Polar Lights 1/32 Batmobile

KIT #: POL 821
PRICE: $21.95 MSRP
DECALS: One Option
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: ex-Aurora kit, though significantly cleaned up.


When I visited the LHS today, I found this kit on the 'new kit' shelf as well as several more on the regular shelves. Naturally, I grabbed one so fast I nearly hurt myself. I've always wanted a model of the TV show Batmobile and wasn't into forking out the exorbitant funds for the old Aurora kit. I had wondered why no one had produced this since as it surely would be popular. The owner of the LHS told me that Revell had already started cutting molds for this car (apparently in 1/25) when it was discovered that the real owner of the rights to the Batmobile could not be determined. DC comics thought they owned the rights, George Barris thought he owned the rights, the current owner of the car itself thought he owned the rights and the company that produced the TV series thought they owned the rights. Regardless, the Revell project was still-borne, much to the detriment of us all. I note on the box that the only licensing note is for DC comics so perhaps they got things straightened out.

This is not a complex kit and coming from the late 1960s, there are certain niceties that you won't see. For instance, most of the parts have large ejector pin marks and part numbers molded on the part itself. Some of these will need to be removed. This is also a curbside so no atomic engine for fans. In addition, the kit has plastic axles and plastic wheels that take an insert.

The general molding is actually quite good for a kit of this age so Polar Lights did a fine job of cleaning things up. Still, the parts are thick and 'fit' was a word that was rather cavalierly bandied about in those days. I had to use a BAF just to see how well the nose adjusted to the rest of the body.  I'd rather not have chrome seats, but there it is and one can always strip the chrome. There are interior door panels so things aren't as raw as they might seem. The body is pretty well one piece with a separate nose cap. I wouldn't doubt that perhaps some filler might  (let's make that will) be required, though the join line on the top of the nose cap matches the hood opening seam. Included are two figures, one of Batman and one of Robin. Naturally, I would have liked to have seen a Julie Newmar Catwoman figure included as well........

The kit instructions are very much like the old Aurora versions. There are only three construction steps as this kit has fewer than 30 pieces. Generic color information is also supplied. A decal sheet comes with the kit for the red trim stripes and the red for the Bat hub caps. The color of the red is nearly fluorescent and quite light, though I would imagine that this would be toned down once applied to the black car. The other option would be to paint this trim, but it would be VERY tape intensive to do so.  I should mention that the instructions' image of the build up showing where the decals go is very dark. I recommend grabbing one of the many clear images from the internet before applying decals. Oddly, all the markings are not shown on the box art. Perhaps they are travelling so fast that the paint stripped off.

Frankly, I can't think of anyone who doesn't think the batmobile is neat and I'm sure that PL will sell as many as they can make. I know I'm pleased to see it reissued and I know at least one modeler who is wondering how it would look in pink.



May 2010

Thanks to me for expending the coin of the realm for this one.

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