Friday, April 3, 2015

Review: 'Batman Collectables'


One of the things that have kept Batman so alive and present for 75 years is the horse-choking mass of bat merchandise. If it’s a thing, chances are it has had Batman’s cowl or insignia slapped on it at some point: nightlights, trading cards, puppets, jewelry, wallpaper, slippers, piggy banks, dice, cereal boxes, mugs… you get the picture. You could get a lot of pictures in Chip Kidd’s fabulous 1996 book Batman Collected. That will likely continue to be the definitive volume of baternalia, though that should not dissuade you from checking out Batman Collectables.

At a scant 96 pages, Rob Burman’s new book is admittedly slim, but the writer was smart to mainly compile items not included in Batman Collected or ones that Kidd did not give as much attention as I wished he had. There are probably no more definitive Batman collectibles than Mego’s toy line from the seventies, and I was surprised to see how little attention Kidd gave them. Burman rights that wrong with wonderful full-page shots of Mego’s Batman (with and without removable cowl!), Robin, and Penguin in their original mint/near mint packaging (but what, no Joker?), as well as impressive pics of the Batmobile, the Batcycle, and the Mobile Bat Lab (but no Wayne Manor?).

Burman also provides a nice amount of background details on the items and the companies that created them. It is not necessarily an eclectic assortment. Despite a couple of Ben Cooper costumes, a watch, and the hilariously hideous ceramic mug that ends the book, Batman Collected really should have been called Batman Toys, and possibly more specifically, Batmobile Toys since the Caped Crusader’s main mode of transport receives much more attention than any other item. But as far as a brief collection of such playthings goes, it’s well designed and pretty informative. 
Get Batman Collectables on Amazon.com here:
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