The fine folks over at DC Collectibles let me get my dirty mitts all over one of their latest waves of collectibles based on creator-specifc runs of comics. Li’l Gotham is the brain child of Dustin Nguyen and Derek Fridolfs. Their all-ages monthly romp through the Batverse focuses on a different holiday each month (even if there isn’t a holiday). It is also one of the prettiest books out there, showcasing Nguyen’s full watercolors and his very distinctive depictions of the Bat Family and their Rogues Gallery.
I’m happy to say that his style makes the transition to 3-D rather nicely. The sculpts really capture the chibi quality of Nguyen’s art and have tons of personality just sitting in the package. Once you break them out, the figures aren’t winning any size contests, but then, based on the art alone, I’d expect these to be smaller figures.
Joker and Harley are the real winners in my house. It could just be because Harley is the only girl to grace this first wave or the fact she comes with a giant hammer (which, unfortunately, she can’t hold, just pose with) AND a little hyena AND a Mr. J doll; but I could barely snap a few pics before she was taken from me to go chat with my daughter’s other superhero figures. Joker is also adorable. More rapscallion than homicidal maniac here, his accompanying hyena has more gravitas than he does. I love that.
Batman is the hefty Dark Knight to this bunch. And while he has little in the way of accessories (though the grappling gun hand is nice), he’s got size on his side. The paint job is top notch as well, with just the right amount of weathering on the buckle of his utility belt and his logo. Robin has a nice pair of bats (ha!) to make up for his lack of stature (he’s the smallest out of all the figs); but they don’t peg together well – if your kids play with these, they’re going to lose them immediately.
Surprisingly enough, all the figures have a nice bit of articulation (shoulders, hips, and neck) for what I’d consider a “transition” toy. They’re not vinyl collectibles, but neither are they “normal” action figures like The Justice League figures we gave away last month. Harley, in particular, has some super small parts; play with her too hard and she’s not making it out in one piece. Ultimately, these will be figures you want to keep on your shelf.
Those are just quibbles, though. DC Collectibles set out to create action figures that are faithful to the Li’l Gotham art style and attitude and they’ve succeeded tremendously. I’d love to see more waves with some of the other villains featured in the comic. Nguyen has crammed nearly everyone in there at some point, so they’ve got a vast selection to choose from! Grab the set to add some pint-sized fun to your DC/Batman collection (if you can keep your daughter from stealing your Harley).