I’ve only been into statues for about four years now. It’s an aspect of my collecting that still takes a back seat to action figures, but it’s been a growing percentage of my collecting budget ever since. I didn’t pick up my first Bishoujo statue until sometime in 2011 and after I got hooked on this buxom plastic crack, I suddenly realized that there were a number of statues in the line that had come and gone and were now only available at crazy high prices on the secondary market. It’s an old story for collectors, getting into a line late and regretting those pieces that you’ll likely never own. And man, the Bishoujo line has a lot of them: Emma Frost, Rogue, Psylocke, Scarlet Witch, and Phoenix, to name a few. And also Batgirl. While I don’t recall Batgirl ever reaching the crazy prices of Rogue, she still commanded a price that was beyond what I was willing to go for. And now Kotobukiya has re-issued her and she’s finally on my shelf.
Batgirl comes in a window box that should be readily familiar to any collector of this line. You get a large window in front and smaller ones on the top and side to let some light in. As always, this arrangement gives you a glimpse of what you’re getting, but she’s wrapped in plastic, so you really need to bust her out of there to get a good look. The box is mostly white and includes some great full color art from Shunya Yamashita. I particularly like the image on the side panel where Batgirl’s cape is illustrated in the foreground and obscures some of the text in the background.
What’s bugging the hell out of me is the Coming Soon: Catwoman thing on the bottom of the back panel. Of course, Koto always has a look at an upcoming release here, but in this case what we’re seeing is most likely because of a reuse of the Batgirl box. I’m pretty sure Koto has gone on record a few times that they have no plans to re-release Catwoman, but then I never thought we’d see Batgirl again, so maybe it’s still possible. Anyway, I believe Batgirl was the 6th statue released in this line, if you don’t count variants, and I think she may been the first DC Comic character to get Koto’s Bishoujo treatment. She was also available in a black costumed variant, which followed the original blue. The statue comes out of the box fully assembled and ready to go, so let’s check her out.
Dear God, I love these statues! One of my favorite things about a lot of Koto pieces is their ability to convey energy and movement in a static form and that’s certainly the case with Batgirl here. Her pose is pretty simple, she’s got one foot up on a very “Gotham-Style” gargoyle, but it’s the spectacular twirl of her cape that makes the composition here stand out. It’s fanning out all around her and it just looks absolutely stunning. Standing fully erect (ahem), Batgirl stands roughly shoulder to shoulder with most of the other statues in the line, although you could argue she looks a wee bit more demure when displayed next to the likes of Huntress or Power Girl.
Newcomers to the Bishoujo line may find this Batgirl rather tame by comparison to more recent releases. The line has always been about pretty women in tight outfits, but it’s become quite the gratuitous T&A show in recent years. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, but Batgirl certainly represents a time when the line conveyed a lot more subtlety. Don’t get me wrong, this Batgirl is still dead sexy and her costume still looks like it’s painted on, but it’s not as overtly in-your-face sexualized as say a Starfire, or Spider-Girl, or Powergirl. There’s also a lot less skin than some. Indeed, the motion that Barbara is making with her cape actually obscures her chest almost completely. Although it’s a nice counterbalance that the same motion also serves to showcase her fabulous butt.
The bulk of Batgirl’s outfit is pretty simple, at least the bodysuit part of it, so most of the sculpting here went into the motion of her cape, as well as the belt, gloves, and boots. And, of course, let’s not forget the portrait. Barbara has her head slightly lowered with her red hair escaping from her hood and flowing about her. It’s a pretty simple face sculpt, although the eyes are more defined on this piece and given a bit more depth and I like it a lot.
Batgirl’s costume is predominantly painted with a charcoal paint that somehow manages to be both metallic and matte at the same time. There’s a dull sheen to it that contrasts nicely with the slightly richer gold and the brilliantly blue glossy cape and cowl. And oh god, is the blue on this statue gorgeous! I think the last time I was this impressed by a shade of paint was the red used for Bishoujo Spider-Girl’s outfit. The blue here is so rich and vibrant and manages to capture that new car finish level of brilliance. As is usually the case with Koto’s pieces, the paint on this statue is absolutely flawless. The lines are sharp and there’s no slop to be found anywhere.
The base is a simple black disc with the gargoyle for Batgirl to practice her best Captain Morgan pose on. It’s a hideous little beastie with its tongue sticking out and some really detailed sculpting, especially on the backs of its wings. It’s pretty convincing as a piece of granite done in plastic and it contrasts quite nicely with the smooth sheen of Batgirl’s attire.
This one was a long time coming and after a long time scouring Ebay and Amazon and hoping against hope I’d find a deal, all to no avail, it’s awesome to finally have Bishoujo Batgirl on my shelf. She’s absolutely gorgeous and I’d rank her among some of this line’s best work. What’s crazy about this release is that with an MSRP of around $50 she’s hitting most retailers a good ten to fifteen dollars under what most current releases in this line are starting at. It’s still kind of early to hope that his release will open the floodgates to reissues of the other expensive early Bishoujos, but it certainly does present some possibilities. And even if this is a one-shot deal, it’s still nice to have a statue in my collection that I probably would not have otherwise gotten hold of.