McFarlane Toys has revealed the newest addition to its DC Multiverse line, featuring a collection of seven-inch Batman scale figures. The boxed set includes several iconic movie Batmen but notably omits Adam West, who portrayed the Dark Knight in the 1960s live-action television series. West’s television rendition of the superhero might seem of place in a Batman movie collector’s box.
Every cinematic Batman was included in a new collectors boxset, except for Adam West’s portrayal of the Dark Knight.
Some may argue that the reason for excluding Adam West’s Batman from the set could be due to licensing concerns, as the rights for the show were, and possibly still are, owned by 20th Century Fox (now part of Disney). This could result in legal complications regarding merchandise featuring West’s Batman in specific scales.
However, this explanation doesn’t hold entirely true. Another toy company, NECA, already produced a seven-inch scale West Batman a few years ago. Additionally, McFarlane currently offers an ongoing line of 60s Batman figures in a smaller size. The most plausible explanation is simply a matter of budget constraints.
Creating action figures can be expensive, which is why they are often re-released with new paint or detailing. Considering that the Ultimate Movie Collection already includes two all-newly-sculpted Batmen, adding a third might not have been financially feasible.
The McFarlane Toys set features figures based on Batman (1989), Batman Forever, Batman and Robin, Justice League, The Dark Knight, and The Batman.
Some may argue that the reason for excluding Adam West’s Batman from the set could be due to licensing concerns.
Adam West and Burt Ward starred in a theatrically released Batman movie in 1966, which was based on the series. The film was supposed to serve as a precursor to the television show. However, the series premiere was pushed forward, and the movie was postponed. The motion picture was quickly released in theaters before the second season of the series.
Adam West’s portrayal of Batman had a profound impact on the character and the larger Batman franchise.
Unfortunately, the 1966 Batman movie, which aimed to sell the series to international fans, was not well-received by audiences. Despite the setback, the show’s success in the United States was sufficient publicity. Thanks to the movie’s budget, producers were able to construct the Batboat and rent a helicopter that was later transformed into the Batcopter.
These iconic vehicles were prominently featured in the second and third seasons of the Batman television show. And over the years, the 1966 Batman movie became a distant memory. Adam West and Burt Ward reprised their roles in Batman animated movies for the show’s 50th anniversary, along with Julie Newmar returning as Catwoman.
Still, Adam West’s portrayal of Batman had a profound impact on the character and the larger Batman franchise. He starred as Batman/Bruce Wayne in the 1960s television series titled Batman, which ran from 1966 to 1968. The show became an iconic part of popular culture, bringing the DC superhero into the mainstream.
West’s version of Batman also leaned heavily into the character’s “Bright Knight” persona, emphasizing his heroic, virtuous, and idealistic qualities. While this portrayal differed significantly from the darker and brooding interpretations of Batman that emerged later (like those seen in Tim Burton’s and Christopher Nolan’s films), it established a specific and beloved iteration of the Caped Crusader.