February 7, 2011

Collectible (02-07-2011) - Batman

Filed under: Collectible of the Day — fairplaythings @ 2:55 am

Collectible of the Day for February 7, 2011
(Eighth in a series)

Hong Kong Handover Edition

Toy Line: Batman (Kenner)
Region, Year: Asia, 1997
Essential Weblink: n/a

The Rundown: Despite a predilection to talk about Transformers all the time, it remains true that I collect other lines and certainly other oddities. And though it wasn’t my first choice for the first month of Collectibles, Kenner’s Batman figure commemorating the handover of Hong Kong from Great Britain to the People’s Republic of China certain qualifies as one such oddity.

I barely know where to begin with this one. First, the what. Handover Batman is a gold repaint of what was the special Batman figure produced by Kenner to commemorate the 100 edition of the classic comic character for the company, starting with the 1984 Super Powers collection and running through the Dark Knight’s live action and animated appearances of the 1990s. In the background are the two flags of the city pre- and post-handover. The figure itself was released only in Asia.

With respect to the why it was produced, I have no idea. Kenner ties the production of the figure to a celebration of Hong Kong, a city that “echoes the dynamism of Gotham City,” allowing for the use of Batman as a celebratory figure. But isn’t that a bit of a backhanded comment, equating a real city in one of its moments of history with a crime-ridden American city terrorized by maniacal clowns and riddled truths? My theory is that they had the figure, Batman was popular, and they wanted to put something out in the marketplace. Usually these things are as simple as that. And yet…

How the figure came into my possession is mostly a mystery to me. I know I came aware of its existence, likely through Lee’s Action Figure magazine. I know I acquired it from Asia, but I cannot recall if it was through trade or sale, if it was through eBay or through the old alt.toy.trade message boards that we relied on so heavily in the 1990s. Somehow it arrived and survived, resting comfortably in one of the many action figure boxes in my basement for the last eight years.

Why it made it out to display so early was simple: my girlfriend simply didn’t believe it existed. I happened to mention it in casual conversation, and she accused me of fabricating the whole thing. Nothing this absurd could exist. Not only does it exist, I say, I have one in the basement. And now here it is, for all to see. Clearly, something to display when I bring the toys out of storage next time.

Now if only I had the commemorative Star Wars three packs to go with it…

Additional Pictures:

Back of Package

Back of Package & 100th Anniversary Batman for Comparison


  1. Okay, it exists. I’m not sure *why* it exists, but it’s indisputably real. I still think it’s one of the strangest, least comprehensible tie-ins ever.

    Comment by kirilaw — February 7, 2011 @ 11:35 am

  2. What’s worse? That it exists or that it is in the collection?

    Comment by fairplaythings — February 7, 2011 @ 3:56 pm

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