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Batman Classic TV Series
Batman & Robin 2pk Review

One of the bigger surprises DC & Mattel were able to pull off this last year was working out the rights to the Classic Batman TV Series. I’m not privy to what the exact stumbling blocks have been all these years, but you can’t get the series on DVD and if you’ve wanted any merchandise beyond replicas of the Batmobile, you were pretty much out of luck… until now.

Warner Brothers has let loose with the Batman license this year. Mezco has some cool new Mez-Itz featuring the classic designs. NECA has a gorgeous quarter-scale figure coming soon. Hot Toys has gorgeous Batman & Robin sixth-scale figures on the way (and a sixth-scale Classic Batmobile to boot). And Mattel has… well, Mattel has figures too.

I enjoy the old show. I enjoyed it more as a kid, some fifteen to twenty years after it originally aired and like most things I enjoyed as a kid, I usually want some action figures to keep those childhood memories alive. When Mattel announced, I was excited at the prospects. A 6” scale classic Batmobile! A Caesar Romero figure with a molded-on, but unpainted mustache! Multiple Catwoman! A Frank Gorshin figure (he put Riddler on the map, if you ask me)! Burgess Meredith! Egghead! King Tut! Bookworm! Louie the Lilac! I have no idea how deep Mattel would go with the line-up (other than not deep enough), but it was really fun to think about.

I put in pre-orders for everything as soon as they came up and that included the 2pk being reviewed today. It featured the Dynamic Duo with a wall-mountable building façade that they could “climb” up. The set looked fun with opening windows and, hey, it’s also the only way to currently get Robin. I was excited when it came in (seemingly early) and I was excited when it shipped. I was pretty much ecstatic right up until I opened it.
The set and I got off on the wrong foot right away. That was truer for Robin; whose leg had been pretty badly warped by the package. The real problem for me was the paint QC on both figures, particularly the faces. Batman featured a lot of slop on the right side of his mask and a scratch in his symbol. Robin had fuzzy lines on his mask and hair, and a big paint glob on his lip. It was difficult to really have fun with the figures due to the sloppiness. I pretty much boxed the set back up and left it until it was time to work on the review. Not exactly what I had planned when I got the e-mail that the set was shipping.

I’ve been trying to look past the QC to get excited about the figures. While I don’t feel like all the articulation is working well in concert with the sculpts, I think the sculpts are nicely done overall. The Adam West is the better likeness of the two (in that I don’t really see much Burt Ward in the Robin head sculpt). The real success on his head sculpt is the separate cowl piece. It does a great job; giving much needed depth to the mask and letting natural light & shadow give the figure a great feel.

Beneath the mask, I’m still getting used to the non-heroic proportions, but the figure does match up pretty well to the show. For some reason, I can’t “unsee” the bicep swivels – and while I almost always favor articulation, but I kinda wish they weren’t there. Those Ghostbusters ball-elbows might have worked well on this figure where the aesthetics seem a little more important than they do on the comic-based-fare.

While Robin’s head sculpt is as sharp as Batman’s, I think some of it may be do the paint. The head is molded red and painted in that gloopy fleshtone (I know because mine got a “bloody” lip after I removed that paint glob). I think that’s making the sculpt appear a little softer than it might normally be. The rest of the figure’s sculpt looks fine and the costume details do a better job of hiding the bicep swivel. I did have an issue with my Robin’s wrists though. The two parts aren’t as flush as they should be and a small, but noticeable gap is there on both arms. Continue to Page 2…

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41 comments to Batman Classic TV Series
Batman & Robin 2pk Review

  • Bummer. So far, it seems like the minuses outweigh the pluses in regards to this line. That paint slop on Robin’s mug is simply unforgivable. I don’t remember DCUC ever having these kind of issues aside from warped limbs.

    I’m the opposite of you when it comes to cloth capes. The 60’s Batmobile is my favorite next to the Super Powers version and I plan on giving it to the DCUC Bronze Age Batman and Robin. But first I need to swap out their plastic capes with cloth ones in order to have them fit into their ride. I was thinking of going with homemade capes made from scratch like I usually do in case these weren’t swappable. There’s just something about cloth capes that make figures feel more real for me. The great thing about cloth is that it allows you to pose guys like Dr. Fate or the Martian Manhunter with their capes wrapped around them in that fancy regal style we often see in comics.

    But I can see how these jumbo tags would make them look ridiculous. I vote that you bring out the scissors on these two ipso facto!

