My Batman Collection
1989 - 1997
I have always been a fan of the Batman character, though mostly because of the 60s TV show than the comics. Back in the mid 1980s a friend of mine, Amanda Chalkley, collected Batman merchandise when tragically her collection was destroyed in a fire whilst stored in her friend's backyard shed. As you can imagine she lost a lot of unique and original 1960s items in that incident.
Then in 1989 a new film called Batman was released and I was determined not to become a collector after seeing what happened to Amandas collection. But the character of Batman in the film was too appealing for me to resist: black, mysterious and with a flowing cape. With an image as strong as this I couldnt help but at least buy the 1989 Batman calendar and I used it. I then bought the Batman kids board game and I used that too.
From then on I slowly (and somewhat reluctantly) started buying a bit more Batman merchandise to be kept in mint condition and thus my collection was born.
This is a photo of my collection as it first looked in 1989 after I had been collecting for just a few weeks.
This is how it turned out 4 years later
And this is how it looks today, living in one dedicated room all by itself
did I collect?
My focus was always on the character of Batman and never the villains or Robin/Batgirl, mainly because these other characters simply didn't interest me. For example when it came to buying figurines I would only purchase the Batman ones. The only time I ever bought other characters is when a particular set was available that looked really good eg: the four sculptured Batman Forever glasses and the Batman Returns neck pen set both of which came from McDonalds. In these instances I own the other characters but they aren't on display.
As fate would have it I was the only Batman collector amongst all my collecting friends, so when it came to Christmas or birthdays I would do really well out of it (girlfriends especially were very accommodating in this regard). In fact I would say that well over 10% of my collection has come from gifts or donations.
did I stop collecting?
Quite simply, my collecting finished after the release of Batman and Robin in 1997 because I deplored the film immensely. Up until that point, despite being disappointed with Batman Forever, I kept collecting merchandise anyway as I was also focusing on Batman: The Animated Series at the same time.
Yet when Batman and Robin was released I found it difficult to spend money on merchandise as I hated the film so much. In fact it was a tumultuous moment when I picked up a small B&R collectable from the store shelf, looked at it, then put it back and walked away. This was something I had not done in all my collecting years and after that moment I never collected Batman merchandise again.
Fortunately my collecting stopped before eBay came into being which proved to be very beneficial as there is a LOT of great stuff there - perhaps too much. If I was a collector shopping on eBay today, I'd probably be living on the street surrounded by tonnes of merchandise looking for something to eat. Still having said that, I did pick up a couple of items from eBay which I loved getting, even though I had officially stopped collecting 10 years before. However, very soon after that I decided to avoid the Batman section of eBay to prevent any further temptation (which was starting to get the better of me) and as of today I still don't go there for fear of heading down the Dark Path.
One major benefit of stopping my collection is how I've long past the days where I needed to grab each action figure as it was released along with yet ANOTHER Batcycle or Batmobile. In fact now it's really easy for me to walk past anything Batman related, which is rather fortuitious because of all the pop culture expos occurring in my town today which are chock full of Batman goodies. About the only time I was REALLY tempted to buy Batman things again was when the 2006/2007 Batman TV, DVD player and tape deck/radio came out, now they were pretty groovy.
Sometimes collecting was fun and other times it was just downright annoying, especially when it came to the never ending action figures and the even more frustrating trading cards.
For example when Batman came out in 1989 there were only two sets of trading cards released (series 1 and 2), by the time Batman Forever came out a few years later there were like 5 or 6 different sets not including rarities, chaser cards and all the other varieties. Trading cards ended up being a painful expense which wasn't helped by the fact they could only be stored in special sleeves within folders no one would ever look at - and of course their value plummeted when a particular film had passed on. Needless to say it was a joyous relief when I didn't have to buy another set of cards ever again.
Batman collecting is too expensive a hobby to continue full time and although a part of me misses the thrill of grabbing everything I could get my hands on, I am rather content with the extra dollars I've been able to save (and storage space in my house) as a result of stopping.
Interestingly one unexpected side effect of not collecting any longer is how my friends reacted. Even though I haven't been a serious collector since the mid 1990s, my friends find they can't help themselves and will still give me the odd Batman item from time to time - in fact my last collectable gift was in October 2016! Yep a full 19 years after I'd stopped collecting!
As a "late start" Batman collector based in Australia with limited resources, I found it very difficult to find items pre the 89 film, mainly due to the increasingly rare availability as well as their high cost (alas a mint-in-box Corgi die-cast Batmobile from the 1960s still eludes me). So in the end I had no choice but to concentrate solely on the new films rather than the Batman franchise as a whole - which ultimately made sense considering Batman was the film which kick started my collection off.
With that in mind, I acknowledge and accept my collection isn't worth as much as one would expect - in essence it may have the quantity but certainly not the quality - as unfortunately I barely have anything from the 60s era, which is where the best and most impressive Batman collectables come from.
My methodology was based on the view that I would happily spend money on a number of cheap and nasty items rather than the same amount on one really expensive item. In fact I can still recall how shattered I was when Warner Bros opened up their first Movie Studio Store in my city and literally every Batman collectable they had on the shelves was out of my price range.
