Super Types

October 17, 2010

Gotta Have It! Statue Edition: Bowen Designs: Black Panther Classic & Ltd. Edition

Since earning the title of Black Panther, T’Challa has served as Wakanda’s protector as well as her King for many years. Jack Kirby and Stan Lee’s creation made his debut in Fantastic Four #52, and has since shown why his enemies as well as his friends fear and respect the Black Panther. A man whose physical abilities are only matched by his vast intellect and tactical thinking, which has enabled him to prevail over the Avengers, Skrulls, and many other villains in the Marvel Universe. Though recently he has been dethroned and the protection of Wakanda and the title of Black Panther now rests with his sister Shuri, T’Challa will soon be seen again as Black Panther: The Man Without Fear!

Black Panther
Bowen Designs
Sculpted by: Jason Smith
Height: 12 1/2″
Released: March 2010
Retail: US $160

Edition Size: 900

Noticeably there really isn’t a lot to Black Panther’s costume, but Jason Smith’s sculpt has a presence and the Panther looks cool as hell on any shelf! Now with all of the costume being black except for the eye slits, you don’t have to worry about a lot of paint bleed taking away from the look of the sculpt. I have noticed on a couple of statues where there is a small bit of bleed on the eye slits where his brow is furrowed, but nothing major. Time was taken to add the wrinkles of the costume at the wrists and the ankles, as well as around the belt, so it looks less like a pajama onesie and more like a practical stealth costume. Both the gloves and boots look padded, which adds a bit of a realistic touch to the overall appearance of the statue. The fingertips on the right hand are clawed, and even though the left hand is in a fist you can still make out the claws there as well. If less is more, then Jason Smith pretty much nailed this one 100% and let the presence of the Black Panther speak for itself.

As you can see above, the base that he stands on bears the Panther symbol, which is etched into it, and it resembles concrete/stone much like the base of the Luke Cage statue I reviewed several months ago, but it’s more of a grayish tone in color. Underneath the base you have your standard cushions to help protect whatever surface you place him on, and the number of the piece is listed as well. There is a bit of assembly here since the sculpt has to be attached via a peg on the bottom of the foot and a notch in the base. It takes about two seconds and then he’s ready for display, unlike the pain and headache with assembling Falcon and that damn bird. This Black Panther statue was limited to 900 pieces, which confuses me a bit since Falcon was at 1200, and I’m pretty sure Black Panther is the more popular of the two. The statue also retails for $160, though at various sites I’ve seen it for around $135, but nothing lower than that. Unfortunately I’ve also seen it go as high as $185, which, if you ask me, is way too much for this piece no matter how cool it looks.

Now for those of you who prefer a more formal looking Black Panther and have a few extra dollars to spare, I’d suggest the Bowen Ltd. Edition Black Panther sculpt. From what I remember, this version was first seen during Priest and Texeira’s run of the Marvel Knights Black Panther and it is cool personified. The overall concept is pretty much the same, however the black used is a much darker shade, which helps the gold portions stand out even more. The left hand on this sculpt is open and shows longer and more dangerous looking claws than on the classic version. Again the boots have that padded look and show off a stitching pattern around the sides of the feet. Now I don’t know if it’s just me, but this version looks a little bit bulkier as well, though it could just be the cape and very high collar, but it looks like he’s put in some gym time.

Black Panther Ltd. Edition
Bowen Designs
Sculpt: Jason Smith
Height: 12 1/2″
Release: March 2010
Retail: $250
Edition Size: 300

From the forearm gauntlets and belt, to the claw necklace, I was very impressed with the little bit of paint bleed that I did see on this statue. Which, if you consider the price (we’ll get to that in a bit), should be very minimal to none. Even the base of the Black Panther sculpt received a bit of an upgrade as the rim has a raised edge, a better looking finish, and looks to be held by five very small Panther claws around the edges. Now I did say it was a limited edition, right? Only 300 pieces were made, and again Jason Smith kills it with every detail of this statue! It sold for $250 if you were lucky enough to order it from Bowen at the time of release. Recently I’ve seen it go as high as $325 on some sites, so if you’re willing to look around, you might be able to find a price that you’re comfortable with.

Without all of the bells and whistles of the Ltd. Edition sculpt, the Black Panther Classic version still gets a 5 out of 5. Yes it’s a pretty simple piece, but you can’t deny he still looks like he’ll kick your ass and be back in time for dinner with Storm. Like I said earlier, that piece has a presence whereas the other is more about the actual look of the costume. The Black Panther Ltd. Edition receives a 5 out of 5 as well, for its cool factor alone, and I like the fact that the sculpt has variations other than costume, unlike the Luke Cage Modern and Classic versions which were just costume swaps. The pose is mirrored to the Black Panther Classic, and the time was taken to give the buyer a different base to set off Jason Smith’s sculpt. Just know that you can’t go wrong with either one.

Infinite Speech



  1. Ben

    is there a way I can be a panther for Halloween


  2. dee Monique

    Where can I order this piece?

    • You might have to just search around online and see if you can get a good price. It’s no longer on the Bowen site itself since it’s been out for awhile.

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