SEARCH REVIEWS    LIVING WITH LATE FEES    FEATURES    LINKS    BIO    MISSION    EMAIL    MAIN PAGE 


1960's Adam West Batman
Hot Toys

Batman Adam West 1966 Television Show sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys


I've been actively collecting action figures of one sort or another for more than 25 years. I've been running this website for 14. I've done dozens of interviews for various publications, radio shows, podcasts - you name it. And every time I do, they always ask this one question - "what is the one line you wish someone would produce?". For 25 years, that answer has always been the same - a sixth scale line of figures based on the 1960's Batman television show.

Hot Toys has now come as close as I expect any one ever will. They have released their Batman with a Robin coming soon and a huge Batmobile not far behind. Will we ever get a Burgess Penguin, Gorshin Riddler or Price Egghead? God only knows, but we are certainly one step closer, and the box does say "Classic TV Series". And I can finally stop answering that question the same way.  Now I'll have to fall back to Blade Runner or Firefly...

This Batman is now shipping, with Robin right on his heels. He will run you around $205, maybe a few bucks less if you shop around.

Packaging - ****
While this package is really just a slip cover over a simple window box with a cardboard and plastic tray, there's two features that set it apart from the usual Hot Toys fare.

First, it's gorgeous. I realize that most Hot Toys boxes are attractive, but there's something about the eye catching colors and cool retro styling that really works for me.

Take the beautiful slip cover off, and the box might seem pretty standard. But the thick cardboard tray is actually a diorama piece - there's a double pane window cut in the back, and you can use it to recreate the famous 'wall climbing' sequence. I'll discuss that more in the accessories section.
Click on the photo below for a life size version
Batman Adam West 1966 Television Show sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
Batman Adam West 1966 Television Show sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Batman Adam West 1966 Television Show sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Batman Adam West 1966 Television Show sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Batman Adam West 1966 Television Show sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Batman Adam West 1966 Television Show sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Batman Adam West 1966 Television Show sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Batman Adam West 1966 Television Show sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Batman Adam West 1966 Television Show sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Batman Adam West 1966 Television Show sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Batman Adam West 1966 Television Show sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Batman Adam West 1966 Television Show sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Batman Adam West 1966 Television Show sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys

As always, the box is completely collector friendly, and you won't have to damage anything in the process of removing the figure.  The cape comes already attached too, a rarity with their Batman figures.

They've also gotten more complete with their instructions, which is always a good thing. How parts and pieces work might seem obvious, but too often the obvious isn't correct. Having a detailed instruction sheet goes a long way to avoid breaking anything.

Sculpting - ****
Before I go on to discuss the merits of the sculpt and the paint, I'm going to be upfront and say that I'm really giving them a pass in one particular area that would otherwise effect both of these scores.

The original costume had the cowl (and it's collar), cape, shorts, gloves and boots either made from or covered in the same purple material. That is not the case here, where the cowl and collar, boots and gloves are all sculpted, while the cape and shorts are made from the purple material that most closely matches the screen version. Because of this, there is a very obvious and glaring difference between them.

Like I said, I'm giving them a pass on this. While I suspect they might have found some way to do this had money been no object, I also suspect that the answer would have been cost prohibitive. I'm fine with the result they were able to obtain using cloth and plastic instead.

All that being said, the sculpt on the cowl and face is fantastic. This is clearly Adam West, and while it might seem that the eyes and face are too far back in the cowl in photos, in person (where the scale is more clear) it looks spot on. This is the collectible based on this show that I've been waiting decades for.

The boot and glove sculpts are excellent as well, and the various hand poses work perfectly with their intended accessories.

Paint - ****
This is Hot Toys, which means the production paint application is outstanding. How they do it is a bit of a mystery, but the consistent results imply witchcraft.

This time, along with the perfect skin tone, lifelike lips and realistic eyes, we also have the perfectly drawn eyebrows and nose highlights.  The edges are perfect, and there's no sign of slop anywhere.

Articulation - ***
While this is the usual TrueType body, and we all know what a fantastic sixth scale body that is, there's a few issues here that pulled down the score.

The biggest issue is the thick body suits under the costume. I'll discuss these in more detail in the outfit section, but for our purposes here, let's just say that they restrict the movement in the torso quite a bit. Without the ab-crunch movement, it's much harder to get flowing upper body poses.

