|PACKAGING – In no doubt a dual effort to have continuity with the lines and save money, the Arkham City packaging is the exact same as the Arkham Asylum packaging from that previous series of figures. The blister is in the shape of Batman’s cowl sitting against a card back. The figure is displayed in plain view with all the accessories easy to see as well. The bottom part of the figure is covered up by the insert featuring the Batman: Arkham City game logo. Behind the figure is a neat cityscape render from the game of Arkham City.
The back of the package has a group shot of every figure available in series 3, as well as gives us a brief description of the plot of Arkham City. With the blister being in the shape of Batman’s cowl, it’s a very eye catching packaging. It definitely stands out as unique on any toy pegs. And for the MOC collectors, it provides some continuity with the previous line.
SCULPT – Azrael is rendered quite beautifully in action figure form. It’s a phenomenal recreation of the game design. He features a white, tattered tunic laying over his armor and has this really great cloth texture sculpted into it that makes it look real. His armor is a mix of medieval and modern. He wears modern para-militaristic pants and boots, but is also wearing chain mail and wears some elegantly designed armor on his right arm and shoulder. There’s a ton of intricate detail in the design, it took me a long time to really look it over.
He has all sorts of straps and buckles on him meant for holding his sword and keeping certain tools on his belt. He looks to have some sort of grenades or smoke bombs hanging from his belt. On his left arm, he’s wearing some sort of bladed gauntlet with hoses running from it to the back of his armor, indicating that the blades pop out via air compression. It’s a fantastic attention to detail that helps give his design credibility. Nothing on him is just for show.
He wears a cape on his back, and it’s attached in three long strips no either shoulder. This is of course an homage to the comic book version of Azrael, who wore a similar, albeit more flamboyant version of this style of cape. I like the subtlety used here though.
The head sculpt has him wearing a full head mask. It almost looks like some weird Hockey mask, but works for the design. It’s very cool how you can see his eyes underneath, sunken behind the mask. He wears a hood over that, as is common with the Azrael character. The sculptors over at DC Collectibles did a truly amazing job at staying faithful to the game design.
PAINT – A nearly equally amazing job was done in painting the figure. There’s so much detail painted in to the figure, I don’t know where to begin, but I’ll try. His main color scheme is a mix of reds and blacks, with the tunic painted white.
The painters really utilized that amazing cloth texture on the tunic for the paint job and applied some great washes and dry brushes to make it look old, worn, and dirty. There’s a crucifix painted on the tunic that looks fantastic and has blended, imperfect edges where you can really make out the cloth texture in the tunic. This is a perfect example of really marrying the sculpt and paint to help make the figure stand out. And it makes it look all the more real.
There’s some really great dry brush effects on his armor that really help bring out the detail. Specifically, the armor on his right arm. It’s painted red, and then dirtied up and has this metallic dry brushing over it, which gives it this really great worn look. There are some random paint spots on his upper arm near his shoulder pauldron I feel is worth mentioning. It’s not a big problem or anything, but it is there.
The head looks just as great as everything else. His eyes are not without detail, even though they’re so sunk into the mask. You can still makeout his iris and pupil in each eye. It’s just really surprising the level of detail they’re able to put into the paint jobs of figures these days.
ARTICULATION – Azrael has a ball jointed neck, ball jointed shoulders, rotators at the gloves, cut hips, single knees, and boot rotators.
Not really a great amount of articulation. There’s maybe 2 or 3 really good poses you could get him into, but other than that he’s mostly going to be there just looking cool. He doesn’t even has a waist swivel, which is really disappointing, especially considering the recent updated articulation in many DC Collectibles figures.
I know that the next series of Akham City figures will feature a new Batman with an updated super articulation model, but having something similar on the older figures sure would be nice as well. His shoulder pauldron is on a hinge though, so it won’t get in the way of you posing his right arm. I do think that is a nice touch, but if he at least had bicep swivels, waist swivel, and some variation of hip hinges or balls, it would seriously improve the figure. He does look cool though.
ACCESSORIES – Azrael comes with his sword and a scabbard to keep it in. The sword looks really great and is appropriately sized for the figure. The scabbard is made to look as if it was wrapped and it comes across very nicely. The sword fits neatly inside the scabbard and is easy to remove. There’s a loop on his belt for the scabbard to slide into and hang from his side.
I would like to point out though, that without the sword in the scabbard, it just falls out of the loop. The hand guard on the sword is what keeps it at his side, since it catches on the loop. So with the sword gone, there’s nothing keeping it there. It can kind of stay for a few seconds, and I managed to get it to that long enough to snap a picture, but it fell out almost immediately after. That is pretty annoying, since I doubt anyone would pose Azrael without his sword in his hand. You could get it to stay with poster tack, or something similar, but you definitely shouldn’t have to. That should have been worked out beforehand.
FUN – This figure is a ton of fun to look at, but not much to play with. As a supposed collector figure, more detail is put into how it looks as opposed to how it moves. For me, being able to pose the figure is half the fun of it. When you can find a great balance between sculpt and articulation, then you have a truly fun figure. As it is here, this is a really great collectible piece, but not necessarily a fun figure.
QUALITY CONTROL/THINGS TO WATCH OUT FOR – One of the blades on his right arm gauntlet was warped. He has three blades extending from it, two of which were fine, but one of which was extremely warped. If you can, get a good look of the figure in package before buying and find one that doesn’t have it warped. I don’t know if it’s a widespread problem, but it’s definitely something to watch for.
OVERALL – This figure has a truly amazing sculpt and paint job, and you can very much appreciate the artistry that went into creating him. It’s about as perfect of a recreation of the game design as you can get. The sword he comes with is great, and very character appropriate, but without it holstered, the scabbard can’t be hanging by his side, which is annoying to say the least.
Unfortunately, the articulation is extremely lacking. DC Collectibles has been trying to add more and more articulation into their figures recently, and Azrael here just seems like a step back in that regard. Still though, for what Azrael is meant to be, a great looking collector piece, he does accomplish that. If you don’t care about the articulation, I definitely recommend getting him, because if nothing else, he looks amazing on a shelf next to your other Arkham figures.
FINAL SCORE: 3 / 5
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