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DC Multiverse 4″ Batman
Returns Penguin Review

I’m a person that makes bad decisions. In my Batman review on Monday, I counseled everyone to buy the newest Mattel/DC Multiverse figures at Target. They’re only $10 there as opposed to $15+ at TRU. There is just one slight problem at the moment – I’m only seeing Penguin at TRU. I’m not sure how the case break downs work on that. I assume I could’ve probably picked up Penguin for $10 later…

But you’ve read the site and know that, obviously, I’m bad with money.

Thing is, I just couldn’t wait a few more weeks because I realized something while I standing there at TRU, dismissing Penguins for bad paint. I realized that Danny DeVito’s Penguin has been waiting twenty years for a proper figure. Twenty years! Some may say, “what’s a few more weeks?” I say, “what’s $5 more dollars.” It’s okay; you can use me as a bad example.

As a kid, I don’t recall caring much that Penguin didn’t get a movie accurate figure. Some kids surely did and it still bugs them. Some toy collectors will swear they did when they probably didn’t. I will freely admit that I loved the Penguin figure we did get. A Super Powers repaint in a black tuxedo. It was pretty awesome. And, no, it didn’t fit with the great Catwoman figure, but it blended fine with the Super Powers Batman repaints. And, hey, looked sweet in his Umbrella Jet too. For full disclosure, I still love having that Marlon Wayans figure of Robin that didn’t appear in the film too. I was easy to please (and maybe I still am!).

Nonetheless, I also had an unfulfilled need for a more accurate Penguin. I’ve been waiting on Hot Toys to move onto Batman Returns for two years to no avail. I would love to a 6” line conquer the Burton films, of course. But I really didn’t know how much I wanted this figure until Mattel unveiled it at NYCC last year. I’m still not the happiest about the 4” scale, but I knew I’d snap up this Penguin when it came out. Even, apparently, for $5 more than I needed to pay.

The biggest reason is the great sculpt. From head-to-toe, this figure has a great visual. The costume details. The head sculpt. The flippers. All the details are crisp and well done. This sculpt makes me want to go out and see who else is in the line. It’s that nice and easily makes Penguin the highlight of this first batch of figures.

The figure is largely molded in the appropriate colors and that’s for the better. I did come this close to not getting a Penguin because of the paint on the face. I had three to choose from and this was the only one I could justify bringing home. When do you find nice paint though, it really pulls out the sculpting. The grimy wash on the face and eyes bring home the head sculpt while the high-gloss paint makes sure you notice the flippers/hands.

There is just one flaw in the visuals though and it’s not the mold line running around his jaw. It’s the scale. I already know that this line is sculpted digitally – I’m cool with whatever looks good and digital did the job here, but I have to wonder what happened with those digitals were outputted. See, this is a 4” line and Mattel did the thing big toy companies sometimes do – they made everybody the same height. Continue to Page 2…

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24 comments to DC Multiverse 4″ Batman
Returns Penguin Review

  • TheGhost

    Any chance of a shot of this with maybe The Dark Knight Movie Masters figures? I’d love to see how he directly compares, scale wise.

  • Shadow_Contact

    Noisy, Maybe see what he look like with an Indiana Jones, Henry Jones Umbrella?

  • dayraven

    you know, with an inventive application of ankle articulation, they could have replicated his waddle. alas, that’s not what mattel does.

    he does look great though, a fantastic likeness for a character that i sometimes feel i’m the only person who enjoyed. seriously, over the years, i’ve read so much vitriol over how dark and mean the character was, how out of character his portrayal was… and then nearly every penguin story afterwards foresook the burgess meredith in favor of the devito. :) but i think that odd reception is why it took so long to get a good figure of him. now the question is, will this line end up producing any red triangle circus gang members to accompany him?

  • Freefire

    These being 4″ kills me but I’ll probably pick up a Keaton Batman and Reeve Superman.

    Just curious, what is a Marlon Wayans Robin?

