DC Collectibles Batman: The Animated Series Gray Ghost action figure review
The folks over at DC Collectibles have been churning out some absolutely amazing action figures based on Batman: The Animated Series over the past few years. With phenomenal sculpts, spot-on likenesses, and a plethora of accessories, this has fast become one of the best toy lines out there.
With a new wave of figures, DC Collectibles continue in the fine reputation they’ve made for themselves, and they’ve been kind enough to send us a few pieces for review. Earlier this week I covered the excellent Scarecrow and H.A.R.D.A.C. figures, and I’ve saved my personal favorite for last: none other than Simon Trent, the Gray Ghost.
For a character who only appeared in a single episode of Batman: The Animated Series, the Gray Ghost sure has left quite an impression. It makes sense, though, for multiple reasons. For one, “Beware the Gray Ghost” is widely regarded as one of the best episodes of the series, wherein Batman teams up with the star of his favorite television serial from when he was a kid to solve a mystery. It’s a fun episode in itself, and a nice recognition that even our heroes have heroes.
What really sets it apart, though, is that the titular Gray Ghost is voiced by none other than Adam West. It’s an inspired bit of casting that’s a little bit meta (he plays an actor who feels typecast and haunted by his most iconic role) and nothing if not honorable to his legacy as Batman. It doesn’t hurt that it’s one of West’s finest performances either.
So here he is in action figure form, and yes, this figure is my favorite of the bunch. Considering how much I loved the other two pieces, that’s saying something.
I can’t really add much about the packaging that I didn’t cover in the other two reviews, besides noting that this figure is sculpted by Tony Cipriano instead of Irene Matar. The piece I received had been damaged a bit in transit, with a hole punched into part of the backing board around the character’s legs. That’s no fault of the manufacturer, though. Just wanted to make that note.
Like the other two sets, a basic character sheet is included that shows other figures in the series, as well as well instructions for removing hands and heads. The Gray Ghost figure is secured with a twist tie about the waist and plastic about the ankles to hold it in place, while the accessories are in form-fitting molds in the plastic.
I do want to mention that the product image on the DC Collectibles site differs slightly from the final figure. It shows a miniature poster and two closed fists on the Gray Ghost, whereas the figure as shipped has two open hands and no poster. The other accessories match, though.
And man, are they some great accessories. The right hand on the packaged figure has a slightly hooked pointer finger, so the included gun fits into the trigger hand nicely. There are two other right hands included: one is open to fit the other accessories, and the other is grasping a pen so he can sign autographs. The latter is a truly wonderful touch that isn’t entirely necessary but perfectly captures the spirit of the character. My only gripe with the pen hand is that the pen can actually be removed, even though it fits pretty snugly. Because of that it’s the piece that is most likely to get lost, so be aware when handling the figure.
The left hand that comes attached to the figure and the matching extra right hand are both wide open so the Gray Ghost can grasp either the VHS box accessory (which has print on both sides and looks so, so cool) and the remote control bomb car.
He only comes with one head, which has his trademark goggles and hat molded on. It would have been nice if an “unmasked” head were included, but I understand why it wasn’t. It’s still wonderfully rendered and sculpted, along with the rest of the figure. I love the way the soft plastic cape drapes about his shoulders, and his coat and pants have believable creases and wrinkling. Gray Ghost doesn’t have a svelte, form-fitting costume like Batman, and Cipriano captures that without making his costume look bulky and shapeless.
As you can probably tell, I had a blast getting some cool poses out of this guy. You can go from a nice action shot with his gun in hand to a contemplative pose with the toy car to a laid-back look where he’s “signing” an autograph, and they all work. Of the three figures I received, this is the one least in need of a stand, as he can hold a pose and stay upright no matter how you position him.
Even with some very, very minor quibbles, I adore this figure. There wasn’t a loser in the three pieces I reviewed, but personally, I think the Gray Ghost is the winner. It’s a cool piece in its own right, as well as a tribute to one of the men who did so much for the Caped Crusader’s legacy in popular culture.
You can purchase the figure directly from the DC store, where it retails for $29.99. Like the others, it is a tad pricey, but I’m sure you can find it somewhere for around twenty bucks, which is more reasonable. No matter which way you go, though, it’s a great piece for fans of comics, the Animated Series, and Batman in general.