EXCLUSIVE: How Funko Created ADAM WEST’s BATMAN

A behind-the-scenes look with EXCLUSIVE concept art… 

Time to check back in with what Funko’s got cooking on its Batman ’66 3.75-inch-scale action-figure line.

This time around, we’ve got a dual interview with Krista Wade, who sculpted the first figure in the line — Batman himself — and Isabel Anderson, who is Funko’s action-figure articulation specialist, which is one of the coolest-sounding jobs ever. She’s the one who’s getting credited with giving these figures the more poseable articulation that fans can expect once the Caped Crusader and company show up in stores this spring.

Speaking of, the first release — the Batmobile, complete with Batman and Robin — is up for pre-order now with a May shipping date. You can get it through comics and specialty shops, as well as online retailers like Entertainment Earth, for example.

Want to know more? Of course you do. Click here for our FUNKO BATMAN ’66 INDEX of stories, complete with EXCLUSIVE concept art and interviews with the line’s team of designers and sculptors.

Wave 1, sans Julie Newmar Catwoman, at Toy Fair 2017

Dan Greenfield: Tell us a little about your connection to the Batman TV show. Are you a fan or was this just another gig for you?

Krista Wade: My father was a fan so I have a nostalgic connection to the TV show. It definitely wasn’t just another gig because I love sculpting a likeness as accurately as possible and that is the main goal when creating an action figure. I was very excited to recreate Adam West as Batman.

Isabel Anderson: I have been a fan for a while. I like watching old TV shows with my family. My favorites were Dark Shadows and Jonny Quest but we did watch some Batman together. It grew on me over time.

Dan: Turning flesh and blood people into 3.75-inch figures is not simple. Tell us about your process and use of source material.

Krista: First, I collect a lot of reference. This can be a very fun part of the job because part of that is grabbing screenshots from the show as I’m watching it. Then I start sculpting it in a digital sculpting program called ZBrush. Sculpting in Zbrush is much like sculpting with clay so if you could imagine someone doing that, what I do is very similar.

Concept art

Dan: Isabel, fans get especially persnickety about articulation. Tell us about your process. 

Isabel: Articulation is a fun, if frustrating, process. I’m really picky about my own figures so I try to bring that level of nit-pickiness to the work we do. That being said, we run into limitations with price point and scale, but I want to make sure each of these figures can express as much as possible through their ability to pose and move without interrupting the original flow of the sculpt.

Dan: What’s different in these figures’ articulation compared to similarly scaled figures Funko’s produced?

Isabel: The main difference between these and past figures of this size is the ball-jointed shoulder, which allows for total movement of the arms, not just a swivel. Otherwise I think we’ve had knee and elbow joints before, but I like to try and make them as seamless as possible while still allowing for maximum range of motion. When you see Bookworm in particular, his knees are an example of our newer knee-joint look.

Dan: What’s the biggest misconception fans have about your work?

Isabel: I think the expectation, more than misconception, is for a figure this size to be just as beautifully articulated as a 16-inch, $100 figure. As a consumer I know I have been picky with joints on something like this, but I think it’s important to keep in context the price point and the scale.

Dan: What was your reaction when you saw the “life-size” model that Funko showed off at Toy Fair? Will they let you take it home with you?

Krista: Sadly I’ve only seen pictures! I must admit, I did jump up and down when I heard they were making it into a statue. I would love to one day witness it up close to see how well the details came out. I spent some quality time making sure his chin and lips matched his likeness as much as possible and it would be cool to see if that made it through.

Dan: Are you working on any other figures for the line?

Krista: Probably not, but you never know. Like I said, I love doing likenesses so hopefully I’ll get to do another action-figure line soon.

Dan: Favorite Batman TV episode. Go.

Isabel: My favorite character in the series by far is King Tut, I love all his episodes.

Dan: Which is your favorite figure of the line so far? Why?

Isabel: My favorite figure was, surprise, King Tut! Which is funny because he has so much clothing he can’t move as well as the other figures I articulated. But I love his face, I think (sculptor) Shelley Rappleye did an awesome job capturing his expression, which is part of what makes his episodes so charming. That actor, Victor Buono, was really great. (For an interview with Shelley Rappleye, which you do not want to miss, click here.)

Dan: Besides your own Batman, Krista, which is your favorite figure so far?

Krista: I think there is no question: King Tut.

Dan: What characters, besides the obvious Joker, Penguin and Riddler, would you like to see in Wave 2?

Isabel: Because King Tut was already done… I would love to see Eartha Kitt’s Catwoman. I love Kitt so much, it would be really fun to work on that.

For THE FUNKO BATMAN ’66 INDEX of stories, click here.

Author: Dan Greenfield

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