#1295: Egyptian Catwoman & Batman

EGYPTIAN CATWOMAN & BATMAN

LEGENDS OF BATMAN (KENNER)

In an effort to prevent this site from becoming all Marvel Legends all the time, and risking becoming too monotonous, today I’m going to be looking at a DC-related item.  Just to add a bit of variety.  Now, yesterday, I looked at a caped vigilante of the night with a bit of an Egyptian flair.  Today, I’ll be looking at…a caped vigilante of the night with a bit of an Egyptian flair.  The more things, the more they stay the same, right?  Today’s review takes us once more to Kenner’s Legends of Batman line from the ‘90s.  While prior reviews have focused primarily on the line’s pirate-sub-line, this time we’re looking at another of the goofy reimaginings, with Egyptian Batman and his foe Egyptian Catwoman!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Egyptian Catwoman and Batman were released in 1996 as one of a pair of two-packs in the Legends of Batman line (the other two-pack was the previously reviewed Pirate Two-Face & Pirate Batman).  Like most of the goofy variants from this line, these two were original creations of Kenner, and had no ties to the comics beyond being Batman and Catwoman.

CATWOMAN

Ancient Egypt revered the cat—with the exception of Egyptian Catwoman.  The mightiest woman pharaoh ever to rule, Egyptian Catwoman tainted the royal throne through her misuse of her immense power.  Forcing whole nations into slavery to build her lavish palace, pyramids, and towering monoliths, Egyptian Catwoman was despised and feared throughout the land.  Only her sworn enemy, Egyptian Batman, could stand up to her evil-doings and massive cat-claw battle staff to release her unfortunate subjects from her iron rule.”

Unlike Two-Face, it would seem Egyptian Catwoman is a markedly different character from her main universe character.  With that said, despite what her bio may insist, she doesn’t seem to be all that different from the average Pharaoh, apart from her willingness to fight her own battles.  Guess the cat-claw battle staff helps.  Also, can we address how silly it is that the bio has to call her “Egyptian Catwoman” every time she’s mentioned?  It just sounds kind of silly, especially since those living in ancient Egypt would be very unlikely to throw “Egyptian” in front of their name.  It’d be like me referring to myself as “American Ethan H Wilson” all the time.  Wouldn’t “Pharaoh Catwoman” have been a better choice?  Oh well.  The figure stands about 4 1/2 inches tall and has 6 points of articulation (counting the tail, which turns at its base).  Most of the articulation isn’t of much use, since she’s rather preposed; it’s really only there to let you fine tune things so that she doesn’t fall over so much (whether it actually helps with that issue is debatable).  The sculpt is okay, I guess.  It’s not as good as Pirate Two-Face, but also not as bad as Pirate Batman.  It’s somewhere in between.  The pre-posing is at least a pretty decent pose, which is clearly designed to interact with the Egyptian Batman figure.  In terms of design, she seems to take a good deal of influence from her then current Jim Balent-designed outfit, mostly in terms of color and general layout of the various elements.  There are, of course, the Egyptian-styled elements, which are all pretty decently rendered, if perhaps a bit on the soft side.  The Wolverine claws seem a bit overkill, but there are worse things.  The paint work on Catwoman is acceptable, but far from perfect.  There’s a lot of fuzz around the edges, and the gold paint doesn’t seem to have held up particularly well.  Catwoman includes a headdress (meant to evoke her exposed hair in the comics), as well as the previously mentioned cat-claw battle staff.

BATMAN

“Many years ago, the son of a high-ranking Egyptian official disguised himself as Egyptian Batman and made it his life’s mission to out an end to evil-doers.  He didn’t have to look far for his main target: his own father’s sponsor, Egyptian Catwoman.  Battling the evil, feline pharaoh with only his powerful bat-shield staff and keen intellect as weapons, Egyptian Batman strived to make his homeland a prosperous, peaceful place once again.”

