Monday, March 2, 2015

Batman - The Dark Knight Collection (Kenner)

Batman - The Dark Knight Collection

Let it never be said we don't listen to our readers. Here is another post as requested by Gregory Jackson on our Facebook page.

A successful comic book movie was relatively unheard of with the exception of the 1978 Superman movie and its equally successful sequel in 1981. As such, when Batman took movie goers by storm in 1989, many were caught off guard by its massive success. Merchandising went into full swing as Batmania once again swept the world.

Movie history side note - In addition to Batman, June and July of 1989 saw a massive release of blockbusters hitting cinemas; Ghostbusters II, Honey I Shrunk the Kids, Lethal Weapon 2, When Harry Met Sally, and Weekend at Bernies all competed for the number one spot. In addition to those films, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade which hit theaters in May was still filling theater seats. It was because these movies were still dominating the box office that Weird Al Yankovic's film, UHF was deemed such a bomb when it was released in July. This cult classic comedy simply couldn't compete with such a strong box office.

In 1989, Toy Biz was behind the helm, and produced some iconinc action figures based on the original Tim Burton film. However by 1991 that license had shifted to Kenner where it would remain for several years after. Rather than continue to produce toys directly aimed at the movie, Kenner instead focused on an all new series - The Dark Knight Collection. Granted the figures were based on the likenesses as seen in the films, as were a handful of the vehicles.

However, Kenner's first entry into the world of Batman toys would also be the start of what would eventually kill it - Oversaturation of Batman variants. Beyond Joker and Batman, the series offered fan nothing in terms of figures with the exception of various suited styles of these same two figures - Batman more so than Joker.

Bruce Wayne*Crime Attack Batman*Iron Winch Batman
Knock-Out Joker*Powerwing Batman

Iron Winch Batman was an exciting figure for many fans as it showcased the character in his classic blue and gray outfit. Something that many Batman series moving forward would fail to do. New suits are great and all, but all classic Batman fans love the original colors.

Shadow Wing Batman*Sky Escape Joker*Tec-Shield Batman
Thunderwhip Batman*Wall Scaler Batman

The series also included a sub series of Deluxe Crime Master Edition figures. Each one was yet another Batman figure, but came packed with a massive accessory to attach to it.

Blast Shield Batman*Claw Climber Batman
Night Glider Batman

Unlike a lot of toy lines which deliver on the figures, then drop the ball on vehicles, The Dark Knight Collection showcased many fantastic vehicles to collect. To date they're some of the best for any Batman series, and Kenner really left no stone unturned when it came to capturing just about every type of mobile ride possible.


Bola Bullet*Strikewing
Batcycle*The Joker Cycle

Turbojet Batwing

The Dark Knight Collection is relatively small in terms of action figures based on such an iconic character, however this was most likely because as the toys were hitting shelves, Kenner was already switching gears to focus on the upcoming Batman Returns film which was released right on this series heels in 1992.

We hope you've enjoyed this look at the series, and don't forget, if you have a particular line of toys you'd like to see here, ask! We're happy to look into as many lines as we can, and post what we find.

Join us next time when we take a look at The Matrix!

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