Alex Reviews The Mad Hatter!

20150824_AlexFirstDayMy son has released his second video review, this time focusing on that dastardly chapeau-obsessed fiend, the Mad Hatter.

While the review focuses on a toy based on the character from the 1966 Batman TV series, Alex takes the time to provide a brief primer on a character who is a bit more complicated than one might think. Initially created as an impish villain inspired by his namesake from Alice in Wonderland, a second Hatter was introduced a decade later with no ties to Lewis Carroll’s work but a burning need to posses all hats, especially Batman’s cowl.

Portrayed by David Wayne, then a hot commodity, the Mad Hatter appeared in two stories, one focused on getting revenge on the jury who convicted him and a follow up in which he irradiates Batman’s cowl, turning it pink. Armed with a top hat that housed a secret mesmerizing beam, the Mad Hatter was a formidable foe for the caped crusader and just weird enough to be fondly remembered. An unusual and quirky character, he has proven popular enough to still have an appeal, even to a seven year old kid.
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Watch the review here!

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Alex Reviews Launches!

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They say the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree and my better half, Alex, is every bit of an enthusiastic pundit on toys and cartoons as I am, and far more charismatic. This month, I have published the first in a series of reviews from my seven year-old protege and anticipate many additional videos to come.

12814678_10154794990203438_312857545901260308_nThe opener is a review of the Batman ’66 Mr. Freeze toy by Figures Toys Co. Included in the review is a short comic book history lesson and a quick sketch of the character’s first appearance. Please take a look and spread the word.

Cheers.

Go back to the Batcave with Lego!

Batman_WestToday, the Dark Knight of Gotham City is regarded as a grim vigilante striking from the shadows, but once upon a time he was presented as an absurd ‘Bright Knight’ in tights. The TV program created by William Dozier will forever be either derided or praised by fans of Batman, but no one can deny that it had a lasting impact on pop culture with its stylish intro credits, unexpected celebrity cameos and exciting vehicles. The property had been tied up with legal concerns until last year and products have been trickling in from action figures to the definitive Blu-Ray set, but it’s time to think small.

Just in time to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Batman ’66 TV series (as it is now known) comes this amazing 2,526 Lego piece set commemorating the timeless program. The set won’t hit the shelves until March, but the announcement is setting the fan community a-flutter with anticipation. 150305-batman-01a.jpg

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Via CBR.com

Although images leaked last week, LEGO apparently wanted to hold off until today — the 50th anniversary of the premiere of the 1966 Batman series — to make it official: The LEGO DC Comics Super Heroes Batman: Classic TV Series – Batcave will arrive in stores in March.

Along with the announcement arrives the first official images of the elaborate 2,500-piece set, which includes not just the Batmobile, Batcycle and Batcopter, but also a whopping nine minifigures.

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Now you can see for yourself the full scale of the Batcave, with its Bat Lab, helipad, garage and Batpoles, which of course are hidden behind the grandfather clock in Bruce Wayne’s study above, in stately Wayne Manor.

As we previously mentioned, the playset boasts minifigs of Batman, Robin, Bruce Wayne, Dick Grayson, Alfred Pennyworth, Catwoman, The Riddler, The Penguin and The Joker (with Cesar Romero mustache, naturally).

We’ll Always Remember Yvonne

She was a sexy librarian who changed into Batgirl, she was in Star Trek and Man from U.N.C.L.E. and dated Elvis Presley. How can anyone ever forget darling Yvonne Craig?
Batgirl memories

Her signature movements…

Via CNN:

(CNN)Before Lynda Carter’s Wonder Woman, before Joanna Cameron’s Isis, before Scarlett Johannsson’s Black Widow, Yvonne Craig was a pioneer of female superheroes on screen.

As an actress, she originated the role of Batgirl in the 1960s “Batman” television series. As a trained dancer, she did her own stunts.

27Craig died this week after a long two-year battle with breast cancer. She was 78.

The cancer metastasized to her liver, and she died Monday in her home in Pacific Palisades.

“She had been in chemo almost continuously for the past two plus years since being diagnosed and that had weakened her immune system as well as her body,” her family said in a statement late Tuesday night.

“This didn’t dampen her sense of humor or her spirit, she intended to fight and win this battle. In the end, her mind still wanted to fight but her body had given up.”

Craig originated the role of Batgirl in the show’s third and final season in 1967, kapowing and zzonking the bad guys alongside Adam West and Burt Ward’s dynamic duo of Batman and Robin.

