Val’s Toy Chest- A Bat, Knights and Deadshot

Back in the Summer of 1992, I remember reading an article in Wizard Magazine about the forthcoming Batman: The Animated Series.  I remember being really ecstatic that Barbara Gordon as Batgirl was going to be used in the series since she had been forced to retire as Batgirl in the comics after the Killing Joke. Then I waited forever to see her don the costume on the show. I still remember how there were three episodes featuring Barbara before she became Batgirl and how much I was like- c’mon already. The Animated Series Batgirl was featured in the spin-off comic, random merchandise like McDonald’s Happy Meal Toys, playing cards and Valentine’s cards before she ever appeared in the Batgirl outfit on the actual TV show. And don’t get me started on how it took five years and an appearance in Batman and Robin before we even got a Batgirl in the animated toyline- and she was completely inaccurate design-wise. Kenner nor Mattel ever released a show-accurate Batman: The Animated Series Batgirl when they were doing figures and she’s always been a major want for me. Diamond Select released both a bust and a Gallery PVC figure utilizing this design, but for the first time ever, we have a Batgirl action figure as she appeared during the Fox era of Batman: The Animated Series. Clad in her grey and blue outfit, Batgirl features several points of articulation, interchangeable hands and a figure base. My one minor quibble with the figure is her slightly inaccurate hairsculpt, but when I saw it at Toy Fair, it didn’t seem as noticeable. So look for her on our shelves starting Wednesday.

The Marvel Legends wave of the Netflix TV characters have arrived. Daredevil, Elektra, The Punisher, Jessica Jones, Blade and Bullseye are in this latest assortment which features a build-a-figure of Man-Thing. With the popularity of the Netflix shows as well as Hasbro’s beautiful sculpts, this wave should be a hit. Keeping in line with Marvel Legends, the Star-Lord and Ego 2-pack from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 should also be here soon.

Deadshot is joining the Joker as part of Hot Toys’ Suicide Squad collection. Featuring the character as he appeared in last year’s film, Deadshot is sculpted in the likeness of Will Smith and features several interchangeable parts including both a masked and unmasked head, a display stand as well as an impressive arsenal of accessories. I think this’ll be a fun figure to play around with.

In closing- I wanted to mention the loss of two legends over the weekend- first was director George A. Romero who managed to frighten young me back in the day with his collaboration with Stephen King on the original Creepshow.  I remember passing by a video store during the mid-80s which had no qualms about showing movies right on their TV in the window, so I remember watching Creepshow in that very window and freaking out over the scary parts. Romero was the father of the modern zombie genre including the brilliant Night of the Living Dead as well as the original Dawn of the Dead. Thanks for the scares, George.

We also lost the legendary Martin Landau this week, known for his roles on Space 1999, the classic Mission Impossible, as well as appearances on The Twilight Zone, The Outer Limits and an Oscar winning role as Bela Lugosi in Ed Wood. He was also the father of Buffy the Vampire Slayer actress, Juliet Landau. Rest in peace and thanks for everything, Mr. Landau.


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