The Inside Scoop on Funko’s RED BATMOBILE

EXCLUSIVE NEW PIX: The San Diego Comic-Con exclusive has turned heads — and we’ve got the complete rundown from Funko’s senior designer.

Check out the FUNKO BATMAN ’66 INDEX of stories and features. Click here!

When I posted a couple weeks ago that Funko’s fancy Batman ’66 San Diego Comic-Con exclusive would be a red Batmobile and green Batman set (click here), I was surprised by the number of people who seemed mystified by the whole notion.

“They got the color wrong!” was a typical refrain. “Why is it RED?”

OK, no. They did not get the color wrong. It’s intentional.

See, for those of you unaware, back in the ’60s and ’70s, there were all these tin Batmobiles and other toys produced in Japan (as well as Taiwan). They’re a hoot, often because they came in funky colors with over-the-top decorations, like so:

Green Batman! Via Pinterest. Check out more cool stuff here.

Or so:

Red Batmobile! For sale on eBay for $650.

Or so:

Via Pinterest

Funko has been tapping into this vibe for a few years now with its Pop! and Dorbz lines, for example. So it only went to follow they they’d go down this road again for the new 3.75-inch action-figure line. The added bonus in this case is the groovy, multicolor packaging, not to mention the green Batman figure. (The set will go for $50 at SDCC.)

But even though I knew where Funko was coming from, I wanted to know more about how this particular set came together — and figured you would too.

My own vintage Aoshin Batmobile from Japan, along with its Dorbz counterpart.

So I asked Reis O’Brien, Funko’s senior product designer, all about it. Check out what he had to say — as well as these EXCLUSIVE NEW PIX:

Dan Greenfield: Whose idea was it to do this?

Reis O’Brien: This idea came straight from the big guy at the top, Brian Mariotti. He’s a collector of vintage Japanese Batman releases, which often have these bizarre color schemes. So this is his homage to those toys and collectibles.

Dan: You went all in on the packaging too. Is it based on a particular Batman toy-box design from Japan?

Reis: Let’s say is was “inspired by” Japanese designs in general. We wanted to go really crazy, but at the end of the day, we still have to work with the licensor and do the best we can with previously approved assets. Shanna Duncan did the packaging design on this and absolutely killed it. She really came up with something exciting and vibrant that we think collectors are going to love.

Dan: Here’s a nitpicky question, I know, but why is the Batman logo the one from about 10 years ago and not one from the ’60s?

Reis: Again, we have to work with what we have available, and that was the best logo with Japanese type that was made available to us.

Dan: The green Batman is a nice touch. For the readers who are unaware, where did that color scheme come from?

Reis: If you look up vintage Japanese Batman collectibles, like trading cards, buttons and comics, you’ll find all kinds of bizarre color ways. That’s where the green Batman came from.

Dan: Are you a collector of Japanese tin toys?

Reis: Not personally, no. But I have a serious appreciation for it. The boss man is the big collector of that type of thing.

Dan: What are the chances we’ll get an Italian movie-poster Batman at some point?

Reis: I don’t know if that particular one has been thrown out there, but it’s a great idea!

Make this happen, Funko. MAKE. THIS. HAPPEN.

Dan: Why no Robin?

Reis: I think that the original plan was to only focus on the various Batman and Batmobile color ways. Sorry, Robin!

Dan: Funko has produced multi-color Batmobiles in its other lines. When can we expect to see blue and gold versions?

Reis: I cannot confirm nor deny the possible existence of blue or gold Batmobiles.

Dan: Any other colors besides those?

Reis: Maybe. 😉

Dan: What can you tell us about Wave 2 at this point?

Reis: We have nailed down the lineup and fans will not be disappointed. Get ready for some major villains!

Wave 1

Check out the FUNKO BATMAN ’66 INDEX of stories and features. Click here!

For a REVIEW of Wave 1: Click here.

Check out Reis O’Brien on The Batcave Podcast: Click here and here.

 

Author: Dan Greenfield

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3 Comments

  1. Great news and wonderful pictures Dan!
    I can not wait for Wave 2 of this line!
    If Funko does any more vehicles I vote Batboat?!

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  2. I can’t believe you didn’t ask about a flocked Batmobile. You were even photographed with the flocked Batmobile as a kid! For SHAME! 😉

    Seriously, thanks for this interview. I love the background info on product development like this.

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