NECA’s 18-inch figures are practically a line unto themselves, and one of my favorite ones to collect. While some enjoy shared universes of figures via Lego or Minimates or Funko, I like that I can have Alien and Predator and the Crow and Marv and Batman and even Kurt Cobain standing side by side like a highly warped Expendables crew. My Adam West Batman broke out of the package – I suspect due to an unscrupulous dealer who knew it would, and that I couldn’t come back for a refund – but yesterday I got his faithful companion, Robin as my first-ever NECA press sample. And NECA even offered to try to get Batman’s leg back on, which is crazy-good customer service.
Robin comes in a box that looks identical to Batman’s. It isn’t, quite – Batman’s is a tad bit wider, and the back features Robin-specific imagery. They’ll display well together, though, if you like to keep figures sealed.
He’s held in place with a ton of twist-ties that will drive you mad if you attempt undoing them all by hand, and his hands are held on the end of his arms by little plastic baggies. This is because he features multiple, interchangeable hands, and they come off quite easily – attempt any non-neutral pose, and you’ll probably have them pop off, though they pop right back on, and that is a better problem to have than the figures where it feels like you’ll break the hands by pulling them off. The hands will stay on if you leave the figure alone in place, but in the box and in transit, they can fall off. Hence the baggies.
With a lighter, slimmer body than most NECA 18-inchers and a ton of articulation, Robin is very poseable. His hip joints are ratchets, with nice loud clicks. His arms have double-elbows as well as ball shoulders, sleeve cuts, glove cuts and ball wrists. Add in the choices of hands and you can get some unique poses…
He’s standing unsupported by himself there, incidentally. Pretty good for carpet.
The knees are not double-jointed, most likely because the sculpt goes for a “bunched-tights” look at those joints. The ball hinge inside is well-concealed.
Also note that his undies are rubbery, so when you move him at the hips, they bunch up.
The one joint I’m nervous about is one I’ve been equally nervous with on other NECA 18-inchers, notably Captain America – the waist. It feels like if you force it it could break and twist apart entirely. With gentle prodding I can move it about 15 degrees each direction, but it means that there aren’t many body turns being done. There may also be a limited ab-crunch under the tunic, but it’s tough to tell.
Action poses are not a problem overall, however.
Check out the accessories! Robin comes with a clip on breath mask that’s contoured to fit his nose and chin, a Batarang with Batrope attached at one end, a Bat-communicator, and Bat-cuffs that open and close (a bit too easily, but never mind).
Most importantly, does he look like Burt Ward? The mask’s not removable, but I’d say yes.
Obviously, 1966 Robin is a more desirable figure if you already have the right Batman. But even if you’re just a Robin fan in general, you might want to consider him anyway, since I suspect the odds are long on NECA doing a different Robin in this scale. Burt Ward is the most pop-culturally recognizable rendition – I happen to like Chris O’Donnell’s nipply faux-Nightwing outfi, but will certainly not hold my breath – and so if you want a Robin to pose with any Batman in this size, be it the Michael Keaton version, the Arkham game version, or the Christian Bale one NECA has said is coming eventually, buy this one while you can. You can always pose him being murdered by the Heath Ledger Joker.
I look forward to the repair of his proper companion, but in the meantime, my Robin is going to have to learn how to take care of himself in the big leagues. I think he’ll be fine, but…Holy initiation!