It's rare that a comicbook character who is given a big, hyped-up introduction actually amounts to anything. Sure, their creators love them, and try to make them into a permanent part of the narrative, but it seldome works. Once the creator moves on, the character is forgotten, another resident of comicbook limbo.
But sometimes the character sticks. Their invention comes at just the right time, and they make sense in the stories that are being told. At the beginning of the year-long "No Man's Land" Bat-crossover, a new Batgirl was introduced to Gotham City, and she's still swinging today.
Art Asylum was the first company to make a figure of the new Catwoman, and if not for the C3 line's near-cancellation, they would have beaten DC Direct to the punch with Batgirl, as well. This Minimate of the quiet butt-beater is looking pretty good, even if it is hard to tell her apart from Batman - Art Asylum could really stand to come up with something like Palisades' PALz have to set the female characters apart.
As it is, Batgirl's anatomy is simply suggested by grey paint apps. It's supposed to look like her chest and waist, but simply painted on a square block, it doesn't work so well.
Her yellow batsymbol and utility belt stand out well, and they did a good job suggesting her faceless mask. That mask is removable, revealing Cassie's big doe eyes. So that she's not bald, the set includes a black hair piece with a little ponytail/bun at the back. A two-piece cape hangs around her shoulders, and the long drapey part is easily removed so you can put her in a sitting position.
The DC Minimates share the same body as their Marvel counterparts, and move at 14 points: neck, waist, shoulders, elbows, wrists, hips, knees and ankles. The hair and mask pieces plug into a hole in the top of Batgirl's head, to help hold them in place.
Since DC Direct already makes figures in the 3"-and-under scale, AA can only make DC Minimates as part of their C3 building sets, so they have block-compatible holes in the bottoms of their feet. The set with which Batgirl is included is a generic little plane, the Batgirl Mini Flyer.
Built from 40 pieces, this Mini Flyer makes much more sense than Riddler's because, you know, Batman actually has planes. It's shaped like a mini Batplane, right down to the bat-symbol shape when viewed from above. The canopy is a hinged opening, so you can put the Minimate of your choice at the controls.
The set is constructed in the classic Batman colors - black, yellow and midnight blue - so it's got that in its favor, too. The yellow highlights on the wingtips looks really good, and gives the design some pop.
The packaging design for the C3 sets is nice - not only does it make good use of bright primary colors, but it is also designed so that the Minimates are visible through the box. This is a particularly good choice, because otherwise less-scrupulous fans would buy the set, take out the figure and return it.
There are four Mini Flyers in this series, and the same one is included with Batman as Batgirl. Since Bruce is available with pretty much every other C3 set and there's nowhere else to get a Batgirl Minimate, we can finally make a big definitive statement: do not buy the Batman Mini Flyer. Buy the Batgirl version instead. It's better, because ultimately, no one is buying these because they want a goofy little Lego plane, but because they want DC Minimates to go with their Marvel collection. So go out to Target and buy. But not Batman. Batgirl. Batgirl Mini Flyer.
Honestly, does anyone care about the sets? Tell us on our message board, the Loafing Lounge.