BATMAN ’66 (FUNKO)
Fun fact: did you know that the Barbara Gordon version of Batgirl was only created to help sell the third season of the ‘60s Batman show? Well, sort of. Carmine Infantino and Julie Schwartz were working on a way to revamp the Betty Kane “Bat-Girl”, when they were visited by the tv-show’s producers, who were looking for a hook for what would be the show’s final season. They liked Infantino’s early designs for Barbara, and she was quickly introduced in the comics before making her on-screen debut shortly thereafter. Yvonne Craig’s portrayal of Batgirl in the show is by far the most definitive take on the character, even years later.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Batgirl was released in the first series of Funko’s new Batman ’66 line of figures. After being left out of the Mattel line at launch, it’s really nice to see Batgirl turn up much earlier in the new line. These figures are in a similar style to Game of Thrones figures, but this feels like a property that’s more at home in the style. The figure stands 3 3/4 inches tall and she has 11 points of articulation. I definitely appreciate the hinges on the shoulders; it’s a shame we couldn’t get similar movement on the hips, but I’ll take what I can get. The style of these figures has a vaguely retro feel to it, but it’s not quite as hardcore as the ReAction stuff. The sculpt on Batgirl is somewhat streamlined and more simplistic, but she still manages to have some really incredible detail work, especially on the gloves. The head actually sports a pretty solid likeness, definitely better than the Mattel version (and I even though that was one of Mattel’s better attempts in their line), and a very crisply defined cowl with her hair billowing out of the back. The hair is well-placed, so as not to impede the neck movement, which is very much appreciated. There’s a rubber cape, which is held in place by the head. It’s fairly light-weight and flexible. Definitely an improvement on the cloth cape from the Mattel stuff. The paintwork on Batgirl is decent enough. The application is all pretty clean, and there’s no real noticeable slop. The belt has some slight bleed over onto the pelvis, but it’s minor. I will say, while the flat colors look fine, I do sort of miss the metallics from the Mattel version, and I feel like at the very least, the jumpsuit should have been a little shiny. Batgirl was packed with a Bat-Communicator, which is cool, though she has trouble holding it.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
When Funko announced they were doing this line, I will admit, I was skeptical. I went all-in on the Mattel figures, and I was ultimately rather let down by those. Similarly, I was only so-so on a lot of the ReAction stuff and the smaller-scale Game of Thrones figures. But, I was at Lost in Time Toys, and they had Batgirl, and I really liked the look of her, so I figured I’d give the line a shot. I kinda wish I’d waited it out for the Funko stuff, because I found this Batgirl to be a better put together figure than what we got from Mattel. On top of that, I’m happy to see Funko starting to find their footing in the action figure world. Here’s hoping they can maintain their niche.