Tuesday, January 14, 2014
Action Figure Review: Surf's Up Batman from Batman: Classic TV Series from Mattel
Mattel's Adam West styled Batman from the Batman: Classic TV Series line. While the headsculpt resembled Mr. Adam West in the cowl quite well, the body seemed too gangly and oddly proportioned. I honestly had planned to be done with the line (barring a future Yvonne Craig as Batgirl figure release, of course) but finding most of the basic figures on sale for about $5 changed my tune a bit. While these weren't $16 to $18 dollar figures to me, $5 seemed just about right. Today I'm looking at one of the wackiest figures from the line, Surf's Up Batman. Based on the third season episode "Surf's Up! Joker's Under!", this figure shows Batman as he engages the Joker in a surfing contest in his cool swimming trunks and full Batman costume. Ready for a figure that's weird, wild, wet, and wacky? Will I like this figure better than the previous Batman figure? Only time will tell, the time that it takes you to jump past the break of course....
The articulation is pretty similar to most Movie Masters or DCUC figures: hinged ankles, hinged knees, swivel thighs, H-hinged hips, a swivel waist, an abdomen- hinge, swivel/hinge shoulders, bicep swivels, hinged elbows, swivel wrists, and a ball jointed head. Most of the articulation is pretty functional and really helps to aid Batman in assuming both fighting poses and surfing poses. I still think the ab-hinge is too limited in it's movement and mars the sculpt. I'm also really perplexed by the ball jointed head which barely moves. It feels like more of a loose swivel joint than a functioning ball joint as it only moves up and down when in certain positions. The rest of the joints are nice and tight, though, and the quality control feels pretty solid.
Impressively, this figure comes with a few accessories! First are the two pieces that are standard to most every figure in this line: A stand and an over-sized trading card. I love when stands are included and this is a pretty nice one. It's a semicircle with a large red and yellow decal on it that says "BIFF!!!", a wonderful throwback to the comical exclamations that popped up during the show's fight scenes. The card is fairly heavy and is double sided. On the front is a nicely painted scene of Batman and the Joker during their surfing contest while the back features part of a scene from the Batcave showing off part of the Batmobile and some computer banks. When I get all of these reviews done, I'll take a picture with all of the Batcave images together. The stand actually has a slot which allows the card to stand vertically in the base, behind the figure.
The best accessory, though, is the surfboard. It's a very nicely designed yellow surfboard with thye black Batsymbol on it. There are two footpegs to help pose Batman in any position you want, as well as a fin or rudder hanging down from the bottom. The board still stands fine on a flat surface, even with the rudder facing down, but it is removable if you need it to be for some reason. I love these episode specific accessories and wish more figures had come with them. I think it would have definitely helped the line.
likeness rights for Ms. Yvonne Craig as Batgirl have been worked out with Warner Brothers, so it would seem that Mattel could still work this line a bit more, but back and forth statements from Mattel like the two seen in this article from Action Figure Insider definitely leave me baffled. I've looked on Mattycollector.com, but no questions regarding DC properties seem to have been answered since August so I have no clue if this line is over or not. Still, we've got this Batman figure who is easily Great. He's definitely the figure I most recommend you picking up from this line if you decide on only one. He's basically the Highlander of 1966 Batman toys. That is, until Batgirl comes out. I'm still holding out hope!
Need a Surf's Up Batman? You can still pick one up from Big Bad Toy Store today!