“I hear from women that I was their role model,” she told CNN in an interview earlier this year. “‘When I was a little girl, I realized that girls could kick butt just like guys,’ [they’d say].”

She also had a memorable role as the green-skinned Orion slave girl Marta who wanted to kill Captain Kirk in a third-season episode of “Star Trek.”

But even beyond those two well-remembered roles, Craig had a long and illustrious career that began as the youngest member of a ballet company.

Recommended
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Atomic batteries to power. Turbines to Speed. Ready to move out.

BATMAN_Robin_1966The caped crusader has been fighting crime for over 75 years. However, one of the most iconic and familiar iterations of Batman is still the 1966-68 TV series starring Adam West and Burt Ward as the dynamic duo. The two will reunite (providing the voices for a new animated film) in 2016.

batman-adam-westAdam West and Burt Ward are suiting up as Batman and Robin one more time, according to a report over on Consequence of Sound. The former dynamic duo revealed during the Mad Monster Party horror convention in Charlotte, North Carolina that they will be involved in a new animated Batman feature film created to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the iconic “Batman ’66” TV show.

“I don’t know, our agents are here, whether we can about the new Batman movie,” said Ward during the Batman panel before being interrupted by West.

“Yes we can,” interjected West. “I tell them what to do.”

Ward continued, telling the audience that they can “look forward to a new animated Batman full-length 90-minute feature coming out on the 50th anniversary — one of possibly two, but for sure one that Adam and I are going to be doing the voices for.”

(via CBR)

More details as they come!

Batman 1966 finally gets home release Nov, 2014

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In 1966, the William Dozier-produced Batman weekly TV series shaped an icon for a generation. Absurd and bizarre, the program attracted celebrities for unique guest spots. While it has been cited as detrimental to the seriousness of comic book adaptations, Batman is such a versatile character that he can be interpreted in various manners from the ‘camp’ TV series to Tim Burton’s dark and weird films to the modern epics by Chris Nolan.

Some fans demand Batman be a dark avenger of the night, a grim solitary figure brooding and lurking on the rooftops of a crime-ridden world (as seen in the current comic books and the Arkham videogame series). This was somewhat how he was introduced, influenced heavily by Bob Kane’s childhood romps through the back alleys as part of a teen gang. But it is that youthful approach filtered through the 1960’s pop art and theater of the absurd that makes the 1966 TV series so important and valid. It is a time capsule and a part of the comic book character’s legacy.

Speaking personally, the 1966 TV series sent my imagination running wild. The visuals were outrageous, the scripts silly and the performances so weird (just what planet is Frank Gorshin from??) that that my lil mind was forever impacted. For decades, the legal entanglements have prevented a release of the complete series on home video format. Finally, that has been rectified and Bat-fans can revisit (or discover for the first time) the most unusual vision of the capes crusader ever.

(and the wee car and collectible trading cards are a special treat)
Official press release below:
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FANBOYS AND FANGIRLS REJOICE! AS WARNER BROS. HOME ENTERTAINMENT RELEASES BATMAN: THE COMPLETE TELEVISION SERIES ON BLU-RAY™ AND DVD FOR THE VERY FIRST TIME NOVEMBER 11, 2014

The Long-Awaited 1960’s TV Series Features All 120 Original Broadcast Episodes Completely Remastered Includes Over Three Hours of Never-Before-Seen Enhanced Content Including Interviews With Adam West and Burt Ward

Burbank, CA (July 24, 2014) – For the very first time, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment (WBHE) is releasing the fan-favorite original 1960’s Batman TV Series starring Adam West as Batman and Burt Ward as Robin. On November 11, 2014, just in time for the holiday season, Batman: The Complete Television Series Limited Edition will hit shelves on Blu-Ray™ ($269.97 SRP). Batman: The Complete Television Series DVD ($199.70 SRP) and Batman: The Complete First Season ($39.98 SRP) will also be available. Additionally, The Complete Series will be released for purchase on Digital HD. This highly collectible set is one fans won’t want to miss!

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Batman: The Complete Television Series features all three classic seasons of the fan-favorite show spanning all 120 original broadcast episodes – completely remastered – as well as more than three hours of never-before-seen enhanced content including interviews with both Adam West (as Batman) and Burt Ward (as Robin). In addition to favorites West and Ward, the series featured a long list of notable guest stars and cameo appearances over the course of three seasons including Julie Newmar, Cesar Romero, Frank Gorshin, Liberace, Vincent Price, Burgess Meredith, Bruce Lee, Art Carney, Milton Berle, Sammy Davis Jr. and many more!

