1976 "Orange fin, close holes"
The Batboat was the second version Batboat (1976 - 1980) which featured a red plastic fin with a black and yellow bat logo sticker attached to it. The sticker on the hull featured a geometric pattern of red, black, and yellow. Following Corgi's tendency toward cheaper manufacturing processes, the beacon no longer had a metal cage on it. The trailer was still painted gold but it now had plastic whizzwheels on it. The boat was attached to the trailer by means of two posts on the center rail of the trailer fitting into two corresponding holes in the bottom of the boat.
Batboat 1976-81 Orange fin version, only ever available with blue glass, Batman and Robin, different hull stickers, no beacon cage at all. Box was header box predominantly yellow and black with a window.
If you look at the pic of the prototype batboat, you will notice that the tin effect was going to be kept either side of the fin, whilst the fin lost the tin completely.
The Batboat, there were 6 versions of this. The tin fin 1st issue, which came with aqua, purple, white and light blue glass and 2 versions of the later one. Early versions of the last issue Batboat still have the cut outs on the body of the boat. If you look at the front of a tin fin and orange fin you will see that the tin fin has 2 slits where you can see into the boat, whereas later orange fin versions don't, apart from VERY VERY early orange fin ones. Its hard to describe or name it really, its the area where the raised area on the front of the boat dips into the front area which leads to the hook on the front.Theres 2 holes there either side. They simply used up the rest of the tin fin bodystyles they had left over.The type of Batboat that appears on the back of 76 issues was a prototype and was never produced for any of you that have ever noticed the differences between the boat you get and the pic on the back. Also, any whizzwheels made from 76 youll notice they tend to have a lot of chrome wear. Earlier models were painted twice and then lacquered whereas in later whizzwheels versions they only had one coat and were not lacquered. This is why some early models, even battered ones tend to keep the chrome finish a lot better, rather than the later issues.
The type of Batboat that appears on the back of 76 issues was a prototype and was never produced, if you look at the back of your orange fin Batboat box, you'll notice that the Batboat pictured still has the same bat-stickers as the tin fin, and it still has a beacon. This was the prototype assembled, and they wanted it cheaper so removed the beacon and changed the design of the stickers. I daresay that prototype is out there somewhere, yet i've never seen it :
Early versions of the last issue Batboat still have the cut outs on the body of the boat :
This BatBoat have the right cut partially outs on the body of the boat, the left is full open (!) :
I've found another slight variation with the later issue batboat, the front where its usually either cut out both sides on early ones and later ones weren't cut out, well this one side in front of Robin has about a third cut out and the other side completely cut out.
The Batboat wasn't a very good seller, especially the later version. There wasn't any features on it like the Batmobile, and given the choice most children went for the Batmobile. The Batboat was cancelled in 1981, along with the Batcopter, which wasn't a good seller and looked nothing like the tv series one. For me personally, whilst i own the Batcopter and the Batbike, they aren't my favourites. Corgi tried to expand its batman range in 76 with the penguinmobile and the jokermobile, but these didn't sell well either.