The 1989 Batman live action movie is considered one of the better batman movies that have been made. With Jack Nicholson playing the Joker, Michael Keaton as Bruce Wayne/Batman and Tim Burton directing, there was an enjoyable mix of story and action with two great actors bringing their talent to the roles. Being a popular, comic book based movie there has always been a lot of merchandise both at the time of the movie, and after. There have been some good collectibles/toys made (Kenner) some excellent ones(Hot Toys) and then there are Kubricks which fill another different niche all together!
Name: Batman, Joker
Price: Then – 1,200 YEN Now – 5,000 – 10,000 YEN
Scale: 3.5 Inches in height
Accessories: Batman – Bat-a-rang, Joker – long nose pistol.
For me the Kubrick figure is a type of toy/collectible I would only ever associate with Japan. Even though it shares similarities with Lego, if I were to put together a short list of toys that instantly make you think of Japan Kubrick would be one of them. Their simplicity is one aspect that really appeals to me; how a character is broken down to about as basic as can be, but still is a great representation of the character. This is definitely part of the Kubrick charm in my opinion.
Kubricks are made using a base body and then adding extra pieces to them to make up a character. The base body consists of smooth flat surfaces it works well as a blank canvas for the character to be created on. For Batman and Joker they have additional pieces added to them to complete the character: Batman has his cowl, an added chest piece, his utility belt and his cape; Joker has his coat body piece and his hair/hat head attachment. All these parts are fairly simple in appearance and look authentic to the characters they are meant to be.
The paint application is the other part of the puzzle to really make Kubricks look great! Batman is limited to his head underneath the cowl, bat symbol on his chest and yellow utility belt. Joker has the most detail, with his clothes and head having a lot of detail added to them. Both Batman and Joker, although simplified, still evoke the characters quite well, so there is no mistaking who they are supposed to be. The head underneath Batman’s cowl even looks like Keaton too!
Kubricks will in most cases share the same amount of articulation unless hindered by an accessory (the Alien space suits for example). Kubricks have the following basic articulation: swivel head, ball-jointed shoulders, swivel hands, swivel waist and ball-jointed hips. These joints are meant to mirror human movement and they accomplish that quite well for each joint’s simplicity. You can get some decent pose, but just like the movie batman’s cowl restricts his head movement. Also, Joker’s coat tails restrict the waist a little bit. In most cases the neutral arms down by the sides, legs straight AKA straight out of the package pose works best.
Both Kubricks come with appropriate accessories. Batman has his Bat-a-rang and Joker, his long nose pistol (used near the end of the movie). They are sculpted well and look nice; they are also cast in the colour they are meant to be. They also both fit into the characters hands without much effort and stay put too.
Not too many things I can think of. Perhaps, losing the tiny accessories or even the hands as they can come out fairly easily. These are made for collectors however, so they should be well taken care of.
Here is where it starts to get a little nuts. These figures, as cool as they look, are very small. So when they double or even triple in price, you really have to be asking yourself is it worth it to pay so much for such a small toy? If these were larger figure, I don’t think the price would be too bad. But for their size I don’t think the price inflation is justified, no matter how rare they are considered to be. Anything above $50 AUD for a MOC figure is asking too much in my opinion. Especially if they are loose too. Most other Kubricks go for $30 AUD loose and that is a more appropriate price.
Kubricks in general are always going to be cool. The designs are that perfect combination of simplicity and detail and even the stylized faces still convey the characters quite well. These two figures are great and really look cool together. If you can find them and for a decent price, it’s worth picking them up if you are a Batman fan, but also if you are a Kubrick fan. They are just that good.
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