Also one area I did not look at were the Batman comics or graphic novels. Due the huge amount in production I found they were an entity unto themselves so I had to choose between just collecting them or concentrating on other merchandise. Because I enjoy the look and feel of three dimensional objects, I chose to bypass collecting the comics unless I could get them really cheap.
One of my collecting laws was never to take anything out of its packaging, ever! Subsequently I ended up buying some great items like the Batmobile telephone which came in a sealed box with no plastic window, as a result I have never seen what these items look like in real life. The same applied to the car racing sets and other cool games which remain forever sealed despite my friends constantly hassling me to open them up and have a play with them. At one point I was really tempted to buy the children's Batman bicycle, however, brand new bikes are shipped in a box so I would've been forced to leave it like that especially if it had a Batman logo on it.
size of the collection
Quite often people look at the collection and remark at how large it is - some have even stated it's the largest collection in Australia which I categorically refute. Despite the initial impression the collection gives off, in the grand scheme of things Id be lucky to have 0.02% of the entire Batman range of collectables ever produced from 1939 to the present day (and this ratio is getting smaller by the year).
What blows me away is I have a magazine article written many years ago about Joe Desris, who at one time would easily have had the biggest Batman collection in the world. Aside from his display cabinets looking truly fantastic, I looked at the pictures and realised I barely had any of the stuff he had.
Alongside this were the two large 1960s based collections shown in the Special Features section of the 2014 1960s Batman DVD release, these are truly fantastic and way beyond anything I have. Still to be fair to myself, both of these great collections started when the collectors were little kids as opposed to myself who started when I was 22. Furthermore, these guys are still collecting merchandise today unlike myself who stopped over 20 years ago.
Yet despite my collection being no where near as impressive or as valuable as those mentioned above, this didn't stop Michael Wayne, an Australian film maker, from contacting me in 2014 to make a short film about the collection. Ironically Michael was attracted to it because it started with the release of Batman '89.
Speaking of Michael and his film documentary, as a gift for participating in his production he gave me a brand new mint-in-box Batman board game from 1989 to replace the one I opened (much to my stupidity) 27 years before. It was a truly special gift as I could FINALLY rectify the one major blemish my collection always suffered from, that being a mint version of each board game for all four Batman films made at the time. Now I admit some people reading this will struggle to understand the significance of this, but as far as I'm concerned Michael's gift was extremely gracious and I will be forever thankful to him for it.
much did the collection cost me?
This is a good question. I remember buying my very first Batman Forever items which were four jigsaw puzzles for $35 and to top it off I didn't even like them! There were LOTS of impulse spending sprees like this. Unfortunately I had a habit of just buying anything I could find without really thinking whether the item was worth getting or not. Consequently many items I own I should never have bought in the first place which equated to a lot of wasted money.
As for the total cost who knows (perhaps I don't want to know), but it did force me to keep driving my old 1973 Datsun throughout the 90s because I couldn't afford a new car.
Speaking of cars, of all the items in my collection this is probably the most valuable. As it turned out I once met a collector who was selling the Blue and Red versions, but he wanted $500 each for them ... and this was back in the mid 1990s!
I ever sell up?
Yes I would. I always said if I had to move house again the collection would not be coming with me. In previous house shifts, it required many boxes to carefully store everything away and there's no way I could be bothered going through all that again.
As for a price? Well I'm willing to sell it all now if the right offer is made (and I do have a price in mind) but the entire collection would be sold in one giant lot because if I start splitting it up I'll be stuck with heaps of leftover items that wouldn't have a home. I do plan to put together a comprehensive visual catalogue for potential buyers but as that is a REALLY big job, it might take me a while.
|Amusing anecdotes and other funny stories|
|So where is the collection now???|
moving house on a couple of occasions throughout the
1990s and at one point having the whole collection stored
in a friend's garage - which unfortunately resulted in
some items experiencing water damage - the collection
lived a nomadic existance for a number of years as it
moved from place to place.
Finally in late 2003 the collection found a home in a dedicated room in my new house and has been permanent display there ever since.
It's important to note that when I set this room up I'd actually stopped collecting six years prior. So unlike most collections you see today which are still ongoing and are therefore displayed in impressive glass cabinets with great lighting, I just wanted to get everything out of storage boxes. On top of that I actually got the bookcases for free.
Finally, what you see in the pictures below isn't everything. I have a number of items in storage which couldn't be put on display due to space issues.
My collection in the media!
|Despite my collection
not changing in size or scope for over 20 years, I still
receive on average a couple of emails a month from people
all over the world trying to sell Batman items to me or
asking if I can provide a price valuation for a Batman
item they own - Note: I try to avoid providing any
type of valuation as I am by NO means an authority on
Batman merchandise and I certainly don't want to give
people incorrect information.
What this tells me is that even though there are many Batman collections in the world, I still somehow get found by people - the most recent being a collectors magazine in Italy! As a consequence I've been interviewed for a couple of different sites/publications regarding the collection.
I don't know if this link still works or not, but just click on the image to take you to the article and with luck it'll still be there
*** Note this article claims I'm Australia's biggest Batman collector which I definitely am NOT! ***
This interview was particuarly interesting as the author was really keen to not only learn about my collection, but also my history in Science Fiction fandom, my involvement in the local fan club scene and even my time as a Star Wars newsletter editor, Star Wars podcaster and Producer of the online webseries Sci-Fi Zone
This is an Itallian collectors site and has been translated into English by Google hence the unusual title.
