A lot of fans find this entire generation of the Dark Knight to be too silly, but I embrace it. Surf's Up Batman is such an incredible ode to his era that I couldn't think of a better design. The kids liked surfing then - there was surf music, surf movies, and for some reason Batman got in on the action, reflecting the tastes of an era while also paving the way to future more serious Batman projects by familiarizing an entire generation with the denizens of Gotham City. Truly, this figure stands proud as a monument to a pop culture Trojan horse.
Measuring about 6 1/8-inches tall, Batman is the same Batman you get on a single card, with one slight change - the upper thighs and waist segments are replaced with board shorts. The articulation is the same, as is the basic sculpt, so the question here is basically "does it look cool?" or "can he stand on his board?" The answers are "yup!" and "pretty much."
With 21 points of articulation, Batman has zero problems hanging ten - the problems all come from the board itself, which has a piece that hangs down preventing the board from laying flat on a shelf or desk or table. You'll have to elevate the board in order for it to stand up properly, which is annoying but understandable. Batman can also hold the board, as an other lip was added that just fits perfectly into his hand. For this reason, this figure arguably trumps the standard version of Batman - at least the Surf's Up model has an accessory!
Retaining the same Adam West sculpt and physique, this figure has no problems standing, sitting, or generally looking cool. You can opt to put him on the "BIFF!!" display base, which pays homage to the large, cartoony bursts which appeared on the TV show during two-fisted action sequences. This may also be one of Mattel's last Batman figures in this particular line, as they've been mum about new ones. I personally doubt the license will be left on the shelf, as we're still owed one Ms. Yvonne Craig as Batgirl and, if Mattel is smart, a Bruce Wayne figure.
With four versions of Batman and counting, this line is on the verge of overdoing it - but the figures are so charming and generally varied that I'm OK with them. Batusi Batman is a must, and Surf's Up Batman is another great example of how the show really did worm its way into a generation of fans without all of the grit or intensity that we have today. Granted, one was a campy showcase which allowed TV manufacturers to showcase the key feature of the then-new "color" televisions, and the other is a multi-billion dollar film franchise, but it does show the flexible nature of the character and it gives me hope that we're going to see more and more takes on the Caped Crusader that will hopefully continue to be fun in the future. But I doubt it'll ever be this much fun again.
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