I know this isn't the standard type of post, but I figured it might be fun to share this with my fellow Burton Bat-enthusiasts. :) My oldest son Blaze celebrated his 11th birthday this past Sunday. As many of you may already know from my post about showing him the movie for the first time, Blaze is a pretty big fan of Batman. He reads the comics, watches the cartoons, and collects the toys- with the old Kenner stuff being his favorites. Well, with this year being the "Year of the Bat" for Blaze, he decided pretty early on what his birthday wish list would consist of for his 11th:
-Any vehicles from the Kenner Dark Knight Collection & Batman Returns lines
-Any Kenner Batman The Animated Series villains (to supplement his Keaton collection with since it only has 3 villains)
Since both my boys are really good about not asking for toys outside of birthday and Christmas, and since Blaze was pretty firm about what he wanted so far in advance, I had a lot of time to seek out plenty of goodies for this year. I hunted flea markets, watched online for deals, and called in a few favors with fellow collectors until I stockpiled enough Bat-treasures to make this an epic haul. Yeah, it may seem a little overboard... But like I said- The boys are REALLY good about not begging for toys throughout the year, saving up their wants for Christmas/ Birthdays, so these are the times we go a little overboard. And since Blaze is getting a bit older now, I am not sure how many of these "toy-centric" birthdays I have left to go nuts on... I wanted this one to be BIG. Plus, there was the whole "Year of the Bat" thing.
Seeing the joy on his face as he opened each one of these 20+ year old treasures made the work to gather them all up totally worth it. But the best reaction of all came from the one item he didn't expect: The Dark Knight Collection Batmobile. Thanks to my good friend Brendan's donation of his childhood Batmissile awhile back, my boys have had a Keaton style Batmobile for their figures to tool around in... but Blaze has eyed my "standard style" Dark Knight collection Batmobile for years, always remarking that it is "the best Batmobile ever". Since it can sometimes be a pretty pricey piece though, Blaze made it known that he didn't expect to ever get one, and he was totally cool with that. That Batmissile makes a fine stand-in, and there are plenty of other cool vehicles to be had. But I knew he really wanted it... and I remember as a kid having that same feeling about a lot of toys I knew were beyond my reach- Resigning yourself to not having it, but still dreaming that maybe one day it could happen. I was pretty determined to make that happen. It took quite a bit of searching, and maybe a little more expansion on the birthday budget than I intended... But seeing this? This is what matters:
That face says it all. I am pretty sure I had that same look on my face way back in 1989 when I opened up my Batman stuff. I take a lot of pride in the fact that my sons still enjoy playing with toys... Using their imaginations instead of always being plopped down in front of a video game. I think kids today have lost a lot of the "magic" involved in playing with toys that I had growing up- But that face up there shows me that they can still have all that; It just takes a little work to bring it back out.
Oh, and for anyone worried about my younger son Keaton being left out- When I was a kid, my parents would always get a little something for me to open on my sister's birthday, and vice versa. Nothing too major... Just something to help make the other kid not feel left out. I have carried this on with my kids, so Keats walked away with a Kenner Batcycle and a Robin figure yesterday as well. :)
Of course, what would a birthday be without cake? Blaze asked if it would be possible to have a 1989 Batman cake (which I was all for). Problem is that: a.) This is 2013 and 1989 Batman-themed cakes aren't exactly at every bakery, and b.) most places that make "picture" cakes ask that you either own the rights to the picture you use or that you have permission from its owner. Taking in a picture of Michael Keaton as Batman just wasn't going to fly. But my pal Matthew Parmenter stepped up to the plate and solved this little dilemma for me. By providing this illustration he did of Keaton as Batman for use on the cake, we were able to avoid those pesky copyright issues and give Blaze one bat-tastic birthday cake!
So there it is... Another birthday down. Thanks to anyone who read through all this! As I said, I know this isn't a standard post, but I thought some of us that were this age back in 1989 might get a kick out of it. Maybe it even brought back memories of your own Batman Birthday Bashes of the past...