NECA has released pre-order details of their Batman ’89 Utility Belt Prop Replica and it’s bundled with a wealth of gadgets. Wait until you get a load of this!
There isn’t a more significant Batman movie than the one released in 1989 starring Michael Keaton. While Superman: The Movie (1978) had done an amazing job of credibly bringing superheroes to the screen to a big audience, Batman had to convince the mass audience to forget the memory of the comical television series and accept a stylized world of surreal characters, whilst also reflecting the Dark Knight element of the character and his world as featured in the comics.
Not only did early promotion do the job of getting audiences ready and willing to be introduced to Batman iconology with a record-breaking opening weekend, but director Tim Burton did his job well enough for the film to set a record for the second-weekend box office gross, and then hold the record for the highest grossing superhero movie of all time, until Spider-Man was released in 2002.
Thanks to the groundwork laid in Batman and Batman Returns (1992) filmmakers have been able to explore different interpretations of the Dark Knight in subsequent movies. This year we discovered just how important that ’89 incarnation has become and how much affection still exists for it, when the trailer for The Flash (2023) revealed the appearance of Michael Keaton’s Batman. Thanks to a story involving multiverse-hopping, Batman ’89 was back.
While Keaton’s appearance is obviously a great way to heighten anticipation for the movie and provide a huge talking point (so important for today’s era of the internet), it’s taken a life of its own, building a wave of interest that – if you’re old enough – will remind you of the hype from the initial release. Only this time we get to indulge ourselves with the wild variety of merchandise.
NECA’s Batman ’89 Utility Belt Prop Replica Bundle takes merchandise to a new level. Batman’s utility belt first made an appearance in Detective Comics #29 (1939), in a story written by Gardner Fox, where it held choking gas capsules. Over time it’s not only become uniquely associated with the character, but it’s almost Batman’s super-power, providing a wealth of useful, often lifesaving, gadgets that the ’66 TV show took to ridiculous lengths (shark repellents, anyone?).
Thankfully, Burton’s ’89 movie masterfully reclaimed the screen reputation of the utility belt. For aesthetics, it went for the look popular with comic artists, sleek with capsules, even though Frank Miller’s series The Dark Knight Returns (1986) had recently reintroduced the idea of pouches. It was also yellow, just like in the comics, despite Burton insisting on a color change for the suit from grey-and-blue to black. In the movie, the gadgets all fit in the capsules except for the larger ones such as the iconic Batarang and a brand new one specially designed for the movie – the multi-purpose grapple gun.
This new NECA replica set not only faithfully recreates the look of the belt featured in the movie, but has included removable gadget cartridges including those all-important gas pellets. Not only that but there are four slots in the belt and six different cartridges included, making it great for completists and anyone wanting to play with customizing.
Larger gadgets are included too. The grapple gun, so significant to Batman ’89, and the crucial (and rather lethal looking) Batarang, both of which have a cool folding action. Plus, there’s a replica communicator. All can be magnetically attached to the front of the belt. Finally, two front panels can be removed to reveal even more crimefighting technology.
As this is a functional replica which means you can wear it, thankfully NECA has added a natty extending strap. This is important because, while this makes a great set for display purposes, it’s the functionality that makes it special. You can don a replica cowl or even just the mask, but nothing will make you feel like the Dark Knight quite like reaching down to your utility belt to pull out a micro gadget.
At this point, Michael Keaton’s Batman is in danger of overshadowing the build-up to The Flash, so join in the celebration of Batman ’89.
NECA’s Batman ’89 Utility Belt Prop Replica Bundle is available to pre-order now from their website.
Where does he get those wonderful toys? From NECA, of course! Our DC Prop Replica line includes this wearable, movie-authentic Batman Utility Belt Prop Replica and the Batarang Prop Replica, both from the 1989 film that defined Batman for a new generation.
Customize your Utility Belt’s four slots with any combination of the eight included cartridges – torch, taser, scanner, micro camera, re-breather, gas pellets, and smoke bombs. More gadgets will magnetically attach to the front: Batarang, Grapnel Launcher and Communicator.
The belt even has two removable face plates that reveal more of the crime fighter’s secret tools in serving justice across Gotham City. Adjusts in the back to fit waists from 31.5 to 50 inches.
The Batarang is one of the Dark Knight’s most iconic tools in serving justice across Gotham City. The Batarang measures 7″ long with articulated hinges and magnets, allowing it to open and close. Also included is a display base for exhibiting in your own personal Bat Cave.
Images and press release courtesy of NECA