2018 was a busy year for the New Zealand Mint as they continued to popularise the silver foil with a whole swathe of variously sized designs. They’ve obviously had some success with the relatively new type of coin as 2019 has seen the selection expand further. We can now add Batman Villains to the list. The mint has three formats in general use. One apes the dimensions of a banknote (5g, 150 x 70 mm), another called ‘Premium Format’ weighs 35 grams (262 x 175 mm), and in the middle is a foil that is orientated and proportional in size to the premium foil, but the same weight as the banknote style. It is this latter one that has been chosen for Batman Villains.
Eschewing the simple reproduction of a movie poster or a comic book cover, Batman Villains has some very cool new artwork on display. Each foil depicts a selection of the characters incarnations from their comic book history. There are no nods to the movies or TV shows, despite the NZ Mint having issued foils based on them (Justice League being a prime example). We think the series is an outstanding one for the comic collector, attractive and at $39.00 USD, not overly expensive – something needed to bring new collectors into the hobby.
The obverse is patterned and has the standard Ian Rank Broadley effigy in its centre, so this is a coin (some of the other foils are not). The foil is sealed in acrylic and comes presented in a heavily themed sleeve that makes display nice and easy. A brightly coloured shipper box keeps it all together and is neither bland or excessively bloated in size.
At the time of writing (May 2019), four foils are available, with a fifth due on the 24th of this month. Batman has probably the most inventive, extensive and downright unusual group of enemies in either the DC or Marvel universes, so if this format is to be a success, the mint has chosen wisely for its debut series. Batman Villains is heartily recommended to admirers of the characters massive pantheon built up over the last eight decades.