1977 "Light blue canopy"
The distinguishing features of this version include a filled-in nostrils on the bat nose, taillights that are also completely filled in, whizzwheels (12 spokes & notch tyres), a non-moving exhaust flame, the tail fin tips were shorter than on earlier versions and the Batmobile label on the underside of the car was revised to include a copyright stamp for National Periodical Publications.
This version is similar to the 1973 version but differs in a few ways. The 1976 whizzwheel version featured a different tyre tread and different style hub than the 1973 version. Also, the windshield was more light blue as opposed to aqua. The lower body molding differed from earlier versions with replacement of the word "Batmobile" with a rectangular copyright molding that says "Batmobile" and "National Periodicals Publications, Inc." near the turbine exhaust. For the Batmobile collector, I think you should have either a 1973 version or a 1976 version to round out your collection.
1976-79 Corgi Batmobile - now made with 12 spoke whizzwheels, Robin very small, no instruction envelope, available in blue, white and purple glass. The other main change was to the bottom of the Batmobile, which now had National Periodicals on the bottom. All versions before this just had Batmobile on the bottom. There are versions of this car that had Batmobile on the bottom, and they happened with the white and purple glass. Which were the first to have the new styled wheels... When the blue glass later followed, it had National Periodical on it.
From 1976 though, no instructions or badge were included with the car, you had to make do with a diagram on the back of the box instead!!! Cost cutting by Corgi!!
1976 window style box. The backside of this box showed a photo of the actual Corgi Batmobile. By this time, Corgi apparently decided it was too expensive to include the instruction envelope, etc. So the instructions were printed on the box. It included a sprue of 12 yellow missiles.
1976 Gift Set 3
The Car, Boat and Trailer
The car was the 1976 style Batmobile, possibly with a clear canopy. The Batboat was the second version Batboat 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.
The 1976 style GS 3 box was also dark blue and yellow and featured a graphic of Batman, the Batmobile and Batboat on the top of the box. This graphic extended above the top of the box, similar to the fold-down flap on the 1967 box, but on the 1976 box, the graphic did not fold down. The rear of the box showed a photograph of the Corgi Batmobile and Batboat. The box had a white styrofoam insert similar to those of the 1970 and 1973 boxes.
1976 Gift Set 40
The Car, Boat and Trailer and Batcopter
The car, boat and boat trailer were the same as in the 1976 GS 3. The Batcopter was a Corgi Batcopter #925. The Corgi Batcopter 925 was based on the Corgi Police Helicopter 921 which was based on the real-life Hughes 500 turbine-powered helicopter (military designation OH-6). The Corgi Batcopter was painted glossy black and featured red-orange scalloped rotors (resembling bat wings) and an operating winch. Inside the Corgi Batcopter was a little Batman but no Robin. There were actually two versions of the Corgi Batcopter. At first glance, they appear identical but there is a subtle difference visible in the body molding at the top of the windscreen. The first version Batcopter shows an elevated ridge in the body molding near the top of the screen that is not present in the later Batcopters. There is a more obvious difference between the two version in the construction of the winch but it is only visible if you disassemble the Batcopter. Based on the random sampling of Batcopters I've owned or repaired (roughly 20), the first version Batcopter is much more common. In the 1966 Batman movie, the Batcopter was really a Bell 47 piston-powered helicopter. Since the Corgi Batcopter didn't at all resemble the "real" Batcopter and since I think the scalloped rotors are hokey, I am not a fan of the Corgi Batcopter and do not consider it to be a "must have" item for the Batman enthusiast. I only own some examples because they were packaged with the very cool Corgi Batmobile.
The 1976 style GS 40 box was an elongated version of the GS 3 box. It was primarily dark blue and yellow and featured a graphic of the Batmobile, Batboat and Batcopter on the top of the box. This graphic extended above the top of the box, similar to the fold-down flap on the 1967 box, but the graphic did not fold down. The rear of the box showed a photograph of the Corgi Batmobile, Batboat, and Batcopter. The box had a white insert made of styrofoam with a piece of white cardboard that helped to hold the Batcopter in position.