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King Tut

Batman (Classic TV Series)
by yo go re

"The odds of seeing a 6" King Tut figure have gone way up!"

Yeah, and just five months later!

William Omaha McElroy, highly respected professor of Egyptology at Yale University, was struck in the head by a rock during a violent student protest. When he awoke, McElroy believed himself to be the legendary King Tutankhamun reincarnated, and Gotham City the ancient city of Thebes. From that moment, King Tut sought his rightful throne and city at any cost. Therefore, the Caped Crusaders, and any whom oppose him, are treacherous rebels.

Adam West once admitted, in an interview, that of all the original villains the 1966 Batman TV show tried to create, King Tut was the only one who actually caught on with fans. Oh snap, you mean to tell me that Milton Berle's florist-gangster, Louie the Lilac, failed to be as big a star as Joker? Nora Clavicle, the straw feminist, couldn't stand up against Catwoman? Puzzler wasn't anything more than a pale copy of Riddler? Why, I never!

There's something delightfully camp about a large, blue-eyed white guy believing he's a small, sickly Egyptian teenager. One who loved ducks. He was played by Victor Buono, who was given free rein to absolutely ham it up in the role - and when King Tut was finally adapted into the comics, in 2009, they honored Victor Buono by naming the character Victor Goodman; at the time, Fox still technically held the rights to all their original characters, a la the Mattel/​Filmation MotU deal, and while "King Tut" may be generic enough to skirt that issue (Marvel can have a Scarecrow and DC can have a Thor without either publisher infringing on the other), the civilian name would probably have been a bit too much.

Tut appeared in eight (and a half) episodes, making him one of the most common villains in the series - above even "real" ones like Mr. Freeze or Mad Hatter, and definitely at the top of the "TV original" list. This costume, with plain white robes, a solid red cloak, and a full headdress, is from Season 2's "King Tut's Coup" (also featuring a pre-Catwoman Lee Meriwether), though there should also be thin blue stripes on the little demi-skirt hanging from his belt. He's also wearing a fancy collar/necklace and an ornately detailed loincloth. Those two are made from a very soft PVC, and (on my sample, at least) are unfortunately attached a bit off-center, with no way to straighten them out. Bummer.

The sculpted smock he's wearing means King Tut has less articulation than the rest of the Batman '66 toys - of course, the real Victor Buono was alledged to weigh over 400 pounds, so he probably wasn't going to be doing any highly dynamic stunt-work anyway. Heck, even as big as it is, this toy is thinner than the real guy was! Tut moves at the head, shoulders, elbows, wrists, waist, and then the shins where his legs poke out from within the toga. His outer cape is softgoods, so it doesn't get in the way of the arms at all.

King Tut gets something the other figures are lacking: accessories! Instead of those floating sound effect clip-ons, this one carries the traditional pharaoh's hook and flail in white and red, respectively. This is such a better choice, and makes the other releases look that much crummier by comparison.

Zelda the Great was the first villain created for the TV series, but her episode was an adaptation of Detective Comics #346, making King Tut the show's first true original. When DC did a comic series expanding the "Dozierverse," they had the wonderful idea of pairing this King of the Nile with their version of Killer Croc, so now that McFarlane has exhausted all the big-name villains it would be intereting to see them turn to the books for more material. Of course, if McFarlane had gotten this toy out last year, it would have been available in time for the centennial anniversary of the discovery of the real Tut's tomb, so not every choice is a perfect one, is it?

-- 07/05/23


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