Sideshow’s latest addition to the much-celebrated Premium Format collection is Catwoman, but not just any Catwoman. Unlike our previous Premium Format review, a remarkable amalgamation of Batman’s most popular comic book portrayals, this figure is quite specific. Here we have none other than Michelle Pfeiffer from “Batman Returns” and in this review we’ll talk about how well the artists recreated the iconic costume and the likeness of the actress, and drop a few fun facts about the original outfit you saw on screen.
Sideshow’s unboxing video:
- Alex Tuis (Design)
- Dan Katcher (Design)
- Joe Menna (Sculpt)
- Alfred Paredes (Sculpt)
- Matt Black (Sculpt)
- Adam Smith (Mold & Cast)
- Chadwick Andersen (Mold & Cast)
- Kat Sapene (Paint)
- The Sideshow Design and Development Team
Size: 10L x 10W x 22H in.
Weight: 12 lbs.
The nearly 2 ft. tall polystone statue comes in stylized packaging featuring blown-up images of the sculpture itself framed by faux stitch accents and bright pink highlights reminiscent of the neon “HELLO THERE” sign from Selina’s apartment. That very sign (both in pristine and smashed-up “HELL
o tHERE” form) is also featured on the right and left sides of the box. Inside is a two-piece polystyrene case sealed with tape where these halves meet so that your fancy new figure never shifts during shipment.
Opening the foam casing reveals six pieces individually wrapped in white tissue paper: a plastic whip (permanently spiraled), two hands/forearms, the large and surprisingly heavy rooftop base, Catwoman’s body, and Catwoman’s head. The arms will lock into place with magnets hidden in the vacant spots of Selina’s currently Venus de Milo-esque frame and the head fastens the same way at the neck. However, I added sticky-tac to the nape of Catwoman’s neck insert because I just don’t trust a small magnet with something this expensive (just look at what happened to my Batman’s head in the Premium Format review of that figure). As for the whip, it will snap into the notch of a matching grip in Catwoman’s left hand. Once you have assembled the whip, you’ll simply wind the weapon around the feline fatale’s leg. Easy.
I came very close to saying “purrrfect” instead of “easy” but refrained. You’re welcome.
The highly detailed and quite hefty base begins with a moulded foundation which, on its underside, hides a bright pink Max Shrek logo artwork and the model number of your particular statue (there are only 2,500 of these in existence). Rising up filthy and decrepit from the elegant pedestal is a portion of Gotham architecture with two carefully chosen peg holes for securing the figure’s left foot and right hand firmly in place. And, yes, these holes are totally hidden once Catwoman is secured.
Besides the plastic whip and plastic claws, the Premium Format Catwoman is entirely polystone. While some might be disappointed that her attire isn’t actual latex or some other material, I assure you that the glossy paint that was used does a brilliant job of achieving the same shiny look as Selina’s own latex outfit from the film. Or should I say “outfits” as over 60 catsuits were made for the film at $1,000 a pop!
Her skin-tight fetish wear is sculpted to feature wrinkles at the joints and in addition to the glossy black, it is also painted with subtle accents of midnight blue at carefully chosen spots to simulate the appearance of the material stretching over her…ya know…assets. You’ll also be happy to know that Burton-Cat’s trademark tears are integrated into the sculpt and not painted over the suit so all of the distressing looks genuine right down to the skin-tone paint applied to her exposed skin. Although, it should be stated that what you saw on film wasn’t Pfeiffer’s actual skin. Those exposed spots were actually flesh-colored latex panels. See, if the designers made even the smallest tear on Catwoman’s thigh it would get a run that would split the entire leg of the suit from top to bottom. So remember: using latex with even a small tear can lead to a regrettable mistake. Anyway, the “tears” you see on screen are really a prosthetic glued onto the costume. Real stitches would cover these “wounds” while all other stitches on the catsuit were sculpted on.
Speaking of stitches, all the ones you see on the Premium Format figure are painted on and the majority of these hash marks are quite good…but some are not so good. I wish that those on the Catwoman cowl had been sharper as a few on mine look a little blobby and unconvincing upon close inspection. But other than a couple of not-so-carefully hand-applied stitches, the body of this Catwoman sculpt is immaculate. I love the relaxed yet playful pose, I love the amount of detail put into the laces of the boots and corset, and I gotta say that I never stopped to really appreciate just how weird Catwoman’s claws are until I saw them at 1/4 scale in my kitchen. Unfortunately, since they’re made from plastic, I can see a few collectors accidentally breaking off one or two of these. But really, that would make the figure all the more true to film when you really stop and think about it…
The included rooftop stand is also an incredibly cool touch. A lot of detail went into every hand-painted brick to make it look damn convincing. The only qualm I can think of with this faux broken ledge is that part of me wishes it featured a little snow. A light dusting of snow would’ve really drove home that “Batman Returns” feel.
Here’s where some collectors will grow hesitant. The base and body? That easily gets an “A” or “A+” but with the head sculpt you’re going to find that some angles look more like Michelle Pfeiffer than others. It’s a combination of the hand-painted skin not being quite pale enough, the makeup not flaunting adequate eye shadow, and the sculpt itself not 100% capturing the contours of the star’s famous visage. From most up-close vantage points you’ll instantly see Michelle Pfeiffer and from afar EVERYONE is going to see Michelle Pfeiffer. But some sides, when viewed closely, look about 85% spot-on. And 85% is quite good. You’re not really going to second guess it unless you closely examine pictures from “Batman Returns” side-by-side with the statue (which, I had to while writing the review). But if you don’t think it looks 100% like Michelle Pfeiffer from a particular angle in your showcase and you find it at all distracting (you’d have to be VERY picky)…just don’t display it at that angle.
This is a beautiful piece for fans of Pfieffer’s iconic performance and it would look particularly great displayed on some high-mounted shelf. The crumbling Gotham rooftop base looks extraordinary and Catwoman’s body is painted nicely, sculpted to perfection, and posed true-to-character. However, while the likeness to Pfieffer’s famous face is obvious from a distance, up-close scrutinizing will find the head sculpt to be more along 85% true to Michelle’s features. The Premium format figure is a limited edition of only 2,500 statues and is sold for $449.99 or $150 per month through a payment plant only at Sideshowtoy.com.