Monday, March 14, 2011

1966 Batman Board Game

Before Arkham Asylum video game there was the 1966 Milton Bradley Batman board game.
I didn't have this as a kid. I didn't even know it existed until the day I bought it a few months ago.

My family and I play it every night now.

Not really.
I tried to read the directions and after giving up I decided that this why it is in such good shape after existing for 44 years.

It is cool looking though and that is why I bought it.

I mean Robin finds the Jokers head in a safe!
Why is Robin cracking open a safe? Because it looks cool.

Batman fights a white version of the Hulk because it looks cool.

Sherlock Holmes stealing the Batmobile? Looks cool!

I mean look at this.

If I would have seen this back in the day I would thrown a fit for it and gotten a spanking just because I had seen the box lid.

Lets open it up.

The more you look at it the more it is clear that the artist knew very little about Batman and his world.

To the artist Gotham city must have been described as a cross between The Jetsons and Denver Colorado.

Bubble buildings, heliports and rocket ramps and nestled within a mountain range.
That's Gotham city? Not the one we know.

Maybe they compared Batman to Flash Gordon too. So the artist threw some rockets and planets on the lid too. Maybe the astronauts and the Moon race had something to do with?

Who cares it is cool looking and I love it.

We also find a red Riddler on the game board along with a Penguin without a top hat and cigarette. We also see Batman's nemesis The Blockbuster.

Blockbuster is in the Batman universe so I learned something here. I hadn't heard of him before I saw this.

I wasn't done learning new characters.

The Joker looks true to form.

Mr. Zero.
Here is a glimpse into how the 1960's Adam West series impacted Batman.
Mr. Zero was renamed Mr. Freeze after the character became popular on the television series.
The T.V. show wanted to use Two Face but the network thought he would be to scary so the used Mr. Freeze instead.

Good call networks. Ceasar Romero's Joker terrified me as a kid. I can't imagine what Two face would have done.

The Calender Man is another little known Batman villain but he has been seen recently in such things as "Batman The Long Halloween" graphic novel. (Which I am currently reading)
Though he doesn't wear a turban in it.

The box with the game board removed.

Lets look at the game pieces.

I was hoping for some Batman figures but these guys do look Bruce Wayne kinda 60's cool.

You do get a Batmobile.

Let me rephrase that. You get a Batmobile in three different colors!

There are control boards for each player. (Very computer sounding)

These keep track of the criminals you have caught and Batmobiles that are in use.

You place these pieces on the control board as you capture the criminals.

Pretty sweet.

I had to up the age limit a bit.

Wanna play? I call the blue guy.

Brian B


Brian A said...

Great photos!!! I would have snapped this one up in a second, too. That thing is in fantastic condition.

I'll take the green guy and pretend he's Riddler. I get the blue Batmobile, though.

B.Lindsey said...

Lindsey kids are down for a game night before or after camp! Let's book it!

Brian B said...

Your on!

Tom Freak said...

OK, OK, So I'll guess I'll take the red one...

It's weird that the players are not Batman, maybe the figures are reused from another game?

iZombie said...

the display of photos is so very retro-artistic i am jealous ... nice job.

Lazarus Lupin said...

Great and informative post. Love the look of the board. I wonder if the board is recycled from an earlier game like say a "Buck Rogers" game.

Oh, the Blockbuster. There were a couple of them actually. Basically they were dumb hulk types for Batman to outwit when Solomon Grundy wasn't in town. In later bat sagas Blockbuster got a brain boost by Neiron so he was a SMART hulk type. He became a gang leader next door to Gotham and Nightwing would beat on his dome often.

Lazarus Lupin
Art and review

Anonymous said...

Hi there it's great to see such good photos online. You landed a game in good condition.
Well I have one too but mine differs in that it doesn't have the instructions printed in the lid, and guess what it arrived with no instructions in the box either. So I wondered if you would consider putting a scan/photo of your instructions online so I can play mine please. My email is
Many thanks again for a great site.

Anonymous said...

Wow! I had this game when I was a kid in the 60's. I remember the futuristic Jetsons look of Gotham City but didn't think anything of at the time. I loved all things Batman. I must have been about 10 or 11.

I played this game to death with my sister. For some bizarre reason we would say 'Super Crime Lab' in French accents. And we were in central Texas!

I wish I could find one to buy now. Thanks for the memories and a great post.

Anonymous said...

Hi - I actually have a slightly different version of the same 1966 batman game but the rules are in German, French, spanish and Dutch - no english I have been battling to translate with some success and have the basics of the game but would be wonderful if there was a way to get original english instructions - can you help

Kristi said...

If anyone is still looking to buy this game, I have one. It is 100% complete and in good condition. My grandmother bought it for my dad when it came out, recently gave it to me to sell for her. I'd be glad to offer more info & pics to anyone interested.

thekmanf said...

Is this game still for sale?