Did he retake his driving test in the Batmobilityscooter? Batman is 80 years old and Niue celebrates

Despite the juggernaut that is the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), it’s probably fair to say that Batman remains the most well known and iconic superhero in popular culture today. Appearing in multiple blockbuster movies, often of outstanding quality, various television series, books and, of course, thousands of comic books, the Dark Knight is an integral part of today’s pop culture canon.

He’s no stranger to the numismatic world either, featuring on several issues over the last few years, with mixed success. Into the fray jumps the New Zealand Mint (surprised?, no, us neither). Rather than go the more common standard coin route, they’ve chosen to add to their wide and impressive foil range. Not only are we treated to a silver foil, they’ve issued a gold one to sit alongside it. As you can see below, both are well done and very suited to the intended memorabilia market.

Also putting in an appearance is the latest silver miniature. Bigger in size and weight than previous efforts, the sculptor Ezcerra has done a fine job realising the character again. Indeed, it’s hard to be overly critical of any of these commemorative items. All are very well presented, good-looking pieces that we’d suspect the Batman collector would take to very well. The rising prices are a tad disappointing, although the much tighter mintages are a pleasant improvement. All are available to order now.

5g SILVER FOIL

The silver foil is the star of the show for us. A great looking piece of artwork and finally, we’re seeing some customisation of the obverse face. This one has an edgy look and the Batman image blended in with the comic art panels is very well done. The image of the character on the aforementioned obverse is also very nicely done, and the whole thing should be very appealing to fans of the character.

Packaging is first class, as it has been on almost all of these NZ Mint foil issues. Customised inside and out, the box is well up to the job, and the acrylic frame the foil is sealed in makes display very easy.

It’s one of the mints 148 x 98 mm 5g foils, which is an ideal compromise between an attractive size and a sensible price. Sadly, we’re seeing a $10 USD increase over the Batman Villains foils, no doubt a result of the mintage dropping from 50,000 to just 10,000 pieces.

5g GOLD FOIL

The 1g gold foil follows the more traditional banknote format in appearance, and has a more classically orientated visual style than the silver release. It carries over the high quality packaging and customised obverse of its cheaper brethren, but seems aimed at a slightly less contemporary audience. It’s another fine piece of work, but again, the price rise from the $140.00 of the equivalent earlier Disney foil, to the $170.00 of this one is most unwelcome.

Some of that is no doubt down to the rise in gold prices recently, but we suspect most of it will be because the mintage is just 10% of the Disney foil, at just 1,000 pieces. To be fair, the augmented reality app and the superior packaging also clubbed in towards the rise, no doubt. Also available now.

BATMAN SILVER MINIATURE

The NZ Mint currently has three ranges of silver miniatures on the go at the moment. Star Trek has seen three issues, Disney two, and DC Comics, of which this is the third addition to the range. Following Superman and Wonder Woman, the addition of the Caped Crusader should come as a surprise to nobody, Again, sculptor Alejandro Pereira Ezcurra has done the business and a fine job it is.

Batman, however, has had a widely disparate range of appearances over the years, so if the more iconic Silver Age style isn’t your thing and you prefer the later interpretations of the character, you might not like it so much. There are definite shades of the late Adam West’s stint as the (less than) Dark Knight, and the accompanying period in the comics.

We’ve seen a few of these miniatures now and they’ve been without exception, quality pieces. However – again – there’s been a significant price rise in this figure. Jumping from $550.00 USD to $699.00 would at first glance seem a huge rise, but this is simply a bigger piece. Superman came in at 150 grams, with Wonder Woman at 135 grams, but Batman tips the scales at a hefty in comparison 235 grams. So, all things considered, the increased cost of this one is easier to justify.

Just 1,000 of these will be cast and it’s available now.

SPECIFICATION

SPECIFICATION
TYPE GOLD FOIL SILVER FOIL MINIATURE
DENOMINATION $10 NZD (Niue) $1 NZD (Niue) n/a
COMPOSITION 0.999 gold 0.999 silver 0.925 silver
WEIGHT 1.0 grams 5.0 grams 235.0 grams
DIMENSIONS 140.0 x 70.0 mm 98.0 x 148.00 mm 100.0 mm approx
FINISH Uncirculated Uncirculated Cast
MODIFICATIONS Colour Colour n/a
MINTAGE 1,000 10,000 1,000
BOX / C.O.A. Yes / Yes Yes / Yes Yes / Yes
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