BATMAN’S HOT-LINE presents an insider’s glimpse at one of this year’s hottest Batman ’66 collectibles! PLUS! News on what Tweeterhead has coming down the line! PLUS! What Julie Newmar herself thinks!
Of all the Batman ’66 items I’ve seen since the Batswag started rolling out last year, Tweeterhead‘s Catwoman maquette is among the absolute, very best. And as soon as I saw the ads, I contacted Chad Colebank, the company’s top Catman.
I wanted to know everything there was to know about it. Because I knew you wanted to know everything there was to know about it.
And Chad was immensely helpful in telling the tail, as it were. So today, we have an exclusive MIGHTY Q&A with him, with info on MORE MAQUETTES to come.
(UPDATED! Click here for an exclusive interview with sculptor extraordinaire Trevor Grove about how they crafted this masterpiece!)
The 12-inch, 1/6-scale maquette comes with either a “diamond” (a Swarovsky crystal) or an “emerald” (a cubic zirconia) — and retails for $249.99 and $274.99, respectively. The Diamond version will be available in stores and at online retailers around September.
But the Emerald Edition can only be ordered directly from Tweeterhead. It will be numbered and include a certificate signed by Miss Julie Newmar herself. The final day to order will be July 27, the final day of San Diego Comic-Con, where the Tweeterhead guys will be setting up shop. So I wouldn’t wait if I were you.
Of course I needed to know what Julie Newmar thought about the whole thing. Her response was typically sly and winking.
“Everybody loves it, I think he did a beautiful job,” she said. “It’s astonishingly beautiful. He has all the curves. It quite definitely has a wonderfully shaped body. Everything’s in the right place.”
And here’s Chad Colebank with the story behind the maquette that fans are craving like catnip — as well as what’s to come in the Batman ’66 line!
Dan Greenfield: What’s the Secret Origin of this project?
Chad Colebank: Essentially, Tweeterhead products are all of the things I adored during my youth. We were lucky enough to get to work with Elvira on our first licensed product, and the experience was so wonderful that the idea of my two favorite classic TV shows came into focus.
I would rush home from school to watch the Batman at 3:00-3:30 and The Munsters from 3:30-4:00. I wish the order had been reversed because as much as I loved the Munsters, I was waiting daily for Batgirl to appear (LONG story that I will save for our Batgirl release in November).
We acquired the Munsters line last August and then I was focused on Batman ‘66 and the timing just seemed right. For me, through all the versions of Batman, there has only been one Caped Crusader and of course only one Catwoman.
Of all the Batman ’66 merch I’ve seen so far, this is easily the best likeness if Julie Newmar out there. How did you accomplish that?
The credit for the likeness of Julie really goes to two men. Trevor Grove who is just one of the most amazing sculptors I have ever met and David Fisher, whose work can’t be put into words. To call it a “paint job” doesn’t begin to sum up the talent. I could not do what we do without both of these guys. The only drawback for them is my excitement often gets the better of me, so I am constantly bugging them for progress pics. Oh, and having Julie’s input was invaluable!
Tell us about the diorama setting and what went into that.
For Catwoman, there was only one setting I had in mind. I loved how she always had those giant cat statues next to her throne or in her throne room. As a huge Julie Newmar Catwoman fan, I always loved to think that, although Batman and Robin thwarted most of her plans, she did successfully manage to steal those large statues. I wanted to have her leaning on one of them, on a podium in a museum setting.
The emerald or diamond (depending on which you purchase) was just an added bonus to demonstrate her skills as a thief. A funny story is that before I even had the license, I had the cat statue sculpted. I figured if I didn’t get it, no harm … but if I did, we were one step ahead of the game.
How much involvement has Julie Newmar had?
A lot! Obviously Julie is beloved by the fans, and I think it’s wonderful that she cares as much as she does about the Catwoman image. My goal from day one was to create a piece she would be proud of. If not, what’s the point of producing a maquette of such an icon?
I know she approved the design and we sent progress shots along the way, but the real treat was getting to show her the wax sculpt in person and get her feedback on revisions. She gave us some wonderful notes on the sculpt and the paint job and she was 100 percent correct in every note. The final piece looks much better due to her input.
Tell us about the differences in editions. Explain the numbering, certificate of authenticity, etc.
I’ll give you a bit of background first. I wanted to do something special for the customers who visit my site and have supported us either by purchasing, promoting, or in general, just the great responses I have gotten for the products. With every release we wanted to do something exclusive for the fans.
With Elvira it was a special certificate and plaque. Our Munsters are offered in black and white … with the Batman line, we wanted to raise the bar a bit. The Catwoman Emerald Edition, only available on Tweeterhead’s website, comes with an emerald cubic zirconia, and is only available for order until July 27.
The base will be hand-numbered and also comes with a special certificate autographed by Miss Newmar. For the certificate, I just happened to stumble across a pic (THANKS Fred W) of Julie that I believe may be unpublished, and has become one of my favorites. We’ve shown the image to lots of people and they always say, “I have never seen that one before.”
What can you tell us about what might be coming down the line?
I can tell you that our Batman maquette will be making its debut at SDCC. I know most folks expect us to hit Batman, Robin, Batgirl, Joker, Penguin, Riddler and Catwoman … but we actually have an additional seven pieces planned in the line … so 14 maquettes in all!
What’s your fave Batman ’66 episode?
That’s tough, but I can narrow that down to three favorites: The first Catwoman episode: the opening is just the best set-up, and the best entrance; “Catwoman Goes to College”: I think it’s Julie at her best … funny, smart and incredibly sexy; and “Enter Batgirl, Exit Penguin”: I’ll save the story for our Batgirl release!