1989 Batman Movie Replica Grappling Gun Available From Sideshow

by Steven Lee Sharpe
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Wait’ll you get a load of this! Sideshow Collectibles have posted pre-order details for this amazing replica of the Grapnel from the 1989 Batman movie. How many people know how important the original is in Batman lore?

Tim Burton’s Batman movie gave us many things, not just to Batman history, but also to superhero movies in general because the approach to translating the iconography from comics to screen was revolutionary. Rather than simply copying designs directly from the source material, creative thinking backed by a major Hollywood budget meant that while many elements such as Batman’s mask and Batcave were reassuringly recreated, there was also a level of interpretation and invention so that the story would make sense in the real world; for example, the Batsuit became black, and it was padded for the wearer’s protection. It also led to the invention of a device that became so integral to Batman’s modus operandi in the comics, movies, and games that it’s crazy to think that he ever coped without it.

That item was a small grapple gun, also known as a grapnel.

Previously, Batman had mostly used a rope, or chord attached to a Batarang whether to swing from, in battle, or to get himself to higher ground. There had been cases of Batman using devices that fired rope like a harpoon, but the hand-held grapnel, with its spring-action reel and miniature motorized pully system, made its debut in the 1989 movie.

It provided a great surprise element for audiences (not to mention the Joker), brought a new dimension to Batman’s fights, and enabled him to swing feasibly around buildings. The fact that it attached to his utility belt and had multiple accessories, such as a bola launcher, meant that it became everyone’s new favorite Batman gadget.

While legend has it that DC editors were a little nervous about introducing the device to the comics, back when Batman was such an anti-gun character, it’s now practically an extension of his suit.

This new replica of the now legendary gadget comes with an aluminum launcher, brass dart/grapnel hook, and bola attachment. Even the case has a look of robust practicality about it – this isn’t just a fancy display box.

Talking of action, for anyone getting a little ahead of themselves it should be said upfront that this device won’t actually fire or launch the attachments. It’s all about the look and feel of the build which took makers Paragon FX Group a full year to design and develop. Tyler Ham, Paragon’s Creative Director, explains:

We knew from the beginning that this would be one of our largest and most ambitious projects. The goal was to engineer a full-size replica that literally looks and feels like a real piece of Batman’s tech.


We wanted everything to be cold to the touch and have a real-world heft and feel. This meant nothing less than CNC machined aluminium would do, so we started there. Our original prototype truly did take about a year to get worked out.


We wanted everything to behave like we envisioned the original, inasmuch as allowing for multiple attachments to be placed on the hand unit. More subtle touches include the spring-loaded actuation button, flip-out handle, and aircraft cable wrapped around the spool of the primary hand unit.


We finished everything off with an amazing, anodized finish and then tucked everything away in an appropriately themed equipment case. The end result here is a stunning, museum-quality replica set that is sure to be the highlight of any collection.

As the Joker himself said, in Batman ’89:

Where does he get those wonderful toys?

Must’ve been Sideshow Collectibles.


The 1989 Batman: Modular Utility Grapnel Prop Replica features:

  • Machined aluminum (anodized black) hand unit
  • Machined aluminum (anodized black) Grapnel utility attachment
  • Machined Brass and aluminum utility dart/grapnel hook
  • Machined aluminum (anodized black and polished aluminum) Bolo attachment w/ fixed aircraft cable.
  • Custom equipment case with laser cut insert
  • Certificate of Authenticity

NOTE: Metal Bolos and Brass Grapnel are interchangeable with the hand unit but are otherwise static. They CANNOT be launched, repelled on, or deployed in any way. They do; however, do one thing particularly well. They’ll look amazing in your collection!-Team Paragon.


Materials – Aluminum , Brass


SKU – 911879


Item shown is a prototype. When shipped, the final production piece may differ in appearance.

Images and press release courtesy of Sideshow Collectibles and DC Entertainment

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