The way I see it, Mr. Freeze is the Fifth Beatle of 1966 Batman TV villains (after, of course, the Joker, Penguin, Riddler and Catwoman).
I suppose you could make an argument for King Tut or Egghead or the Mad Hatter, but overall, Mr. Freeze looms largest — particularly given his post-series rise in comics and animation — whether we’re talking George Sanders and his ingenious hot-and-cold mountain hideout or Otto Preminger’s memorably “WILD!” performance. Even Eli Wallach, one of the greatest character actors of all time, had his moment in the snow.
So it only goes to follow that Anthony Durso, the customizing genius behind the Toyroom, would create a new, Mego-style, 8-inch-scale Mr. Freeze playset that homages the show — joining the many other heroic and villainous sets he’s already produced.
Check out the Mr. Freeze Frozen Fortress — along with Anthony’s commentary:
“Over the course of the first two seasons of Batman, Mr. Freeze was portrayed by three different actors with three different styles. After watching all three two-parters multiple times, FREEZE-framing really took on new meaning. It was WILD!” Anthony said.
“The first to play Batman’s frosty foe, George Sanders (Instant Freeze/Rats Like Cheese), was very Bondian in his approach to this super-villlain. The former Dr. Shivel had been forced to live his existence in 50-below-zero temperatures, thanks to Batman. With the exception of his memorable hot and cold zones, he was very low tech compared to the other versions. He seemed to be more content in his smoking jacket than his costume,” Anthony said. “His freeze-suit was the helmeted astronaut version, which caused considerable problems on the set apparently.
“The hot and cold zones were also problematic and were discontinued for future appearances,” he added. “I did make some attempts to replicate them in playset form but it just didn’t work out. So what we’re left with is a hot zone entranceway into the rest of the playset. Beyond that, his headquarters wasn’t very inspired or memorable — but it does give us the name (Amalgamated Ice Cream Co) for the abandoned warehouse that makes up this playset. And the Ice Skating Party handbill on the exterior also comes from these episodes (shout out to Teri Garr!).”
Anthony added: “Otto Preminger really kicked it up a notch in his appearance (Green Ice/Deep Freeze) and is probably the most iconic and memorable of the three Freezes. By this point, Mr. Freeze (no longer referenced as Dr. Shivel) has abandoned his helmet and is using a freeze collar to maintain his cold temperature. I like to think that with this invention, Freeze wasn’t as limited as before and that’s why the hot/cold zones were abandoned. The Master Temperature Control unit inside is a direct reference to the freeze collar, with this industrial size version responsible for maintaining the temp throughout the hideout.
“These episodes also give us the Miss Galaxy handbill on the exterior as well as the (Frosty) Freezies Flavors menu. This alludes to the most infamous of Freeze’s death-traps for the Dynamic Duo. It would’ve been a major part of this playset IF it was two stories high. But scale really didn’t allow it to be a possibility,” Anthony explained. “Instead, there’s boxes of Frosty Freezies flavors ready to be thrown at a moments notice. The ice jail where Miss Iceland spends the majority of her time is included as well. And, as the episode title suggests, there’s green ice. The Cold Storage Plant entranceway also comes from this episode.
“The final Mr. Freeze, Eli Wallach (Ice Spy/The Duo Defy) was the most techy. A mad scientist if you will, even right down to the (WILD!) hair. His Freeze gave us the Ice Periscope, the Quick Freeze Chamber, the Sub-Zero Temperature Vaporizing Cabinet (with Instant Vaporization Control) as our death-trap, the Thermodynamic Ice Ray Beam, AND Isolde the Seal! And in case you missed it, the Glacia Glaze handbill. How is it that Gotham City can support TWO ice skating arenas?
“Oh, and the polar bear was the only consistent feature of all of Freeze’s headquarters,” he added.
A few thoughts:
— This is the eighth Batman ’66 devised by Anthony. The others include the Batcave, Batgirl’s apartment and changing room, the United Underworld HQ and sets for the Joker, Penguin, Riddler and Catwoman. To check these out — and many, many more playsets — click here for our always-updating index. You’ll be glad you did, believe me.
— I especially dig the red/blue zones and the Frosty Freezies references. Would I love a whole Frostie Freezies death trap? Yes. Yes, I would. But what Anthony’s put together here is pretty dang cool. (Get it? Cool?)
— As I always feel compelled to point out, Anthony’s a 13th Dimension contributor but I don’t make anything from this. I just love showing it all off. Each set — including case, artwork and complete assembly — is $85 plus shipping. (The two cases in the 1966 Batcave set are sold separately, also at $85 plus shipping each.) Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or you can message Anthony, who also owns Retropolis Tees, through his website the-toyroom.com, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
— The Complete TOYROOM PLAYSET INDEX. Click here.
— FIRST LOOK: The Groovy 1966 PENGUIN Playset You’ve Waited Decades For. Click here.