Bringing the series’ vivid colors to life in stunning high definition, the Blu-ray Limited Edition

will be individually numbered, making the set a true must-have for both fans and collectors alike. The set will include sought-after premiums including:

An exclusive Hot Wheels® Replica Batmobile
Adam West Scrapbook – featuring never-before-seen photos from Adam’s own archives
44 Vintage Trading Cards
Ultraviolet Digital Copy of all 120 episodes
Episode guide – includes synopsis of all episodes, photos from the series and a personal letter from Adam West to the fans

“Fans around the world have been clamoring for this release for decades,” said Rosemary Markson, WBHEG Senior Vice President, TV Brand Management and Retail Marketing “Warner Bros. Home Entertainment is beyond thrilled to make the caped crusader’s fans’ wishes come true by releasing Batman: The Complete Television Series to Blu-ray™, DVD and Digital HD for the very first time since the original 1960s program. Coinciding with the 75th Anniversary of Batman’s comic book debut, this is the ultimate holiday gift.”

Batman: The Complete Television Seriesalsofeatures more than three hours of all-new enhanced content:

Special Features include:

Hanging with Batman – A true slice of life in the words of Adam West.

Holy Memorabilia Batman! – A journey into the most sought-after collectibles through the eyes of three extraordinary collectors.

Batmania Born! – Building the World of Batman – Explore the art and design behind the fiction.

Bats of the Round Table – A candid conversation with Adam West and his celebrity friends, chatting all things Bat ’66.

Inventing Batman in the words of Adam West (episode 1 &2) – A rare treat for the fans as Adam discusses his script notes on bringing Batman to life in the first and second episodes.

Na Na Na Batman! — Hollywood favorite’s stars and producers recount their favorite Batman memories.

Season 1

Hi Diddle Riddle
Smack in the Middle
Fine Feathered Finks
The Penguin’s A Jinx
The Joker is Wild
Batman is Riled
Instant Freeze
Rats Like Cheese
Zelda The Great
A Death Worse Than Fate
A Riddle A Day Keeps the Riddler Away
When the Rat’s Away the Mice Will Play
The Thirteenth Hat
Batman Stands Pat
The Joker Goes To School
He Meets His Match, The Grisly Ghoul
True or False Face
Holy Rat Race
The Purr-Fect Crime
Better Luck Next Time
The Penguin Goes Straight
Not Yet, He Ain’t
The Ring Of Wax
Give ‘Em The Axe
The Joker Trumps An Ace
Batman Sets The Pace
The Curse of Tut
The Pharaoh’s In a Rut
The Bookworm Turns
While Gotham City Burns
Death in Slow Motion
The Riddler’s Flase Notion
Fine Finny Fiends
Batman Makes The Scenes

Season 2

Shoot A Crooked Arrow
Walk The Straight and Narrow
Hot Off The Griddle
The Cat and the Fiddle
The Minstrel’s Shakedown
Barbecued Batman?
The Spell of Tut
Tut’s Case is Shut
The Greatest Mother of Them All
MA Parker
The Clock King’s Crazy Crimes
The Clock King Gets Crowned
An Egg Grows in Gotham
The Yegg Foes in Gotham
The Devil’s Fingers
The Dead Ringers
Hizzonner The Penguin
Dizzoner the Penguin
Green Ice
Deep Freeze
The Impractical Joker
The Joker’s Provokers
Marsha, Queen of Diamonds
Marsha’s Scheme of Diamonds
Come Back, Shame
It’s How You Play The Game
The Penguin’s Nest
The Bird’s Last Jest
The Cat’s Meow
The Bat’s Kow Tow
The Puzzles Are Coming
The Duo Is Slumming
The Sandman Cometh
The Catwoman Goeth
The Contaminated Cowl
The Mad Hatter Runs Afoul
The Zodiac Crimes
The Joker’s Hard Times
The Penguin Declines
That Darn Catwoman
Scat! Darn Catwoman
Penguin is a Girl’s Best Friend
Penguin Sets a Trend
Penguin’s Disastrous End
Batman’s Anniversary
A Riddling Controversy
The Joker’s Last Laugh
The Joker’s Epitaph
Catwoman Goes to College
Batman Displays His Knowledge
A Piece of The Action
Batman’s Satisfaction
Kin Tut’s Coup
Batman’s Waterloo
Black Widow Strikes Again
Caught in the Spider’s Den
Pop Goes The Joker
Flop Goes the Joker
Ice Spy
The Duo Defy

