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Click to see!Mattel's Batman Begins Batmobile
by Mr. Stinkhead

We're going to look at the new "Batmobile" from Batman Begins today. I also just happened to score the 1:18 scale die-cast Batmobile from the 1989 movie, so I thought I'd give you double the Batmobile today.

You can skip to my review of the 1:18 scale die-cast Batmobile.

Click to see!Batman Begins Batmobile
Of all the complaints out there about this new movie, most resentment seems aimed at the car. It's true, when I think Batmobile, the first thing that pops in my head is the 1966 George Barris Batmobile from the classic series. Then of course, comes the 1989 Batmobile from Tim Burton's Batman. In that article I described my feelings for the new "Batmobile" as a CAD program having diarrhea. Anyway you look at it though, this looks like a steroid-laden SUV, not something for cruising the streets of Gotham City.

Well enough about that until the movie comes out and we can see it in action. What about the toy? Honestly, this is a pretty kick-ass car. The use of different materials is great, the action features and sounds are cool, and it doesn't look bad sitting on my shelf. It is not currently on my Batmobile shelf, but it is on a shelf none-the-less.

Click to see!This Puppy is Tough
A few months ago I picked up the vintage 1989 Batmobile from Toy Biz. It has action features, the cockpit holds an action figure, and there is a Batman logo decal on the side. It looks great, but it's not a dead-on likeness as the proportions are off (and there's that logo decal on the sides). Cool for playing with, but not as a high-end collectible. I've got the die cast DeLoreans from Back to the Future, which look just like the car as good as it can in that scale, but they're not good for playing with (the wheels don't fold down, it's die-cast metal, and it does not reach 88 mph no matter how many fireworks you strap on the back)

Click to see!Now about this new "Batmobile;" from what I've seen of the movie trailers and online pics, the likeness is great. They used a flexible rubber for the delicate looking spoilers on the top. They look like they'd snap off in a heart-beat, but they're pretty solid, and it will stand up to some rough-housing. The wheels are a thick rubber and they're on there pretty good. You could roll this thing off a deck into a yard and the wheels will still be on it. If they're going to sell you an off-road "Batmobile", it should stand up to the rigors of an off-road vehicle, and it does pretty well. I'm not afraid to leave it out in the rain. (But of course I wouldn't do that. Who does that??)

Click to see!The Sounds
I love me some toys that make noise. The more noise, the better. I have micro RC cars whose remote control emits a race car noise while you're pressing the "gas." I love the laser and engine noises on the The Batman Batmobile. The absolute best noisy playset ever is the mounted laser gun on Castle Grayskull (2.0). With sound effects straight from the show, you can rapid fire and go peow peow peow and even cut off the last sound mid peow if your press fast enough. But I digress. This "Batmobile" has three buttons on top. The button on the left revs up the engine and makes the back burner glow orange. Nice. The button on the right simulates lasers shooting out of the front with sound effects and flashing LEDs. The button in the middle makes the stinkin' huge missile launchers pop out!

Click to see!Those Beautiful Missile Launchers
I loooooove these missile launchers. It's a rapid two-step action that is pretty exciting for a piece of spring-loaded plastic. Press the button and the missile launchers pop out, and then up in a quick "snap snap" type motion. Sweeeet The launchers on the The Batman missile launcher are nice, but they just swing out like a hinged door. These puppies literally pounce. And there's a swooshing sound when you fire the missiles or put them away. And there's also headlights that come on at the same time. This is my favorite part of this toy.

I thought the slight weathering or "battle damage" was a nice touch. It's pretty subtle, and adds to the overall "realness" to the thing. Just small little scuffs here and there actually make it look more metallic. Kudos on that.

Click to see!Yes Virginia, Batman Fits Inside
Another cool feature (that is expected, but these days, you always prepare for disappointment) is that pretty much all of the action figures fit nicely into the seat, and you can close the lid. He doesn't need his knees really, but they're nice to have. The steering aparatus (not a wheel at all, looks more like pilot controls) is a little too big for him to hold onto, but it does slide in over his lap so it looks like he's at least trying to drive.

My only complaint with the cockpit is that there is no detailed dash board. The best part about any Batmobile is looking over the wheel and seeing all the gadgets and dials they were able to cram in there. In fact, with the toys growing up, the cockpit label was sometimes the most exciting thing about a toy. Those toys sucked of course, but I kind of have a special thing for the cockpit, you save it until the end when examining a toy.

Click to see!So if you're going to buy Battle Gear Batman (the suitcase one) and this "Batmobile", he'll sit right in it, and you can have your moment from the movie. Pending you love the movie and want to represent it in your collection. I am happy I got sent this "Batmobile"... it will take some time before I remove the quotes however. I feel Mattel did a superb job of translating something from the screen and making a highly playable toy out of it.

This Batman Begins "Batmobile" is available on, and all of our Batman coverage.

Ok, now check out my review of the 1:18 scale die-cast Batmobile based on the 1989 movie!

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Article and photographs are ©2005

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