Super Elite Batmobile Video & Review

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So aside from shooting the video and posting pics of the new Super Elite many people have been asking me for my actual opinions about it. My feelings. Give us the buzz, El Scootero – Is it worth the money? Is it nice? etc. So here we go:

1. Which upgrades are cool? The rocket tubes being now hollow and metal and sporting Corgi-esque missiles are pretty cool. The chrome flange/trim rings are nice, even if they’re not ’66 accurate. The chrome metal exhaust ring trim is nice. The photo etched metal running boards are nice. The painted dash details are okay. The aluminum display base is sleek and well-executed.

2. Which upgrades are bogus? The pleather (or leather, who cares) parachute packs while sounding like a neat idea if they could be carried off successfully, sadly weren’t. they’re puffy and cartoonish and inaccurate to boot. The braided turbine engine hosing is way out of scale, if there’s such a thing for a fictitious engine. Though they seem to have channeled the Chrysler turbine engine a bit so you never know. But the chrome plating and blue/red couplings just look kind of dumb. The metal beacon cage would have been nice but even if you forgive them for it being the current incarnation of the beacon, they left off the ribbing that was present on the earlier editions and so they lost any points they might have had. The metal rear antenna and plastic base are ludicrous.

3. So is it any good? Sure it is. It’s beautiful. If this were the only release HW had given us and charged us this amount for it we’d be pretty happy. Even though it’s expensive, we’ve all paid big money for resin versions and GADM replicas before so we’re used to high-ticket batmobiles. The problem comes in when they show us what they can do for $39 and then offer THIS for $279.00. There’s just not enough upgrade. The lack of lights, sound, or what would have made everyone happier – ACCURATE 1966 DETAILING, gives us nothing to justify the upcharge. If you take the Elite version’s pricing at $79 which didn’t seem too bad for all the upgrades it offered, then lets add $25 (to be generous) for the aluminum base, and roughly $25 (again being generous) for the metal upgrades and $6 for the soft goods (parachutes) then we’re looking at roughly a $139 collectible that’s being retailed at $279. That’s just outright offensive.

Not to mention that you could make the argument that the few upgrades I mentioned as being cool above should have and certainly could have showed up on the Elite version for an extra $12 and made everyone happier then.

Credit where it’s due – Hot Wheels pulled off what nobody else has been able to do (well, actually, DC just did too)  Let’s face it – HW did a pretty good job of capturing the car in its current state. It’s not their fault that none of us wanted those details. Or IS it?

2. Yes it is, sadly. Hot Wheels is a mega corporation and it’s negligent at best to not have done the bare minimum amount of market research required to fully optimize a major licensing expenditure such as this. There is more information about getting this model correct available online at a click of a mouse than just about any car in history. Not putting Andy Garringer, John Haig, Eric Seltzer, Mike Stutelberg, or Jim Apitz (or any combination of them) on as executive consultants on this project was misguided. My guess is that they would have done it for free. Instead they went with the king of the bullshitters who either sold them that this was the way the car was in 1966 (which means they’re idiots) or convinced them that the model should reflect the current condition of the car. Either answer is patently unforgivable, just from a marketing standpoint alone.

They all but ignored fan input all along. They kept pre-release info to themselves, showed no specs or catalog detailing at any point and didn’t exhibit any of what has become Retail 101 for the web 2.0 world – Transparency. User driven interaction gains you market share. Look at what the Star Trek or Irwin Allen communities have done for their collectibles market just by embracing the huge droves of geeks that actually shell out the cash to buy this stuff. (not dissing your target base – who’da thunk it?) Mattel’s old school cloak and dagger “if you make it, they will come” smirking attitude may work on their 50+ year old 1:64 scale scalpers that scour the world for “accidental” blister card variations – but it ain’t playing in Gotham City!

So if I tell everyone to stick with the $39 Standard and spend the rest of your money here at PMB! buying parts to trick it out it will seem self-serving. And not everyone is a modeler or has any interest in tricking out a diecast car. So instead let me offer what I am planning to do. For completists or HW Super Elite collectors or speculators or aluminum display base fans – knock yourself out with the Super Elite. For my money, I’m sticking with the Elite model because I like the opening hood and trunk (even though I hate the engine) and as-is, it’s the best value for the money. I’ll most likely trick one out completely 1st season and keep one in the box because it’s cool.

Hope that covers my opinions on the 3 versions. Please send any questions or comments here or the message board.

-Scooter

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  1. Tim

    August 25, 2008 at 12:47 pm

    Nice Job Scoots!

