Thursday, March 10, 2011


The Batboat is the latest in Hot Wheels' line of 1:50 scale vehicles based on the 1966 'Batman' television series, joining the Batmobile, Batcycle, and the Batgirl cycle ( at the time of this writing, the Batgirl cycle is still only available in a limited edition San Diego Comic Con boxset ).

The Batboat comes with a black plastic trailer, customized with the addition of batfins over the wheel wells, and bat insignias on the hubcaps. This trailer is a completely imaginary item, since on the television show ( and in the 1966 theatrical film where the boat was first introduced ) we never saw the Batboat being towed on a trailer of any kind. The boat was always seen to be docked by a pier, ready to go. The trailer attaches to a hitch added to newer editions of the previously released 1:50 scale Batmobile. Unfortunately, when the two models are displayed in tandem, it points out what appears to be a size discrepancy between the two, as the boat seems to be somewhat smaller in scale than the car. The boat does not stay securely, and only rests loosely atop the trailer.

As to the boat itself, the overall color is a dark metal-flake blue, with red pinstriping similar to that on the Batmobile. This is very close to the color of the original boat as seen on the T.V. series. The top of the boat has fairly correct silver highlighted detailing ( although curiously, the 'antenna' between the cockpit bubbles lacks the highlighting ). The sides of the hull have a large white flared leaf or feather shaped area on either side, which appears to be a common feature on the original Crestflite V174, which was produced and modified by Glastron for the show. However, on the Batboat, this was modified with the addition of a sporty red and yellow flame design. The flame on this toy, while similar, does not match the original exactly. However, it is close enough to pass inspection ( if you're not comparing it to still frames from the series ). The large tail fin has the appropriate yellow oval Batman shields ( though they look a bit small ), but it lacks the three white hightlights on both sides that accent the batwing scalloping in the rear ( I don't know why, but this is one missing detail that bothers me a lot ).

The shape of the boat itself seems to be a bit thicker and stubbier than the actual boat used on the show. I may be wrong, but it seems to my eyes that the length of the bow has been foreshortened. Unfortunately, the sculptors of this replica apparently did not have access to the original vehicle from which to take their measurements ( unlike the Hot Wheels Batmobile, which was created from digital scans of the actual car ).

Although the Batboat itself is not entirely accurate, It's still a nice addition to the Hot Wheels line, especially since replicas of the vehicles from the Batman television series have not been seen on toy store racks in well over twenty years. --Davidp

1 comment:

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