Once again, we take up the love/hate relationship with McFarlane Toys as Dan's ToyBox reviews the DC Multiverse Bane Action Figure. Knightfall was and remains one of my favorite Batman storylines from the 90's. McFarlane drops a beautiful rendition of the Dark Knight's most brutal foe, but as is often the case, there are some issues with McFarlane's offering.
Born in the prison of Pena Duro on the island of Santa Prisca, Bane grew up serving the sentence for his father's crimes. One night, while in solitary, Bane sees a vision of his future self, a powerful leader, only held back by his own internal fear. He must seek out the source of his fear and destroy it. While in prison, Bane meets the three men who would become his loyal henchmen, Bird, Trogg, and Zombie. He learns about Gotham City from Bird and becomes obsessed with destroying her protector... Batman. Not long after, a team of scientists come to the prison, seeking test subjects for a new super-steroid compound called "Venom." Each of the previous candidates turned out to not be physically capable of surviving the drug and the warden soon "volunteers" Bane for the process. Not only does he survive, he thrives with the new power coursing through him. After faking his death, Bane's body is cast into the sea, where he then revives himself, steals an Army helicopter, rescues his partners and takes the warden hostage. Out over the shark infested waters, Bane casts the warden to his death and the four make their way to Gotham City. Bane then begins in earnest his study of the Batman and declares that when he understands why Batman doesn't kill, he will then understand Gotham and will take it over. Bane engineers a plot to free the inmates at Arkham Asylum, knowing Batman will run himself into the ground in his efforts to take down and recapture the villains unleashed. Batman, already dealing with physical and mental ailments, sets himself to the task and while he is able to capture many of the escapees, the process further weakens him. Soon, Batman is forced to run the gauntlet of Bane's three lackeys and though he does defeat them, it comes at great physical cost. Beaten, bloodied, and exhausted, the Dark Knight makes his way home to the safety of the Batcave, but upon entering Wayne Manor, Batman finds himself face to face with... Bane. Though his is physically weakened and mentally drained, the Batman's resolve manifests itself and he leaps into battle. The pair fight through the manor, and soon end up down in the Batcave. Though Batman fights valiantly, in his weakened state he is no match for the Venom fueled monster that is Bane. As Bane's fists pummel the Caped Crusader, his attempts to defend himself and fight back grow weaker and weaker, and soon he finds himself helpless and held aloft, above Bane's head. With a sickening crunch, Bane slams the Batman down over his knee, fracturing the hero's spine. Bane first appeared in "Vengeance of Bane" #1, created by writer Chuck Dixon and artist Graham Nolan. Interesting personal tidbit... I live about an hour away from Mr. Nolan and had the pleasure of hosting him at my old comic shop. I have a beautiful pencil sketch of Bane breaking Batman that Graham drew for me way back in 1998 at my store and it proudly hangs here in the Geek Tower at home.
Our review system is pretty straightforward. Dan's ToyBox discusses four categories: Accessories, Appearance, Articulation, and Affordability. Each category gets a score of zero to ten and at the end, taking each category into account, the figure gets an overall rating of zero (don't waste your money) to ten (buy this bad boy!!!) ToyBoxes. Let's get on with it!
None... I don't count the stupid little black disc stand or the card packaged with the figure. Bane has none, so Bane gets none. Zero out of 10.
Image © Dan's ToyBox 2022
As I've said many times... McFarlane does an outstanding job of giving their figures incredible detail, paint apps, and sculpting. Bane is no exception, though I did have some issues. There is some paint scuffing above the Venom control box on his left arm which isn't bad, but unfortunately, it's easy to notice. I also was a bit distraught when I started posing him to see a bit of paint actually flake off from one of his arms. I think, though, that it was in the actual shoulder joint as I couldn't see any issues on the exterior of the arm itself. Now, that being said the rest of the figure is really well done. The mask details, flesh tones, button and belt buckle, and Venom tubes are painted exceptionally well. The Venom tanks on his back are a nice gunmetal and the harness details are incredible to see. The buckles and clasps on the harness are painted black and stand out very well from the brown harness itself. What is just as impressive is the detail in the mask, pants, and boots. There is a tremendous amount of sculpting going on here which really shows the attention to detail. I've said it before and I'll say it again, McFarlane really crushes it with the look of their figures. I can only imagine the amount of work and time that goes into crafting one of their pieces. I wish the same could be said of their engineering for the articulation, but we'll get to that momentarily. His belt and even boot laces look fantastic and after more closely examining them, I see that the boot laces are painted! This is the most comic accurate looking Bane figure in my collection, granted he didn't have the harness holding the Venom tanks in his original appearance, as the Venom was actually contained in his wrist injection system. For me though, this is the definitive Bane figure for my collection... at least for the time being as we know that Mafex is going to be releasing both the Bruce Wayne Batman and Bane from Knightfall to go with the Azrael-Batman figure that has been out for a couple of months. (At some point, I'm going to order that.) Aside from the few little paint flaws, this is a great looking figure and as a result I'm happy to give it an 8 out of 10 for appearance.
Image © Dan's ToyBox2022
Ohhh, I'm almost sad to have to cover this part simply because, once again, McFarlane's engineering limitations make this figure clunky when posing. Starting at the top, the head was initially very hard to move but I finally got it loosened and it will turn left and right, not very far though and it doesn't look up or down at all. The shoulders are on what looks to be a ball hinge and will raise out to a very nice T pose and rotate 360 degrees. Sadly, this is the best motion on the entire arm. There is no bicep swivel, and the elbow is a single joint that doesn't even reach 90 degrees. The wrists do hinge and swivel which is decent. There is a waist joint, which I initially thought was a ball joint, but now I'm second guessing. There is really no crunch available, but the torso/waist will pivot side to side. His hips are on ratchets and will actually do amazing splits. The legs don't kick back much and when they do kick forward, they tend to swivel outward. There is a very limited hidden swivel, but no actual thigh cut. The knees are double-jointed and bend incredibly well, giving him "heel to backside" range. The ankles do hinge up and down very well, with a surprisingly good pivot to them, and there is toe articulation, though it tends to be a bit sticky. Unfortunately for Bane his articulation is a drawback and only earns a 5 out of 10.
Images © Dan's ToyBox 2022
Bane was initially available through GameStop and retailed at $39.99. I found one on Amazon for the same price. With Hasbro dropping their "Deluxe" Marvel Legends on a very inconsistent price scale, it is nice to see McFarlane remaining consistent with their pricing. The base figures are $19.99 and the MegaFigs are at the $39.99 range. This figure is significantly bigger than the base figures, but the lack of accessories is a big disappointment. Perhaps an alternate head sculpt with damage, or a replaceable damaged Venom tank would have been a nice addition. That being said, the pricing isn't up and down like the competition and for that alone, I will give the affordability a score of 7 out of 10.
Overall, while this is a nice-looking figure, it continues to display the issues that McFarlane figures so commonly deal with... lack of accessories and terrible articulation. Averaging out the four scores above would give this figure a mediocre rating, but the look/appearance helps rescue it just a bit, giving the McFarlane Toys Bane Action Figure an overall rating of:
6 out of 10 ToyBoxes
Bane is a bit above average but isn't necessarily a figure that you NEED in your collection, especially with the Mafex coming within the next year or so. Thank you so much for taking your time to drop by Dan's ToyBox and until next time, as always... GEEK OUT!!!