HOLY TREASURE! A little bit of fun on Burt Ward’s birthday…
Ever since the Batman ’66 merchandising deal was signed several years ago, fans have been able to scoop up all sorts of collectibles to their hearts’ content.
And that’s who we generally think of when we think of collectors: People like you and me who seek out action figures, clothes, statues, replica props, and so forth.
But there’s the kind of collector out there who takes it to a much higher level – and one of them is happily, anonymously ensconced in a hidden location in New Jersey.
He doesn’t want to be named but he’s the owner of an incredible array of original costumes and props, including, yes, a 1966 Batmobile. (He also owns a fleet of other pop-culture vehicles – both original and replica. It’s astonishing.)
We’re calling him Alfred because the way he sees it, he’s curating and maintaining these items for fandom — and he’s working on putting together a traveling exhibit.
His collection is utterly breathtaking and over the next few months, we’ll be giving you an EXCLUSIVE INSIDE LOOK because he’s eager to share these with the rest of the Gotham City faithful.
I was introduced to Alfred by Dave DeVenter (aka BatDave of NJ BatSquad Studios) and John Brown of Gotham City Supercars. (You should go follow their Facebook pages.) Over the course of several hours we took a deep dive into the collection.
One of the highlights was an original Robin costume – and that’s where we’re starting our series of features because it just happens to be Burt Ward’s 73rd birthday. (He was born July 6, 1945.)
Just check out these pics:
The costume is in remarkable shape. The tunic is still bright red, and the leather belt is mostly complete with its gold-painted “utility capsules.”
Also screen-used are the trunks, with their distinct stitching pattern; the tan tights; the green undershirt – by Jockey, if you must know; and the green suede boots.
The boots are especially interesting. I never realized they actually fasten in the back:
The provenance of the cape is slightly hazy, Alfred explained. It bears what certainly looks like an authentic 20th Century Fox stamp, with Ward’s name included. There’s no inner lining, though, so it’s possible it was used for action sequences by a stunt man.
Either way, Alfred told me Ward said it looked right by him. He also signed it.
Alfred is commissioning a full-size mannequin with an accurate face-sculpt so he can display the costume in all its red-breasted glory. He’s adding a dead-on replica of the mask, as well as gloves and a belt buckle.
It’s hard to describe the power of seeing something like this up close. Most kids from our generation ran around with towels around their necks, or if you were a little lucky, in a Ben Cooper costume.
To see – to touch — the very fabric of our childhood fantasies is an intoxicating experience.
And it’s something we’re going to do our best to share with you in the months to come.
— Holy Birthday Cake! It’s a BURT WARD Salute! Click here.
— Why BURT WARD is the Greatest of ALL Robins. Click here.