This is the first in a series of posts which will introduce and document the different mainstream sets, and their variations, of Batman cards available.
In 1966 the world was introduced to many different variations of Batman cards through the production of six different sets (each with several variations). This post will look at the famous must-have cards: 1966 Black Bat cards.
The 1966 Black Bat cards (like all mainstream sets of 1966) was licensed worldwide to be produced in various countries locally. As a result the set is available in the following variations:
- 1966 Black Bat Orange Back Topps (USA)
- 1966 Black Bat Orange Back O-Pee-Chee (Canada)
- 1966 Black Bat Pink Back Series A&BC (UK)
- 1966 Black Bat Fan Club Series A&BC (UK)
The set features 55 cards of color drawings along with a storyline to match on the back. All variations use identical imagery with only subtle differences as you’ll see below. The cards are distinguished from other 1966 drawn Batman cards by the black bat image on the front.
The bulk of the illustrations were illustrated Norman Saunders from pencil drawings by Bob Powell.
Two of the most popular cards from the sets are aptly cards number 1 and 2 - sometimes called Batman and Robin’s rookie cards by sports card collectors.
1966 Black Bat Orange Back Topps
This set was produced by Topps for the USA market. It has an orange back which states “Copyright T.G.C PRTD U.S.A”. Below are two front and back examples of the Topps Black Bat cards.
1966 Black Bat Orange Back O-Pee-Chee
This set was produced by O-Pee-Chee for the Canadian market. It has an orange back which states “Copyright T.G.C PRTD in Canada”. Below are two front and back examples of the O-Pee-Chee Black Bat cards.
1966 Black Bat Pink Back A&BC
This set was produced by A&BC for the UK market. It has a pink back which states “Copyright A&BC PTD in England”. The Black Bat cards produced by A&BC are slightly smaller than other cards of this year. Below are two front and back examples of the A&BC Black Bat cards.
1966 Black Bat Fan Club Series A&BC
This set was produced by A&BC for the UK market. It has a pink back which states “Copyright A&BC Printed in Great Britain ” along with the fan club panel enticing the owner to join the Batman Fan Club. As with the standard issue A&BC Black Bat cards, these are slightly smaller than other Black Bat issues. Below are two front and back examples of the A&BC Black Bat Fan Club cards.
1989 Black Bat Reissue
Coming off the popularity of the 1989 Tim Burton film Batman, Topps reissued these cards. The cards are the same as the Orange Back Topps Series in every way with the addition of “1966 Deluxe Reissue Edition” stated on the back of the card.
Buying 1966 Black Bat cards
These cards are readily available for sale online and don’t cost a fortune to own. Given their age it can be hard to track down mint copies however good to excellent condition copies are abundant. Centering is often poor due to the technology of the day however I don’t feel this detracts from the cards appearance - more so a reminder of the age and history of the sets!
Check out the link below for plenty of connections to Black Bat Batman cards for sale on eBay right now.
Be sure to check out the next post in this series: Red Bat Batman Cards