It’s an eggs-traordinary development!
I love it when something unplanned comes together. Earlier this week, we launched a new series — BUILDING BATMAN ’66 — taking a behind-the-scenes look at Diamond Select Toys’ popular line of busts. (Click here, because you know you want to read it.)
As part of the series, we’re taking a weekly look at the various busts and banks designed by Barry Bradfield and sculpted by Jean St. Jean. Batman, naturally, was to be the first.
But, here we are with this bit of news — the eggs-cellent unveiling of Egghead, who goes up for pre-sale next week. (Each bust is about 6 inches tall and in the $50-$60 range, depending on where you get it.)
We so couldn’t contain our eggs-citement, we decided to let Gotham’s smartest villain jump the line, and have eggs-stracted interviews with Jean and Barry.
Dan Greenfield: Tell us about how you came up with the design.
Barry Bradfield: I always picture Egghead as quite sly, which I think comes from the fact that the great Vincent Price portrayed him. He’s got such a magnificent way of moving and acting with his face. Since Egghead was an all-new character, I imagine he was able to do what he wanted to make it his own. I wanted to capture that scheming smile he would always flash while describing his plans.
Dan: There aren’t a lot of Egghead items out there. I gotta imagine it was a kick to do this.
Jean St. Jean: Indeed! Especially since I’m a horror fanatic as well!
Barry: It was eggs-cellent, of course! (Sorry…) I always love new Batman villains that are not from the standard returning group. I love collecting as many unique members of the Batman rogues gallery as possible. To be able to add Egghead to the mix was fantastic, especially since he’s pretty much limited to this one series.
Vincent Price has one of those faces that you have to get just right. He’s not just a bald guy with a pencil-thin mustache. What was the challenge in getting this just so?
Jean: He has sort of this wry sneer on his face that’s like the cat that swallowed the canary that was a little tricky to capture, and he has a very well-known face!
Where does Egghead fit in your personal pantheon of Batman ’66 villains?
Barry: I put him up there with the Big Four, actually (Joker, Penguin, Riddler, Catwoman). This is possibly because of Price’s performance, but also perhaps because he appeared with just about the same frequency as comic mainstays like Mr. Freeze and the Mad Hatter. He’s just such a fun character with a great visual style. You have to love the white-and-yellow suit! I can’t imagine it was easy to come up with egg-related crimes for him, so the fact that we got as many episodes as we did is wonderful.
Jean: In a camp context he would be at the top, but he falls after the classic Batman villains who fill out the rogues gallery on the show. I’ve used his egg- prefixes ever since I was a kid though, eggs-quisite, eggs-zillarating, etc. That never gets old for me. For everyone else not so much…
Your favorite all-time Egghead moment is …
Jean: In An Egg Grows in Gotham, his hypothesis that Batman must be a millionaire because crime-fighting is an eggs-pensive hobby.
Barry: I think the most memorable to me is when Egghead hatches the Neosaurus from the large egg and it turns out to be Batman. It’s one of the series’ more over-the-top moments, but it works for the tone of the show. I remember as a kid being stunned that it actually happened. I remember thinking there was no way it would be possible. I also enjoy the egg fight from an earlier episode when Egghead’s got Robin in his grip and he keeps breaking eggs over his head. This is possibly because I once heard Burt Ward tell an anecdote at a convention about how this wasn’t how the scene was supposed to play out.