Bane has never been able to catch a break (no pun intended) when it comes to his movie appearances. In both "Batman & Robin" and "The Dark Knight Rises", the venom-infused fighting machine has basically been an unintelligible henchman-- far from the cunning strategist, of DC Comics' fame, that figured out how to beat Batman during 'Knightfall' and later led the Secret Six in it's own private mercenary war. Nope, Bane is simply a stooge for someone greater in both of his big screen appearances; but now, thanks to Square-Enix, he's getting a chance to shine as the first villain in their Dark Knight Trilogy Play Arts Kai line of action figures! Will he get a little redemption? are you kidding?! This toy is badass!
The packaging for the figure matches the style of the rest of the line, but features a huge shot of Bane on the front, along with his backstory on the inside flap. The figure can be seen really well behind the translucent plastic as he stands proudly in his plastic prison next to his accessories.
Thanks to Bane's sculpt, there is no questioning that he's meant to be a dangerous powerhouse. While Tom Hardy is certainly no weakling, his version of Bane had the body of a heavyweight MMA fighter; but, in all other media, Bane is a Venom-juiced meathead the likes of which has never been seen! Square-Enix rode that fine line thanks to their subtle Japanese-stylings-- and huge ass arms! Yep, this figure has incredible detail, and enough flare to set him apart from being a literal translation of the actor in the film. The Batman figure, due to the restrictions of the bat-suit, was very close to his live representation, but (thankfully) some liberties were taken with Bane. His mask is a separately sculpted piece from the head, but is forever attached thanks to the wonders of glue. His vest, pants, and boots were given every bit of necessary detail, while also incorporating numerous wrinkles and folds in the 'cloth'. Oddly enough, as much as I love articulation (It's almost criminal!), my favorite part of the figure is his look when standing in a static pose.
By sheer necessity, Bane has quite a few paint apps. Unlike Batman who sports a single base color over 99% of his crime-fighting form, Bane is a man of the world...and he refuses to match the color of his clothes or wear sleeves, dammit! The big stand-out in both the good and bad departments involves his skin. First, the bad: Bane has massive veins pulsing up from his skin, and they'd add to his intimidation factor-- if they weren't gray! This is one of those times where the sclpt could speak for itself as the oddly-colored veins take away from the realistic aesthetic of the rest of the skin. Speaking of which, the good: his skin detail is very nicely done with multiple skin-tones being used along with a darker overspray to simulate his pores.
Articulation for Bane is the same high-standard we've all come to love from Square-Enix. He features a ball-joint head, ball-joint neck, hinged shoulder-blades, swivel/hinge shoulders, swivel biceps, swivel/hinge elbows, swivel/hinge wrists, ball-joint torso, ball-joint waist, swivel/hinge hips, swivel thighs, swivel/hinge knees, swivel hinge ankles, and even has swivels mid-boot! The figure I have has very tight articulation, minus the slight looseness of his hinged shoulder-blades. They tend to pull forward due to the weight of the arms. Not cool, but not nearly as big a deal as loose shoulder joints would have been.
Bane is packed out with far fewer accessories than his vigilante nemesis. An extra set of hands and Batman's broken cowl (from the torrential ass-kicking he received at the hands of Bane in TDKR), and an adjustable figure stand make up all of his what-nots. Like Bats, Bane has the new thicker wrist pegs which make it far easier (and safer) to switch out his extra digits. The piece of importance is obviously the cowl, and t is made up of a solid piece of black plastic with gray paint added to define the sculptural details. It features a number of finger grooves, so Bane can tote it around any number of ways and it will sit snugly in his bear-like clutches.
This is easily my favorite figure of Bane (Granted, I don't own the Hot Toys version), and is pretty high on my list of Play Arts Kai figures in general. This would have been way cooler had it been released closer to the theater release of "The Dark Knight Rises", but I'll just be happy it's available now. Be sure to check your local comic shop and online retailers for the entire Dark Knight Trilogy Play Arts Kai line of toys!