Yes, it’s DC Friday and yes, the last four weeks have been all about DC Icons, but I’m taking a short break to catch up on some other DC related goodies before diving into the second wave of Icons. Today’s feature is long overdue as I picked up the 1966 Series Batmobile last year right around Christmas when Amazon was blowing it out at an irresistible price. This is one of the most iconic vehicles in my nostalgia addled brain, so I’m more than ready for this… Atomic engines to power… Turbines to speed…
Mattel has done a consistantly nice job with the packaging and presentation on their 1966 Batman line and the Batmobile is no different. You get a colorful window box that gives you a great look at the toy and a lot of vintage TV flavor. My only complaint here is that the side flaps are glued and not taped. Since I don’t have the shelf space to display this beast right now, it’ll go back in the box and I had to be very, very careful when opening it up.
The vehicle itself comes fully assembled. There are some clever little locks on the bottom that hold it into the tray. You just need to turn them, pull them out and unpeg the mounts from the bottom of the car. I was sure I was going to need a screwdriver, but that wasn’t the case.
Out of the box and this thing looks pretty fantastic. Although, it’s worth noting that for a vehicle this size, it is extremely light because it’s a totally hollow piece. The lack of heft may be disappointing to some, but it doesn’t effect the wow factor when displaying it, so I’m not bothered by it at all. While the bulk of the car’s body is cast in a lovely high gloss black plastic, there are some rubber pieces designed to comply with toy safety. The back fins, for example are rubber, although it does a pretty good job matching the rest of the finish.
The driver side fin on mine has a notable gap in the seam, which would bug me a lot more if this was a high end piece, or perhaps if I paid anywhere near the original retail. The exhaust pipes behind on the back are also very soft plastic, but they seem fairly straight and sturdy. Lastly, the lights on the top and the gold thing sticking up behind the hood (I have no idea what that is) are also soft plastic.
Overall, the paint is applied pretty well. There are a few fuzzy spots on the orange striping, but nothing specifically bad to call out. The bat symbol tampos on the doors are very sharp. The silver looks nice, particularly around the turbine on the back and the license plate is printed on. I love the fact that the parachute packs are also sculpted on the back. The silver wheels really pop and I dig the sculpted bat emblems.
As nice as everything looks, I think this Batmobile’s greatest feature is the detailed cabin. There’s all sorts of neat stuff in there like the batphone and the bat fire extinguisher. I suppose you can call those things the bat steering wheel, the bat seats, the bat gas and brake pedals. Everything is branded BAT! You also get two seat belts that tab into slots to hold the figures in place. The steering wheel turns, although it does not turn the wheels.
The figures, which are not included in this particular release but are included in the more recent one, fit into the seats quite well. The individual release Batman without the wires in the cape goes in better, but since there’s only one Robin and he has the wires, I keep that pair in the seats. The belts can be a little tricky to tighten, but they do come out the bottom so you can grab them and pull them through.
All in all, I think this Batmobile is a great piece and a perfect addition to the action figure line. It’s hard to articulate the nostalgia I get from it as it brings back strong memories of playing with my Mego Batmobile as a wee lad in the early 80’s. Not to mention my brother and I watching the TV show almost every afternoon. Of course, my opinion on this vehicle is colored by the fact that I got it for $22 shipped when the original retail was in the $50-60 range. At that price, I think it’s only fair to expect a heftier piece with a few more bells and whistles, but as things stand, I’m delighted with this purchase.
It’s possible that this will be the last addition to my Mattel 1966 Batman collection. I am still missing Batgirl, but individually she goes for way too much money. The three-pack (bundled with Batman and Robin) is more tempting, as the packaging is really nice and the going rate works out to less than $20 a figure, but I’m still in a holding pattern. That having been said, I liked this line a lot and I don’t think it deserves a lot of the flack it got from collectors. They may be closer to the toy end of action figures than collector end, but I would have absolutely killed to own everything you see in the picture above back when I was a kid.