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Review of Boxing Batman, Boxing Riddler, Masked Penguin, Street Tough Dick Grayson Retro Action Figures

Figures Toy Company
Date Published:
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Overall Average Rating: 3 out of 4

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Batman, Riddler, Penguin, Dick Grayson Retro action figure by Figures Toy

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Introduction

Just a couple weeks ago, I looked at the new 1966 Adam West Batman action figure being done by NECA in the 7" scale. In that review I stated that companies producing collectibles based on the show have never 'gone deep'. I pointed out that while we have gotten Batman, Robin or the Joker from lots of companies over the last couple years, getting past these three has been a struggle. Tweeterhead looks like they'll make it with their statue line to some of the other members of the Rogue's Gallery, and Diamond Select Toys has already hit up Mr. Freeze with their mini-busts, but getting one company in one scale to produce a broad line has been impossible.

And I was wrong. As I tell my wife so often, you might want to right it down, because it happens so rarely. It's kind of like getting a photo of a unicorn every week. There IS a company that's produced a VERY deep line of action figures for the 1966 Batman television show - Figures Toy Company. They produce the retro style figures based on the theme and design of the classic Mego toys. And they've gone well beyond the usual, producing figures of Egghead, Bookworm, Mad Hatter...even Shame! If you're looking for breadth of characters, this is the line to go for.

You could also say the line is deep, with episode specific variants being produced for the main characters.  Tonight I'm looking at four of those: Batman in his Boxing Outfit, Riddler in his Boxing Outfit, a Masked Penguin, and Dick Grayson in what they call his 'street tough' outfit.

The last two are part of a five figure exclusive from Entertainment Earth that's available through them for $175.  I already covered the other three (Bruce, Alfred, and a Joker with his own utility belt) in an earlier review.

The other two variants - Batman and the Riddler in their boxing gear - are shared exclusives between Figures Toy Company and Emerald City Comics. They have the pair for $80, and these are limited to just 600 of each produced.

If you're interested in this line or the retro style overall, you really should hit the Figures Toy Company website, where they list all the figures they've produced, whether they have them for sale or not. They also sell loose figures and accessories, along with other cool extras.

Click on the image below for a Life Size version
Batman, Riddler, Penguin, Dick Grayson Retro action figure by Figures Toy

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Packaging - ***1/2
I really love the look of the packages, but there are two factors that bug me. Turns out one of them isn't *quite* as big of a deal as I thought.

First, lets talk about all the good. The clam shell opens and closes without damage, and the interior card is a heavy stock. It mimics the old style of Mego packaging but brings it's own qualities to the table, and is nice enough that you could display it without the clam shell.

One negative that isn't as much of a negative (and the reason the score here went up a half star over the last review) is the use of a zip tie (with logo) at the top of the clam shell. You won't see it in the packaged photo this time - I already cut it off - but it was in the shot from the last review.  And I wasn't happy about it, since it makes the whole concept of collector friendly a moot point.

Ah, but then I found out that they sell the ties on their site. They aren't cheap - $2 each - but it does mean that you can replace the tie, no harm no foul.  I'm not sure the point in that case, but it makes the zip tie less of an issue.

There still remains an issue with three annoying twisty ties that hold the figure to the interior plastic tray. This is because the figure doesn't snap tightly into the tray, and without the ties he'll flop free.  It's not a massive issue, since you can untwist the wires and always twist them back on, but regular readers know how much I hate twisties. I suspect my mother was scared by one when she was pregnant with me.

Batman, Riddler, Penguin, Dick Grayson Retro action figure by Figures Toy

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Sculpting - ***
No one is going to confuse the sculpts here with the work of Hot Toys or Enterbay. And they shouldn't, since these are designed to fit in with the Mego figures of yore.  They have improved the sculpting from then however, and there's greater detailing in the hair and features.

While none of these three are actor accurate, they are in the ball park. I particularly like Dick Grayson, especially up close. Batman is solid work as well, and it's really Penguin and Riddler that look the least like their television counterparts.

The cigarette holder is permanently affixed to the Penguin's mouth, a smart move on their part.

The sculpting extends beyond the portrait to the hands and shoes as well. The hands are all the standard style and pose, but each figure has his own unique set of footwear.  Obviously Batman is wearing his bat-boots, and I really like the sculpts here. These are a huge improvement over the old clunky Mego boots, and add quite a bit to the look of the figure.

Dick is wearing boots as well, sort of Chelsea style, but probably more influenced by Beatle boots considering the time period of the show. They look great, and fit inside the pant legs nicely.

The Penguin's spatz covered shoes don't fit quite as well inside the tight pants, making them a little clunky looking. Considering the overall aesthetic, it's a minor issue.

And finally, there's the regular brown shoes on the Riddler. This is the most common style of shoe for the old retro figures, and it matches up pretty well with the nostalgic counterpart.

Batman, Riddler, Penguin, Dick Grayson Retro action figure by Figures Toy

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Paint - Pengun, Riddler, Batman **1/2; Dick ***
The work on Dick is the best of the bunch here, with clean straight eyes and eyebrows, lightly toned lips, and a nice highlighting of the hair. While the application is clearly more toy than collectible, it fits the style while improving the quality.

The eyes are generally good on the other three as well, but it's the teeth on both the Penguin and the Riddler that pull them down.  There's just a little too much slop, and both grins are the centerpiece of their expression.

Batman was almost as good as Dick...almost. Mine has some marks and damage around the nose and eyebrows on the cowl, but the work on the eyes themselves, as well as the lower face, is quite good.

