Sunday, November 11, 2012

2012 Hot Wheels #X3079 1-64 scale The Penguin Duck

Okay, I’ve got to rant and rave a little here. Today’s featured Batman related toy is the Penguin’s Duck from the 1992 movie ‘Batman Returns’. Made from the old Ertl tooling, the toy itself is fine and is a decent enough representation of the movie car. The problem is the design itself. Now, understand that I get this whole thing of suspending reality. We do it every time we go into a theater, open up a novel, or read a comic book. It’s entertainment and we accept bending the rules for its sake but when authors and filmmakers construct their alternate realities there are certain unwritten rules which form in our minds. I wouldn’t want to be watching ‘Casablanca’ and suddenly see Charlie Chaplin walking across the set nor would I want to enjoy watching a Superman movie and suddenly see Tinker Bell come flying out and beating the dookie out of Lex Luthor! They just don’t fit that particular reality. The Duck does not fit Batman’s reality either, plain and simple.
Here’s my reasoning. ‘Batman Returns’ ended up with a bad rep as being little more than a two hour toy commercial BUT I believe Danny DeVito’s portrayal of the Penguin was really quite good.

First: the Penguin character, like so many others in the Bat-World, is that of a physically and mentally misshapen sociopath. He’s ugly, and disgusting, and dangerous and I believe the DeVeto characterization was good enough that it could have warranted a movie on its own - by a decent film maker.

Second: The most obvious. The Penguin is, well, a PENGUIN. He’s not an ostrich, a pigeon, a chicken, or A DUCK!!  The person who designed this may have been forced to design a kiddie  car but the person who requested and approved the design was a turkey!!
Third: Combining the character traits of the Penguin and the fact that he is a Penguin and not some other fowl, means that he should have been given a vehicle more fitting to his sinister character versus something that looked like it was stolen from the kiddie ride at the carnival! I mean, after all, the Joker, the Moth, Catwoman all had vehicles which fit their appearance, why not the Penguin?

But, the fact remains is that this abomination appeared on-screen and was ultimately released in toy form.  So here it is, Mattel’s 2012 release of the old Ertl Penguin Duck - Enjoy!