Poll Position: Wonderful toys

With a hearty tip-o-the-cowl to The Great Batman Equipment Archive, I present to you the opportunity to choose from the Master of the Cool Gadget's collection of goodies for your very own personal use:


Quick, to the Bat Argument Room!

When I was a kid, they advertised various gadgets in the back of comic books. I only ever ordered one thing -- a Batman grappling hook and line. Visions of being able to finally climb up the big pecan tree by the house danced in my head for weeks, until finally it arrived in the mail ... and was a cheap piece of plastic about two inches long with a dental floss line attached. You'd be lucky to use it as a back scratcher. Childhood dreams dashed, I never ordered anything from a comic again.

But now that I am grown up, I can fantasize about a REAL bunch of Bat gadgets! So here are some of the more entertaining possibilities:

  • "Dark Knight" Batmobile: On the one hand, it would be awesome to rumble through rush hour traffic in this thing, crushing the slower motorists beneath your knobby tiers. On the other hand, I bet that thing gets, like, four miles to the gallon. And gas ain't cheap!
  • Batarangs: With a bewildering array of options on these babies, I have to say this is a tempting choice. Spinning razor blades of death, grappling lines, programmable 4-villain computerized mode, sonic bombs, you can do it all. Except throw them with any kind of accuracy, because we ain't Batman, folks.
  • Grapple Pistol: I'm talking about a version of the one Michael Keaton uses in the original Batman movie. I actually think this would be a ton of fun. Imagine you're standing at the bottom of a cliff, and rather than climbing it, you just FOOM and presto, you're being yanked to the top! Hitting every rock along the way with your non-Kevlar-protected head.

    OK, imagine you're at the MALL, and the escalator is just way too slow, so ...

  • Shark Repellant Bat-spray: I can't count the number of times I have been under attack by sharks and thought, "If I only had some Shark Repellant Bat Spray!". That's because you can't really count to zero, and I just blew your mind!
  • Ice Skate Boots: These are the pop-out kind seen in the epic fight against Mister Freeze in the movies. I have to admit, this might be handy, if you're in a frozen climate.
  • Anti-penguin Gas Pills: I know, I know, penguins look harmless and cute in their little tuxedos with their pot bellies. But don't let them fool you, those beaks are vicious! The next time you're at the zoo and you get savaged by a roving gang of punk-ass penguins, you'll be glad you chose this option.
  • Bulletproof Soles: From the Adam West Batman movie. I can't even imagine what good it would do you to have bulletproof feet, but only on the bottom. Are you often shot at by criminals on the floor below you? Is the bottom of your foot a particularly tempting target for the average person?
  • Mini Chainsaw: This would probably be almost as good against roving bands of punk-ass penguins as the gas pills, but a lot more visceral.
  • Kevlar Gorget: None of my gorgets are made of Kevlar, and it would definitely complete my collections. So that's tempting. Plus, my wife is constantly trying to garrote me.
  • Batcuffs: This is probably the most directly useful item on the list, at least for a certain segment of the population into a certain kind of recreation.

I think the grapple gun would be the most fun, though also very dangerous. It's hard to pass up a mobile tank, though, even if the fuel charges would be ruinous. I can't count the number of times I wished my vehicle mounted a cannon, although now that I see that written out, perhaps it's for the best I don't.

So, I'm going with the grapple gun. That thing is awesome.

Which would you pick, and why?

27 Responses to Poll Position: Wonderful toys

  1. Me, Myself & I says:

    Assuming I can just have an item without having to pay for it I’d go for the โ€œDark Knightโ€ Batmobile. Of course once it was in my posession, I would promptly sell it. That would certainly help pay for the business I’m buying.

  2. Danny Beaty says:

    @Jeff: Hang your head in shame for not incliding the George Barris Batmobile on the list! That car rules!

  3. Doornik1142 says:

    My girlfriend would probably like those batcuffs, but I gotta go with the batmobile.

  4. Danny Beaty says:

    I should have said “including”. I will now hang my head in shame for shitty typing skills.

  5. Joshua says:

    Promptly selected the “Dark Knight” Batmobile. Mind you, I won’t be getting much use out of it. No leisurely Sunday drives with this bad-boy, and virtually no trunk space for grocery trips for me. And yet, having taken my life into my hands by driving the maddening roads of Washington DC and Manhattan, I want the raw power this Batmobile could afford me. No longer will I have to deal with the insanity of road-raged motorists nor absent-minded morons texting whilst driving, because let ’em try it now.

    V’room, v’room b&%#@es! ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. X-stacy says:

    Batmobile, because road rage, baby!

    (The one other people might want me to have is…well, probably none of them!)

