They really got this one right.
I don’t know what it is about David Wayne’s Mad Hatter but this is twice now that I’ve seen him reproduced in memorabilia in a way that’s about as good as you could expect.
Maybe it’s the easily lampooned mustache or the outsize eyebrows. Or maybe it’s the hat that does so much of the work — complete with its mesmerizing eyes. Whatever it is, it works. Really, really works.
Diamond Select’s latest Batman ’66 minibust — designed by Barry Bradfield and sculpted by Jean St. Jean — is out now and I’d place it among the top three or four that the company’s produced. It’s certainly on a par with Otto Preminger’s Mr. Freeze, which similarly captures its subject with sublime accuracy.
And it’s not just the visage either. It’s the attitude.
Wayne minced and camped his way through the role in a mere two episodes but they were memorable episodes. (To this day, I get a huge bang out of how he overenunciates the name “Byatman!”)
The bust perfectly captures Jervis Tetch’s insouciant swagger, with a clear-eyed attention to detail. The cravat, the flower, the gloves, the eyes in the top hat, even the button work on the vest. This is excellent work. With only six inches — including standard base — to work with, that’s a special kind of accomplishment.
The only thing I’d want is a Pink Cowl Batman to go with him. (Hint, hint, Diamond!)
Wayne evidently resented the role. He’d won two Tony Awards, was a member of the Actors Studio and had a career that lasted decades. But fans still thought of him first and foremost as the Mad Hatter.
If he knew that he’d be memorialized with a bust like this, perhaps he would have changed his mind.
Diamond Select’s Mad Hatter resin bust retails for about $60 and is available now. For a behind-the-scenes look at how they made the bust, click here.
For the DIAMOND SELECT BATMAN ’66 INDEX of stories, click here.