BATMAN & ROBIN (KENNER)
“Gotham City becomes a very cold place when Mr. Freeze, Poison Ivy and Bane triple team to plot the icy demise of Batman and Robin. The crimefighters respond immediately by using the Batcomputer deep within the Batcave to develop an array of cutting-edge weapons that can be used in their battle against this multitude of fiendish foes. Discover the Secrets of the Batcave! – secret technology that gives Batman , Robin and Batgirl the ultimate ability to save Gotham City!”
Back in April, I jumped into the Batman & Robin line with a look at the “& Robin” portion of the film. Today, I look at the central character who doesn’t get named at all. I mean, seriously, isn’t it a little odd that the film where you explicitly call out Batman and Robin as your title characters is the one where you add in Batgirl as your third protagonist? Isn’t that a little weird? I think it’s a little weird. Look at me, armchair quarterbacking a movie from 1997. That’s a real good use of my time, right? Yeah…
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Batgirl was released in the first wave of Batman & Robin product from Kenner, hitting shelves in 1997 to tie-in with the film. Unlike the various Batmen and Robins, she didn’t get any sort of adjective in front of her name; she’s simply “Batgirl.” Man, no goofy Kenner name is just a bummer. Did they even try with Batgirl in this thing? Oh, right, I’ve seen the movie: the answer is “no.” The figure stands 4 3/4 inches tall and she has 5 points of articulation. So, right off the bat (heh), let’s address the inaccuracies of the figure. As I brought up in my Robin review, the whole Batman & Robin process was quite expedited, so the figures were working from early costume designs. In Robin’s case, that was all well and good, because he kept his design, but in Batgirl’s case, that means she’s a bit off from her film appearance. The big change is the full cowl in place of the domino mask she was sporting in the final product. It’s not a particularly attractive design, at least as implemented on the figure. She’s also got the wrong version of the bat symbol, and is missing a lot of the ribbing and such that ran throughout the body suit, making for a much more basic looking design. There is also a removable cape, which actually is a pretty decently designed piece. Her paintwork is fairly basic stuff. She’s rather monochromatic, but that’s honestly a bit more faithful to the film than most of the color schemes to come out of this movie. Batgirl was packed with a “Battle Blade Blaster” and “Strike Scythe,” which are the weird green and black things. They don’t correlate to anything in the movie, but they certainly exist, now don’t they?
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
As I mentioned in my Robin review, Batman & Robin was the first Batman movie I saw in theaters, and despite its lackluster quality, five-year-old me really enjoyed it. Being the big thing of the summer, a whole bunch of the tie-in figures wound up as birthday presents for me that year, including Batgirl here. She’s not necessarily one of my favorites, and that was the case even as a kid. She really only served as my Batgirl until the Animated figure found its way into my collection and replaced her. She’s okay, I guess, and like the rest of the line, honestly better than the movie that spawned her.