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Captain Toy/Michael's Review of the Week

Review of Riddler (Frank Gorshin) - 1966 Batman TV Show
Sixth Scale Statue

Tweeterhead
Date Published: 2016-11-16
Written By: Michael Crawford
Overall Average Rating: 3 out of 4

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1966 Batman TV Show Gorshin Riddler statue by Tweeterhead

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Introduction

If you're a fan of high quality statues, you're a fan of Tweeterhead. They've been producing great statues based on a wide range of licenses, focusing on old school television properties and 'classic' looks for various DC characters.  While a number of their releases tempt me - as a big fan of the Munsters, it's been a killer not buying them - their one license that is simply too much for me to resist is the 1966 Batman television show.

They've released Batman, Robin, Batgirl, and Catwoman, announced Egghead and Joker, and the Frank Gorshin Riddler has just started to ship. All the Riddler's are considered "Signature Series", and come with a Certificate of Authenticity that has a printed (not actually signed, since Mr. Gorshin left this world quite awhile ago) signature. This regular Signature Series originally cost $250, and was a limited edition, although I don't have the final number.  The other option was to spend another $50, and receive as a bonus an actual signed - by the man - 8x10 photo of Gorshin as the Riddler. These signed photos were from his estate.  That's the version I'm reviewing tonight, and it was limited to just 150 pieces.

Click on the image below for a Life Size version
1966 Batman TV Show Gorshin Riddler statue by Tweeterhead

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Packaging - ***
The box is fairly basic - normal graphics with a Styrofoam eggshell tray inside, keeping the two piece statue safe and sound.  The edition size and number is printed on the box, as well as on the bottom of the statue.  The COA and photo are shipped in a separate envelope to further protect them.

1966 Batman TV Show Gorshin Riddler statue by Tweeterhead

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Sculpting - ***
All the sculpts for this series - and quite a few of the other licenses covered by Tweeterhead - are done by the talented Trevor Grove. I used a couple different show stills to judge the portrait itself, including this one for the masked look and this one for the smile.

The overall facial structure is good, as is the hair and hair style. The hair could use some more detail and definition, but it fits with the style of the earlier releases. The mask sits out away from the eyes, as it would in real life, and the edges are well defined. A separate cloth mask that could be removed and placed around his neck would have been cool, but I get why they went with the sculpted permanent version.

I do have a couple nits, however.  Most importantly, I think the nose is just a bit too small. This is a matter of millimeters mind you, and it's very close. But small differences can make or break a difficult likeness like Gorshin's.

My other issue is with the eyes.  While I very much like the wide eyed, crazed look, they went with a bit too much of a Marty Feldman bug eyed design. The eyes should be opened wide without actually sticking out, and this is throwing it off a bit for me.

One of my favorite aspects from the neck down is the use of texture on the bodysuit. Trying to make polystone look like cloth can be tricky, and a lot of companies simply don't try.  They also varied it from piece to piece, like from the belt to the suit or gloves. I like the textures that Tweeterhead has been adding, and I think they do a lot to improve the overall impression of the statue in hand.

The pose is very well chosen. He was always slightly manic, even at rest, and he was a big fan of putting the right finger in the air. The pose captures his personality, and the integration with the base works well. The puzzle pieces are a good solution, covering the theme, although I don't believe this specific prop was ever on the show.  I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong...countdown in 3, 2, 1...

These are approximately sixth scale, although I'd argue they are just a tad large overall. The Riddler comes in at 13 1/2" tall in total, standing on the base. I've included a shot with him and the sixth scale Batman figure from Hot Toys to give you a better feel.

1966 Batman TV Show Gorshin Riddler statue by Tweeterhead

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Paint - ***
The paint work is generally clean, with some very nice work on the question marks of the suit and some of the smaller details on the face.  Colors are generally correct to my eye, although I'm a little torn on the shoes.

In some black and white publicity stills, they generally appear almost black. In the few color stills I could find from the show that actually show his feet, they were usually darker than the suit, but still green. But then, in this GIF of Batman and Riddler boxing (a classic episode), they are clearly the same color as the suit. So the shoe color here isn't wrong...but I would have personally preferred if the shoes were slightly darker than they are. Your mileage may vary.

There is a bit more slop this time around than we've seen with some of the earlier releases. You can see the green around the collar slipping up onto the neck, the skin tone is a little uneven, and there's more slop around the teeth, lips, and gums. Even the base exhibits some problems with the black and white checkerboard design. It's solid work, but not as exceptional as some we've seen from them.

1966 Batman TV Show Gorshin Riddler statue by Tweeterhead

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Accessories - ***
Any score here is always a big boost to a statue, since 'accessories' aren't a normal expectation.

The COA is nice, but doesn't count toward this category. If you pick up the regular Signature Series release with just the COA, you'd have a bupkis here.

But the more limited version comes with the actual signed photo, from the Gorshin estate. That's pretty damn cool if you ask me, and while his actual signature isn't particularly rare, being able to pick it up with the statue is a nice touch. The added bonus of a very low edition size printed on the base is just gravy.

1966 Batman TV Show Gorshin Riddler statue by Tweeterhead

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Value - **1/2
At $250, these are in line with the usual high quality statue in this scale, including their previous releases.  I do wish the paint quality was a bit better considering the price, but it still smells like an average value.

The extra $50 goes to the authentic autograph, and you'll have to judge whether it's an appropriate up sell. I'm betting you can hunt one down on ebay for a similar price, but you'll always wonder about authenticity, something that's answered for you here.

1966 Batman TV Show Gorshin Riddler statue by Tweeterhead

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Things to Watch Out For -
Always take a lot of care when attaching a statue to a base like this. The metal rod on the left foot is inserted into a post hole on the base, and the softer base can always be damaged if you aren't careful. Take your time, and don't force anything.

Other than that, you shouldn't have any issues!

Overall - ***
Of the four produced so far, the Riddler is my least favorite. However, that's a lot like picking your least favorite kid. Sure, some have more issues than others, but you love them all anyway. The paint quality isn't quite as good this time, and I have a few nits with the sculpt, but this is a Frank Gorshin Riddler for God's sake!

For me, the show was a classic and speaks to a nostalgic love. This series of statues is going to be a centerpiece of my collection for years to come, and while I may sell off many other things, these are going to be with me for a very long time. If you're a fan of the show, I highly recommend them.

But let's also cross our fingers and hope that Tweeterhead gets the paint quality and sculpt up to perfection for Egghead and Joker...

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

1966 Batman TV Show Gorshin Riddler statue by Tweeterhead

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Where to Buy 
Best spot to get these originally was the Tweeterhead site, which is the only option for the special editions. However, they are sold out of both releases at this point. Online options include these site sponsors:

- had the regular for just $235.

- has the regular version at $250.

- or you can search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
As mentioned earlier, Tweeterhead has already released the excellent Batman, Robin, Batgirl, and Catwoman.

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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1966 Batman TV Show Gorshin Riddler statue by Tweeterhead

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

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