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Click to see!Corgi 1:18 Scale Die-cast Batmobile (comic styled)
by Mr. Stinkhead

At Toy Fair, Corgi showed us an expansive array of upcoming Batmobiles, James Bond vehicles, and other scale miniatures. We were pretty impressed with their offering, and looked forward to these items becoming available in stores. I hesitate in calling them straight up toys or high-end collectibles. One of the greatest things Corgi has captured is a collectors' item that is detailed and scaled like a collectable you would leave on your shelf to gaze at, but they're priced—and have play features—like a well-built toy. I wouldn't hand this to your five year old and leave him alone with it on the rug, nor would I condone anyone leaving it to collect dust on a display shelf. I've been collecting toys for more than a few years, and seldom do toy or collectable companies successfully straddle the line in all the right places.

Corgi just sent us two Batmobiles to look over. So we're going to review the 1:18 scale Batmobile based on the current comic book incarnation, and we gave away a mint-in-box 1940's comic styled Batmobile (1:24 scale) to one lucky winner!

Click to see!The Packaging
Though this Batmobile is clearly intended to be opened and handled, the windows on the flaps gives you a great view of the toy before you buy it. Corgi knows they have the goods, they want you to be comfortable with your purchase. I'm a graphic designer, and I'm big into packaging. I want to point out how nicely this packaging fits Batmobiles over (more than) a 50 year period. Not too classic, not too modern, it fits.

Click to see!Another important aspect of the packaging is the talking Batcommunicator! Press the button, and Batman will start talking to you. Only Catwoman is clever enough for this heist! and a handful of more phrases come out of the speakers. The cool part is the neat visual gag that makes it appear Batman's mouth is moving as he speaks. It's clever. I do wish it had Adam West doing the lines, but what can you do?

Click to see!The Overall Toy
The car is fantastic. I love the use of different materials to pull off a nice model. The tires are rubber, naturally, the main chassis is die-cast metal (with a great glossy black finish) and the canopy is slightly transparent black, giving a peak at the awesome cockpit. When you're holding the car in your hands, it's got a good heft. The die-cast is terrific.

Click to see!Pop off the canopy and check out the ultra-detailed cockpit for two. Little buttons and switches are expertly painted, and I'm digging the contrast of detail between the outside body, and the interior. Also of note, behind the rear seat is a turbine which you can watch gracefully spin as you roll the rear wheels. Cool.

Click to see!Pop the Hood
Another cool feature is the hood. It too, is cast in a slightly transparent black plastic revealing the engine. Pivot down on the bat-grill and the hood lifts to get a better look at the engine. Chrome and shiny, the engine looks pretty cool. There's another turbine here that turns when you roll the front wheels. There may be some misalignment in mine in that the turbine doesn't move consistently with the front wheels. It kind of rocks back and forth slightly. It doesn't bother me in the least. In fact if Batman were to try and cook burgers on his engine block, a spinning turbine would make quite the mess.

Click to see!It's All in the Details
The main thing keeping this from simply being a child's toy is all the attention to detail. One of my favorite aspects of this line is how they do a shallow relief of the Batman matching the era of the car on the underside of the car. So if you were to collect 'em all, you could track the changes in Batman's appearance as well. My, how the years sneak by you.

Click to see!The End
This Batmobile will look quite smart on my shelf of Batmobiles. I don't read the current Batman comics as much, so this Batmobile doesn't have the same sentimental meaning as, say the 1989 movie Batmobile or, the Batmobile of all Batmobiles, the 1966 Chuck Barris Batmobile from the TV series. That being said, if you're into Batman in general, this is a cool line to look into, if you're into the comic books, you can't pass these up.

Click to see!Swing by Corgi's web site, to check out other Batmobile and scale miniature collectibles they produce. And delve further on our Batman coverage page, including a whole host of action figures and directions on how to make your own working light-up Batphone. And if you like die cast cars, check out our die cast car coverage.

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Article and photographs are ©2005 All characters and likenesses property of DC Comics.

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