Friday, May 9, 2014

I'm A Grown Man And I Bought This: Catwoman Classic Batman Action FIgure

It's been nearly five decades since the Batman TV series premiered on ABC in 1966, and toys based on the show are just now starting to trickle out.

Several companies have begun releasing Batman action figures in various scales. Neca got the rights to make 18" figures and Hot Toys is releasing high end 12" figures later this year (huzzah!). 

Mattel secured the 6" license. Last year they released several Batman TV Series figures, including Batman, The Joker, The Riddler, The Penguin and Surf's Up Batman, which I reviewed here. They also made a Robin figure, that you can only get in a special two pack with Batman (a blatant marketing move) and a pretty nice Batmobile scaled to the figures.

And now finally they've released the much anticipated Catwoman figure, to complete the line. Why Catwoman wasn't released with the rest of the figures, I have no idea.

At first I thought maybe they were planning to produce less of her to artificially drive up demand so they could charge more for her (which toy companies do all the time), but she cost the same as the other figures. It's a mystery.


Obviously this is the Julie Newmar version of Catwoman, from the first two seasons of the series. As likenesses go, this is a pretty good one. It's definitely Julie Newmar we're looking at here. They even got her odd trifurcated eyebrows down (Really, spell check? You don't flag "trifurcated?"). 

By the way, Lee Meriwether portrayed Catwoman in the Batman movie, and Earth Kitt played her in the show's third season.


I remember watching the show back in the day and absolutely hating Eartha Kitt. Not because she was black, mind you, but simply because she wasn't Julie Newmar. I was a kid and didn't cotton to change. As an adult I've come to appreciate Kitt's performance though.


Actually the show was pretty progressive and probably quite provocative for the 1960s. There was always a degree of sexual tension between Catwoman and Batman, and I'll bet the sight of a black woman aggressively flirting with a white man-- on a kid's show yet-- raised more than a few eyebrows (trifurcated as well as normal).


Catwoman comes dressed in her traditional slinky, form-hugging suit, which in reality was quite a feat of engineering. Kudos to whoever designed it. I have a feeling the amount of dads who watched the show increased dramatically when Catwoman guest-starred.

Her necklace is sculpted into her body rather than being a separate piece, which is probably a good idea. It won't get lost in the shag carpeting that way.

Note that she's also wearing her cat ears, as is only natural for someone who calls herself "Catwoman." You hear that, Christopher Nolan, and your movie in which your no-fun version of Catwoman doesn't wear cat ears, and you don't even call her "Catwoman" in dialog?

I don't really have anything to say about this photo. Let's just sit quietly and enjoy the view, shall we?

I naturally assumed that since Catwoman's wearing heels that she'd never be able to stand by herself. Imagine my surprise when I found out she not only can stand, but is pretty darned stable. It's like a miracle.

Female action figures are typically shorter than their male counterparts, but Catwoman appears to be the same height as Batman. I don't think that's a mistake on Mattel's part. Adam West is reportedly 6' 2," while Newmar is a whopping 5' 11!" Now that's a big gal!

Catwoman is quite flexible and posable, just like the real thing.

Like all the figures in the line, Catwoman comes with a stand featuring one of the sound effect title screens from the show.

And now we come to the mystery of the cards. Each figure came with a photo card, which when laid out formed an image of the Batcave. 

Unfortunately I couldn't figure out how the cards from the first five figures were supposed to line up.

No matter how I arranged them, they just didn't work.

I finally figured out why. I was missing the Catwoman card. Derp! Once she was finally released, the cards fit together perfectly. Mystery solved!

Here's the other side of the cards, featuring paintings of each of the characters. It was nice of Mattel to include these I supposed, but I have no idea what to do with them and honestly they're probably going to go in a drawer.

I'm very happy Mattel gave us a Catwoman-- many times toy companies skip the female characters, as they think young boys won't want to play with a dumb ol' girl toy. I think they realized that this line was only going to appeal to people "of a certain age" though, and that's no doubt why they included her.

And it only took fifty years to get a line of decent Batman TV toys. Bring on Wave 2!

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