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Review of Batman - 1966 Television Show action figure

NECA
Date Published:
Written By:
Overall Average Rating: 3.5 out of 4

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1966 Batman television action figure by NECA

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Introduction

It's a great time to be a Batman fan.  With lots of collectibles on the market, shows like Gotham on the tube, and a major movie right around the corner where the Dark Knight gets to kick Big Blue's ass, Batman fan's have much to be happy about.

But the 1966 television show has gotten a bit of the short stick.  Don't get me wrong - it's worlds better than it was just a few years ago, when there wasn't any merchandise for the show to be found anywhere. The show couldn't even be found, at least not on DVD or Blu-ray. Now you can spend your evenings re-watching the classic episodes, and see every detail in beautiful hi-def while gazing over your Hot Toys Batman and Robin figures.

But there's still a few holes in the collection. No one has yet gone deep with the license, getting anywhere beyond the usual Catwoman, Penguin, Riddler, and Joker. It looks like the best shot for the more unique villains is going to come from Tweeterhead, who have major plans for their statue series in 2016. But when it comes to 6" scale action figures, the Mattel series is really the only game in town.

Ah, but not so fast, Bat-fan! The caped crusader has now been produced in the slightly larger 7" scale by none other than NECA! This guy started to hit a few weeks ago, along with their Chris Reeve Superman and Ledger Dark Knight Joker. I seriously doubt NECA will be going deep here either - we'll be lucky to get Robin - but getting an NECA figure in this scale has been a hot request from many a collector.

Best place to grab this guy is your local Toys R Us, where he'll run you around $25.

Click on the image below for a Life Size version
1966 Batman television action figure by NECA

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Packaging - ***1/2
The box works nicely, showing off the figure with some classic artwork inside and out.  The plastic tray holds the figure and accessories, and it's *almost* collector friendly. There's but one annoying twisty tie you'll need to dispose of, but the rest of the packaging can remain unscathed.

I particularly like the cool Batcave artwork they included on the interior cardboard tray.  You can get creative with this in your own display.

1966 Batman television action figure by NECA

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Sculpting - ***1/2
I really like the sculpt, although the portrait is a bit over the top.  The sunken cheeks and sharp jawline are a bit more than what Adam West had at the time, although you will quickly recognize him in a caricature sort of way.

The one odd feature is the mask, which sits quite far out from the underlying nose.  You won't notice it in person unless you have seriously good eyes, but in photos it becomes more apparent.

The body is sculpted with a cloth-like texture, which looks great and contrasts nicely with the smoother look of the cowl, gloves and boots. The cape itself is actual cloth, and the color and finish match pretty well, depending on lighting.

He stands right about 7" tall, and should fit in nicely with the other figures in this scale from NECA and other manufacturers.

One annoyance was with the belt. It's attached permanently to the lower body, allowing the torso to still turn and tilt.  While that's a great idea in theory, the execution isn't quite as perfect.  The belt is a bit crooked front to back, and you can't adjust it for height on his hips.

My only other nit is with the symbol on his chest, which looks as though it was applied just a hair too low. 

1966 Batman television action figure by NECA

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Paint - ***
The paint work is generally clean and neat, with a particularly nice job on the cowl and bat symbol. The details are sharp and straight, and there's almost no slop between colors.

There are a couple spots on the cowl that look a bit gloppy, as though some dirt might have gotten in the wet paint. But the only real issue for me is the dirty wash they went for on the gray body suit.

I understand that they were going for a pretty specific color, but it's not really working for me. Rather than bring out the textured detail, it makes it look like Alfred has been slacking with the laundry.

On the major plus side, they did a nice job using the finish on the belt buckle to include the symbol there.  This is screen accurate of course, but with smaller scale figures this is the sort of detail that can some times come up lacking. That's not the case here, and the subtle application looks great.

1966 Batman television action figure by NECA

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Articulation - ***1/2
These figures - all of them, but especially the Reeve Superman - have had well publicized issues with breakage. Thankfully, I didn't have any problems with this guy, but you'll want to be extra careful.

There's plenty of articulation here too, and it all has a good range of movement.  There's the ball jointed neck, which has a little tilt and lean even with the one piece cowl.  The NECA style hinge shoulders work well (although they were the toughest of the bunch for me to work loose), and the rotating hinge elbows, wrists, and knees provide for plenty of posing options.  As I mentioned, the large belt is affixed to his pelvis to give the waist joint greater freedom, and the ball hips and ankles work great as well.  Even the rocker joints in the feet are above average, allowing the feet to remain flat on the ground in even deep, wide stances.

I will say that the ball jointed hips can look a little...unfortunate...in deeper stances, but I'm sure you're mature enough to overlook that.  Yea, right.

1966 Batman television action figure by NECA

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Accessories - ***
There's a reasonable number, but a few more is always better.

He comes wearing fists, but has a tight grip right and wider grip left to swap. This worked fairly well, although it's a pretty tight fit.  The sculpts work fine with the Batarang and radio, and give you some additional posing opportunities.

And yes, there's a large Batarang and a nicely scaled bat-communicator. Paints and sculpts are decent all around, and he looks good posed with either or both.

1966 Batman television action figure by NECA

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1966 Batman television action figure by NECA

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Fun Factor - ***
If I wasn't quite as worried about the joints, this would be a higher score.  Worrying that a knee or shoulder might snap at any minute is never a lot of fun, and while I had no problems, my earlier issues (and other reports) with the Reeve Superman has me leery.

1966 Batman television action figure by NECA

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Value - **1/2
I'm a little hesitant to call $25 an average value for a collector themed figure, since the majority are in the $20 range right now. Just think Star Wars Black, Funko Legacy, or even Marvel Legends depending on the retailer. But this guy is larger, and has better set of accessories than we tend to see with those other lines, and the production numbers are probably quite a bit lower as well.

1966 Batman television action figure by NECA

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Things to Watch Out For -
As I mentioned earlier, take your time working with the joints to get them moving freely.  A hair dryer can be quite handy.

Overall - ***1/2
There's enough nits here that if I wasn't a massive fan of this license, I could see dropping another half star.  With the slightly low Bat symbol and the dark wash on the costume, I could understand docking him a tad more.

But I'm a massive fan, and this figure is so much better than the earlier release by Mattel, and only a few bucks more in price to boot.  It's also worth noting that this figure will work great with the Batcave play set put out by Mattel, particularly if you (like me) felt that the computer was a bit large for the 6" line. Some of the items are too small, like the bust, but several of the others are just about right with this scale.

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

1966 Batman television action figure by NECA

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Where to Buy 
Warner Brothers has an ebay store they were selling these through - that's how I snagged mine. However, they are also showing up at Toys R Us stores for $25 each, and I can confirm that, having seen this Batman at my local establishment. You can also search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
I just looked at the NECA Reeve Superman in this same scale a couple weeks ago. They also did a great quarter scale version of this Batman as well as the 66 Robin.

Other 1966 Batman collectibles include the retro figures; the great Tweeterhead Batman and Catwoman statues; from Mattel there's the Batcave playset, the Batman and Robin two pack, the Joker, the Batmobile, and the Batman, Penguin and Riddler; the Batman and Robin from Hot Toys; Mattel also did a terrific 1:1 scale prop replica of Batman's Utility Belt and Batarang.

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 television action figure by NECA

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

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