If only I could afford even one of these…
Heritage Auctions is hosting a massive Batman toy auction in July and August and man, lemme tell you, this is a Bat-smorgasbord of the first order.
Bidding is due to start about July 10 and will run into early August. To follow the proceedings — and to perhaps bid yourself — click here.
Personally, there are a ton of items I would buy if I were independently wealthy, though I’m sure some relative bargains can be found. The auction includes a lot of the groovy, yet typical, ‘60s and ‘70s offerings, like Megos, Captain Action figures and whatnot. But they’re a small portion of the more than 600 items available, including vintage Japanese toys, 1966 Batmania merch, comics, and tons more. (Many of the pieces come from well-known Bat-collector Ed Kelly.)
In picking 13 highlights from what is dubbed “The Ultimate Batman Collection Signature Auction,” I included a couple of classic fan faves. But mostly, I generally went for things I either wanted as a kid or would have wanted had I known about them. (Don’t cry for me, Argentina. I did quite well in the Bat-department as Young Dan, but you always want MORE! MORE! MORE! For example, I have two Pix-a-Go-Go sets, but boy would I love the whole series.)
Anyway, settle into your personal Batcave and dig these 13 MAGNIFICENT CLASSIC BATMAN TOYS GOING UP FOR AUCTION, along with the auctioneer’s descriptions. (And do check Heritage’s site for even more photos.)
In no particular order:
One-of-a-kind 1:6 scale Batman Batcave Diorama with Prototypes (Hot Toys, 2016). Caped Crusader fans will instantly recognize this classic setting from the 1966 Batman TV show… the Bat Cave! Meticulously recreated by a talented team of artists and craftsmen, this one-of-a-kind diorama was created to be displayed publicly at the Batman 100% Hot Toys Exhibition in September of 2016. This date coincided with the release of the first Suicide Squad movie in Tokyo and lasted for 2 weeks.
The diorama measures 9′ wide by 5′ deep by 4′ tall and includes an impressive number of custom-made pieces, not the least of which is the pre-production ’66 Batmobile that was first displayed at San Diego Comic-con in 2012. While initially planned for a full release by Hot Toys, this Batmobile has yet to be available, making it the only one produced to date by the company.
The stone cave walls are the base of this setting with an Atomic Generator set in the back wall, two large pipes flanking it on either side. While the Bat-boat sits in the rear grotto, a variety of machines often employed in the TV show fill the room. In the center, a crescent-shaped stand with four unique Bat-suits brings to life the cover of Detective Comics #165 – “The Strange Costumes of Batman!”
Everything pictured is included. The Batcave walls are constructed of foam and the floor is plywood-based. The computers and scanners can be wired underneath and hooked up to an electrical box that is included but was not connected or tested at the time of photography. The Bat-boat with trailer and stand are custom pieces used for this setting but were not created by Hot Toys artists. The four Bat-suits are one of 2 sets in existence, each with their own sign describing the suits origin. And as previously mentioned, the Batmobile is one-of-a-kind and served as a prototype shown at San Diego Comic-Con in 2012.
Standing in front of this impressive diorama gives you the feeling that you are in the presence of something truly special. It transports you back to a simpler time of youth where you became vested in the fate of your favorite heroes versus the over-the-top villains they faced every week. This is the piece that begs to be at the center of your Batman collection.
Batman Vintage Slot Machine (1960’s). This vintage Batman slot machine was found in England in the seaside town of Blackpool, many years ago. It was one of only two that have been found out of the four that were originally made by the manufacturer. The machine is composed of a wood cabinet with a glass front and a metal pull arm. Inside are the electronics and lights along with the coin mechanics. The bottom tray is not present and the machine has not been plugged inn untested so it is unknown if it currently works.
The glass front shows colorful images of Batman, Robin, and the Batmobile and one can only imagine sitting in front of it, dropping in coins, and hoping for a big win as the lights flashed and the alarm sounds rang out for a big win. Since the cabinet is painted wood, it does show signs of age but is solid. The glass is unbroken and the machine could use a cleaning. There is edge wear, scratches, and nicks across the machine as pictured. It is sure to be the focal point of one lucky Batman collector.
From the Ed Kelly Collection.
