Batgirl’s Latest DC Collectibles Figure Cements Her Status as a DC Icon [Review]
Since becoming the cornerstone of the DC Collectibles action figure line, the DC Icons series has been filled with some terrific interpretations of our favorite heroes. With Icons, DC Collectibles has picked and chosen some of the best iterations of DC Comics' massive catalog of characters, ranging from classic stories from the '80s all the way up through the New 52. Though the DC Icons figures have yet to truly touch the Rebirth era, a few New 52 holdovers have made the cut, including the newest deluxe edition figure, Batgirl of Burnside.
Based on the revamped Batgirl from Cameron Stewart, Brenden Fletcher and Babs Tarr's run on her solo title, the DC Icons Batgirl of Burnside is stylish, well-sculpted and comes with a wicked ride. Most importantly however, Batgirl serves as an example of the greatness Icons could achieve.
As is the case with all the DC Icon figures to date, Batgirl was designed by Ivan Reis. When the dude isn't penciling some of DC's biggest heroes, he certainly has his work cut out for him shaping an entire line of action figures for the company. Batgirl was sculpted by Paul Harding and Adam Ross, who've both had more than their fair share of DC Collectibles pieces over the past few years. While you'd be hard-pressed to find a definitive piece from either --- the portfolios for both are fairly vast --- Batgirl here is arguably the best action figure of the bunch.
With each figure in the DC Icons series, DC Collectibles is basically working from scratch every time. There's such a great amount of diversity in head, body and limb sculpting, there's very little room for overlap with regards to reusing assets. Aside from the trip through DC's history, that individuality has been part of the allure of all the Icons figures. The scale and size of each character has been taken into account, and while the actual scale of the figures with other toys has been a point of contention in the collecting world, each character stands alongside any other the same way they would if they were real people in the DCU.
That's no different here for Batgirl, who comes in just a smidge shorter than the Icons Batman (which is based on the Batman: RIP version). It's hard to compare her to the New 52 or Greg Capullo Signature Series Batman and Batgirl figures as both series were scaled larger to start with. From head to toe though, this is an unmistakably great representation of Babs as existed then (and now). Both head sculpts --- one for straightforward posing, the other with windswept hair from riding on the bike --- have that bit of youthful exuberance Tarr's art brought the character. Yes this is Tarr's style filtered through Reis' lens, but you still get a great sense of Barbara Gordon's personality just in the portraits.
The more practical suit is sculpted well too, with some excellent positioning of the articulation throughout her jacket and pants. The belt hangs perfectly off her hips, and doesn't impede on any waist movement at all. Even her boots are well rendered, capturing that Doc Martens essence, while still offering some good stability for posing. No awkward wedges or heels keeping Batgirl from standing upright this time. The only gripe with the costume I have is in the cape, which isn't sculpted poorly so much as the fastening elements aren't as strong as they could have been.
Batgirl comes with two capes --- one for standing and one for riding the bike --- and both connect to a tab right beneath her neck on her back. It does leave the front of the figure clean from any unnecessary holes (like in her shoulders), but the cape never quite sits flush against her body. There's often a small gap where the buttons "fasten" on her shoulders, and the visual isn't as strong as it could have been were the snap perhaps a little more firm. I'm not sure a cloth cape would have worked at all, but at least in that sense DC Collectibles could have had the cape coming directly out of her shoulders the whole time without any issues.
Despite coming with her motorcycle, two heads and two capes, Batgirl does feel a little light in the accessories department. She comes with her grappling hook and a cellphone, as well as different hands for each. Maybe it's not so much that she doesn't have a lot of accessories included, but most of these accessories have been seen with her over and over through the years. The grappling hook is nice and all, but it's been the de facto Bat-accessory for what feels like eternity. Let's just see a little shake up in the future when it comes to these characters, DC.
As to the motorcycle, it's clean and sharp, and has all the articulation you'd expect. The wheels move, Batgirl can sit on it perfectly fine, and thanks to the base, you can arrange everything without worrying about the bike tipping over. The sculpted asphalt includes to clipped slots where the wheels fit in, and offer a tiny bit of side-to-side movement so it looks like Batgirl is taking a hard turn. The balance is just right in there, and you can really make a dynamic little display if you have the room. It's a nice touch to include the motorcycle, though I'm sure just as many fans would have bought the figure were it sold like the more standard Icons.
The Batgirl of Burnside was one of my favorite incarnations of the character, and I'm glad she's been sticking around in the Rebirth era. This action figure is just one of a number of DC Collectibles items celebrating the clever, modern design, but it is also one of the most affordable options fans have as well. It's a top notch effort that shows what DC Collectibles is capable of with the DC Icons, and (at least temporarily) sets aside any concerns I had about the line's inconsistency.
The DC Collectibles DC Icons Batgirl of Burnside Deluxe Edition is available now at your local comic shop and online for $59.99.
This figure was purchased for review.