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tafkatb

What is a Batmobile?

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Weird question, right? But I was considering making a "Favorite LEGO Batmobile" poll when I found myself in an ontological quandary on exactly which sets to include in it. So, in preparation for said poll, I pose the following question: what are the necessary and sufficient conditions of essential Batmobileness? Which ones "count"?

The Tumbler is a Batmobile, sure, but is Bane's Tumbler a Batmobile? It's the same vehicle, just with a different paint job and additional firepower. And most importantly, Batman doesn't drive it, which feels like the main reason why it shouldn't count. Similar to how War Machine is an Iron Man armor with a different paint job and additional firepower, but wouldn't be classified as an Iron Man armor mainly because Iron Man himself doesn't wear it.

There have been several sets with a more "buggy" type vehicle, like Rescue from Ra's al Ghul, Joker's Trike Chase, and, well, the Bat-Dune Buggy, and I'm inclined to categorize those separately from Batmobiles, but I can't really articulate why. I feel more confident excluding the Bat-Moon Buggy (featured in the Bat-Space Shuttle), Bat-Go-Kart (TLBM Batwing), and the little ATV thing in the Mobile Bat Base, but still couldn't succinctly sum up why they're not Batmobiles.

(OK, clearly I can't do anything succinctly.)

So, I'm curious to see others' opinions on this. What are the characteristics that all Batmobiles must have? What features would make something definitively not a Batmobile? Am I allowed to exclude the Tim Burton one just because that movie sucks? (Come at me bro.) What is your take? No wrong answers!

OK, some wrong answers.

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I would say that for a long time the emphasis has been on the “car” aspect of the Batmobile. The Tumbler and the larger buggies still fit into the category due to their shape, size, and concept. I don’t think that the smaller buggies can be classed as cars because they tend to have a specific purpose. In a way it’s much like the Batsuit. If it’s a generic suit with cowl, symbol, cape, belt, gauntlets and boots in black, grey and yellow, it’s a Batsuit. If it has a rebreather, special function, or an alternative colour scheme, it’s a Hellbat, or a Haz-Bat, or a Scu-Bat suit. If it’s a novelty suit that harks back to a CCA-heavy story, it’s a joke suit that generally was altered for the sake of the story by or to fend off the villain.  That’s my take.
 

As for Tim Burton’s version, without it we wouldn’t have B:TaS, and that would be a DH  a shame.

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