When I see Fools Paradise’s Bat Lowfool, I can’t help but think of Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns. Considered one of the most seminal comic book works in the last 30 years, this classic Batman story is the tale of an aged Bruce Wayne coming out of retirement, once again donning the cowl to save Gotham City.
Fools Paradise - The Last Ride - Dark Knight Returns: The Last Crusade cover
But what caused Wayne to go into retirement in the first place? Detailed in last year’s Dark Knight Returns: The Last Crusade, which is set roughly a decade before the mini-series, we experience Bruce Wayne’s slowing down, his body struggling to remain super-heroic. And, ultimately, it is about that turning point in life, about realizing you are no longer capable of what you once were.

My Impressions of The Last Ride

And this is a very apt lead into discussing Alan Ng’s The Last Ride (2016) set. It’s hard not to break a smile when viewing this massive Bat Lowfool figure, obviously unable to squeeze himself into the tiny Coin Rides Game before him.
Fools Paradise - The Last Ride - Set
While not specifically announced as part of the Coin Rides Game series, The Last Ride’s stylized rendition of the Tumbler from Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight trilogy is the fifth Fools Paradise release to feature the concept. And just like how those coin-operated rides I recall from my youth moved back-and-forth when you plunked change into the coin box, this piece — like all those in the series — uses ball joints to allow for side-to-side movement.

As breath-taking as this innovative aspect is, the real hero piece to this set is… well… Bat Lowfool. Ng’s Lowfool character dates back to late 2011, but he was reimagined in 2015 as Bat Lowfool, donning the iconic cape and cowl for the I won’t be a hero, Tim release. In fact, this figure shares many elements we discussed in the I won’t be a hero, Tim review (see here), from the tattoos that decorate him to the mustache adorning his lip. But it’s the differences that make this version stand out.
Fools Paradise - The Last Ride - I won't be a hero, Tim set
Bat Lowfool has an overall irregular shape, creating a truly striking profile. Derived from geometic forms, the figure’s boxy build is given some roundness through his bulging muscles, and this sculptural minimalism truly allows one to focus on what is present.
There is a sadness in the slump of Bat Lowfool’s shoulders as he stares down at the coin in his hand, like a moment captured in time. The specific moment, in fact, that Bat Lowfool realizes he can’t ride in his Tumbler any more. A subtle but brilliant way to carefully bridge that chasm between comedy and tragedy.
Fools Paradise - The Last Ride - set
Created out of a true variety of materials, including vinyl, PVC, ABS, resin, and even a real fabric cape that gives added fluidity to the form, The Last Ride was limited to 398 sets worldwide. There is also a glow-in-the-dark version, titled The Last Why, which transforms the piece through coloration and decoration into a tribute to Batman’s nemesis, The Joker.
Confirmed by Ng to be the last Coin Rides Game in name only, meaning there are more releases in the series forthcoming.

Editions in the “Last Ride” Series [show]

For more information on Fools Paradise:
website | instagram | facebook

Han Ning - Space Dog - Reviewed
On November 3rd, 1957, the U.S.S.R did the unthinkable: they launched the first living animal into Earth’s orbit. Carried within the Soviet spacecraft Sputnik 2, I’m talking about the stray dog turned canine cosmonaut, Laika.   Decades after Laika’s trip, his story had me dreaming of a space dog in…
Scott Wilkowski's Infected Bazaar - Exhibition Review
I bought my first piece by Scott Wilkowski in 2012, immediately recognizing his artistry as something special. That initial work I purchased was an Infected Labbit (2011), which consists of a transparent resin version of Frank Kozik's modern Labbit (2003) form encasing Wilkowski's sculpted skeletal system of one. Conceptually brilliant,…
Han Ning's Space Dog
Scott Wilkowski's Infected Bazaar
tagged in Fools Paradise