Fabulous Find: 1977 Batman String Puppet

Howdy partners!  It’s once again time for a new Fabulous Find, and this week I’ve had to go to the research books and internet, as I do not actually own this collectible.  And what is this collectible I’m referring to?  Well, it’s from Madison Limited and DC Comics, and it is the Batman Super-Heroes String Puppet.  It was available in stores, but just how many?  I doubt that it was a very easy found item.  I know I never saw them back in 1977 when they were available for purchase.  The internet does mention that Sears might have carried them, but I do not know for sure.

So without further ado, here is the Batman string puppet, first in the box:

1977 Batman string puppet box (front)

1977 Batman string puppet box (front)

And now, the back of the box:

1977 Batman string puppet box (reverse)

1977 Batman string puppet box (reverse)

And as you can see, Batman was only one of three string puppets that were available.  You could also purchase Superman and Wonder Woman!  And my internet research shows that there was also a Robin string puppet, but this might have only been available through mail order.  Any of my readers know?

Apparently you could manipulate just the hands, just the feet, or both together (see the box back above).

Now here is a picture of the string puppet out of the box:

1977 Batman string puppet

1977 Batman string puppet

Not a bad looking toy!  And I’m sure most kids could pick up how to use the string puppet pretty easily.  Yeah, right! I know the couple of times I ever tried to manipulate a marionette, it was an utter disaster!  But maybe I just didn’t have the necessary skill set to make them work.

One final picture I found on the internet shows the store display for these string puppets.  Here that is:

1977 Batman string puppet display

1977 Batman string puppet display

This display was pretty cool in itself, as it had a turning mechanism in the top, which made the puppet move and dance.  Now that would have made any kid want to own one!  I wonder how many stores had these set up to help sell the product?  I suspect not many.

So, a quick couple of question … do any of my readers own one of these?  Do any of you remember seeing them for sale?  And finally, did you see the store display in action back in the day?

Please let me know by responding here, or on Facebook, or Twitter.  I’d love to hear your story about this pretty rare collectible.  And be back next week for a new RETRO REVIEW and again in two weeks for another Fabulous Find.

Summer is over, so let’s all enjoy the fall weather and the beginning of the football, basketball and hockey seasons!  Till next time …

About Greg Turner

Greg Turner (@gregturner16) is Back to the Past’s archivist and an auctioneer. He writes the columns “Fabulous Finds” and “Retro Reviews” on alternating weeks for the website and spins classic 45′s each week for Vinyl Tuesdays.

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