After posting a commercial for toys based on the first Batman film last week, I got looking around YouTube and found so many rad ones, I think the TCCs will be pretty Bat-heavy for the foreseeable future. I chose this particular one because I was (and am) a huge fan of Batman Returns, this toy line AND playsets in general. I definitely had that Penguin figure which looks nothing like Danny DeVito in the movie, but instead, exactly like the Super Friends figure and possibly the Batman (it’s hard to tell which black Batman figure came from which line just from memory).
But, the key element that made me love this commercial is that playset. As you can see by the end of the ad, it’s a folding set that gives you several different environments of play: Wayne Manor, the Batcave and a toxic sewer for Penguin to hang out in. I remember this particular playset — like most of them in the early 90s — was priced at a hefty $50. I might have missed my opportunity to buy the Ninja Turtles playset, but by this time, I actually had some cash, saved my pennies and bought this one at a Meijers on the way to my parents’ cottage. I have very destinct memories of getting all my toys out and completely exploiting those awesome action features to their fullest extent. I probably invented 20 years’ worth of Batman comics in my living room with the likes of Jungle Camouflage Batman and what have you.
For what it’s worth, I also remember heading to that same Meijers around the time Batman Forever came out only to find that they just reused the same playset for that movie with just a slight paint change I think. I think that was the first time I ever realized that the toy companies pulled those kinds of moves (I learned of the Penguin repaint much later, possibly during my years at ToyFare). Anyway, I still have this set and plan on putting it in my eventual office/man cave along with Castle Greyskull, Snake Mountain, the Karate Kid dojo and the weird G.I. Joe one I’m trying to identify.