Okay, so here’s my question here: why a bat?  Like, it makes sense for Bruce Wayne, but random Egyptian dude?  Cats work into the whole Egyptian mythology thing, but bats?  I don’t know.  Anyway, the figure stands about 5 inches tall and he has 5 points of articulation.  The articulation works a little better here, since the figure’s a little less preposed, which is a definite plus.  I think Egyptian Batman may well sport my favorite sculpt of the five Legends of Batman figures I’ve looked at so far.  Sure, he’s still got slightly exaggerated proportions and kind of insane muscles, but there’s a sort of balance to it.  I definitely get a Neal Adams sort of vibe from this figure.  The general design is also one of the stronger ones.  It maintains the basics of the classic Batman design, but also perseveres the whole Egyptian aesthetic, in a way that I feel works better than his pack-mate.  I particularly dig the morphing of his traditional bat-ears into more of a jackal sort of design.  It preserves the basic silhouette, but offers something new and different for the figure.  The paint work is pretty straightforward.  It’s mostly pretty clean, and the colors suit the character.  There’s still an issue with the gold paint one this figure, but it seems less present on this guy.  Like Catwoman, Batman includes a headdress, as well as his previously mentioned shield staff, which he has a little trouble holding properly.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Like the prior two-pack, I don’t actually remember seeing this set in stores when it was released.  This one I do recall seeing a few times elsewhere over the years, but I just never got around to getting one.  Super Awesome Girlfriend picked this set up for me at the same time as the Pirate set.  I was actually more interested in the pirate set at first (since they go with my other figures), but after opening them both up, this set was actually my favorite of the two, largely due to the pretty awesome Egyptian Batman figure.  If you’re looking for a good jumping on point for this line, you could do a lot worse than this set.

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#1254: Catwoman

CATWOMAN

BATMAN: LEGACY (MATTEL)

Okay, I’ve really been ragging on Mattel recently.  While they’ve probably earned it, I still like to at least attempt to be even handed with my reviews here.  And, for a while there, Mattel was actually my favorite toy company.    I know, that seems like blasphemy, but when they were really in the swing of things with DC Universe Classics, they were kind of my jam.  As with Toy Biz on Marvel Legends, it’s not a line that’s aged super well, but they were top-notch at the time.  The line was even successful enough to get a few off-shoots, including Batman: Legacy, which gave us a few of the Caped Crusader’s allies and foes, all in that DCUC style.  Today, I’ll be looking at that line’s Catwoman figure.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Catwoman was released in the third and final series of Batman: Legacy.  While the first two series each offered a Batman and two supporting players, for some reason Series 3 only gave us Selina and 1st Appearance Batman.  Catwoman was officially dubbed a Golden Age figure, and is seen here in what most would consider her “classic” costume.  It was her first official costume (though it showed up seven years after her first appearance), worn until well into the ‘60s, and it even made a brief comeback in the ‘80s, which means it also works for the silver/bronze age incarnation of the character as well.  The point is, it was one of her longer-lived looks, and it was a pretty solid choice.  The figure stands about 6 inches tall and has 23 points of articulation.  Due to the long hair, the cape, and the skirt, her movement’s rather restricted, but you can still manage to get a few decent poses out of her.  Structurally, she’s built on Mattel’s second attempt at the female base body.  It was definitely a marked improvement over their first one (seen on Katma Tui), and is about on par with he base male body.  It looks more or less like an actual human, which I suppose is pretty good.  She got her own unique head, lower arms, and hands, and made use of Donna Troy’s boots.  She also had a new add-on for her cape, and re-used the skirt piece from Raven.  She was just stealing all of the Teen Titans’ stuff.  Which is probably in character, when you get down to it.  Clever move Mattel.  The new pieces all matched up pretty well with the pre-existing parts, which is good, and they add-up to a nice recreation of the classic Catwoman appearance.  The head is one of the stronger ones from this era, although I really do wish she’d gotten maybe a more sly facial expression.  She looks a little bit dead inside as it is.  As far as the paint goes, this figure’s pretty solid.  An argument could probably be made for he being a tad less magenta, but she doesn’t look awful in that respect.  The base application is all pretty cleanly applied, and there’s even some halfway decent accent work on the face and the skirt.  Catwoman’s only extra was a display stand, which was the same one included with all of the Legacy figures.  It had a label with her name on it, which I guess was nice.  The fact that she didn’t include her whip seems a bit silly, since Mattel already had one on hand from the last Catwoman and this one’s right hand is very clearly sculpted to be gripping that piece.  I feel that would have been a more exciting extra than the stand.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

After skipping the entirety of Series 1, and then grabbing all of the figures in Series 2, I decided to split the difference on Series 3 and just get Catwoman.  Of course, that may have been slightly motivated by the fact that Batman: Legacy Series 3 were the first figures to hit the $20 mark at retail, which killed my buying buzz a bit.  Still, I was pretty pumped when I found this figure on the pegs at my local Target.  She’s not perfect, but I do think she’s faired a bit better over the years than some of her compatriots.  This was kind of the last hurrah for Mattel’s DC stuff when you get down to it, which is sort of sad.

