Back in the '90s, Batman The Animated Series was a smash hit among fans of all ages, with the show pulling impressive ratings and the tie in merchandise selling like bat-shaped hot cakes. While kids were quick to snap up the ensuing Batman action figures, Kenner, the manufacturer of the Batman toy line, ran into a problem: turns out, parents can only justify buying an action figure of the standard version of Batman for their kids so many times.
So Kenner was forced to get creative. Instead of just pumping out toys of the Batman fans knew and loved, Kenner decided to roll out a practical smorgasbord of Batman in different armor. Gone were the days of garden-variety Batman; in its place were toys that gave Batman rocket launchers, animal sidekicks, and even skis. While fans might not have been chomping at the bit for a Batman toy that gave Batman firefighting equipment, well, they got it anyway. But it wasn't like Kenner was exclusively making interesting and fun Batman armor; in fact, it was quite the opposite. Most of these Batman toys were silly, stupid, and downright ridiculous. So join CBR as we take a nostalgic look back at the most ridiculous Batman toy armor of all time!
15 HOVER JET BATMAN
The beauty of Batman is that, as a character, he works no matter what situation he is thrust into. Whether he's a brooding vigilante, a kitschy hero for the swingin' '60s, or a mysterious caped crusader, Batman's flexible character traits allow the beloved hero to work no matter the situation he finds himself in. Well, make that just about any situation he finds himself in, because there is just no explaining Hover Jet Batman.
Debuting in Kenner's Adventures of Batman and Robin line, Hover Jet Batman slaps a bunch of purple armor on the vigilante, sticks him on a bootleg Goblin Glider, and equips him with a weapon clearly stolen from the set of American Gladiators. This unfortunate combination of ugly armor, silly vehicle, and ridiculous weapon makes Batman look more like an extra from Flash Gordon than a world renowned vigilante.
14 RADAR SCOPE BATMAN
Batman prefers to wage his war on crime from the shadows. Sure, with his array of gadgets and his fleet of branded vehicles, Batman knows how to get loud and flashy when the situation calls from it. But at the end of the day, the Caped Crusader is just more comfortable skulking around the shadowy rooftops of Gotham. The Radar Scope Batman outfit would not allow Batman to do much skulking. In fact, this ridiculous contraption would probably make it difficult for Batman to do a lot of things, let alone skulk.
With a massive set of wing-shaped contraptions, this outfit is, theoretically, supposed to allow Batman to track crime with the radar strapped to his back. But this unwieldily device mostly makes it tough for Batman to move. And Batman can forget about sitting down, as the radar has a large spike jutting towards the ground. At least it has a built-in rocket launcher so Batman can blow up anyone unfortunate enough to see him in this silly outfit.
13 INFERNO EXTINCTION BATMAN
Okay, let's not kid ourselves here: this is Firefighter Batman. Sure, Kenner probably figured "Inferno Extinction" sounded cooler than "Firefighter," but Batman is one Dalmatian away from being a firefighter.
An outfit to fight fires in certainly isn't a bad idea, but you would figure the standard Bat-suit would already be equipped with fire resistant properties, rendering this entire suit completely unnecessary.To complicate matters, the outfit has a ladder slapped on Batman's back, which would theoretically allow Batman to get into blazing fires quicker, but this suit is choked with accessories, which would make it tough for Bats to reach the ladder. So while Batman wrestles with his water cannon to reach his ladder, innocent people roast in fires. Maybe leave the inferno extinction to the professionals, Bruce.
12 FRACTAL ARMOR BATMAN
In that trainwreck of a decade known as "the '90s," comic companies were all about finding new and interesting ways to shoehorn futuristic armor onto their classic characters. Captain America got the armor treatment, as did Booster Gold (lest we forget Booster's legendarily terrible robo-halter top), and Batman was no exception. While Azrael's brief run as the Bat was marred by a ridiculous armor suit, even AzBats' hideous outfit couldn't hold a candle to Fractal Armor Batman.
With silly armor plating jutting out from every possible body part (seriously, why would Bruce need partially armored thighs?), the suit is just a mess, but it's the head piece that takes the cake. With what appears to be a metallic airplane neck pillow around his shoulders, the suit hides Batman's eyes behind what is likely supposed to be a futuristic visor, but really just ends up looking like the world's most complicated blindfold. A silly, ridiculous suit for a silly, ridiculous decade.
11 VIRUS DELETE BATMAN
In the '90s, people were still trying to figure out this fancy pants thing known as "the internet." This mythical service seemingly connected people to the world wide web via a series of tubes, allowing people to check Beanie Baby prices and find out when Rosanne was going to be on. But on this internet lurked a shadowy group of people known as "hackers," who deployed insidious "viruses" that were designed to mess up computers. Enter Kenner and their shaky understanding of the internet to bring the world Virus Delete Batman.
