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Kenner Batman The Dark Knight 1990

Kenner Batman The Dark Knight 1990. In 1990 the Batman license moved from Toy Biz to Kenner and Kenner released two “waves” of Batman: The Dark Knight figures. The first wave in 1990 with six Batman variants and one Joker and the second wave in 1991 with two Batman variants and another Joker figure. 

Unlike the upbeat cartoony style look of the earlier Toy Biz figures these Kenner Batman figures were more realistic and detailed in design. The biggest problem with this line was its over dependence on Batman variants. Out of the 20 or so figures released by Kenner only two none-Batman figures were released, and these were both of the Joker.

All the Kenner Batman figures in both these waves, except two, used a retooled and repainted Batman sculpt from the Kenner Superpowers line, released in 1984. 

Kenner also released a series of vehicles to go with the first wave of figures. Many of these vehicles, like the Batman figure, were retooled versions from previous Kenner toy lines such as Robo Cop, Ultra-Police and Silverhawk. Kenner also released a subset of “Deluxe” figures which were just re-tooled and re-painted versions of previously released figures with bigger and better accessories.

The only difference between the Kenner Batman Dark Knight sculpts, and the Superpower Kenner Batman was the head sculpt, a sculpted belt on the Dark Knight Batman and no knee articulation (which the Superpowers Batman had). 

All the Dark Knight figures had Kenner’s standard hip and arm joints and a swivel head joint. His left hand on most of these was sculpted with a clenched left fist whereas his right hand was sculpted open in order that he could hold and use his many accessories. 

Most of these variant Kenner Batman figures also came with a removable cloth cape that was attached by a C-clip to Batman’s neck. Unfortunately, the cloth that this was made from was not very strong and therefore was easily damaged or lost.

One of the main characteristics of this line, which significantly impacted its success, was its flexible and collector friendly design and packaging. 

This was also the first DC line to feature Kenner’s standard 5-points of articulation and the concept of variant figures. Despite the many variations of Batman, and unlike the previous Toy Biz Batman line, the complete line of the Kenner figures remains popular and in demand even today.

Each of the Kenner Batman figures came on a standard backing card (except the Joker figures) with the bubble enclosed figure on the bottom half and the top half featuring a Michael Keaton picture on the left and the Batman emblem and title etc. on the right with an inset picture of the actual figure. 

The reverse of the cards had images of all the figures, except the wave two figures, and vehicles on the bottom half and any action feature instructions at the top.

These Kenner Batman figures and vehicles were hyped-up in their 1990 Toy Guide, but many of them were not realized or released until much later, if at all. For example, the Joker mobile and the Batcave Command Centre.

Unlike many of today’s toys, which seem to be made more for the collector, back in the 80s and 90s they were made to be played with so the accessories and action features were an important part of any toy line, as were the vehicles and playsets.

Kenner Batman The Dark Knight Series 1

  • Crime Attack Batman 
  • Tec-Shield Batman
  • Wall Scaler Batman
  • Sky Escape Joker 
  • Iron Winch Batman
  • Shadow Wing Batman
  • Bruce Wayne

The first figure we are going to look at is the Crime Attack Batman from the first wave released in 1990.

Crime Attack Batman

Crime Attack Batman was probably the most popular of the Kenner Batman figures in this line.  He had a classic solid black paint scheme with a gold belt and a comic book style Batman logo, rather than the logo from the movie, on his chest and a removable black cape with a C-clip that fitted around his neck to attach it.

The Michael Keaton head sculpt was particularly good and remarkably close in likeness considering its scale and the fact that this was before real scan technology was used and everything was hand sculpted. The body and hand sculpts were also well made and detailed.

 He came with two accessories, a capture claw and a Batmarang with a working spring-loaded launcher. The launcher was gold in color, as was Batman’s belt. The armor he was sculpted wearing was also a slightly different design to the one featured in the movie.

 His head had swivel articulation and could turn a full 360 degrees and his arms could also fully rotated round. His legs had limited articulation, with only a backwards and forwards movement.

With his classic look and solid black paintwork, this figure was the closest in look to the Michael Keaton Kenner Batman figure in the movie.

 MOC $27 - $64.99 Av $40

 Loose $9.50 - $16.99 Av $10.99

Tech Shield Batman

This was the only Dark Knight Batman that was not re-issued in the Kenner Batman Returns line. This Kenner Batman figure featured him wearing a gold Tec Shield armor suite, a black belt, gauntlets and cowl and a gold bat emblem on his chest. 

This was another retooled and repainted solid Gold Superpowers Kenner Batman, so the sculpting for this figure was the same as the others. The gold and black colors actually looked really good together, although this costume was never featured in the movie or comic book. 

