Nanna nanna nanna nanna.. BATMAN!
That little dity has been running through my head ever since I got in my Hot Toy’s 1966 Classic Batman. He’s infectious. I can hear and see the “BLAM!”, “KA-POW!” and “BOOSH!” onomatopoeia’s popping up in front of my eyes whenever I glance over at him sitting on my shelf.
The review today is actually a pretty big deal to me as it marks my personal first experience with owning a Hot Toys collectible! I’m not sure why the Hot Toys bug has never bitten me before. They do some incredible looking stuff and I’ve always looked admirably at their offerings on Sideshow Collectibles. Perusing through, I always find myself thinking, “That could be really cool to have.”, but then the $200 price tag would flip the safety back on my purchasing trigger finger and I’d close out the tab. It’s not that I’ve never paid $200+ for a toy before, it’s that the Movie Masterpiece subject matter doesn’t generally appeal enough to me to where I felt compelled to.
Well, all that changed at last years San Diego Comic Con when I saw the prototype Batman, Robin and (jaw-droppingly amazing) Batmobile on display at Sideshow Collectible’s booth. I grew up up on Classic Batman and I believe I have a weird obsession with Adam West that’s encouraged even today by his voiced character on Family Guy, Mayor West. There’s something so fun and appealing to the 1966 version of the character that I knew I had to have him.
Robin is apparently shipping out right now as well, but I never really got into Robin. Even at the young age when I used to watch the show I thought it was really weird for him to run around in green underwear. Coincidentally, Batman wearing his underwear outside of his cloths seemed completely normal. Hey, I was a kid.
I ordered mine through Sideshow Collectibles who are just, lovely people, btw. I got free shipping and it took about 3 days for it to get from their doorstep to mine. Unfortuneatly, it took 3 separate delivery attempts as Sideshow required a signature, in person, on delivery. I wasn’t even allowed to have it rerouted for pick up at the UPS store do to the strict shipping specifications. If I was a stay-at-home.. dude or didn’t have a job or if UPS still delivered on the weekends, this wouldn’t have been a problem. After missing it twice, I was getting pretty concerned about missing the 3rd and final attempt as it’s returned to sender at that point. Thankfully, he came later in the evening and I was home to sign for it. The delivery delay was a little frustrating to deal with, taking almost 5 days longer than it should have, but it all worked out in the end. Finally, Bats has swung through my living room window and is standing here looking just as amazingly silly as he did on the show all those years ago. To the Bat Cave, there’s not a moment to lose!
Ka-POW! The Packaging
The box Bats comes in has some nice cartoon graphics that depict the vintage show he hails from. So bright and colorful, if displayed on my shelf.. it’d definitely stand out. The outer bit of the pack is a slip case. Removing that reveals a front windowed box that clearly shows bats and his many swap-able hands inside. Opening up THAT box you’re left with another half of a box and the clam shell filled with goodies. Flipping the half-box over and you’re given a literal window that opens and closes. It’s a built in set piece of a building side window to emulate the infamous Batman and Robin climbing bit from the show.
I’ll say this for the packaging, it’s incredibly secure. You shouldn’t have to worry about your pricey goodies arriving loose and busted up. Everything is taped and plastic bag bound in here. Getting Batman completely free of all the tape and protective plastic layers required some time and effort. Maybe this is the normal Hot Toys way of doing things and nothing new to you storied readers, but I’m used to the 3A way, where half the time they’ll toss a small clear plastic sack over a characters head and then twisty tie him into place, if you’re lucky. (ed note: I’m not knocking 3A’s packaging.. they do stellar work.. but some of their so called “old school” methods are lack luster in securing your item) I’ve never had a 3A figure break or become damaged in transit, but going off the quality of this pack, I’m betting the percentage of Hot Toys figures showing up at homes with missing spleens and broken femurs is a lot lower.