    • I haven’t looked around at any other reviews, so I’m hoping mine is more the exception rather than the rule, but, trying to think back, I believe this is some of the worst paint I’ve seen on any of my DC/Mattel figures personally. I think my Wave 3 Sinestro is probably the closest.

      The positives on cloth capesa are great and it is super-important that these guys be able to fit in that Batmobile (Is that already out? I need to track down some info on that), but it just takes too much away aesthetically for me to really enjoy them. The cheap, Super Powersness of the capes does help some what though. I think if Mattel had done a better job at engineering the capes here, I would be happier. It kinda looks like a custom solution.

      And, yes, I can finally remove the tags now that the review is done! Geez!

  • Prince Bubblegum

    The quality control (or lack there of) on these figures is appalling! I was excited about this line, but seeing these pics has completely killed any interest that I had. As long as the TrU exclusive Batmobile looks decent (and is decently priced), I plan on doing like Clutch and buying it for use with my DCUC Batman figures. I typically try to avoid the Mattel-bashing bandwagon, but they deserve any and all fanboy hatred that they receive concerning this line 🙁

    • I’m hoping that my set is an outlier. I think all the legs will be warped, but hopefully there are some better paint jobs out there. I just wasn’t able to choose due to it coming from online.

      Which also meant that I cancelled all my pre-orders for the line. If I do grab anymore (I think I still need a Gorshin Riddler), it will have to be in person.

  • 3B

    I don’t know why Mattel didn’t mold the heads (at least Robin’s) in skin tone. They have to apply such thick paint that it makes it look sloppy and softens the sculpts. However, my Robin isn’t as bad as yours. Neither is the Batman for that matter. And I actually have two sets (I bought the extra as a birthday gift for a friend) and the QC is not that bad.

    I collect WWE figures, so cloth accessories don’t bother me. I actually prefer cloth capes because they’re not as heavy as the molded capes and they’re obviuously necessary for the figures to fit in the Batmobile. I just snipped the tags as soon as I got them out of the box. I think it’s hard to appreciate these on their own merit because we’re so used to over-muscled superhero sculpts. Even the Movie Masters figures have exaggerated proportions. So seeing a couple of average build dudes in spandex is a little weird.

    Overall, these are pretty much what I wanted them to be.

    • A painted head/face can look really nice if done properly, but with figures like these, it’s probably best to mold the skintone (DC Direct & NECA have gotten particularly good at it) and work around it.

      I’m glad to hear that not all the sets are as bad as mine. I mean, I knew they wouldn’t be bad, but bad face paints cuts deep! 😀

      I’ll be snipping the tags today. I just couldn’t do it before I took the review pics. That’s cheating!

      See, I’m not sure what I wanted them to be. Well, that’s not true. I kinda wanted them to be little versions of that quarter-scale NECA Batman, but I knew they wouldn’t be.

  • Retcon

    Wow – totally underwhelmed. I managed to cancel my villain and surfer Batman variant pre-orders, but BBTS already got this set in before I had the chance to – so I guess I am stuck with them!

    Definitely be putting money towards the Hot Toys whenever they come out. These are just all kinds of lame.

    • I did cancel the others for now too, but just because I feel like I need to buy them in person if at all!

      The Hot Toys are really tempting instead I have to admit… but do I love this Batman that much??

  • Great review, excellent pics, and as for “A sparrow with a machine gun” . . . I almost did a spit-take, it was so funny.

    Shame about the all-around QC on these. I’m normally a proponent of soft goods for balance and pose-ability (the Jawa I got in 1983 still stands out as the finest example of tiny-scale clothing I’ve ever seen, thirty years on), but Mattel seems to have taken a massive step backwards in soft-goods development.

    As cool an idea as this is, I’m glad I saved my money.

    • I can’t take credit for that riddle, it’s directly from the show. It’s one of the best ones!

      I thought you’d be here to champion the cloth capes, but Mattel knows no bounds it seems. I think the embedded design they chose could work if they’d put the capes in a little deeper to cover the hems and seams.

  • The Ghost

    I’ve only got West on order from Amazon. I just can’t be fudged with the rest of the line. Mainly because I’ll probably never have a chance to nab the Batmobile outside of eBay and because Mattel are moving to 4 inch scale for Keaton Bats. Horrible decision from a horrible company.

    Can’t wait until MOTUC wraps up so I can be done with them. I love so much stuff they do produce or could produce but they’re just terrible with the way they handle everything.

    • Bigbot

      That Keaton Batman decision is mind-boggling to me.

      • I know! LOL! I’m up for a Keaton Batman in any scale, but you have to laugh at Mattel having done Bale & West, but then opting to do Keaton in a whole new scale! Genius!