However, it would still be possible, but for the neck. The neck and collar of the cowl are separate, so that's not an issue. But the neck post that provides the ball joints is much too short, and almost any tilting of the head results in it popping off. The only thing worse than not being able to swap pieces is not being able to keep them in place.

The rest of the joints work as you'd expect with a TrueType, and even the ankles have a better range of movement in the soft boots than I expected. But with the rather rigid torso and neck it's tough to get the sort of poses you might expect.

Accessories - ****
While he isn't the most outfitted of any Hot Toys figure, he does have a very solid, useful set of extras.

There's not multiple portraits, but rather multiple lower faces. This isn't the first Batman we've seen them do this with, and the effect is well worth it. He comes wearing a closed mouth, serious expression. Push downward on the chin (I found this the easiest way to swap them), and there will be enough of a gap at the nose to pop the lower face free from the magnet holding it in place. There is also a battle expression complete with gritted teeth, and a slightly open mouth expression with just a hint of teeth. I prefer the latter over the other two, since this Bruce Wayne was a bit of a mouth breather in the cowl. In fact, it might have been because of the cowl...

He has a large batarang that can fit in a couple different hands, but it does not fold and cannot be put on the belt. There is a batrope to attach to it, perfect for the previously mentioned climbing pose.

He has his Bat-radio as well, with a swivel handle and two antennae. The latest in Bat technology!

Since this look is really based on the movie, they've included a can of shark repellent. I love this concept so much that I think I'll use it for his display.  I may have to get a second figure (the main one has to be in the Batmobile of course) and have him hanging from a rope ladder, rubber shark on his leg, spraying it with this can.

There are 13 hands in total, including the soft grip pair he comes wearing. There's also fists, a splayed set, a pair to hold the batarang, a pair for his famous Watusi, and several specialty grips for a couple other accessories. In the photo of the hands, I put those accessories in the hands that were designed to hold them - that isn't a permanent thing, but I thought it better highlighted the uses.

The hands are fairly soft, but not so much that they drop the accessories easily. They also pop on and off easily without falling off, and there was no fear of breaking a wrist peg. Just in case, they throw a couple extra pegs in the box.

I do wish they had a left hand pointing sculpt, since he was forever instructing Robin, or Commissioner Gordon, or whomever else was nearby with his hand in that pose. Still, you can't really complain with 13 hand sculpts.

Also from the movie is a large, black, round bomb. It's not the most exciting extra, but it's there.

He comes with one of the basic black display stands, complete with his name and the logo on the base. You won't have to use it if you prefer not to - he stands great on his own - but it's there for consistency with their entire series.

Finally, I wanted to mention that box again. It really is pretty nifty - there's a slot at the top to insert the batarang, so he can 'climb' the front just like on the show. You can bend open the windows, and have another figure inside. Obviously I shot mine the same way they did on the show, with the box laying flat and him standing up on it, but you could actually affix this box to the wall, have the other figure standing inside, and have Batman (and Robin, since his box will provide a second one) actually climbing! Another display possibility...maybe I need to buy three?

Outfit - ***
I've already mentioned the difference in color and texture between the cloth and plastic pieces of the outfit. While I let it slide when it came to Sculpt and Paint, I can't let it slide completely here. I understand why they did it, but it does effect the overall look of the figure.

My biggest disappointments come from a couple other areas on the costume, however.

The Adam West Batman wasn't quite as ripped as some modern versions. Of course, the actors playing them were generally not ripped either (with the exception of Bale), but the newer suits allowed for them to look the part. Poor Mr. West had to wear tights, and anyone that has worn a costume like this knows it leaves nothing hidden.

To get the slightly softer look, they added a padded suit under the costume. In fact, there's a white fat suit (although 'fat' is a stretch) as well as a black body suit.  I know this because I zipped the suits down in back, trying to determine the cause of his hump. You can't completely remove these suits because the belt is not designed to be removed.

Because of the three suits - one with a Velcro closer, two with zippers - there's a pretty big hump on his upper back. The cape covers it, but you certainly can't have him on the shelf sans cape at any time.

But perhaps most disconcerting is the fragility of the gray suit itself. The instructions warn you not to rub the suit with any sharp objects, including your fingernails, but it's much touchier than that. I found that just trying to adjust the belt - which, as I said, is NOT removable - created small runs in the fabric. I had no idea I was putting enough pressure on the cloth to cause a problem - it's that touchy. While I didn't end up with anything glaring, you can see the damage in the right light, and it was certainly disappointing.

