Monday, January 13, 2014
Action Figure Review: The Riddler from Batman: Classic TV Series by Mattel
Originally appearing in 1948, the Riddler is an interesting character who spent many years being sort of a Joker-lite. While he was more compulsively obsessed with puzzles and riddles than the Joker, both of them sort of had similar personality traits. During the 1980s, when the Joker's much darker personality really began to reemerge (the oldest Joker stories were pretty dark), the Riddler began to find his niche. Soon after, in Batman: The Animated Series, we saw the next development of the character as a brilliant, somewhat suave individual who compulsively felt the need to challenge Batman's intellect. While the Joker was Batman's equal in willpower, the Riddler truly was Batman's equal in brainpower. I always see portrayals of the Riddler as fitting in one of two camps: the laughing and goofy prankster or the cool, calculated mastermind. Gorshin's portrayal of the character might just be the definitive representation of the prankster version of the Riddler ever. Ready for a look at the figure? Then join me after the break....
I mentioned above that Mattel created unique bodies for each character in this line and I think they did a good job of capturing Gorshin's build. Not a lot of real life human men can pull off a spandex unitard, but Gorshin did. The design of the costume itself is pretty simple (it's mostly the colors that make it stand out) so there's not a lot of fine detail. Some folds and wrinkles here and there, and of course the odd belt that the Riddler wears. The head sculpt isn't bad, but it's a bit plain compared to how much expression Gorshin gave the character. Just Google him; the guy had some amazing facial expressions. Mattel chose to sculpt Riddler with his mask on, although I honestly think he was seen more often without it.
The paint work is good. It's nothing super fancy but it certainly makes the figure jump out at you. He's mostly molded in birght green plastic with purple gloves and belt. The gloves are fine, but the belt seems to have some of the green plastic underneath showing through. The booties that Riddler wears are also painted a darker green color to differentiate them from the rest of the outfit. I love the question marks that cover Riddler's outfit. All down his legs and around the cuffs of his sleeves are neatly stamped black question marks. There's also a large black question mark on his chest. Unfortunately, mine had a bit of slop around one of the edges of it. Still, I'm pretty happy with the level of paint detail on the figure.
If you're interested in picking up this guy, he's available at Big Bad Toy Store right now! I've only reviewed one other figures in this line so far, Batman , but I plan to review a few more in the future.