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Polar Lights Model Kits: Rolling out the Batmobile!

posted by JamieH 6:00 AM
Friday, October 1, 2010

The 1:25 scale 1966 Batmobile was one of our biggest new kit announcements last year. We were thrilled to sign the license and motivated to get started on it right away. We brainstormed ideas on how to get the most out of the subject and put our plan into motion to put out a kit that would give the subject its due. It was a kit most people thought could never be done… but we were up to the challenge.

It seems like the only thing we can depend on around here is that a project will take longer than expected or hoped. The nature of the problem is simple, we are working with partners overseas who are on the opposite side of the clock form us, (most) don’t speak the same language and were not brought up on American pop-culture. How does that cause a delay?

Time difference- means little direct communication. It takes a full day to turn around an answer to any question from either side.

Language barrier- though the CS reps we email to write English very well but if I word something strangely or if I’m not giving direction clearly enough, there is a breakdown in our game of telephone. I tell them, they tell someone else who does the work.

Pop-culture- anyone familiar with our products knows of them inside and out. They grew up looking at books, magazines and TV shows. The people working on our projects overseas have never seen or heard of the Batmobile let alone a Bat-ram. (The CS girls took great delight seeing for the first time how Batman handles being dipped in the ocean on a rope ladder with a shark biting his leg when I showed them the DVD on my trip in earlier this year)

After tons of emails, pictures of the mockup, hair lost and weight gained, we end up with something that looks like something we know and here we are rolling out the Batmobile. Originally, we hoped to have it out last Spring. Then it got pushed back to Christmas time. And here we are pushing it back to early 2011. It should hit stores in February now. But I’m betting no one cares about the long sob story and you just want to see the pictures. Well, here ya go…

The 1:25 scale 1966 Batmobile snap kit

14 Responses to “Polar Lights Model Kits: Rolling out the Batmobile!”

  1. spencer1984 says:

    This is really looking great, the work you’ve done to make it right looks like it’s paying off. I’ll definitely be getting a couple of these when they hit stores.

  2. Guys, guys…

    We’ve been waiting forty years for this model. A couple more months won’t matter now. Besides, if you’re reading this blog you probably have a huge stash of unbuilt models with which to while away the time. I know I do.

  3. This is great, It looks right on target. I’ve been waiting forever for this kit. Can’t wait to get one on my shelf alongside of my Munster’s Coach and Dragula and the MonkeeMobile. Hope to see the Green Hornet car in the near future too.

  4. BatToys says:

    It was well worth the wait. Overall it’s an A+.

    And it was interesting reading how communications progressed.

  5. Rocketfin says:

    Looks great!

    Thanks for the addition of the figures. The Robin is right on ! LOL

  6. 67firebird says:

    The model looks great but I have a serious question and I mean no disrespect to anyone. With all the problems you mention Pop-culture,Language barrier, Time difference, shipping etc. (I will not even mention the other glaring problems). Is it that beneficial to have all these kits made in China? Is the savings that great? Like I said, I mean no disrespect, I was just wanting to know and it’s not everyday that you get to ask a manufactureer such questions.

  7. round2fanatic says:

    The simple fix for this problem is to make the product here instead of China. It is bad enough that China owns us but their track record with everything from Baby food to dog food to the original Polar Lights Plastic consist is not great

    Round 2 is the best thing to happen to plastic models since Polar Lights Started so many years ago. Now that Polar Lights, AMT & MPC are under Round 2 we can hope to see some of the models we never thought would happen again and the Batmobile is a fantastic example of this.. GREAT WORK keep it us

  8. modelbaseguy says:

    This is Batastic news. I too have waited forever for someone to do this iconic car some justice. Thank you so much for your hard work making our dreams a reality.

  9. JamieH says:

    I’m a little bit surprised that the content of my write up has gotten as much attention as it has. I was just trying to find something to say to go along with the new pics. My point wasn’t that working with China was always difficult but that it sometimes is and is ultimately the cause for delays in many cases (although it isn’t the only cause).

    Could we make kits in the US? Yes and we are looking at doing just that for a few upcoming kits but it is more expensive. Would you be willing to pay 50% more for a licensed kit? That’s probably what you’d be looking at on production from existing tooling. Mockup fees would probably double so a new kit like the Batmobile would probably hit the streets at $40 or more. We don’t rely on China because we want to but because it is the only way to get kits done at a reasonable price.

  10. falcondesigns says:

    Coming along great,cant wait to open the box!

  11. Bats says:

    It looks just fantastic Jamie, I guess i’d have to say the rear canopy is in an acceptible range, and some other tweaks you’ve made are a really nice improvement. The Batman figure looks kind of…Brave and the Bold…ish.

  12. JamieH says:

    Bats- Once the mockup was scanned, I was able to get a few more tweaks done. Tooling is being cut now. I hope to see test shots in a month or so.

  13. Bats says:

    Jamie- I’m waiting patiently…as are all the guys over at Gotham. Nothing will be as sweet though, as cracking open that first box, one little sniff of fresh plastic and decals and BANG! I’m five years old again. Thank you Jamie, and many thanks to your fine team!

  14. Bats says:

    Can’t leave this one at 13 posts either! I’ve got about a dozen variations for this kit to build and I don’t want it jinxed!

    Any chance this kit will get re-tooled in the futre to make a Lincoln Futura? Or has that other company got that one sewed up?

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