Season 3

Enter Batgirl, Exit Penguin
Ring Around The Riddler
The Wail of The Siren
The Sport of Penguins
A Horse of Another Color
The Unkindest Tut of All
Louie, The Lilac
The Ogg and I
How To Hatch a Dinosaur
Surf’s Up! Joker’s Under!
The Londinium Larcenies
The Foggiest Notion
The Bloody Tower
Catwoman’s Dressed to Kill
The Ogg Couple
The Funny Feline Felonies
The Joke’s On Catwoman
Louie’s Lethal Lilac Time
Nora Clavicle and the Ladies’ Crime Club
Penguin’s Clean Sweep
The Great Escape
The Great Train Robbery
I’ll Be A Mummy’s Uncle
The Joker’s Flying Saucer
The Entrancing Dr. Cassandra
Minerva, Mayhem and Millionaires

###

About Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, Inc.

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment (WBHE) brings together Warner Bros. Entertainment’s home video, digital distribution and interactive entertainment businesses in order to maximize current and next-generation distribution scenarios. An industry leader since its inception, WBHE oversees the global distribution of content through packaged goods (Blu-ray Disc™ and DVD) and digital media in the form of electronic sell-through and video-on-demand via cable, satellite, online and mobile channels, and is a significant developer and publisher for console and online video game titles worldwide. WBHE distributes its product through third party retail partners and licensees, as well as directly to consumers through WBShop.com and WB Ultra.

Batman 1966 finally on dvd

When I was a wee lad, I watched the Adam West Batman TV series avidly. I even wore my Batman costume under my ‘street clothes’ so I could switch into action at a moment’s notice. I was a devoted Bat-fan. Strangely, the humor only occurred to me later in life. As a child, I took the absurd adventures of guys in tights against evil geniuses as written. The bizarre gadgets, the narrow escapes and the mad schemes all made sense to my little mind.

They still do, really.

But do to legal wranglings between Warner Bros. (who owns Batman) and 20th Century Fox (who has a controlling interest in the TV series), the program has never been made available on DVD. Finally both entities have out their differences aside and we are due for a superb surprise.
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Official press release below:

It’s true! As per Conan O’Brien’s tweet this afternoon …

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment will distribute the long-awaited BATMAN live-action television series (1966-68) as a complete box set later in 2014.

More information to come.

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Photo by Will Becton

Batman and The Two-Way Crimes of Two-Face

batman-1966-beganAs readers may recall, I am a massive fan of the 1966 Batman TV series. There are so many great performances from classic actors and actresses who brought several iconic villains to life on screen, but there has always been one missing for me, Harvey Dent/Two-Face.

The facially-scarred villain obsessed with duality and other double concepts seems ideally suited for the Dozer TV series, so why didn’t he make the cut? What’s more, why didn’t Harlan Ellison’s script get accepted? That’s right, Ellison wrote a script and it was passed over!

batman_two-faceHoly Harlan Ellison! Of all the brilliant Batman villains who made their way to the small screen during the run of the iconic 1960s Batman TV series that starred Adam West, Burt Ward, and a bevy of special guest batvillains, Two-Face was always noticeably absent. Strange, considering that his striking (if grotesque) look and very specific modus operandi would have fit perfectly into the world of the show. But it turns out that Two-Face did come close to trading brightly-colored punches with Adam West and Burt Ward…in an episode that was to be penned by none other than the legendary Harlan Ellison.

“Though Harlan’s written numerous comic book scripts for the Dark Knight, his first slide down the Bat-Pole was in 1966 when he pitched an episode to ABC’s Batman, starring Adam West and Burt Ward. Tragically—for reasons explained in the editor’s notes—“The Two-Way Crimes of Two-Face” was never produced, but now you can read what the Unrepentant Harlequin had in mind for the Dynamic Duo and their Bifurcated Foe.”

Click here for the whole story.

Behind the scenes of William Dozier’s Batman 1966

batman-adam-westFighting a head cold, I have been applying episodes of the 1966-68 Batman TV series like a much-needed medication. Imagine my happiness when I discovered this rare behind the scenes documentary from 66.

The program came under fire for its absurd humor mixed with action and drama, but this doc puts the series into its proper place in the pop art scene. Dozier’s unique slant and dulcet tones along with the writing skills of Lorenzo Semple Jr. were of course key to the success of the program (as pointed out by Adam West as well) but it was a combination of the visuals, acting, music and more that made an indelible mark on my psyche.

Back to my tea and cookies, but sadly no Aunt Harriet to deliver them.