Batman Tin Robot with Original Japanese Box (Nomura, 1966). This Batman robot stands 12.5″ tall and comes with the original Japanese version box. The battery-operated robot walks and has an illuminated head when operating. It is constructed of lithographed tin with a vinyl head and cloth cape showing a Batman logo on back. The robot has the “yellow button” switch variation located on the center of the utility belt. One of two variations, this Batman has the smirking / grinning mouth appearance.
The box features an Adam West style Batman holding a revolver with Japanese writing and is a rare piece in any condition. This robot is in great condition with minor surface scratches and light wear. There is some fading to the cape and some yellowing to the skin of the vinyl head. The box has some medium wear and cover has some creasing. The robot has not been tested and no guarantee can be made of its working condition.
Batman Working Batmobile Dashboard with Original Box A (Remco, 1966). This rare Remco Batman Batmobile Dashboard comes complete with the key and original box and both are in absolutely beautiful condition. While untested, it is intended to have working features including the windshield wiper, horn, and directionals. It measures 13″ by 10″ by 5″ and is made of plastic with a cardboard backing. It was first designed by Remco as the “Firebird 99” car dashboard and then later used for the Green Hornet’s Black Beauty, spaceship control for Land of the Giants, and the Batmobile. The windshield has a Batman sticker and Batman logos adorn the battery and fuel gauges.
Additional yellow paper stickers form the background of the dashboard and a small cardboard panel sits below the steering wheel. The dashboard is in great condition with all stickers present. There are some light scratches on the windshield where the windshield wipers move across. A couple of tabs that hold on the cardboard backing are missing at the bottom but it is firmly attached and the battery compartment is clean. The box is clean with light shelf wear and is in excellent condition for its age with no rips or tears. The graphic images on the front are bright and clean with a few scuff marks.
Batman Justice League of America Playset (Ideal, 1966). The Batman Justice League Playset is one of the most desired pieces for people who collect vintage Batman toys. Produced by Ideal in 1966, it features a team of DC heroes including Batman and Robin. With a Batmobile, Batplane, and mountain Sanctuary, the set offered everything needed to battle the evil villains who were also included. While many pieces to this set have survived the years, most boxes did not, making them the key to the display for many collectors.
The box for this set is in beautiful, clean condition. The set itself is missing several parts including the computer, periscope & weathervane, plane launcher, wonder woman rope, and the sanctuary doors. The brown door bar is present but broken on left side. All figures are present and have minor paint wear.
Batman Japanese Batphone (Yonezawa, 1966). This orange phone was produced by Yonezawa in 1966 for the Japanese market. It is composed of plastic and has a battery compartment on the bottom as well as a metal winding key on one side. In the center is a yellow Batsymbol and a yellow button on front activates it. The yellow button is version No. 1 as is printed on the box. The No. 2 version did not have the yellow button. Also included is the original box which has artwork of Batman running and the phone as well as “Batman Phone” written in Japanese across the top. The phone is in good condition with some scratches and light melt marks on the side and receiver from contact with the cord during storage. The Box top is faded and has significant wear and creasing with some soiling. The cover also has some small tears on the sides.
Official Batman Utility Belt with Original Box (Ideal, 1966). One of the most sought-after Batman toys, the Official Batman Utility Belt was released by Ideal in 1966. The box is an Australian early version original which is not stamped with “Hollis, 23, NY” and did not come with a cellophane window. The box also contains the original backer card. Included in the set are the all original Utility Belt with Bat-storage pouch and dummy transmitter, Batarang, Batcuffs, Batrope and Grappling Hook, Batgun Launcher, metal Batsignal Flash, Batrocket Grenade, and Batman Message Sender (top only).
Missing from the set are the stem to the message sender and the top of the flashlight. The belt itself is in great shape and is uncracked. The Batrocket red stem is slightly bent and the Batarang has some scratches but is uncracked. The sticker on the belt has a wrinkle and the stem of the message sender is broken off. The staple is still present in the belt but has come separated from the backer card. The box cover has good color but edge wear. There are creases at the four corners and there are tears at three corners of the die cut window. Overall, the set is near complete and will display well in your collection.
Batman Tin Batcopter (Masudaya, 1966). This black tin Batcopter was produced by Masudaya in 1966 and measures 16.5″ long. It was based on the 1946 Bell 47 helicopter and uses the same construction as the Police Patrol copter Masudaya also released. The Batman version is much rarer and is not seen often. This battery-operated copter has a black frame with a lithographed engine in back and cockpit in front. Batman and Robin have plastic heads that sit on tin lithographed bodies inside the bubble-encased cockpit. Large yellow Batsymbol stickers are on both sides and a “Batman” sticker is on top behind the fuel tanks and one below it near the engine. The fuel tanks and propeller are removable.
