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The Tumbler Batmobile - sixth scale
The Dark Knight by Hot Toys

Tumbler Batmobile Batman Dark Knight sixth scale vehicle by Hot Toys

I don't know about you, but I've been waiting for the Hot Toys 1/6th scale Tumbler for what seems like eons. They've done a marvelous job with the figures based on Batman Begins and the Dark Knight, and the earlier Batpod is outstanding. So it's no surprise that the anticipation for this vehicle has been at an all time high.

The Tumbler isn't my all time favorite Batmobile design, but it's close. Nothing will ever take the place of the 1966 version, one of the coolest custom cars ever built. My youngest kids and I watched the old hokey movie on tv recently, which was goofy even for the standard set by the television show. While they are only 8, both pointed out just how truly awful the movie was, and could not understand how something so stupid could appeal to me (they aren't yet at the age to understand the "It's so bad it's good" concept), but when the Batmobile first screamed out of the Batcave, they thought that was mighty damn sweet.

My next fav is the BTAS version. The film noir style and sleek 40's look is an eye catcher, but of course it's not really fair to compare it, since it's not an actual car you can touch.

Then there's the Tumbler, third on my list, and another real vehicle like the '66 version. Rather than going for sleek and sexy, they went for rough and ready, a vehicle designed to handle combat on the streets. When fans first saw photos, reactions were less than positive, due in large part to the rather tank-like military style. But once they saw it in action on the big screen, most fans were sold.
Tumbler Batmobile Batman Dark Knight sixth scale vehicle by Hot Toys
Tumbler Batmobile Batman Dark Knight sixth scale vehicle by Hot Toys
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Tumbler Batmobile Batman Dark Knight sixth scale vehicle by Hot Toys
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Tumbler Batmobile Batman Dark Knight sixth scale vehicle by Hot Toys
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Tumbler Batmobile Batman Dark Knight sixth scale vehicle by Hot Toys
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Tumbler Batmobile Batman Dark Knight sixth scale vehicle by Hot Toys
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Tumbler Batmobile Batman Dark Knight sixth scale vehicle by Hot Toys
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Tumbler Batmobile Batman Dark Knight sixth scale vehicle by Hot Toys
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Tumbler Batmobile Batman Dark Knight sixth scale vehicle by Hot Toys
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Tumbler Batmobile Batman Dark Knight sixth scale vehicle by Hot Toys
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Tumbler Batmobile Batman Dark Knight sixth scale vehicle by Hot Toys
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Tumbler Batmobile Batman Dark Knight sixth scale vehicle by Hot Toys
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Tumbler Batmobile Batman Dark Knight sixth scale vehicle by Hot Toys
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Tumbler Batmobile Batman Dark Knight sixth scale vehicle by Hot Toys
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Now Hot Toys is doing what they do best - producing something that others think you can't. Had the subject of producing a sixth scale Batmobile come up at any other company, it would have been immediately crushed by all the obvious reasons what it isn't possible - it's too expensive, it's too complex, it's too big, no one will buy it. Lucky for Batman fans, Hot Toys isn't any other company, and they set out to produce a *relatively* affordable, highly detailed, properly scaled Tumbler. Did they pull it off? Let's see!

Packaging - ***1/2
This thing is HUGE. In fact, unless you see it in person, there's simply no way to convey how larger this vehicle is.

The box is the usual Hot Toys graphics and text, and there's a ton of unwrapping to do. All the windows are protected from scratches with plastic covers, and there's a fair share of bubble wrap to protect the most delicate areas.

There's also a couple red posts inserted in the back wheels to keep them from turning during transit. They are pretty easy to remove once you know what you're looking for.

There's also an instruction sheet, which could be a little better at communicating what you need to do, but it's better than nothing.

Sculpt - ****
Wow, this thing is HUGE. If you're worried that it's not going to be in scale, don't. The vehicle is about 18" across at the back tires, and almost 30" long from tip to tail. You're going to need a HELL of a big shelf to hold this guy.

The tires are made from a soft rubber, much like the Batpod. The look fantastic, and add a lot of weight to the vehicle.

Most of the rest of the car is plastic, although there are some metal parts. For example, the two large suspension springs in back are both metal, and springy to boot.

Like most Hot Toys figures that have moving mechanical parts, the engineering is extremely impressive. The parts fit together tightly, but the things that are supposed to move - like the spoilers or the top - do so cleanly.

That doesn't mean you can be in a hurry though, or put too much pressure on anything. This is still a very fragile collectible, and should be handled as such. Don't forget how much you paid for it!

You'll have to assemble the back six pieces of the spoiler. I had to use super glue twice in this process. Once was because one of the small pistons on the underside (on part L1, for those with the instructions) had came loose inside the package. That was easy enough to fix. The second time was because I put too much pressure on the small top of R2, breaking the post at the top. Again, a little super glue fixed it right up. The final problem I had was on the small piston on L2, which has a much shorter piston than the L1. This allows for a far shorter range of movement, and I popped out the small brass colored top trying to get it in place. I couldn't super glue this spot, since doing so would have also glued the piston in place and taken away the ability to pose the L2 spoiler. I just repositioned it in the hole when I got the spoiler where I wanted it.

When attaching the first and second spoilers, I suggest attaching the arms on the outside of the vehicle first, then popping in the ones on the inside. Trying to do it the other way around is how I managed to snap the one post, and it probably wouldn't have had as much stress on it if I'd done it the other way.