        I presume that any of these figures could pop up in that scale too?

    • I think the Batmobile will be plentiful at TRU. I could be wrong… let’s hope not.

  • Ian

    The paint QC kills this for me. VERY unlikely I will get them given the awesome toys coming out. No need to spend good money on these just to be upset every tie I look at them.

    • When these show up in stores, I imagine folks will be able to get the pick of the litter and do better than me. That’s the risk of buying early & online.

      But, your’e definitely right about other, more awesome stuff coming out. I was tempted to be fairly completist (no need for Bat-variants), but overall this line may not be for me and my crunched budget.

  • TC

    Unfortunately, if you collect Mattel’s DC stuff, you just have to kind of come to terms with yourself that there’s gonna be some warped limbs and a little paint-slop in your future. But I would be absolutely livid with the QC on these figures. Just pathetic. And those tags look completely ridiculous and distracting. Cut ’em off!
    I’m only planning on getting the Batmobile and possibly Batman from this line, so I’m not really invested in any of this, but i do feel bad for the folks that were looking forward to this line. What a shame.

    • Exactly. I’m not all fire & brimstone when there’s bad paint, but these are pretty annoying. I’m hopeful that future figures will be much improved. And, yeah, the tags are coming off today!

      I think the real diehards will have a much better time with this stuff. It’s easier to overlook a few flaws when you love the source material. I’m thinking that might be part of my disappointment too.

  • Mikey

    Damm mattel where is the love??????

  • Andy

    What’s this?! The besmirching of the Boy Wonder’s handsome face?
    *sting music*
    A crippling injury brought on by poor packaging??
    *higher pitched sting music*
    Even the caped crusader can’t escape from the paint run off!!
    *even higher pitched theme music*
    The people of Gotham were told Mattel produces “HIGH-END low-run collector lines”!
    *sad trombone*

    Who will put an end to Mattel’s evil ways?? Find out in this editions of…

    • Man, that is awesome!

      When the set was on it’s way, I had some grand plans to have fun with the pics, but then it arrived and well, pics like that are a lot of extra work to have to spend on not-so hot toys.

      But, yes, that pretty much sums it up and well. 😀

  • TwoFisted

    One of the main reasons I dont do pre orders on anything. Its really REALLY disapointing to see how these turned out. I hope when I find these that there’ll be multiples for me to dig thru to find a set with a decent paint job.

    You mentioned that you didnt like the scuplts Noisey. Is it that you dont like the show accurate body sculpts and wanted Adam West and Burt Ward’s heads put on standard DCUC bucks?

    My big question to you Noisey is….why in the hell did you not send your set back?? I know its a pain in the buttocks to return anything….BUT you shouldnt have a list of complaints as long the one you have and NOT be well within your rights to return it.

    • It’s not that I don’t like the sculpts – I think they’re mostly spot-on and that it’s a good thing it’s just that the articulation doesn’t fit as well with the more realistic sculpts. I don’t know – it’s odd, I normally don’t care one bit about stuff like that, but Batman’s upper arms just look weird to me. I thought some of the pics came out really nice though when I found poses they used in the show.

      I did contemplate sending it back, but I honestly figured it would just be a crap shoot anyway. If this set shows up at a store with killer paint, I might not be purchasing it and swapping this one out with the receipt…

  • Brainlock

    FWIW, the newer molded parts look great, but I agree this set was ruined by crap paint QC. Suckage. esp when this was the first review I’ve seen! Not good, Mattel!

    The arms and legs just seem out of proportion. Maybe if they were a fraction thicker, esp the arms on Adam, and def Robin’s legs a hair shorter? I don’t think the “muscle bound” look became popular until a decade later, but Burt *was* a gymnast and martial artist, and his figure should reflect that, not look like one of the Venture Brothers on Hallowe’en. also, did Burt really have that many yellow bars (ties?) on his vest? you can see the difference with the group shot of the two Dynamic Duos. I never noticed before, but it stands out on this figure.

    Capes: I think it depends on the figure, honestly. sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t. I wouldn’t have minded DCUC Raven with a cloth cape (having it pre-molded for her arms raised “flare” did NOT endear me to that cape/figure!), and DCUC Robin could have gone either way, for me. Her father’s figure, the CnC Trigon, however, it needed to be cloth just to fit in the package! LOL Someone like Alan Scott, however, I think DCD released one version with a cloth cape (1St App series?) but that worked with that “Golden Age” style that Martin Nodell drew in. for the DCUC, I probably would have gone with a softer rubber cape. The one he came with was too stiff, like Mr. Miracle’s/Dr Impossible’s were.

