Friday, January 17, 2014

Mattel '66 Catwoman 2013

Hey everyone, and welcome to another toy review! During Christmas 2013, had an incredible sale on all of Mattel's Batman '66 TV Series. Needless to say, you're going to see a few of these figures reviewed over the next few months! I'm starting off with Catwoman, who was actually played by three different actresses. Lee Meriweather played her in the movie, Julie Newmar played her in the majority of the shows, and Eartha Kitt filled in during the third season. Which version did Mattel choose to make? Let's find out!

There has been some debate online as to which actress this particular figure portrays. Lee Meriweather and Julie Newmar have somewhat similar features, so in a plastic format it can be easy to be somewhat confused. I can tell you beyond a shadow of a doubt, however, that this figure is of Julie Newmar. How do I know? There's one critical hint.. the necklace. It didn't appear in the movie, but was a big part of the outfit for the television show, worn by both Eartha Kitt and Julie Newmar. Add in the distinctive, jagged eyebrows that Ms Newmar adopted for the show and it becomes pretty clear who this should be.
The sculpt is a bit soft, I admit, but females can be very hard to represent in toys. They can either be too harsh or too soft, but finding something in a happy medium can be hard to accomplish. In this case, going softer was certainly the right call, as Newmar has very few truly distinctive features to her face. It added to her beauty, but it does make it harder to capture her without going to a straight caricature.
One of the benefits to this line is the unique sculpting for each figure. With these being based on real people, it would be awfully hard to reuse body parts. Considering Catwoman is the only female of the line, it makes her even more unique. She looks great overall, though. The fine texture in the uniform evokes the "sparkly" nature of her outfit, her curves aren't overly accentuated, and her limbs are thin without being entirely anorexic.
The paint is really well done. It's very simply applied, but it all combines to make for a nice, clean figure. There is some slop on the necklace, but it's much more noticeable in pictures than it is in hand. The eyebrows and eyelashes go together to add a lot of personality to the figure, saving what would otherwise be a very bland figure. I do wish there were a bit more seductive or sinister expression on her face, as this is a bit too doe eyed for my taste, but it's a minor nit to pick.
Catwoman uses pretty standard articulation and comes with a solid base to help you achieve dynamic poses and keep them there. The hips can be unsightly in more extreme poses, but they do look great when not extended, so it's one of those times where your mileage will vary. With the unique body structure of female characters, it can be hard to develop a working, standard articulation scheme. For the most part, all of these joints work without interfering with the sculpt, so it's worth it. The one area that confuses me is the waist swivel. Rather than placing it around the belt, they placed it mid-abdomen, which can make it look.. odd.. when using it. I know they were trying to make it look similar based on how the waist was rotated, but with the wrinkles sculpted into the costume it just doesn't work the way it should. It's a shame because it was a good idea badly executed.
There are no accessories for Catwoman, other than the stand and a piece of cardboard that pops into the back of it. This piece of cardboard, make no mistake, is utterly useless. The stand does feature unique wording for each of the figures and apparently the card backs make some kind of Batcave mural, but there'd be no way to display it, so what's the point? It's honestly just wasted paper ready to be recycled. Maybe it'll have better luck in its next life.
I don't want to sound too down on this figure. I loved Julie Newmar as Catwoman, and she definitely defined the role and made it her own. This is a great representation of this figure, just done safely without taking any real chances. She looks good on the shelf and can strike some great poses, but the lack of accessories really takes some of the fun away. For $20, these figures didn't sell - and there's a reason for that. If you can find them for $10-$15, however, it becomes a lot more worth it. They are built solid and made for display or playing, opening up a lot of doors for who might enjoy having it. I certainly don't regret having this on my shelf.. I just wish Mattel had managed the line better to really take advantage of those of us who waited decades to get these figures.

Robin? What the hell. That's the stupid "Holy.." comment ever!


Eric Stettmeier on January 17, 2014 at 7:31 PM said...

I nabbed this one a few weeks back but haven't gotten around to looking at her on my blog. I agree that around $20 is ridiculous for this line, and of course you add to that Mattel's inability to market a line correctly. Well, I'll save my rants and conspiracy theories for my post, but in the meantime she is a nice figure!

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