13 April 2011


I love the new animated BATMAN: THE BRAVE & THE BOLD show.  It mixes decades of Batman comics, from the absurd to the intense, into 30 minutes of pure Bat fun.

Ah, if only the toys didn't suck.

Granted, there are some people who think toys should be for playing.  By children.  These "some people" happen to be toy company execs and they figures said children would probably want to play with toys from this show, so "some people" decided to make the toys "playable".

"Playable" meant that each figure was based on a stock body that had octogonal plugs in the legs and arms to allow various toy accessories to added for "play value".

Sure, my kid can "play" with Batman.  But what about Batman's visual aesthetic?  Isn't a crappy looking Batman figure hurting my kid's chances at an Ivy League education?  Doesn't corporate America care about my child?

This is where WHEN BATMOBILES FLY comes to the rescue:  Saving children from childish things.

Yes, children like playing with their toys.  Yes, children like beating the living crap out of their action men.  Yes, children do not understand what is good sculpting and anatomy and that is why these toys are rotting the hearts and minds of our children.

Thankfully, we here at WHEN BATMOBILES FLY understand that children don't buy children's toys. Grown men, with an empty void inside them, buy children's toys.  These Grown Men need toys that look good on the shelf. 

The show brilliantly re-invented Aquaman, who has to be one of the most boring characters of all times, and made him a bombastic adventurer with a heart of gold (fish).

Additionally, to address the issue of "& Robin The Boy Wonder", the writers borrowed from a 70's story which depicted a Robin who had grown up, moved on, and made a costume that included pants.

This adult Robin, designed by Neal Adams (him again), is gaudy and ridiculous, and 1000 times better than contemporary comics which had The Boy Wonder grow up to become a moody Batman knock-off.

It also just so happens that my complete run of BATMAN THE BRAVE & THE BOLD comics has to be one of my most favorite.  Every month, Batman teamed up with another hero to solve some world crisis, or a street crime.  The show borrows from the comic by selecting some of the guest heroes who made frequent appearances, and in a similar manner avoids team ups with the bigger DC heroes, such as Superman and The Flash.

It's just that the toys suck.

One of the shows best decisions was to be more inclusive of Plastic Man into the Dark Knight's world.  Plastic Man never quite made it in the DC comics, most likely due to the lack of imaginative writing.  In the show, he's every bit as unpredictable and fun as he was when written and drawn by his creator Jack Cole.

He just needed a better action figure.

The toy line is now all but dead, as is the show.  I've decided that the figures represent the best possible medium to enjoy an expanded Batman collection: they're small, affordable, and easy to work with.

70 years of Bat fun awaits.

Get ready, get set,



  1. Whey hey hey!! you've been having fun!! I love this post.

    Gutted to find out the show is dead, what a shame.

    The make-over they gave Aquaman was OUTRAGEOUS! and actually made you want to see him more.

    Part of the shows charm is the character selection and who they were bringing out of the woodwork to be aired to a new generation.

    As far as the toys go, we can only ever get hold of The Atom and Kanja Ro (if you ever need fodder...)

    Those holes make them look ugly to either a child or the grown up who wants them on the shelve.

    You have made these figures look great! Was the batcave set up made just for these?

    Seeing a celebration of 70 years in this format will be fun.

    I will batusi my way over to check them out!

  2. Yeah, I think about what goofy shit makes me happy these days and the show is on the top of the list. Aquaman might call it: "The Day Deane Enjoyed Making Goofy Shit!".

    That is the BATMAN RETURNS Batcave, complete with a Joker playing card graphic downloaded from IRON COW.

    I am being selective about villains. Grundy, Joker, Grodd, and Black Manta? You bet. Kanjar Ro? Ennnnhh... I'd rather have more from the group shot above. However, I'm more in favour of the arcane- Kite Man, Tiger Shark, than the usual foes -Riddler, Penguin, etc.

    As for friends, I plan on "upgrading" Green Arrow, as the picture indicates. My favorite Brave & Bold play friend! From then on, I'll probably be borrowing from the show's repertoire.

    Then, I'm going all out, as a future blog will indicate. It will be a shocking Brave & Bold addition!!!

  3. 'The Day Deane Enjoyed Making Goofy Shit!'
    is certainly enjoyable to read and see made and I'm looking forward to seeing where you are going with these.

    I like the playing card, makes it classy.

    I checked the toyshop this afternoon, just the two I have mentioned. I do have a spare blue beetle and bug still boxed, JD ended up with two, if you ever need that?, just let me know.

    Can't wait to see the shocking addition!! :)

  4. As a small kid, my primary interest in life was He-Man. The truth is, comic characters, Star Wars, everything else big in the early 80's, I loved everything, but it was He-Man that really blew my mind.

    But even as a kid, I knew that it was a pretty shoddy line, and eventually my heart was stolen away by what Kenner was making. Super Powers vs. Secret Wars is a brutal massacre. I loved the characters, so I would ultimately be fine with it, but I knew Mattel was reusing molds and cutting every possible corner and still be a bit above the stuff at the Dollar Store.

  5. The SECRET WARS toys were so sad in comparison to those Kenner SUPER POWERS figures.

    Yet, what do my kids grab for, to take apart and play around with?


    How dare they...

  6. Rod did us a pile of discs full of the show!! JUNGLE BATMAN!! Mogo... How could they cancel this? Gorilla In The Midst... so many... Not on!!!

  7. Great work! What did you use as the base for Robin's head?

  8. Thank you! Robin is a modified Green Arrow. I ground the hat down and sculpted the forehead and hair.