BATMAN ’66 Variants We’d Like to See From Figures Toy Co.

13 QUICK THOUGHTS on the company’s ongoing variants line.


This is the final part in a 3-part series looking at Figures Toy Company‘s Batman ’66 variants.

Part 1. REVIEW: Undercover Agent Dick Grayson. Click here.

Part 2. REVIEW: Green Apron/Wave 4 Alfred. Click here.

Fewer things are more polarizing among fans than the variant. Whether it’s a comics cover or an action figure, one collector’s treat is another’s turn-off.

Critics call them money grabs — and they’re not wrong. Except they neglect to consider that every product a company produces is, by definition, a money grab. A company may enjoy the products it creates but they’re in it to make a buck. Remember, they almost certainly don’t have the same emotional attachment to these items as you or me.

But that doesn’t make every variant worth it. Of course, “worth it” is one of the most subjective measures of them all.


So trying to take a lot of the emotion out of it, here are my 13 QUICK THOUGHTS on Figures Toy Company’s somewhat controversial Batman ’66 variant slate.

(And feel free to add your own thoughts and ideas in the comments section or in whatever social-media thread you saw this. Like I did with the World’s Greatest Heroes line, I’ll be compiling a follow-up.)

1. I think the company’s done a fantastic job bringing us a line with a broad array of characters from the series. Some companies would have been content only to produce the Big Seven — Batman, Robin, Batgirl, Joker, Penguin, Riddler and Catwoman (whom I’m still expecting). There are only two actors whose likenesses are left under the Warner Brothers license — Julie Newmar and Eartha Kitt. If the line is to stay alive beyond them, variants are pretty much the way to go.

2. But if there are going to be variants, they have to have added value. For me, that means figures like Boxing Batman and Riddler. There’s enough there that’s different to make it “worth it” to me.



3. Variant I Would Buy #1: Suit and Tie Riddler. Easily.



4. The company should stay away from variants that are just minor alterations. Black Mask Penguin is the best example of this.

5. Instead, I’d much rather see a second accessories pack with items like an umbrella, a purple Joker mask, Catwoman’s golden cat statues, Batman-mask Alfred head, Batusi hands, etc.



6. I think a lot of fans were reasonably upset that the Entertainment Earth 5-pack was $175 — and didn’t give us enough fresh material. I really hope we don’t see that happen again.

7. That said, Undercover Agent Dick Grayson is one of the best variants the company has produced. (Click here for my full review.) I think Smoking Jacket Bruce Wayne is decent too, but of the four variants in that set, Grayson is easily the most clever (if I do say so myself).




8. Variant I Would Buy #2: I don’t care that Mattel’s done it, I still want Surfing Batman and Joker — or at least a set of baggies and surfboards in a second accessories pack.

9. Pink Cowl Batman is my favorite variant of them all. Some might argue that fans would have been better served with just the head. In this case, I personally like having the separate figures — I’m not a big fan of switching heads on and off, especially on items as delicate as these.



10. Of the four new villain variants, I think Tut and Mad Hatter are the better ones. I’m on the fence overall, however.



11. Variant I Would Buy #3: Jockey Dick Grayson (and Jockey Penguin).

12. Why not a line of generic henchmen and molls? If Mego could get away with it for Star Trek and Planet of the Apes, then why not a Catwoman Thug or a Cheerleader Moll or a Penguin GOON?



13. This has nothing to do with variants: Giant Clam Playset, anyone?


Author: Dan Greenfield

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  1. How about a John Astin Riddler? (Of course then they’d just HAVE to do an Addams Family line!)

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    • Yes, that’d be nice.

      But I have concerns about the Gorshin Riddler. The figure they did come out with wasn’t as good a likeness as Adam West’s. I thought the guy who sculpted the Batman figure knocked it out of the park. From West’s body to his legs. Really well done. Gorshin also had a distinctive body and it seems his character is basically Robin’s with a green paint job.

      And while we’re on the subject of Gorshin’s Riddler I’ve felt all along, especially since the DVD releases were announced that there’s been a real conspicuous absence of Frank Gorshin’s Riddler. Seems every character has a disk with their image on it except him. Seems very obvious and a real slight. He wasn’t even used in the video promotional material. I mean, Gorshin took a back of the bargain bin character and turned him into one of THE big four. A classic character that’s recognized in A list status these days. He was the very first villain on the show Also, to me, the scariest – most effective. Is there some behind the scenes stuff with his estate? I don’t get it.

      And as far as the extras go on the DVD release, I timed it when I first got it, can’t remember exactly, but I think he gets a total of 34 seconds on those behind the scenes. They messed around for years putting them out, got no material recorded with him….real shame. But that’s another subject, i suppose.

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    • Surfin’ dude “Duke” O’Hara variant w/surfboard is due soon. Regular Gotham City police uniform, too.

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        • Yes, I know. I read the comment months ago, thinking a Duke would never happen. But no one ever updated the news and I wanted to make sure people knew. 😉

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  2. I would buy Black Widow, Marsha in her 1st white outfit from the first show she wore and Aunt Hilda, Ma Parker in her print dress, Minerva, Dr Cassandra, Lola, Siren, Lady Peasoup & Lord Ffogg, Zelda, Olga, Lee’s & Eartha’s Catwoman, John Astin’s Riddler , Louie The Lilac Egghead, Madhatter , King Tut in his royal robes possibly Clock King, Minstrel, Archer and False Face since they were only in one episode and not in a 4 pack as a single unless they put Dr Cassandra with Cabala and Ffogg & Peasoup together

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  3. Commissioner Gordon with Bat Searchlight, to go with Chief O’Hara coming in December. Also a Captain Action type approach to a Generic False Face figure. Last, the batman costume on Alfred, with removable cowl of course, as we’ve winked about!

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  4. Major league disappointment that Newmar and Kitt are the last two in the licensing agreement. No Neil Hamilton? That’s really sad. I can’t see spending money on variant after variant of the same characters; that’s what kills every Batman line. That said, we do need a suited Riddler. Beyond that, what was said above. False-Face (which doesn’t necessarily need to have Malachi Throne’s face under the…false face) would be nice. Also, a John Astin Riddler (could, indeed, use the head for an Addams Family set) and (if at all possible) a Green Hornet crossover set with the Hornet, Kato, and Colonel Gumm (always loved Roger Carmel.) The Gumm head could be used if FTC ever adds to Emce’s retro Star Trek line. Other than that, sorry. No new characters, no more purchases. Must add: This is the best job any company has ever done with Batman ’66. (Mattel’s output is so mediocre that, to me, they don’t even count.)

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    • Bowler-hatted, green-suited Riddler is already out, Mark and Dan. Emerald Comics’ exclusive, with a new face sculpt. No purple mask. Limited to 1000 figures.

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  5. How about a Bookworm figure with an LED reading light hat?

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  6. When it comes to an accessory pack, can we please have Catwoman’s whip, Joker’s cane, Riddler’s question mark staff, and Mr. Freeze’s freeze rifle, to name a few items that have yet to be produced for the figures (whether they be by Mattel/EMCE or FTC)? Any chance of a TV Batcopter, Batgirl’s cycle, or Batboat? So many ideas, so many figures that could still be produced (removable cowl Batgirl?? I know her character wore a wig, but FTC could make the hair a part of the cowl or make a little red wig for the Barbara Gordon figure)

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  7. Hi Dan,

    Do you think FTC will do a Mad Hatter 3-tailed Pasha variant? I wondered since they’re doing the Hatter as Octave Marbot variant and I think the 3-tailed Pasha would be a good one.

    Have a nice day,

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