Look, no one is disputing whether or not Batman is cool. He’s cool. One of the coolest superheroes ever. That’s a fact. The problem is that he’s too cool. So cool that toy companies can’t help but come up with all sorts of whacked out ways they can trick out the Dark Knight so he’s ready to tackle anything from common thugs to, uhhhh. . .cyber things. Ok let’s face it, there have been a ton of awful Batman toys released over the years that just don’t seem to make any sense. Let’s take a look at 10 of the worst.
10. Night Glider Batman
It makes sense that Batman would have some sort of advanced winged suit that he uses to glide through the night sky. And you’d probably think that a “night glider suit” would be specially optimized with stealth features, such as black paint, to help keep the wearer out of sight. But the creative team behind this concept figured that neon orange and blue was really the best way to go. Maybe they were thinking Batman’s so badass that he actually wants all his enemies to see him coming.
9. Fractal Armor Batman
Following their wildly popular Super Powers collection, Kenner released their Total Justice series of figures. Every toy in this line came equipped with something called Fractal Armor that basically made them look like something the Borg tried to assimilate. While most of the heroes in the set had removable Fractal Armor you could just take off and throw away, Batman’s seemed to be permanently integrated into his suit, so there was no way to avoid looking at it and questioning its impractical design. It also came with a very phallic looking pink blaster.
8. Infrared Batman
At least the name of this one sounds useful. Maybe Batman is using infrared technology so he can see bad guys better in the dark, or perhaps locate some far off alien homeworld that poses a threat to Earth. Nope. That would just make too much gosh darn sense. Which is why Infrared Batman is a pile of red and orange plastic that shoots so-called “photon disks” out of some sort of giant garbage can that sits atop his head. Justice never looked so good.
7. Neon Armor Batman
In the early ’90s there was a glow-in-the-dark fad that wormed its way into pretty much every manufacturer of plastic goods on the planet. So of course there had to be a Batman toy that showcased this monumental technological achievement. Neon Armor Batman is nothing more or less than the name implies. A Batman that glows neon green—presumably a remnant from Bruce Wayne’s days as a hardcore raver.
6. Total Destruction Batman
Sure, Batman has a lot of heavy gear hanging around the Batcave. There’s the Batmobile, the Batwing, the Batcycle, that powered exo-suit he used to beat up Superman. Those are ultimately all non-lethal contraptions that increase his crime fighting power and help him subdue baddies without killing them. Batman doesn’t use guns. That’s always been his style. But apparently the people who made Total Destruction Batman didn’t get the memo, because they figured Bruce Wayne is totally cool with using a massive chaingun and shoulder-mounted missiles to blow away anyone who even thinks about committing crime.
5. Decoy Batman
In the past, there have been several Batman toys that feature a removable cape and cowl so you can switch between Bruce Wayne and The Dark Knight whenever you wish. Decoy Batman is sort of a take on that approach, however, in this iteration the removable element comes complete with its very own face. This way, when Bruce Wayne puts it on, he’ll never be recognized because his jawline will be replaced by a trusty Bat-chin!
4. Slalom Racer Batman
This version of Batman has him rocking a slender snow suit so he can continue fighting crime on his Aspen ski vacations. But, of course, toy version Bruce Wayne can’t do anything simple. He’s got to add all kinds of rocket boosters and weaponry to his suit until he looks like something Wile E. Coyote ordered from the ACME catalog on Looney Tunes. He probably gets pretty sick air in the half pipe though.
3. Batman and Axe Rhino
It finally happened. They ran out of things they could make out of bats so they just said “Hey, let’s start using rhinoceroses instead.” That has to be the only logical explanation for this toy that features some bizarre Medieval-looking armor and a robotic rhino that carries an axe embedded in his head. Because when a robotic rhino isn’t enough, you need a robotic Axe Rhino.
2. Negative Threat Batman
Pretty much every Batman toy ever released has been self explanatory. Shadow Wing Batman, Wall Scaler Batman, Hover Jet Batman, the naming convention is incredibly simple—just think of an action he would do or an item he would use and then add a “Batman” on the end. Which is why the idea of Negative Threat Batman is so confusing. Is he specially equipped to handle a non-existent threat? Does he want to combat negativity? Or perhaps, in this form, Batman himself poses less than zero threat to anyone. In any case he comes equipped with some sort of hydraulic ice pick.
1. Anti Virus Bruce Wayne
When Norton Antivirus just isn’t enough, you need to pick up the Bat-phone and call Anti Virus Bruce Wayne. This guy knows how to handle malware. First, he’s got that awesome flame hula-hoop he must use to provocatively gyrate away any unwanted ads or e-mail spam. Next, he’s got some kind of translucent yellow armor that he probably uses to interface with your hard drive and check it for corrupt code. And finally, one can only assume that giant backpack he’s wearing houses his impressive Bat-Computer—tricked out with an Intel Pentium III processor, 128MB of RAM, and Sound Blaster Live! Cyber-criminals beware. Your days are numbered.