No fictional comic book character has had more action figures created of his image than Batman. When Batman was introduced to pop culture, it didn’t take long for toy companies to begin producing toys in his likeness. The hero of Gotham, dressed in an all black-suit and cape, not only raced through the city in his Batmobile to fight villains, he also became a major part of children’s lives.
The Marx Toy Company was the first toy manufacturer to create the very first Batman action figure. While Batman figurines were being created since the 1940s, actual toys were not prevalent until Marx came out with the first Batman toy during the 1960s. Standing at 4 inches tall, the first Batman toy had movable parts and came with many accessories including cuffs and a fire extinguisher. This is the rarest toy that any collector would dream of having.
It wasn’t until the 1970s where a major action figure company called the Mego Corporation obtained a license to produce toys for Marvel Comics and DC Comics. These early Batman figures came with cloth costumes that could be removed and changed. The 8 inch toys, which were known to be the “World’s Greatest Super Heroes,” includes Batman, Robin, Riddler, Joker, Catwoman and Penguin.
The Mego Corporation made Batman action figures a major hit, especially when the hit TV series came out. They also produced the 1966 Batmobile, Batcycle and Batcopter. Children could not only enjoy Batman action figures and his vehicles, but also have play sets to bring the entire Batman phenomenon to life at home.
Over the years, Mego Corporation reduced the size of Batman action figures and produced smaller all plastic figures instead.
When Batman movies began to come out, toy companies started producing action figures based on the movie characters. These included Batman Returns, Batman Forever, and Batman and Robin.
The race for making Batman figures continues between major Toy Companies. The underlying factor is that Batman has had a major impact on the popular culture and toys are just one symbol of it. Batman is an incredible, crime-fighting hero for many. There is an extensive selection of vintage Batman toys that fans can add to their collections.