Sunday, November 01, 2015
Collectible Spotlight: 1966 Batmobile Toys!
This month, the Collectible Spotlight returns (formerly Character Collectible Spotlight), and since it's my birthday month, I'm taking a look at toys based on my favorite car of all time, the 1966 Batmobile! Maybe it's just the influence of the Adam West Batman in my childhood, but I've loved the design of this Batmobile as long as I can remember, and some of my prized childhood memories are of the handful of Batmobile toys I had. These days, I have just a few Batmobiles... there's a plastic Duncan Batmobile that I lucked out and got cheap on eBay, one of the recent Hot Wheels Batmobiles, and the Batmobile designed for the current Batman '66 action figure line. I used to have others, but during times of unemployment, those were sold off.
Perhaps one of the first '66 Batmobile toys made was the one for Ideal's playset shown here! Note that the seller even tried to match the layout of the Sears catalog photo below:
The Mego Batmobile for the 8" action figures is one of those Batmobiles I did have as an adult, when I was collecting Megos. Sadly, the toy itself didn't look nearly as cool as the box showed (then again, neither did the Batman and Robin figures, right?), at least the box shown in the smaller photo.
Mego did a much smaller Batmobile for their Comic Action Heroes line!
Interestingly, they did a different Batmobile for the Pocket Super Heroes line, which was of a similar size... but note the box shows a picture of the Comic Action Batmobile!
A much more accurate Batmobile was produced by Aurora as part of their super-hero models line in the 1960s, which was unfortunately not included in the 1970s reissues!
One of the holy grails of 1966 Batmobiles is the Corgi Toys Batmobile, as they're desired both by Batmobile collectors as well as Corgi collectors! They made Batmobiles in a couple of different scales, the one seen in the poster above was their larger version, and the one more valuable. Other versions were in the Matchbox/Hot Wheels scale, as seen below:
As you can see, there were some variations on it, such as the version that came with the Batboat on trailer (which AHI also did):
The larger Batmobile was reissued, although it didn't have all of the special features the original did!
Duncan made a few Batmobiles themselves, apparently... this one has clear plastic windshields and little other color details.
This one is closest to the one I have, although mine is loose!
AHI's tin toy Batmobile from 1971 may have been blue instead of black, but it's still a very cool rendition of the '66 Batmobile!
I think this tin toy version with mystery action was produced by Marx Toys.
In the 1970s, a company named PlayArt produced this die-cast metal Batmobile, although it may have been licensed from Corgi.
AHI's Radio Controlled Batmobile was nice, but it would've been nicer if they'd had individual front and back windshields instead of making one bubble (as if it was the Mach 5's underwater mode).
They did a bit better on this Batmobile, which was "remote controlled" instead of radio controlled (the key difference being the wire from the controller to the toy).
AHI probably produced more Batmobiles than any other manufacturer... this one had to be the cheapest of the lot! As you can see, sometimes these are offered without the Batman and Robin figures.
This AHI Batmobile was from their "Super Gyro" line (sometimes "Pull And Go")... basically it was a gyro-powered toy, like Kenner's SSP Racers... you'd insert the t-strip into the vehicle so the teeth would line up with that of the wheel, pull it out quickly, and let it go!
This AHI Racing Set is probably the most highly sought-after of all their Batmobile-related toys, as it's the only other slot car version of the '66 Batmobile produced (with Aurora producing the other one).
Speaking of which, here's the Aurora one. I had one of these as a kid, and have no idea what happened to it!
Similar to slot cars is Mattel's "Switch-n-Go" Batmobile, seen here!
Here's a modern slot-car version of the Batmobile, but not nearly as desirable as the earlier ones!
Any kid who had this Batmobile pedal car immediately could claim being the coolest kid on the block!
The award for the most detailed Batmobile toy likely goes to this one, which was custom-produced and sold briefly on eBay several years back... as you can see, it's scaled for Mego-styled figures, and is pictured with someone's custom-made Batman '66 Mego figures.
This may be a photo of a similarly-scaled Batmobile.
I know nothing about this particular 1/8 scale Batmobile, other than it looks cool!
Husky was another toy manufacturer who did metal die-cast Batmobiles, although it's possible these were licensed through Corgi.
Sometimes it's fun looking at how other countries interpreted the '66 Batmobile... here's a tin toy from Argentina that clearly didn't try to get all the details right! But check out the one below, it's like the hot rod edition of the Batmobile! They were made at least in red and gold.
Here's another Argentina Batmobile... in green this time!
This Japanese Batmobile was much closer to the original!
This Italian Batmobile is much closer to the original than some I've seen that obviously just put Batman stickers on any car already being made!
Here's yet another South American Batmbile toy... possibly the tiniest Batmobile toy made, given its size compared to the coin!
This Mexico-made Batmobile isn't half bad!
Here's yet another Batmobile from Argentina!
Gulliver Toys in South America produced a number of Batmobiles, too... but note that this one is being driven by Wonder Woman and Batgirl!
Here's a battery powered Batmobile, but I don't know who made it.
This coin-operated Batmobile ride-on is possibly the rarest Batmobile around (aside from the real one, that is)!
I told you AHI probably produced more Batmobiles than anyone... here's yet another one!
Never one to miss an opportunity, AHI also did this friction-powered Batmobile with a Batboat on trailer, similar to what Corgi had done with their own Batmobile!
Here's the box for a different friction-powered Batmobile, by a company called Clifford.
In Japan, they did their fair share of bizarre Batmobiles... check out this one! It's a key chain puzzle version!
Even Avon got into the act, with this Batmobile-shaped bubble bath bottle (although it would've been worth it just for the box art alone).
Check out this one... it's a set of Batman figural crayons that included a Batmobile crayon! These were very nicely done... and one of my regrets is that when I found these at a 99 cent store a long time back, I didn't buy them all, and keep coming back and buying them as they put them out! I think I bought like three sets, and used them as stock when I was selling at toy shows and the like. I could've probably easily sold dozens of them, as fast as they went (and at a decent mark-up, too).
Remco, a subsidiary of AHI, produced this Batmobile, which I think is the one from the TrikTrak set below:
The TrikTrak set had a battery-powered Batmobile, and as you can see, you'd set up a course with turns and so forth that would force the toy to turn as desired.
I wonder if it's the same Batmobile as this Palitoy Talking Batmobile? Palitoy licensed toy lines from the US to sell overseas.
Speaking of AHI, here's yet another AHI Batmobile toy!
I hope you've enjoyed this look at 1966 Batmobile toys! This is probably by no means a complete listing of the vintage (i.e. 1980s and earlier) toys based on that car, but it should give you a pretty good idea what was made!