Catwoman has had as many looks over the years as her once-and-future lover. It’s hard to pick the best one from the list. Julie Newmar’s look from the 1966 show is classic, as is the Animated Series grey and black look. The modern zippers-and-goggles look has that more grounded feeling to it, too. My favorite, though, might be the look Catwoman sported throughout the 90s. It was sleek and cool and iconic. I was excited, then, to review Diamond Select’s 90s Catwoman diorama statue.
Catwoman is the smallest of the statues we’ve looked at in recent weeks, measuring only 6-inches tall. The statue, designed by Shawn Knapp and sculpted by James Marsano, depicts Jim Balent’s Catwoman kneeling with three black cats, looking as if she’s surveying things from the top of a building. It goes for $49.99 on Diamond Select’s website and a few cents less on Amazon where it’s available starting Oct. 14.
Sleek like a Cat
As I said, I really like this costume, so I’m inclined to like the statue right off the bat (is that a bat pun?), and there’s a lot that I do quite like. The purple torso of the costume has a great sheen to it, and it’s not just flat purple. There’s darker shading throughout, and it’s especially prominent on her facemask. It adds a lot of depth to the character, and I could easily see the designer deciding to leave it flat for a more animated look.
Similarly, I like the subtle wrinkles at the joints and bend points. The elbows of Catwoman’s gloves and the suit as it moves around her waist have enough detail to make the costume believable even if it somehow still doesn’t have a zipper anywhere. There’s a wrinkle on her right hip, though, that looks less like detail and more like a manufacturing defect, and that’s not great.
Another point I’m not sure about is the hair. From the front of the statue it looks good, but when you move around to the back, that changes. To me, it looks like what it is–a black piece of hair-shaped PVC glued onto the back of the suit. The cat on her shoulder looks like it was put there to hide the transition more than anything else. Her eyes are cool and cold, though, which I like. Her lipstick looks fine to the naked eye, though when I did close-up shots with my DSLR it brought out some imperfections. Even having seen those, though, and looking at the figure again, it’s really hard to see.
Moving out to Catwoman’s gloves and boots, I appreciate the detail on her nails and the hemming around her upper arms. But the transition between the gloves and the torso is really obvious. The gloves and boots look like separate parts glued on. Which, again, they are. But Catwoman isn’t an android, and her arms are part of her body. I would love to see this disguised a bit better. Her left hand also doesn’t actually meet the base.
Speaking of the base, this one is boring. I loved the bases for almost all of the characters I’ve reviewed so far. This one is a flat grey base with some geometric designs on it. No logo, not even a texture beneath her. Bane and ’89 Batman had bases that augmented the rest of the character, putting them in a specific place and time. Catwoman’s is lifeless.
The “diorama” aspect of the statue is solid though. Alongside Catwoman are three black cats. What’s really nice about these is that they’re not just three identical cats. Each has a slightly different look, and the glossy green eyes have a nice glint to them.
Alongside my complaint about the base being boring, I would love to have seen a more powerful pose. Something utilizing her whip or showing her in action or a position of power. As it is, I can’t help but think the figure was made as much to look sexy for guys as it was to show off the character. Catwoman is all about owning and controlling her sexuality, though, and so something more possessive would’ve been cool to see.
With that said, I think this is a nice figure that feels about right for $49.99. The Bane figure felt underprice, but this one feels about right. It looks very good but not amazing, and the flaws are small enough that it’s easy to overlook them. It’s a nice-looking take on an iconic costume and absolutely worth picking up for Catwoman fans or Batman completionists.
Disclaimer: Diamond Select provided us with one DC Comic Gallery ’90s Catwoman PVC Diorama to photograph and examine before writing this review.
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