Adam West (image right), star of the popular but campy 1960's Batman TV show, died of leukaemia @ 88, on Friday evening, his family said in a statement. Joe Sterling (CNN) June 11, 2017.
Our first grandson grew up mostly at our home in the early years of his childhood. He was only two when the family started buying for him Tomica, Hot Wheels and Siku scale-model vehicles. The collection grew and JayOne, within a span of six years has more than 700 pieces of these beautifully crafted cutie mixes of vintage, saloon, super sports and buses.
Since the collecting became both our affair, I looked after the die-cast buses, trucks and vintage cars. His interest is keeping the supercars and the number amounted to more than 500 pieces. Name it and he would have the Lamborghini, Ferrari, Porsche, Bugatti and others.
As the years went by, the hobby has become an addiction for both. Worse, I decided to collect another special car I fancied, one owned by the most popular and talked about the superhero.
He was a favourite. Draped in black, the man who was dressed as a bat became a knight and my collection of his special car expanded. So today this rather odd collection of the Dark Knight's cars has grown from three to a dozen, eleven blacks and one sand-coloured. The first appearance of the Batmobile came out in a comic book in 1939, so imagine how many caped crusader's model cars there are for collectors.
Meanwhile, the family has to be careful with JayOne since he is totally focused on buying more of his supercars whenever he is at a toy-shop or shopping mall. Enforcement doesn't usually work with children; they need to understand the reason why certain practices are prohibited.
To keep him balanced and focused, I had to explain my obsession with the Batmobile. So here's my version of the Bat-story that I told him.
I explained that I used to watch, as a young adult, my favourite superhero on television. It was the 1966 Adam West/Burt Ward version with the jingly theme music calling out, "Batman, Batman..." The pow, wham, sok, bam affected me so much I had myself glued to the set every time the programme came on the air.
In the beginning, Batman, like Green Hornet and sidekick Kato, had a friend called Robin but he soon disappeared and our dark knight stood alone to fight the evils of Gotham City. (Of course there's a tale behind this.)
Now alone, Batman had the car to himself and the single seater version was produced. The creativity behind the transformation was fabulous and final metamorphosis was unbelievable. From an ordinary automobile that used to be shaped a little like a bat, it became a turbo powered contraption, a tank and a tumbler. Wing sprouts and huge wheels became a feature. Batpod?
Even the theme song music compositions are incredible. A simple Batman TV Theme, with choir girls, repeatedly screaming the same phrase, mushroomed into a brilliance of the Zimmer and Howard, Dark Knight Rises' orchestral and digital music phenomenon. The Batman franchise is a king maker.
During my recent visit to another nearby island and a walk around their Heritage Place, the toy shop guy refused my generous offer to sell me his Hot Wheels Batpod since he has only one piece left. No amount of persuasion could make him let it go. Sigh.
The bonding with my grandson is great, what with the model cars and the variety of Batmobiles available; they have become a common source of discussion during dinner chats. Not easy to talk to a ten-year-old who knows more about supercars than his grandpa.
For the past few months, he has been buying me a few of the other Batmobile models. Taking a photo of the replica and sending it by What'sApp he would SMS: "You want this?" My reply was always yes because he knows I don't own that particular model.
"OK," he would reply, "Will get for you." Daddy, in the background, was very supportive and would pay the $5.90 for the metal piece. Wish I had done the same with him and my elder one.
BTW, anyone with an extra bat pod?
Singapore, 16th December 2015:
The other famous franchise and just as popular is STAR WARS, coming into battle by midnight tonight, Singapore time. Batman for the moment will probably be left out of the fracas as Darth Vader, Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, C3PO, Chewbacca do battle again.
Another great time for collectors. And boom time for toy makers. Yikes!
Images: A personal collection; Google.
YouTube Video 1: YouTube The Batman Theme Song by M-Power Addict.
YouTube Video 2: Batman The Dark Knight Rises Main Theme by Jacka.
(This posting is a personal one and does not promote or sell Batman and Star Wars franchise.)