It’s hard to believe but Batman is celebrating his 80th birthday.
Generations of kids have been brought up on the adventures of the most famous comic book hero of all time. Fans have paid billions of pounds for Batman merchandise. They’ve lapped up the TV series. They have flocked to nine movies handing over £5.7 billion at the box-office.
The Batman phenomenon is incredible and, with another blockbuster movie in the pipeline, there’s no sign that he’s about pick-up a Zimmer frame.
Batman made his historic debut as a comic book hero in 1939 in Issue number 27 of the fledgling Detective Comics dated May that year.
It’s a stunning thought that in February 2010, a pristine copy of that Batman debut issue, which cost 10 cents in 1939, changed hands at auction for more than £1milliion.
Comics Collectors don’t really expect to pitch up at a car boot sale to find a copy of that 1939 issue, but there are some remarkable Batman collectables out their which re-sell at punchy prices.
After Batman’s debut, just as the Second World War was about to start, it took a few more storylines to establish himself but later numbers became noteable for the arrival of his arch enemies. Comics with early Riddler, Penguin and Two Face characters are regarded as comic treasure by collectologists. The issue which introduces of his sidekick, Robin in April 1940, is also much sought after.
Don’t assume that Batmania is limited to rare editions of Detective Comics. A vast range of Batman stuff has been produced over the years.
The rule seems to be that when piece is both rare and desirable that’s when collectors get animated.
A Batman item may be rare, but that doesn’t mean it will be a gold nugget.
Is Dark Knight hiding in your attic?
Some items might seem tacky but they have accrued remarkable value, especially if they are rare and in tip-top condition languishing in their original box (‘carded’ as collectors call it).
One experienced Batman-ologist recently shared his ideas of what’s Top of the Pops among historic toys and merchandise any of which could be wrapped in cobwebs in your attic.
The Batcopter is a moulded toy rarely found intact in its packaging. Manufactured by the Irwin company it came out in the 60s during another surge in the Batmania. Some say it could fetch £500 at auction
2. Bat skates
Batman steel roller skates always looked lethal so it’s no riddle as to why they didn’t sell big at the time. All those pointy decorations must have been a manufacture’s nightmare. If you accidental trip over a pair of these skates handle them with care, because they are worth serious money.
3.Baddies are winners
Someone thought it was a bright idea to make Batman villain toys. But nobody really wanted to be or play with Batman’s arch enemies. These toys sat unloved on the store shelves until they were heavily discounted then thrown away. If you have one today, you might have a little gem.
4.Batman belt was so cool
Toy company Ideal went big on Batman toys with figurines, model kits, hand puppets.
Its most popular toy now interesting for collectors, is the Batman utility belt. It was ‘essential’ Batkit made up of a set of Bat-Cuffs, a Bat-Rope (with a grapple claw!) a Bat-a-Rang and a Bat-Signal flashlight. It is tough to find these cool belts in pristine condition which makes it so hot with collectors.
Finding a perfect version of the belt is like finding a rough diamond. Recently one quality utility belt specimen sold for about £12,000.
Celebrate Batman turning 80 by getting your hands on your own Batman Collectable! Have a look at our Batman range here >>