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Winning Bid:
$8,477.13 (Includes 15% Buyer's Premium)
Bidding Ended:
Thursday, March 21, 2013 1:00:00 PM (20 Minute Clock Begins At Thursday, March 21, 2013 1:00:00 PM)
Time Left:
Auction #208 - Part II
Item numbers 1278 through 3040 in auction 208
Value Code:
M - $5,000 to $10,000 Help Icon
Item Description
Many toys were created in response to the global fad of Batmania in 1966 caused by the ABC TV show starring Adam West, Burt Ward and the fantastic George Barris styled Batmobile. One company, however, stood clearly ahead of all others because of the variety and quality of their Batman products - the Ideal Toy Company. Ideal created an extensive line of Batman toys, including some of the most desirable vintage Batman toys ever made, such as the Justice League of America and Batman playsets, the Batman Cape and Cowl and Batman and Robin hand puppets to name a few. Probably the most desired is the multi-accessorized, (but rarely found) Batman Utility Belt. ©1966 NPP, Inc. 16x26x2.5" deep beautifully illustrated window display box w/insert contains complete set that consists of two-piece, semi-rigid vinyl belt and several accessory pieces - Bat-Rocket Grenade, built-in Bat-Storage Pouch, Bat-Rope w/grapple claw, 8" long Bat-A-Rang, built-in Dummy Transmitter buckle, Bat-Signal Flash flashlight, Bat-Cuffs, 9.5" long Bat-Gun Launcher, Batman Message Sender and instruction sheet. This set is often found w/the following components missing - Bat-Rocket Grenade, Batman Message Sender, Bat-Rope w/grapple claw and especially the small Bat-Signal Flash flashlight. To complicate matters even more for collectors, the belt was quite susceptible to breaking and had a very fragile foil buckle sticker that is often missing due to aged glue. Many consider a boxed Utility Belt to be the ultimate Holy Grail piece in Batman collecting, if not the entire realm of 1960s toy collecting. Belt has a mostly intact "Batman Utility Belt" buckle insert in place and shows some wrinkling, more so at lower left. There is some lifting and edge wear to the edges of this foil insert. This belt is commonly found w/a split buckle lid hinge and is very commonly found w/the upper/lower lugs on the lidded pouch compartment sheared off. We are happy to report that this belt exhibits none of these flaws. Excluding buckle wear and a few scratches to the smooth belt end section at right, the belt shows almost no damage. Belt remains attached to insert w/original mounting staple. Accompanying the belt is the original early version spring-loaded Bat-Gun, which sports a batsymbol stencil on its side, painted grips and a black plastic trigger (later versions sometimes had an orange trigger, unpainted grips and/or lacked the stenciled logo). Trace of lt. wear to the paint on the textured grips. Gun functions as designed. 3.25" long battery-powered working flashlight hangs from metal belt loop attachment. Many collectors do not realize that during the course of manufacture of the Utility Belt, Ideal issued several different variations of this flashlight. Probably the most recognized version of the belt had a bright luster metal body flashlight w/a push-button end to activate the light. A plastic lens cap was molded in various colors (most often black, purple and, less frequently, red), offered here is purple variety. These metal flashlights were adorned w/a painted batsymbol. Utility Belt examples produced later included a similarly sized, molded vinyl flashlight that hung by a short ball chain. Although there is controversy as to when the vinyl flashlights were issued, the flashlight attached to this belt is an original issue metal flashlight, now a highly prized item in its own right. Complete w/the original ball chain cord. Flashlight shows very lt. wear but works perfectly w/included bulb. Message Sender and Grenade darts both feature original black stems (later issues were often mounted on orange-red stems). Metal cap striker parts of the Grenade have mild surface oxidation. The molded vinyl (w/metal links) Bat-Cuffs work w/a simple slide catch. Cuffs have some lt. wear but are complete and unbroken w/just trace of aging to metal parts. Bat-A-Rang shows lt. wear, but remains free of cracks. The Bat-Rope's grappling claw is often missing, its twin tines were easily broken from stressing the hooks w/too much weight. Grappling hook retains the original rope, held in place by the factory's steel crimp. Rope has aged slightly. The hook, like the other molded vinyl pieces, shows lt. wear but is o/w undamaged. Also included is the original American, two-sided instruction sheet. Sheet has some creases and age spotting but is o/w clean and Fine overall. Belt's "Batman Utility Belt" foil buckle sticker shows moderate wear and is VG. Rest of belt shows just trace of wear and is VF/Exc. Components show very little wear as described above, are complete and Exc. overall. All components are guaranteed original Ideal pieces and none are of the recently remolded parts. Box features great full body image of Batman wearing and using this belt. Very early releases of this box had an open window in the lid, this has the original plastic within large die-cut window. Plastic has been re-glued along the bottom and is slightly loose along the right, as plastic was positioned barely on the glue line as produced. Window is free of any splits/tears and just shows lt. surface wear. Lid still has the original store price sticker at right side panel, showing a price of $3.99, marked down from the retail price of $6. Top and bottom side panels of lid each had 2.5" long tears that have since been re-glued. Lid has some warping to sides w/some scattered creasing, scattered color rubs to edges and faint age spotting. Original box bottom shows wear, w/side panel creases, aging and a single tape stain. Upper right has 1.5" tear w/neat glue repair. All corners are intact, held together w/original thick staples. Box is Fine overall. Box insert has staple at upper right as issued to keep insert in place. Insert also has die-cut slots to display the various Belt components, one has .75" tear. Insert has scattered faint age spotting and lt. wear, but is Fine overall and makes for a wonderful display w/the attached Utility Belt. Extremely rare set and very few boxed and complete examples are known.
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