Batman fits inside in the driver's seat with a little bit of effort. You'll want to reposition the belt high on his waist or simply unsnap it in back to allow it more room. Move the driver's console all the way forward. Put the figure in as much of a sitting position as you can (of course, the suit wants to push the legs down), and get his butt into the seat first. Then push the left and right leg down around the console, get them positioned just right, and push it forward. I had no trouble getting him to sit up straight, and he can even reach the various controls.

Paint - ****
When you're working with a predominately black vehicle, there's not a ton of paint. But they did add small features in many places, and everything is tremendously clean and neat.

They printed graphics are amazingly detailed and cleanly applied. In particular, note the small dials on the rear of the car near the suspension and the amazing status screen showing the Batmobile itself on the dashboard.

The overall black of the car is fairly consistent in finish and color. All the windows are a tinted plastic, and the tires have the same slight silvery wash that we saw earlier on the Batpod, and that adds realist wear to the soft rubber.

A lot of the color is on the various pistons, springs and small mechanicals. Everything is extremely clean, as you'd expect in this price range.

I had one small silver mark on the right front fender, and I'm not sure if it's a scratch, or if it's an errant paint mark. I'm going to try *very carefully* to remove it at some point, but for now I'm fine with it.

Articulation - ***
While it's not articulated quite like an action figure, the car does have a number of moving parts.

The front tires turn of course, as do the back tires. The front tires also steer together, although you have to move them by hand, not with the steering column.

Obviously, the top opens up as well. This is a fairly complicated process, and the instructions give you the exact method. When closing the top again, you need to get it exactly right to avoid scratching things or making it look incorrect. It's possible to have the front windshield in the wrong spot without realizing it. Refer to the box and instructions for photos of how it should rest on the front. Also, when you have it just right, you should be able to snap the braces on the right and left sides of the top into place.

The three sets of spoilers on back also move, although the two sets on top of the vehicle only move a short distance. After you've assembled these, you still want to handle with care, posing them carefully.

On the inside, the driver's console moves forward and backward to allow you to fit the Batman figure in properly. Also, on the center console, there is a movable screen as well as a moving lever.

While most of this articulation is pretty much expected, I have to say that the engineering on the spoilers is pretty sweet. I hadn't expected to have that much control over their position.

Accessories - Bupkis
This isn't going against my overall score, since I'm not sure what 'accessory' you could add to this Batmobile to improve it, but I thought it was worth an FYI.

Light Up Feature - **
Here was my only disappointment in the vehicle. Like many of Hot Toys sixth scale collectibles, the Batmobile includes a light up feature. There are 10 LED lights facing forward, and they look terrific when the switch is flipped. They require three AAA batteries to be inserted in a well hidden compartment on the driver's side of the car, and the batteries are not included. I was surprised considering the price tag.

But that's not my big issue. Of the 10 lights, 9 look terrific...and one doesn't light at all. I don't see any easy way to work on it either, and considering that I bought this from an international dealer, my choices are very limited. After spending $400 on this, I'm extremely unhappy that there's such a blatant issue. For this kind of price tag, every one of them should be carefully checked out before it gets boxed up, and there needs to be a better solution than "send it back at your cost and we'll send you another one". I'm going to call Hot Toys about it tomorrow, and I'm sure they'll do everything they can to resolve it, but it shouldn't have been an issue to begin with.

UPDATE: After playing around with hit a bit, I figured out how to easily pop the cover off the dual lights. Hot Toys makes this pretty easily, actually, and the two lights unplug from the rest of the wiring with a connector. HT is sending along a replacement, so it should be an easy fix. Annoying yes, but not a major problem.

Value - **1/2
Yep, this car costs you a ton. But it's actually worth it. Considering the small production run that this guy is going to get, and the size and complexity of the design, I have no problem with paying four bills. My only caveat is that at that price I expect EVERYTHING to work out of the box.

Things To Watch Out For
As I said earlier, be very careful assembling the very breakable spoilers, and pay particular attention to the instructions on how to open and close the top.

Don't pick up the vehicle by holding the silver tail pipe extension, either. This pops off pretty easily, and you don't want to drop this guy.

Overall - ***1/2
I really, really, really want this vehicle to get a perfect four stars. I love it, even at the extreme price point. In fact, I have a hard time believing any vehicle is going to be able to take the top spot for 2009 away from this Batmobile, at least for me.

But no matter how good the rest of the vehicle is, it's not acceptable for one of the lights to not be working. This car cost far too much to cause me this much trouble, and I'm going to have to find some way to get it fixed.

If you get one with perfect lights, you should be extremely happy overall. As I said in the intro, most companies would simply assume that making anything this complex and huge would be impossible. Batman fans should be thankful that Hot Toys doesn't think that way.

Score Recap:
Packaging - ***1/2
Sculpting - ****
Paint -  ****
Articulation - ***
Accessories - Bupkis
Light Up Feature - **
Value - **1/2
Overall - ***1/2

Where to Buy -
You aren't going to find this cheap anywhere, but there's a few options:

- Showpiece Collectibles has it at $400.

- you can try the wait list. or you can look for a deal on ebay.

Related Links -
I've covered all the other Hot Toys Batman items as well:

- the other vehicle they produced is the Batpod.

- they've done a number of sixth scale figures, including Two Face/Harvey Dent, the Bank Robber Joker, original Joker, original Batman and new suit Batman.

- I also checked out their busts of both Batman and Joker.

- and they might not be what you think of when you think "Batman" and "Hot Toys", but don't neglect to check out the Cosbabies!

KEEP SCROLLING DOWN FOR LOTS MORE PHOTOS!
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Tumbler Batmobile Batman Dark Knight sixth scale vehicle by Hot Toys


This product was purchased for the review by the reviewer. Photos and text by Michael Crawford.

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