You'll find the article in the Articoli/Archivo menu
This interview was fun do to as there were definitely some translation related issues with regards to the questions (in some cases I was referred to as a 'her'), however, the people concerned were really keen on Batman which was good to see. Also some of my answers were truncated down to save space so some of my 'quotes' appear in a way I wouldn't actually say them. In any event I'm just glad they showed an interest in the collection and myself.
The following photos were taken in 2011. Some sections weren't covered simply because they contain some pretty ordinary things
In no particular order...
and joy - the '89 Batman Colas (can and bottle),
still sealed, including a new can of Cola to the right of
the bottle. I remember seeing the bottle at a collectors
fair where it was selling for $10 and I couldn't get my
money out quick enough. To me it was a MUST HAVE item
though when you think about it who pays $10 for a bottle
of Coke! Unfortunately it never occurred to me to buy a
slab of the Cola cans from '89, wow imagine if they had a
Batman logo on the packet...
I was fortunate enough to get the special Hong Kong Commemorative figure in the back - don't ask me why they ever made this but it looks good just the same - along with the 100th issue Batman figure which was a big deal at the time. I can't even begin to imagine how many figures they have now!
In the middle at the bottom is a Batmobile in a box that was damaged whilst my collection was being moved around in storage. Not happy Jan, especially as I've never seen this item again.
Next to the Cola can was something weird, a tightly sealed Batman towelette that expands to full size when placed in water. Who thinks of these things?
What's the deal with the little '89 figure on the top left hand corner above the videos?
Speaking of videos, the ones on the left are of the 1949 Batman and Robin serial and next to them is the DVD of the same thing. I don't have the 1943 serial.
At the back is a Batman Returns cereal packet, this was bought for me as a gift from the US but alas it's empty. Imagine the value if it was unopened.
see my Scalextric Batmobile behind the white cup which I
was mega rapt to find.
On the right is the McDonalds release sculptured drinking glass which was made in France at a time when the French were out of favour due to their nuclear testing - a pity because the glass sculpture itself is pretty impressive.
In the front are the only '60s Corgi Batmobiles I own - a pretty tragic menagerie huh? Not a mint-in-box car to be seen anywhere - pardon me while I shed a tear of inadequacy. I did see one for sale at a US collectors fair in 1993 and even THEN it was selling for around $400, which in 1993 Australian dollars equated to $800 bucks!!!
Note the Batman toothpaste at the top right.
Believe it or not, the tall item in the middle is talcom powder, which goes to show they'll market anything for Batman.
Just above the McDonalds glass is a four pack of candy sticks. In the old days these were called 'Fags' (a somewhat non politically correct term now) and were meant to look like cigarettes. Yep, even as kids we were encouraged to look cool by smoking.
The white mug to the left is one of the few "vintage" (ie: pre 1989) items I own. Interestingly this appeared in one of the special collection videos from the 2014 Batman 66 DVDs.
the left is a VHS Batman Legacy pack, I
eventually ended up owning around 7 copies of the '89
film, most of which you'll see in the other pics.
There's a lot of really nice trinkets here like rings, buttons and so on which makes for a nice little collection. The pewter figure on the left is pretty heavy for its small size.
That pink tube on the right is a whole paper roll full of Batman logos, man that's a lotta logos!
At the top in the middle is a real cheap ass looking Batmobile. Just what I need ... not.
The cufflinks on the right were nearly used once. I was Best Man at a friend's wedding and we thought our shirts would need them, but nup we had buttons instead so these bad boys went right back on the shelf untouched!
At the back is the Animated Series Batmobile. I really wasn't a fan of buying these items as they were quite big and naturally I never got to see what they looked like in real life. Still as a collector what do you do???
middle is something I thought was a bit left field,
Batman sunscreen - ahhh isn't the caped crusader only
supposed to come out at night?
Gotta love the gumball machine on the right.
There are some cool things here, like the Batman floppy disks in the middle which I was rapt to get, even though you couldn't use them now even if you wanted to.
On top of the floppy disks is an example of meaningless merchandise - the Batman figure on the purple base - sometimes you wonder why anyone buys this stuff (I was an obsessive collector so that's my excuse).
Over to the left is the Batman pen from McDonalds. I have the other characters (Catwoman, Penquin) but they aren't on display. I have the Batmobile which is in another pic somewhere - don't ask me why I haven't put them together. I also own the McDonalds poster advertising these for sale too.
The metal figures at the middle-back were something I bought really early on in my collecting days. Over 25+ years later I still have no idea what they look like.
Next to the gumball machine is a toothbrush, you'd think I'd display this with the toothpaste huh?
display is a bit of a mish mash of things. Shown at the
bottom right (though hard to see) are various packs of
playing cards (the Ace, Diamond, Heart, Club variety)
which I kinda like.
The Batman Returns jigsaw puzzles have boxes that can't be resealed once open. In my time I ended up buying a number of jigsaw puzzles which really were a waste as most of them were quite ugly, for example over to the right is the Batman Forever jigsaw puzzle which makes up a terrible picture. I really didn't like the Forever stuff as the colour was always a yucky green/yellow. Yech.
The Visa Bat Cash thing was for $20. Naturally the card hasn't been used and I think I paid more than $20 for it, so yep I got ripped off.
