?To set the record straight, Topless Robot is not against getting a little creative when it comes to toylines based on existing properties. Yes, we like things in canon, but we also understand that business needs occasionally necessitate “outside the box” thinking. Besides, this approach often leads to hilarious results, which gives us plenty to write about. Oh hey, look, Batman movie vehicle toys.
That segue was designed in part to get us to the point easily, but also to represent how well the toys below fit in with the Batman movies on which they’re supposedly based. Movie toys are no doubt a tricky breed, since toy companies are limited by the information they’re given, and there’s little wiggle room if accuracy is to be preserved. Heck, some companies (like those whose names rhyme with “Men. Er…”), might even be tempted to squeeze in figure sculpts from other lines in these circumstances. Crazy, we know, but it happens. Which imposter movie vehicles are the weirdest? Read on to find out.
7) Robin Jet Foil Cycle
?Kenner’s Batman Returns line was full of wonky vehicles that had little to do with the movie of the same name, and that includes Robin’s Jet Foil Cycle, which looks like it’d make a perfect Zamboni for Gotham’s hockey team. Of course, they jumped the gun by a few years with the inclusion of Robin in the toyline, but that’s okay. It’ll all work out great if ever there’s a 3-D re-release of Batman Returns with Chris O’Donnell’s scenes from Joel Schumacher’s movies edited in. Boy will our faces be red then!
?It should be noted that Mattel released numerous Hot Wheels vehicles also named “Treadator” in the past, so this could be a simple hat tip to them. Without that knowledge however, consumers could easily mistake the Treadator for some kind of high-tech fitness device based on the name alone. Regardless, this thing was definitely not in the version of The Dark Knight we remember seeing, where the hunt for the elusive Joker did not necessitate the Caped Crusader to go all-terrain. But hey, every superhero worth his salt needs an ATV. Or so it would seem.
5) Camo Attack Batmobile
?Yes, Batman Returns had the Batmobile, and we realize that some snow might have gotten on it since it was winter in the movie and all, but this took some commitment. It’s almost as if Keaton’s Batman declared “‘Tis the season, Batfriends! Time to get into the holiday spirit! Now, after that snow-loving sewer dweller – it’s Christmas and there are children to save!” Maybe they just didn’t go far enough with this. Perhaps some ornaments for the back wings? A bit of mistletoe to hang from the rear-view mirror? We suppose if the Penguin’s master plan were to cover Gotham in an impossibly fierce blizzard, the camouflage element might’ve helped. Then again, it would have probably also increased the odds of bat-fender benders.
4) Disc Shooting Jet
?Post TDK, much was made of Batman’s realistic and gritty new screen identity, so that makes revisiting this selection from the Batman Begins and TDK toylines all the more entertaining. While the swell purple detailing is almost cringe-worthy enough in its own right, the primary function – and title — of this thing is especially weird. To see what it might have been like if it were in the movie, take a look at this adjusted dialogue from The Dark Knight script:
That bandit, in the forest in Burma…Did you catch him?
We burned the forest down. Then, we fired discs at his head with our Disc Shooting Jet. Now available at finer retailers everywhere.
Just not as rich thematically, is it?
3) Laser Blade Cycle
?We don’t know what we love more about this thing: how small it looks with Batman riding it, or how angry he and his fist appear to be on the box art. “Get ready to TASTE GLOVED JUSTICE Penguin!”
2) The Penguin Umbrella Jet
?Remember the awesome giant yellow duck that the Penguin cruised around with in Batman Returns? Pretty much limited to the mini die-cast treatment in Kenner’s line. Instead, he was provided with this Umbrella Jet, which looks pretty cool, but is weird in context. It never appeared in Tim Burton’s 1992 film, as the Penguin would have had no way to bankroll such a fabulous custom-themed craft in that world. Perhaps strangest of all, if the box is any indicator, the Penguin might not really have a way to control the thing, being only able to grin maniacally and hang on for dear life itself as he goes down in his pathetic suicide jet of despair.
1) The Joker Cycle
?It’s hard to decide which Joker Cycle to put here, since Toy Biz’s original line for 1989’s Batman also had one with a sidecar for… Bob the Goon, we guess? For the purposes of this list, we’ll stick with the Dark Knight Collection’s, since it’s supposed to be more movie-accurate…well, except in cases like this one. It might have been a while since you fired up Tim Burton’s thunderous blockbuster on Netflix , but we trust you’ll struggle to remember Jack Nicholson’s Joker hopping on a custom chopper and firing a giant laughing mask in his own image at Batman and company. Of course, that’s because it never came close to happening, but even if it did, your brain would’ve probably blocked it out to keep the stupid away. So, uh, yeah… sorry for bringing this up.