Good. Better. Best.
These three words perfectly describe the new DC Prime: Batman action figure debuting this month from DC Collectibles. At an all-new 9” scale, it sets an impressive new standard for high-end action figures and serves as a brilliant new vision of the Dark Knight during his 80th Anniversary year. But while there may be only one Batman, the same can’t be said about the people responsible for bringing his action figures to life…especially when they’re blazing new ground like Prime Batman. It takes a team of gifted, visionary artists to craft the perfect Batman figure, each providing a crucial stage of the figure’s creation.
At nine inches, this new Batman boasts an impressive amount of detail and near unlimited possibility when it comes to posing and storytelling. Achieving this started with artist Riccardo Federici, who was chosen to conceptualize the design for the figure. Federici had previously interpreted some of Greg Capullo’s distinct character designs as part of the Dark Nights: Metal series and was a natural fit because of the added layers of realism that he incorporates in his work.
“Working on this action figure was fantastic,” Federici enthused when asked about his latest project. “I love to design! This work has allowed me to give a new look to Batman and this fact alone has been incredible. Each element of an action figure must not only be aesthetically valid, but must also be functional and logical. These two aspects, put together, allow us to obtain a quality product.”
DC Collectibles envisioned the Prime Batman looking like he was prepared for any kind of situation and for his armor to make sense not just for crimefighting, but for detective and soldier-type work as well.
Along with taking DC Collectibles’ vision for this new Dark Knight and turning it into a reality with his art, Federici designed all of the accessories for the action figure as well.
“To improve repeat playability, we wanted to provide this figure with as many accessories as we could, including three different heads, three different batarangs and the grapple gun with poseable grappling wire,” explained Associate Art Director, Rey Taira.
After Federici's initial design for the figure, DC Collectibles brought in famed figure designer and sculptor Wonil Song. Song is most well-known for working on Hollywood blockbusters such as Pacific Rim. His 3D skills and technical eye easily lent itself to interpreting Federici’s concept to fit and support an actual working action figure.
“Wonil was great to work with because he was able to take my ideas for Batman’s armor and make it look like it functioned in real life, “said Taira.
Another integral member of the team was sculptor Jay Kushwara who did all of the articulation sculpting. Kushwara put the “action” in the action figure, taking a solid sculpt from Song and crafting it into the final working figure. It was Kushwara who made the crucial decisions over where to cut up parts and add joints to give the Prime Batman action figure the most dynamic posability possible.
Of course, we can’t forget the paint! It’s always one of the final pieces in creating any action figure, but it's absolutely essential, and the DC Prime: Batman figure was no different. One of DC’s most popular painters, Michael Cowart, delivered an impressive paint treatment that gave the figure a grounded look and feel.
Meanwhile, the 1:8 scale, poseable fabric cape was created by Darin Gordine from WETA Workshop. He sourced unique material for the outer panels of the cape, which feature a hexagonal texture that lends itself to this Batman design.
“Although Gordine had never worked on toys before, he was extremely excited to be given the opportunity to work on this fabric cape,” Taira explained.
With so many impressive talents working on this one action figure, it’s little surprise that the DC Prime: Batman action figure is one of the most detailed and unique figures that DC Collectibles has ever brought to life. Be sure to check out DCCollectibles.com for more information, including where you can get your hands on one. Just like the real Batman, they’re sure to disappear far more quickly than you’re expecting.
Amanda Levine writes about DC Collectibles, Young Adult comics, cosplay and the DC Universe in general for DCComics.com.