#0790: Penguin

PENGUIN

BATMAN: ANIMATED (DCC)

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While the majority of character designs from Batman: The Animated Series stuck pretty close to the classic designs for the characters, there’s no denying that the series in general took some lead from the live action Batman films of the late ‘80s/early ‘90s. While the characterization of the Penguin was definitely his classic stuck-up, high-society, aristocratic personality of his classic comic appearances, his design was a mid-way point between the classic look and the Danny Devito version of the character from Batman Returns.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

PenguinAnimated2Penguin is the 15th figure in DCC’s Batman: Animated line, which technically makes him a part of Series 4 of the line, though the actual layout of releases doesn’t really seem to following any actual order or anything. The figure is a little over 4 inches tall and he has 15 points of articulation. While he’s only got 15 points of articulation, the range of movement on this figure is pretty impressive, given his build. According to the packaging materials, he’s based on the character’s appearance in “The Strange Secret of Bruce Wayne.” That’s kind of an odd choice, seeing as Hugo Strange is that episodes primary antagonist and Penguin’s role is little more than a glorified cameo, but whatever. Penguin’s appearance in The Animated Series is rather fluid; the guy looks fairly different from various angles. That makes rendering him in three dimensions no easy feat. The figure’s sculpt does make an honest attempt at properly translating. The results aren’t half bad, but he still looks a bit odd from certain angles. And the hair is PenguinAnimated4pretty off, which I think is one of the things throwing the whole figure off. Still, the overall result is nice and clean, and sums up the character quite nicely. The figure’s paintwork is probably some of the best I’ve seen from this line, which definitely does a lot for the figure. The monocle being actually see-through is technically not accurate, since it was always opaque on the show, but it looks cool enough that I definitely won’t be complaining. Penguin’s accessory complement is actually pretty awesome. He gets his signature umbrella in both open and closed looks, a teacup, a spoon, three pairs of hands (fists, gripping, and open), and a display stand, which is amusing because he’s too wide at the waist to actually use it.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Like the last two Batman: Animated figures I’ve reviewed, Penguin was purchased from Cosmic Comix during their Biggest Sale of the YearTM. I’m not the biggest fan of the Penguin, so I wasn’t really sure I’d be getting this figure, especially since the prototype shots weren’t the greatest. But, the reduced price, coupled with him looking a fair bit better in person, led me to pick him up. I’m glad I did, because I think he’s one of the nicer figures from the line. Let’s hope more figures in the line end up like him.

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#0140: The Penguin

PENGUIN

DC: SUPER POWERS

Alright, I’m going back to my list of figures I already own for reviews.  This time it presented me with a figure from my modestly-sized DC: Super Powers collection.  For those of you unfamiliar with Super Powers, it was the first really intensive DC Comics toyline, and still is considered to be the best by a fair number of people.  I missed it in its initial run, but got into it because it was the only source of a Hal Jordan Green Lantern, Barry Allen Flash, or even a Wonder Woman when I was growing up.  I’m not reviewing any of those today, though.  Nope, I’m reviewing the Penguin.

In the entirety of my 2500 piece action figure collection, I own THREE Penguin figures, on yet somehow I’ve looked at two of the three before looking at a single version of characters of which I own dozens of figures.  I don’t even like the Penguin!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Penguin was released in the first wave of Super Powers figures.  He’s based on the classic Penguin look, before he was tweaked to more resemble the Danny Devito version of the character.  The figure stands a bit over 4 inches tall and has 7 points of articulation.  The sculpt is pretty good, with all of Penguin’s features carefully laid out.  He’s a simplistic figure, but the figure still has some decent folds and such, just everything is very smooth in texture.  The paint on the figure isn’t anything astounding, but it looks pretty good for the time, and everything is clean and within the lines. There’s pretty much no bleed-over or anything.  Each figure in the Super Powers line features some sort of action feature, usually activated by squeezing the arms or legs.  In Penguin’s case, when the legs are squeezed, his right arm lunges upward, which is dubbed his “Power Action Umbrella Arm.”  Penguin included a two piece umbrella, of which I only own the top piece.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This is a pretty cool figure, I guess, even if I’m not the biggest fan of the character.  He’s certainly not the greatest that the line had to offer, and I doubt any one would bring him up as one of the reasons the line is well remembered, but it’s a decent entry in the line.  Not the best, not the worst.

I actually ended up with two of this figure, believe it or not.  I swear I don’t like the Penguin!  Anyway, I got the first one for like $3 at my local Comicon, I think, but he was missing the coat tails and umbrella, and just had an “okay” paint job.  A few years later, I found a pretty decent Super Powers Batmobile for $40 and it included Batman, Robin, Joker, and Penguin.  I bought the lot solely for the Batmobile, but the Penguin included part of the umbrella and had the coat tails piece, plus he had a better paint job to boot.  Unfortunately, the figures stank to high heavens of cigarette smoke, so Penguin had to be quarantined in a bag of cat litter for 24 hours.  In case you were wondering, cat litter absorbs the smell of smoke, I don’t just willy-nilly place action figures into bags of it!

#0038: The Penguin

PENGUIN

BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES (KENNER)

Today, we’re jumping back to the 90s for a bit!  This is a piece from Kenner’s tie-in line for the immensely popular Batman: The Animated Series.  If you’re not familiar with B:TAS, go find some clips online.  You’ll thank me.  Anyway, Kenner produced a line of action figures based on the title character and his many nemeses (Incidentally, Jonathan Coulton’s “Nemeses” is playing on my iPod right now, which is pretty sweet!).  I’ll be taking a look at one of those foes:  The Penguin!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Penguin was released as part of the first series of B:TAS figures, though in all honestly, my version might be a rerelease from later on.  He is, of course, based on the Penguin’s appearance from B:TAS, though I feel I should specify that it’s based on his appearance from before the series was brought back and all the characters got redesigns.  The figure stands about 4 inches tall, which puts him in proper scale with the 5 inch scale of the line (Toy Biz should’ve taken note!).  He has 5 points of articulation, the Kenner standard at the time.  He was a totally new sculpt.  It’s well done, and captures the stylized look of the show’s animation fairly well.  He’s not spot on, but it’s not too bad.  Looking at some images, I feel his head in particular is a bit off.  Perhaps if it were just a touch larger.  For the most part, the figure is molded in the necessary colors, so there’s not a whole lot of paint, but what’s there is applied evenly and consistently.  There’s very little actual detail work to speak of, but it works for the style.  The images I’ve been able to find online of the figure show him including a coat and umbrella, but I honestly don’t remember mine having those, furthering my belief that he was a rerelease.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This figure was a gift from my Nana, given to me one year for Christmas along with a few other Batman figures.  I recall kind of wanting it, though I don’t really know why, as I’m not a very big fan of the Penguin.  Regardless, he spent many hours fighting the caped crusader and associates.