I found a little tidbit in my latest copy of the National Cartoonist Society’s excellent newsletter “The Cartoon!st” about the opening of a very different kind of museum.
It seems downtown Indianapolis is now home to “The American Super Heroes Museum“, which houses the collection of Dane Nash. Nash has been a lifelong fan of superheroes and has amassed a gigantic collection of Superman and Batman collectibles including vintage toys, games, posters, puzzles, figurines and other items. Nash apparently has an affinity for Tv and movie costumes and props, as the collection also features screen worn costumes by Superman actors Kirk Alyn, George Reeves, Christopher Reeve, Dean Cain and many others. According to the “Cartoon!t” article, Nash has recently been looking into buying a screen worn Val Kilmer “Batman Forever” costume to the tune of $50,000 – $70,000. Having some knowledge of the materials and longevity of actual screen props, he’d be crazy to pay that kind of money, as the latex rubber used in those suits bio-degrades quickly and by now it will be looking pretty ratty. I‘d sell him mine for $25,o00… not screen worn by Kilmer but I’ve taken my kids trick or treating in it a few times.! Also coming to the museum soon will be replicas of the “89 Micheal Keaton Batmobile and the very cool Glastron Batboat from the 60’s TV show.
Here’s a link to the museum’s website, but it’s almost useless. Not a single picture of any of the collection to be found on it. Too bad, some of that would be very fun to see.
I have a modest but nice little collection of Batman stuff in my studio. Most of it is made up of toys I had as a kid and wore out playing with. When I first discovered eBay I sold several hundred pages and a dozen or so covers from my “Married… with Children” comics and used the money to procure old Bat-stuff. I’ve got a lot of different pieces but here’s the best of it:
60’s era Batphone toy and Japanese tin Batmobile
An incomplete but elusive 60’s Ideal Batman Utility Belt
Assembled original Aurora Batman model
Ideal Batman Helmet
This alarm clock used to wake me up for 4th grade school
First edition Corgi Batmobile
Batman lunchbox and thermos
I had every one of those toys as a kid, except the tin Batmobile. Other forty somethings will recognize Mego action figures (yes, I have the original removable cowl Batman), the Corgi Batboat, and other 60’s and 70’s Bat-toys.
I don’t think I’ve ever been in a cartoonist’s studio that did not contain lots of toys, usually relating to their childhood interests. I have lots of examples, but one that sticks out is MAD artist Ray Alma, who has an unbelievable collection of “G.I. Joes” and “Planet of the Apes” stuff that makes my little shelves look like a garage sale table. Maybe part of being a cartoonist is having Peter Pan syndrome, refusing to grow up all the way.
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