I just wanted to take a moment to recognize the 20th birthday of Tim Burton's 1989 Batman film. The film was released in theaters 20 years ago, today.... June 23, 1989.
Most older Bat-fans remember the summer of 1989 like it was only a couple of years ago. "Batmania" swept the USA (and the world) like almost never before (the "Bat Craze" of the late 1960's was huge, as well) and we are still riding the wave of Batman fandom that was started that year. For example, in the time leading up to the first 1989 Batman film, Batman toys and collectibles were fairly scarce. Mego had produced figures in the 1970s and Kenner produced a Batman figure as part of their Super Powers toy line. That was about it.
Since 1989 and the release of the first Batman film, there have been hundreds and hundreds of different Batman figures, toys, and collectibles produced. The Batman license has remained very strong and has benefited from many other films and animated versions of Batman. That's 20 years of an almost constant flow of Batman toys and merchandise.
The marketing for the Batman film in 1989 was a bit haphazard in comparison to the well-orchestrated movie marketing campaigns of today. The Batman collectibles of 1989 most often rode the fence between depicting Batman as he looked in comics of the time and also as he looked in the film with his new all-black Bat suit. At times, Batman was depicted as an odd amalgamation of the two looks. 1989 was definitely a big transition year for the Dark Knight and what fans would come to tolerate in updating and changing Batman's costume.
For the next week or so, I'll be posting mostly Batman items to commemorate the 20 year anniversary of this now-classic film.