This week I've brought together a bunch of examples of the Batmobile from the past 60 years or so!
In 1966, Batman burst upon the TV screens and into the hearts of America. The show was campy and colorful and totally over the top. Adam West's deadpan delivery could have been "square," but the wild colors and fancy gadgets showed that it was all in good fun.
The best gadget, by far, was the Batmobile. It was built by George Barris out of a Lincoln Futura show car that he purchased for one dollar. He really didn't have to do much to it, so I'd consider it a "mild modified" car.
There where a ton of companies that made their version of the car then, and now. I think its easy to say that it is the most important TV car ever built. For a dollar.
Anyway, over the years I've collected a few. Here are my examples...
First, we have the 1/64 scale Playart example. This was produced in 1966 and looks a lot like the Corgi Husky car. However, Playart was a Hong Kong company, while Corgi hailed from Great Britain.
Here's the rather unremarkable underside.
Next we have the iconic Corgi Batmobile!
Although Corgi started to make this model in 1966, this one is from ten years after that. You can tell that its the 1976 version because 1. The wheels don't have the red bats, 2. The trailor hitch, 3. The "flame" doesn't move in and out as it's rolled.
It does still have the rocket launcher pipes and the blade emergency brake.
I would like to have a 1966 version (like I did when I was a kid), but they are a little pricey.
Also in 1966, Aurora made a slot car Batmobile. I don't have one. I DO, however have the newer AutoWorld car. I love it!
This car is a work of art. It is packed with details, for such a small scale, and it is FAST. And, by the way, it is several hundred dollars cheaper than the 1960s version.
Speaking of newer examples, a few years ago Hot Wheels came out with this:
Although produced by Mattel Hot Wheels, it's a larger scale, measuring about four inches long. They did a fantastic job with this car and if you put it along side the Corgi example, the Corgi suddenly looks pretty crude.
However, like the Corgi, there is a later version:
Ignore the Corgi....
Yep, just like Corgi, they added a trailer hitch, and Bat Boat! They clearly were taking aim at the most iconic version, and they did a fantastic job. Of course, it doesn't do anything except roll, so Corgi still wins there. (The boat does float)
Speaking of iconic versions, what about the actual comic book version from the 60s? Well, we have that covered too. A few years ago, Johnny Lightning came out with a die cast metal and plastic model kit of the DC Comic Batmobile. Here it is...
This model includes quite a bit of detailing. There are oil and smoke ports on the back, and a V8 under the hood. I had to paint everything except for the black and most of the silver parts, but it was pretty easy. This thing is pretty big, as you can see by the side by side picture with the Corgi version, and it has a nice weight to it. All in all, a pretty good effort on Johnny Lightning's part!
So there you have it! Will I get more Batmobiles? Probably eventually. Heck I might even replace my original Corgi version. I'll just have to keep my eyes peeled!
Until next time, keep searching for treasure!