Another issue revolves around the shorts. The cut seems off, with one leg looser than the other around the thigh. It looked odd in some positions, and because the belt can't be removed, it was near impossible to get it adjusted in any meaningful way.

While the belt isn't removable, it does look great, especially the bright brass engraved buckle. It tends to ride high on his waist, but that's not too far off from the old show.

The cape is a very nice touch, lacking in the problems of the rest of the suit. The material is a deep purple, very shiny, and hangs naturally over his shoulders. There's a hook clasp at the neck to keep it in place.

They also tried something different to keep the cape in certain positions. They've added three sets of snaps of the tiny, plastic variety.

There are snaps on the cape and in the center of the back that you can use to keep it tightly against him, as well as two sets of snaps at the shoulders. One set keeps the cape hanging further back over his shoulders, while the other set allows the cape to drape forward over his arms.

The snaps at the back aren't attached out of the box, but I did snap it tight there. I found that keeping the cape close to the back and centered helped with most poses. I also took one shot using the lower shoulder snaps, which puts the cape completely over the shoulder. It isn't my favorite look, but it works well.

I stuck with the second set of snaps, which allow the cape to bunch up around the neck and drape down the back.  I wouldn't suggest swapping these very often - those tiny plastic snaps can easily bend or break.

While I love the cape, belt, boots and gloves, overall the suit was a disappointment to me. That's particularly painful in this case since the character is so important to my collection.

Fun Factor - ***
For me, this is another half star easy. Had the costume not had the issues with handling, it would have been a full four stars here...for me. But that's me, and I'm pretty much a psycho about this version of Batman. I suspect the average fan will be more in the three star range when it comes to posing and playing, particularly with the more limited articulation and touchy costume.

Value - **1/2
While retail is $205, you can find this guy for $195 or so at some of my sponsors. That's a little below the average right now, and with the multiple faces and a ton of hands, he's a pretty solid value.

Things to Watch Out For -
Listen to me very carefully - this is important! The light gray suit is VERY easy to damage. I mentioned this in the outfit section, but heed my words. Do NOT rub the suit with anything even slightly abrasive, including those rough finger tips of yours. Runs and pulls will appear! Thankfully, the cape and shorts won't have this same extreme problem.

Overall - ***1/2
Since this is a figure I've waited more than two decades for, I wanted it to be pristine and perfect. The issues I had were more magnified for me this time around, due to the high personal stakes.  I want this guy to be the center of my collection, and on his own...well, he's not. He's a well done, attractive figure, but he's not the best thing we've ever seen Hot Toys produce, and that was what I was hoping for.

Notice I said "on his own". Pair him up with Robin, and have them both coming out of (or getting in to, depending on your point of view) the high gloss, super sleek Batmobile, and you're going to have one smoking hot display.

Hot Toys is being pretty mum on whether we'll see additional characters, and we may have to wait til this year's SDCC - or longer - to find out. I certainly hope we at least get a Joker to complete the set with Nicholson and Ledger, making the perfect trio for the shelf!

Score Recap:
Packaging - ****
Sculpting - ****
Paint - ****
Articulation - ***
Accessories - ****
Outfit - ***
Fun Factor - ***
Value - **1/2
Overall - ***1/2

Where to Buy -
Online options include these site sponsors:

- Fanboy Collectibles has a great price at $195.

- Unmasked Collectibles is almost as good at $196.

- Sideshow has him for $205.

- Alter Ego Comics also has him at $205.

- Big Bad Toy Store is at $205 - see a pattern?

- CornerStoreComics is at $205.

- or you can search ebay for a bargain.

Related Links -
I've covered a number of 1966 Show related products recently, including the Batman prop replica utility belt, the very cool 1/4 scale Batman from NECA, and the Batmobile and action figures from Mattel, including the Batman and Robin two pack, the Joker,  and the first wave of figures that included Batman, Riddler, and the Penguin.

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

Enjoyed this review? Be sure to head back to the main page to find thousands more just like it!

KEEP SCROLLING DOWN FOR MORE PHOTOS!



Share this review with others! 
 Google +1
 
Digg it!
 StumbleUpon Toolbar
Stumble It!
 
Reddit

Batman Adam West 1966 Television Show sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys


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

This page copyright 2000 - 2014, Michael Crawford. All rights reserved. Click here for copyright permissions!