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For nerds of a certain age, the 1966 Batman Television show was their first indoctrination into Batman (myself included). It’s hard to devolve Batman as we know him today – a hard-bitten brooding bad-ass – by thinking back to a time when he (and Robin) were a trippy 1960’s fever dream. The William Dozier TV show was wrought with pop-art set pieces, telegraphed punches, ambiguous villains, satirical overtones, dutch angle camera setups, curiously tight-fitting costumes and the occasional dance number (anyone remember the Batusi?). Looking back, it’s easy to call it campy and lame. Because, well, it was. But, that was part of its charm! Some may say it isn’t the best of anything to do with Batman – most fans who remember it, seemingly choose to negate its existence for latter-day criticism. However, it stands an important part of Batman lore and demands respect as a cultural cornerstone. For its time, it was a fun, imaginative and immensely accessible show – appealing to the young and old. To this day everyone  – even those who aren’t Bat-literate – knows the “Na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na Batman!” jingle. And gosh darn-it if George Barris-designed Batmobile wasn’t the coolest thing on four wheels? If it weren’t for this show, we might not have the Batman we have today. The Chris Nolan Batman trilogy, The Tim Burton movies, Batman the Animated Series, Frank Miller‘s Dark Knight Returns… these acclaimed creatives might not have gone on to make the best of Batman had it not been for Batman 66.

For true Bat purists and nostalgia enthusiasts, the Adam West Batman and Burt Ward Robin 1/6th scale figures by Hot Toys/Sideshow Collectibles are a must have. By golly Batman, if they aren’t the best realized collectibles of the dynamic duo ever made.

Nerd Bastards was fortunate to receive samples from Sideshow Collectibles for review. So flip back the Shakespeare head and slide on down the bat pole with us as we take a in-depth look at these confounding crime fighters realized in 1/6th scale form.

Quick, to the review. There’s not a moment to lose! *Note: You are required to read this review out loud in the voice of an old-time radio broadcaster.

For the uninitiated, Hot Toys are made famous for their 1/6th (aka 12 inch) hyper realistic figures based on pop culture characters and icons. Batman and Robin are perhaps the most superb examples of just HOW realistic looking a toy/collectible can be.

But first, old chum, there is the packaging…

BOX ART

A collectibles packaging is almost as important as the figure itself. Box art is meant to attract the eye with familiar logos and imagery – acting as a visual bull-horn with the subliminal words of “BUY ME“. Well, with these Batman and Robin figures, you’re sure as heck aren’t going to miss them.

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Each figure comes in a 12-inch box with an outer sleeve around it. Featuring  each titular hero affront a bright yellowed back-splash (which is textured, giving off a feel of vinyl) peaking over a silhouette of Gotham skyline; with Batman being colored blue  & Robin green and red. Flipping the box around the effect continues on all sides, with the back panel showcasing the famous Bat-Signal. This is pop-art in the truest sense of the word, complete 60’s flair. Even my wife, who’s does not share in my affinity for toys and collectibles, gave moment to say “whoa, OK, those are cool”. These boxes look great and are worthy of being put on display themselves.

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When you open the boxes, each figure’s box has a version of some of the old television show’s famous catch phrases printed in explosive comic book print. Inside this box (box-ception) houses a shoe-box style tray with a viewing window containing the figure and its accessories.

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There’s actually a bonus, the flipside of the tray is actually a diorama made to look like a side of a building, allowing you to recreate the famous scaling a building scene that occurred in practically every episode. This isn’t to any great effect in contrast to the quality of the figures, but it sure is a nice use of packaging and one that shows Hot Toys really did put a lot of thought into it. Screen Shot 2014-12-09 at 11.11.15 PM

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A staple among Sideshow/Hot Toy figures is that they package their figures with collectors and resellers in mind. There is no dastardly tape or nefarious twist ties to deal with. Figures and their accessories are neatly compartmentalized in a plastic tray. You can remove and repackage everything without damaging the box. This means you could resell your figures without the depreciating the value. I dunno why you’d want to. These figures are too awesome to ever let go.

