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Batman (Classic TV Series)
by yo go re

Given recent grocery store inflationary trends, it's worth noting that this guy's most successful criminal endeavor involved artificially raising the price of eggs.

Obsessed with eggs and egg-related villainy, this criminal mastermind is only one of two of Batman's villains to deduce his secret identity of Bruce Wayne. And not only did he deduce it, he did it with deductive reasoning rather than trickery, making him one of the most genius egg-otistical villains to ever combat the Caped Crusader.

Like most of the villains on the Batman TV show, Egghead was never given any origin: he just showed up with a gimmick and the implcation was he'd been at it for a while already (Chief O'Hara calls him the smartest criminal in the world, but Chief O'Hara seems like a guy who's easily impressed). But the villains who came from the comics at least had that info behind them; the TV-originals got nothing. Heck, it wasn't even until 2010 that he got a real name - Edgar Heed - and even that was only in the animated Brave and the Bold continuity! Still no eggs-planation for why he's so obsessed with ovum, though.

The term "egg-head" goes as far back as the 1900s, but it originally just meant a bald guy - it was journalists in Chicago around 1918 who gave it the modern meaning of someone overly smart (though it was only popularized nationally in the 1950s, meaning it was still a fairly topical reference in 1965). Vincent Price's portrayal fits both criteria, though: he wore a prosthetic that made his head taller (and balder), so he'd have an appearance that was slightly odd and inhuman.

Alarmingly, Egghead does not use the same suit molds as McFarlane's 1966 Joker. It seems like that would have been the obvious choice, right? Even if it was just the arms and legs. But no, entirely new. Fitting his theme, he wears a white suit over a yellow shirt. Yellow also appears in the stripes on his pantlegs, the trim on his cuffs and lapels, the buttons holding the jacket closed, and even his pocket square. Costume designer Jan Kemp's original idea was to have the trim on the jacket be black, matching the shoes, but that didn't make it to the final product. What did, though, is his... well, rather than a traditional neck- or bowtie, or even a cravat, Egghead wears some kind of round, flattened thing against his throat. A modified jabot, perhaps? It's obviously meant to call to mind a fried egg, in both shape and texture, but I don't know what you'd call it from a fashion standpoint.

Egghead's articulation is the usual stuff, but every single joint on this toy is stiff beyond belief! The knee hinges barely want to bend, and the swivel going up into the thigh nearly refuses to turn at all; the hips are fine, though being a plain T-crotch it would be weird if they weren't, but you can tell the waist's swivel is having more trouble than you would expect if it were just the PVC coattails in the way; the wrists are fine, and some continued effort has make the elbows easier to bend, though, like the knees, they still don't want to turn much; both the swivel and the hinge in the shoulders are obstinate when you try to use them, and though the head is a balljoint, the shape of the head means it barely does any more than swivel. Vincent Price was 6'4" in real life - and that was before putting on a fake forehead that made him even taller - but this toy doesn't even reach the 6" mark. That would have been eggscusable with reused molds, but when he's entirely new, there's no eggscuse.

The figure has no accessories, which really is a problem with this line as a whole. I know some people are convinced WB forbids its licensees from including guns, but Egghead was more of the "weird, on-brand weapon" type of villain: lots of egg-shaped radios and devices and such. In fact, the only time he used a gun in any of his appearances on the show, it was egg-shaped! The eggsclusion of any eggcessories is particularly eggregious, because the figure's right hand is blatantly molded to hold one. It's not just a typical "trigger finger extended" hand or anything; really look at it: the thumb's up, the first two fingers are crooked (verb "crooked," not adjective "crook-ed")... he's posed to be holding an egg! Either a real egg or an egg bomb or whatever, but he's meant to have an egg in that hand, and Todd didn't give us one.

He does get the sound effect pieces everyone else has: CRRAACK! and SPLATT!, both appropriately egg-related sounds. Both appeared in his episodes at various times, but not in these colors (yellow letters on cornflower blue backgrounds).

This is, surprisingly, not the first Egghead toy there's been: he also showed up in that Lego set I got but haven't reviewed yet. As far as "B-tier" TV Bat-villains go, Egghead is one of the major ones, both because he appeared so many times, and because Vincent Price managed to remain famous and recognizable all the way up to his death (and beyond). In fact, that's why we wouldn't really consider him for our "I Seem to Recognize Your Face" feature: Price may not be an action star, but he spent so much time doing so many nerd-friendly things that it's not really a surprise that he'd be turned into an action figure eventually. McFarlane Toys is utilizing their Batman license a lot better than Mattel ever did, but they need to get over their aversion to accessories.

-- 06/07/23

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