His Tech Shield “flight pack” accessory was a re-issue from Condor in the Silverhawks line. There were two variations of the Tec pack, one with gold tipped wings and turbine and the other with metal grey wing tips and turbine, the grey one being the rarer of the two although the gold one looks better. 

The Tech Shield flight pack attached to his back and there was a lever at the bottom that when pulled down made the wings snap out.

As with all these Kenner Batman figures, he had the standard basic 5-points articulation on the arms, hips, and head.

MOC $9.99 - $40 Av $19.99

Loose $2.99 – 14.99 Av $9.99

Wall Scaler Batman

The colors used on the Wall Scaler Batman were unrelated to anything in the comic book or the movie with a sky-blue body and dark blue boots, gloves, trunks, cowl, and removable cape giving him a very classic 60’s look. The paintwork was well applied with little overlap or bleeding.

This  Kenner Batman figure came with a “wall-scaler” backpack that consisted of a grappling look attached to the pack by a retractable rope that went through the pack. This grappling hook could latch on to any tall builders or obstacles Batman needed to scale and when his rope was pulled, he slid up to the top.  

MOC $19.89 - $34.99 Av $29.99

 Loose $4.00 - $11.70 Av $7

Iron Winch Batman

The Iron Winch Kenner Batman had a grey suite similar in style to the Tec Shield Batman, but the grey on this figure was a lot lighter, the blue used on his cape, gauntlets, cowl and gloves was also slightly lighter than the blue on the Tec Shield Batman. He also had a gold belt and logo, which was fairly standard for this line. 

For an accessory he had an Iron Winch and batarang from the movies.  The batarang was attached to the winch with some rope so that it could be used for scaling walls and builders or capturing villains. 

However, due to fears of it being a choking hazard the rope was only a few inches long therefore limiting the playability of this feature. The winch had a button on the side which when pressed retracted the rope and there was a clip on its back which could be used to clip it onto Batman’s back, but it was quite a loose fit. On the plus side, even with the winch on his back, this Kenner Batman was well designed and balanced as he could still stand unaided even with his pack on.

There was also a launcher that slid onto his arm and was fired by a switch on the side, but this was fiddly to achieve, however once on it looked good and worked well. 

MOC $19.89 - $34.99 Av $29.99

 Loose $4.00 - $11.70 Av $7

Shadow Wing Batman

This Kenner Batman figure had a solid black paint job and a gold belt with a Batman logo on his chest, similar to that of the Crime Attack Batman except the paintwork was slightly darker, and the armor shinier, he also came with set of functional Batcuffs for capturing criminals.

The Shadow Wing Batman was almost exactly the same as the Crime Attack Batman except for his action feature, which was activated by squeezing his knees together causing his arms too shoot up, fanning out his cape, reminiscent to a scene from the movie. Because of this action feature his arms were sculpted differently to the other variants so that they could lift-up and down as well as sideways.  

For a Kenner Batman figure that was hand sculpted in the 90’s it is excellent with plenty of detail, including an exceptionally good likeness of Michael Keaton. This figure, unlike most of the other Kenner Batman variants, had new arm, chest and head sculpts as well as a different style of cape.

All-in-all this was a great classic looking Batman and one of my favorites from this line.

MOC $24.99 - $54.99 Av $29.99

 Loose $9.99 - $18.00 Av $115

Bruce Wayne

The last of the Kenner Batman  variants in this line was vastly different from the others being based on Bruce Wayne rather than the Superpowers Kenner Batman figure and the only one that used a completely different body and head sculpt that was incredibly detailed and a great likeness of Keaton. The base figure was a solid black sculpt with a turtleneck sweater; this was so that when his Bat suite was attached the flesh on his neck was not visible.

The figure came with a Batman outfit, consisting of his boots, gauntlets, chest plate (with a gold belt and Batman logo) and cape with his cowl attached as accessories, so that he could quickly change into his Batman disguise whenever he needed to. 

His right gauntlet included a sculpted batarang in his hand, which was a nice added touch. His cowl came with two eye slits, which surprisingly lined up with his eyes when the cowl was slipped on over his head.

The armor was also nicely sculpted and detailed but when fitted on to Bruce the shoulders were a bit oversized and looked out of place. A nice touch was the eye slits cut into his mask, so that when it was slipped on over his head, he could see out of his eyes perfectly. Overall, this was an excellent figure, especially with his ability to change quickly between characters. 

These accessories were easy to snap or clip onto the figure, and unlike the armor for the Toy Biz Iron Man line, stayed on well. 