These collectible figures are highly detailed, specially crafted based on the images of Adam West & Burt Ward as the iconic characters Batman & Robin, featuring a screen-accurate masked head sculpt, specially made costume with Batman & Robin logos, weapons and accessories.

FIGURE: –  BATMAN

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I, of course, had to put my hands on Batman first (OK, that sounded wrong). The very first thing I noticed was how stunningly silky and shimmering his dark purple cape and grey tights were (OK, that didn’t sound any better). I can imagine this being the exact same material used for the actual TV costume. It’s a faithful recreation. There’s even some sort of padding around the figures torso  (aka fat suit) that makes you think how Adam West’s chest would feel if you were to hug him in costume (I don’t think I’m going to get out of this review without you readers questioning my sexuality, now am I?). The only things that are not fabric are Batman’s gloves/gauntlets, boots and cowl, which look just as screen accurate in plastic as they would in cloth/leather.

A bit of caution – the fabric over the figures body is so ridiculously thin. The slightest little sharp point on your hand or fingers and it catches (The instructions actually warn about this). Removing the protective baggies from the hands and feet made for a nerve-racking affair. Let alone changing out staggering amount of interchangeable hands and posing the figure. An unsuspecting sneeze and “BAM!” you”ll snag the suit.

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The cape is made of a nice, fine, and light material much like satin. It drapes and folds quite nicely, and is aided by little clasps that can be clipped to the buttons on the shoulders and back of the figure. While it’s nice having the ability to adjust the cape, those buttons are a pain, downright dastardly, to clasp. In fact, for fear of damaging the costume, I dared not mess with them.

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The figure stands approx 12 inches tall, with 30 points of articulation and 13 interchangeable gloved palms, all designed to be used with the various accessories.  You get a myriad of poses and shots you can configure, even the Batusi – the classic go-go dance that swept the 60s.

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Batman comes with 3 interchangeable facial expressions. Instead of 3 separate head sculpts – which would raise the cost of the figure – Hot Toys made it so the lower part of the face could be swapped out. It’s kind of weird seeing a portion of Batman’s face freely floating about as an accessory. Just ignore the general oddness of that and revel in how they look on figure’s head (which connect snugly via magnet, almost too snugly). Along with the eerily life-like eyes (unbelievable gloss and realism), the 3 interchangeable expressions make for a spot-on likeness of Adam West. As Alfred Penneyworth would put it “they have solicited his presence”.

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Batman also comes accessorized with a figure stand with name plate and logo, Batarang, a small nylon Bat-rope to attach to it when scaling a building, and Big Bomb (from Batman: The Movie 1968). We even have gadgets that pay tribute to one of the film’s most iconic scenes– the shark scene. Not only do you have a can of Shark Repellent Bat-Spray (the cap is actually removable, revealing a small spray nozzle), but there’s the Bat-radio (with metal ring) for signaling Robin to toss the canister down from The Batcopter! There’s really no other more identifiable accessories Hot Toys could have added to harken back to the show and movie, save for maybe the red Batphone or Shakespeare head (which tripped the secret door to the Batcave).

However, there is something noticeably absent from this picture and it’s a big one: you’re going to need Robin! You very well can’t have this classic Batman without his trusty sidekick, his old chum, The Boy Wonder!  Batman was a chief strategist and one with an exceptionally knowledgeable mind, well ahead of the rest of us. But when he explained his deductions to Robin we, as an audience, were able to get clued into what was happening.  And, where most viewers never thought of themselves as ever capable of being Batman, being his sidekick seemed far more attainable. Robin was our way of living vicariously through the crime fighters adventures.  The 1960’s TV series wasn’t a show about Batman, it was a show about a The Dynamic Duo and seeing the Batman 1/6 scale figure all alone on any shelf would be unjust.

FIGURE – ROBIN

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Much like Batman, my eyes are immediately drawn to Robin’s crotch high quality costume – the color of the cloths and painted plastic pieces match up with the real-life counterpart exactly, right down to those pixie boots.

The cape is made from a very similar material to the Batman cape, and is a shimmering yellow.  It comes already folded and clasped to the shoulders, so there’s less turmoil in trying to get it they way you want. It looks good right out of the box.