'89 videos over to the right, with plenty more to come.
Bottom left (though you're looking a the white base) is one of my personal favourite items, Batman bandaids!
The white mold things in the centre, I have no idea what they are for.
The Japanese box on the left is a costume of sorts - going by the pictures on the back. Must be damn small!
More jigsaw puzzles. At least the boxes aren't square and the old circular one in the middle allows you to assemble the puzzle then put it back into the container again ... hmm, one day I should check to see if all the pieces are actually in there.
The blue Batman head on the top right still has the candy in it.
left is a Batman lollypop with the lolly still present,
though it kinda lost its shape a bit as well as leaking
down onto the figure - this is becaue the collection room
gets a bit warm during Summer. At least it's still sealed
which is the main thing, but the battery is flat so it
doesn't spin around anymore.
I love the three packs of badges in the back, they made for a really nice set and I was rapt to get them - though I can't remember where or when that was.
The mug set in the box was another good score. Sometimes you buy items because you're a collector and other times you buy items because you REALLY like them. This was definitely the latter.
Note the jigsaw puzzle to the left, one of many ugly and pointless jigsaws I own, it's an example of something I bought simply because I was a collector.
At the bottom on the right are some Batman logo iron on transfers. I actually bought a couple of packs so I could make a Batman toga to wear at parties - see it here.
The Pez dispensers at the bottom are all unopened.
another copy of Batman '89 over to the left.
I have no idea what the flat head Batman is meant to be in the middle. Some items I really should just get rid of 'cause all they're doing is taking up space.
The bottle on the left including the Batmobile in the front is bubble bath. Hmm, washing with Batman bubbles kinda sounds a bit wrong doesn't it?
The big Batman Animated head at the back right is a shower curtain. Considering it's been sealed in the box since the mid 1990s, I doubt it could ever be opened up and used as the plastic has probably fused itself together.
The Batman Animated bottle on the right is shampoo with the bust of Batman wrapped in plastic. In fact I think the black Batman behind that is shampoo too.
found the Batman shoes, I was rapt because I'd never seen
them before - and no they don't fit me. Alas I was really
let down when I later discovered that if you bought these
brand new, they came in a really cool Batman shoe box.
Now I had a chance to grab a box later down the track,
but it was so badly damaged it wasn't worth it.
Ironically if I did have the shoe box, the shoes would
probably be stored inside so you wouldn't see them.
You wouldn't think it, but that playhouse at the back is quite heavy. I have no idea what's in it ... a playhouse I guess.
On the right (side on) are the patterns to make a Batman costume with the most poxy looking cowl you can imagine. Honestly, I don't know how they managed to con the guy and the kid to pose for the cover photos as they are mega embarrassing - I guess it's lucky the masks ensure people "can't pierce the secret of their true identity".
I actually have a bed sheet to go with the pillow case.
Batmobile telephone, to this day I still have no idea
what it looks like in real life.
All the candy boxes are full and unopened which I think is pretty groovy.
The pinball game at the back was a great find, but alas I've never seen it outside the box. Items like this are a blast to buy because they are just so different and unique. What I like about this item is that it's in absolutely mega mint condition like it was manufactured yesterday.
The little plastic container in front of the phone has nothing in it. I've got no idea what it's for.
Ironically The Batman Collection box cover on the left is empty. The comics weren't included when I got it.
Do you like the 60's Batman soundtrack cassette tape in the middle? One guess who doesn't have a tape player in their house.
The Batboat on the right is the only Corgi item I have still in a box.
yes over to the left is another Batman '89 VHS
tape, this time it's the UK version which I bought only
because it was in widescreen.
Notice the great looking clock in the middle. Despite their highly inflated prices, the Warner Bros store did sometimes have some affordable stuff but that wasn't often. In fact I once had a face to face argument with a WB staff member in Queensland after they were selling a towel and face washer set for $90 (probably worth about $40). I said how could they believe this price was justified as it was clearly a rip off! Her off-hand response was "the collectors will buy it". As you can imagine, I was livid!
Sometimes getting a collectable from a friend is a joke at your expense. In front of the clock is a stack of slide strips (about 30 in total) that are designed to go into a small slide projector. The guy who gave them to me laughed his head off when I discovered that all of them had exactly the same picture.
Yes that is a Batman AM/FM radio to the right, they created some weird things with that Batman Forever head piece mold.
On the right hand side is a paper carry bag from a US McDonalds which wasn't released in Australia.
you're killin' me man, not ANOTHER damn Batman
'89 VHS tape!!!
At the back is one of my two favourite jigsaw puzzles. Unlike most puzzles which were just crap, this one was class all the way - you could almost call it a "mature" edition. I can't imagine making it though, all those black pieces. Yikes!
All the trading card boxes are full and unopened which means all the bubble gum is still there too! I only ever bought these when they were selling cheap.
The tin Batmobile is probably the most expensive item I have. I bought it off my best mate for $40 who didn't realise what it was worth. The car itself is gold in colour even though on the box it's blue. I once met a collector who was selling two of these - a red one and a blue one - at $500 each! Owning three cars of different colours would've been fantastic for the collection but that was just too expensive, especially when you consider we're talking 1994 prices here!
