So there’s this little character called Batman. Maybe you’ve heard of him? I know, it’s a silly name, so it’s very possible that his popularity will stay very niche. I don’t think he’ll amount to much. Who’s going to want to follow the adventures of someone named after a flying rodent? Nobody, that’s who.
It’ll never catch on. Such a concept will certainly not have movies, cartoons, and a television show.
Speaking of television shows and Batman, way back in 1966, this Batman character had his own television show. It was quickly cancelled, and Batman was never heard from again.
But seriously, For as long as I’ve been on the Internet perusing toy sites, I’ve heard rumblings about people who craved action figures from the hugely iconic Batman television show. Before Superfriends could spark a generation’s interest in comic book characters, there was Adam West in disturbingly tight spandex capering about in colorful, stylized adventures in children’s living rooms. Batman wasn’t the dark, brooding crusader we’re used to now. He was a pun-making, occasionally flamboyant superhero that didn’t seem to take himself quite as seriously as he does now. Each week, same Bat-time, same Bat-channel, this gray and blue crimefighter came into living rooms and entertained the masses.
And then it ended.
But it endured. Oh, it endured.
And now, for a brief moment, it’s getting a second time to shine. Right before it ends again. Such is the way of things.
I’ve never seen the show. I’ve seen the feature length movie, but I’ve never seen the show. And I usually hate movie or television versions of comic characters. So why do I have these?
I don’t know. Maybe it’s the color. Maybe it’s the idea behind them. It’s superheroes. It’s supposed to be fun. People call the show campy or goofy or silly or cheesy or all these words I hate that are supposed to be insulting, but it’s like hating dogs because they’re furry. I’m pretty sure that was the intent of the show.
Batman and Robin both feature standard DC articulation. They’re Movie-Master scale, which is a more straightforward 6-inch scale than the slightly larger bodies we’ve come to expect in the regular DC figures, so these won’t be good toe-to-toe with DCUC or DCIE or DC Unlimited or whatever name they use. They work with other movie toys so you can have Christan Bale team up with Adam West in a time travel cinematic slobberknocker versus whoever you want. Yeah, that’ll happen.
These are all new sculpts — breathe that in for a second. All new Mattel sculpts. Nowadays that’s becoming a rarity outside of thermometers and special occasions. Batman’s got that regular-guy-in-spandex physique going on, with minimal definition and thinner limbs. Robin is, of course, shorter than Batman. Both figures in this box set feature poseable capes with wires inside for variety. I believe the regular carded figures don’t have that feature. These did come with GIGANTIC tags that I’ve already cut out, so no pictures of those, but trust me — they were big, like second smaller capes. The capes are going to anger anybody who’s anti-fabric, but it seems to fit the aesthetic of the show.
The face sculpts evoke what I was expecting. There’s no denying these guys are Adam West and Burt ward. I’m sure there are people freeze-framing and doing a side-by-side analysis to see if they come within a certain percentile of accuracy, but to me they evoke them as close as I could want, and that’s all I care about.
The accessories are fairly minimal. Batman comes with a a single Batarang. Robin comes with nothing. The main accessory is the wall they can “climb,” or walk on with a rotated camera. They did this a lot, apparently. And it was all completely convincing!
One nitpick: the feet. They are thin. Unless they’re balanced just right, these figures are dying to fall down any chance they get. I don’t know, did they have super thin feet? If they had been a little wider and thicker they may not have been as problematic, but Batman in particular wanted to slamdance on his face every five seconds unless I had him posed juuuuust right.
There’s a strange charm to these figures. I’m a hopeless slave to comic stylings and comic figures, and logically I really shouldn’t even own these since I have no childhood nostalgia that attaches me to them, and, as I said, I usually shun celebrity-as-superhero figures. But certain things transcend bias. There’s just something really cool about these rather innocent versions of Batman and Robin, free of moping and the post-Dark Knight Returns angsty anti-social crazyman schtick.
It’s not going to be a long line, so people won’t be getting the deep roster they may have hoped for — hell, they won’t be getting a Batgirl, if word is correct — but having the main villains and the two main heroes makes for a nice sampling. Robin is only available in this two-pack, so if you want the ward played by Ward then you’re going to have to get the set.