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Captain Toy/Michael's Review of the Week

Review of Batgirl - 1966 Batman Television Show
Comparison Review of Two Statues

Tweeterhead, Diamond Select
Date Published: 2016-03-23
Written By: Michael Crawford
Overall Average Rating: 3.25 out of 4

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Batgirl 1966 Batman TV Show statue by Tweeterhead/DST

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Introduction

Regular readers know I'm not just a huge fan of Batman, but of the 1966 television show. While it's corny and silly to most modern viewers, it was the Batman I grew up with, and that nostalgia can right a lot of wrongs. Of course, it also helps that it is supposed to be corny and silly, sort of the 60's superhero version of Pee Wee Herman. It takes a special kind of person to enjoy it, and I'm just that special kind of person.

We were never suppose to get collectibles based on the show. The license was simply too hard to get, too many hoops to jump through, too many lawyers to muck it up. And yet, all that changed a couple years ago, and the product started to flow.  It's abated a bit now, but that's not a bad thing. We're getting less, but the quality had risen, and we're finally starting to see a deeper run at the show than with the initial flood.

I never expected to own a high quality statue based on Yvonne Craig's Batgirl. Never. And now I own two. And they both arrived on my doorstep the same week.  How mind blowing is that? Tonight I'm going to check out the new Signature Series release from Tweeterhead in their series of statues based on the show, and the new release from Diamond Select Toys, which is part of their Premier Collection.

The DST version is limited to 1966, and will run you around $140 depending on the retailer.  The Tweeterhead standard release runs $250 or so, and was limited to 2500. They also did a 'Signature Series', limited to just 300, that included a couple extras. More on that in the review below.

Click on the image below for a Life Size version
Batgirl 1966 Batman TV Show statue by Tweeterhead/DST

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Packaging - DST ***; Tweeterhead ***1/2
Both statues come in a pretty standard box, with foam trays holding the various pieces safe.  The DST version uses the softer foam, which I loathe, but does include a Certificate of Authenticity with the edition size and number. They've also printed this on the bottom of the small base.

The Tweeterhead version I'm reviewing tonight is actually the Signature Series, although I'm not going to be able to do a complete review on the accessories. This exclusive statue should include a lithograph, as well as a folio of photos from the show. These two items were not packed in the boxes however, and Tweeterhead is sending them separately. I'll mention them in the Accessories section, but can't really comment on their final look since I don't yet have them.

The Signature Series also includes a signed Certificate of Authenticity. This is a selling point, and the Burt Ward Robin and Adam West Batman both included them.  Obviously, this won't be the case with the upcoming Frank Gorshin Riddler or Vincent Price Egghead, and a printed facsimile will be used in those cases.

The original plan was for Yvonne Craig to sign the COA's, but tragically she lost her battle with cancer in the fall. From all accounts, she was a wonderful woman and loved her fans, and had kept her battle very private. Her passing was a shock to many, including Tweeterhead. They did get the chance, along with the sculptor, Trevor Grove, to show the wax prototype to Ms. Craig, and she loved it. After her passing, Tweeterhead altered the Signature Series to include not only the pre-printed signature COA, but also the folio of photos I mentioned earlier. They also gave those of us that pre-ordered an option - we could have the $30 premium back, or they would donate it in our name to the breast cancer charity that Ms. Craig had supported for many years. I feel this was a touching example of a compassionate company that cares about everyone they are involved with.

Batgirl 1966 Batman TV Show statue by Tweeterhead/DST

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Sculpting - DST ***; Tweeterhead ***1/2
Both of these statues are very, very attractive in hand.  There are some significant design differences however, and which one you prefer is likely to be more of an aesthetic choice than one of quality.

While the DST version is just two pieces - the base and statue - the Tweeterhead Batgirl comes in three pieces, plus a couple accessories.  The huge base is all one piece, but the statue itself comes in a body and a head with attached cape.  Putting it together is pretty easy, but you'll still want to handle with care.

When it comes to accuracy, I think the Tweeterhead version is far superior. Looking at stills of the original costume, as well as this composite photo of Ms. Craig as both Barbara Gordon and Batgirl, you can get a good idea of the look of the suit and how she wore it. The shape of her body with the Tweeterhead statue is much more in line with how she looked on the show, and smaller details of the costume - like the seam at the waist - are screen accurate.

The mask and cowl are a bit thicker though, riding off her face further than what we saw on the show.  This is a bit of a catch-22, because if you sculpt and paint them too close to the face, they lose some of their realism in this scale. Sculpt and paint them too far off the skin, and they can look odd. While getting the mask a little tighter to the face would have been nice, it's still better than the alternative.

