Keaton v Keaton, Mezco v SH Figuarts Batman ’89 Figures

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They want you to tell all your friends about them. 

It’s Keaton v Keaton: The Mezco 1:12 Collective 1989 Batman action figure v SH Figuarts’ ’89 Bat.

On the most recent podcast episode of my DC Collecticast, I interviewed Carl from the Play With It Podcast. A through and through collector well versed in Bat figs, Carl is a recurring guest on the pod, this time pitting ’89 v ’89 for 2020’s “Battle of the Keaton Batmen.”

Mezco 1:12 Collective ’89 ‘Batman’ figure; Photo: Mezco

PWI: With the Mezco, they have a 1:12 Collective release that they did a pre-order for in January. I was first in line for that. The minute it went online, after servers crashed and then they finally got it back up, I was able to slide in there and secure me a pre-order for a Batman ’89 1:12 Collective figure. So, I’m very excited about that!

Mezco 1:12 Collective ’89 ‘Batman’ figure

BD: So, Batman broke the internet? (Laughs)

PWI: He really did! It was just too much traffic at once. Everybody was waiting for that. I think it was like mid-day, I was on my lunch just sitting there waiting; and, I know that hundreds of other dudes were doing the same thing.

From Mezco:

THE ONE:12 COLLECTIVE BATMAN FIGURE FEATURES:

  • All-New One:12 Collective body with seamless armor and hidden articulation
  • Three (3) head portraits including one with posable eyes
  • Hand painted authentic detailing
  • Approximately 17cm tall
  • Eight (8) interchangeable hands
    • One (1) pair of fists (L&R)
    • One (1) pair of posing hands (L&R)
    • One (1) pair of Batarang holding hands (L&R)
    • One (1) pair of gun holding hands (L&R)
Mezco 1:12 Collective ’89 ‘Batman’ figure; Photo: Mezco

PWI (continued): We’d been waiting for some quality Batman 1989 style–we’ll call it ‘Keaton Batman’–figures ever since NECA stopped producing theirs. That’s a real loved one that has that ToyBiz Batman background. I can’t remember if it was a 6″ or 7″ figure, but that’s a really nice figure that NECA put out. But, now that they don’t have the license, it’s up to other people to produce some really good Keaton Batman figures.

Mezco 1:12 Collective ’89 ‘Batman’ figure; Photo: Mezco

PWI (continued): So, Mezco drops their information, they do their pre-order, it sells out really fast. You can still–at least, recently–you can still get them for a higher price on bigbadtoystore.com, so if you had to have it, you can still grab it from them. But, then, it’s like, there’s still a hunger for it.

Then, SH Figuarts puts out a press release announcing their Batman ’89 fig. Carl from Play With It shares his “mixed feelings” on the Figuarts late 80s Bat:

SH Figuarts ’89 ‘Batman’ figure, Photo: SH Figuarts

PWI: I have mixed feelings. I’m always championing more Keaton Batman toys, and I’m so glad that we’re starting to see these come out. The good about this figure is, the cape looks really nice. It looks leathery. It’s got some cool stitching on it. The price point is pretty good. It’s like $72 vs Mezco, which was like $100 or $120.

Product Features (from bigbadtoystore.com):

  • 5.90 inches (15cm)
  • Made of plastic
  • From the 1989 Batman film
  • Bears an uncanny resemblance to Michael Keaton’s Batman
  • Eyes come to life with realistic coloring under a mask replicated with rubber like materials
  • Fabric cape
  • Fabric cape features support rods to recreate Batman’s gliding poses
SH Figuarts ’89 ‘Batman’ figure, Photo: SH Figuarts

BD: Yea, it’s $110 [currently $150 at BBTS].

PWI: So, the eyes I’m not a big fan of on this SH Figuarts. I’m hoping it’s just maybe the prototype that they put out. Maybe, they’ll do something a little different. Just looks kind of strange. And, it doesn’t look like Keaton, like at all. Which, doesn’t bother me as much as some other people. I know a lot of people are like, Really?  This doesn’t even look like him?! I know that you have to pay for likenesses and the ability to use licenses to do that kind of thing. It costs money. They are not an American based company, so maybe it has something to do with some of the business side of it. That doesn’t bother me as much. But, I just feel like they did something weird with the eyes and it’s kinda freaking me out a little bit.

SH Figuarts ’89 ‘Batman’ figure, Photo: SH Figuarts

BD: I see what you mean, I’m looking at it.

PWI: Yea, I don’t know if it’s just the pictures they took, like I’m having a really hard time figuring out what’s going on there.

BD: Well, I think, especially, the other jarring thing is that, looking at it next to the Mezco, they did such a good likeness job. It’s the first thing that struck me.

SH Figuarts ’89 ‘Batman’ figure, Photo: SH Figuarts
SH Figuarts ’89 ‘Batman’ figure, Photo: SH Figuarts

Later, from PWI: So, all in all, you guys should make up your mind. I think [the SH Figuarts] will be  a little easier to come by, because Mezco kind of does a one-and-done situation. They do a pre-order, they put it out. That was an exclusive originally, so that’s why it’s a higher price point at BBTS, so I’m sure they bought a bunch of them direct from Mezco, just like the rest of us, and then they have to mark it up. But, at least you can secure one if it’s still available. Because, once the pre-order’s over, that’s it. I have missed so many great figures since I didn’t know about it, but I got lucky on this one…it’s funny because [the SH Figuarts] will come out around the same time as the Mezco one, if they keep their timeline. So, it’s really going to be the Battle of the Keaton Batmans, I think.

Left: SH Figuarts ’89 ‘Batman’ figure, Right: Mezco 1:12 Collective ’89 ‘Batman’ figure, Photos: SH Figuarts and Mezco

Again, you can hear this interview in podcast form on my DC Collecticast show. You can find Carl on his own toy pod as well: The Play With It Podcast. Subscribe to both shows wherever you listen to podcasts!

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