When I heard that DIAMOND SELECT had a reveal for SDCC '15 and it was going to be from FOX's hit show GOTHAM, immediately I was psyched. Out of all of the colorful characters on the show that just finished its freshman season that as a Bat-maniac, very much impressed me particularly in the last 6 to 8 episodes. When the Exclusive figure was revealed to be none other than a boss in training Oswald Cobblepot, aka The Penguin, I was over the moon for a couple of reasons. One, Robin Lord Taylor, the actor that plays Cobblepot is brilliant as the budding crime boss and steals virtually every scene he is in. A master chameleon, you never know whose side he is playing except his somehow. From the Pilot episode to the season finale, Oswald's character arc was remarkably moving from busboy all the way up to an actual player, fearless and masterfully seeing the chess board like no one else in Gotham City.
The figure is a co-venture from both DIAMOND SELECT with a brilliant sculpt from the GENTLE GIANT and this SDCC Exclusive is a home run all the way around. Billed as the "Roughed Up" Exclusive Edition, it is clear that Penguin has just come from a good beating with blood all around his face and on his dress shirt around his signature oddball looking tie. GENTLE GIANT does a masterful job of digitally capturing actor Robin Lord Taylor's mug and even from across the room, you can tell which figure you are looking at. Penguin's permanent smirk, even when he is in a psycho range never seems to leave his face on the show and it is brilliantly captured here in this figure. The smirk is there and it is damn spooky! The sculptors even managed to nail the gangster's oddball crows nest hairstyle perfectly that I did not think anyone would be able to get down perfectly.
Along with The Penguin, the figure comes with an alternate set of hands, an apple and of course the most iconic weapon in The Penguin's arsenal, his umbrella. The box has some weight to it and part of the reason for that is because later this year, Det. James Gordon and Selena Kyle and going to be released with the other parts of the diorama. (I included what the finished diorama is going to look like at the end of the year below) It is also a very sturdy package which to collectors like myself who are MOC collectors (Mint on Card) can easily remove the diorama piece if need be without damaging the outer package in case you want to return the figure and extra back to its plastic home one day.
The figure stands close to 7-inches which are taller than I expected but I guess that is partially because of the characters diminutive hobble on the show. What I liked most about The Penguin as a character is that in the beginning of the Season One arc, he is wearing restaurant whites and by the last episode, he is going at it one on one with crime boss Fish Mooney. Hint: it doesn't end well for Fish. And the figure reflects that with his black suit, sharp checkered vest and the hint of olive green on his lapels. He's come a long way since the Pilot episode. The point is that The Penguin is self-made man and his rise to power was downright impressive. Psychotic, but impressive. As far as figures go, this is a heck of a debut from DIAMOND and a beautiful one at that. It is a must have for the Bat-fan and the perfect debut for the GOTHAM line.