The Batman item above the tin car on the left is a stubby holder. If you're not Australian you'll probably have no idea what that means.
The three motor bike/trike looking things at the front are called a "B Rider with Car" and are essentially a black Batman ... with a TURTLE shell on top. Ya gotta love them unauthorised knock offs.
|I ended up
getting some stuff from the Batman Adventure Ride located
at Warner Bros Movie World in Queensland. I only went
there a couple of times so a big spend up was always in
order. I tell ya, it's amazing how much crap you'll buy
just because you're in this "all Batman"
environment, especially when you're not planning to
return for years. In the end I would just cut loose with
the spending and didn't think about it - if anything I
kinda felt cool being a "real Batman Collector"
mixing it with the plebs, even though it was all in my
head (like as if anyone was going to care who I was). The
worst thing about the store is they didn't offer a mail
order service so the only way to keep on top of any new
items was to physically visit the theme park, which
didn't help me as my home is around 2,000 kilometres
The Batman Returns item at the middle-back is a punch out display, I've kept this unpunched but it's really fragile.
Notice the 3D View Master? Well guess where the slides are all kept, yep on the other side of the room. I really didn't plan that out well did I?
I also have a couple of party items here, including some cups on the left and some blowey things on the right.
|Got a few
more party related products: drinking cups, plastic cover
sheets and invites.
The obscured jigsaw at the back left is discussed in my Amusing Anecdotes section.
Viewed side on to the left is a complete party pack which contains cups, a table cloth and other bits and pieces. It's actually quite a groovy little item.
The pile of items in the forground are bum bags (known as fanny bags in the US).
PANIC! Just in case you thought there were no more copies
of Batman '89, there's another one in a box set
on the left. Phew!
Did I mention how I really dislike the Batman Forever colour scheme? Isn't it ugly! And what's with the design of Batman himself in the Batman Forever box on the right, seriously how could this poxy design be classed as "official"?
I was always impressed that the Batman Animated neck tie on the left was in a box.
Once again there's another playset, all sealed up never to be used.
board games (bar the Batman Swoops Down) are
mint and sealed, yet this wasn't always the case...
The Batman '89 game I opened and used way back in 1989 (see the History section at the top of this page), and I had never been able to replace it with a sealed one which bugged me no end. Worse than that, when we opened the box for Michael Wayne's 2014 video documentary, we found the innards had become damaged due to mold accumlated sometime during the storage period back in the 90s.
But as a thank you for participating in his production, Michael presented me with a mint-in-box version of the game he was able to find somewhere. So after 27 years this massive blemish on my entire collection was removed and I will be eternally grateful to him for the wonderful gesture.
Whilst on the subject of board games, I made a specific point of buying the Batman and Robin board game just to complete the set, fortunately it was cheap because it wasn't something I wanted at all.
I actually had a second copy of The Batman Game which had been opened up, so I had a go at playing it and it was terrible! Considering the size of the box the game play itself was a real let down.
The Batman head on the right is a View Master. To the right of that is a soft touch calculator from Batman and Robin which must've been given to me as a gift.
Bubbles packs are still sealed. Interestingly one of them
was sold to me AFTER it had gone out of date - hmmm,
could've been a law suit there. Perhaps the shop owner
knew I was never intending to eat them, and after 20+
years he was right.
I hate having to display items that don't seem to fit anywhere, so do you think the yo-yo packet on the left side will stand up by itself? Nope!
Along the bottom are a series of ink stamp sets.
I think the Flying Batman is one of the last items I bought before officially stopping the collecting game. Either that or I bought it after I'd stopped collecting because I'm sure I got it in the 2000s.
bottom are a series of Batman pencil sharpeners and
Once again the big toys make an appearance. What a waste of space.
It's not hard to see that the Batman figure at the back-right is a knock off, in fact on the cardboard cover there are images of both Batman and Superman and neither have their chest logos ... hmmm, dodgy or what!
back is a Chasers game which I never got to see working.
You use the Batcopter to control the Riddler's car. It
would've been groovy to use. Ahhh well.
Gotta love the Batman football, another wacky gimmick.
The Bubble Magic at the front is only half full as it leaked at some point during storage/transportation, which in turn damaged the label much to my unhappiness.
The loose Batbike was a gift that was given to me on the proviso that I opened it and used it. Don't worry, I have a second one still mint-in-box. Phew.
Check out the big flagon mug on the left, who would want to drink out of that!
The item on the extreme left is a zippy Batmobile. You attach it to your wrist then pull the thingy and off she goes! As to how well it goes is anyone's guess.
interest here are the Batman marbles on the right which
look good in the packet.
The remote control Batmobile in the middle was in a showbag from the Royal Melbourne Show way back in 1989. I've never seen anywhere else so for this reason I class it as a prized item.
love the upside down card set on the right. Items like
this are a great find if the mistake is the
manufacturers, but geez it wrecks the overall image of
the display. I also have a large die-cast '89 Batmobile
in a package labelled "Joker Van".
As mentioned earlier, I got sick of buying the large toys for the films. They were hard to store, expensive to buy, and took up too much space. By default as a collector you have to get them but they simply don't give you any pleasure, only headaches - especially when you end up with lots of them.
To the left are a couple of simple Batman and Robin items. I'm guessing I bought these just before I finished collecting or they were given to me as a gift, which is more likely to be the case.