The one nit I have to pick is with the neck. The final product ends up with a neck that's just a *smidge* too long. Some people are going to disagree and say it's simply way too long - that's incorrect. Ms. Craig had a very long, slender neck, and it was even more apparent in the costume. This version isn't that far off, but it does end up looking a fraction of an inch longer than it should. I suspect part of the issue is caused by the weird tilt in her neck at the collar line, which needed to be more fluid.

I'll get into more detail on the base that comes with the Tweeterhead version in the Accessories section, but suffice to say that the detailed sculpt is very realistic and very accurate to the show.

The Tweeterhead Batgirl stands about 11 3/4" tall without the base, putting her in scale with the rest of the series. She's a little big for sixth scale, particularly since Batgirl was one of the smaller ladies on the show, but it's unlikely you'll be displaying her with any of your sixth scale figures at this point.

The DST version is shorter, coming in at 12" tall in total, making the figure itself about 10 1/2". The quality of the sculpt is top notch, and Clayburn Moore did the work. Details are sharp, the portrait is good, and the small details are sharp and crisp. However, this version is far less screen accurate. The body is more slender, less curvy, and less show accurate in its representation. It also lacks some of the suit details (like that aforementioned seam at the waist) that we saw with the actual character, and has a more comic book look to the face and eyes.

Neither one has super detailed hair, but both are adequate considering the style.  The selected poses are attractive with both, although I prefer the slightly more dynamic and 'perky' look that Tweeterhead went with.

Batgirl 1966 Batman TV Show statue by Tweeterhead/DST

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Paint - DST ***1/2; Tweeter ****
In hand, both statues look quite impressive. Macro photos will highlight some issues, and will also make the difference in style more evident.

Tweeterhead's version is exceptional, with very little slop and very beautiful, consistent colors.  The purple is a bit closer to the actual costume I believe, although it's very hard to tell - this is a color that can vary in shade and darkness depending on the light quite a bit. They've also gone with a very bright gloss on the boots to set them apart, and less of a texture on the gloves to differentiate them from the body suit as well.  The yellow is realistically subdued, less comic book colored, and matches the show appearance better. But it's really the sparkle effect on the body suit that draws the eye and snags the full score for the Tweeterhead statue. This is mostly created with sculpted texture, but the paint application helps bring it out.

That's not to say there aren't some snags.  A few of the cut lines could be cleaner, particularly around the mask, cowl, ears, and collar.  The blips are minor, but they are there.  Still, the paint work is well above average quality for a statue in this price range.

The work on the DST Batgirl is also exceptional. The sparkly body suit is all paint here, and the effect looks great. It's a little less realistic than the Tweeterhead design, but it's still gorgeous.  Cut lines are generally clean as are the details, although the edges on the mask are a bit wavy. The large eyes are clean, but have that comic book look again, rather than the more realistic approach. The yellow is brighter, and the suit color is a bit less accurate - at least to my colorblind eyes.  Still, at this price point, the work is much better than I expected.

BTW, you may see bright white lines or edges in some of the macro photos - those aren't issues with the paint, but reflections from the glossy finish and bright lights.

Batgirl 1966 Batman TV Show statue by Tweeterhead/DST

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Accessories - DST Bupkis; Tweeter ***
The DST release doesn't have any extras, other than the COA. The statue is two pieces - the statue and the base. Attaching one to the other is fairly straight forward, and the base uses the 66 logo as its selling point.

The Tweeterhead version has a much larger base that shows off Batgirl's secret entrance.  Finding a good shot of this entrance was tricky, but you can see it in this image. Technically, this wasn't her 'secret' entrance, which was actually a hidden door in her room that she went through to get to this tiny 'bat-nook'. Here she would change, and then exit through this round door to get to the Batgirl cycle. The sculpt and paint are excellent, and it includes (as two separate pieces) a pedestal and 'Batty' award. The award is held in place on the pedestal with a small magnet.

It might appear that the slightly raised hatch 'handle' in the center of the door was a cheap way to go - not sculpting an actually separate handle - but that is exactly how it looked on the show. In fact, the raised sculpt here is a step up, since the handle was merely painted on, and the door actually opened at the riveted seam lines. There was a hidden button that activated the door, which is the 'secret' part. They've done an excellent job recreating the look, right down to the concrete step and brick wall. Watch this short GIF to see the full sequence of events.