BAM! The Breakdown
The first thing that I notice is, of course, the amazing head sculpt. Wow. This is a dead-on likeness of Adam West’s Bats.. the skin texture, the paint, the eyes! Oh lord, the eyes! It’s beautiful. Is that weird to say? It’s absolutely perfect. The cowl itself holds up flawlessly as well. His small, “bat ears” are made of a slightly softer material than the head itself and are pretty flexible, but I wouldn’t say it felt fragile at all. Batman comes with 3 different exchangeable expressions which I’ll just refer to as-
Each “face” is cleverly held in place by a magnet. This makes it easy to swap out, while still being secure enough so you don’t have to worry about his face falling off when moving him around. Right now, the gritted teeth is my expression of choice. I love how campy it is! If I had one thing to bemoan it would be that, as my first Hot Toys figure I was hoping to get to experience their movable eyes feature I’ve seen previewed on some of their other figures. It’d been just one more way to squeeze more character out of an already expressive figure. One thing to note, his head doesn’t stay on incredibly well. It doesn’t just fall off.. but twisting it around to pose him for these shots resulted in his head popping off fairly often.
His cape was tucked back through a hole in the box, I assume to prevent it from becoming a crinkled mess. There are tiny snaps on the inside of the cap that match up to other tiny snaps on Bat’s suit. This lets you display the cape draped over him or pushed back behind his shoulder. It’s a nifty,display friendly, feature, though probably not necessarily important. Some may prefer the suit to stay free of stray elements, but since they’re barely noticeable, I don’t mind them at all. That being said, I’ve found them to be VERY difficult to re-snap after you undo them.The padding on the under suit is a bit too squishy to provide the support needed to pop the two sides together.
Looking over the rest of the figure I was sort of struck at just how simplistic it is. That’s not in error of course. West’s Batman wore basically pale blue pajama’s with a Batman logo sticker stuck on his chest. No sculpted Bat-abs or Bat-nipples to speak of. Even the (unremovable) utility belt is little more than a series of yellow plastic cylinders and cubes adorned with a gold (real) metal Bat-buckle up front. The bat-symbol itself appears to be a separate piece of material, glued to the chest. While the pajama style suit itself is so simple, there are some great details on the gloves and boots. The gloves are actually two-toned with the palm of the hand a darker color than the back. It’s such a minor detail, but it’s something that lets you know Hot Toys wasn’t lazy about trying to accurately capture whatever detail they possibly could. They probably could have gotten away with simply painting them solid blue and calling it a day.. most of us would never know the difference. The boots themselves are flexible, which bodes well for posing, and they have a great shape with a nice visible silver zipper detail down the inside of each.
At first glance, you’re given the impression that Batman comes with a ton of accessories. In truth, he only comes with four or five actual accessories and then a butt-ton of interchangeable hands. Seriously, if you include the two already attached, you get 13 individual hands to mix and match!
Some are more form than function, but a few are designed specifically to hold his ACTUAL accessories including the Batarang and the hilariously awesome, shark repellent spray. Oh and the yellow cap is removable.
Beyond those items, you also get a Bat-radio and the big bomb that I clearly remember Adam West running frantically around with. Paring suggestion: The gritted teeth expression works wondrously! Then again, the gritted teeth seem to work wondrously with everything.
A few spare wrist joints and a Batman logo embellished stand finish out the set.
The product description for Bats claims over 30 points of articulation.. and while that may be technically true, his actual available motion is pretty limited thanks to a very strange suit design. If you unzip him, you’ll see he’s wearing underneath what is basically an Adam West fat suit. Being my first Hot Toys figure, I didn’t have the nerve to completely disrobe him. However, a few other reviews I’ve happened upon did.. which saves me the trouble (and risk) of doing so. If you want to see his underwear.. do a search for “hotchixcooltoyreviews” and you’ll find they did a great job tearing him down.
Needless to say, with all that padding in there, Batman won’t be doing any crunches or touching his toes anytime soon. In fact, you’ll be lucky to get him to twist at the waist more than a couple degrees. It’s that padded. I’d usually harp on this sort of issue and bemoan the limiting nature of the design, but this isn’t Spiderman. Heck, this isn’t even Christian Bale’s Batman. This is Adam West. He’s not exactly known for his agility and the insane areo-Bat-tics (does that work?) that modern day Batman is recognized for.
It’s limiting, sure.. but it actually makes a lot of sense here. You still may find yourself annoyed that you can’t push him into a specific pose you’d like him to.. but I really don’t have a problem with it. Now if Spiderman or Wolverine had this problem… eeeesh.. stand back!