At the bottom is some kids stuff from a showbag (a pathetic plastic watch and blue ... thing). As you can see I've kept these in their packet, but you can bet even in 200 years they will still be worthless! Honestly my life would be easier if I just threw stuff like this out 'cause looking at them just irritates me.
Shown side on over to the right are Batman Begins blank CDs. These were given to me as a gift as I didn't buy anything from that film franchise, also being so recent they don't mix in well with the older collection.
clock radio in the middle was originally owned by the guy
who took some of the photos on this site.
I like how the sunglasses on the right won't actually fit in the case provided, they actually have Batman logos on the lenses too though I have no idea why.
You know I have no idea what the big Animated item is on the right. I THINK it's a picture frame.
The pink badge in the middle has no pin. Go figure.
The torch on the bottom left is something I ended up with two of. A mate of mine bought this for my collection, but he couldn't help himself so he took it out of the packet to see how it worked - meaning it was now useless! So sure enough I had to get another one to leave as mint.
back are three comics with audio tapes. Sure they look
pretty and make for a good set, but do you think they
display well? Nup.
When Batman Returns came out a number of socks were released for the film, but I only picked up a couple of samples (they're the black and white items on the bottom). The socks in the packet sitting on top of the others actually came from Amway.
Over to the left is a Batman paddle ball, why do I always feel like watching the original House of Wax when I look at it?
favourite items on the right, Batman cornflakes
that I bought in the US. The flakes are even shaped as
Batman logos. Love 'em.
I have both the Batman and Batman Returns slime. Refer to my Amusing Anecdotes section to see why the value of the Batman one increased a tiny bit in 2014. Ya know, I have no idea why these items were made in the first place, I mean seriously, slime???
The plastic items at the bottom are balloons of various types.
control Batmobile was given to me as a Christmas gift in
around 2002 by a girlfriend who actually bought two of
them, one for me to keep mint and one to use - she even
wrapped them separately for me to open. Despite her best
intentions they weren't something I really wanted as the
Batmobile in Batman and Robin was a totally crap
design, plus unfortunately remote control cars are no
where as enjoyable to operate as radio
controlled cars. In the end the "loose" one had
very limited entertainment value. I actually felt quite
bad knowing she went to all this trouble for nothing.
Over to the left are a set of Batman rings. Why you need to wear 8 of them is beyond me.
Over to the right is the Almost Got 'Im book and tape. When Michael Wayne was making a short film about the collection in 2014, I actually discovered I had two of these on display and didn't know it!
cordial bottles are actually empty. Usually I keep all
food collectables mint-in-box but with cordial I didn't
see a need to retain them this way, plus it made the
bottle quite heavy. The flavour for the second bottle is
Notice the videos on the left, guess what! None of these feature the '89 film. Woo hoo!
merchandise for the pool: including a beach ball,
floaties, wadding pool and even a boat! I was rapt the
extreme when I got these because they look so great. This
was another example of something I couldn't buy quick
On the right is a Batman Animated floatie too - always loved that logo.
There is nothing more enjoyable than getting something you've not seen before, as opposed to buying yet another action figure or another vehicle. Unusual items like the pool stuff is what made collecting Batman merchandise truly worthwhile.
|As sad as
it is, my whole Batman comic/coffee table book collection
is able to be displayed on one shelf - and some of these
items are calendars. I know I need to hang my head in
bottom left is a Batman Begins item. Anything
from that film was given to me as a gift as I'd stopped
collecting 8 years before the movie came out.
Talk about having a second rate knock-off for a classic. Since I don't have an original '60s Corgi Batmobile/Batboat combo pack, what did I settle for? A plastic version at the top in the middle. Shame, shame, shame.
Fortunately I have enough space on the top of my shelves for the large figures, 'cause some of them are pretty big!
Sculptures like the Batman Forever design on the bottom right were often quite exclusive and expensive so I only ever got them when they were going cheap. They were such a big deal too when they came out, now you wouldn't look twice at them. I still have the original boxes for them so technically they should've remained sealed, but in this instance I didn't see the point of leaving them this way as the box was bland and boring.
|One of my
favourite items on the right, Batman flippers, how cool
The small radio controlled Batmobile in the middle doesn't have a remote so I can't tell if it works or not.
Yes I'll admit it, both of the Batman '89 movie cups at the top were picked up in the cinema after people left them behind. Hey imagine if I came across their original owners today, wouldn't they be spun out if they knew their discarded cups ended up at my place on display! Either that or they'd think I was mad. Hmmm, I'll let you be the judge of that.
On the left is another Rice Bubbles pack which featured a free drink bottle, though we're looking at the back of the pack here.
The Batman figure in the middle won't stand up by itself, what a pain.
The big Batman item on the bottom left is a lunchbox.
Once again for any overseas visitors, at the top left is a stubby holder. Have you figured out what they're used for yet?
|One of my
great finds was the Gotham Chase racing car set at the
back, which was probably one item I regret never being
able to use. Yet best of all is it's in absolutely minto
The Dark Rider Batman was an example of something that was disappointing to get, only because it came in a box. I saw the photo of the figure and was hangin' out to get it, but because there's no plastic window I have no idea what it looks like.
related stuff. I have more bike items but for some reason
they're on another shelf.
