Finally got the chance to own this magnificent diorama sculpted by the uber talented Ray Villafane. Not only is Ray amazingly talented at sculpting our superheroes and villains, he is also very well known for sculpting Pumpkins! He was once a guest on the Martha Stewart show, and Martha called Ray the “Michaelangelo” of pumpkin carving. That’s not all, he can even sculpt with sand. He competed in the World Championship of Sandsculpting Competition in Federal Way, Washington in September 2010 taking 1st place in the double's category alongside John Gowdy.
Knowing that such a versatile sculptor who can sculpt so many subjects in different mediums, The DC Collectibles’s Batman VS Killer Croc was truly crafted by a great master of his craft and would make any collector proud.
This diorama has 2 editions. The 1st Edition was released sometime in 2012. The 1st Edition had Batman in the colour scheme of Blue and Gray. Matching the colours of his costume as he appeared in the Batman Hush comics storyline by Jim Lee, of which the statue is based on. The 2nd Edition has Batman in Black and Grey, and was released sometime in late 2013.
First thing I want to say is this diorama packs so much fine details, I had a hard time hesitating how to lift it out of the styrofoam box. There was no ideal spot to grab it and take it out. Usually with other statues, I grab by the waist and support it by grabbing the base with my other hand. But Batman Vs Killer Croc, you've got debris every where sticking onto Croc, you've got tiny Batarangs, you've got the skeletons with fine bony fingers that could crack or snap at the slightest pressure, construction steel bars on the base, & etc. Finally I still went for the waist. I wasn't going to grab the bat or croc's arm.
But halfway out, dang it, a batarang got caught in the styrofoam box, geez, I hope I didn't yank it too hard.
Too much small and fine and delicate pieces all over the place! But it's still such a beauty as a whole! That's what great about it. But, I would suggest DC Collectibles do what SideShow does. Seperate the pieces. Debris pieces as seperate, Batman as seperate, the Batarang with steel wire ropes, seperate. A little self assembly for the collector. It's better at preventing breakage during shipping or unboxing.
Ok, with that out of the way. The statue itself is magnificent. If you haven't made up your mind and think that "Oh, this can never beat the first edition, the first edition had airbrushed shadows and tones and is so much better," well you have nothing to worry about. This second edition is not here to beat the first edition. It's a different paint scheme version. It's in a league of its own. I always liked Batman in black and grey more than blue and grey. Although to be precise, in the Hush story series, it was Blue and Grey. The paint application is one of the best I've seen on DC Collectibles. I haven't seen paint jobs like this since my Adam Hughes Cover Girls of The DC Universe first release and series of WW, Black Canary, Zatanna,PowerGirl and Catwoman. It's great. No wobbly paint lines, no paint bleeds, and the teeth are nicely painted.
Mine is not 100% perfect. Not going to dress this up and give you the wrong impression and mislead you.
I still had to check the statue carefully. One box at the shop had broken but glued back Batarang. Mine has a small dent on the Utility belt buckle. Like a ballpoint pen dot, and one batarang has one bat-ear shorter than the other. But it doesn't look like a break, if it broke in the box, it should reveal white at the break. Anyhow, since the batarang is positioned as swinging back in after tying Croc's upper jaw, it's kind of like a perspective effect, whereby one bat-ear is shorter than the other on the batarang.
Other than that, the paint application on croc's skin is beautiful. All the fine details of reptilian skin in polytone glory. It's mouth, it's teeth, carefully painted. The texture on the asphalt, croc's bandages, wow, up close, the texture is almost true-to-life-like real medical bandages. Only small minus points is on one part of the bandages for the left hand, perhaps a bit too much paint applied, so a bit of bandage texture seemed smoothed out.
An online video commentator said the Dark Knight's leg is too long. But, if you ask me, it looks fine. Our Batman is proportionate, don't worry.
I have absolutely no regrets. I always liked this diorama, but back then I was broke ass as I was doing a full time self financed study course to learn graphic design. I'm glad I had the second chance to get this great sculpt.
Sculpt : 9
Paint : 8
Base : 9
Accuracy : 8
Final Score: 8.5
One thing for sure, I hope I don't move to another house for a long time, I don't want to put this back in the styrofoam box with all the fragile details on it. :P
"Tell me I’ve got nice teeth! Say it, Killer Croc! No?!? Have some more knee, Bat-Knee!" said Batman.
Behold, glorious black batwings!