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1966 Batman Television Show - Batmobile
Mattel

1966 Batmobile Batman television show by Mattel


It seems as though everybody and their second cousin has picked up the license to produce  something based on the 1966 Batman television show. After years of licensing Hell, everybody found their way to the light and we now have more collectibles coming than you can shake a Bat Thermos at.

One company has beat them all to the punch though, and has been getting their product out quickly. Mattel already has several action figures in the six inch scale, and now they've produced a classic Batmobile designed to work with those figures.

This Batmobile was actually available at SDCC this summer through Entertainment Earth, but it's supposed to be a Toys R Us exclusive. That's where I picked mine up, for the whopping price tag of $60.

Packaging - ***
The box has a good window front that shows off the vehicle nicely, perfect for the MIBer that wants to display it this way. The text and graphics have a nice retro feel, although I'd like actual character photos on the back from the show, rather than cartoon artwork.

This box isn't collector friendly, not even close. You'll have to tear the end of the box open to retrieve the toy, so opening it up is a commitment. Then again, it's so much cooler with Batman and Robin in the seats - who wouldn't want to display it that way?
Click on the photo below for a life size version
1966 Batmobile Batman television show by Mattel
1966 Batmobile Batman television show by Mattel
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1966 Batmobile Batman television show by Mattel
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1966 Batmobile Batman television show by Mattel
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1966 Batmobile Batman television show by Mattel
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1966 Batmobile Batman television show by Mattel
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1966 Batmobile Batman television show by Mattel

Sculpting - **1/2
This is technically the first Batmobile done for full 6" figures, although the size won't be that far off from others you've had in the past from Super Powers, Batman Forever, or even the original Burton Batman movies. While all those figures were more of a 5" scale, this Batmobile will feel very similar.

Which is part of the problem. While all the expected parts are here, including the interior Batphone, and the little spinner on the hood (which doesn't spin), the overall feel is very much like those aforementioned Batmobiles, and every other plastic Batmobile we've seen before. In fact, this one is much more like the old Mego Batmobile in feel that the nicer, more modern versions, which makes this one feel cheaper and less substantial.

Some of the sculpting is rather soft as well, like the door edges and the interior details. Those interior extras are also made from very, very soft plastic, so soft that the shifter in mine was already wilting to the side even though it's only about 60 degrees around here.

The overall cheap feel was a real surprise, and hurt the score here quite a bit.

Paint - **
The exterior of the car has a decent gloss black finish, but mine has several bad and very large spots. They are in a very obvious spot (passenger side door) and are large enough to detract from the look of the car even at a distance.

Add in some sloppy lines with the red striping and poor edges on the silver sections and you end up with a less than stellar score in another category.

Articulation - **1/2
This is an average score, because the car has the articulation you expect - the wheels all turn freely, and you can move the steering wheel. It's nothing exceptional (and the steering wheel does not control the wheels), but it at least meets the basic need.

Accessories - Bupkis
This is an informational only category this time around. I don't expect any accessories with a vehicle, but I thought it was worth mentioning that none are included.

Fun Factor - ***1/2
While there's a few warts on this car, it's still a terrific toy. The figures fit inside easily - if you ignore the seat belts - and kids will be able to manage it by themselves. Mattel is capable of making great toys, but too often these days they're doing it for the collector market, instead of the kid market.

Value - * 1/2
Sixty dollars? Wow. That's a lot of money for a plastic car, even one in 1/12th scale. It's even more when you consider the plastic construction and soft rubber interior pieces. This is really a toy, priced like a collectible. At $30, I'd be fine, but double that price is just ridiculous.

The one big unknown is the license cost. It's possible that with all the players involved, all looking for a piece of the action, that this license is way overpriced, causing the toys to be overpriced as well. Whether the license is strong enough - based on the nostalgia of a bunch of old collectors - to support the high prices is an unanswered question.

Things to Watch Out For -
The interior items are VERY soft. You can easily damage the sticks or the phone if you're not careful.

You can get the seat belts to work too, but it will take a little effort. I found it was actually easier to work with the Batman and Robin from the two pack with the wire capes, than the regular release Batman. The wire will allow you to position the cape before putting the figure in the seat, and it will stay in position.

Overall - **1/2
While the child inside is thrilled to have these figures and now this Batmobile based on the old tv show, the adult is mighty disappointed in the quality, especially at this price point. Remember, there's no special features here - no lights, no sounds, nothing. This is a hollow plastic car, and the majority of the cost is driven by the license, not the quality.

For the collector fan who has been starved for anything from this show, the cost will probably end up a non-issue. The nostalgia for the line will be enough to overlook the price tag, although I am worried that this price tolerance will thin if they try to expand the line into the second string characters.

Score Recap:
Packaging - ***
Sculpting - **1/2
Paint - **
Articulation - **1/2
Accessories - Bupkis
Fun Factor - ***1/2
Value - *1/2
Overall - **1/2

Where to Buy -
I picked mine up at Toys R Us for $60, but you can always search ebay for a bargain.

Related Links -
I've covered some of the other 1966 Batman Mattel releases as well, including the first wave of Batman, Penguin and Riddler, and the two pack of Batman and Robin.

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1966 Batmobile Batman television show by Mattel


This product was provided for the review by the manufacturer. Photos and text by Michael Crawford.

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