supposed to, but I can’t get mine to stay on no matter what I do. Bullshit.

The Just Plain Bad

Like an idiot, I broke the display stand the first day I owned the thing. It wasn’t quite clear to me how it was supposed to hold the figure up (it goes between his legs for some strange reason, unlike every other doll stand I’ve ever seen) and while I was messing around with it I busted it. That’s more my fault than Hot Toys, I guess. Still, it’s annoying to the max.

The Final Judgement

Looks cool, but hard to pull off.

Looks cool, but hard to pull off.

As much as I like this figure and for cool as he is, my expectations were set way too high.  I put some blame on the Hot Toys photo relases that made him look ultra awesome, particularly the one where he’s holding up his cape up in the flashy Batman way. It’s not that easy to do and it doesn’t look as fantastic.

The real culprit for my overly high expectations was the price I paid for this sucker. I guess when I drop this much cash I just… expect more. I can’t quantify it any more than that. I’m guessing that after the pain of the bill is gone that I’ll grow to appreciate my Hot Toys 1989 Batman even more.

In the end it’s a toy. An expensive toy. Is it worth it? I guess it depends. For me it doesn’t exactly live up to expectations, but I feel like I wouldn’t have gotten it I’d have felt like I really missed out.

Score: 8.5 out of 10 “I’m Batman”s.

Buy Some Batman Stuff!

Be sure to check out my other 1989 Batman posts!

Also check out another Hot Toys review of Iron Man by Chris Piers (from Television Zombies)!

  • Wow, that’s a great looking figure! I would never spend that much on a new toy, but I’m glad you did so you could show us pictures of it. ;) I hope you can order a replacement base, or maybe the good folks at Hot Toys will see this review and send you one gratis.

  • Frankly, I never thought I’d spend so much on a toy… but like I said I was so obsessed with 89 Batman that this thing just pulled on my heart strings.

    A new base holder might be nice, so Hot Toys could hook me up. I think in the meantime I could get some electrical tape to temp fix it.

  • Oh and maybe visit my sponsors to help me pay for the Batman. hah

  • Nik

    Hot toys uses some pretty high demand painters and sculptors, so that’s where some of the extra cost comes from. Those people are expensive.

    Welcome to the “I own a single Hot Toys figure an will forever be sad I can’t own any more ever” club. Luckily my single was the DX Dark Knight Joker so after buying a second body I got two figures out of it.

  • Cool Nik. You know, I’m kinda hoping some customizer starts churning out Micheal Keaton head/cowls.

  • Lamar the Revenger

    Good review. Being able to move the eyes is kinda cool but really creepy.

  • Great review!! He looks really cool. Too bad about the base. I’ve broken quite a few things over time, but usually super glue does wonders.

  • Chris

    I should review my Thor and Captain America for you, I guess. I’ve also ordered Nick Fury and Hawkeye. I love ’em.

  • Now you’ll have to get Hot Toys’ 1989 Batmobile.

  • I can’t afford Hot Toys figures either, but I spent months and months trying to talk myself into this figure! I don’t even like the movie much anymore, but it meant so much to me when I was twelve that I want the figure.

    What ultimately stopped me was that people who bought the Hellboy II Hot Toys figure (which is if anything even more awesome than the Keaton Batman figure) have reported that the rubber of the torso has dried out.

    I feel the same way you do: if I drop more than $200 on a toy, it better stay intact and pose like a dream and do my dishes when I’m tired.

  • Ur Dad

    I especially liked the tag lines you added to the figures pictures.

  • CHRIS

    This figure is now one of my personal favourites, I’ve been waiting a long time for a solid Keaton Batman figure, your review is Spot-on & honest.

    Spend some time with the cape, & you’ll be very surprised as to what can really be done with it. But I totally agree with you, it is difficult to achieve the great looking cape effects of the Hot Toys studio photos.

  • i’ve started dabbling in some pricey toys. i had a few hot toys and sold most of them. and i’ve got some sideshow GI Joes and SW clones…to me, the hot toys always end up somewhat underwhelming. there’s always something that doesn’t quite work how it should and it reminds you of how much you spent on it.

    oh, and the stand thing is actually the norm now. i used to think they went under the armpits like an idiot but i’ve got 5 sideshows and 1 hot toys on display right now and they’ve all got those between the legs stands.

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