2022 Batman Gift Guide – Day 11: eBay Finds

There will always be new Batman products, be it toys or books or comics or any number of other collectibles. Go into practically any store and you’ll find something with Batman on it, even if it’s a shirt or some bedsheets. Batman is a pop culture force, and with that comes endless opportunities for merchandising.

But what about the items you missed the first time around? Something that was released before your time, or something you could have bought but for whatever reason you didn’t?

For those items, we have eBay.

We all know eBay, we’ve all used eBay, so I won’t tell you about eBay. What I will tell you about are just a few of the fantastic collectibles you can get to add to your Batman collection, things that we here at Batman News have decorating our shelves and long boxes that you too can get with some of your Christmas cash and a short search on the internet’s favorite auction site.

Action figures

Batman Forever is “my Batman movie.” It’s the first Batman movie I saw in the theater, and it is what made me a Batman fan.

As such, I constantly find myself scrolling through eBay, looking for memorabilia from the film. The weirder the better, I say (and more on that later). That’s what led me to pick up a mint-on-card Street Biker Robin figure earlier this year: sure, I could have gone for a Robin figure that actually has Dick Grayson in costume, or one of the various Batman, Two-Face, or Riddler figures the line had to offer.

Something about Street Biker Robin spoke to me, though. The figure is so absurd, so goofy that I can’t help but love it. The biker saddlebag grappling hook launcher, the absolutely incredible box art, the huge R on his chest that is in no way conspicuous. Amazing, all of it.

And if it speaks to you too, the figure can be yours unopened, or loose with or without accessories.

Perhaps your tastes skew a bit more toward screen accuracy and/or objectively better Batman movies? Much as I love Batman Forever for nostalgic reasons, Batman Begins does Batman better in practically every single way, and this Collector Edition figure from Mattel is as genuinely great as the Robin figure is zany. While I didn’t actually get mine from eBay (it was a “bonus item” for subscribing to Wizard Magazine in like 2006, and I haven’t taken it out of the box once), you can find a few on the ‘bay right now. It has a cool box, screen-accurate suit, tons of articulation, and a cloth cape with metal wires so you can get some sweet poses.

Fine plates and glassware

Speaking of Batman Forever, those glass mugs from McDonalds rule. Originally offered for a mere 99¢ back in 1995, these drinking glasses have images of Batman, Robin, Two-Face, and Roddler intricately etched on the exterior, and they’re so cool that even people who hate the movie stand by the quality and durability of these things. What’s more, they’re incredibly easy to find, so you can get a full set for relatively cheap. They’re the perfect size and shape for dunking Oreos in milk, and make great display pieces too.

If you need something to put your Oreos on before dunking, then consider a commemorative Batman Forever collectors plate. A Warner Bros. Store exclusive that was limited to 2500 pieces, the gold-rimmed plate is emblazoned with a nice image of Batman flanked by the two rogues from the film. Truth be told, it would probably be more ideal for display, but hey, if toys are made for playing, then plates are made for serving.

Great as those glass mugs are (and they are great), they’re quite small and don’t hold much liquid. If yours is a more insatiable thirst, then get some plastic cups from McDonalds’ Batman Returns promotional push. Strong and sturdy, each cup features some wonderfully detailed artwork of scenes and characters from the 1992 film (which is also a Christmas movie, so be sure to watch it soon), and they even came with lids that could also be used as a Frisb– throwing disc. Plus, they can be stacked inside of each other, allowing you to buy a bunch and maximize storage space. It’s a win-win.

One half of comics is the written word, and there have been plenty of great novels written over the years that feature iconic heroes and villains. Naturally, Batman is no exception, as there have been dozens, if not hundreds of prose books starting the Dark Knight and his extended cast of characters.

Way back in the 1960s, right when the Adam West/Burt award-starting Batman television series was hitting the airwaves, a few different novels were written to capitalize on Batmania. While there’s one novel that is effectively an adaptation of the amazing Batman: The Movie, it is stupid expensive and stupid hard to find. Winston Lyon’s Batman vs. 3 Villains of Doom came out around the same time, though, and is significantly more affordable and easy to find. As it was written before the show aired, it doesn’t have quite the same sense of humor and zaniness as the series, but it’s still an incredibly fun time. Batman and Robin have to battle Joker, Penguin, and Catwoman as the villains seek to cement themselves as the greatest villain of all time, and you can definitely hear West and Ward delivering a lot of the dialogue all throughout.

That’s all well and good, but what if you prefer your reading to be multiple choice? Then friend, Batman: The Doomsday Prophecy is for you. Written by Richard Wenk and illustrated by José Delbo, the book is part of the Which Way series, similar to the immensely popular Choose Your Own Adventure books. The principle is generally the same: each page presents multiple storytelling options, prompting to turn to different pages depending on which path you want to take. This means the story can branch off in tons of directions, with some characters not appearing unless you follow a very specific sequence of events. Our dear and beloved Comic Chief Andrew Asberry has had this book since he was a kid, so I picked it up on his recommendation, and I don’t regret it one bit.
Since Keaton’s Batman is always worthy of multiple mentions, try and track down Craig Shaw Gardner’s novelization of 1989’s Batman. Following the story and screenplay from Sam Hamm and Warren Skaaren, it’s a fascinating read because of the deleted, alternate, and extended scenes sprinkled throughout. Plus, it’s pretty cheap, which is a bonus.
Back issue comics

One of the joys of being a comic fan is going into a comic shop and searching through long boxes and back issue bins. Sometimes we’re looking for something in particular, like that one last issue to complete a full story or run, or just looking for something that sticks out. We’ve all been there, and in some ways it’s a comforting ritual.
Eventually, though, you’re going to get to a point where you just can’t find something specific, no matter how many shops you visit and conventions you attend. In those cases, eBay would likely have the issue you need, and often for less than you’d pay in a store. Personally, I’ve been building my Tim Drake collection over the last few years, first by getting every issue of his Robin and Red Robin solo series, and now I’m just getting notable appearances and stories in other books.
And some of those books I didn’t even know existed until they came up as a recommendation when I was looking for something else, which is also part of the joy of being a comic fan: with close to 100 years of publication history, there’s always going to be something new that you discover, whether you realized you needed it or not.

Odds and ends

As mentioned before, I love Batman Forever, and like to look up odd and obscure memorabilia from the film. On a whim, I decided to see if I could get a CD single for one of the songs from the soundtrack, and stumbled across U2’s “Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me” in a sleeve with some nifty Paris Cullins and Joe Rubenstein artwork. Looking for the best possible deal (not that any of the listings were too expensive to begin with), I found a seller offering the single and two Batman Forever Skycaps, still on their cardboard sleeve. It was priced comparably to other listings that were only selling the CD, and with cheaper shipping too, so I bought it. Now the single and Skycaps are proudly displayed on my wall in the same frame.
My point: with close to a century of merchandise available, just type in “Batman” and you can hunt down some truly fun, unique, and obscure memorabilia. It’s the thrill of the hunt, and eBay holds some great treasures.