The copter is solid with some light paint wear. The clear disc at the rear rotor is missing half and one off the black bands that hold on a fuel tank has come off. There is peeling of the back upper sticker and there is only a partial Batsymbol on one tank. The glass is clear but has minor scratches. The rotor connection is chipped and has been previously repaired but sits on the pin securely. There is no rust and the copter displays well. It may be a long time before another is seen for sale publicly.
Batman Children’s Boots in Original Box (Clifford, 1966). The only known boxed example in existence, these Batman Boots are unbranded but are believed to be from the UK company Clifford due to the unique Batman log they used on their products. The boots are marked as size 12 and brand new in the box. They are all black with vinyl soles marked Vina Flex, and have a yellow and black Batsymbol patch sewn to the outside of each boot. On the box cover, the artwork shows Batman leaping through the air while wearing the boots.
The image on the front label shows him in his traditional blue boots without the logo. The boots are unused in excellent condition with a couple of small marks. The box is solid but shows its age. The cover image is dulled and brown while the front label is a bit brighter. The cover right bottom corner is torn at the seam and there are marks and edge wear throughout. As this may be the only surviving boxed set in the world, this is likely the only opportunity to acquire this unique piece.
Japanese All Color National Comics Batman Group of 7 (Shonen Gahosha, 1960s) Condition: GD/VG. Published along side the popularity of the 1966 Batman television series, All Color National Comics Batman featured reprints and original stories for Japan. Group includes issues #1-7. Most have rusted staples with various amounts of rust migration. Not listed in Overstreet.
Batman Magnetic Gotham City in Original Box (Remco, 1966). The Batman Magnetic Gotham City is a large playset released by Remco in 1966. The box measures 18″ by 24″ by 3.5″ and features red and black lettering on a white box with a full color photographed image of the playset on the front. Inside, the playset is complete with instructions and unused with all parts bagged and the building parts unpunched. The box is in good condition with some edge wear and scuffing to the front image. There are two wrinkles in the center of front as the right bottom corner of the sticker surface is torn. Overall, the box displays well and the set is difficult to find with new, unused contents.
Batman Pix-a-Go-Go Lot (Embree, 1966). This lot contains 6 Pix-a-Go Go sets released by Embree Manufacturing Company in 1966. It contains four large “Double Feature Show” pieces as well as two smaller ones. The large shows feature Mr. Freeze, Catwoman, The Penguin, and The Joker. The smaller sets are eight episodes featuring the Joker and eight episodes featuring The Penguin. The larger sets would play a show by turning the dial on the bottom while the small cards move by sliding a strip through the side.
More Information: The Catwoman and Mr. Freeze boxes are loose and do not work when turned. The paper is inside the box, but likely needs to be reconnected to the end to turn properly. Both have tape at the ends and the boxes have some wear. The small Penguin set is also open and the papers are slotted on the back while the small Joker set is still sealed in the bag and unused. The Penguin and Joker large boxes are still sealed in the original cellophane. The Penguin box has a tear on the box ack on the left side and the cellophane is torn near the knob. The Joker’s cellophane is untorn but there is a sticker with numbers on the front.
Batman Switch ‘N Go Batmobile Set in Original Package [Sealed Contents] (Mattel, 1966). This Switch ‘n Go Batmobile Set was produced by Mattel in 1966 and includes the Batmobile, tracks, bridges, an air pump, and cardboard cutouts. This particular set is a rare find with all the contents still brand new and sealed in their original bags within the original cardboard insert tray.
More Information: The original box is two ply cardboard with paper stickers showing artwork of a child playing with the set on front and explanations of some of the features on the side. On the back is a layout and a list of parts that are included printed in blue and black. The Batmobile inside is also unused with the sticker sheet and instructions still sealed in the original plastic bag. The box is solid but shows some handling wear. There are a few spots of tape residue and a three inch tear at the non-opening end of the box. The front of box has a few spots of the paper bubbling, but has great color. The car is untested so no guarantee can be made of its working condition.
— The TOP 13 Most Valuable BATMAN Toys — RANKED. Click here.
— 1966 BATMAN AND ROBIN Costumes Sell at Auction for More Than a Half-Million Dollars. Click here.