of Ed Kelly
HOLY MERCHANDISING BATMAN!!
The legendary Batman, and the huge Bat industry he was to spawn, were introduced in Detective Comics #27 of May 1939. Since then the Caped Crusader and his sidekick, Robin the Boy Wonder, have battled crime and the forces of evil in comic strips, in live-action and animated cartoon TV series, on the radio, on prime-time network television, in comic books, movie serials, feature films and in the hearts of millions of fans. Artist Bob Kane and writer Bill Finger also produced an array of notable knaves, among them the Riddler, Penguin, the Joker and Catwoman. Batman's two greatest successes were the 1966-67 ABC television series with Adam West and Burt Ward as the Dynamic Duo and a string of famous actors as the various villans; and the 1989 blockbuster film starring Michael Keaton, Kim Basinger and Jack Nicholson. Both productins generated hundreds of toys, premi;ums, posters, games, models, dolls and toy guns. Holy merchandising Batman!!
ED KELLY AND BATMANIA
Ed Kelly first discovered Batman in 1964 when his father took him to a second hand bookstore in London's Watling Market and introduced him to DC Comics. Fascinated with the bright, glossy art work and heroic tales, the nine year old soon became a comic book and Batman fan. The toys Ed remembers from this early period are the numerous Aurora model kits for the Batman cast of characters and the Corgi models that were plentifully available in local stores. Kelly took up toy collecting seriously in the 1970s. As he recalls, " Batman items were still plentiful in the dozens of independent toy stores all over London. Back then there were only a very few specialist comic stores, each of which always carried a few collectible toys. Batman was usually relegated to the 'cheap' shelves and pickings were good. In fact some of the toys I bought back then I have never seen come up for sale in the quarter of a century that has passed since then." By the early 1990s, with the booming popularity of Batman items after the success of the blockbuster movie Batman, Ed found himself in the possession of one of the largest, and most interesting, Batman collections in the world. Today, thirty five years after he first discovered Batman, Ed is married and the father of two children. Yet he is still in love with toys and Batman. In addition to his work as a sales manager for a large financial services company, Ed also operates a very successful business selling vintage toys. To find out what he has available currently, you can contact Ed at toysuwant.
BAT MAN RAY GUNS
Although associated with a dazzling array of fanciful weapons and gadgets from supercharged vehicles to bat boomerangs, Batman never used a gun. Committed to bringing his villians to justice, he never shot or seriously hurt any of the nefarious evil-doers who sought to outsmart and oumaneuver him. Despite this fact, a profusion of Batman guns and rifles have been produced in North America and Europe. Part of the remarkable glut of Batman merchandise and memorabilia, these toy firearms evoke the same sense of fantasy and whimsy as do space guns. Associated with a character no less fantastic than the most intrepid of space heroes, they are a part of the same romantic and fanciful quest for adventure and justice that also motivates cowboy tales and space opera.
The toy ray guns in this exhbition are selected from the collection of Ed Kelly. They include guns from both North America and Europe. If you have any questions about these guns, drop Ed a line.
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