1979-83, Corgi Batmobile, black tyres, wide whizzwheels.

1979 "Wide Whizzwheels"

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The distinguishing features of this version include a filled-in nostrils on the bat nose, taillights that are also completely filled in, a non-moving exhaust flame, the Batmobile label on the underside of the car was revised to include a copyright stamp for National Periodical Publications, a wider slot for the chain cutter which was slightly dimpled at the top of the slot and wider whizzwheels that extended out beyond the car's fenders.




The Car

I'm not sure exactly when the wide whizzwheels showed up. It appears to me to have first appeared in 1979 but it wasn't until the 1981 Corgi catalog that the Batmobile is shown with wide whizzwheels. I consider this version very optional for the collector due to its similarity to the 1976 version. There are two basic differences. The body molding is slightly different in the area of the bat nose. The slot for the chain cutter blade is wider and slightly "dimpled" near the top of the slot compared to the corresponding area on the 76 version. The most obvious difference is the wider whizz wheels (and suspention for tyre was NOT on it). The hubs are the same as in 1976 but the tyres protrude out beyond the wheel well fenders. By the time this version appeared, I guess the popularity of the car had dwindled and it seems to me there are fewer of these out there than other versions. In terms of quality of construction, this is the worst. From about 1976 on, the "rivets" particularly those inside the car were often not as tight as on previous versions. Also, I've seen dashboards that were simply never chrome plated with this version.


1979-83 Corgi Batmobile - now made with wide wheels, (people tended to complain that the thinner whizzwheels broke or bent too easily and made the car useless when playing with them on concrete, and the suspension broke too easily, hence the wide wheels) early versions that came in the yellow blue with built in header card came with the pink Robin, the headlights changed from yellow to orange, and the horn indicators were not cut out properly. When the box itself changed in 81, to the black red yellow box with detachable header card, Robin was no longer in the car. Later versions had what’s known as the blue dashboard, (which is easily accomplished, (you could do this yourself with a cotton bud and a bit of white spirit) Batcopter stickers on etc. These were the last to leave the assembly line, since Corgi knew they were finished, and built the car with what was left. The horn indicators, either side of the beacon, now were not cut out properly. If you look at any version before this one you will notice that the tips are still on the wide wheeled version, but instead of bending into a curve from the top. It just goes straight down now. Previous versions the curve was cut out. The header card was also packaged separately when it went to the shops, (so the header card didn't get bent or damaged) and it was up to the shop keeper to attach them, which the majority of the time he didn’t. That’s why the last issue box with a header card is extremely rare.



The Boxes

A couple of window style boxes with copyright dates of (possibly) 1979 and (definitely) 1981. These boxes included 12 yellow missiles and no instruction sheet, etc. The "1979" box was predominately dark blue and yellow like its 1973 and 1976 predecessors but it incorporated a removeable header card with a picture of smiling Batman on it. The rear of the box showed a very stern (non smiling) Batman. The 1981 box was predominately black, yellow and red. This box was intended to have a header card attached to it. But from what I understand it was up to the shopkeepers to attach the header cards and often they didn't bother with them. So this style box with a header card is rather rare. The front of the header card showed Batman running with cape unfurled. The rear of the card showed a fuller view of the same Batman.