Thursday, November 29, 2012


An omission from Corgi's first wave of models was the long-lived 1950s Batmobile, which first appeared in Detective Comics 156 (Feb 1950), in a story appropriately titled 'The Batmobile of 1950'. In this story, Batman is injured when he crashes the 1940s Batmobile. While recuperating, he and Robin design and build a brand new car with modern features including Radar, CCTV and a mobile crime lab. While the new car was of a futuristic design, with a bubble canopy and a large rear fin, it seems to be inspired by contemporary Studebakers.

The Corgi model is very faithful to the car in the comic with correct lines, accurate bat head on the grille and detailed interior. The working feature is rather strange, as the back of the cockpit, including the fin, is rear-hinged and lifts up to reveal the crime lab. I suppose this was just devised by Corgi in order to show off the detailed interior, because the real car had normal side doors for entry and exit-and the shut lines are visible on the model. The car is painted a metallic blue and has rather bulbous, yellow painted headlights.

Another version was released in the 'Silver Age II' set, accompanied by a 1950 Jokermobile. This one was painted black and looked much more effective.--Diecast Collector


The second new Corgi vehicle was a big improvement over the previous model, although was a rather curious choice. This one was an open roadster with a long bonnet and six exhaust manifolds on each side. The reason it was such a strange car to use was because it only appeared once, in Detective Comics 37 (March 1940), and then only in one panel. It is a much better interpretation than the 1930s Batmobile; while it didn't look like any particular marque of car, it had the correct proportions of a real roadster of this type. It was finished in gunmetal grey, with an opening bonnet and a good Batman figure at the wheel, with a flowing cape.

This vehicle was not referred to as the Batmobile; the first car to be called this appeared in Detactive Comics 48 (Feb 1941). It was a red convertible similar to a Lincoln Zephyr, with a bat hood ornament, although Corgi did not model this car.--Diecast Collector

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


This was something as a misnomer, as this was an anonymous red coupe that pre-dated the Batmobile. It debuted during Batman's second appearance in Detective Comics 28 (June 1939), and was described as 'a specially built high-powered auto'. At this time, Batman was not really a superhero; he was more of a masked avenger along the lines of The Shadow or the Green Hornet. He carried a gun and often killed his enemies.

The Corgi model was well made, but was very poor representation of a 1930s coupe. As drawn in the comic, the car was an idealised car of the era, with a massive bonnet and big chrome grille. Rather than attempting to model something resembling a real car of the period, Corgi has just copied the cartoony picture and come out with a bad caricature of a 1930s car. The overly-large bonnet does not taper outwards towards the windscreen, and the cabin is small. The model features two opening doors, but these are so narrow that a big guy like Bats couldn't possibly get through them. There is also an opening boot, revealing a spare wheel under a bat-shaped clip.--Diecast Collector  Shop here