Outfitted in plenty of tubes and random spikes, Virus Delete Batman is an armor that allows Bruce to enter the Batcomputer and fight a "freezing virus" deployed by Mr. Freeze, which the toy's packaging proclaims to have "the properties of liquid nitrogen." Never mind the fact that this makes no sense. Virus Delete Batman is like the toy version of that one aunt of yours that still uses AOL; it doesn't understand the internet, but it tries and just ends up more confused than before.
10 LAVA FURY BATMAN
Batman's adventures take him all over, from the watery depths of Atlantis to the barren surface of the moon. As a result, it makes sense that Bruce would need a variety of suits in the event that he has to travel to an exotic locale. But it's probably a safe bet that Batman doesn't end up doing too much adventuring at the mouth of an active volcano. But this didn't stop Kenner from giving Batman a specialized suit to don in the off chance that he did.
Debuting in the Legends of the Dark Knight line, Lava Fury Batman gave everyone's favorite brooding vigilante a bright red bodysuit outfitted with a massive pair of solar panel wings. Also, as Batman is all about safety first, the suit had a dinky helmet to shove on top of Batman's cowl, coincidentally cut to allow Batman's ears to poke out of the top. Also he was equipped with a spear guns for... reasons. Thankfully, if Batman ever has to go spear fishing in an active volcano, the Lava Fury Batman armor will ensure he's ready to go.
9 NIGHT GLIDER BATMAN
Batman regularly declares that he is "the night." As a shadowy vigilante, it's a fitting title; as the skulking, unseen guardian of Gotham, Batman rules the night. His all-black ensemble definitely helps with this whole dark and mysterious persona, but the Night Glider Batman armor does the exact opposite, taking this shadow lurking vigilante and turning him into an impossible to miss neon orange mess.
With his jagged neon orange cape, his chunky neon orange chest piece, and his neon orange knee pads (safety first, after all), Night Glider Batman looks a Sunkist factory explosion. On top of all this garish orange, you'll find massive wrist mounted spikes, the purpose of which is up for debate. Are they to aid Batman in his gliding? Are they to allow Batman to swoop down and stab anyone who mocks this blue and orange monstrosity? The world may never know.
8 MOUNTAIN PURSUIT BATMAN
Say you're Batman, and you find yourself hot on the heels of an evil doer. Somehow, this villain manages to make his way to a mountain, which the villain proceeds to climb. Sure, as Batman you could probably just use your grappling hook to pull that villain down, or maybe break out the Bat-Plane and swoop up and shoot a net on the guy, but what if you had just recently watched the Sylvester Stallone classic Cliffhanger?
Obviously you would scrounge up all the green fabric you have laying around stately Wayne Manor, throw together a suit, grab an over sized grappling hook and comically large pick axe, and give chase up that mountain. At least, that's our logic for what led to the ridiculous Mountain Pursuit Batman. God knows what kind of suits Batman will whip up if he ever watches Over The Top or Stop Or My Mom Will Shoot.
7 LAND STRIKE BATMAN
Fighting the forces of evil as a shadowy vigilante is a tough gig. After all, you're so busy punching bad guys square in the teeth that you hardly have time to capture said bad guys and deliver said bad guys to the proper authorities. Thankfully, Kenner devised an ingenious solution to this very pressing problem: Take Batman, and strap a gigantic honkin' claw to his back. Problem solved!
Land Strike Batman equips Bats with what appears to be the world's largest jaws of life, which the hero is supposed to use to snag villains. Being a mortal man with a flimsy spine, Batman is given nifty exo-armor to assist in lugging around this massive, thoroughly impractical contraption. But looking past the massive claw mechanism, Bruce clearly decided to spice up the old wardrobe, as Land Strike Batman has a garish yellow and black suit that looks stolen from the collection of David Lee Roth. Clearly fearing the giant green claw wouldn't make him look silly enough, Batman doubled down on the Van Halen jumpsuit and really cemented the ridiculous look.
6 LASER BATMAN
Back in 1992, the world was still trying to wrap their heads around the concept of "lasers." After all, the concept of an amplified beam that can be used to cut through metal sounds positively sci-fi to the people of that bygone year. While people may not have fully comprehended how a laser works, they just knew that it sounded pretty awesome. Thus, Kenner decided to get with the times and bring the world Laser Batman in their Batman Returns toy line. But it might have helped if Kenner took a moment to do a little research before shoving Laser Batman out the door.
From just a cursory glance at Laser Batman, you'll be able to glean one thing: Laser Batman has nothing to do with lasers. In fact, Laser Batman comes with a satellite dish that launches a rocket which, if you'll recall from your time in seventh grade science class, is not a laser. Also, it would appear that Batman has constructed a suit out of the fluffiest down comforter he could find. So, while this whole Laser Batman thing might be completely ridiculous, at least Batman looks mighty cozy.
