Topless Toy Chest: 1966 Batman and Robin by Mattel

By Luke Y. Thompson in TV, Toys
Wednesday, August 7, 2013 at 4:38 pm

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It's not just one of the most anticipated toys of the year, but one of the most wanted of the last few decades - a set of Adam West and Burt Ward Batman and Robin action figures. We finally get both, and with a key diorama piece, no less. Was it worth the wait? Let's find out.



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Batman and Robin come in a box that recreates some of the cartoon art from the show's opening credits, with a bit of "na na na na" woven into the design. On the back you can see the rest of the figures from the first series; note that Robin only comes with this set.

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One thing that's weird and instantly noticeable when you open the figures up is that they have large white tags sewn into their capes. These are so glaringly terrible that I have to assume there's a legal reason for it, possibly one involving wires inside capes. Just in case you were wondering why you don't see that much any more. Also their capes are anchored to each other, and the package, with tiny plastic ties.

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The wires are there theoretically to pose the capes, since these figures rely on the show's most obvious "illusion," wherein Batman and Robin would walk up a wall thanks to a camera turned sideways. So the wires are meant to pose the capes billowing back, but they don't really work, because nothing connects them at the neck. You can bend the wire backwards, and it will simply by itself, rotate back around to the side, ruining the look you had in mind.

The base itself lies flat, with windows that open, but it can also be hung on a wall, with a space for a hook on the back. I think it was a mistake not to give this playset a brace to free-stand it vertically...but since the figures don't really stay on that well anyway, it doesn't matter. If you intend to hang this on your walls, you'll need glue to prevent things becoming cloudy with a chance of hammy actor.

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Scale-wise, this things fit in perfectly with other recent Mattel movie superheroes - and yes, these two had a movie, so they can be Movie Masters too. So if you want to pit the Adam West Batman against Heath Ledger's Joker, for example, you can do that.

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Robin's legs are painted a little darker to simulate the effect of tights, or at least I assume that's what it is - otherwise, it's a major skin-tone msimatch. Batman is a slightly different shade of gray from the Comic-Con exclusive, and lacks the double elbow joints. Don't be fooled by the forced perspective below - they are the same size.

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I'm happy to have these figures at long last, and I love diorama bases - yet I can't help thinking these could have been done a little bit better. From the awkward wiring to the way the base doesn't really work vertically, there are missed opportunities galore here...but in the end, you still get a pretty cool pair of figures. Even if you do have to take a scissors to those ludcirous tags.


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