"Long tail fin, taillight recessed, two noses recessed"
Distinguishing features of the original style Corgi Batmobiles include : hollow or recessed nostrils in the bat nose, rubber tyres and gold wheel hubs with red bats, a "Batmobile" label on the underside of the car, a turbine exhaust nozzle, a pulsating exhaust flame, longer tail fin tips and recessed taillights.
In later versions, eventually each one of these features changed.
In the fall of 1966, the "Batman" motion picture was released which featured the Batboat. Therefore, Corgi created a Batboat for their Batmobile and a trailer for the Batmobile to pull the Batboat on. They didn't explain how the physics of towing a boat behind the jet exhaust was overcome. But the real downside to this and the second change Corgi made to their Batmobile (in a long series of changes mostly for the worst) was that Corgi soon gave the Batmobile and ALL subsequent versions of Corgi Batmobiles a tow hook molded onto the jet turbine exhaust. The first version Batmobile to feature this integral towhook was identical to the original matte black version except for gloss paint and the tow hook. Batman was often molded in a light blue with this version but the older light grey Batman is also a possibility. This version MAY have actually been available in 1966 (I don't know for sure), but it wasn't featured until Corgi's 1967 catalog. So I call it the 1967 version.
1967-72 Corgi Batmobile gloss black- ran for 5 years, with a towhook, different shades of aqua glass, pulsating flame, red bathubs, pulsating flame, silver beacon cage, Batman and Robin, instructions envelope containing the same as above. Batman was blue with a grey body in all these early versions (but in 1970 he changed to blue and beacon changed to gold which coincided with the box change) This was the last model to have the red bat hubs, and it was changed because a lot of people claimed that the tyres kept breaking or splitting, rendering the car useless since Corgi never sold spare parts to help you repair your Batmobile, they sent them out free if you complained (which is why they changed the tyres). Batmobile in capital letters on the bottom of the car.
1966 fold-out display box. This is the box that most people seem to want. It has the nicest graphics on it and the inner fold-out forms a nice display for the car (which will leave your car vulnerable to collecting dust if it's not protected inside a larger display case). This box included a small envelope containing an instruction sheet (printed in light purple and black) which also had an application for the Corgi Model Club on the reverse side. The envelope also contained a small leaflet which described features of the the Corgi Batmobile. It also had an adhesive "Batman" sticker which Corgi referred to as an "owner's badge" (shown being worn on a lapel). Finally, the envelope contained a sprue of 12 red missiles for the Batmobile to launch. Some people says that yellow missiles were also sold with this car originally.
1970 window box. Although this box itself shows a 1966 copyright, I call this a 1970 box because it almost certainly came out at the same time as the second version Gift Set 3 box which has a 1970 copyright on it. Both of these boxes show a similar revised color scheme and new style Corgi logo. Although I suspect a lot of Batmobiles were sold in this box, it is fairly rare now as people apparently didn't like saving it as much as the older fold-out display type. The rear of this box shows a picture of Batman apparently about to be run over by a Batmobile speeding out of the Batcave. An advantage of this box and all other window boxes is that it displays your car and protects it from dust. This box included the same envelope, purple & black instructions, feature leaflet, "Batman" badge, and red missiles as the earlier versions.
Look tyres are not original : the repro tyres have 2 lines down the centre, as opposed to original tyres which had 3 lines down the centre. Steve Flowers deliberately made his repro parts like this...
1967 Gift Set 3
The Car, Boat and Trailer
The car is the tow hook version mentioned above. The Batboat was the first version or "tin fin" version. Although the Batboat was blue in real life, Corgi chose to mold their Batboat in black. This first version Batboat did feature a "flame" sticker on the side of the hull similar to the real Batboat. The rear deck and fin were covered with a tin lithograph which displayed the yellow and black bat logo and was roughly correct for the actual Batboat. Like the Batmobile of this era, the trailer had metal hubs and rubber tyres, although they were smaller than those of the Batmobile. The Batboat was held in place on the trailer by means of two "spring loaded" plastic "hooks" that grabbed two corresponding tabs on either side of the boat hull. All Batboat trailers were painted gold.
A Note About Batboats Sold Separately : The first version Batboats were sold with a little plastic "trailer coupling" that fit over the first version Batmobile's turbine exhaust (held by friction). This coupling provided a hook for pulling the trailer. Those trailer couplings are very rare these days. But at least the first version Batmobiles were able to pull around the Batboat and trailer.
1967 Gift Set 3 box. The box featured a graphic of the Batmobile and Batboat which folded down flush onto the box for shipping purposes. The insert was a yellow vacuum molded piece of plastic.
1970 Gift Set 3
The Car, Boat and Trailer
The car is the tow hook version mentioned above. The Batboat was the first version or "tin fin" version. Although the Batboat was blue in real life, Corgi chose to mold their Batboat in black. This first version Batboat did feature a "flame" sticker on the side of the hull similar to the real Batboat. The rear deck and fin were covered with a tin lithograph which displayed the yellow and black bat logo and was roughly correct for the actual Batboat. Like the Batmobile of this era, the trailer had metal hubs and rubber tyres, although they were smaller than those of the Batmobile. All Batboat trailers were painted gold.
1970 Gift Set 3 box, the second version Gift Set 3 box which has a 1970 copyright on it.
Photograph ©Eric Matheson