With the Signature Series they've added in the Batty award, with a pedestal. These are two separate pieces, and the Batty attaches to the top of the pedestal with a post and magnet. Batgirl received this from the designer Rudy in the episode "Catwoman's Dressed to Kill". She won the award for best dressed crime fighter in Gotham - I can certainly see that. Unfortunately, the Batty -  and the pedestal - have a couple issues. The sculpt and paint are actually pretty good considering the scale, but inserting the award into the pedestal is a problem, at least on mine. One of the magnets has been installed backwards. Those with a grade school science background will realize that means the magnets don't attract, but repel each other. You'll notice that the award is a little crooked on the pedestal in the photo below - that's not a flaw of the hole or post, but rather because I was using poster tack to hold it in place, and was fighting the potential launch of the small award across the room. It actually sits straight and clean when nothing extra is stuffed in the post hole! This is hopefully a one off situation, and not a consistent problem.

There's also a magnet in the base of the pedestal and in the floor of the background, but this is further out than expected. In fact, where you see the pedestal sitting in the photo is where it sticks to the base, which is in the way of the actual statue. Of course, the pedestal can also rest anywhere you want it, and the base is big enough to keep it upright.

The Signature Series also includes the lithograph and folio of photos I mentioned earlier, but I can't comment on their final execution since they are shipping separately at a later date.

Batgirl 1966 Batman TV Show statue by Tweeterhead/DST

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Batgirl 1966 Batman TV Show statue by Tweeterhead/DST

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Value - DST **; Tweeterhead **1/2
No, these aren't cheap.  The DST version is part of their new 'premier' collection, and appears to be a step up in paint quality from lines like DC Bombshells or Cover Girls, which are in teh $100 - $110 range.  I see where some of the extra cash is going, but I think a price closer to $120 would go a long way to moving off retailer shelves them more quickly.

The Tweeterhead statue is a consistent $250 for the regular release, or $280 for the Signature Series.  That extra $30 is well worth it, but with an edition size of just $300, they've long since sold out, making ebay your best bet.

Batgirl 1966 Batman TV Show statue by Tweeterhead/DST

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Things to Watch Out For -
Obviously, don't drop anything.  These are polyresin statues, and pieces will break.  Handle with care, and you should be just fine.

Batgirl 1966 Batman TV Show statue by Tweeterhead/DST

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Overall - DST ***; Tweeterhead ***1/2
If you can only have ONE 1966 Batman television show line of collectibles, make it the Tweeterhead statues. With the Batman, Robin, Catwoman, and now Batgirl releases, they are producing an exceptional line up of high quality statues.  Both Riddler and Egghead are already up for pre-order, and several more are in the planning stages.

But they aren't cheap, especially the very limited Signature Series.  The new Premier Collection from DST is a very viable option, depending on your personal tastes.  The look isn't as accurate, but the quality overall is quite good, and they already have Catwoman up for order.  Batman and Robin can't be too far off, and DST is pretty good about seeing a license through, rather than cutting it off early.

Either way, you won't be disappointed.  Now I have to get around to buying that 66 Batman Batcave Lego set...

Score Recap (out of ****):
Packaging - ***
Sculpting - DST ***; Tweeterhead ***1/2
Paint - DST ***1/2; Tweeter ****
Accessories - DST Bupkis; Tweeter ***
Value - DST **; Tweeterhead **1/2
Overall - DST ***; Tweeterhead ***1/2

Batgirl 1966 Batman TV Show statue by Tweeterhead/DST

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Where to Buy 
Online options include these site sponsors:

- has the Tweeterhead version for $230, and the DST Premier version for $135.

- has the DST version for $135, and the Tweeterhead version for $235.

- has the DST Premier Collection Batgirl for $135, and the Tweeterhead version for $250.

- Sideshow has just the Tweeterhead statue, priced at $250.

- Entertainment Earth has the Tweeterhead statue for $250, and the DST statue for $180, either with free shipping.

- or you can search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
Tweeterhead has already released the Batman, Robin, and Catwoman statues in this series. This is the first of the DST 1966 characters, although they've shown a Catwoman for later this year.

If you're looking for other collectibles based on the show, Mattel has done a series or two of 6" scale figures as well. Check out the Batmobile and action figures from Mattel, including Batman and Robin two pack, the Joker,  and the first wave of figures that included Batman, Riddler, and the Penguin.

Other Batman 66 goodies include busts by DST of Batman and others, the Hot Toys sixth scale Batman and Robin, and the 1/4 scale NECA Batman and Robin. If you're into prop replicas, check out the Batbelt from Mattel.

You should also hit the Search Reviews page, in case any other applicable reviews were done after this one was published.

Discussion:
Want to chat about this review?  Try out one of these terrific forums where I'll be discussing it!

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This product was purchased for the review by the reviewer. Photos and text by Michael Crawford.

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