Originally posted on February 14th, 2017.
I don’t get the Walmarts around here…their consistency is terrible and I’m always nervous that I’m missing something! Anyway, I dropped by my closest one to pick up some odds and ends today and noticed a cool “set” of Batmobiles (well, and a couple of other Bat-vehicles). These “sets” aren’t exactly sets; instead, they’re individual Hot Wheels with a certain theme with a “X / Y” number designation in the corner. Sometimes there’s 8, sometimes 6, and in the case of the recent-ish Batman v Superman cars, only 1 through 7 were numbered but there was sort of an 8th “secret” car.
Anyway you’ve probably seen these before. Hot Wheels especially loves doing Star Wars and superhero themed series like this. In addition to the BvS set I mentioned, they’ve done a Captain America set, an Avengers set, Star Wars Planets, Star Wars Factions, Star Wars Movies/TV, a Mario set (not the same thing as the Mario Character Cars), a couple of Spider-Man sets, and probably several others I’m unaware of. (There’s also a recent Ghostbusters set that doesn’t seem to exist anywhere around here…) The sets are nothing more than Hot Wheels Originals with specialized decorations, but they’re still pretty cool, and at a buck a pop, why the heck not?
From what I’ve noticed on eBay, they’ve done this whole “Batmobile thing” before. So are these just reissues? Maybe, but I ain’t never seen ‘em before (in stores) and as an added bonus, the set includes what might be the only major Batmobile shape from Hot Wheels that I’m missing: the ‘89 Batmobile with the huge ass front tires. (I don’t know if it really has a name or not, and since they make a “normal” ‘89 version, this has just become the “huge ass front wheel ‘89 version.”)
Hot Wheels has also done a phenomenal job of making subtle changes in the paint jobs of these Batmobiles, leading to multiple variations. I’m not primarily concerned with all of these variations – I certainly don’t mind grabbing one when I see one, but they’re tough to keep up with and I usually have to rely on my son to tell me which ones we have and which ones we need. When it comes down to it, there are 4 major (well, more like 3 major and 1 minor) aspects of the paint job worth inspecting. One, two, three, or all of them could be different from another vehicle, and even then sometimes the differences are kinda subtle, i.e. a black body versus a dark gray body. Here’s what we’re looking for:
- Body Color – Obviously the vehicle’s main color. Easy to spot, but again, watch for subtle differences.
- Window Color – More noticeable on some vehicles than others, but definitely worth paying attention to. Sometimes this can be the only difference between a couple of vehicles.
- Luster – This wasn’t something I was immediately aware of, but since noticing it, I’ve started to see it more and more. It just refers to whether the finished paint job is matte, glossy, or occasionally, metalflake for that “sparkley” look.
- Details, Accents, and Graphics – Although I would consider this the somewhat minor aspect, it can be the most noticeable. Due to the austere nature of most Bat-vehicles, there usually aren’t a lot of graphics going on, but there are the occasional flames or outlines.
With all that being said, here’s the lowdown on the series itself:
- 1 / 6 – Batman: Classic TV Series Batmobile
- I’ve got a lot of these for whatever reason or another, and I think this versions is pretty normal. I’ll check it out in more detail against the others at some point.
- 2 / 6 – Batmobile
- Hot Wheels simply calls this the “Batmobile,” though it most closely resembles the one used in the 1989 and 1992 movies. The big difference is those gigantic front wheels. This version is just plain black, but I’ve seen at least one variation with flames at the front.
- 3 / 6 – Batman Begins Batmobile
- Curiously, Hot Wheels usually reseres the “Batman Begins” label for the camouflage Tumbler and refers to the all-black version as the “Dark Knight Batmobile.” This version has blue windows (which I have a version of) but I’m unclear on the body…it certainly could be just plain black, but I guess it could also be considered a dark gray. I have lots of these little black Tumblers, most of which are in a matte finish, so I’ll have to do some side-by-side comparisons to decide conclusively.
- 4 / 6 – Bat-Pod
- This is the re-tooled “Bat Cycle” featured in The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises. I have a small 1:64 version of it, but I’m wildly unfamiliar with the details. I don’t even know if the Bat-Pod comes in multiple colors or variations. Yet again, I’ll have to drag out all of my 1:64 Batmobile stuff and look closely.
- 5 / 6 – The Bat
- Oh yes, the crazy weird helicopter-Batwing replacement from Dark Knight Rises that we never could get a great look at in the film. Seriously, I really had no idea what the overall shape of The Bat was until the models started coming out. It’s unique and original…but it ain’t no Batwing. Anyway, back in the 2016 regular series, Hot Wheels released 2 “Bats:” one black one with a yellow window and a gray one with a blue window. This particular “Bat” features a blue window with a black body! And possible metalflake. It still just looks like The Bat, but hey, it is technically a unique variation as far as my collection is concerned.
- 6 / 6 – Batman: Arkham Knight Batmobile
- I wish I wish I wish Hot Wheels would make this as part of their 1:50 series. Alas, all we have are several 1:64 versions and a pricey 1:43 out there somewhere. Anyway, this one is highly unique: it’s a dark, glossy blue with metalflake and although the Batmobile never takes on this appearance in the admittedly awesome video game Arkham Knight, the final product is pretty damn cool.
Now for a closer look!
Well that’s it for now folks. Stay tuned though; as long as there’s no new news on the Character Card front, I might keep posting stuff related to all these little Batman-related cars (etc.) that I’ve got laying around. As always, alert me to anything cool that I don’t already know!