The Batman
The Penguin

I always love it when I happen across something unexpectedly.  Yep, I knew that the Penguin from The Batman series was popping up, mostly in Canada, but I didn't really expect to see them here quite this soon.  And had there not been some new, funky Batmen in this assortment - most notably 'Net Capture' Batman I believe - I might not have rummaged through the pegs looking for him.

But Net Bats was on the front of the peg, and like any good Batman collector I've seen the current assortments enough times to recognize a new Batman variation instantly.  Sure enough, buried behind him, was the portly bird himself.

I found these at a Meijers, although I'm betting they show up in mass at the other retailers, like Wal-mart, Target and Toys R Us, very soon.  You should be looking now, although just like Man-bat and Bane, I doubt they'll be too hard to come by.  He runs around $7.

The next villain is Firefly, pictured on the cardback, but not in this assortment.  He should be popping up soon though, so don't get lazy when searching the pegs!

Packaging - **
The packaging is adequate, although nothing exceptional.  I do like the lack of twisties, since the rubber bands are quicker to cut, but if you're looking for something more interesting than the usual mass market packaging, don't look here.

Sculpting - ***
Certain aspects of this sculpt are amazing - others leave me a tad cold.

I love the look of the face and teeth, and the mouth, eyes and nose look great.  I would have preferred that the nose not be a separate piece from the head, but it's a minor point.

The hair bugs me though.  The Penguin on the new show has wild, unkempt, bizarre hair.  They tried to do that here - and yet somehow thought that by doing it exactly the same on both sides of the head, with perfect symmetry, that it would look 'wild'.  It doesn't, and it doesn't match up well with the show, looking more like two weird branches sticking out of the back of his head.

The body sculpt is great, with a nice fat, penguin like body.  His long coat tails drag on the ground, yet do not get in the way of his ability to stand.  However, scale seems to be a bit of an issue.  He's much larger than I expected overall.  It's not too big of a deal that he's taller than Batman with his hat on - it's one hell of a hat. But his body scale, including his head, arms, torso, etc, are all much larger than I has expected.  It's one thing for him to be fat, since that's on model, but another for his skull to be over twice as large as Batman's.

None of the scale issues are so bad though as to ruin the overall appearance of the figure, or throw off the display of all the figures.  He fits in okay, just not perfectly.

The hand sculpts are also worth noting - the right hand works perfectly with the mace, and the left hand is sculpted to hold the umbrella just right.

Paint - ***
The paint ops are a little better than the usual mass market work, although not at the level of a Palisades or NECA.

There's enough small detail work here to compare, including the sharp little teeth, eyes, spats, and hair line.  All are fairly clean, with little bleed, and less slop.

I'm not sure that the suit matches up well with his one appearance so far though.  It seems to me that the pants were a different color from the jacket, more like the insert photo.  The solid black is consistent, and matches up with a normal tux. but seems a little too demure for the over the top character we saw on the show.

Articulation - **1/2
Mr. P has cut shoulders, a cut left elbow, a pin right elbow, neck and waist.  The lack of leg articulation isn't surprising with such a tubby physique.

The right elbow comes in handy for posing with the umbrella, but the left elbow is there to work with the action feature.  It does that fine, but if you aren't interested in his spinning arm of death, you'll find it too weak to hold the mace off the ground very well.

Action Feature - **1/2
Ah yes, the action feature.  Since this is a line aimed at kids, they always have action features.  Kids want toys to do something, although after they buy them they rarely use the feature.  It's sort of like adults that buy every gadget available on their new car, and never actually find a need for half of them.

Flipper boy has a big lever in his back.  Press down on it and his left arm spins quickly, swinging the included mace.  The feature works pretty smoothly, and doesn't appear like it will break too easily.  As far as action features go, it's actually pretty good, although the obtrusive lever hurts his overall appearance.

Accessories - ***
He comes with three - his huge top hat, his umbrella, and his mace.  The mace chain is fairly soft, allowing it to work well with the action feature, but look pretty limp otherwise.  Since a chain should be limp though, that's not really a bad thing.

The umbrella fits nicely in the left hand, and looks terrific.  The hat doesn't fit quite as nicely though, and I had to spend some time getting to fit just right on the hair and stay on.  It can be done though, but it takes more effort than most kids will be willing to put in.

Fun Factor - ***
The action feature will interest kids, and the sculpt and articulation will also work well for them.  He's a nice sturdy toy that gives The Batman a foe to fight, but the annoying hat will be the biggest issue for any child.  I suspect they'll toss it aside pretty quickly.

Value - **1/2
I'm dropping the value score slightly from last time, to a more average rating, putting them on par with most lines.  If you look at lines like LOTR, who sport better articulation and amazing sculpts, yet cost the same or less, you'll see what I mean.

Overall - ***
While the cartoon still has a way to go to really keep my interest, the character designs are great.  I love the look, perhaps just because it's different from what we are getting from other lines.  Personally, I can only take so many comic book based versions, and getting something else in an animated style is refreshing.

Now if the show can just continue to improve, the movie turn out great, and all the toys follow suit, Batman fans will have a lot to rejoice in 2005.

Things to Watch Out For - 
There's nothing in particular on this figure that might cause you extra problems, or that you should find unique.  What you see is pretty much what you get. 

Packaging - **
Sculpt - ***
Paint - ***1/2
Articulation - **1/2
Action Feature - **1/2
Accessories - ***
Fun Factor - ***1/2
Value - **1/2
Overall - ***

Where to Buy - 
I snagged him at Meijers, but expect we'll see him very soon at Wal-mart, Target and Toys R Us.  He looks like he's two per case, so finding him, at least after the early shipments, shouldn't be too much trouble.

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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