New Batman 5-Pack (Hot Wheels) – Spring/Summer 2017

Here’s a set I saw cropping up on eBay a month or so ago. A lot of sellers start these things off at $15 or $20, but since you can pretty much count on these things to pop up somewhere, at some point, I’m content to wait until I spot one during one of my retail safaris for a cool $5.

Funnily enough, the first place I ran across the set was at Kohl’s, where something that’s usually $5 now has an $8.99 price tag yet because of Kohl’s incessant sales, rings up at a final $7.19 or some shit. Whatever, Kohl’s isn’t the place to get toys by any means, but sometimes they do get some bizarre gems.

Batman 5-Pack

TV Series (1966) Batmobile: This is about the 12 millionth time we’ve seen this one (at least the 5th 1:64 release by Hot Wheels in the past 2 years) and honestly I don’t see anything “special” about this one. It’s fairly standard with the black glossy paint, no graphics, and clear glass. I get it, you can never bang out enough of the classics, but why not throw a weird color scheme at us or something?

Batmobile ('66)

Batman: Live! Batmobile: This looks like something straight out of a comic from a few decades back, and it’s not a model that Hot Wheels has produced all that many variations of. This one stands out with its dark blue glossy finish and sports yellow “glass” giving us an interesting departure from the usual black-and-yellow or black-and-blue.

Batman Live Batmobile

Power Pistons (The Joker): This Hot Wheels Original has nothing to do with Batman or Batmobiles (or Jokermobiles) but man, it’s a design that Hot Wheels loves to use again and again on its character-themed vehicles. We saw a Wonder Woman-themed Power Pistons back in 2016 with the BvS series as well as Lizard-themed one from an Ultimate Spider-man series not so many years ago. Anyway, the design is pretty cool if not a little familiar, but like any car, the color scheme can make or break the overall aesthetic. In this case, I love the deep, vibrant purple punctuated by the almost neon green. It may not connote the darker, weirder, nigh supernatural Joker portrayed in comics during the last few years, but it definitely takes us back to the funny albeit dangerous Clown Prince of Crime (whatever the fuck that means…).

Power Pistons / Joker

Boom Box (GCPD): (Sigh)…leave it to these 5-packs to essentially waste a slot on some worthless member of the Gotham City Police Department (GCPD). I get it – Commissioner Gordon and Bullock and whoever else are all visible and necessary players in the Batman universe, but when talking about Batmobiles and other technological wizardry dreamt up by the world’s most disturbed minds, police cruisers and SWAT vans don’t fucking cut it. My thoughts? Take some extra time with choosing models and adding details and then release a respectable set (or two) based purely on the GCPD.

Boom Box / GCPD

Arkham Asylum Batmobile: Hot Wheels saved the best for last in this set – a “brand new version” of the Arkham Asylum Batmobile. Ok actually the Batman Live Batmobile may be new as well, but I’m less sure about that one whereas I’m almost 100% sure we haven’t seen an Arkham Asylum Batmobile quite like this before. We usually see it as a black-and-blue vehicle, but this time around, the matte finish is accented with red, seen both on the wheels and the glass. Honestly it looks a little sinister next to its blue-accented counterpart.

‘Tis a shame we don’t actually get to spend more time with this Batmobile in the game, and an equal shame that Hot Wheels won’t give us a more tricked-out version of the Arkham Knight Batmobile. I know that video games vary widely in what sort of lasting impact they have on a particular franchise, but I truly think the tank-like “thing” introduced in Arkham Knight should be the new standard when it comes to Batmobiles. Yeah ok, it doesn’t look much like a Batmobile, but then again neither did the Tumbler and everyone when nuts over it. Of course this won’t happen, because the new BvS Batmobile and future derivations thereof will take center stage for at least as long as the DCEU is able to hang on. Not that I have a problem with it…it just seems a little flat. Like, literally flat. Like a pancake. But any reasonable Batmobile enthusiast will tell you it ain’t about what it looks like, it’s about what it can do. That’s what makes the Arkham Knight Batmobile so cool. It looks all clunky and off-balance until you realize the entire design revolves around a vehicle that can switch between a tactical battle mode and full-on pursuit mode at the flick of a switch and operate on a street level. It also has an actual containment area like a real-life fucking cop car, a practical improvement that the Batmobile has long needed. So I guess the problem is that we just haven’t really seen the BvS Batmobile in enough action yet. It was in Suicide Squad for like 3 seconds and I think we were all pretty underwhelmed by its shadowy, quick-cut in-and-out appearance in Batman v Superman.

FUN IDEA: What we should’ve seen in BvS was an all out battle between the Batmobile and Superman. This would’ve served several purposes, not the least of which would’ve been to give us another action sequence! Second, it’d give the Batmobile some much-needed screen time during its introduction. And third, it could serve as a first or second act win for Superman, providing Batman with even greater impetus to devise all the methods that would eventually lead to his defeat of Superman. I mean I appreciate the fact that Batman was essentially able to outsmart Sup’s invincibility-level suite of powers, but it would’ve made more sense for Bruce to suffer a crushing defeat first. And instead of just having Bruce get his ass kicked, why not pit the Dark Knight against the Man of Steel via the Batmobile. We’d be treated to the Batmobile’s array of firepower plus a few innovative transformations or surprises in an undeniably impressive expression of technology that ultimately fails to even rattle Superman. This gives Batman a major “oh shit” moment without having to be physically crippled by the encounter and provides us with just a little more context regarding his almost preternatural ability to mount both an effective defense and offense against Clark. What are we given instead? Superman just sort of stands there while the Batmobile “pings” off of him mid-drift, loses controls, and crashes. I mean ok, I guess it does sortta play out as a badass scene as Sup’s demonstrates his utter indifference towards Batman’s coolest toy, but they coulda played it out better. The shot is quick and murky and it’s easy to be all like, “…huh?” the first time around.

But hell let’s be real: Batman v Superman was a whole hella huge collection of botched landings and missed opportunities. I’ll always appreciate Dawn of Justice for what it tried to be…for what it wanted to be…but I find it physically difficult to unequivocally call it a “good movie.”

Anyway, what happened there? I started flying off the handle about a Batmobile… Oh well! So for those of you ever seeking to add new variants to your 1:64 scale Batmobile collection, this set is in fact out there! To be honest, it’s one of the better Batman sets we’ve seen in a while because we get 3 bona fide Batmobiles, even if the most casual collectors are bound to already have that ’66 one.

I’ve got (I hope) a lot of stuff coming up. I definitely want to run over upcoming amiibo, and this 5 pack couldn’t have come at a better time as I’ve been in the process of getting all my 1:64 Batmobiles together and sorted and photoed. I know I don’t have everything in this realm, but I am excited to go ahead and show off what I do have. I’ve also gone through a lot of my “fake” character cars and plan to showcase them in the near future as well. And I’ve been trying to be diligent with my pics so that I can set up a sort of companion Flickr site with more comprehensive (and larger) pictures. So yep, shit shit and more shit that I plan to do! Stick wit’ me!

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