  7. Worf says:

    I wen for the DK Batmobile because frankly… I stopped reading after that choice was made available. It’s just THAT awesome. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  8. Dan says:

    Awww Jeff, the Tumbler and NOT the Batman Forever Batmobile that is decked out in neon and an insanly huge fin AND can climb walls?? Now that’s rollin’ in style! I mean, come on, chicks dig that car. I’m gonna go throw up im my mouth now.

  9. Sticko97 says:

    I voted for the grapnel gun. What isn’t cool about one of those.

  10. Myro says:

    Okay, during winter up here, ice skate boots actually might have a practical purpose. Still, just not exciting enough.

    The grapple gun might be fun, but that thing will get me killed. Most of the items are completely impractical for me. I think I’m with MMI on this one. I’ll take the Batmobile, maybe drive it around once or twice, and then sell it. Bills need to be paid.

    Dan (8): I actually did LOL at that one.

  11. ajw says:

    grapple gun, if you look up the video game Just Cause, the grappling gun is used as transportation.

  12. frankie says:

    Is that first thing on the right a Bat-turkey baster?

  13. Tarkabarka says:

    Absolutly Batmobil. – In the road of B0udapest, that car saves life.

  14. Nikki says:

    As much as I love the scene in Batman and Robin (1997 film) when Dick steals the Batmobile and shows it off to his peers, I’ll have to turn that “gadget” down.

    Practical tomboy that I am, I’d take the mini chainsaw. I’d be good to have handy when you can’t find the scissors.

  15. Shade2075 says:

    Hmm… Heavily armored car with lots of crime fighting tools or a single crime fighting item? I’m going to have to go for the car.

  16. Erez says:

    J and Silent Bob found a good use for the Grapple Pistol. and I do hate Mall events…

  17. The Tumbler, because it is too obvious. Though a kevlar gorget would come in handy in case Vulcans attack in some cross-over / dimensional rift event. Now, if it were cat(woman)cuffs and not batcuffs… well…


  18. Watson Bradshaw says:

    Gotta go with the grapple gun, I would love to try leaping off a tall building and firing that sucker over to another ledge and swinging through the LA skyline, but truth be told I would probably loose my grip and fall straight to my death!

  19. Joshua says:

    As Bugs Bunny would occasionally break the fourth wall and ask if there was a doctor in the audience, I now must break from our nerd-stravaganza and ask if we have a physics/engineering geek amongst us. Why? It’s about the grappling gun.

    I’m unsure if the military has developed a lightweight rappelling/grappling device that could generally lift 270-350 lbs of man, body armor, and equipment; it’s doubtful. So, if anybody wants the challenge: just what kind of thrust would it take to propel a line/grappling hook (…sturdy enough not to fray or break under the weight of said person) up several stories? Plus– obviously a cartridge of CO2 wouldn’t be adequate enough to generate that thrust, so what would?

    Thanks ๐Ÿ˜‰

  20. Jeff Hebert says:

    Joshua, I think there’s a guy who has built and is producing similar sorts of devices. Obviously not as small or with as think a line as in the movies, but which works pretty well. Strangely, it’s built by Nate Ball, the guy who used to be one of the hosts of the PBS show, “Design Squad”.

    More info on the ATLAS Ascender here.

  21. Bael says:

    Like Jeff said, for certain values of portable.

  22. Knighthawk says:

    As I recall, Mythbusters made a very operative grapnel launcher that was shoulder mounted CO2 tank and a separate belt fixed winch to ascend 20 feet in 4 seconds as two parts of the samr myth. If you put them together you could potentially have a backpack with shoulder mounted launcher for at least 2 shots.

  23. Joshua says:


    Upon further reading it seems that ATLAS Devices has been contracted by the U.S. Army to supply Ascenders for the troops. Now I really hope to get an Airborne unit so I can get my hands on this! Thanks Jeff & Bael.

  24. Dewd says:

    Grapple gun. Everything else is single-use, too specific, or expensive. The Batmobile probably gets about three mpg. The grapple gun is powered by air.

  25. Steve M. says:

    On which gadget I’d want? I’d have to go for the car, personally. Mainly because it would “help” (heh heh) with some of the horrible drivers in my area.

    On another note, am I the only one that noticed that the toy set in the picture up there has given Batman a gun?

  26. haz says:

    Why, oh why isn’t the Batcycle, or whatever that Dark Knight motorcycle was called, on this list? I admit I only saw it in the movie trailers, and with wheels that wide the maneuverability’s got to suffer, but still! Definitely the motorcycle. If a motorcycle is 100 times more fun than a car (and it is), then Batman’s motorcycle must be 100 times more fun than the Batmobile.

  27. Zorbas the Awesome says:

    Really, Jeff? No classic Impala batmobile with all the great gadgets used by Michael Keaton? such a shame…