Looking Ahead to FUNKO’s BATMAN ’66 WAVE 2

Holy crystal ball!

Check out the complete FUNKO BATMAN ’66 INDEX of stories and features. Click here!

The dust has more or less settled on Wave 1 of Funko’s line of 3.75-inch Batman ’66 action figures: Fans’ shelves are adorned with Batman, Robin, Batgirl, Julie Newmar’s Catwoman, Otto Preminger’s Mr. Freeze, King Tut, Bookworm and the Batmobile (click here).

Wave 1

Meanwhile, the chase is on for the rarer Screen Test Batman and Eli Wallach figures (click here) — not to mention the San Diego Comic-Con exclusive Red Batmobile/Green Batman set (click here).

Cool. But what about Wave 2?

Well, Funko’s not saying yet — and there are no plans to make any announcements at San Diego this week. But we’ve gathered a lot of intel based on comments to us by Funko exec Ben Butcher (click here) and senior designer Reis O’Brien (click here) that give us a pretty strong indication of what’s coming next. (Not to mention, we have sources elsewhere, too!)

Our picks are below — and you should join in too. We’d love to see what you come up with — and see who comes closest when Funko’s ready to make the big announcement. (Besides, Funko is a company that listens. If there’s a groundswell for a particular character or idea, who knows?)

I’m going to use the template that Funko used for Wave 1: Six basic figures, with two chase figures and one vehicle. I’ll also throw out an idea for a New York Comic Con exclusive.

Here goes:

The Joker and the Penguin. O’Brien said here that “We have nailed down the lineup and fans will not be disappointed. Get ready for some major villains!” Funko has always seemed intent on at least two waves and there’s no way they’re not going to produce these two. I can’t imagine that they’d wait until a Wave 3, in case that never comes to pass. (I have a hunch it will, though, based on O’Brien’s optimism on The Batcave Podcast here.)

O’Brien also made the point of noting “major villains” and they don’t get more majorer than those two, Catwoman and …

The Riddler. For the same reason I just listed, I’m extremely confident that the King of Conundrums (Conundra?) will be in Wave 2. But I’m listing him separately because I want to make the point that I think he’ll be in the jumpsuit, with mask. (More on that in a bit.) O’Brien has said that his preference is the suit and tie but that when he thinks of the Riddler, he thinks jumpsuit — and I think a lot of fans would agree. In addition, Funko’s POPs have the jumpsuit Riddler as a main figure and a suit-and-tie version as a chase. I can see something similar happening here. (Plus at some point there could be a jumpsuit-sans-mask version too.)

Contaminated Cowl Batman. O’Brien also noted that Batman and Robin are still the centerpieces of the line. So I figure there has to be at least one Batman in the wave and this would be the easiest addition to make: Only the cowl would need a repaint. Robin, on the other hand, may be MIA from the wave since Funko insists he will not be released as a single, just in the Batmobile set. (Another possibility: I suppose a plain Batman could be included in Wave 2, perhaps one with better eyebrows. That’s been a sticking point for a lot of fans.)

Mad Hatter. The company has made it clear it wants to go deep where possible. With second-tier villains like Bookworm and King Tut already produced, the Mad Hatter is a natural choice. Even though the company scored a big one with the Wallach Mr. Freeze, it makes more sense to utilize the actors whose likenesses are already under the master license, such as David Wayne. And if you’re going with Contaminated Cowl Batman, it only goes to follow that Mad Hatter would be a solid choice.

Egghead. He’s O’Brien’s favorite. I can’t imagine him not being included.

Chase figure 1: Eartha Kitt Catwoman. Butcher said all the way back at Toy Fair that the company wanted to try to replicate every look they could of the various characters. Kitt is under the master license, so it’s just a matter of a head swap.

Chase figure 2: Suit and Tie Riddler. See Riddler above. This could be put off to a Wave 3, but I think they’ll try to keep both versions in the same wave. Now, what about a surprise, like John Astin? Astin’s not under the master license so Funko would have to make a side deal like they presumably did with the Wallach estate. I wouldn’t be terribly surprised if that happened — it would just mean a head swap — but I still think it’s gonna be two Gorshins this time around.

Vehicle: Batgirl Cycle. I’m going out on a limb on this one. I’m not sure Funko actually will produce any vehicles besides the Batmobile (and maybe one other, see below). But like they have with Screen Test Batman and Wallach Mr. Freeze, this is where they could go bold and produce something that’s never been done before. There have been Batgirl Cycle miniatures but never one for action figures. Plus, Funko is a female-friendly company. There’d be a great opportunity to reach an audience that isn’t just Batman ’66-obsessed. So if this does happen, I imagine it would include a Batgirl figure and maybe a Robin so he’s represented in the wave. Or, even better, they could include an exclusive Alfred figure because 1) he knows her secret identity, and 2) Alan Napier’s likeness is in the license. O’Brien said on the podcast that civilians and secret identities aren’t terribly likely but this would be a perfect way to handle something like that.

