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Monday, February 13, 2017

Japanese Batman Toys

(Na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na)

(Na na na na na na na na na na na na)

(Na na na na na na na na na na na na)

(Na na na na na na na na na na na na)

(Na na na na na na na na na na na na)
 Batman! Batman! Batman!

(Na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na)
 Batman! Batman! Batman!

Da da da da da da da da da da da da da!

If you have never watched an episode of the 1960s Batman television show - please do. It’s charming, witty and funny… and I count my lucky starts I’m a heterosexual man every time I catch a glimpse of Julie Newmar in her Catwoman suit.
That's why...
This, too. I saw her a few years ago at a comic convention in Chicago when she was in her 60s, looking as hot as she did in THE 60s.
While it’s true my first ever comic books may have been  Spider-man comic book… thanks to re-runs of the Batman television show, Batman became my favorite comic book character… a guy with no parents… filthy rich… no super powers, but a desire to frighten evil-doers and protect the innocent?

I could never come from another planet… or be bitten by a radioactive spider (I had been bitten by a spider, and rather than gnarly powers and a hot redheaded girlfriend, I was just swell… as in my finger)…

… but Batman? Any one of us regular human beings could be Batman. Sure we’d all need our parents to work harder to get filthy rich so we could have a cool British secret agent butler… and then have to have our parents murdered horribly in front of our eyes… but at least we’d be rich… and could afford to indulge in our deepest darkest fantasies about wandering around with our underwear over our clothes… that’s what really scares the bad guys…

“Did you see what the guy is wearing?”
“What’s up with that?”
“I don’t know, but I don’t do crazy… let’s rob this bank later, okay Upta?
“I agree, Wazoo.”

Seriously… you could exercise and exercise and exercise, and learn whatever cool martial arts you want… and because your parents are dead and the butler works for you, you could go out late at night and fight all the crime you can stomach until they shoot you in the face.

Did you know that it was once explained that the big yellow oval (added to Batman’s costume in the 1960s) was to “draw the attention” of any bad guy shooting at Batman… to encourage hitting them there with a bullet… where it was bullet-proof, rather than shooting at the exposed part of Batman’s face.

In the old days, rather than the cowl being made of some sort of ceramic armor, it was just a cloth cowl…

Along with 1,000s of Batman and Batman-related comic books, I also have Batman LEGO, and various toys… especially of the 1960s TV show Batmobile… something so popular that it made it back into the comic book, and remains THE iconic Batman vehicle…

Heck, I have around 10 Hot Wheels Batmobile versions (different packs, grills, editions, years… whatever).
Examples of Mattel Hot Wheels Batmobiles. The best is the bottom left.

But this is a blog about Japan… or about me in Japan… but always Japan…

So, I said to myself, I says: “I bet Japan made some cool Batman toys - not only for its Japanese market (Holy ice cubes, Batman - It’s Mr. Freeze!)—the TV show was mega-popular in Japan—but also for the international market."

(Do you know how weird it is to talk using brackets?)

By no means is the following a definitive collection of Japan-manufactured Batman toys… let’s just call it a start. I’m sure someone out there has THE Japanese Batman-related toy collection.

While I’m usually pretty OCD about giving you all the information available about a topic… today, allow me to merely be mildly entertaining instead.

I may or may not have some pithy comment under the photos, most scavenged from E-bay. 
No oval on Batman, and Robin being manhandled by not-Juli Newmar Catwoman.

Below, you can see a 1960s Aoshin Ltd.-manufactured Batman tin toy gun with cork. Aside from the early appearances of Batman in Detective Comics (D for detective, C for comics… DC comics), Batman hasn’t used a gun in 70+ years… he abhors then, as they were the thing that took the lives of his parents.  