The only problem, if any, is that the gauntlets were a very tight fight and not easy to remove. Also, a big plus is that even with his armor on, he still had his full articulation what little there was!

All in all, the paintwork and sculpting on this figure was outstanding and there is little to fault, even the gauntlets and boots were movie accurate, with a right a left not being interchangeable. 

MOC $19.33 - $49.95 Av $30-$35

 Loose $1.99 - $18.00 Av $12-$15

Sky Escape Joker

This figure, as with the Batman variants, was a retooled and repainted version of Kenner’s 1984 Superpowers Joker figure, except this version had no knee articulation, which the Superpowers figure had, and a different head sculpt.

The biggest problem with this figure was that his clothes were very different in color and style to those in the movie, comic book or TV series. 

Here he has pink trousers, a burgundy jacket and a blue waistcoat and gloves. Why they choose these colors is a mystery, but somebody obviously thought they suited him. 

All that said, this figure was so much better than the Toy Biz figure on so many levels! The overall sculpting and detail were very good, and the head sculpt was excellent with a very good likeness of Jack Nicholson as the Joker. That said, his hair was probably a bit too luminescent and could have been a little darker. 

For an accessory he came with his long-barreled pistol. He also had a “whirling copter pack” that could be attached to his back for a quick flying escape over Gotham’s busy streets.

He also had the added feature that when his head was dipped in water his make-up would disappear to reveal his true face, but this feature often became obsolete over time and would stop working.  

If you are thinking of buying one of these figures loose be careful as often his coat tails on the back have been broken off. 

This was partly because he was difficult to put in a sitting position with them so many kids broke or cut them off. He is also often missing the copter pack and pistol, so again, ensure you are paying for a complete figure with all his accessories.

MOC $30.00 - $119.00 Av $50.00

Loose $3.95 - $12.99 depending on whether it has the “copter-pack”

Secondary Market Values

Please note that these prices are for information and are not an offer or solicitation to buy any.

When researching these prices, I check both online and offline auction houses as well as retails sites in order to find the most up to date and accurate prices at the time of making this video.

Also bear in mind prices can fluctuate based on their condition, and whether they are complete with all the accessories etc., especially with loose figures.

So, the current prices for these figures, in no particular order, are:

Crime Attack Batman

MOC $30-50 AFA 85 @ $185

 Loose $12-$20

Tec-Shield Batman

 MOC $10-40

LOOSE $5-$15

 Wall Scaler Batman

 MOC $15-$30 AFA 80 $125

 LOOSE $2-15

 Sky Escape Joker

 MOC $20-$125

 This figure has a huge variance in its price range, but the average seems to be around $30-40. Any under this is a good buy, any over is probably overpriced currently. But this is one figure I feel will continue to appreciate.

 LOOSE- $10-$20

 Iron Winch Batman

 MOC $10-$30

 Again, there is a large difference in the price range for this figure with the average being around $20-$25. Anything less than this, especially at $10 would be a steal. Anything over $25 would be a bit riskier and over $30 overpriced.

LOOSE $4-$15

The mid-range here for a good quality figure with all the accessories would be around the $10 mark.

Shadow Wing Batman

MOC  $20-$80

Another big jump in prices but there are very few selling for under $30 with the average price being between $35-$40, anything over is currently overpriced.

LOOSE $10-$15

Bruce Wayne

MOC $25-50 

This figure has a low price of $20 with a high of around the $50 mark. But I found evidence of an AFA Graded Bruce Wayne that sold for $215! That said the average going price is around the $35 currently.

LOOSE $3-$15

Loose mint figures with all the accessories are generally around the $10-$15.

1991    Second Batch

  • Powerwing Batman
  • Thunderwhip Batman
  • Knock-Out Joker

 1991    “Deluxe Crime Master Edition”

  • Batman with "Claw Climber"
  • Batman with "Blast Shield"
  • Batman with "Night Glider"

1990    Vehicles

  • Batcycle
  • Joker Cycle
  • Batjet
  • Batcopter
  • Turbojet Batwing
  • Batmobile 13 1/2"
  • Batman Bola Bullet
  • Batman Strikewing

More Batman Pages

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Please note that all prices mentioned on this site are for informational purposes only and are NOT a solicitation or offer to buy any of the items quoted.

When researching for these articles I use many different online and offline retailers and auctions to get an average value AT THE TIME of writing the article.

As such they will almost definitely be incorrect as the prices and values are in constant flux and change.

Please check my articles and videos on how to grade and value your action figures for up to date prices.

How to Grade Your Action Figures

How to Value Your Action Figures

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