Monday, April 7, 2014

Merchandise Spotlight:
Joker Cycle
Toy Biz Batman Vehicle

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Video Spotlight:

Pictorial Review:

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  1. ToyBiz really didn't know anything about making toys when they started out, which is probably why so many of their early figures were clearly copies of Kenner figures... you know, the better-looking ToyBiz figures. I always knew the Kenner Batcycle was a repurposed Robocop cycle (just as the Batcopter was a repurposed Super Powers Batcopter) but having finally gotten a good look at the ToyBiz Batcycle and Joker Cycle, I'm reasonably certain they were indeed based off of the Robocop cycle too. Obviously, there was some retooling done, but if you take a good look, there are clearly some matching characteristics on the bikes. The instrument panels and rear wheels are dead giveaways. More Kenner rip-offs!

    I had the opportunity to buy the ToyBiz Joker cycle on clearance at KayBee for $3 years ago, but having already had quite a bit of experience with how crappy ToyBiz toys were, I opted for the far superior Kenner Joker cycle. Seeing what the ToyBiz one sells for now makes me wish I had! Though the Kenner cycle is still far superior (and all in one piece... Kenner actually knew how to make toys).

    My favorite toyline of all time was Super Powers, and though I never had many, I was really bummed once it was gone. So when I opened up that Warner Bros. catalog all those years ago and saw those Batman movie figures for sale, I immediately ordered them, very, very excited. When they finally arrived, some time later, I got this hideous pot-bellied Batman with a badly misshapen head, and a fat-headed Joker figure that really didn't look any better, not the repainted Kenner figures ToyBiz had been using for their advertising. Man, did I feel cheated. I still hate ToyBiz to this day.

    The Batmobile was cheaply made, and has been steadily falling apart over the years, and I'm pretty sure the claw mechanism on my Batwing broke the same day I got it. My dad and his buddy went into the garage and did a repair job on it, but it broke again after only a use or two. At that point I realized ToyBiz toys were just garbage, and it was never going to work right.

    I'll never understand how ToyBiz got the license to make that first set of Batman movie figures and the DC Super Heroes line. Considering the toylines that had come before it, and those since, the ToyBiz figures seriously looked like cheap bootleg knock-offs (and considering a lot of them were copies of Kenner toys, they essentially were) you'd find some cheaply-made goods store in Chinatown. And they were being carried in all the big name stores! Naturally, I bought them, because that was the only option I had for DC figures at the time, but man, was I yearning for the far superior Super Powers toys of a few years prior. You can bet I was ecstatic once Kenner got the license back!

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