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Captain Toy/Michael's Review of the Week

Review of Julie Newmar Catwoman Premium Collection Statue
1966 Batman Television Show

Diamond Select Toys
Date Published: 2016-04-15
Written By: Michael Crawford
Overall Average Rating: 2 out of 4

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1966 Batman Catwoman Julie Newmar statue by DST

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Introduction

While the insane flood of merchandise for the 1966 Batman television show and film has abated somewhat, there's still some nice collectibles to be had out there. Many of these are thanks to Diamond Select Toys, which has been expanding their product line to include a wider range of busts and statues.

One of their new statue series is called the Premier Collection. These are done in 1/7th scale (about) with each statue coming in around 12" tall including the base.  The most recent is the Julie Newmar Catwoman, and it is limited to just 1966 pieces produced. See what they did there? Expect to pay around $135 for her, depending on the retailer.

Click on the image below for a Life Size version
1966 Batman Catwoman Julie Newmar statue by DST

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Packaging - ***
The outer box is sturdy, and announces the edition size right up front. It's also printed on the bottom, along with the particular number you have, and there's a nice Certificate of Authenticity included with this info as well.

I'm not a big fan of the softer, poofier Styrofoam, which can break down and end up all over the place, but it does keep the two pieces of this statue - figure and base - quite safe and supported.

1966 Batman Catwoman Julie Newmar statue by DST

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Sculpting - ***
This series is being sculpted by Clayburn Moore, and like most artists, he has a particular style. Collectors who remember his action figures of the 90's know what I'm talking about - he's clearly a leg man. That means that while the costume and look match the 1966 show, the body type isn't quite identical. It's not that this version is idealized - Ms. Newmar was gorgeous in the outfit by any cultural standards - but rather Moore's personal style coming through. I don't have any issue with that, particularly from the neck down, for two reasons. First, the overall costume maintains the look from the show fairly well. And second, it remains consistent with the look of Batgirl, the first 1966 Premier Collection release.

That's not to say it's perfect, and my one real gripe with the costume is the belt. The original had a mesh appearance, and here it's merely a gold strap.  This statue is large enough to include the texture, and this is a missed opportunity for greater accuracy.

I do like the mask though, with the high points on the side.  It's fairly accurate to the look from the show, which was unique in Catwoman history. Another big plus is the stranding and detailing in the hair, often an issue for statues. It can look a little soft from the front, but from the back and sides (and in hand), it's solid work.

Which brings us all to the portrait.  After seeing the Batgirl and now the Catwoman, I have to wonder if perhaps it's necessary to get the likeness rights not just from the show, but from the actors themselves, and that it's a step DST skipped. Neither statue has been unattractive (we'll get to the Paint on this figure in a minute, but remember, right now we're just talking sculpt), but they haven't been particularly accurate, either. Anyone that knows Moore's work knows how talented he is, so it begs the question: are these only supposed to be close, but not exact, on purpose?

Of course, this could also simply be the result of the all too common issue with beautiful women: capturing their facial features in a truly recognizable way is damn hard.  Here, the nose and lips are in the ball park, although the forehead and overall head shape seem a little off. The paint work is also causing some issues, and I'd love to see this portrait repainted by hand by one of the talented customizers out there, to get a better feel for the quality of the underlying work.

Catwoman stands about 12" tall, including the base, and fits in nicely with the earlier Batgirl. The other area that may - or may not - cause you some consternation is the pose. It's clearly an unusual choice, with her pointing back behind her.  It's fairly dynamic, and in hand I like it quite a bit. It doesn't work as well in photos, because the placement of the arms seems unnatural in flat, two dimensional pictures, but in hand it's much clearer what's happening.

1966 Batman Catwoman Julie Newmar statue by DST

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Paint - *1/2
Unfortunately, I ended up with a very weak paint job.  Hopefully this is not a consistent issue for them, particularly considering the marketing theme that these are higher end collectibles.

From the neck down, the work is actually quite good.  The metallic speckled suit looks terrific, and the necklace is sharply defined. The belt could be a smidge cleaner, but it's not a deal breaker.

Ah, but that face. You know it's a bad paint job when you really can't tell if the portrait is any good or not, simply because the awful paint might be too distracting. Just about everything goes wrong here, and one error lays on top of another. The edges of the mask are poorly defined and sloppy, which leads to a weird looking fit around the nose and forehead.  It does look like they worked at getting the eyes to follow the pointing arm a bit better than the original marketing photos - just compare her gaze in my photos to the one on the COA - but both eyes have to be looking in the same direction, and the pupils and iris' have to be rounder and less sloppy. Then there's the uneven hairline, which is so obvious on the top of the forehead.

The capper is the the terrible quality of the skin tone itself.  It's harder to see in photos than in hand - one of those rare occasions - but there is a tremendous amount of variation in the color, with darker patches around the mask and cheeks.  There's a few stray spots of paint on the forehead, and worst of all, a large, obvious dark line over the right eye. None of this would be acceptable on a $50 bust, let alone a $135 statue.

1966 Batman Catwoman Julie Newmar statue by DST

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1966 Batman Catwoman Julie Newmar statue by DST

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Value - *1/2
These statues are more expensive than most DST releases, running $135 each.  That's above DC Collectibles territory, where the Bombshells are usually around $120 these days, and in a fairly similar scale.  Had this statue sported as good a paint job as the earlier Batgirl, I'd be more inclined to cut them some slack here, and the lower edition size - just 1966 statues - also drives some of that pricing. But with the poor paint on the face, the additional cost becomes far less justified.

1966 Batman Catwoman Julie Newmar statue by DST

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Things to Watch Out For -
Assembly was quite easy, with the posts lining up nicely with the holes in the base. Still, always take extra care when attaching hard metal posts to a soft resin base, especially when dealing with thinner legs like these.

I'd also advise trying to find one of these locally or at a show, where you can ensure the quality of the paint work. I've seen photos of others online, and they had much better work on the face, so clearly there's a consistency issue right now.

1966 Batman Catwoman Julie Newmar statue by DST

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Overall - **
Tweeterhead is doing some wonderful work with their slightly larger scale series of statues based on the show, but not everyone can afford $250 (or more) for each release. At half the price, this DST line could be a terrific alternative.

The operative word here is 'could'. I like the Batgirl, and was truly impressed by the paint job. Unfortunately, that quality has not translated to the second release, at least not for me. I suspect that underneath the poor production paint is a sculpt that I could be satisfied with, but DST must tighten up  the QC on these if they expect to keep buyers coming back.

Score Recap (out of ****):
Packaging - ***
Sculpting - ***
Paint - *1/2
Value - *1/2
Overall - **

1966 Batman Catwoman Julie Newmar statue by DST

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Where to Buy 
Online options include these site sponsors:

- is at $135 for the statue.

- has her for $135.

- Entertainment Earth is at $140.

- or you can search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
I've also looked at the 1966 Batgirl in the Premier Collection series, and Tweeterhead has done a larger, more expensive statue of the Newmar Catwoman as well, along with Batman, Robin, and Batgirl.

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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