Spoils of a Batmobile Collector

Originally posted on January 18th, 2017.

My interest in collecting Hot Wheels and other diecast vehicles came as a convergence of a few smaller, more focused interests.  Probably the first was when I just happened to notice Hot Wheels’ line of 1:50 scale Batmobiles and other Bat-vehicles.  I spotted the “original” Batmobile (ok, it’s what I call the “original” but it’s the one from the 1989 and 1992 movies – I also later found out that there’s a matte version and glossy version, both of which I had to have), the Batman Forever Batmobile, and The Dark Knight Batmobile / Tumbler as well as the 1966 Batboat w/ Trailer, the 1966 Batcycle w/ Sidecar, and the 1966 Batcopter. For some reason, they just struck me as awesome…who doesn’t love the Batmobile?  And seeing so many together made it all the more enticing.

Batmobiles

Batmobiles: A Trip Through Time
(Hot Wheels, 1:50 Scale)
L to R, T to B: 1940s, 1966, 1966 Chrome, Super Friends (1970s), 1980s, Animated Series (92 – 95), Comic Book

I didn’t really do any research on the line, but a few days later, at a different store, I found the 1966 Batmobile and the Batman v Superman Batmobile.  I gotta say from there I was hooked.  I found out there had been several series of these releases, but of course not every series featured every car.  I went to the local (read: only) collectible toy store in the area and found the 1940′s Batmobile, the Bat-pod, the Desert Camo Tumbler (I don’t know what to call it, the Batman Begins Tumbler..?), the Bat, and I think that may have been it.  From there I turned to the internet.

Batmobiles

Batmobiles: A Night at the Movies
(Hot Wheels, 1:50 Scale)
L to R, T to B: Batman / Batman Returns (matte), Batman / Batman Returns (glossy), Armored (Batman Returns), Batmissile (Batman Returns), Batman Forever, Batman v Superman, Batman & Robin, Camo Tumbler (Batman Begins), Tumbler (The Dark Knight, TDK Rises)

I won’t bore you with details, but I accumulated several more, including the Comic Book Batmobile, 1980′s Batmobile, Super Friends Batmobile, a chrome 1966 Batmobile, the Armored Batmobile, the Batman & Robin Batmobile, and then 3 rather pricey additions, the Animated Series Batmobile, the Batman Returns Batboat, and the Batmissile.  I think that’s all of them…?  From here I was only missing a few: the Penguin’s Duck (from Batman Returns), the 1989 movie Batwing, the Penguin’s Batmobile, the 1966 Batgirl Cycle, and perhaps the rarest of them all, the Batblade (this is the motorcycle Batgirl uses is Batman & Robin).

Batmobiles

Batmobiles: Cycles, Aquatic & Aerial Vehicles
(Hot Wheels, 1:50 Scale)
L to R, T to B: ’66 Batcopter, The Bat, ’66 Batcycle, Batboat, ’66 Batboat, Batpod

I put these on the backburner, occasionally bidding on the $$$ Batwing but never winning, and in the meantime focused on the 1:64 stuff.  I’ve got a couple from the 1989 / 1992 films, the Arkham Asylum Batmobile, black, grey, and matte green versions of the Arkham Knight Batmobile, the BvS Batwing, a larger BvS Batwing from Matchbox, the Matchbox MBX Batmobile, Matchbox version of The Bat, Batman Live! Batmobile, the Affinity Batmobile, 4 different color variations of The Batman Batmobile, the Brave and the Bold Batmobile, smaller 1:64 BvS Batmobile in both grey and black, 1:64 1966 Batmobile, 1966 Batmobile with lines, 1966 Batmobile with rubber wheels (Hot Wheels Retro Entertainment), 1966 ZAMAC Batmobile, 1:64 The Bat (I think a couple of color variants), several color variants (4 or 5) of 1:64 Dark Knight Tumbler, a Batcopter (unrelated to the ‘66 version), a Bat-sub, a 1:64 Batpod, a Batcycle (supposedly from Batman Begins but I’ve got no clue where this came from), and damn, is that it?  Maybe.

Picture Not Available

Sorry, I just couldn’t quite bear the thought of dragging out every…single..Bat-thing…too much. But I’ll show you one of these days!

There is some 1:64 stuff I’m missing, like the ‘89 / ‘92 Batmobile with big front wheels (not sure how else to describe it), at least 1 or 2 color variants of the Batcopter, the Desert Camo Tumbler, several color variants of the Affinity Batmobile (there are at least 5 or 6), at least one other color variant of the Batman Live! Batmobile, the Crooze Batmobile…that might be it.  There could be other little odds and ends I’m unaware of.  One of these days I need to catalog everything and find out just how many distinct castings there are versus different paint jobs.

Batmobiles

Batmobiles: ERTL Collection
L to R, T to B: Batman, Batman Returns, Batman Forever, Batman & Robin, Batboat, Batmissile, Batboat (Forever), Redbird, Batwing (Forever), Bathammer

Then I got this cool little set made by ERTL celebrating the Keaton / Schumacher films.  I don’t know what scale these are, and some of them are kinda silly looking, but it was pretty much the only way to get diecast models of the Redbird (Robin’s motorcycle from B&R) and the Bathammer (that weird sled thing from B&R that they used on the ice).  Also included are both a glossy and matte version of the ‘89 / ‘92 Batmobile – I remember it labeled one as being from Batman and the other from Batman Returns, but I’m not sure which…I think the glossy version was from Batman Returns.  And there’s more: the Batman Forever Batmobile (weird and stubby looking; I’m convinced it isn’t proportional), the B&R Batmobile (kinda cool, but with weird flames coming out the back), the Batman Returns Batboat (nearly identical to the Hot Wheels 1:50 version), the Batmissile (smaller than the 1:50 Hot Wheels version), the Batman Forever Batwing (I want to like this but for some reason they made the bottom completely flat instead of fleshing out the design all the way), and the Batman Forever Batboat.