The impressive sculpture on the right was given to me as a birthday gift from a friend of mine a decade after I stopped collecting. He just walked in one day and said "here ya go, happy birthday". When first released these items used to cost heaps, and this one in particular was quite expensive as it was one of the better designs. Fortunately my mate was able to get this particular one quite cheap.
There's another "once expensive, now cheap" sculpture of Batman and the Riddler on the left. Today you wouldn't look twice at this in a store, and to be honest it doesn't look THAT good, especially when you compare it to the sculpture on the right.
The Batcopter in the middle, though not mint-in-box (in fact the box is pretty damaged), still works really well.
The Room Defender at the top was one of those "what the hell is this?" item. Look at the size of the box compared to the size of the thing itself. Damn ugly too.
Apologies for the blurry photo ***
The toy bike was not authorised but came with some awesome stickers ... not that I've actually seen them. Lugging this around in storage was a pain but at least it didn't weigh much.
Refer to my Amusing Anecdotes section regarding the history of the Batman Returns drink cup on the left.
What irks me the most is the flask in the middle with the crooked logo. Argh!
At the back to the left is a Batman toy crime fighting kit. Items like this never display well because they don't stand up by themselves. I ended up getting a whole range of kids toys like this (too many in fact) and if I was to regret anything about collecting it'd be wasting money on this sort of stuff. Totally worthless.
definitely my favourite display setup. Heaps of stuff to
look at and unfortunately the photo doesn't do it
In the bottom right of middle are unscratched Batman and Robin scratchies. People used to say in shock "there could be $500,000 in there!" but I didn't care, these stayed mint.
Yes that is Batman swimming goggles down the bottom. They're damn uncomfortable to wear which leads me to believe they might be a home made item.
The Batman Returns antenna head band in the middle is something I got from Las Vegas. Believe it or not, this is an officially licenced product ... why???
Unfortunately the packaging for the water blaster at the top was badly damaged when I got it, and I've never seen another one to replace it. Sure I could go to eBay to look for a new one, but that's a no-no as it'd be opening me up to dangerous temptation.
Next to the water pistol/space shooter is the only Batman Christmas decoration I own.
I never knew there were so many Batman viewmaster slides to the right. In case you're wondering, I do have a viewmaster on another shelf, not that it matters as they're all sealed.
Same applies to Batman tattoos in the middle, I didn't know there were so many of them til I got them all together.
You'll notice lots of pens and pencils in the cup, and that's not all of them either as others ended up on other shelves.
Next to the cup with the pens is a Batman Returns nite light, a cool item ... if you have a US power socket, which we don't have here in Australia.
I made a point of displaying one of the loose Batman Band-Aids which I love. It's in the middle at the bottom.
At the top in the back is a Batmobile tent. If I recall this item was quite heavy.
The Road Racing set at the back is something all my friends wanted to play with. Nup. Sorry.
Down the bottom are a stack of kids play kits. I ended up getting a number of different variations even though they are all rubbish, plus they are impossible to display properly. So why did I get them? Quite simply there were days where I really wanted to spend money buying something for the collection and these were all I could find. To be honest I hated them then and I still hate them now. Ahhh well.
In my travels I ended up picking up a lot of bicycle stuff, most of which is here. Check out my Amusing Anecdotes section to hear the saga about trying to find a bike helmet.
The Batwing at the bottom was a punch out "flyer" that I got from the video store when ... you guessed it the '89 film came out on VHS - did I mention I have a few copies of that?
The water feature thing on the left was something that never really appealed to me. Another example of "well I have to get it but I don't really want it" items.
Here is a selection of birthday cards - but just a selection as I couldn't be bothered trying to get all of them as there was just too many (I mean there was a LOT). Funnily enough my girlfriend in 1992 went nuts buying every Batman Returns greeting card released which she then put into a folder that looked really great. Hmmm, shame I didn't think to buy the folder from her when we split up.
One thing I thought was really neat was the stamp set. Sometimes you come across a really cool item and then never see it again anywhere else - which makes me feel glad I grabbed it when I did.
Stashed in the back on the left (on the bottom is visible) is a yellow pencil case. This item is something I found ... somewhere and the reason for it being in the back is because the original owner (a kid obviously) wrote his name in permanent texta on the back of it. If I was see him now I'd clout him one for doing that "you ruined my ultra rare collectable goddamn it!" LOL
Just a couple of the large die cast '89 vehicles. These are only here as I had nowhere else to put them. Though you can't see it, the Batmobile is actually labelled 'Joker Van'. Obtaining items with manufacturing errors like this is pretty groovy.
The Batman coat hangers I bought from Coles supermarket in around 2005 because I had never seen them before and they were cheap.
The two logos on the left were made by a mate of mine as a gift.
More jigsaw puzzles on the right, how many does that make now?
One of the hardest things about setting up all the pins and badges was getting them to sit straight. As you can see, there's just no room for any more.
Believe it or not, one of the watches has some functions labelled on the front, but the buttons for the functions aren't actually there, including the one to adjust the time. Man that's gotta be a cheapie!
I can't believe the watch on the left side came with a brown band. Yuck!
