There are figures you really want and then there are figures you inexplicably must have. The classic Penguin is one of those figures for me. I have a lot of wants for the 6” DC line. I want more characters. I want more tooling. And yet here I am geeking out over a same-character repaint.
If pressed and given a choice between another character and a Penguin repaint… I’d almost always have to go with a new character. I’d love it if the Batman Unlimited line were catered a little more (well, a lot more) towards me. Prometheus. A classic Ra’s Al Ghul. The Ventriloquist. Alfred. I have a lot of DC Classics figures, my list of wants is quite long, and somehow the Batman Unlimited line does just about nothing to trim it down. Well, almost nothing…
Despite my love for never-before-plastic characters, I’m just as excited to have this particular Penguin repaint as I am any of those. This is the Penguin I’ve been needing/wanting ever since I bought the original way, way back in the year 2008. That Penguin was good. The arms seemed a little long (or simply not stubby enough?) but the figure looked great overall and had an appropriately gnarled face sculpt for old Oswald Chesterfield Cobblepot. But it just never struck a chord with me.
The reason was simple: I’m a Super Powers kid. The figures came out right around the time I was getting old enough to actually remember which toys I had. And while I had many loves as a kid (as evidenced by the way-too-wide-berth this site tries to cover, not to mention my wallet), Super Powers will always be foremost among them. And so my Penguin has always been a guy that delights in his villainy, is subject to the never-ending “blue was the highlight color” debate, and carries a primary color umbrella that turns a pukey purple color when you spin it around.
As Classics went on, and particularly when it went deep into its Bronze Age / Super Powers lovefest, that first Penguin stuck out more and more to me. The Joker was all Bronze Age. The jumpsuit Riddler, though never a Super Powers figure, also took me back to those good old days. The Silver Age Catwoman joined them to make a sweet “just like you remember” trio. And that Penguin, while technically correct, just never fit in for me. This was the Penguin I needed.
Mattel tossed this classic Penguin into their booth some time ago – SDCC 2011 maybe? It was back before the great line implosion of 2012 for sure. Larfleeze was coming to retail as part of a new DCU All-Stars line and Penguin… well, I was soon crushed to discover that Penguin was just there. He didn’t have a home.
I have a special place of rage that I go to when a toy company shows me something they’re not going to make. I mean, I want to know… it’s cool to know what goes on behind-the-scenes, but I also don’t want to know. Hasbro’s Sigma Six Scarlett & Joe Colton? Ugh! The MO2K figures that never were? Even with Classics and the Stactions, I still want some of the figures Mattel displayed in the “We’re not making these” case. And then there’s Zebra Batman. I’m still mad about that.
For awhile, I was worried that Penguin would end up with the same fate.
Luckily, after more than a year of waiting (and some major reshuffling from Mattel), this classic Penguin found his way to retail. He’s an odd man out in the line, mixed in with two nU52 figures in the first wave, but I don’t care one bit. He’s here’s. He fab. And I’m happy. Continue to Page 2…