Batman Beyond has magic in it. Simple fact, it should not have worked. First airing in 2000, the show lagged 8 years behind Marvel’s 2099 comic book label. The whole futuristic re-imagining of heroes shtick was played out. Furthermore, the young protagonists with attitude picking up the hero mantle with a rocking theme song had failed for Extreme Ghostbusters just three years before. But, the Batman Beyond show is great, schway even. Not only that, it cemented itself in the heart of DC Animated Universe with Justice League Unlimited’s most epic plot twist #KeepEpilogueASecret. Terry McGinnis, our Batman of the future, and his mentorship with the retired and aging Bruce Wayne was the pitch-perfect follow-up to Batman: The Animated Series and The New Batman Adventures. And, thanks in no small part to the passion and creativity of Bruce Timm, Paul Dini, and Alan Burnett, Terry McGinnis has had a steady stream of plastic likenesses.
After years of lackluster DC Multiverse releases, Mattel stepped up their game for the final waves of their 3-year tenure. You know, right before losing the license to McFarlane Toys. And, whether you love or hate ToddFather’s creations, it’s difficult not to contemplate what might have been if only Mattel had held on for a little longer. Sure, a lot of the Mattel accessories were a bit bulky, some of the sculpts blocky, but there were signs of something greater to come. Take, for instance, the Mattel Multiverse Batman Beyond action figure. While the recent McFarlane releases of McGinnis have much more detail and accessories, the Mattel version has a simplicity that just better suits the character. The whole McFarlane lineup is crafted wildly, seemingly from over-stylized sources rooted in various artist’s interpretations. For collectors, this is a major drawback since it just doesn’t provide a cohesive look for a collection. The Mattel McGinnis also sports removable wings, which is one of those obvious misses the McFarlane figures are becoming known for. And, if you’re about to say, “you just need to put the figure in boiling water”, allow me to stop right there, just – no. Sure, the Mattel wings could have used a bit more detail, but it’s the functionality that you want and expect. As previously mentioned, the batarangs have that trademark Mattel chonkiness. But, you do get the expected batarang style. Ya know, without having to hunt down an alternative Target exclusive version. Plus, Mattel provided two heads and two sets of hands before that practice was more commonplace. Looking at this Mattel Multiverse Batman Beyond it is hard not to visualize that different timeline in which Mattel produced a 6” DC line that rivaled Marvel Legends. Or, perhaps a distant future.
Check for availability at TC’s Rockets in San Diego