As part of their Monster Jam line, Mattel released a Batmobile monster truck in a variety of scales, including this 1/24 version. For those of us who remember when a monster truck show was a single truck running over some old beaters, these modern monsters are quite a bit different. They now feature custom built tubular cages under special bodies, rear-mounted engines, and few (if any) "factory" parts.
A blue base color serves as the backdrop for the various Hot Wheels, Monster Jam, and Batman logos. A photo of the truck in action appears on the front, back, and both ends, and in the Batmobile's case appears to be a superimposed image done in Photoshop. The top and front of the box are open so you can touch the truck, though there are no action features to activate. The back has co-sells for the rest of the Monster Jam line, including Rev Tredz, Crash & Smash, Crank & Crush, Grave Digger, and Crashzilla. Four twist-ties and way too much tape secure the truck in the box, pretty much negating any chance of getting it out without destroying the box.
The 1/24 version has an excellent casting, possibly the most realistic of any scale. The body is metal, painted a nice, clean satin black with silver accents and very little slop. The accents include the roof scoops, fin inserts, and jet exhausts - unlike earlier versions of the design, this has no Keaton-esque turbine intake up front, though it does still have the indentation for one. Transparent red windows let you see inside, where it looks like they have included a roll cage and dshboard. No seat, as this is where the body mount post is located. The chassis is very well done, including suspension components, fuel cell, radiator, and a chrome engine. Chrome is repeated on the shocks and the wheels, which are wrapped in reasonably well done tires. The tread looks a bit strange, and the sidewall isn't thick enough, but these are relatively small nitpicks. The only real problem is the markings, which are all done with poorly applied stickers. The sticker in the nose is the only one that appears to be straight, and that's probably because there was only one way it could go in. If they had taken a little more care with either the design or execution of the stickers (or maybe tampographed details like the 1/64 version), this would've been perfect.
This is the perfect example of less being more. The larger Batmobile, with the various action features, had clumsy details and obvious red buttons. The only feature here is the working suspension, but it works beautifully. Pick it up, and the wheels go slack; push down, and both the front and rear axles will bounce back thanks to working springs. The way the designers did the suspension is especially clever, making the shock absorbers look functional while hiding the real springs over the differentials. You can also steer the Batmobile by tilting the body to the left or right.
At first glance, I thought this was too small to be 1/24. After comparing it to other modern monster trucks, though, I have to say that they got it dead-on. The body works out to be just over five feet wide at the fin tips, and fifteen feet long. The wheels and tires are a little off, but by such a small margin it's almost not worth mentioning. The placement of the fuel cell, engine, and accessories all look good, and the chassis tubes and suspension all look good.
Other than the stickers, the only real complaint is the terrible distribution this one got. Larger and smaller versions have been readily available right along, but I have seen exactly two of the 1/24 versions, counting this one. If they're readily available in your area, or if you can find one online at a decent price, you should definitely get it. It's a fun toy, a great design, and a unique companion to other Batmobiles in your collection.
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