The same week SDCC was celebrating Barbara Gordon’s 50th anniversary, DC Collectibles released the Batman: The Animated Series Batgirl figure. Like all toys in the BTAS line, Batgirl is modeled after the character’s appearance in a specific episode and in this case that’s the two-parter “Shadow of the Bat.” It’s a great one with themes of police corruption, lots of detective work, and it has an A-list villain as well. This chapter is not only important because it’s the first time Barbara donned the cape and cowl, but it’s also the first time we saw Matches Malone (he appears again in TNBA episode “Never Fear”) and Janet Van Dorn (the District Attorney from “Trial”) on the show. And I don’t want to say that Snyder/Terrio/Goyer gave a nod to Batman: The Animated Series, but BvS and this episode share a similar “Me? I thought she was with you!” scene.
It’s also worth noting that since we never heard from Deputy Commissioner Gil again throughout the rest of BTAS or TNBA, he probably never woke up from that coma Batgirl put him in at the end of the episode–damn, Babs! Oh, and since Two-Face is in this story, that makes him the only super villain featured in not one but two 2-part BTAS episodes…which is pretty appropriate when you think about it. Thorne also showed up in two but he’s a mob boss and not a “freak” so I’m not counting him. Anyway, that’s enough gabbing about the episode, let’s talk about the toy!
Sculptor Irene Matar does a fantastic job translating Batgirl’s face into 3D, but the rest of the body is essentially the same model you’ve seen from all the other BTAS females so far. I like the rubbery cape that’s bright blue with a deep black interior, the gauntlets can rotate so you can get the right look no matter how you articulate the arms, and the belt and Bat emblem were applied well with no bleed or splatter onto the light grey suit. However, when the matte grey finish wasn’t fully applied at the hips of my figure so if you look real close you’ll see a bit of a sheen there– and when the knee was fully opened the interior wasn’t 100% coated. Not terribly noticeable, but worth pointing out. The paint everywhere else is brilliant, especially on the eyes, which feature the finest detail.
The head rotates on a ball joint and looks left and right just fine. The long red hair limits the head’s tilt and up/down movement, though. If you have a Roxy Rocket or Zatanna figure, you’re familiar with this issue. The rest of the body is, again, the same level of articulation from the other female BTAS figures. Single joint elbow with rotation (not enough for me to pull off a “We Can Do It!” pose), pivot at the glove, hips swing out and pivot, knees just go back and forth, shoulders swing out and rotate on a ball joint, etc. But I’m happy to report that– maybe it’s because of the cape or the extra material at the boots and gauntlets, but Barbara is surprisingly well balanced and can stand up fine on her own.
More appropriately, where are the accessories? No grapple that Batman let her borrow in the sewer scene from “Shadow of the Bat” no Woobie, no alternate head we can swap in like TNBA Harley. All you get is the batarang that Robin handed her. And by that, I mean the very same batarang accessory that was included with the Batman figure. Batgirl might have the worst offering of accessories of any BTAS/TNBA figure.
As for extra hands, you get a pair of fists, fully opened hands, semi-opened hands, grip hands, and hands with trigger fingers. The trigger hands are worthless. There’s no gap or hole whatsoever so even if she did come with accessories, these hands couldn’t hold them. And when it comes to swapping out the hands, I recommend using a warm washcloth or something to heat up Barbara’s gauntlets first. These wrist pegs are tiny and the hinge that the attached hands move on makes inserting the peg even more difficult! You might even need to scrape away a little excess paint from the wrist peg just to get it to fit in the designated hole.
Batgirl also comes with a display base keeping with DC Collectibles BTAS figure tradition only now they’ve heard your cries for a better stand and delivered something with a spring. The spring-loaded clamp is a great improvement, but it’s not ideal for a figure like Batgirl. Her cape just doesn’t allow much room for such a large clamp so I positioned mine down low to secure her foot into place. It’s not much but like I said, Batgirl can stand alright on her own. This new clamp design is going to be excellent on non-caped figures.
The sculpt and paint job are excellent. DC Collectibles successfully made a screen-accurate Batgirl figure, but the hand pegs are troublesome and her only accessory is the exact same batarang that was packaged with the Batman figure that came out a few years ago. The suggested retail price for the figure is $28 dollars, but given the lack of quality accessories I don’t think it’s worth spending more than $20 bucks. It’s a figure worth adding to your collection, but I recommend waiting for your local comic shop or Amazon.com to lower the price later this year.