I know that ERTL has done a lot of stuff within these first four films, including a few bad guy vehicles and some smaller 1:72 or 1:84 scale stuff (I had some of this as a kid).  Not sure how serious I am about hunting down all the ERTL stuff, but I wouldn’t mind picking up a piece here or there if the price was right.  I wish Hot Wheels would go ahead and tackle some of the missing vehicles so I could have a matching set – like the Forever Batboat and Batwing, Redbird, and Bathammer.

Batmobiles

Batmobiles: Corgi Collection
T to B: 2000s Batsubmersible, 90’s Batmobile (V1)

Recently I’ve been interested in Corgi’s line of Bat-stuff.  They’re based out of the UK and they’ve basically scoured comics for any excuse to make a Batmobile.  They don’t seem to be interested in the well known stuff from the movies.  Regardless, their line of 1:43 Bat-vehicles is impressive.  Details are sharp, they opt for blue instead of black most of the time, and most of the models feature at least one moving part.  The best part?  Most of them are wildly affordable!  The local toy shop started offloading some recently – I only have 2 so far, the 1990′s Batmobile (version 1) and the 2000′s Batsubmersible – but I’m anxious to get more.  They’ve got models that span every decade from the 40′s to the present, bad guy vehicles, and at least a few sans wheels that travel either by sea or air.

Alright so what was the point of all this?  Was it just to try and rail off every Batmobile (and adjacent) I have by memory?  Well yes partially but there’s a fun ending to this tale:

I finally got the 1989 movie Batwing!

1989 Movie Batwing

And not only did I get it, but I got it for a steal.  For whatever reason, the collectible toy shop I hit up frequently grossly undervalues their diecast Batmobiles.  I remember when I found that 1940′s Batmobile by a sheer stroke of luck…I paid $7 for it.  There are several for sale on eBay right now from anywhere from about $15 to $40, with $20 – $25 being the average.  Of course if you’re smart you know that it’s not about what people are asking for an item, it’s about what they’re actually paying.  So let’s look.  Two for $18, two for $20, three for $15, and one for $25.  Still, worst case scenario I got mine for half the price…and I guess that’s about what I’d say the store prices them at.  This is good news if you’re a buyer, but if you’re looking to sell, you may want to turn elsewhere.

Batblade

The Holy Freakin’ Grail of the Hot Wheels 1:50 Batman collection…the Batblade. Anyone can own the rest of the collection for the right price, but this thing can be damn tough to find!

Anyway, the 1989 Batwing is probably the most valuable piece thus far in the collection, even though the Batblade is probably 4 or 5 times rarer.  Right now there are 3 of these Batwings for sale on eBay, one for $80, one for $100 and one for a ridiculous $240.  If you head over to Amazon, you can sometimes find sellers asking three or four hundred dollars for these things.  My good news is that I got mine for $50!  That still ain’t particularly cheap, but the chances of running across another deal that good – anytime soon anyway – are slim.  Even if I am lucky enough to find one for $50 or $60 on eBay there’s still shipping to consider.  (I took a quick look at sold listings and damn someone dropped the ball on the Batwing recently – sold it and a 1989 Batmobile for $29.95…asked $9.95 for shipping but still, that’s a freaking steal…I’d buy that just to resell the damn thing!)

While I was there I invested in an Animated Series Batmobile and a Batmissile.  They should’ve been $60 altogether, but the guy was feeling generous and I walked away with those 2 for $45…that’s fucking crazy!  I think I ended up dropping $50 on the Animated Series Batmobile and I got friendly with a guy selling the Batmissile and he agreed to sell it to me for $60, which I thought was actually pretty decent based on what I’d seen.  I might not offload these 2 right away, but I expect to make back my money on the Animated Series Batmobile alone (I hope to bring in $50; maybe I’ll take $40 if it languishes too long) and then the Batmissile is pure profit – hopefully upwards of $70 or so!  I know people aren’t going to be clamoring over each other to spend lots of money on collectibles right after Christmas, but like I said, even if these don’t sell right away, they’re scarce enough to eventually find a good home for a decent price.

1966 Batgirl Cycle

No doubt this is weird as hell looking, but the more I look at it, the more unique and awesome I find it to be…

Of course what I’d really like to do is trade one for the Batblade.  I would say I’d trade the other for the Batgirl Cycle, but it’s only available in a set (there is actually a rare standalone release from SDCC, but methinks the set will probably be cheaper anyway), and I’m not sure if anyone would see the merit in such a trade…though I’d actually be willing to accept a loose one provided it was in perfect condition!

Any takers out there?  Anyone with a Batblade or ‘66 Batgirl Cycle wanting to trade…?  The problem is that most people who’ve gone to the trouble of getting either one of these probably already has what I have to offer…and if they’re actually looking to get rid of them, they’d rather just have some money rather than trading to me and then trying to sell my item.  Bleh.  I’ll get a Batblade…one day…and once I do, then I’ll go crazy and swoop up the “Duck,” the Penguin Batmobile (I don’t know wtf this is about, but it’s real), and then I’ll lurk around for a good deal, free shipping on that Batgirl set.

Hopefully there’s someone who’s interested out there…and hopefully they read this in time!  Or maybe someone can point me in the direction of a reputable trading community?  I’d love to get in on the whole trading aspect with people who love the same stuff.  Plug me in!

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