I think it is more than fair to say that when Batman debuted on ABC – back on the evening of January 12th of 1966, it quickly became a very big deal. I also believe that the reasons for the television shows popularity are pretty evident – in particular when you take just a moment and check out the amazing collection of actors who made up the Rogues Gallery. The likes of Burgess Meredith, Vincent Price, Julie Newmar, Carolyn Jones, Cliff Robertson, Eartha Kitt, Milton Berle, Cesar Romero, and Frank Gorshin to name just a few. The success of the television series not only helped to get a movie shot and released between the first and second season of the show – but also generated a ton of revenue thanks to the merchandising of Batman as well. Numerous toy and model products, costumes, and even offers for the Cape Crusader’s periscope on the back of Froot Loops – although that latter might not be as awesome as this 1966 Batman Colorforms set!
For what little it might be worth, I was not only a very big fan of Colorforms in my youth but I actually owned this particular Batman Colorforms set – although it was a hand-me-down and missing a few pieces. There are a couple of things of interest that should be pointed about this set… times they do change… which might explain why this set offers up not one but a pair of guns for the Joker and the Penguin to menace Batman and Robin with!
I was a little surprised to find that there were no batarangs for the the Caped Crusaders to hurl at their foes – I guess they get by well enough with just some good old fashioned fisticuffs. If you’ve ever followed my work on the Retroist in the past – you know I am going to bring up a glaring omission to that 1966’s Batman Colorforms set… where is the greatest member of the Rogues Gallery? I am of course referring to the one and only Riddler!