    • Marlon Wayans was cast and fitted for a Robin costume for Batman Returns (& then paid to not be in Batman Forever, so they could recast). He wasn’t cut in time to stop the figure though, so collectors still got it. Since the body couldn’t be reused for endless Robin variants, he’s a fun, unique figure. (Though the TAS Robin used it as I recall).

      The figure is in the tiny pic where Penguin feels likes number two.

    • Brainlock

      My understanding is he helped fight the (day-glo?) gang. Bats thanks him for his help, and noting the bat-symbol, he makes some comment about his mama naming him after a bird.
      “Robin?”
      “Naw man, Jay.”

      good joke. roll on snare. everybody laugh.
      hrrm.

  • Andy

    sloppy paint and out of scale. Another home run for Mattel

  • This, this is a perfect example of why Mattel gives me so much heartburn.

    That’s a PERFECT DeVito Penguin. Fantastic sculpt, decent detail. And it’s the WRONG SIZE.

    Why? we’ll never know. Maybe the Chinese Factory thought it was silly to make him smaller, maybe the control art didn’t make it clear, somehow, maybe there was a whole lot of “well, we don’t need to worry, EVERYONE KNOWS” going on.

    And then you get that so-called Keaton head. YEESH.

    What was the rational for this product line again? Besides “Only Batman sells for us so now everything is Batman”.

    If they do honest-to-god Miller Dark Knight Returns Batman in this line, I’ll buy it. I MAY buy Zod, because all must kneel before Zod. Reeve Supes, it’s going to have to be a drop-dead perfect sculpt.

    • Brainlock

      yep, for everything they got wrong with Keaton, they got right with DeVito. the “proper size” issue is minor to me at that scale, and I might grab him if I see him. unfortunately, m Target only had Keatons and Zod case, and the two TRU I hit yesterday in StL didn’t have these in. :/

  • So this Penguin isn’t the right size to fight any Batman figure I own, but he might be in scale to fight Doctor Who.

    • Brainlock

      Penguin vs Churchill! KBO!

      • My local comic shop has that Victory of the Daleks set, and I’ve had my eye on it for months. I just haven’t been able to bring myself to pull the trigger on it. For $55, you get one Dalek and a Churchill. I just ordered the Eleven Doctors set, and got all 11 Doctors (minus Hurt) for $90.

    • dayraven

      not entirely true… i bet the original line of batmovie figs, the 5 inchers, he’d look great with.

      • I think I might still have a couple old Batman figures buried away in storage, but if you strapped a bomb to my chest and told me I had 1 hour to find them, I’d probably be dead in an hour.

  • Composite Ghost

    I guess Mattel never learns, they just don’t care, or both. If they had made this figure in proper scale they would have saved money on plastic and we still would have bought it.

  • Alex

    Actually, the scale is perfect.

    Hear me out. Yes, I too am dying to get some good 6″ figures from the classic Batman films. But…Penguin being 4″, and the full four inches rather than proportional, makes him look perfect, absolutely PERFECT next to the original 5″ figures from back in the day. Currently I have mine displayed next to my vintage Dark Knight Collection Bruce Wayne Batman and Sky Attack Joker and it is absolutely spot on.

    If only it didn’t take 22 years to get it…

  • Russ

    I guess this works to my benefit that, so far, the Penguin figure is the only Multiverse figure I’m impressed with. I was gonna get the Penguin anyway, cause I’m a die-hard Cobblepot fan, and pretty much buy anything Penguin (I’m dead serious; a former classmate recently sent me the Batman Returns McDonald’s cups, and a Batman Returns Penguin stamper; and I just had to pick up the ’66 Burgess Meredith at Motor City Comic Con, along with the late ’70s Pocket Heroes Penguin there, too).

    This officially corrects a mistake from 20 years ago, and seeing the rest of the output makes me so much happier that all I really want for now is Cobblepot. :)

    BTW, your last pic was hilarious.

  • Great review!

    It kills me just how well Mattel nailed the head sculpt and paint apps on this figure and yet how they fell short on the unmasked Batman.

    Still, I was as giddy as a 6 year old on Christmas morning when I finally found the Penguin in stores last week!

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