5 DRILL CANNON BATMAN
Batman holds to a strict "no killing" policy. Batman understands that killing is a permanent solution to a temporary problem, and that by taking a life it would put him on the same level as the criminal scum he works so tirelessly to keep Gotham safe from. Apparently, toy manufacturer Mattel didn't get this memo and decided to make a Batman with a gun so massive and capable of wanton murder that it likely violates international arms agreements.
Drill Cannon Batman lugs around a giant, well, drill cannon, which features a prominent drill smack dab in the middle, along with a small arsenal of missiles surrounding it. With this, Batman could bore a hole in the ground (or in a person, more likely), and then let loose his array of missiles and turn one unlucky soul into a red smear on the pavement. This murder-happy Batman makes for one head-scratching armor.
4 INFRARED BATMAN
It can be easy to forget that in addition to being a world class martial artist and detective, Batman has a sharp scientific mind. He's invented hundreds of gadgets, and he's used his extensive scientific knowledge to save the world more than once. So you have to wonder what would have compelled a learned, scientific man like Bruce Wayne to design an "Infrared Batman" suit that seems to have nothing to do with the electromagnetic spectrum.
Glad in a goofy translucent dome, Batman could theoretically use this silly helmet to see in infrared. But considering that the cowl of the batsuit has been shown to be than capable of seeing in x-ray and night vision, you have to figure the suit already has an infrared option, rendering this whole fashion exercise totally unnecessary. But at least Bats ridiculous dome features a disc launcher at top, allowing Batman to shoot "photon discs" at evil doers. Maybe next time Batman hits the bottle and starts creating scientific suits, Alfred can step in and talk him out of it.
3 NEURAL CLAW BATMAN
Batman understands that it will sometimes take a little more than a background in jui-jitsu and some glorified throwing stars to take down the forces of evil. He has whipped up hundreds of ingenious gadgets over the years to aid in his vigilante quest to keep Gotham, and the world, safe from those who mean it harm. But that doesn't mean every gadget Batman has churned out is a winner; case in point, Neural Claw Batman and his ridiculous wing claws.
Now, credit where credit is due, the claws mounted on top of this armor's wings can be removed and mounted on the wrist, allowing Batman to go full Edward Scissorhands on crime. But in their default position on top of the suit's wings, Batman would have to basically bend forward until he almost touched the ground to attack with the claws. This suit might look dumb, but it might aid Batman in his war on crime, as it could incapacitate criminals with laughter as they watch the Dark Knight bend 90 degrees and attempt to fight crime.
2 SLALOM RACER BATMAN
When Bruce Wayne isn't busy being the night, he lives a double life as a billionaire playboy. Like any billionaire playboy worth his salt, Bruce probably finds time to summer in the alps, which likely gave him the idea for this thoroughly ridiculous and thoroughly impractical suit.
Slalom Racer Batman ensures that Batman will be ready to fight evil should he ever find himself on a black diamond trail. The integrated skis and the neon orange ski poles make a lot of sense for a ski-oriented Batman suit, but things get confusing with the inclusion of the giant flame spewing pack found on Batman's back. This pack is intended to allow Batman to shoot fire from his shoulder, but this mostly seems like a giant safety hazard; after all, with Batman so occupied skiing down a mountain and (presumably) fighting ski ninjas, a shoulder flame thrower seems like a sure fire way (pun intended) to burn down a ski lodge or start a forest blaze. Maybe take this ski suit back to the drawing board, Bruce.
1 DECOY BATMAN
Being Batman would be an awfully stressful career. Serving as Gotham's silent guardian all but guarantees that vile villains and petty punks would be gunning for your head 24/7/365. It's understandable that you might need a break from this constant threat of being murdered, but Decoy Batman does not seem like a great solution for this problem.
Decoy Batman is just that: a glorified CPR dummy dressed up to look like Batman to serve as a decoy. Bruce could wear this Decoy Batman like an armor, or remove the armor and leave decoy Batman laying around in the hopes of distracting the bad guys and allowing the real Batman to get the drop on his foes. Never mind the fact that the possibility of Mr. Freeze or Ra's Al Ghul mistaking an arm-less, leg-less recreation of Batman's torso for the real Batman to be practically nill, but using this armor leaves Bruce without a Batman suit, ensuring that when his enemies see through his poorly thought-out plan, this leaves Bruce open to being murdered without his fancy armor to protect him. Batman has had plenty of silly armor over the years, but Decoy Batman definitely takes the cake.
What was your favorite ridiculous Batman toy armor? Strap on your Arctic Rescue suit and slide into the comments to let us know!