There’s a lot of great stuff going on with this figure, but unfortunately not everything comes up smelling roses here in Bat-land. When you first open up your package, you’ll find Hot Toys has placed a small sheet warning you to handle him carefully, with big Ghostbuster-esque cross-outs over images of fingernails and scissors. HEED THEIR WORDS! I dabble with my acoustic guitar, so I have some small, slightly rough, callouses on the tips of a few of my fingers. Literally removing him from the box, taking off the various layers of protective plastic and adjusting his legs so he can stand on the table in front of me was enough to cause some minor pilling on the side of his suit. I haven’t had the guy in my possession more than ten minutes and he’s already clearly “used”.
After noticing the issue, I’ve been very cautious in how I handle him to pose for photos. The aftermath of which left me with several other small areas of pilling. This fabric is the most delicate fabric I’ve ever seen on a toy. Oh yeah, there’s the operable word, toy! Right? You handle and pose toys! Sure, it’s a high price for a toy and probably not something you’d buy your kid to play in his sandbox out in the rain with.. but it’s a toy all the same? You should be able, at a minimum be able to TOUCH your toy without it getting damaged. Am I missing something here? Again, this I my first go with Hot Toys so perhaps I’m just not in the know, but I’m honestly very surprised by this design choice. Surely, there’s other materials out there that could have worked just as well and given us better durability. I’m not tossing on gloves every time I want to pick up and swap out Adam’s face or trade out the dozen or so various hands he comes packing.
The other thing that bothered me, though at a much less drastic extent is that he seems to suffer from a rather saggy crotch. I’ve tried adjusting it as best I can, but honestly, I’m a little afraid to tamper with the suit too much due to it’s tendency to snag if you sneeze wrong. I read somewhere that it’s possible to pull it up properly if you unzip the back of the suit and work with it that way, but again.. seems at tick risky to me. In the end, he’ll be perched on the included bat-stand which supports him by his bat-crotch so that should hide the bat-sag pretty well.
Holy Final Word Batman!
Snaggy suit and saggy-crotch aside.. I love this figure. I think part of the reason why I haven’t purchased any Hot Toys before and rarely movie tie-in figures in general is because they seem to be more about how much a company can capture the actor’s face, other than how great the toy is. I love movies and I have my fair share of preferred actors, but that doesn’t usually translate to me wanting to own an expensive duplicate of them to stare at everyday. For reasons I can’t quite explain, Adam Wests Batman transcends that gut reaction and is easily one of my favorite figures in my collection. Maybe it’s the fact that I was so young when the show was in syndication. ( I wasn’t even born when it was still being produced, I’m not that old people.. sheesh!) There’s an endearing nostalgic factor to it which, while certainly directly tied to Adam West, makes it about a lot more than just an accurate portrait.
Also despite not being the most DURABLE toy on the planet.. he’s fun! I find myself swapping things around on him several times a day as I’m walking by. He just begs to be reposed and given a different expression.
I said before, I’ve never been a fan of the 1960’s Robin character design.. just, come on man! Put some pants on! You’re fighting dangerous, psychotic criminals for Bats-sake! It’s the same feeling I get (well, maybe not the EXACT same feeling) when I see a character design of a medieval female warrior wearing nothing but a chain-mail bikini, a leather thong and a broad sword as she sets off to fight the Twelve Legion Demon Hordes of Hades. It just doesn’t seem probable that particular get-up would work out very well in their favor.
But now that I have Bats.. and like him as much as I do.. I feel like it’s almost an injustice not having his “trusty sidekick” standing next to him. I really feel like I have to buy Robin.. that’s how much I like this figure. I’m willing to pay actual money for Robin. If that personal admission doesn’t sell some toys for Hot Toys, I don’t know what will.
- Best. Batman. Figure. Ever.
- Fantastic, spot-on head-sculpt of the ever-loving Adam West. With multiple expressions no less!
- A staggering amount of interchangeable hands to aid in all sorts of fun poses
- Fun, if a slightly small, array of weapons/wonderful toys
- The Batsuit is waaaay too delicate for fighting crime. Snags astonishingly easy.
- Saggy crotch of suit is difficult, if not impossible, to adjust correctly
- The limited torso articulation may bother some
- I have to buy Robin now