Toy Review – Batman Legacy: Batgirl By Mattel

Oops – been incredibly busy. Forgot to post yesterday.

Batgirl is one of my favorite comic book characters.

And when I say that, I’m talking about Barbara Gordon, Cassandra Cain and Stephanie Brown.

But today I’m talking about Barbara. I feel that she is one of the very best female characters in comics. Very few others have been given such strong characterization, important roles, and – until recently – strong follow-through. I don’t want to say bad things about Gail Simone, as I respect most of her work. But her New 52 Batgirl is terrible.

Okay, enough of that. Let’s take a look at a terrible Batgirl figure…

Oops – spoilers.

Anyway, a big part of why I wanted this particular Bargirl is that I have her tattooed on me:

Yep. That’s the Batgirl design I chose. I mean, mainly because the art is Mike Mignola and I love Mignola’s work, but that’s the Batgirl look I identify most with.

First Glance: Same overly done packaging as the first Batman: Legacies series. Also, why is her hair brown?

Sculpt: This is the same figure as previously released Barbara Gordon Batgirls, with a few minor changes. She sports the standard DCUC articulation. Thankfully, this means she has a rocker joint on her abdomen rather than the hideous non-joint that mars that Star Sapphire figure.

I like the boots on this figure a lot. The bat shape at the top looks good and the treads are always a welcome touch. The gloves look solid as well. A lot of people complain about seams on figures like these. I like them, but I do understand where they look odd when put up against some of the other, seamless figures from the DCUC line. I do wish Mattel would stick to one look. I have a feeling that’s going to happen with whatever the new line is, though. It sounds like WB will be closely monitoring the art direction from here on out. I hope that means a more unified presentation. And no more repaints like this one.

This Batgirl sports a new belt that looks more traditional then the grey-hued DC Superheroes release. I prefer pouches, but this looks neat too. I’ve always been more of a pouch man where utility belts are concerned. It still seems ridiculous to me that the Bat Family could fit all of their various crime-fighting accoutrements into little capsules or tiny cases. But whatever. For the purposes of representing the Batgirl that this figure does the belt is accurate.

I like the head sculpt on this figure as well. The face and hair look good and the cowl interacts with both very well. The combination isn’t odd, and that’s a tough thing to accomplish with Ms. Gordon’s distinctive headgear.

The cape is very nice too. The soft plastic is still too firm to allow for very many action poses, but the shape is good and the connection at the top of the torso is nice and doesn’t have any sloppy seams (assembly seams, not design seams) that detract from the aesthetics.

Sadly, the idiots at Mattel that decide how things get packaged have once again proven their drooling inability to cogitate for even a fraction of a second on the effects of stress on plastics because this Batgirl is all jacked up. The rubber bands in the package have warped her arms into slightly unnatural positions and her legs into a stance that suggests Ms. Gordon’s nocturnal activities are a bit more strenuous and perhaps devious than they actually are. Ahem. It’s just awful. I so badly want to punch the guys in the face that make these decisions.

I would also like everybody to appreciate that I did not make the obvious Barbara Gordon jokes about her physiology.

Design: Well, the figure’s posture may suggest it fell off of a tenth story landing, but the colors look nice.

The glossy black of the suit looks great with the flatter blue of the cape and the yellow of the boots and gloves. All of the paint apps are tight and the shading looks much better than the other Batgirl I’ve got. Well, maybe not so much better as more action-figurey.

The big problem here is her hair. Barbara Gordon is a redhead. That’s not debatable. It’s not the biggest part of why people like her, but it is important. It’s one of the reasons Gail Simone loves her so much and was stoked to write the new comic (of course, that doesn’t explain why Simone is writing Barbara like she’s Stephanie Brown, but that’s another issue entirely). And this figure has brown hair. That is a straight-up error. Have you ever seen a Superman figure with blonde hair? No? Know why? Because Superman’s hair is frigging black. This is a stupid mistake and is inexcusable.

Accessories: Batgirl comes with a stupid posters. The poster itself isn’t stupid – it’s art from an old comic cover. Just the concept of this figure coming with a mini-poster that is rolled so tightly you could use it as a drinking straw is dumb. Nobody wants this. We could have gotten a Batarang. A Batcycle. Maybe even that stupid purse she has sometimes.

Packaging: The Batman Legacy line has some pretty fancy packaging. It looks very 90’s, but in a good way.

Overall: Blech. Fail. Warped body and a paint error the likes of which you wouldn’t see on JAKKS Pacific’s crummy discount wrestling toys.

2 out of 5

I’m keeping it just because of the tattoo thing, but this figure is just a piece of crap. Okay, it’s not a total piece of junk because the parts that are the right colors look good and if the body wasn’t so warped it would be better. But still.



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