Thursday, September 13, 2012

Despite The Obvious Seams And Mediocre Likeness, The Catwoman Movie Masters The Dark Knight Rises Action Figure Remains Worthwhile!

The Good: Good sculpt, Exceptional poseability, Impressive balance
The Bad: Very obvious seams, Face is not quite that of Anne Hathaway
The Basics: The Catwoman from The Dark Knight Rises Movie Masters action figure is good, but not exceptional, which one might hope for given the price!

Some of the best action figures are ones that I never manage to find in stores. So many of the DC Direct and Star Wars action figures sell out via preorder or appear on store shelves for minutes before they are all nabbed and I end up finding my first experience with them is when I get one after buying it online! Such is how it was for me with the new The Dark Knight Rises Catwoman action figure. I tried very hard to be sensitive to my wife, whom I was stupid enough to mention I had a crush on Anne Hathaway on our first date; I wasn’t going to get the Catwoman figure if it would bother her. She said it was fine. So, after watching the price spike to ridiculous amounts (apparently, I was not the only one who could not find the figure in stores!) and people make silly buying decisions based upon whether or not the goggles in their version were up or down, I managed to snag a Catwoman figure online for a fair price.

Looking at it now, in person, I am realizing that even though I managed to get the figure at the going retail rate, I’m not overly impressed with it. As an aficionado of the works of Anne Hathaway and a fan of her as Catwoman, it is easy to look at the Movie Masters sculpt by Mattel and state that they did not get the sculpt quite right to capture her likeness. Also, many of the joints are intrusive in the way they break up the figure – the hinge joint under the bust for example – and the left elbow on mine would not bend (having had a Zatanna figure whose arms tore off – reviewed here! – from simply trying to move them, I was not about to force this!) . That said, I was especially impressed by how the figure actually stands up on its own and in a decent number of poses, which might sound ridiculous, but when you have a lot of female superhero figures wearing high heels, you quickly realize that such figures balancing is not the norm!

When The Dark Knight Rises Catwoman action figure is available exclusively from the Mattel Movie Masters line (though there are statues and other, similar, memorabilia of the Anne Hathaway Catwoman on the market).


Catwoman is easily one of the two most sought after action figures in the The Dark Knight Rises action figure line from Mattel Movie Masters toys. Based on the character that drove much of the action and conflict in The Dark Knight Rises, Catwoman is the catburgler version of Anne Hathaway’s Selina Kyle character who did Bane’s bidding and ended up incarcerated for it!

Standing exactly six inches tall, Catwoman is a skinny, rubber-clad woman with the steel-heeled high heels. The color scheme for the figure is ridiculously simple. Most of the figure is black, which makes sense because Selina Kyle relies upon stealth for her thieving. Even so, Mattel got the details for the coloring right. In addition to the silver heels, there is a tiny silver zipper at the neck of the figure. The fleshtones, which are only visible on the face and neck, are realistic, if a bit tan for Hathaway’s (and Selina Kyle’s) complexion. The lips are a vibrant red that does not distract from the realism of the figure and Mattel even got Kyle’s brown eyes right down to the tiny black pupils. The Movie Masters version even features tiny blue dots to represent the lights on Selina Kyle’s goggles!

The sculpt is great for the costume, mediocre for the face. The outfit has all of the requisite parts, like the heels and the belt that looks like it is loaded with tools. The sculpt for the hair – which is made of a softer plastic so as not to inhibit the head’s movement – is exceptionally detailed as well, with almost every single strand apparently visible! But the facial sculpt has a rounder face than Hathaway’s and diehard fans are likely to be a little disappointed by this. That said, the fact that the figure has different texturing for the top and boots and has details like the zipper (both the pull and the concealed zipper down the front) illustrates that Mattel actually went to some lengths for accuracy on this sculpt.


Catwoman comes only with a base and what appears to be the control panel for the Collect And Connect Bat-Signal projector. While this is, arguably, the coolest single piece of the projector – because it provides a base for Catwoman – it is still underwhelming on its own. The 6” wide by 5 3/8” deep by 1 1/8” tall section of the top of the Gotham City police building is detailed just enough – in texture and coloring – to match the figure. Most of the base is a flat base, which is a little disappointing given that there are peg holes in Catwoman's feet for her to attach to a base with. There is a hole in the base for the 3” tall control box to attach to the base.

Because Catwoman’s left hand is molded to hold a firearm, it is somewhat disappointing that the figure does not come with one as an accessory!


Despite Catwoman having foot holes, the fact that there are no corresponding pegs, means posing Catwoman is based entirely on balance. With nineteen points of articulation, Catwoman has incredible poseability, though some elaborate poses make her look somewhat ridiculous. Because there are no pegs for her feet to provide real support, she must be stood flatfooted if one wants to display her standing. Despite having knees that bend as well as groin socket and waist with articulation, it's virtually impossible to get Catwoman to stay standing unless both of her feet are flat on the floor/shelf/base.

What is surprisingly poseable is the head. Catwoman has a ball-socket head, so the head swivels realistically up, down and to the sides. The hair is made of a more flexible, rubbery plastic and as a result, there is some tension in keeping the head up and it works wonderfully to have Catwoman looking in other directions.

So long as one has her flatfooted, this Catwoman can take on some pretty elaborate poses on or off her base!


All of the articulation makes Catwoman a decent toy for play, but one suspects those who would recognize Catwoman enough to enjoy the figure would not be the type to actually play with it and the Movie Masters line is intended for the adult collector. The only real play function on the Catwoman figure are her goggles which may be swiveled down to cover her eyes and the lower part of the goggles or swung up, though in that form they do not resemble little cat ears like they did in the film.


Mattel Movie Masters Toys made a good figure with Catwoman and she is one of the rarest figures in the line (the only other figure from the The Dark Knight Rises figures that I have not seen on shelves ever is the Ra’s Al Ghul ). Because fans were going ape over the “variant” that had the goggles up or down in the package, the Catwoman figure price soared, but now it seems more level heads are prevailing and it may be found at reasonable prices. However, given how few works Anne Hathaway has been in that have resulted in merchandising of her characters, this may be the only action figure of one of her characters to ever hit the market. In the long term, I suspect it will retain and grow in value, making the current lull in price the time for investors to buy!


Fans of Anne Hathaway, Catwoman, and The Dark Knight Rises will want to add this figure to their collections, even if it is a far cry from perfections.

This version of Catwoman appears solely in The Dark Knight Rises, reviewed here!

For other Batman-related toys, please visit my reviews of:
Justice The Joker
Justice Poison Ivy
The Dark Knight Hot Toys 12” Two-Face


For other toy reviews, please visit my index page by clicking here!

© 2012 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.

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