Back in Batmobiles: Addendum #1, I mentioned my kid’s growing collection of Imaginext Batmobiles…I know that some pieces of Imaginext have become quite collectible, and I suspect that as Batmobiles go out of production, they may end up fetching decent prices on the aftermarket. At any rate, collectible or not, they are in fact Batmobiles, and since when have Batmobiles ever not been cool?
When I was a young’in, my idea of “the Batmobile” was rigid and inflexible: to me, the Batmobile was what we saw in the 2 Tim Burton directed films starring Michael Keaton: Batman (1989) and Batman Returns (1992). As iconic as it is, I’ve obviously realized that there is no universally “correct” Batmobile. Those who grew up with the ’60’s television show with Adam West and Burt Ward undoubtedly default to the decorated Lincoln Futura featured in the series. Those coming of age in the mid to late 2000’s are likely to find the 90’s efforts a bit dated, and as such will have the Tumbler ingrained into their memories. And of course a brand new Batmobile has been introduced with the DCEU, which could become the most recognizable if DC plays their cards right!
What I’m getting at is that the Batmobile is a highly subjective and fluid entity. Artists and toy-makers have had a lot of leniency and freedom to do what they want with. Fisher-Price’s line of Imaginext toys features a lot of DCU stuff including Batmobiles, and yes, while the toys may be geared towards small children, having a Batmobile right in front of you that is actually a toy is kinda cool! I don’t know how many Batmobiles Imaginext makes – I do know there are at least 2 more than what my kid has – a blue version of the ’66 (only at Kohls I think) and a blue version of the Batman v Superman. Imaginext also makes a multitude of other Bat-vehicles – I know of at least 2 Batwing-ish type things, 1 or 2 Batcopters, at least 1 Batboat, and at least a couple of motorcycles, one shaped more like a traditional cycle and the other done in the style of the Bat-pod from The Dark Knight Trilogy.
The 1966 TV Series Batmobile
Not bad, eh? Ok, it’s not as long as the Futura, but the Futura is too damn long anyway. The car has a couple of cool features, such as a “battle mode” where the trunk rotates and a launcher springs out.
And if that wasn’t enough, it comes with 2 super-bright blue LED lights! The canopy hides a little handle/trigger mechanism which turns on the lights. The pic didn’t turn out great, but if nothing else, you can see how bright those little guys are!
As I mentioned earlier, there’s also a special blue version of this Batmobile as well. It’s still black, but most if not all of the red highlights are replaced with blue. It gives the car a drastically different look than expected. To the best of my knowledge, this version is only available at Kohl’s.
The “Moon Rover”
Notice that I didn’t call this one a “Batmobile”…that’s because I don’t really think it is. It is a bit of a curiosity though. I’ve never seen or heard of this thing except the one time we found it – it was jammed behind a ton of other old and forgotten toys in the corner of Kohl’s. Imaginext calls it a “Moon Rover” and I guess it looks like it could fit the bill pretty well. It’s still weird though, a) because it’s so small and featureless, and b) because of this weird narrow “compartment” (for lack of better word) above the back wheels and behind the cockpit. I’ve seen lots of Imaginext toys over the last few years and it really feels like this Moon Rover is/was part of something larger…like a “Batrocket” or something! It seems like the Moon Rover is some small, detachable piece…but that of course begs the question of why was it packaged alone? This is truly a strange sight, and if anyone has any information I’d be glad to hear it!
Arkham Asylum(ish?) Batmobile
Is this the real Arkham Asylum Batmobile? No, but I don’t know what to call it, and apparently neither does Imaginext. It’s the most “normal” looking of the bunch in my opinion, landing somewhere between the classic ’89 / ’92 Batmobile and the one we see in the game Arkham Asylum. Like the ’66 Version, a twist or turn or press somewhere or other reveals a projectile launcher!
The Flying / Transforming Batmobile
This is the most unique of the bunch, and a 100% Imaginext original as far as I can tell. It’s got a unique (I daresay weird) aesthetic to it, but it’s nice and big, and the concept is pretty cool: it cruises along doing whatever Batmobiles do and then transforms into a full-on flying machine!
Now that’s cool, I can definitely appreciate getting some more mileage out of the toy by giving it 2 forms and Batman’s pragmatism at combining a flying and driving vehicle for himself. I love the unique wheel design and I think the trap door is awesome (even though I don’t quite understand what it’s for…is it like an escape thing? Or does Batman just toss his passenger/prisoner out into thin air…?), but there is just something “off” about this guy. Is it the 2 tines on the front that give it a forklift-like appearance? Is it the fact that the wings are all the way at the back? Is it because it reminds me more of a hovercraft? In this case I guess it’s more about what it doesn’t look like than what it does… and to me, it doesn’t much look like a Batmobile! I don’t hate it, but it’s definitely the oddball out.
Batman v Superman Batmobile
What can I say, this is one cool-looking Batmobile. Imaginext thickened it up from its usual flat appearance, and the black paint job looks amazing as well, considering that the BvS Batmobile is only ever shown as a medium-dark gray.
We don’t know much about what this Batmobile does yet due to its limited film exposure, but the Imaginext version has a few moving parts, such as the front turret and the 2 “blades” at the back. Two yellow humps pop up on the front as well – Imaginext calls them “shields” (???) but I have no idea what that’s supposed to mean – they are literally just 2 yellow “humps” that pop up. There’s also a blue version of this Batmobile, which actually seems to be quite a bit more common than the black one. They’re identical in all other regards, but I gotta give the edge to the black one when it comes to cool points!
That’s all on the Imaginext front for now! My kid has a ton of DC stuff besides just Batmobiles, including all sorts of random vehicles for random characters. Maybe we’ll try to photograph as much of the DC stuff as we can find…which would then lead us to the similarly sized stuff from Hasbro, which includes not only the Marvel Universe but Star Wars as well! Check back often – I’m working hard to add content as quickly as I can!