DC Collectibles Batman: The Animated Series H.A.R.D.A.C. 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 figure, and today I’ll be looking at everyone’s favorite robot duplicate, H.A.R.D.A.C.
For those who have never seen Batman: The Animated Series (and if that’s the case, stop reading now and go remedy that) or don’t remember H.A.R.D.A.C., here’s a quick primer. Originally appearing in the episode “Heart of Steel,” H.A.R.D.A.C. (which stands for Holographic Analytical Reciprocating DigitAl Computer) was a supercomputer created to study artificial intelligence and to create super creepy robot duplicates. Seriously, all these years later and the monotone, emotionless robot Jim Gordon still gives me the willies.
Needless to say, Batman investigate the shady goings on, eventually destroying the supercomputer and disabling all of the duplicates.
Until his own duplicate resurfaced in the episode “His Silicon Soul,” that is. Yes, Batman’s robotic replicant returns to run amok before being defeated at the hands of the Dark Knight, who poetically intones that while the robot may have had an artificial soul, it was a soul nonetheless.
And also the robot brandishes a sword. Which is rad.
Anyway, while the Scarecrow was lacking in too many details or accessories, H.A.R.D.A.C. here is not a victim of such shortcomings. It’s a beautifully sculpted action figure with details and accessories galore, another fine example of Irene Matar’s stellar craftsmanship.
I went over the packaging in the Scarecrow review, and the same holds true here: the blister pack is sturdy with every accessory easy to see, and the nice “H.A.R.D.A.C.” script on the side really catches the eye. It goes without saying that the awesome Batman silhouette on the back looks great, but I’ll do it anyway: the awesome Batman silhouette on the back looks great.
A basic character sheet is included that shows other figures in the series, as well as well instructions for removing hands and heads. The H.A.R.D.A.C. 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.
The figure itself is sculpted well, evoking the iconic look of Batman’s Animated Series suit. The chest symbol really stands out, and I absolutely love the blue interior of the cloth cape. The exposed mechanical innards draw the eye without being distracting, and the torn fabric of the suit is sculpted and painted really well. Even without the accessories, this figure is practically ready for display right out of the box, with the damaged half-cowl head looking incredibly eerie.
Like I said, though, it’s the other details that really set this figure over the top. The detachable cape has a molded “Batman face” that, while not detachable itself, works well with the included full robot head to drive home just how creepy the idea of a robotic duplicate really is. Just imagine seeing Batman slowly peel away his face to reveal a red-eyed, metallic skull…
Plus you can do this:
Also included are two additional hands whose primary fingers are “folded back” at the first joint, as well as a sword. Combined with the great posability and pretty solid center of gravity (a stand isn’t included, so standing on its own is very important), this figure can be twisted into all sorts of cool poses. I had about as much fun contorting his limbs and playing around with different accessory combinations as I’ve had with any merchandise I’ve reviewed in quite some time.
Where the Scarecrow figure was great because of its simplicity, this figure is even better because of all the details. The accessories are fantastic, that mangled Batsuit looks so good, and there are practically limitless possibilities with the display and posing options. You can purchase the figure directly from the DC store, where it retails for $29.99. That 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.
And here’s one more image I call “Alas, Poor H.A.R.D.A.C.,” because I think I’m hilarious.