Tuesday, February 05, 2008

TRADING CARD CLOSE-UP # 11: Batman: The Movie (1966)

One of the best and nicest things about having this blog (and a public e-mail) is getting in touch with other toy collectors from across the country and the globe. Recently, a great fellow named Jeff Locklear contacted me and sent me a whole gaggle of scans from his toy and trading card collection. So first off, I want to thank Jeff for sharing these images with all of us, and secondly, I now want to present some trading cards from the first Batman movie of the modern age. No, it wasn't directed by Tim Burton...

In 1966, at the height of "Batmania," Batman: The Movie played in theaters nationwide and pitted Adam West's Batman against The Joker (Cesar Romero), The Riddler (Frank Gorshin), Catwoman (Lee Meriwether) and The Penguin (Burgess Meredith).

As I recall, the plot had something to do with these four criminal masterminds capturing the Security Council of the United Nations and then dehydrating them (!) with some sort of futuristic ray gun. The finale, which as a kid growing up in the 1970s I absolutely loved, was a sustained fistfight (ZAMM! POW! ZOINK!) with Batman and Robin (Burt Ward) on one side, and the costumed freaks and their minions on the other. The battle was set on the deck of a submarine, as all fistfights should be, I think.

I know comic-book fans today don't like the 1960s series or movie because it was campy and silly, but I'll be honest: this is the Batman that I grew up with. When I was young, I didn't detect how silly it all was; it was just....fun and adventurous. The movie was also neat if for no other reason than it featured a whole slew of new Bat technology including a bat-copter, a bat-cycle and a bat-boat. No CGI either. The vehicles - whether on sky, sea or land, were all real and had to be constructed. As I've noted here before, I really groove on the retro-1960s futurism, and Batman: The Movie offers plenty of examples, from the Bat Cave (replete with Atomic Pile) to the Batmobile itself.

I'm tempted to make some kind of "Holy Trading Cards, Batman" joke but I think I'll refrain. Anyway, enjoy the pics. And just think, for the sum of just 5 cents, a pack of these could be all yours back in the day...


  1. Anonymous9:07 AM

    I used to have Batman and Robin trading cards when I was a kid. I used to be obsessed with the show. I used to watch Ultraman too! They came on back to back. I wish I still had those cards.

  2. When I was a kid, I had the Mego Batman and Robin, Batmobile, Joker and Batcave, so I totally understand your obsession. What I wouldn't do to still have those toys!!!

  3. Anonymous10:56 AM

    This has nothing to do with "Batman", but holy shit, Mr. Muir, Barry Morse, Dr. Victor Bergman, is not longer with us. Man, this sucks.

  4. Yep, Batman was really great-great at destroying the real Batman, that is.

    As for the supposed 'realness' of the 1966 Batman movie vs. the CGI of Batman Begins, I'll take the CGI anyday-at least it's got a great script that treats Batman with respect instead of treating him like a clown.

    And John...the Tumbler is a real car, and Christian Bale did real stunts, and the subway was a real scale model that crashed into a real building-at least, that's what I've seen.


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