I've been digging in the die-cast car aisles a lot lately, primarily to snag licensed character vehicles but also just to see how that half of the toy collecting world lives. This resulted in a few surprise purchases, in that I didn't know that the 2013 Matchbox Batmobile even existed before I tripped over it at Target, because I wanted to see what all the kids were getting with Matchbox these days.
This is a recolor of a toy I've never seen, and it's based on Mattel's action figure-scale "Total Destruction Batmobile" toy which is itself not necessarily (as far as I know) based on any TV or comic incarnation.
My reasoning for buying this one isn't sound, I didn't even really realize it was a Batmobile when I picked it up at first - I just said "hey, that looks like an unpainted grey vehicle" because the cardback sort of hides the Batmobile name and the font of the packaging is completely lacking in Batman logos for some reason - I have to assume it was a licensing thing or an oversight, because why wouldn't you want to call out the Batman logo? It's on the back, but it's tiny and you won't see it.
It rolls well and has a big red windshield, inside which you can see a seat. For all intents and purposes it's a Hot Wheels car, but it comes in a Matchbox package for reasons I can't quite figure out. By and large Matchbox (as a collector brand) seems bigger overseas, and in the USA is mostly realistic vehicles with a few exceptions. Most licensed craft (including the Batmobile) are wrapped up in this category too, so I really don't grasp why it's here. Don't get me wrong, I'm happy it's here, but Mattel's not really going out of their way to let me know it was there.
In addition to this single release, the very same Batmobile appears, seemingly randomly, in some of the Matchbox 10-packs which are about ten bucks. As far as I can tell this car isn't rare, but from my journeys as of late it doesn't seem to be particularly common either. I see 10-packs with it all the time, and I've seen a handful of single Batmobiles. At $1, I got my money's worth.
Fun fact: Matchbox cars used to not be part of the Mattel conglomerate, they were kicked around and owned by Universal Toy and Tyco. In the USA, toys were sold from "Matchbox" like it was a company, and in 1997 Mattel bought Tyco's toy division and the rest is history. There are many companies still making 1:64 die-cast cars, although it seems Mattel is king when it comes to real estate. Matchbox gets a tiny percentage of the affection of Hot Wheels, and the basic car line is smaller than half the size. If you prefer realism, this car excepted, it's a good place to look.
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