They aren't even trying here. Someone just re-painted a cowboy gun and added a Batman graphic. Ooooooh, ya got me.
For the international market, a 1960s tin pistol - made in Japan… it looks like a machine gun… so let’s assume this isn’t a gun for Batman’s use, rather something a human Batman villain henchman might use.
Not technically a weapon (after the video) - but this might be the ultimate female repellant... even more so than being adept at doing the Batusi - the Matman  watusi.

Does Batman have four eyes, or did the artist add slits to show off Batman's white (?!) eyebrows... and that logo? I want to shoot myself in the face and my three mouths. The Batman magic set is seen here in its original unopened package—unopened? No way….
And because we all want to see someone else do the batusi:

I have nothing against magicians… they are nerds. I’m a comic book nerd… but a comic book loving magician?  

Mandrake the Magician by Lee Falk (who also created The Phantom) is probably the exception… here’s an interesting piece of dialogue from Mandrake: “Not so fast, my pussy-visaged friend!”

G'day Bat-mate
The Batman and Robin Batarang set - unused?! Are you kidding me?! This isn’t me being sarcastic like I was in the last photo cutline. Julien… you’d buy a set, right? Me too!
Are boomerangs cool? You bet your sweet bippy, they are! Anything from Australia is cool by me… except for all of that poisonous floraa nd fauna there… seriously… anything could kill you…

But boomerangs, I wish I could throw one right now! I even like Captain Boomerang - a Flash rogue - but Batman… he was so cool he called his Batarangs… eliminating a smooth inner edge to create a batwing like visage… you know.. that weird shaped thing will fly true.


1966 Friction Aoshin 8-inch Batman Rocket/Batmobile. Blue.
Batman has an eight-inch rocket? I can’t make up stuff any funnier than this.
This rocket car looks like it's missing a tail piece... and maybe it's a pull-back toy... if it was, that's the vehicle's only saving grace.  
“Batman, there’s the Joker up ahead… behind us.”
“Shut-up, Robin.” 

1966 Friction Aoshin Batman Rocket/Batmobile. Red.

Red? Blue? I get that it’s a rocket… but red or blue Batmobile rocket cars… did any of these toy designers even see an episode of the 1960s Batman TV show before creating these? No wonder they are so rare… no one wanted one, and the only kids who had one probably had one bought for them for a birthday present by uncool grandparents.

Manufactured by Nomura in the 1960s, this robotic-looking Batman model is probably a replica.
I am Iron Man!!!

The rusty robot below… this looks like an original, and features the ultra rare yellow dial on the tool belt.

Unfortunately, by having a yellow toolbelt, villainous henchmen began to shoot at Batman’s crotch - all well and good, except for that issue when he forgot his batjock.
Below is a repro version of a Marx Toys Batmobile - made in Japan for the international market.
Damned Bat-mite and his shrinking ray!

Cool Batmobile:
Vintage Japanese BATMAN BATMOBILE DIECAST CAR 1966 Eidai

Long Blue Batmobile:

Red Yellow Batmobile
Rare 1960's Batman Batmobile Tin Litho Friction Car Ichimora

Atomic Batteries to Power! Turbines to Speed!
Lesley Gore as Pussycat (left) can cry if she wants to, but Newmar is always the center stage. Gore is the famous 50s songstress, who would capture anyones attention - just not here.
Remember… always be yourself. Unless you can be Batman,
Andrew “I’m Batman” Joseph


  1. I'm gonna get all my friends to describe me as their pussy-visage friend when they are talking about me. And hell yeah I would buy batarangs that are boomerangs. Too bad they don't look like batarangs.

    1. Maybe they look like 1960s era batarangs... but yeah... more metal, less plastic! LOL!

  2. I do have real batarangs. Very sharp. My only complaint is that it's made in China and the metal is a bit soft so the points of the wings tend to bend when throwing them at a wooden target.

    1. Let's see... no L's in Japanese language... and no R's in Chinese alphabet... so... Chinese batarangs are something else, that I won't write here. Okay... batalangs.
      Yeah... I know you have those... way cool!