At the bottom is a selection of various trading card packs which actually look pretty cool when put together. Some of the sets I actually have complete boxes of which is pretty neat, plus I have complete card sets living in folders on another shelf - not pictured
figures, awww man what a pain in the ass! Series after
series that were never ending. I bought nearly all of
mine from a local independent dealer as my way of
"supporting the little guy". I reckon I kept
the economy of his entire business going for years and
Keen observers will note only Batman is featured on display and no other character. For the most part I didn't buy any of the other characters and if I did they weren't put on display. Refer to my Amusing Anecdotes section with regards to the hassle I had with putting these on the wall.
Down the bottom is a vintage blue Batman cowl. This one I got from a friend of mine which was in used condition, but I did see one mint-in-box in a store during the 1990s - for $285! Geez it looked grouse, but I just couldn't afford it!
a tragic story for you. After reading it you'll
understand why this isn't listed in the Amusing Anecdotes
The big Batcave was covered in black plastic from the day I bought it, this was because I originally had it on lay-by (lay-away for the US) so the toy store wrapped it like that to protect it. Importantly, I had told the store staff it was for an investment, so they put signs all over it saying it was for a collector and to be careful with it - which I found really impressive.
With nowhere to display it after I picked it up, I opted to leave it in its protective plastic until it could finally be put on display 8 years later. It was only after I took the black plastic off did I discover they had sticky taped a bit of the plastic onto the actual box (right in the middle in fact) which ripped when coming off. This is why the back of the box is featured here and not the front. Unfortunately that one little tear has totally ruined this item's value and I couldn't go back to the store where I bought it to complain as they had closed down years before - now I know why.
On the top left are two cookiee boxes which are still sealed and unopened. The one on the right is mentioned in my Amusing Anecdotes section above.
Off to the right is something a bit odd (and partially obscured), a Batman audio tape deck. Sure, I wanna stick a tape in the back of Batman's head!
Seriously, how cool are those boxed action figures at the top! They're listed as exclusive which means there will be millions of them.
Believe it or not, the conical shaped Batman Forever thing on the top left is actually an inverted popcorn container. Don't ask me how you're supposed to stand it up when it's full.
On the right are more Batman figures. Some of the non film related series looked really good and others not so much. As it turns out I like the series at the top but not the ones on the bottom.
display is only temporary as I need to get a new cabinet
to set some things up
The steering wheel cover on the bottom middle was the very first thing I ever bought on eBay and it arrived in a pizza box. I was so rapt to get it because even though I had long since stopped collecting it was something I just HAD to have. Since then I've bought one or two more items from eBay (one is the barely visible tray table in the middle), though now I deliberately don't go to the Batman section on eBay anymore.
Not all collecting stories have a happy ending. The large Batman Returns figure on the right was part of a REALLY big cinema display stand. It was given to me as a gift which I really appreciated but it was just too large to keep let alone setup. After lugging it around for over 10 years the day came when it had to get the flick because it just wasn't practical to hang onto. Alas this is the only part I kept, and to top it off, the tip of Batman's left ear is ripped.
The three windscreen heat shield covers in the middle were all bought for me by my best mate for three consecutive Christmas'.
The Batman Returns sign on the bottom left is made of polystyrene and is really fragile. Unfortunately I simply have no where to display it properly.
On the left is some Batman fabric art which features a fantastic design. I also have this fabric loose, but unfortunately I don't have anywhere to hang it.
in my collection aren't just limited to the Batman room.
The following collectables actually live in my fridge.
Back in the day I thought it would be a hoot to buy foodstuffs and keep them in the collection to see just how long they would last. Well as you can see below, the answer is a LONG time!
Let's just cite this example, these are these mint-in-box Batman jelly figures from 1989 (jello for any American readers). As you can see from the bottom of the packet these went out of date in February 1991 and now they're as hard as a rock.
For many years during their storage I could actually smell the flavour through the packet... but not anymore as you can guess.
I'd love to know if anyone in the world has one of these besides me.
1989 are these cream filled Batman badges. Just think how
the cream would look now!
And yes these are still sealed and mint-in-box living in the fridge!
me if you know anyone else who has one of these, a
chocolate Batman Returns Batmobile mint-in-box
When these came out both my best mate and I bought one. Being chocolate they eventually turned white with age when one day my mate rang me up to say his had just crumbled. In a panic I instantly put mine in the fridge and sure enough it has remained intact ever since.
My mate cracked me up though because after his had broken up he opted to eat it rather than throw it out. At one point he said "I think this is a wheel".
|Out of my
whole collection these items fascinate people the most.
Mint condition ice creams from 1995 and 1997. Now I'll
admit that over time they have lost their shape a bit,
but otherwise they are still intact and complete. In all
I have about 8 of them.
At one point back in the '90s I considered splitting them up and storing them in friends freezers in the event I had a power failure at my place, but how do you ask someone to store something in their freezer for years that they can never touch nor eat.
I'd seriously love to know if anyone in the world has these besides me. Maybe I should put one on eBay with a $10,000 price tag and see what happens - imagine if it sold! It would have to be "pick up only" LOL
Items not photographed include a stack of posters, mobiles, kids toys, lots of T-Shirts and a heap of other things I couldn't find room to display.
If you want to talk to me about the collection I can be contacted here email@example.com
If you don't think the collection looks very exciting after all the hype I've given it, just remember Han Solo's line from Star Wars "she may not look like much, but she's got it where it counts."
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