Date posted: June 8, 2012
By Matt Cassidy
The Blue Bat Batman cards (also know as the Puzzle B Series) were produced in 1966 following on from the Black Bat Cards and Red Bat Cards of the same year. As with the Black Bat and Red Bat cards the Blue Bat cards were licensed throughout the world to be printed in various countries locally which resulted in several variations becoming available:
The Batman Blue Bat set consists of 44 cards of color illustrations (largely by popular artist Norm Saunders) on the front. Unique to this set there were two different card backs produced per card:
The backs of the cards are numbered with the appendix B, hence the term Puzzle B Series. You can distinguish the Batman Blue Bat cards from the Black and Red illustrated cards of the same year by the blue bat imagery and blue keyline border on the front of the card. Additionally the Blue Bat cards feature a clear heading on the back of the puzzle cards which the Red Puzzle Back Cards do not.
This set was produced by Topps for the USA market. On the back the cards state"Copyright T.G.C PRTD U.S.A". Below are two front and back examples of the Topps Blue Bat Puzzle cards.
This set was produced by O-Pee-Chee for the Canadian market. It has a back which states "Copyright T.G.C PRTD in Canada". Below are two front and back examples of the O-Pee-Chee Blue Bat cards.
This set was produced by A&BC for the UK market. It has a back which states "Copyright A&BC Printed in England". Below are two front and back examples of the A&BC Blue Bat cards.
This set was produced by Scanlens for the Australian market. It has a back which states "Copyright T.G.C PRTD in Australia". I don't have the Scanlen's Blue cards myself but am hoping to add the set to my collection soon - I'll be sure to add scans as soon as I have them. If you own some of these cards and would like to contribute scans just drop me a line.
As with the 1966 Black Bat and Red Bat Cards Topps was looking to capitalize on the success of the 1989 Tim Burton film Batman and reissued the Blue Bat set. These cards are identical in every way to the 1966 set however they include the extra text: "1966 Deluxe Reissue Edition" on the backs of the trading cards and as far as I know only feature the puzzle backs.
The Blue Bat cards seem to be the toughest to find for sale out of each of the Black, Red and Blue sets. They are, however, still somewhat available so its definitely worth a look if you're keen on adding these cards to your collection.
Given their age mint copies are very hard to find. In addition, as with the Red Bat set, the puzzle back means that often the cards were played with more than the Black Bat set for example which will contribute to wear.
Centering is poor due to the technology of the day however I think this gives the cards a nice old school feel. This is one set that will stand right out in any great Batman cards collection!
Check out the link below for plenty of connections to Blue Bat B Series Batman cards for sale on eBay right now.
Be sure to check out the next post in this series: Macleans / Weeties and Rice Krispies Batman Cards