Two issues of Horizon’s Keaton Batman; what’s the difference?

[caption id="attachment_698" align="aligncenter" width="675" caption="The gray-vinyl kit at left is the later issue of the Michael Keaton Batman from "Batman Returns"."]The gray-vinyl kit at left is the later issue of the Michael Keaton Batman from "Batman Returns".[/caption] [caption id="attachment_704" align="alignright" width="328" caption="Darkened and contrasted this photo to help show the details."]Darkened and contrasted this photo to help show the details.[/caption]

Horizon Original’s Michael Keaton Batman from “Batman Returns” may be my favorite superhero kit. Sculpted by Steve Wang, it is a wonderfully dynamic portrayal of the Dark Knight produced by a great company. Plus, it’s vinyl, and despite my “Resin” blog name, vinyl is generally my preferred medium for garage kits.

This kit was made available twice, first in a nice large box, plenty of room for the kit, with some neat images from the movie (and by the way, despite my fondness for the costume, I didn’t think much of “Batman Returns”). The second issue was in a much smaller box and the parts are stuffed in.

I heard some time back that the second issue of the kit had a somewhat better likeness of Keaton, possibly because someone, somewhere, decided to soften some of Mr. Wang’s detail before releasing the kit first time around. I glanced at them to see if I could figure out what was different, but never really examined them until today.

Here’s my conclusion: It’s true, the second version of the kit does look better. It’s hard to tell because the first one is cast in a creamy vinyl that makes it difficult to see some of the detail, while the second is in a nice primer-colored gray. But the first one does look a little softer. There’s more of a sneer to the second one, possibly because the lips are a bit more full. Some details to the jowls are more defined as well.

The curve to the bat-ears, by the way, is not a difference between the two versions. It just reflects how much the second kit was stuffed into its box. I’ll have to heat those and straighten them up when I finally get around to building the kit.

Both versions are terrific, but the second looks a little better. Given the change in parts breakdown, though, I think it will also be harder to build.

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  • Todd P.
    Posted October 5, 2009 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

    I asked Steve Wang himself, via e-mail, whether it was true that the two runs of the kit are slightly different. He confirmed they are. His exact words:

    “It’s true. The original vinyl run that was in white was the bad keaton face and Horizon did a second run in a blue vinyl that was the original good Keaton face.

    “If you look at the original box art, even for the first run, it was the original face even though the content was different.”

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