Kenner Batman: The Animated Movie Mask of the Phantasm Phantasm Kenner, 1994
Day #444: July 17, 2012
Phantasm Once rare, now cheap
Batman: The Animated Movie Mask of the Phantasm Action Figure
Item No.: n/a Manufacturer:Kenner Includes:Gun, removable mask, scythe arm weapon Action Feature:Chopping Arm Action Retail:$5.99 Availability: ca. 1993 Other: The first (and best) release
Shorter than the average figure in the line, The Phantasm was the title character of the first "DCAU" animated movie. While the marketing tried really hard to keep the character's true identity secret, Kenner packaged her with the mask off to the side so it was obvious it was really Bruce's lady friend Andrea Beaumont. The movie was intended for home video but released to theaters on sort of short notice, so the action figure line was kind of a pain. Figures could be had, but the Phantasm, unsurprisingly, was super-scarce for years in the USA, but was reportedly pretty easy to get in Europe. This was the story for numerous Kenner releases in the 1990s. For quite a while, she was a $20-$30 figure, today she isn't even a $10 figure. A repaint was reissued in a gift set later, but you don't want that. Get the original as seen here.
The figure isn't half bad, but she does contain some of the lesser elements of Kenner figures of her day. Her skin is a little shiny, she has difficulty standing on her own due to the leg poses, and the decision to give her a "quick change" costume was, if you ask me, weak. It's a neat feature, don't get me wrong, and at the time it was pretty uncommon to have a secondary character, beyond the hero, get an "unmasking" feature. That kind of thing was reserved for Batman himself, and few to no others.
The figure interacts with her accessories flawlessly, and her blade weapon fits, appropriately, like a glove. He has no problems holding her glove and the mask is pretty much a perfect fit, plus it has a cloth element which adds to the figure's bulk while masking her true identity/gender. The overall look of the costumed villain is great, but the human head underneath needs some work. The hair is pretty striking, but both the Phantasm and Poison Ivy could have stood to get some improvement in the sculpt and/or deco department.
She's cheap now, so she's totally worth getting. The line as a whole is quite good, although one depressing aspect of Kenner's line is as it dwindled, new figures were released only in 4-packs at Toys R Us. This means if you wanted Alfred, Commissioner Gordon, or a decent Batgirl, it was going to cost you $20 and force one or more Batman figures down your throat. The prices of these sets has only continued to go up, so in case you were curious, that's what drove me away from the line before Kenner gave up the license and Mattel got it. Gift sets are not a good thing most of the time.
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