Finishing off our look at Spin Master’s new Batman toyline is the Rapid Change Utility Belt Batman.
This Batman figure is packaged in an open box. The figure is tied into the box so you can try out the rapid change gimmick. The packaging mentions over 20 different Phrases and Sounds.
The figure appears to be based on the Rebirth Tactical Batman just like the 12″ and 4″ figures. This figure is in a classic grey and black deco. He has a black cloth cape exactly like the 12″ Batman figure.
There is a battery pack sculpted into the back of the figure. I like how it looks like it was sculpted as if it’s an added on part to the suit instead of there just being a switch and battery compartment in Batman’s back. This figure takes three LR44 Button Cell batteries, which are included with the toy. Above the battery compartment is a switch. The left side, marked as two vertical lines, is the “Try Me” mode. The O in the middle is the “Off” position. and the single vertical line on the right is the “On” position.
This is definitely a gimmick toy. The only articulation not directly tied into the rapid change utility belt gimmick is the neck and left arm. The head can rotate (it may be a ball joint, but it doesn’t move up and down in a significant amount. The left arm has a shoulder and elbow joint, but they are very limited in their range of motion. Both the elbow and shoulder can only hinge slightly, but the shoulder can rotate completely around.
The figure starts out in “Try Me” mode. To operate the figure, you squeeze the left leg towards the right leg. The first time you squeeze it, the right arm cocks back towards the Utility Belt. The second time you squeeze the legs, the right hand shoots out, latches onto one of the accessories hanging off of the belt. This brings his right hand into an attack position holding one of three weapons. The figure then says a random phrase followed by a sound effect as the weapon lights up. (In the many, many multiple times I triggered this action, only once did Batman say two phrases and no sound effect.)
As mentioned on the packaging, there are over 20 Phrases and Sounds. After playing with the figure I believe there are ten phrases and the rest are various sound effects. Here are the ten phrases:
“Try Me” Phrases:
I Am The Night
You Can’t Escape The Batman
Prepare For Justice
The Caped Crusader Can’t Be Stopped
Time To Put An End To Crime!
The Battle Has Just Begun
You’re Out Of Time, Villains
Evil Can’t Hide From Justice
Now, the really exciting part is that it sounds like they used Batman voice actor Kevin Conroy for the phrases! For those who may not recognize the name, Kevin Conroy has voiced Batman in every animated movie/series in the DC Animated Universe and many other spin off projects like video games and DC Universe direct to video movies. For most of us, he has been the voice of Batman since the 90’s Batman: The Animated Series.
The three accessories are soft translucent plastic with a hard connector piece at the end of them. One accessory looks like a grappling hook. There is also a flamethrower looking weapon that has sculpted flames coming out of it. The last accessory looks like an energy weapon with some blast effect sculpted coming out of the barrel. All three have cool sculpted details on them. I wouldn’t mind seeing smaller versions of these weapons in Spin Master’s four inch toy line.
The accessories latch into the belt easily and the fist attaches to them just as easily. Given the complexity of the rapid change action, I’m surprised it works so well! The fist has a latch that holds the accessory to the fist tightly. That latch releases the accessory in the split second, it hooks into the belt. Then the next time you squeeze the legs, the arm moves forward as the belt rotates, pushing the next accessory into the fist which raises it to attack position while you hear the phrase sound and the fist lights up the weapon!
I played with this toy for twenty minutes just trying to get all of the phrases written down and not once did the mechanism fail or something get gummed up. I did have an instance of a weapon falling off the belt and sometimes a failed connection between fist and accessory, but in those cases, I was rapidly squeezing the legs without letting the audio clip play out between squeezes. Clearly this is not how you’re supposed to play with the toy. I believe in normal operation conditions, you won’t have any problems at all with the gimmick.
This is not the typical toy I collect. It is definitely built around the rapid change gimmick. While I’m not a fan of these types of toys, I can appreciate this gimmick. It’s a cool way to switch out accessories. For an adult like me, it’s fun for a little bit and I absolutely love hearing Kevin Conroy’s voice coming from this figure but it would just sit on a shelf collecting dust after a while. I am curious how a child would react to this though. I have a feeling a child would play with this so much that the parent would want to turn Batman off permanently.