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.