    I’ve said before I’m not a big Bat-fan, but I was looking forward to this series, but more for the villains this time, rather than the two stars. That said, I’d like to see “civilian” Bruce and Dick, as well as Yvonne as Barbara and BatGirl (with fringed motorcycle???), and Chief O’Hara and Cmsr.Gordon. and of course, Alfred and Aunt Harriet!

    and any chance they would expand to include a certain emerald suited contemporary and his famous martial artist associate???? Is the Lee figure from a few years back in scale with these? (NOW we’re all wishing we had picked them up at retail! LOL)

    • I checked out a couple still pics and the bodies seemed okay in terms of accuracy. What I’m really waiting for is a diehard Batfan to review the set. I want to hear their take.

      I do agree that Raven’s cape was annoying, but I still never want cloth capes on twelfth scale figures. These are kinda growing on me, but I won’t be converted!!

      As usual, you’ve got a great list of wants for the line. And I do think the villains might be the standouts for the line, provided they get to enough of ’em!

      And, yeah, I’d totally buy those last two you mention…

      • Brainlock

        I figured most of the villains were a given, and they could do a different CatWoman in every wave! LOL

  • DavidEvanSmith

    As a die-hard fan of the Batman tv show (and I DID recall that riddle from the episode, and yes the answer is preposterous), it will take a LOT to disappoint me when it comes to these figures. I also preordered everything and will be hoping for better luck with the paint jobs than you’ve had with this set. Sorry to hear it!

    I received my SDCC Batusi Batman, which doesn’t have the ab-hinge, but I discovered that’s because his body houses a mechanism button on the back that moves his arms in the “Batusi” motion, which I guess couldn’t be worked around an ab joint. But the SDCC Batusi is a great version because the mechanism isn’t intrusive, the packaging actually plays Batusi music, and the cutouts in the TV screen packaging shake. I love the detail down to the girl in the orange fringe dress that looks like the episode’s Molly character, and the green-jacketed bartender who was secretly a Riddler henchman. A lot of love went into the detail of this line, overall. I just hope it expands past what’s been announced so far, though my logical self doubts it will.

    Should receive my batclimb set next through my preorder, and my fingers are crossed I don’t get the bad paint like you did.

    And yeah, those tags in the cape are ROUGH! Messy!

    And sidebar: There are updated pics of Joker and Catwoman on Amazon, and the articulation really mucks up the look of Catwoman, in my opinion, and Joker was retooled on a DCUC Joker body, which I think really takes away from the look of the first attempted/displayed sculpt.

    • I was almost wondering if I’d like that Batman without the ab crunch more than this one. That ab crunch is not too far behind the bicep swivels in just looking a little off to me. I’m still undecided on the Batusi set. Money’s tight these few weeks!

      I’ll check out the new pics. I was wondering if the movie master suit body would show up in this line. I’ll have to check out the new pics you mention!

      Good luck on your set! And the tags aren’t too bad to take out, though I did tear Batman’s cape a bit… Boo!

  • DavidEvanSmith

    Forgot to add… one great detail I see in my Batusi Batman and your pics is the sculpt qualities.

    There are ridges in the Batman cowl that echo the series perfectly. The mildly glittery navy paint on the cowl and boots. The wrinkles in all the right places. The very FAINT bronze bat on the golden belt buckle of the utility belt. Really makes me wish we could see what they’d do with an Yvonne Craig Batgirl figure.

    • You’re definitely right on the little details. A lot of attention was given to littel details. Man, this line is really causing conflict in my collector brain! LOL

  • DavidEvanSmith

    As far as the future viability of the line, I’m really bat-conflicted.

    The uber-fan in me has an endless string of ideas for this line, but the realist in me thinks this is all we’ll get unless the line proves to be a smashing commercial success and everything sells out immediately. That’s possible, but it is definitely a line geared to a demographic that isn’t the 8-10 year old boy.

