I’ve had several new Batmobiles fall in my lap lately, and in just a nick of time! I’ve got a pretty cool surprise that I hope to be sharing in the next 2 or 3 days. Anyway, this first batch comes from Hot Wheels. It’s a “set” of 3 Batmobiles, each one in this sort of stocky, cylindrical display tube. Each of the 3 was marked with a “1 of 20,000” designation, but nowhere was I able to find any indicator of which number each was – there may not necessarily be a number, but a lot of times these limited edition things are individually numbered. Still, 20,000 of each is a fairly low number, especially for a brand as universally known as Hot Wheels and something as familiar as the Batmobile.
Not sure whether it was a blessing or a curse, but the packages were pretty ratty. Looks like they sat around in someone’s garage a little too long and got a little damp. You can see that the paper on the tubes is peeling and patchy in places, not to mention a little wrinkled and grimy as if from water damage. Fortunately the cars were in good shape. Had the packages been better off they’d be worth more and I’d be hesitant about opening them, but since these neat little tubes were beyond display-worthy, I had no qualms about breaking into them after a few quick snapshots.
The super-cool thing about this set (just in case you’re not crazy familiar with Batmobiles) is that to my knowledge, these are the only instances of 1:64 scale Hot Wheels’ Batmobiles from Batman Forever and Batman & Robin. The other one, from the 89 / 92 films has been released several times in several forms by Hot Wheels, though I might concede that this is one of the most detailed I’ve see. The Batman Forever and Batman & Robin Batmobiles have been released by Hot Wheels at 1:50 scale, but never 1:64 scale. And to think there’s only 20,000 of each! All 3 were bolted into the display cases but they were easy enough to remove. The old 89 / 92 version had a piece floating around inside, appearing to be the cockpit cover. One I had it opened I found that the cover fit snugly, but it never snapped or locked into place. So yeah, I put a little drop of superglue on there to keep it copacetic. It looks like the cover on the Forever Batmobile is removable as well, but I’m scared to pry any harder than I already have. And of course the B&R Batmobile was designed without a cockpit enclosure at all, like a permanent convertible.
Normally this would be the end of the story. I’d share a few pics, comment on something related, and go on about my business. However, there’s a funny final chapter to this story, which can be found on the descriptions of each Batmobile on the cylindrical packaging. The first one is fairly standard but I’ll share it anyway.
Batmobile #1 (This is the Batmobile from the Tim Burton films.)
As a sleek roadster, the Batmobile is unstoppable on the tough terrain of Gotham City. Designed to handle razor-sharp turns at blinding speeds, the vehicle can accelerate from 0 to 90 mph in mere seconds, catching any adversary foolish enough to attempt escape.
Alright now here’s the second and third ones. Remember, in the second “tube” we have the Batman Forever Batmobile and the third tube contains the Batmobile featured in Batman & Robin. Just keep that in mind. And hold your applause until the end; these are not typos or mistakes of any kind on my part. Check ’em out:
Batmobile #2 (From Batman Forever, the first Schumacher film.)
A new Batmobile debuted in the 1997 film, Batman and Robin. One whose body shape and Bat mask grille was similar to its predecessors, yet featured a new open, single-seat cockpit, two arching wings and a longer overall length. Of course, it boasted state of the art technology and unbeatable performance which proved too much for Mr. Freeze’s cold-blooded attempts to destroy it.
Batmobile #3 (From Batman & Robin, the second Schumacher film.)
The Batmobile, which was created for the movie Batman Forever, was like a living creature. Engine parts were visible through openings on the sides and hood, and its 3 wings were ribbed. However its wall climber/jet thrusters/grappling hook super-natural performance features were insufficient to stop The Penguin from destroying the beautiful car part-way through the movie. But fear not fans…Batman lives!
Has your jaw hit the floor yet? Are you scratching your head and twisting your face in confusion? Are little pieces of your brain slowly sliding down the surrounding walls because your head just fucking exploded!!?? Yeah, was pretty much my first reaction as well. Let’s look at this shit point by point, starting with the description of the second car:
- “..new Batmobile debuted in the 1997 film, Batman and Robin…featured a new open, single-seat cockpit…longer overall length…” Yes, this is all 100% freakin’ true, except it’s describing the Batmobile from Batman & Robin when it’s supposed to be describing the Forever Batmobile. The description goes on to talk about Mr. Freeze, also from B&R. So ok, not a terrible description, but wrong goddamn car, Hot Wheels.
- “…[the Batmobile] created for the movie Batman Forever…engine parts visible…3 wings were ribbed…wall climber…” This is all on the back of the 3rd container which houses the Batmobile from B&R. So far all of this is true…just not for the Batmobile in the package. At this point it looks like whoever was in charge of printing or packing got the descriptions or whatever mixed up.
- Here comes the curveball: “…features were insufficient to stop The Penguin from destroying the beautiful car part-way through…” Huh? No matter how you slice the switcheroo, there’s no reconciling the appearance of the Penguin. (He was around back in ’92’s Batman Returns in case you forgot.) Moreover, the Penguin never destroyed the Batmobile. He did manage to take remote control of it for a short time, but Batman handled it relatively quickly. What I think happened here is that – since the description was already talking about Forever despite containing the B&R vehicle – the reference was supposed to be about the Riddler, who was able to break into the Batcave and do a good deal of damage, including the destruction of the Batmobile.
Crazy, eh? Here’s what must’ve happened:
- Some schmoe was tasked with writing up a simple description for both Forever’s Batmobile and B&R’s Batmobile.
- The B&R blurb ended up fine.
- The writer got a little more tangled up with the Forever write-up, and evidently confused the Riddler with the Penguin.
- In an ultimate moment of “durrr,” the Forever blurb ended up on the B&R container and vice versa.
I think this is a great little set of cars. The packaging is unique, you can’t get 1:64 scale versions of 2 of them anywhere else, and the limited edition status is definitely a plus, even if the tubes aren’t individually numbered. But man, I gotta be honest – a silly little error like this that even the most casual Batmobile collectors will be sure to notice kinda cheapens the collection…especially from a behemoth like Hot Wheels. Oh well! I guess the goo news is that all I really care about are them cars, so we’re all good!
Alright ladies and germs, I got a few more recent arrivals in the Batmobile department to harp on about, so stick around!