LEGO

1966 George Barris Batmobile

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The 1966 Batmobile from the TV Series, in 1:18 scale is finally here. First of all, a little history. George Barris designed the Batmobile for the 1966 show (as well as other shows of the period) and maintains the rights to that car’s look. However DC owns the rights to the concept of the Batmobile and all of the insignia. To my knowledge, Mr. Barris and DC have never come to terms that both parties felt were fair, so this TV version Batmobile had never been officially produced. There are knock-offs of course and the comic version is very similar looking, but this the first officially licensed toy car from the show. The 1:64 (traditional Hot Wheels size) car came out last year, and we’ve been waiting for about 3 years since it was originally announced, so here it is, and it is indeed beautiful.

The doors open up, and every little detail is included. From the batphone to the little antennae in front of the doublebubble wind shield. Two minor gripes… there is no license plate decal (though there is a spot to stick one) and the dashboard is a little bare. But otherwise it’s remarkable.

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And now, a major warning. Most 1:18 scale die-cast metal cars feature 2 major “functions” other than looking good on the shelf. They should have opening doors, hood, and trunk, and the steering wheel should turn the front tires. Some collectibles feature additional functions, such as fold-down wheels on the Back to the Future II DeLorean, or a moving scanner on Knight Rider‘s KITT. I believe on the Dukes of Hazzard General Lee, the doors do not open, to remain on the show. But it would be a reasonable expectation that the hood opens. Indeed the hood on the Batmobile is a piece of plastic, so I tried opening it. Instead I snapped it off. There is no opening hood, and you should not try to remove the hood that’s there. I need some glue…

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One will argue that this is the Batmobile. Others feel that the 1989 Tim Burton Batmobile is the best one, and there’s a growing camp that likes the Tumbler from the current film franchise. Either way, these look great displayed next to each other. Which one do I prefer? Hard to say, but there is something that is more “Batman” about the 1966 Batmobile. Not saying that the other ‘mobile’s aren’t sweet, but this one is clearly Batman’s.


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