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The yellow stitching down the center of the vest is spot on to TV costume, the loops are even made of a metal with a brass finish. Only complaint, is keeping the stitching centered. Each one seems to naturally want to go in some cockeyed direction. For the OCD acute, like myself, getting them straight is enough to drive one batty (see what I did there?).

The red vest with attached cape is made from a fine canvas type material, and is certainly much more durable than what Batman’s costume is made of.

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Unlike Batman, the short sleeve-wearing Robin has exposed arms and that means that the elbow joints are indeed visible, which may or may not be an issue for some. Where, I myself, don’t mind the elbow joints, it’s the knee joints that I find unsightly. Which are not only apparent through the white leggings, but bend in a particular way and he looks like he’s got marionette (aka Pinocchio) knees.

Batman is 12 inches tall, while Robin stands an inch shorter. Robin has 30 points of articulation as well. However, I did notice that I was able to get a greater range of movement in Robin’s legs and arms than Batman’s. You can get Robin into a split pose, where as Batman you cannot (he’s tights are, well, too tight). However, Robin’s elbows only bend 90 degrees, unlike the double jointed elbows with Batman.

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As with the Batman figure, the Robin figure has an excellent likeness to Burt Ward. It’s mind-boggling how Hot Toys can, through realistic skin texture and glassy eyes,  capture the actors’ likeness even through molded pieces like the mask or cowl. However, it is disappointing to see that only the one neutral expression is available when Batman comes with two extra interchangeable expressions. At least Sideshow sells Robin for $14 less than Batman ($184.49) per the lack of extra facial expressions.

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For Robin, he’s even lighter on than Batman, with only 10 hands in total, and the same Bat Radio, Batarang and Short Rope. His only unique accessory are the Batcuffs, which appear to have a metal chain. I do like how a particular set of hands allows you to recreate Robin’s classic fist-to-palm pose, which you could always count on Robin to perform whenever he was frustrated our thought to have been outwitted by a villain (notably The Riddler).

As I said, it’s almost an injustice not having his “trusty sidekick” standing next to him. While each figure is dynamic on their own, only together can your truly call them “The Dynamic Duo”. Hot Toys/Sideshow just needs to announce when they are going to release the ’66 Batmobile cause both of the figures need it to complete the set.

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CLOSING THOUGHTS

Overall, these figures are so life-like, I think I’m about to watch a classic Batman and Robin TV show unfold in front of me. In recent years, Neca (1/4 scale figure) and Mattel (Ken doll & 6-inch figure) have tried their hand at making a ’66 Batman figure, but neither came close to this level of accuracy. Together, Batman and Robin  draw unmistakable attention on the shelf. They really pop.

There’s an endearing nostalgic factor apparent with these figures –  looking at them brings that catchy opening song and lighthearted moments come flooding back.  These are most likely the most awesome Batman 1966 Batman and Robin figures that will ever be made, so if you’re a Batman ’66 fan, these are probably the figures you’ve been waiting for.

Adam West Batman is priced at $184.49 and Burt Ward Robin at $170.99. If you feel $355.48 is too many Bat-Bucks, keep in mind these figures are on sale, marked down from $204.99 and $189.99 respectively. Plus Sideshow makes owning such elite collectibles affordable with payment plans, starting as little as $92.25 a month for Batman and $85.50 for Robin. Shipping is FREE (in US) and you can earn $27.75 and $25.65 in cash-back rewards towards future Sideshow purchases. 10% off, free shipping and cash-back rewards? It’s so good, it’s almost diabolical! Order your Batman and Robin now, there isn’t a moment to lose! ORDER HERE and HERE

Like our review? We have more! Check out our other Sideshow Collectible reviews:

TOY REVIEW: Hot Toys ‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2’ Spider-Man 1/6th Scale Figure

TOY REVIEW: Captain America (Golden Age Version) Sixth Scale Figure by Hot Toys 

TOY REVIEW: Sideshow Collectibles ‘Tonto’ 1/6th Scale Figure 

TOY REVIEW: Sideshow Collectibles ‘G.I. Joe’ Destro 1/6th Scale Figure 

TOY REVIEW: Star Wars 501st Trooper and Commander Wolffe Sixth Scale Figures From Sideshow Collectibles

 

 

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