New York Comic Con Exclusive: I’m going with a light blue Batmobile, maybe with both Batman and Robin straight (or with slightly different coloring) to emulate this tin toy:

My own Aoshin Batmobile from Japan, along with its Funko Dorbz counterpart.

That said, Funko seems to be hinting at wackier concepts, so we’ll see.

OK, so what about Wave 3? I do assume there will be one. I get the sense that’s what Funko wants but I’m obviously not privy to the sales figures. That said, it’s way too early to say what would be in it. Still, here are some things unaccounted for:

— Julie Newmar Catwoman With Mask. The back of the Batmobile box has a picture of the figure with a mask, and we’ve run concept art, as well. It would go to follow that she gets produced at some point. (Maybe even in Wave 2.)

— Green Hornet and Kato — and the Black Beauty. O’Brien dropped the bombshell here that they were under discussion. Word around Gotham is that it could actually happen. I’m just not sure when and, as with anything, nothing’s official until it’s official.

— Surfing Batman and Joker. This is a natural pairing. Hell, I could see a whole Gotham Point boxed set, with surfboards and the Jokermobile. Funko has produced these two as POPs, so they’re definitely on the radar.

— Lee Meriwether Catwoman. Another one that would send fans into a frenzy. Meriwether is not in the TV show’s master license. Since she was in the movie, she falls under a different umbrella. But when I interviewed her last year, she said she’d like to be in the merchandise, so I go back to the whole Eli Wallach situation. Crazier things have happened.

— Bruce, Dick, Barbara, O’Hara and Shame. All are in the license. Again, Funko doesn’t seem interested in doing civilians and secret IDs. But that could always change if the figures keep selling. Of the villains remaining on the license, Shame is probably the least popular so I imagine it’ll be a wait before we see him, if at all.

Check out the complete FUNKO BATMAN ’66 INDEX of stories and features. Click here!

Author: Dan Greenfield

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14 Comments

  1. I love the notion of a Batgirl cycle (and Alfred). Is the Batcycle an easier sell? B&R could be logically reused with it.

    Can you confirm that Eli Wallach is not in the licensing agreement? Is it possible he was a later addition? Bleacher Creatures was on the verge of making an Eli Wallach plush. (They showed it in Feb. 2015 at Toy Fair). I have suspected his likeness was already available or at least expected to join the others more than two years ago.

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    • A good point about Wallach. Perhaps he joined late and only Funko seized on it. (And I do recall the Bleacher Creatures plush.) Funko understandably hasn’t been forthcoming with that particular bit of info so it’s something of a mystery.

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  2. While I know civilians are a long shot, as you mentioned, I still would love to see Alfred and O’Hara get some love in this line. Believe it or not, those are two figures that my five year old son is always asking for (along with Egghead and King Tut) when he sees any line of Batman toys.

    Personally, I really look forward to and hope for a Mad Hatter based on Wayne’s appearance. I was always bummed that the bendable line didn’t last long enough to allow for appearances of villains like that, so I’m very happy to see villains out of the main four making their way into the line.

    I don’t know if she’s included in the likeness deal,but I’d love to see an Olga figure to join Eggski down the line.

    I think you’re spot-on when it comes to Eartha Kitt and Suit/Hat Riddler being chase figures next time around.

    Thanks for always keeping us informed on all things ’66!

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    • Is there any way to get Funko to give you a scoop on where exactly we can look for these figures to purchase them the way the want as in not on ebay? I don’t have the first clue where to even begin.

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  3. If they’re going deep and want an easy one to do, a pilot masked Batgirl is as easy as pie to do. Certainly no harder than the Eli or the chase Batman.
    What I’d like to see is most likely different than my bet on what we’ll see:
    I’d like: (being reasonable and not asking for everything in wave 2: Jumpsuit Riddler (jacketed suits never look right on these figures). Joker, Penguin, a big accessory pack (like Figures Toys made) and the Batboat on a trailer (I know.)

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  4. We need False Face in the line and you don’t even need the actor’s likeness since he’s always masked,

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  5. In the now defunct Batman ’66 comics, it was more or less clear who’s in this mysterious “master license” and who isn’t. Obviously Neil Hamilton, Art Carney, Rudy Vallee, Van Johnson, Tallulah Bankhead, et al. weren’t permitted to be depicted so the characters they played had major overhauls when they showed up in the comics.

    This wasn’t necessarily the case with Clock King. The Clock King was more or less drawn based on Walter Slezak’s likeness. Has there ever been an explicit, complete list of likenesses included in the so called “master license?”

    My prediction for the next batch is as follows:

    Penguin, Riddler (tights), Joker, Egghead, Mad Hatter, and Shame.

    Chase: Pink Cowl Batman and Riddler (suit).

    I can’t see an Eartha Kitt Catwoman until Wave 3 and, quite frankly, wouldn’t care if she showed up or not.

    Clock King, however, is a must…

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