Monday, September 16, 2013

Toy Review: Mattel - Classic TV Series Batman, Riddler, and Penguin Action Figures

Bam! Mattel's first wave of Classic Batman TV series action figures
I am not sure what started my love of the Caped Crusader. I am in a constant debate with myself of whether the Classic Batman TV series or Mego's World's Greatest Super Heroes Batman was the cause, but either way I love all that is Batman and at long last I have more toys to add to that love.

Finally, after 47 since its first episode aired on January 1, 1966 there or toys based on a TV series that is as popular as it was when it began airing all those years ago.

The licensing that has been long been awaited has at last been brought to light and with it this fantastic line of 6 inch figures from Mattel. This first wave includes villains from the first two episodes of the series, which of course includes Batman (Adam West), but also puts in three dimensional form The Penguin (Burgess Meredith) and The Riddler (Frank Gorshin).

Batman Figure:

Mattel Classic TV Series Batman action figure
Kapow! The Debonair Millionaire BRUCE WAYNE may seem like your average cool cat, but you would be wrong! With the flip of a Shakespeare Head and...To the BATCAVE! GOTHAM CITY is filled with a rougue's gallery of criminals eager to unmask BATMAN, but they are thwarted by the Caped Crusader's own clever ways.

Rear view of packaging for Classic Batman TV series figure
The figure comes in his iconic blue and gray costume and instantly recognizable TV series cowl. The figure has 20 points of articulation, correct scale utility belt, and cloth cape. As expected, the Batman figures in this series like the Batusi Batman and the Batman and Robin 2-pack are all pretty much the same the mold. The hands are molded differently than the Batusi version and the cape lacks the poseability of the 2-pack version.

The likeness of Adam West is a plus and adds to the appearance of this figure. Batman also comes with a pegged display base with "Pow" molded into it. The figure also includes a 5 inch by 3.25 inch wide collectors card.

We've had five actors as of this date to portray the Dark Knight, excluding the movie serials, but only one to play him on TV. It's interesting to watch the screen test with future Wonder Woman star, Lyle Waggoner, and how the show may have turned out had Lyle been cast over Adam. For me, after I watched those screen tests, Adam was the clear choice.

The Riddler Figure:

Mattel Classic Batman TV series Riddler action figure

THE RIDDLER - You fiend! The confounding, clever criminal known as THE RIDDLER is BATMAN and ROBIN's trickiest villain. Sending Enigmatic Clues to the DYNAMIC DUO, THE RIDDLER subsequently leads them into an inevitable trap, but never fear - The BATMAN always outwits the mysterious madman!

Rear view packaging for THE Riddler from Mattel
Impressionist Frank Gorshin was executive producer William Doziers' first choice to play the Prince of Puzzlers and was a fan favorite since his first appearance in the pilot episode 'Hi Diddle Riddle.' Mattel has done a fantastic job with this figure dressing him in his usual bright green unitard. Another great facial sculpt of the actor and the trade mark question marks round out the figure.

Like Batman, The Riddler also comes with a pegged display base with "Ka-Pow" molded into it. The figure also includes a 5 inch by 3.25 inch wide collectors card.

The Penguin Figure:

Mattel Classic Batman TV series The Penguin action figure

That feathered fiend THE PENGUIN is at it again! But never trust a red herring, if something seems fishy, the monocle-wearing mayhem-maker will have something to do with it, with tricky umbrella weapons, this greedy, cold blooded villain gives THE BATMAN a run for his money!

Rear view of packaging for Mattel's The Penguin figure

William Dozier originally had Mickey Rooney in mind to portray the master of 1,000 criminal umbrellas, but after Rooney declined the role Burgess Meredith gladly singed up. The Penguin was the second villain to battle Batman in the series and first appearing in the episode 'Fine Feathered Finks.' Mattel once again hits the mark with the facial sculpt, but includes a long cigarette holder, purple top hat and tuxedo.

Like the other figures, The Penguin also comes with a pegged display base with "Awk" molded into it. The figure also includes a 5 inch by 3.25 inch wide collectors card.

Price: Retails for $15.99 each.

These figures may not be for everyone, but for the little boy who sat daily in front of the TV waiting for the next Bat-Adventure, I am all about these figure. I had my doubts of what Mattel would come up with, but I can't be any happier on how these figures turned out.

Next up: The Joker, Surf's Up! Batman, and eventually Catwoman.

About the author: John Sholtz is an avid toy collector and the interim editor of the Batcave Toy Room due to the abrupt death of Bruce Wayne. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter at, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.


  1. Replies
    1. I plan to have two sets of all the Batman TV series toys and open one set.

  2. I have yet to run across these in stores but i will keep looking!

    1. I have seen The Riddler and The Penguin at Walmart once John Boy. They quickly sold out. Since then I have not seen them at Target, Toys R Us, Walmart, or anywhere else again. I have heard that Mattel is not continuing with the line, but I don't see why with these flying off the shelves. Oh, wait! It's Mattel.

  3. I think I know what Matthew is getting for Christmas this year (if I can them down).

    1. They are near impossible to find retail Corey. I've seen them at my favorite comic book store MaximuM Comics recently, but other than that they were off the shelves before hit the pegs. Your best bet is to buy them Online at Big Bad Toy Store or Entertainment Earth.


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