  2. Steve

    August 25, 2008 at 12:49 pm

    Scooter
    Thanks for your Super Elite analysis. I have the Elite, and I’m sticking with that model, with the addition of your fine Batman and Robin figures (now mail ’em to me dammit!). The Super Elite just does not have enough upgrades to justify the price. I am not a car hobbyist, just a 60’s Batfan and I agree that for all the uproar, Hot Wheels just did not do their homework. After all this time, to not have gone the exta mile and included the Batman and Robin figures, correct artwork on the boxes and correct details about the car is just bogus. Bravo for your work and analysis. Thanks to you I was able to make an educated choice and save myself $200.

  3. alexander rivera

    August 25, 2008 at 1:42 pm

    Spot on.I agree with you.alexander

  4. Gareth Nolan

    August 25, 2008 at 3:25 pm

    Hi Scott and thanks for all the info. Here in the UK the SE is £190 plus £8 postage. That is about $380 + $16 in US terms. Why do you think we call it “rip-off Britain!? For me to justify this expenditure the thing has to be spot-on to the vehicle I knew and loved as a lad. Hot Wheels have done me and thousands of other fans a great dis-service by failing to reproduce that vehicle. It’s lazy, sloppy, and ultimately arrogant and disrespectful. What annoys me most is that I – and others – will buy it. UK sellers are stacked-out with pre-orders. When I first received my Elite my first impression was nice but figures would bring it alive. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Hot Wheels figure with figures, but in this case its yet another glaring omission. As to pimping, well I’d do it given more info – I’ve no idea how to pull the thing in bits! If I could just replace the beacon I’d be happy! Gareth :)

  5. thpoulsen

    August 26, 2008 at 6:15 am

    Hi Scooter!

    Couldn´t agree more. Have the elite and are (still) waiting eagerly for the PMB parts to give it that finishing touch. Hope You´ll send those upgrade parts out soon.

  6. Lee Blacklock

    August 26, 2008 at 5:33 pm

    Hi Scooter and fellow batmobile lovers
    I have been reading all the comments and complaints about the imperfections of the Batmobile. I don’t care. It is what it is. My memory of this car was that it could do anything as long as Batman and Robin were driving. The elite is a beautiful piece of art. The conservantions I have read over the past 6 months has shown me that I don’t have a very good eye for detail but hey, life can be more simple that way. I, for one, will enjoy the car just as it is. I am impressed with what you guys do with the upgrades especially lights.

  7. Dimiter Koitscheff

    August 30, 2008 at 3:00 am

    Scooter Thanx.
    I’m in agreement with your write-up, and for those of us who enjoy a challenge, and have some modelling ability, buying the Standard Batmobile is the way to go.
    Similar groups of people do this everywhere with different focuses.
    I for one am greatful you characters are here!
    Cheers,
    Mit. (nickname)

  8. FANofBATS

    September 4, 2008 at 2:35 pm

    Do the seats now have a chromed trim piece? It looks that way on the video, but my Elites are painted silver, like the canopy frames. Not a big difference, but not one I’ve seen mentioned if so.

  9. admin

    September 4, 2008 at 2:51 pm

    No chrome on the seats. Seats are exactly the same as the Elite

  10. Nascarnbroncosfans

    September 13, 2008 at 10:23 am

    Nice video scooter…

    Video Comments: no mention of removing the trunk rubber band from the car.

    No mention of the lack of lights on the car.

    Thanks for the How-to on removing the car from the box-n base so I can place it in its home with my other 5 Batmobiles in the 6 Batmobile Glass case. I will be getting pictures of the 6 Batmobile Glass case and the 3 Batmobile Glass case to you soon so you can post it where ever you like. Thanks for a great site Scooter.

    kevin
    nascarnbroncosfans@msn.com

  11. Nascarnbroncosfans

    September 14, 2008 at 8:51 pm

    Okay, the pics suck but I do have all of the 1-18th scale Batmobiles in one case. Scotter hope this s fine to post this here.

    http://nascarnbroncosfans.wordpress.com/2008/09/14/custom-6-batmobile-glass-case/

    I hope everyone enjoys this

  12. Dave Boldt

    May 22, 2012 at 8:08 pm

    Hi there, Great review. Got one of these today thru eBay and the Bat radar is bent and missing the fourth blade? on it. Any way of getting a replacement Bat Radar? Also the back antena is little bent. A replacement of that, too? Thanks Dave Dallas, Texas

  13. admin

    May 29, 2012 at 10:10 am

    Hi Dave, our photo-etched parts set contains more accurate bat-radar parts (the 2 different season’s versions) but they’re not available individually separate from that set. All our products are on the private Products page of this site for direct ordering. Just subscribe https://www.pimpmybatmobile.com/subscribe/ to our list to get a password for access. Feel free to email us at info@pimpmybatmobile.com for any other help.

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