Looking for info on the Batnoculars

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jhusel
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Looking for info on the Batnoculars

Post by jhusel » Mon Aug 11, 2014 2:38 pm

I'm wanting to make these, does anyone have any info on them? I read someone thought they were made from opera glasses, but all I have seen is the one screenshot of Batman using them in the bat boat. Any more info out there on these?

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Pat The Batman Fan
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Re: Looking for info on the Batnoculars

Post by Pat The Batman Fan » Fri Aug 15, 2014 5:03 pm

Search eBay for "vintage mini binoculars". Right now there are several that could be converted into Batnoculars with minimal fuss. It seems like all you would need is a gold colored, bat-shaped piece of metal with holes cut out for the front lenses.

The brands listed on there now that all look like they could potentially work are Selsi, Asahi, Plum & Skyline. Looks like you'll spend 30-50 bucks.

I might pick up a pair myself... looks like a cool, fairly easy prop.

Image
And why doesn't Batman dance anymore? Remember the Batusi?

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rickrickrick
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Re: Looking for info on the Batnoculars

Post by rickrickrick » Sun Aug 24, 2014 7:24 am

The batnoculars are almost certainly built on a style of mini binocular that was extremely popular - and had many knockoffs - before, during, and after World War II. They show up pretty frequently on eBay. The originals, I believe, were a product of the company that later became Nikon. There are collector sites on the web devoted entirely to their history! The ones that are identified as made in "Occupied Japan" are especially prized, and don't go cheaply on eBay.
minibinocs.jpg
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This design was so popular, there are still contemporary versions being made, like this one being sold on Amazon:
newbinocs.jpg
newbinocs.jpg (170.28 KiB) Viewed 3333 times
The two most substantial visual differences in the new ones are that the eye cups aren't dished like the vintage ones, and the front of the lenses looks like a plastic ring, not metal. They'd make a pretty good base if you couldn't get a vintage pair.

I don't know where the Batman prop guys got a pair with brass/gold colored fronts - I've been unable to locate any. Maybe they re-painted them. ***EDIT*** Actually, taking a better look at the frame grab right now, I'm not so sure that the front IS brass/gold - may just be reflecting the yellow tone of the bat. The back part is clearly silver.

RRR
The most important thing in life is to be yourself. Unless you can be Batman. Always be Batman.

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SteveA
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Re: Looking for info on the Batnoculars

Post by SteveA » Sun Aug 24, 2014 6:17 pm

rickrickrick wrote:The batnoculars are almost certainly built on a style of mini binocular that was extremely popular - and had many knockoffs - before, during, and after World War II. They show up pretty frequently on eBay. The originals, I believe, were a product of the company that later became Nikon.
Actually the batnoculars were built like so many of the props on Batman, from toys. The binoculars used were the ones on the back of comic books from the Johnson smith company and were also common prizes at Fairs back in the 60's. So far i have not been able to find the Ad i speak of on Google, I'll have to search my comic Book collection to find the Johnson Smith ad I refer too. Most of the ads I've been able to find have the snap open folding binoculars that came later.
If you watch Batman episode #25 The Joker Trumps an Ace and watch close as Batman uses the Batnoculars to search the Golf Course you get a good view of them.

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rickrickrick
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Re: Looking for info on the Batnoculars

Post by rickrickrick » Sun Aug 24, 2014 6:49 pm

Well, I am certainly no expert, and would love to be proven wrong, and see an example of the binocs you mention. I DID look at the Joker episode on the golf course, and the bluray of the movie, and unless those toys have the same profile as the Japanese mini binoculars, and have chromed lens tubes, I remain skeptical of them being the source. But I am only guessing based on visual information, which is minimal.

All best!

RRR
The most important thing in life is to be yourself. Unless you can be Batman. Always be Batman.

jhusel
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Re: Looking for info on the Batnoculars

Post by jhusel » Mon Aug 25, 2014 8:39 am

Thanks for the information everyone! I really appreciate the feedback!