#0684: Catwoman

CATWOMAN

BATMAN: THE LONG HALLOWEEN

CatwomanLH

A few of Batman’s foes have a tendency to go back and forth across the line of friend or foe, but none more so than Selina Kyle, aka Catwoman. She’s one of the Bat’s oldest enemies (debuting in the same issue as the Joker), but she rarely stays on his bad side for too long. In addition to switching sides a lot, she also gives the Wasp a run for her money in terms of number of costumes. She’s been in the leather catsuit for a while, but before that she seemed to be changing costumes just about every week. She did manage to keep roughly the same look for most of the 90s, and that look’s gotten a handful of figures (including my very first Catwoman figure). Let’s look at one of those figures, shall we?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

CatwomanLHWilsonCatwoman was released in the first series of DC Direct’s Batman: The Long Halloween. The series was based on the comic of the same name, which featured the work of artist Tim Sale (who’s one of my favorite Batman artists). It follows that Catwoman is based on Sale’s interpretation of the character, as she appeared in that series. She’s essentially wearing her purple bodysuit costume from the 90s, with a few tweaks. The figure is just shy of 6 inches tall and has 13 points of articulation. That’s not a lot of movement, but it was above average at the time of this figure’s release. Still, she’s not going to get into any poses more creative than a basic standing look. Catwoman featured an all-new sculpt, which has remained unique to this particular figure. DC Direct definitely had some trouble translating Sale’s artwork into three dimensions on several of the figures in this line, but Catwoman actually ended up with a pretty great sculpt. She manages to capture Sale’s style without being too cartoony or odd looking. The head is probably the most stylized part of the figure. Sale had a fairly distinctive take on Selina’s mask, and it’s been translated very nicely here. She’s missing her whiskers, but those probably would have looked silly in three dimensions, and they were absent from a lot of the silhouettes. That face is definitely a Sale face. The proportions of the body are pretty decently handled; she’s still somewhat stylized, but not absurdly so. The boots and gloves exhibit some of the best work on the figure, with some of the best sculpted wrinkles I’ve ever seen. Seriously, those wrinkles are fantastic. It’s a weird element to focus on, but it really impresses me. The bracelets on the wrists are actual, metal rings, which is a cool touch (though, I seriously have to question the practicality of such accessories on a burglar…). The tail is really the only part of the figure that’s just “ehh,” and that’s really just because it’s not in any way posable. Catwoman’s paintwork is pretty straight forward, but it’s nicely handled. The face paint does a nice job of accenting the “Sale-ness” of the sculpt. The glossy paint on the gloves and boots is also a nice way of breaking up those parts from the rest of the body, so that’s cool. Catwoman was packed with a pair of night vision goggles, a whip, a calendar page (February 14th, for those who are curious), and a display stand that looks like a section of pavement. Of course, I’ve misplaced all of those over time.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

When this figure was first announced, I didn’t want it. The prototype shots looked really odd, especially the head. Then my comic book store was running a sale on DC Direct figures, and she was marked down to like $5, at which point I realized I didn’t yet own a Catwoman in this scale and figured I could do a lot worse for five bucks. Oh boy could I have done worse. In hand, this is probably one of the best Catwoman figures out there. Sure, the articulation could be better, but the figure is just a great looking figure.

#0200: Selina Kyle/Catwoman

SELINA KYLE/CATWOMAN

DARK KNIGHT RISES (HOT TOYS)

Catwoman2

Wow, looks like I’ve made it to 200 reviews! It seems like just yesterday I was writing my last Hot Toys review for my 150th review. Since this is another milestone review, I’ll be doing another “Deluxe Review.”

It’s another figure produced by Hot Toys, a Hong Kong based toy company known for their very high-end action figures. They have a tendency to pick up the licenses for the various Super Hero movies, and this time around, I’ll be taking a look at Catwoman from their subset of Dark Knight Rises figures.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Selina was released in HT’s Movie Masterpiece line, designated as figure MMS 188. She’s a little under 12 inches tall and features 28 points of articulation (At least, according to Hot Toys. I haven’t undressed the figure to check this, because that seems weird.). She’s based on Selina’s Catwoman look from the film.

THE HEAD IN QUESTION

Catwoman4The head is a very nice sculpt. HT’s strong suit is usually how close to the actors they look. I’m not sure if Catwoman’s head is a spot on Hatheway likeness, but it’s very close. The paint may also be a contributing factor to the somewhat off likeness. Typically, HT excels at paint, but in Selina’s case, they seem to have done something wrong with the eyes. Maybe the pupils are too small. The hair is not sculpted, but instead is rooted, in a similar fashion to a Barbie doll. Yeah, I know, it even further blurs the line between doll and action figure. However, it was the right call here, because sculpted hair would have severely limited the neck pose-ability and made the removable goggles impossible. Speaking of the goggles: yes, I’m sorry about the lack of sans-goggles pictures. I forgot to take them before putting the goggles on, and I certainly wasn’t going to try to take them back off.

