Last year I wrote about a set of Justice League of America bendy figures from NJ Croce. For that review, which includes a background of just exactly what a bendy figure is, go HERE. This week in the PopCult Toybox we’re going to look at the follow-up, Batman Classic TV Series bendies.
These are based on the 1966 Batman TV series, which is due out soon on DVD and Blu Ray, and it sports the same uniform package art and color scheme that Mattel used on their impressive Batmobile back in the summer of 2013 (and if you’re still interested in that Batmobile, both of our local Toys R Us stores finally got them–more than a year after they were initially released). I think the artwork on this round of packaging is by Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez, working in a simpler style than usual.
As with last year’s batch of DC Comics figures, this is a pretty nifty set. The sculpting is pretty close to the actor’s likenesses and the details are pretty good, given the limitations of the bendy format.
Batman looks great, with a terrific likeness of Adam West. The figure is molded in gray, with six paint colors applied that work very well in capturing the look of the 1966 television Batman. The cloth cape is glued in just like with last year’s figures. The only weakness is that the flesh-colored paint on his face is a little thin, allowing some of the gray to show through.
Robin avoids that problem by being molded in flesh-colored rubber, with six paint applications and a glued-on cape. Again, it’s an uncanny likeness of Burt Ward. The cape color is a bit off, and doesn’t match the collar, which is painted on, but it’s not a major distraction. It’s great that Robin is available on his own card in this series. With the Mattel action figures last year you could only buy him as part of a set.
The Penguin is an excellent depiction of Burgess Meredith. Molded in black with five paint applications, this is a sharp figure that disappoints only that it lacks the character’s signature umbrella. The flesh-colored paint for his face does not have the problem of showing the color of the rubber below, so it really looks like Meredith in his Penguin drag.
The Joker is a dead-on likeness of Ceasar Romero as The Clown Prince of Crime. They didn’t bother to sculpt a mustache to paint over, as other companies have done, but it doesn’t matter. This looks exactly as it should. Molded in purple, with five paint applications, this is possibly the most-detailed figure of the bunch, with lots of fine detail and two shades of green.
I have not yet seen these figures on the individual cards. I decided to spring for the boxed set of five figures from Amazon, since it was quite a bargain compared to paying eight to eleven bucks each for the carded versions. (Images of the carded figures come from the NJ Croce website.)
All in all, this is a pretty great set, with all the advantages and drawbacks of the bendy format. It’s a great gift to go along with the DVD/Blu Ray sets of the show, and it’s a pretty cool item for any Batman fan.
However, if you bought Mattel’s 6″ action figures when they came out last year (or hit our local TRU a week or two ago) then you might want to give these a pass. They don’t have the articulation or detail of Mattel’s efforts, but they’re pretty cool on their own.