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1966 Batman Utility Belt and Batarang Prop Replica
Mattel

Batman 1966 Utility Belt and Batarang prop replica by Mattel


We've seen a fair amount of 1966 Batman product so far this year - some good, some not so much. But Mattel's December release (through Matty Collector) of the Utility Belt is the first prop replica, and sets the tone for future product.

You can still pick one up at the site for $125. I have my fingers crossed that it will sell well enough to get some other items - a new version of the Shakespeare bust would be great, and I wouldn't turn down a red phone, or any one of the key items he carried in said belt.
Click on the photo below for a life size version
Batman 1966 Utility Belt and Batarang prop replica by Mattel
Batman 1966 Utility Belt and Batarang prop replica by Mattel
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Batman 1966 Utility Belt and Batarang prop replica by Mattel
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Batman 1966 Utility Belt and Batarang prop replica by Mattel
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Batman 1966 Utility Belt and Batarang prop replica by Mattel
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Batman 1966 Utility Belt and Batarang prop replica by Mattel
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Batman 1966 Utility Belt and Batarang prop replica by Mattel
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Batman 1966 Utility Belt and Batarang prop replica by Mattel
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Batman 1966 Utility Belt and Batarang prop replica by Mattel

Packaging - ****
Packing something odd like a belt is a tricky business. The box needs to be shippable and storable, but this replica is an odd shape and size.  I love what they came up with.

The very thin box holds the belt folded below the batarang in a plastic tray. This tray rests inside a box with a double door flap. On the interior of these flaps are graphics from the show - the drawing of Batman and Robin seen in the opening, and a photo of Adam West as the hero.

The photo is a nice touch, since it allows you to instantly see how close they've come with the replica. The box is very sturdy, and completely collector friendly. I love the retro look, and it works for MIBers and Openers alike.

Sculpting - ***1/2
The belt is supposedly 43", intended for adult collectors. I have a 30" waist, and I wear it on the second set of grommets, with plenty of space to go up. I think if you're bigger than 42", you may have a problem, but anything smaller than that and you'll be fine.

Speaking of the grommets, they are brass colored and very sturdy, while the hooks are made from metal as well. The bright, shiny brass color looks great, and matches the buckle of course.

There are several pouches and tubes on the belt, and they all open up at the bottom. The snaps on the pouches are plastic, but very good quality, and should hold up to basic use. You could store something very thin or very small in either the pouches or tubes, but the key word here is small.

The pouches and belt itself are made from a thick pleather-like material. It will hold up to normal wear in a costume or cosplay situation. The stitching is very solid as well, so nothing should rip or tear easily.

Overall, the build quality is very good, much better than I had expected.

Paint - ***1/2
It's not so much paint as color and finish, but you get the idea.

The yellow is bright and vibrant, but it is a little inconsistent, particularly on the tubes versus the belt itself. It's not terrible, and actually fairly authentic considering the different materials.

The brass look on the buckle is excellent, and I hope it won't tarnish. Anyone that's had a replica Iron man mask or a replica Fertility Idol know what I'm talking about. And once it does tarnish, cleaning it always leaves at least light scratches. I'm crossing my fingers that whatever they've used to create this coating on the metal buckle, it won't tarnish.

The grommets and hooks on the back of the belt are done in this same bass finish, and look terrific as well.

The bat symbol and square are etched into the finish, and look fantastic. It's very clean, very bright and very cool.

Articulation - ***
It might seem weird to have an articulation score here, but I'm counting the folding feature on the Batarang. It snaps open and stays there, and the hinge feels fairly sturdy.

Accessories - ***1/2
Since you're really buying the belt first and foremost, I'm counting the batarang as an accessory.

The paint job is a dark blue, with a hint of metallic fleck. It reflects the light nicely, but can look almost black when held at just the right angle.

There's a large hole cut in one wing, which is perfect for tying it onto your personal Batrope. It's made from a lightweight plastic, but it doesn't feel cheap to me.

It folds in half, and is very large - properly scaled to a normal human. You can go from the folded position to the open position with a flick of your wrist. 

On the website, Matty Collector claims it can fit inside one of the pouches, but that's not going to happen. Maybe they were planning a larger pouch at one point, but with these small squares, there's no way to make it fit.

Fun Factor - ***1/2
While this isn't really a toy, it is a great extra if you're looking to dress up like the 66 Batman. Once you have it, you might just decide you need to pick up the rest of the costume for your next Halloween party, or you're next Con.

Value - **1/2
I'm not saying $125 is cheap, but this is a very well made belt, and everything is higher quality than you often get. It's not a bargain by any means, but I think you're getting what you're paying for here.

Things to Watch Out For -
Being made fun of by friends and relatives for walking around the house wearing the belt on Christmas day. Learn from my experience.

Overall - ***1/2
This is a terrific replica for fans of the classic show. The quality is in line with the price you're paying, and it will work great as a cosplay item or just hanging on the wall.

The batarang is a nice inclusion too, and is the most necessary of his many toys. I'd like to see some more, but at least this pair gives you something to start a nostalgic conversation.

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

Where to Buy -
Matty Collector is the place to pick this up at $125, or you can search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
Other 1966 Batman reviews include the very cool 1/4 scale Batman from NECA, and the Batmobile and action figures from Mattel, including Batman and Robin two pack, the Joker,  and the first wave of figures that included Batman, Riddler, and the Penguin.

Discussion:
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Batman 1966 Utility Belt and Batarang prop replica by Mattel


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

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