THE COSTUME IN QUESTION

CatwomanThe costume is made up of six pieces: a jumpsuit, a belt, gloves, and boots. The jumpsuit is made of a nice textured cloth, and looks overall accurate to the one from the movie. My one complaint would be that the zipper seems a bit too bulky to be in proper scale. This is unfortunately one of the downfalls of attempting to work in this scale, but I feel it would be better served if they hadn’t actually made it a working zipper. The belt is a nice sculpted piece, and sits appropriately for the character. The gloves are simple slip-over pieces, held in place by the hands. The seam is cleverly hidden in the folds, which helps with making the figure more convincing. The boots are an impressive piece of work, being made of a leather like material, with a set of feet in the bottom, and plastic soles placed to keep the whole thing together. One issue I do have is that the costume does seem to look rather bulky around the torso. It’s not a huge issue, and it can be alleviated with a good pose, but I wish it was a little better.

THE ACCESSORIES IN QUESTION

Selina features a decent assortment of accessories, but not quite as many as some of the previous HT figures I’ve reviewed. They are:

  • Goggles
  • 7 interchangeable hands
  • Hand gun
  • Batman Cowl
  • Display Stand

CatwomanInventoryThe goggles are the most important accessory, as they complete Selina’s costumed look. They are a bit difficult to get on the figure, and quite fragile, so take care. Once they’re on the figure, they fit pretty snuggly, and look accurate to the source material. The arms allow you to flip them up out of her face, re-creating her “cat-ear” look from the film. It’s a nice feature, but it does mean that the piece is quite prone to breaking if you aren’t careful.

There are seven hands: two fists, two open gesture, one with a trigger finger, and two gripping. The fists and open gesture allow for a nice selection of basic poses. The trigger finger holds the hand gun pretty tightly, which is nice. The gripping hands were meant to work with the Bat Pod released around the same time. I don’t have it, so they aren’t of much use to me, but they are a nice inclusion nonetheless.

The hand gun is the usual HT fair. Moving parts, removable clip, and crisp details. Not much new here.

The empty Batman cowl was the item included with the release of this figure available exclusively through Sideshow Toy’s website. It’s based on The DKR Batman figure released around the same time. It’s a nice piece, and it is surprisingly sturdy. Not really of much use to Selina, but a great add-in if you have the complimentary Batman.

Lastly, Selina includes a display stand with her name on it. It’s a pretty cool stand, designed to vaguely emulate the early teaser posters featuring the character smashing a batarang under her heel on a rainy surface.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Selina was ordered from Sideshow’s website pretty much as soon as she was up for pre-order. I knew I wanted the figure as soon as I saw the movie, and I definitely wanted the extra Batman cowl to display with my Batman figure. Overall, the figure isn’t perfect, but it’s a good figure overall, and she really looks great when displayed with Batman and Bane.

# 0035: Catwoman

CATWOMAN

BATMAN ‘66 (MATTEL)

Today, I’ll be taking a look another new addition to my collection.  It’s Catwoman from Mattel’s Batman ’66 line, which I have yet to look at on this blog, so this’ll be a first.  Awesome.  I’m going to assume everybody knows Catwoman, but if you don’t know the 1960s Batman TV show this version is based on, you should definitely read up on it.  It’s a lot of fun.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

This figure is obviously based on Catwoman from the 1960s show, but specifically, this one’s based on Julie Newmar’s portrayal of the character.  I’m more of a Lee Merriweather fan myself, but Newmar was the first, the longest running and is typically the best remembered Catwoman by fans of the show, so she was a good choice to do right off the bat.  Catwoman was released in (kind of) the second series of the Batman ’66 line, although she was released separately from the other two figures in the series.  She stands roughly 6 inches tall and has 22 points of articulation.  Unlike many of Mattel’s previous DC lines, which rely heavily on reuse, Catwoman is an all new sculpt.  Admittedly, it’s one of the better sculpts they’ve done, in that it does come fairly close to a real woman’s proportions, which is a nice change.  It’s not perfect, mind you, but not terrible.  The head sculpt is also well done, with more than a passing resemblance to Julie Newmar.  Unfortunately, the paint doesn’t quite live up to the sculpt.  It’s not terrible, but the face especially is really thickly painted, and the eye lashes and eyebrows are painfully obviously patterned designs.  None of this ruins the figure, but I can’t help but think that the likeness would increase ten-fold with a better paintjob.   Catwoman also includes a sound effect labeled stand and a character card featuring a screen cap from the show.  The stand is the same as every other stand in the line, but Catwoman’s reads “CRRAACK!” like the sound a whip would make, making it a good fit for Catwoman.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I acquired my Catwoman figure from Amazon, like the other Batman ’66 figures, when they all went up for preorder.  Amazon has quickly become my go to for ordering toys because it just makes life a whole lot easier!