Toy Review - Ban Dai SH Figuarts' Injustice Figures
Look…but don’t touch.
Usually, that’s the warning that comes with any expensive collectible…but with SH Figuarts’ Injustice figures, it’s also a warning that looks out for your well-being and continued existence.
That might sound mean or negative…and in most regards, it’s not. These are beautiful action figures with all the articulation and accessories a fanboy could want. The varied amount of looks and poses that one should be able to accomplish just boggles the mind. The thing is, if you actually want to pull some of these off…you’re gonna have to risk life and limb for it.
Now for another one of those seemingly-famous Nuking The Cat asides. [Famous to you maybe…not so much to…you know…anyone else. - Ed.] You see, I used to bitch about American toy safety standards. Hearing about drop tests and why some awesome looking Transformer from Japan wasn’t going to be allowed to be sold over here would just drive me furious and into a rant lamenting how kids were a bunch of sissies these days. I played with dangerous toys and I turned out just fine! [The number of problems I have with that statement is seemingly limitless. – Ed.] But you’ll notice the small number of pictures in the attached gallery. There’s a reason for that. These figures have PLENTY of sharp edges…and I really kinda like my fingers. You could say I’m rather attached to them. [You can stop anytime now. – Ed.] And I am NOT a fan of impaling my hand any time I want to give Batman a different expression or cowl. [Translation: We heard “Fucking Batman!” here in the Cat offices during the review process much more than usual…which is really saying something. – Ed.] So, yeah, I’m sorry US Toy Safety Standards people…I totally get it now.
While we’re on negatives, the other big one is the hard plastic capes. This…this is just kinda mind-blowing. Now sure, I wasn’t exactly on board when even American action figures moved away from soft goods in general…favoring the use of the rubbery plastic for superhero capes, coats and such, but it’s repeated use has worn me down to the point that now the only time it really bugs me is when you’re initially trying to remove the figure from the box…DAMN does that plastic packaging just love to try to cut into capes. But this…even with the understanding that it’s to allow for the cape to have some articulation…just…no. It doesn’t work. You know what would give a cape articulation? Soft goods with wires at the boarders. Square Enix has done this with some of their figures, Hot Toys has done it with some of theirs…and if it’s good enough for them, dammit, it’s good enough for you, Ban Dai!
Unfortunately, by putting my negatives up front, it makes this seem like the usual internet bitch-fest…and that’s the furthest thing from the truth. Like I said, these figures are downright beautiful, on model, intricately detailed and just…damn. The articulation is very much superior to what we’re used to seeing Stateside…for example, shoulders that take into account that shoulders forward to cross your arms and shoulders back to stand up straighter movement. Yeah, the occasional Marvel Legends figure will have those too…but it never looks good on their figures. On these, though, completely invisible…but you sure notice it while posing. Something similar can be said for the hips. Both Batman and Superman sport double jointed knees that are also seamless and largely avoid the goofy look typically seen on action figures. While Joker and Harley don’t have the double joint, their knees still pull off more bend than their American counterparts. Honestly, I think there’s one thing I can say that will give you exactly the right idea when it comes to the amount of articulation these figures have…Harley has articulated pig-tails. The end. Mic drop.
But if I were to go on [And you’re going to…whether we like it or not. – Ed.] one other thing about these figures that I found to be exceptionally cool is the incorporation of die-cast elements. Some pieces of Batman’s armor are die-cast. Superman’s chest emblem is die-cast. Harley…well…her guns are die-cast…but nothing I could find on the actual figure. Given how she’s covered with sharp spikes and knives though…my fingers kinda chickened out on investigating. With the Joker, I think it’s his shoes. Still, I found it to be something really unique and cool.
At $50-ish per figure, yeah, they’re not cheap…but these 4 releases have been spaced out so much that honestly, it doesn’t impact the pocketbook that much. If they were to come in waves as American releases do, then no, I certainly couldn’t rationalize buying them, no matter how awesome they are for the most part. And did I mention they’re gorgeous? Sure, you might lose an eye to some of the accessories and if you engage in too much posing your hands might build up calluses that make your feet actually jealous…but they are certainly worth every penny you sink into them and if you’re a fan of either DC superheroes in general or of the video game Injustice, then you should certainly not let anything stop you from getting your mitts on these figures.
Of course, the only negative to that is…I’m not sure they’re going to make any more! C’mon Ban-Dai, FINISH THE LINE!
[A big thanks to Brandon and the folks at Everett Comics for setting me on this painful path of collecting!]