I'm going to warn you right now that I spend a couple of paragraphs really getting into this article. Skip to the review of the Batmobile itself, or hell, go all the way to the pictures.
This is the Batman Begins Batmobile
With all of the new Batman stuff shown at Toy Fair last month, I am going Bat crazy. The only downside is that new comfangled Batmobile. For a moment pretend that a computer ingests data much like a person ingests food. Once it has eaten this data, it's stomach (stay with me here) digests the information and produces output. In humans we call this "poop," however it is the expected outcome, so everything is fine. In my opinion, the Batman Begins Batmobile is the equivelant to a CAD program having uncontrollable diarrhea. The kind that makes you worry more about the possibility of having to call a doctorthan about the damage you just did to the ozone.
Those unpleasantries aside, I have found that the ultimate Immodium for the eyes is to look at a classic Batmobile. When the true classic, 1966 George Barris-designed Batmobile is unavailable, the next best thing is the 1989 Burton-directed movie Batmobile. This was a street machine. This said "Batman" in a way that rubber nipples never could.
I recently found a great vintage toy store in my area called The Toy Exchange and I made the trek to see if they had any need for some old Toy Fair swag. When I got there, I was overwhelmed with all of the classic Star Wars, GI Joe, G1 Transformers and other assorted toy rarities. Then I spied this gem. In 1989 Toy Biz had the license to produce toys from Burton's Batman movie. When this movie (and the figures) came out, I was getting to the age where I should have been phasing out of action figures, and getting into sports and chicks. Whoa-ho... I did get into chicks (nice try bucko), but as you can tell, the action figure obsession never died. Anyway, I purchased the movie Batman, not only because it was a cool figure, it was Batman! I could buy this without feeling guilty that I was still into little kid things. (Years of drinking have helped suppress this no-longer lingering feeling)
Wow, did I get long-winded. Ok, so I go to the Toy Exchange, and I see this mint box of the Batmobile. I never could afford the Batmobile sixteen years ago, or find it when I had saved up for it. It was always just out of reach. So here I am looking at the box again, wishing, and hoping. I ask the clerk if I can open it up and look at it. So we gently lift the tape keeping it closed and slide out the Batmobile. It was like the initial reveal in Back to the Future when you first glimpse the almighty DeLorean. Not only was the Batmobile in great shape, but suprise! There's a mint Batman sitting behind the wheel! We checked, and his cape, his removeable batarang, and his retracting utility belt were all there and in great condition. The missiles for the Batmobile were also in the bottom of the box. We agreed to a trade of my Toy Fair swag for this Batmobile (they were asking $40), and we both walked away happy.
This, is a thing of beauty. Though the proportions are slightly skewed for it being a toy, it still retains that Bat-beauty that my aching eyes require. The curves, the fins, the sleek black finish, are like a deep-tissue massage with chamomile lotionI mean... uh... a hickory BBQ bacon cheddar burger with a tall beer in a frosty mug in a place that smells vaguely like wood chips. Yeah.
One of the cool action features is the concealed missile launchers. Push up on (what looks like) the gear shift in the cockpit and the missile launchers pop up and fire the spring loaded missiles. [Ed Note:By the way, I haven't had much luck with the missiles firing, but if any of you original owners know a trick, let me know.]
The back "trunk" opens up for storing a figure or more accessories, and the rear wheels make a ratched sound when you roll the Batmobile on the ground. The only thing I don't like about this Batmobile is the inclusion of Bat-logos on the sides. The movie Batmobile didn't have these logos, and I don't want them on the toy either, but the stickers are mint and holding up, so I'd rather have that than a hair-encrusted sticky oval on each side. The detailed cockpit sticker is also holding up well.
The Batman figure was one of my favorites growing up. He had articulated knees, a removeable cloth cape (who else turned it around so he could get a hair-cut, or eat lobster?) and it was durable. Star Wars figures didn't have knees, and GI Joe's rubber band pelvises would eventually snap. This Batman was pretty resilliant.
I'm very happy with the trade, and I'm glad to have it my collection, next to my other Batmobiles. Check out the rest of our Batman stuff and visit The Toy Exchange if you're ever in the DC area. I'm hoping the owners will let me come back and take some pictures I can share with you.