Friday, January 1, 2016

"Datu" Batman coming to your shelves soon

“Datu Batman” coming to your shelves soon
by rick olivares

On the eve of the screening of the highly-anticipated Batman/Superman: Dawn of Justice film in the first few months of 2016, a unique “Datu Batman" bobblehead will be released to celebrate that occasion. 

The POP figure is designed by Filipino artist Heubert Khan Michael who has drawn Vampirella and the Owl for Dynamite and Cyberforce for Top Cow in collaboration with Pop! Pinas and Studio Genesis. 

"I was approached by fellow toy collector and custom Pop aficionado Jun Go, who was planning on making a custom Pop Batman with StudioGenesis,” related Michael. "Being a big Batman fan, I excitedly said yes. My first two designs were rather generic, and it was only after our first meeting was I able to realize that Jun and the rest of the group was looking for something unique; something that would stand out in even the most crowded Pop shelf. Jun sent me a picture of a Samurai Batman custom that Funko even featured on their various social media networks, and in an instant I thought about making a Batman clothed like that of a Filipino warrior from Mactan, during the time of Lapu-Lapu."

"I have designed toys before, but not for a smaller group that makes it more special -- exclusive. That makes the project close to personal, and I think I make the coolest designs when working for myself. While designing the figure I had my copy of (National Artist for Visual Arts) Francisco V. Coching's masterpiece, Lapu-Lapu, and studied his designs for the Datu's warriors. I was so carried away by this project, I even came up with a write-up, like a fan-fiction, involving Datu Batman.”

Pop vinyl figures have become popular and highly collectible in recent years owing to Washington, D.C.-based company Funko that began creating bobbeheads of pop culture icons such from comic books to animated films and eventually, mainstream film. The creation of the “Game of Thrones” figures of the massively popular television series blew the industry wide-open opening it to a larger audience. 

Fans collect these Pop figures for their use of popular characters, cute factor and style, and most of all, affordability.

Most recently, Filipino sports icon Manny Pacquiao was accorded the POP treatment when a pair of boble heads — one a boxer and the other as a basketball player — were released ahead of his match with Floyd Mayweather Jr. Bobbleheads of mythical creatures such as  the “Aswang” and the “White Lady” have also found their ways to the shelves.

“This is a cool project for me as an artist and as a fan,” summed up Michael. "Making it to the mainstream comics in the US was a dream that I never thought would come true. It's so cool and awesome and surreal and humbling all at once, my only wish is to be able to stay i the industry for as long as I could.”

The “Datu Batman” is being sculpted in Hong Kong and will be soon available at Filbar’s comic book specialty store. Stayed tuned for more details. 


When I think of bobbleheads, I think of Bobblehead Night at Yankee Stadium. They give away bobbleheads of baseball players at the Stadium. I also thought of that scene in the film, The Fan (Wesley Snipes, Robert De Niro), where there these bobbleheads on the dashboard. So I thought it was chilling. Despite the popularity of the Pop Vinyls from Funko, I never really got into them.... until a few weeks ago. I was given one of Michonne as a gift about two years ago and I still have that. But I got my first one -- it was Captain America right before Christmas. And that led to Agent Carter and then Manny Pacquiao. Now waiting for my Daredevil (Masked Vigilante) and Ant-Man and Ant-Thony. Damn! I got into it.

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