The Flash is almost here, after years of delays, rewrites, and creative changes. By all accounts so far, it’s a winner for DC and Warner Bros., with winning performances, plenty of laughs and thrills in equal measure, and nostalgia done right. With a major motion picture comes major merchandising opportunities, and the Scarlet Speedster’s first solo outing on the big screen is no different. With tie-ins ranging from fast food promotions to apparel to toys and collectibles, there’s plenty of product out there to satisfy any fan of the hero.
And also Batman, because Batman is also in the movie. Two of them, in fact.
To help us celebrate, Funko and McFarlane have provided two separate Flash figures for review, and I’ve thrown in a Batman Pop I got for my birthday a few months back for good measure. Michael Keaton’s return is what has me most hyped for the film, to be frank, and seeing merch based on his Batman fills my nerd heart with joy. Plus, I just like reviewing toys, so it’s a win all around.
Batman (Previews World exclusive)
Of course I’m starting off with Batman. This is Batman News, after all, and this Pop is pretty sweet.
While this is a Previews World exclusive, it’s pretty easy to track down, and even if you can’t find one the other Keaton Batman Pops are super cool too. This one is extra special, though, because somehow Funko have nailed Keaton’s likeness. It’s in the eyebrows, I think.
Aside from the great head sculpt, the Batsuit looks great too. I’ll admit that I was disappointed that this Batman no longer sports a yellow belt in the film universe, but the gray used here helps break up the black on the suit nicely. That gorgeous yellow oval stands out prominently on his chest, and the armor plating gives depth and dimension without being overly busy.
The pose is lacking in flair, but it isn’t stiff, thanks to our knowledge of this Batman’s demeanor. Plus, the slight billow effect of the cape makes it look like it’s being blown by the wind, giving the Pop a sense of stoic readiness and not plastic rigidity. It’s the perfect look for a Caped Crusader and/guardian of your bookshelf.
A Flash movie wouldn’t be complete without the Flash himself, of course, so naturally the Scarlet Speedster has his own fair share of merchandise. That includes his very own Funko Pop figure, which checks all the boxes you’d expect for a Flash figure, even if it isn’t as cool as Batman.
And I don’t just say that because I like Batman more either. No, this is a fine Pop, with some nice bright reds and good accents, making it… well, pop right off the shelf. The sculpting is quite nice, with the nice little detail of his left foot in mid-step giving it a little sense of movement and a bit more character. Still, the comic Flash has one of the sleekest, most simple costume designs out there, and while this take is oh so much better than the suit from the Justice League films, it still has so many little nooks and ridges that kind of take away from the overall design. Paradoxically, its unnecessary busyness makes it kind of boring, because there’s too much going on to make the look appealing. Like, I get why the lightning bolts on his cowl look like they’re hard metal and flush with his head, but it doesn’t cut quite the same silhouette as those silly little raised bolts from comics and cartoons.
But that’s more a gripe with the design from the movie, and not exclusive to the figure itself. As a translation of the film’s suit in Funko form, this is a fine piece. It even makes the weird segmented boots look okay, which is no mean feat. I only wish the overall figure had a little more going on, like a hunched back and his arms angled in front of and behind him as if he’s running. That would have given more life to a character known for speed and movement, and elevated a pretty good figure to something truly great.
The Flash (Gold Label)
Funko aren’t the only manufacturers getting in on the Flash hype train, though, as McFarlane have introduced a line of figures based on characters from the film. No Batman for us today, unfortunately, but we do have another take on the Flash himself to look at here.
So everything I said about the suit with the Funko Pop applies to this guy, just taller and more proportionate.
Having said that, since this is an action figure with articulation and accessories, there’s a lot more to play with here. The overall build of the figure is solid, with a lot less rigidity than some other McFarlane figures, so that makes it easier to pose. The Miller likeness is pretty spot-on, and the suit actually looks pretty good too, all things said. While the red used for the Funko says “Flash” to me more than the slightly darker hue here, it still works well with this particular figure and as a base for the yellow highlights and piping to work off of. Why the boots are segmented and not solid yellow or gold, I don’t know, but that’s not the fault of the action figure itself.
With articulation at the neck, all through each arm and leg, and two spots on his torso, Flash can be twisted and contorted into some really wacky poses, which also helps sell the one thing he’s know for: running. The center of gravity makes the figure stand up on its own pretty well, even with bent legs, and I was able to easily make some quick adjustments to his limbs to get some cool poses. He also comes with four lightning effect pieces that are pretty standard with McFarlane’s Flash figures, and they’re fun little attachments but nothing truly special. Still, with some creative placement they can be used to create the illusion of speed and movement, which is all you could ask of a Flash figure.
Overall: Despite not loving this look for the Flash, both the Pop and action figure are pretty good representations of this particular version of the speedster. They have little flourishes and embellishments of inspiration here and there, which will surely appeal to more fervent fans of the hero. The Batman Pop, on the other hand, is right up my alley, with a great Keaton likeness considering the trademark limitations in Funko’s detailing, and a nicely detailed suit. All three pieces are just a sampling of the type of product that’s out there, though, with plenty of merch available for fans of all stripes.
Disclaimer: Funko and McFarlane provided both Flash figures for the purpose of this review.