We all have our favorite version of Batman…
Whether you remember him best as DC’s “Masked Manhunter,” television’s “Caped Crusader,” or the big screen’s “Dark Knight,” we can all agree that Batman drives one SWEET ride; the world’s most famous car—the Batmobile! Let’s take a look at the three known, 1:6 scale Batmobiles…
1:6 Scale Batmobile by James DeSimone
(Overall Score: ♦♦ 2 diamonds out of 5)
If you grew up in the 1960s, you’re probably partial to the comic art-inspired Batman TV series that starred those two acting icons, Adam West and Burt Ward. Their glitzy and glossy Batmobile zoomed around Gotham City with the whine of a jet engine and quickly set the worldwide gold-standard for superhero cars. The original, full-sized car, was designed and built in California by renowned car customizer, George Barris. It was replete with exotic crime-fighting gear and gizmos such as a “Bat-Laser” and “Bat-Radar” and set the stylistic design bar VERY high, making it the version fans still cherish the most.
For action figure collectors, the only 1:6 scale version of Barris’ Batmobile currently available is from “GIjOE’s #1 Fan,” James DeSimone. A very simplistic rendition, it has to be considered an “entry-level” version at best, both in terms of its so-so quality and price. Its blow-mold plastic construction, like the old IRWIN vehicles, is not of a very high quality, nor are its tires. More of a child’s sandbox plaything than a high-end collectible, DeSimone offers his vehicle only in an unassembled kit form for $300, selling it exclusively from his personal GIjOE Information website found HERE.
Bottom line? Although it’s not too bad, owners will definitely have their work cut out for them in terms of final customization. Collector and fan Jack Hall attempted to upgrade his own DeSimone Batmobile and shared some photos of the completed project over on the Trenches forum. Here’s what he had to say about the experience…
“I’ll tell ya, Batman was my favorite show as a kid and I still watch it here in Detroit every night at 7pm on WADL TV. I also have a custom Batman and Robin and a James DeSimone Batmobile that I assembled and customized. It turned out better than I thought it would, but I’m no Scott Beckmann when it comes to pimping out rides.
First, I painted it and added red pinstripes. Then, I added non-working headlights by taking a pair of toy compasses I found in a bubblegum machine, cracked them open, removed their needles and put tinfoil over the faces before gluing it all back together. After drilling mounting holes in the headlight area, I popped them into the holes and they looked pretty good! The way this car is made, I don’t think you can get a metal mesh to fit over the headlight area. At least I couldn’t. Finally, I also added a fire extinguisher and a batphone. But it doesn’t really look like THE batphone.”
(Great job, Jack. Your figures look cool too. Especially Adam West!)
The “1989” Batmobile by Hot Toys
(Due out in 2013, Overall Score: ♦♦♦♦♦ 5 diamonds out of 5)
In the 1980s, Tim Burton’s Batman movie starring Micheal Keaton and Jack Nicholson debuted a completely redesigned Batmobile that borrowed as equally from the past as it did from the future. Burton was adamant that the car would spit out real flame like its ’60 television predecessor, but he also wanted an all-new design that better reflected the brooding, moody Batman of his film. The resulting car was a spectacular success.
Due out sometime in 2013, the 1:6 scale version of the “1989” Batmobile by Hot Toys looks like it will be best of the three versions by FAR. Right out of the box, it appears to be on another planet quality-wise; vastly superior to the simplistic DeSimone vehicle. But you’ll pay dearly for all that quality. Cotswold Collectibles currently has it listed on their website HERE with a pre-order price of $579. OUCH.
Bottom line? This is clearly a “big boy’s toy” for those fortunate few collectors who have exceptionally DEEP pockets. You won’t be pushing this through the mud, watching brittle parts popping off along the way. It’s going to rest securely in a place of honor somewhere in your Man Cave, probably behind a glass cabinet door (dust can wreak havoc on black plastic). If you’re one of those who are lucky enough to ultimately own one, we hope you’ll show it to us someday. It’s gorgeous! Go HERE for more great pics.
And finally, for fans of the modern-day “Dark Knight” we have…
The “Tumbler” Batmobile by Hot Toys
(Due out in 2012, Overall Score: ♦♦♦♦ 4 diamonds out of 5)
Most recently, the Dark Knight’s Batmobile was again redesigned for the big screen; this time into something akin to an armored military vehicle on steroids. While impressive, many fans consider this newest version to be less interesting stylistically than its predecessors. It definitely looks less “batlike” and more like something the armed forces would be using on the battlefield.
Although cool as can be, the “Tumbler” Batmobile is much more of a “blunt instrument” vehicle than artistic statement, combining dune buggy agility with overwhelming military-level capabilities. Essentially a high-tech tank; it was built to attack evildoers head-on and with unapologetic brute force. (Look out, Joker!)
Of course, design taste is subjective and this version of the Batmobile definitely has its fans. When the 1:6 scale version debuts sometime in 2012, there will surely be buyers who will pony up the $449 Hot Toys is asking. For additional photos of this vehicle go HERE.
In the end, all versions of the 1:6 scale Batmobile will find buyers, of that there is no doubt. If you ever own any of these unique vehicles, please leave a comment here on The Joe Report and tell us about your experiences. Now—To the Batpoles!