Batman, Riddler, Penguin, Dick Grayson Retro action figure by Figures Toy

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Articulation - ***
This is one area where I wish they'd improved a bit more on the old style body. Had they managed to produce a body that was more flowing and natural, I would have been all over the entire series like hair on a bear.

It's not that the bodies are awful, but they did try to mimic the old style a little too much. As I was working with them I was reminded of Robot Chicken quite a bit, and while I love the show, it's not really what I was hoping for in this category.

The joints tend to pull back to center, just like the old figures where the bands holding the legs and arms in place want to restore position. This means that the biggest issues are with the hips and shoulders, and the elbows, wrists, ankles and knees all work quite well.

Batman, Riddler, Penguin, Dick Grayson Retro action figure by Figures Toy

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Accessories - Dick Bupkis; Batman, Riddler, Penguin ***
Poor Dick gets jack diddly this time around. But at least he has that cool leather jacket...

Batman and the Riddler come with their boxing gloves. While these are a re-use between them, they fit cleanly over their hands and look great in place. They aren't the right color - they were black on the show of course - but the red sorta fits with the style.

The Penguin actually has two accessories: his top hat, and his mask. The mask is easily removed, giving you a standard Penguin if you feel so inclined. The hat is a decent scale (a smidge big, but within reason), and looks great on his head or in his hands.

Batman, Riddler, Penguin, Dick Grayson Retro action figure by Figures Toy

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Batman, Riddler, Penguin, Dick Grayson Retro action figure by Figures Toy

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Outfit - ***1/2
Of the four, only the Penguin depends solely on his accessories for his uniqueness. It's that mask that sets him apart, something he wore occasionally but which made absolutely no sense.

However, the rest of his tuxedo is solid work. The upper body is padded up a bit to give him some girth, but that does make the legs look skinny in comparison. The bowtie looks great, and the shiny material used for the jacket and pants is quality stuff.

Dick Grayson is supposed to be 'street tough', in an undercover outfit of leather jacket, jeans and boots. It's a good look for him, and the tailoring is quite good for this style of figure.  The belt and buckle around the waist is over sized of course, but once again the material quality is quite a bit better than what we saw back in the 70's.

Batman and Riddler are geared up for their bout from the episode "Ring Around the Riddler". They both have warm up robes, with Batman's looking like terry cloth, while the Riddler's is more traditional, with a bright shine and his special logo on the back.

Underneath these robes are trunks - I have no idea why they had to wear trunks over their costumes on the show, although it does make for a funny look. Their underwear is already on the outside, so it seems somewhat redundant.  Riddler includes his pink head dress as well, with an elastic band to hold it in place.

The trunks match up in color and design with the show. I don't remember the bat symbol being on the trunks, and you'll have to remove the utility belt if you want to be show accurate, but you can set up a pretty cool battle royale between these two foes.

Of course, both characters are also wearing their standard costumes underneath, and both look great. Batman's is particularly nice, because of the high quality cape. It's much nicer than most of the other pieces, and includes a metal clasp at the neck and wires in the edges for better posing.

Batman, Riddler, Penguin, Dick Grayson Retro action figure by Figures Toy

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Fun Factor - ***
For fans of the old Mego lines, these figures are great.  They have all that nostalgic feel, and they improve on the concept in several key areas. Better yet, they are the only series out there that has really mined the old 60's show for great characters.

Batman, Riddler, Penguin, Dick Grayson Retro action figure by Figures Toy

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Value - **1/2
These will run you around $30 - $40 each, depending on the retailer. That's slightly more than the regular releases in this series, but about an average value when you consider the low production run and relatively obscure license.

Batman, Riddler, Penguin, Dick Grayson Retro action figure by Figures Toy

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Things to Watch Out For -
Not a thing! These are very sturdy, much like the Mego figures they honor.

Batman, Riddler, Penguin, Dick Grayson Retro action figure by Figures Toy

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Overall - ***
If you're a fan of the show, these are really worth a look.  With characters like Bookworm and King Tut, you're getting a much deeper and broader set of collectibles, and the quality is there. The only issue is whether or not the Mego style is for you - if you don't like it, there's no getting past it.  The nostalgia is a huge factor for the fans of these figures, and if you don't share in that nostalgia, you're less likely to be enthralled.

Score Recap (out of ****):
Packaging - ***
Sculpting - ***
Paint - Batman, Riddler, Penguin **1/2; Dick ***
Articulation - ***
Accessories - Dick Bupkis; Batman, Riddler, Penguin ***
Outfit - ***1/2
Fun Factor - ***
Value - **1/2
Overall - ***

Batman, Riddler, Penguin, Dick Grayson Retro action figure by Figures Toy

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Where to Buy 
Online options include these site sponsors:

- Entertainment Earth is the spot to pick up the Penguin and Dick Grayson as part of their five figure exclusive set for $175.

- or you can search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
I covered the three other figures in the Entertainment Earth 5 pack exclusive recently, including Bruce Wayne, Alfred, and the Joker (with Joker belt!). Other figures in a similar scale and style include the Phantom, Captain Action and Dr. Evil, and a couple of the Venture Brothers figures. If you'd like to see something a bit more modern, check out the (slightly smaller) One:12 Collective Batman or Judge Dredd from Mezco.

And you should check out the Figures Toy Company website, where you can order products and get all sorts of great information on the series.

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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Batman, Riddler, Penguin, Dick Grayson Retro action figure by Figures Toy

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This product was provided for the review by the manufacturer. Photos and text by Michael Crawford.

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