    In a perfect world, that’s still a realistic world, I would like to see this happen with the future of the line:

    Toys R Us Exclusive two-packs:
    –Chief O’Hara and Bruce Wayne (civilian)
    –Commissioner Gordon and Dick Grayson (civilian)
    –Alfred and Barbara Gordon (civilian) (season 3)
    –Batgirl and Catwoman (Eartha Kitt version)(season 3)

    Toys R Us Exclusive Vehicles:
    –Bat-Cycle
    –Bat-Boat
    –Bat-Copter
    –Batgirl-Cycle (season 3)
    –Kitty Car (season 3)

    Single-Pack Releases: 2014
    -Quarter One
    –Mr. Freeze (interchangeable heads of Otto Preminger and Eli Wallach)
    –King Tut
    –Egghead
    –3piece suit Riddler (season 1)

    -Quarter Two
    –Surf’s Up Joker (season 3)
    –Olga
    –Boxing Ring Batman (season 3)
    –Mad Hatter

    -Quarter Three
    –Bookworm
    –False-Face (interchangeable clip-on masks)
    –Siren
    –Boxing Ring Riddler (season 3)

    -Quarter Four
    –Marsha, Queen of Diamonds
    –Shame
    –Louie the Lilac
    –Penguin as horseracing jockey (season 3)

    In my wildest dreams… (but I doubt it)

    SDCC 2014 Exclusive (Attendees only):
    Aunt Harriet Cooper

    Matty Collector.com Exclusive Offers: Stage your own Bat-Fight!
    2 Joker Henchmen & 2 Penguin “G.O.O.N.” Henchmen 4pack
    –with interchangeable heads
    –each set of henchmen having the fat/short and tall/skinny body types
    –Joker henchmen are wearing pullover vests on red turtlenecks
    –Penguin henchmen are wearing black turtlenecks with “G.O.O.N.” name on front

    2 Catwoman Henchmen & 2 Riddler Henchmen 4pack
    –with interchangeable heads
    –each set of henchmen having the fat/short and tall/skinny body types
    –Catwoman henchmen are wearing tiger-stripe shirts and black pants
    –Riddler henchmen are wearing turtlenecks that each feature “across” or “down” filled in on an empty crossword puzzle

    If I got NOTHING ELSE from this line I would die a happy man.

  • Pow

    These figure are of very few exception that look much better in the package than out.
    I shall keep them like so.

  • Lay Ze-Man

    Wow, shame about the QC on these. Admittedly, the prototypes didn’t exactly blow me away, but these final products are just giving me a Tonner vibe in a bad way. (Is there any other kind if Tonner vibe? LOL)

    I found the couple of GB references fitting, as that’s another forever-awaited toy license that Mattel had land with a thud and a dousing of cold water.

  • Man, I want to love these. I really WANT to love these. The Batman TV show was one of those key ‘growing up’ things and I look at these figures and just feel sad.

    They just scream lazy to me. Lazy paint. Lazy sculpt. Lazy capes. I mean, the sculpt isn’t BAD, it’s just it seems they were too wedded to follow the DCUC buck and if you’re doing action figures of real people, otherwise fit but somewhat ‘ sixty’s doughy’ people, I think you need to work just a bit harder on proportions and the joints.

    You know what drives the final nail in, what kills it for me? That box. That so crude attempt to copy the ’60s visuals without actually USING them (because I think there’s still no final deal between Warner Bros and 20th Fox on the DVDs). I just don’t get ANY excitement from that box.

    There ARE different kinds of fabric that can be used for the capes, not everything has to be made from ‘Jawa’ material.

    I have a gut feeling there won’t be a continuation wave. There’s a LOT of great ideas about other figures here in this thread, a ‘Goons’ pack is clearly needed and since I recall they seemed to use the same stunt guys for EVERYBODY it would be such an easy thing to recolor.

    But it’s Mattel. They just can’t have the foresight to make a continuing line from this. I strongly believe this entire line was OK’ed in anticipation of ’66 Batman being released to home video this year (2013) annnnd I don’t think that’s going to happen. Let’s face it, if it wasn’t announced at SDCC, this isn’t the year. And so now Mattel is stuck with a product line and no media tie-in to push it or ride the coattails of.

    I hope to see the Batmobile at Toys R Us. I fear the QC issues that beast could have.

  • And slap me with a monkfish, it appears to be out, but NOT in stores.

    http://www.toysrus.com/product/index.jsp?productId=20500956

    Huh. nothing opens. Can’t hide the Penguin in the trunk. figures.

  • Justin S.

    The TRU “Exclusive” batmobile is selling on Target;s website now. I ordered 2 myself, waiting for them to get here. The distribution of this line confuses me. Some stores get the figures in while others still have them as pre orders, exclusives showing up at other stores. idk.

  • IDK… I may pick up Batman for the novelty factor (NOT FOR Novelty!!!!) I hope the QC issues are only isolated to this particular set. Otherwise, while it’s cool these are out there I can pass. Just give me the Goddamned Batman DVDs already!

  • Justin S.

    Just got my order in yesterday and it turns out the Batmobile listed on Target’s website IS the one from this line.
    Looks like it’s not exclusive to TRU after all.