25 April 2022
A look at high-quality diecast superhero figures from Tomica of Japan
The 2016 film, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, was the second instalment of the interconnected series of films known as the ‘DC Extended Universe’ – following Man of Steel from 2013. Both of these films had a significantly darker tone This was notable for being the first cinematic meeting of the two title characters. Both heroes had featured in several solo movies, but had never appeared together on the big screen. Of course, they had been teaming up in the comic books since the 1950s, and appeared together in animated cartoons.
After witnessing the damage and destruction caused by Superman fighting Kryptonian criminals, Batman regards Superman as a dangerous loose cannon. Superman, on the other hand, is less than impressed by Batman’s brutal methods of dealing with crime. Both heroes are independently suspicious of young entrepreneur Lex Luthor, as is an exotic woman named Diana Prince, whose alter-ego is Wonder Woman.
Tomica released three diecast figures, based on the film, as part of its ‘Metacolle’ range (short for ‘metal collectibles’). These were marketed under the name of the parent company, Takara Tomy - presumably because they aren't vehicles.
The DC Comics range only consisted of three items – Superman and two versions of Batman. Surprisingly, there was no Wonder Woman figurine. The figures were made to an impressive standard and are incredibly well-detailed, given their small size of around 8cm tall. They had diecast metal torsos and legs, with the heads and arms in plastic. There are four points of articulation – at the waist, the neck, and both shoulders, meaning they could be posed in different positions.
Superman is wearing his new-look costume without the red shorts. His super-suit is in dark blue with the seams very finely touched in with light blue. His boots are dark red with bright red piping, and his belt is gold. The S-logo on his chest is very accurately printed in red with a gold background. His face and hands are finished in flesh-tone, with blue eyes, black eyebrows and shiny black hair. The cape is supplied as a separate piece, and is made of thick vinyl painted bright red.
The Batman model represents the older, harder, weather-beaten version of The Dark Knight, as played in the film by Ben Affleck. His costume is all grey and black, and has a very large black bat-emblem on the chest. His gloves, boots and utility belt are black with gold highlights, although the piping on his suit is not highlighted. The cape is fixed in place by the head. His lower face is painted flesh-tone, and resembles Affleck’s rugged jawline. Included in the box is a small gun which can be fitted into Batman’s hand. This is a grappling gun used for scaling buildings.
This heavy, chunky figure shows Batman in the armoured costume used to battle Superman. The exo-suit is panted gunmetal-grey with gold trim and belt, plus a black strap around his upper body. The helmet and arms are also dark grey, but without a matching metallic finish. His eye-slits are white, as these were back-lit in the film. The cape is a separate, substantial piece of black vinyl, and has a stud that clips onto a hole in Batman’s back. The powerful looking weapon is the Kryptonite pellet launcher used against Superman.
The figures came packaged in card boxes, similar to Tomica models. The box panels featured photos of the enclosed figure in several different poses. Surprisingly, there was no model of the Batman v Superman Batmobile in the Tomica range, although there would later be one from the following film, Justice League.
These are figurines may not appear to all readers, but are diecast, and related to one of our favourite model car brands, Tomica. They are only licensed for sale in Japan and neighbouring Far-Eastern countries. I actually bought mine while in transit at Singapore Airport, where they cost the equivalent of about £9 each.