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Mark Racop
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Re: Looking for info on the Batnoculars

Post by Mark Racop » Mon Aug 25, 2014 6:24 pm

I found this picture in my archives...
BATCUFFS, BATNOCULARS, MAGNIFYING GLASS.gif
BATCUFFS, BATNOCULARS, MAGNIFYING GLASS.gif (14.84 KiB) Viewed 3268 times

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Pat The Batman Fan
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Re: Looking for info on the Batnoculars

Post by Pat The Batman Fan » Mon Aug 25, 2014 8:51 pm

Great info Rick, thanks!

They do like fun to make, hope someone takes the plunge. I wish I had the time or I would make a set myself.
And why doesn't Batman dance anymore? Remember the Batusi?

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rickrickrick
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Re: Looking for info on the Batnoculars

Post by rickrickrick » Mon Sep 08, 2014 6:27 pm

The vintage pair of Japanese mini binoculars I bought off eBay arrived today, and, as I suspected, I am quite certain I have identified the correct base for the Batnoculars.

Unfortunately, I only had Pat The Batman Fan's frame grab to work from, but I did a quick side-by-side comparison, and in my mind, there's no doubt. Everything lines up.
origbatnocs.jpg
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vintagebinocs.jpg
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Please note in particular the four arrows. Same large flat screw visible behind the head of the bat emblem, same black frame, same silver triangular side pieces - even the same little set screw on the sides!

I thought maybe the prop guys pulled the lens tubes off to slip on the bat emblem, but, alas, they don't come off, so there must be undetectable cuts in the emblem that enabled them to slip it in place. Probably something pretty well covered over by the yellow paint job.

So, now I need to pattern the emblem. Man, are these small! But surprisingly effective binoculars!

Cheers!

RRR
The most important thing in life is to be yourself. Unless you can be Batman. Always be Batman.

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rickrickrick
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Re: Looking for info on the Batnoculars

Post by rickrickrick » Thu Sep 11, 2014 5:44 pm

BTW, as I was working on creating a faceplate for mine, it dawned on me that it's exactly the same bat as on the buckle of the utility belt. Duh! :lol:

RRR
The most important thing in life is to be yourself. Unless you can be Batman. Always be Batman.

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rickrickrick
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Re: Looking for info on the Batnoculars

Post by rickrickrick » Sat Oct 04, 2014 1:36 pm

Oops, never posted my finished batnoculars.
donebinocs.jpg
Well, sort of finished. This will do for now until I can make a better faceplate. It looks good from a distance, but it's CRAFT FOAM! I couldn't get anything else over the lens tubes, and the slices I had to put in all the different materials I tried bothered me more than a foamy faceplate did. So this is it for now.

While looking for something else last night, I revisited the bluray of the movie, where the batnocs can be seen clearly a couple of times - I am absolutely certain that I have the right kind of mini binoculars for a base. And as you can see, the yellow faceplate does, indeed, reflect on the chrome lens tubes, making them appear yellow or gold, while the rim around the lens still looks silver, as the posted screen grabs look.

Cheers!

RRR
The most important thing in life is to be yourself. Unless you can be Batman. Always be Batman.

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svl
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Re: Looking for info on the Batnoculars

Post by svl » Sat Oct 04, 2014 5:50 pm

Stellar, Rick. I bet if you whitened the edge of the foam slightly it would be right on the money.

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SteveA
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Re: Looking for info on the Batnoculars

Post by SteveA » Sat Oct 04, 2014 9:05 pm

rickrickrick wrote:I am absolutely certain that I have the right kind of mini binoculars for a base. And as you can see, the yellow faceplate does, indeed, reflect on the chrome lens tubes, making them appear yellow or gold, while the rim around the lens still looks silver, as the posted screen grabs look.

Cheers!

RRR
Rick I have to bow to you on those they look great and admit you were right and I was wrong.
Great job.

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Chuck Williams
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Re: Looking for info on the Batnoculars

Post by Chuck Williams » Sun Oct 05, 2014 6:06 am

Excellent work Rick!!
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Batfanman
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Re: Looking for info on the Batnoculars

Post by Batfanman » Sun Oct 05, 2014 6:23 am

rickrickrick wrote:BTW, as I was working on creating a faceplate for mine, it dawned on me that it's exactly the same bat as on the buckle of the utility belt. Duh! :lol:

RRR
Noticed that too - is it the same size as the one on the buckle?
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