Nineteen-sixty-six (1966), was the year of the Batman. First up was the television show that took the country by storm. Not just kids, but whole families, sat around their tv screens and rooted for the dynamic duo, Batman and Robin, to escape from a fiendish trap and defeat that week’s villain. And because of this, there soon were tons, and I really do mean tons, of Batman merchandise available to purchase. And one of these items was the 1966 Batman water gun (or squirt gun as we now call them).
Take a look at one still in the package:
This one was made in Hong Kong and could be had for less than a dollar at most five and dime stores that year.
Of course this was all made possible by the owners of the Batman copyright, DC Comics, as they are now know. DC published a monthly Batman comic book, as well as, Detective Comics, a monthly comic which also featured Batman. Plus, Batman also appeared in Worlds Finest with Superman and even Brave and the Bold. And lets not forget his sorta regular appearance in the Justice League of America comic too!
I tell you, you couldn’t get away from Batman in 1966 and 1967. It was a freaking phenomenon! Kids wanted anything and everything that featured Batman, it really didn’t matter what it was either. Put Batman on it and it sold. I really could spend years bringing you examples of the myriad of Batman related items from the sixties.
But I’m here today to talk about this squirt gun. So let’s get a closer look at the toy:
As you can clearly see from the above pics, the trigger is in a rather inappropriate place, and where you filled up the toy, is as well. If you look closely at the pic above you can just about see the plastic plug coming from Batman’s butt. Yep, his butt!
Can you image anyone today putting out a toy that looked like this? I’m sure parents across the world would be screaming and boycotting the toy. And the internet would have exploded! But hey, things were more laid back in sixties.
I would love to have one in my collection today, but alas, I do not. So like you, all I’ve got is the internet and research books to behold such a wonderful toy, even though it brings tears of laughter today, I’m sure my ten year old self would have gladly run around the neighborhood shooting my friends with this Batman water gun and never thought twice about it’s appearance!
Any of my readers own one in their collection today, or had one back in the day? If so, please leave me a comment and let me know if you’ve still got it or if it was lost to the sands of time. I know most of the squirt guns I owned as a kid ended up broken or at least leaking the water from various cracks.
Thanks, as always, for stopping by and taking the time to read my columns. I’ll be back next week with a new RETRO REVIEW and I’ll have another Fabulous Find in two weeks.
Hope your Thanksgiving was awesome and that you were able to spend it with family and/or friends. Heck, maybe both! take care folks …
Hey, it’s me again. Guess what Scott at Back to the Past gave me for Christmas? Yep, you guessed it, a still in package, inappropriate Batman water pistol! So awesome! Thanks Scott, as well as to the rest of the Back to the Past gang! So I can now proudly hold my Batman squirt gun up high and smile wildly!
I have the water gun exactly like the photo above. Came across it in a drawer and wonder what it is worth and who might be interested. Only the toy, no packaging.
Maureen, as I always tell people that ask the value of something … it’s worth what someone else will pay for it. I know, that doesn’t really help, does it. But it’s true. Have you tested it to see if it still holds water and squirts? I would think that if it does it would be worth more. Of course, mint in package is always worth the most.
The best place to check on value would likely be eBay to see what others are selling it for, or have sold it for. A quick check shows it might be worth around $50.00, but again, only if someone is willing to pay that much for it. Certainly on a low end it should bring you at least $10.00, I’d guess.
A lot of the buyers for these old collectibles are dying off unfortunately and younger collectors just don’t have the attachment to things like this. They want things from their old childhoods, not their parents or grandparents. Sad, actually.
You could also try checking a collectibles store near you to see what they would offer you, as well. I think this kind of thing is awesome, but I’m a dying breed. I can check to see if our buyer would be interested in it for you, if you’d like, but remember, we have to offer a price that we can still make a profit from when and if we can sell it to another customer!
Thanks for your interest and comment! – greg
Do you still have this toy?
Believe it or not I’m doing a research project on this water pistol for grad school. I was wondering whether you had any more info about it or have suggestions for where I might find such info. I’m looking to learn everything I can about it, from the original designer to the company that supplied the plastic to make it.
Mary, that sounds like a very cool project. Sorry, but I do not have much information on this water gun, other than what I originally wrote. There is no manufacturing info on the header card of the packaging, other than a number; No. 732, and that it is made in Hong Kong. The exact same information is stamped into the water gun itself, as well, just below Batman’s hand, if you have him turned so he is looking to the left. This is not repeated on the side with him looking to the right.
There is a picture of the water gun in it’s cello packaging in Chip Kid’s hardcover Batman Collected book that was published by Bullfinch Press in 1996, I think. It’s a great book, showing pictures of hundreds of Batman toys from the sixties through the nineties. But the one drawback is that it doesn’t give much information on the individual toys, and in most cases, none at all, especially those toys from the sixties.
Those were the ones that were made cheaply overseas and shipped to the US to be sold to children by the thousands and thousands to meet the need generated by the television program!
Sorry I couldn’t be of more help, but if you’d like to contact me directly, feel free to do so at [email protected]. I would love to see a copy of your paper when you’ve finished!