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~~~ INTRODUCTION ~~~
In 1939 artist Bob Kane and writer Bill Finger collaborated on Issue 27 of Detective Comics and introduced a new character called "The Batman". Now, 71 years later, the character they created is still going strong ...
In the seventies Batman was given his own cult TV series and from the late eighties he was given his "silver screen" debut and quickly became an iconic movie character (who to this day is still constantly being re-invented). He also appears as an cartoon hero for younger viewers in "Batman: The Animated Series" and is still a DC Comics "regular" on the shelves of any comic shop you wander into.
Now, you might not be a Batman enthusiast yourself but you will surely have heard of the "Bat-Cave", the "Bat-Signal" and of course the "Batmobile" ...
~~~ THE BATMOBILE: A BRIEF INTRODUCTION ~~~
The Batmobile is possibly one of the most iconic vehicles that the superhero genre has ever created and over the years it's had numerous designs. One thing, however, that has always remained the same is the fact that like it's owner the Batmobile is sleek, powerful looking and packs an array of state of the art technology and weapons.
Toy manufacturers have, of course, constantly kept up with Batman and the Batmobile has been a bestselling toy since I was a kid. These days Batmobiles appear in many different toy lines, from the small die cast vehicles that school children can keep in their pockets to large scale remote control cars that appeal to the gadget freaks ... there's a Batmobile out there for everyone !!!
~~~ THE MATTEL BATMOBILE ~~~
The Mattel Batmobile was produced about two years ago as part of the "Batman: The Animated Series" toy line. This range was aimed at younger fans and is therefore more of a toy than a collectable. The "Batman: Animated Series" toy line consisted of a number of single figures, playsets and vehicles that enabled fans to re-enact their favourite scenes from Gotham City ... the Batmobile was possibly the most sought after toy in the range (and has since been recently re-packaged and re-launced).
In terms of the design the Mattel Batmobile cleverly blends the classic Batmobile appearance with a hint of futuristic technology. Yes it looks sleek and cool and sophisticated but it also comes packed with plenty of action packed technology too. At the rear of the vehicle the "fins" are made from a clear blue plastic which yet again blends the classic design with a futuristic theme and of course the Bat Symbol appears on the front of the vehicle (just as it appears on the front of Batman's costume !
What about the technology though and does this toy pack a Kapow-like punch that would make Batman's creators proud ? Well the answer to that question is ... it does indeed ! Firstly, by pressing the button at the rear of the Batmobile you a treated to a light and sound show that includes a vrooming engine, a zooming acceleration sound effect and a splendid wheel screeching noise. The hidden LEDs also illuminate the light blue tail fins ... which is actually quite an impressive effect. In addition to this there's also a second button which you can press that reveals two hidden missile launcher which flip out ffrom the side of the Batmobile ... and yet again the missile launchers are accompanied by a range of authentic light and sound effects.
Sadly, Mattel decided to go the way that so many toy manufacturers have gone and released the Batmobile with a "Action Figure Not Included" message ... but seeing as Batman: The Animated Series toys are everywhere these days it shouldn't be too hard to find a Batman action figure to sit inside the Batmobile should you manage to track one down.
As a toy car the Mattel Batmobile is extremely well designed and more importantly it's also very well made too. I bought my son this toy second hand from a carboot sale and it was in perfect working order ... several months later I can honestly say that it's had plenty of bumps and bangs and scrapes from my toddler and is still in one piece. As a Batman fan myself I can fully appreciate just how "cool" this toy is ... and if I was a child again it would certainly get played with on a daily basis.
~~~ PRICE & AVAILABILTY ~~~
As I mentioned earlier, I bought my son this Batmobile from a carboot sale during the summer for a bargain price of just £2 ... but have since seen the same toy in a number of stores such as TK Maxx, Quality Save, Home Bargains and Wilkinsons (usually selling for around £10). Toys R Us also stock an impressive range of Batman: The Animated Series toys too but I think the Batmobile is now out of stock and sitting in the warehouses of many of the bargain stores I have just mentioned. It may be worth checking out eBay too because at the time this toy was released it was a "best-seller" so there may be many parents out there who are now in the process of having a clearout (???).
~~~ FINAL THOUGHTS ~~~
The Mattel Batmobile is a very impressive toy ... beautifully designed, packed with impressive features and extremely made and tough. Highly recommended ...
New version of one of the most beloved, action packed vehicles of all time. This Iconic Batmobile includes lights and sound and twin missile launchers that eject from each side of the vehicle. Seats one figure.