The visitors of Modern Collecting have spoken and they are saying “We want more John Blake as Robin!”. Well here is a juicy post just for you to feed your need.
This figure, by Call-It Customs of the character from the movie, The Dark Knight Rises, named “Robin” John Blake is made on scale and in style similar of the DKR Movie Masters figure line by Mattel.
I recently purchased this figure on eBay for $71 USD. Let’s review.
We begin with the packaging, which is just a cool extra inclusion. It adds that extra detail that other custom figure makers don’t. You don’t see the effort often to repackage the figure so you have it to display in box like the rest of your in box figures. Originally I thought it was resealed completely but I found that it was cleverly repackaged rather, meaning that it was simply opened carefully and then literally gently repackaged. Nice forethought to make a cool addition. Top it off with the custom insert with Robin Blake and the upside down Batman symbol that was recently thought to be a secret symbol for Robin, all done very nicely with superb quality. It shows professional quality of the artist to also include a sticker on the box as a sort of signature of their work, pretty sweet!
The head is used from a GCPD Blake and the body is from a Robin figure, the origin of which I am unsure of. Nevertheless, the figure is exactly what I feel like John Blake would look like as Robin in the Christopher Nolan Batman movie series. It also looks like what you could expect from the Mattel Movie Master figures as well.
The detail on the mask is great and well applied. I like the mask because it’s better than just simply painting one on, that just seems cheap and kind of lame. This mask is actually like a real mask would be, similar to Robin’s in Batman Forever (still not sure how it attached, maybe transparent bands or something). The proportion of the figure looks right too. Robin shouldn’t be as tall as Batman, and this figure follows suit (but not by having the same suit as him).
It’s nice that he also have a different belt than Batman, otherwise while standing next to him it looks too redundant, because with this figure here it definitely stands out, in a good way.
The accessories that are included are a cloak/cape that reminded me of Ragman‘s, two Batarangs, a bō, and a grapnel gun.
It’s a very nice variety of accessories as the actual Movie Masters don’t really have any except for Jim Gordon (he has a gun and an axe) or the SDCC Dark Knight Rises Collectors Edition’s accessories.
I believe along with several others that the Dark Knight Movie Masters entire figure line don’t have real accessories.
Sure the Dark Knight line has crime scene evidence, and then The Dark Knight Rises has the Build a Bat-Signal, but really it doesn’t make up for it. I began with Mattel figures having a bunch of cool accessories (MOTU) and to see Mattel not have the same quality of service they once did, hurts to have to still admit to be a fan sometimes. Alas, this figure takes care of that problem.
The cape is made of a soft rubber and is cool but added to the difficultly of balance for posing when worn. I had to use a stand but it worked nonetheless. The bō is cool as well as the grapnel gun and they both fit nicely into the hands of the figure. The two Batarangs are also a nice addition but they do not fit tightly into the hands of our Boy Wonder. With careful positioning and patience you can pose it with them though.
The paint job is overall acceptable. It looks finished in most places. Only having a few minor spots that aren’t painted. I will assume it would have been difficult to paint some of the areas that are not painted (i.e. inside joints, wear the cape attached, etc.), however the areas that are easy to paint that just seem to have not a thick enough coat is something that is a real legitimate issue. The belt seems to have a few paint issues too, but nothing too major. Other than that, the rest of the figure has a nice finish and color palette.
Having the “R” logo on the costume was perfect. As stated in the film John Blake said he wasn’t afraid to face criminals without a mask, but Batman advised to wear a mask to protect the ones he loved. So this allows the best of both worlds, he wears the mask to protect his identity but also blatantly says his name right on his costume.
The cape inclusion seems to be kind of unnecessary because it’s a dinky cape in comparison to Batman’s. Robin’s cape could be slightly bigger, however the short cape still seems acceptable with this figure. It could still be the same kind of material that Batman’s cape is made out of in the Dark Knight movies. Even with small a cape of that nature would prove some use in certain circumstances.
The figure also has a few issues with the joints not being quite tight enough to hold some poses. It definitely is not as tight as the Movie Masters from Mattel are (With Movie Master figures: I have to “snap” the joints free every time I pose them. They always seem to stick like they have a really thin layer of adhesive on them or something.)
Overall the custom is a great addition to anyone’s collection, especially a fan of John Blake or Robin. The quality isn’t perfect but leaves you satisfied. The balance issues can be a little tedious, but a lot of figures have that problem. As stated, the joints not being tighter makes for less ease of posing the figure. The paint issues are minor, but are noticeable, but the majority of the figure is painted well and the choices of color are on par. The packaging is an awesome plus to help add extra value to the figure and helps recycle! Finally the accessories are really cool to have, I can’t say that enough. The choice of accessories and quality of each individual item are top-notch.
Including accessories like these are a strong reminder of what I feel like I should be getting from Mattel. Oh well, at least there are cool custom accessories available from time to time like this custom made EMP gun accessory that is seen being used in The Dark Knight Rises.
Here’s another cool custom Dark Knight Movie Masters accessory by the same seller, firefoxep, a sticky bomb gun that Batman used in The Dark Knight.
Bottom Line, customs are really cool and this one is no doubt one to add to the list! I give the concept an A+ and the quality a B, so together it’s a wash for an overall grade A custom. Find more at Call-It Customs on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/cicustoms.