Friday, April 21, 2017

Batman and Harley Quinn Spawn a Host of Spin-offs

Image Source: Teaser Trailer via Facebook

As a character, Batman is no stranger to the world of animation, but the cartoon version of the Caped Crusader is making a welcome return to our screens in his latest adventure. Director Sam Liu oversees a cast of familiar voice actors including Melissa Rauch, Paget Brewster and John DiMaggio and early reviews suggest it’s a "must-see" even for die-hard Batman fans who prefer the Superhero in his real-life form.

Unlikely hero?

In the latest offering, Batman teams up once again with Nightwing but they have what is perhaps an unlikely assistant; Harley Quinn originally appeared as the Joker’s love interest in the 1992 Animation Joker’s Favor. Over the years she has proved so popular that the character has endured and for 2017, Harley is crossing over from the dark side to fight the threat to global civilisation posed by the Plant-Master and Poison Ivy.

But no more spoilers; reviews are encouraging but you’ll have to judge and find out the remainder of the plot by watching the movie yourself. One thing is certain, the arrival of any new Batman movie will herald a flood of new properties and merchandising but, as we hit the 80th anniversary of the original DC Comics series, the arrival of Superhero spin offs will intensify even further. 

Action Figures
It’s interesting that while Batman has endured as a Superhero in various forms for 80 years now, a lot of the attention is on Harley Quinn as the movie hits our cinemas. Action figures of Harley are nothing new and they have been available in assorted guises since she first came into the public conscience in 1992 but the new, animated version adds a new dimension and the new dolls will naturally be something of a must for collectors.

Her costume gives more than just a nod to the Joker and she retains that air of mystery and sensuality, even now that she’s on the good side. Figures of Nightwing and Batman himself are also available for purchase but they have been pushed to one side somewhat by the emergence of their new sidekick. 

Playing the slots
This may be seen as one of the more unusual spin offs, but action heroes and slot games have always been very compatible ever since casinos started to go online in the second half of the 1990s. Batman has already appeared in a number of games and the new movie is a natural fit, and with the fuss being created by Harley, the choice of slots featuring the more established hero is certain to be a big hit. To be specific, Sun Bingo slot games already include a popular range of Batman games - based on the retro animated series - and in the weeks that follow the release of the new movie, interest will no doubt intensify.

Dress like a Hero

Whatever your views may be surrounding cosplay, the practise of dressing up as your favourite action hero is not a new one. Sales and hires of Batman costumes are always on the rise in the wake of a new release and that trend will sustain following the screening of this latest film.

Once again, Harley Quinn takes more of a centre stage but the traditional cape of the superhero has been ditched in favour of the short rockabilly style dress that was more synonymous with her earlier incarnations. We may not get to see an animated version of this iconic outfit but the dress will become more widely available and attract even more sales now that Harley is getting so much attention.

Mugs, posters and t-shirts will go on to form some of the more conventional forms of memorabilia when Batman and Harley Quinn reaches our cinemas and leads to a glut of merchandise and other properties as fans continue to catch up with the latest release.

The producers have been very intuitive in taking an already established character in Harley, and switching her to the good side as she joins Batman’s battle to uphold law and order. It’s a smart move that avoids having to take the gamble of introducing new characters and as such, she will appeal to long term fans as well as new additions to the series. So, if you love the new animation, there are plenty of spin offs that can help you to treasure its memory.

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