First Appearance Batgirl
By Hervé St-Louis
May 26, 2007 - 23:02
The daughter of two of the most dangerous and efficient assassins in the world, Cassandra Cain was bred to become the ultimate fighter and the body guard of terrorist Ra’s Al Ghul. Rehabilitated by the first Batgirl, Barbara Gordon, Cain was for a time one of Batman’s allies in Gotham City. First appearing in Batman #567, published in 1999, this action figure celebrates her original appearance in comic books.
Modelled after her first appearance in comic books, Batgirl’s eyes and mouth are sculpted even though they should not. At best, the comic book, they appear behind her mask, but not as defined as in the action figure. Her large utility belt looks great as it hangs around her waist. On the action figure, there are ridges around Batgirl’s calves, thighs and biceps which are not present in the original cover art of her first comic book appearance.
It is puzzling that an action figure based on a petite Asian woman has so large breasts. Granted the comic books have portrayed the character as such, but often, one is to assume that Batgirl is but a 14-year-old girl, not a top model. This action figure, and the character seemed to have been created to feature Batman with breast. Of all of Batman’s allies, she’s the one who looks the most like him.
There are several problems with the sculpt. First, her feet are too big. Their length is just short of being as long as her thighs. Speaking of thighs, they are too short, compared with her long Japanese cartoon like legs. Batgirl is pre-posed in a weird position, leaning on her left foot, while the other one looks crooked and twisted. The off balance stance she has is not gracious nor conveys the sense that she is a serious martial artist. She looks like a drag queen, with her beefed stomach and super muscular thighs and arms.
The ridges under the boots are too large and not aesthetically pleasing. Something tighter and with more ridges would have look sharper.
There is little paint on this action figure. Some battle worn shading would have improved the Batgirl’s looks. There is shading on her large utility belt, but it feels as if the yellow coating is not thick enough to hide the underlying colour. Batgirl’s boots and gloves have a nice vinyl-like finish. The yellow paint around the action figure’s logo bleeds.
Batgirl’s scale is out of touch with reality. As a small petite woman, she topples most female DCDirect action figures. It’s not just her height, but also her volume. It seemed that she was created to be in scale with a seven-inch scale action figure line. Even next to Batman characters, like the First Appearances Riddler, she is too large. Only with the Crisis Batman, does Batgirl regain any usefulness in group shots.
Batgirl is not stable because of her crooked feet that do not align, although her soles are flat. It is best to use the first appearance action figure stand, shaped as a dial, to pose Batgirl. However, because of her crooked legs, her body weight will add to much pressure on the foot within the peg and it may ultimately twist her further. It is possible to pose Batgirl without the stand, but it requires patience and dexterity.
Batgirl has twelve articulations at the neck, the shoulders, the elbows, the wrists, the hips, the waist and the knees. The shoulders do not move very much although they have ball joints. The neck has a ball joint too, allowing the head to move in many directions. The wrists’ articulations are cool, but ultimately, the awkward posing makes the action figure less uninteresting.
Made of PVC, Batgirl’s weight and cape can bend her legs. Her belt and cape are in rubber though. Because all the plastic is black, she attracts a lot of dust which is difficult to remove.
Batgirl comes with a golden dial action figure which is the standard for all First Appearance action figures by DC Direct.
The packages for First appearance action figures are huge. Boxes contain all the characters with a clear plastic window. Inside the package, there is a mini-comic version of Batgirl’s first appearance. This comic book is easy to discard, but it should come as a standard with all DC Direct action figures as opposed to just this line of action figures.
This action figure cost about $12 but some stores may charge more for it
The First Appearance Batgirl has been released for a few years now, but getting a copy should not be too difficult. This line was well ordered by stores and the figure may not have sold out at all stores. Although the character is popular, the action figure is not great, which means that if you really want to get it - and I would advise against, it is easy to find. But with all DC Direct action figures, products have a limited supply, so get it now, if you want it.
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