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|First Appearance:||Challenge of the Superfriends|
In the mid-1970s, most Batman merchandise was still based on the '60s TV series. This would change soon enough once the Challenge of the Superfriends got underway.
In 1973, Batman returned to television with the debut of the Superfriends cartoon series. Teamed with Superman, Aquaman, Wonder Woman, and "hero trainees" Wendy, Marvin, and Wonder Dog, the hour-long show had the heroes facing danger around the world. The character roster evolved as the show went on, but Batman & Robin were always part of the cast.
The Batmobile created for the original Superfriends was based on the Futura Batmobile, but the lines of the car were modified substaintially for use in animation. The most obvious change was to the nose of the car, where the hood received a "V" depression that echoed the lower fascia. This was also the first car to feature the yellow bat emblems on the doors, though it is a feature that was quickly picked up in the comics as well.
The last of the Futura-styled Batmobiles finally retired in 1978 with the Challenge of the Superfriends. Street cars of the late 1970s - early 1980s had developed a more aerodynamic hard-edged style, and the Batmobile followed this concept with a smaller roadster with a sloped nose and flying buttress B-pillars. The design was quickly picked up by the Batman comics, and became one of the more enduring designs.
The Bat mask was retained for this car, though like the 1971 Batmobile it was little more that a flat hood decoration. Futura Batmobile styling wasn't completely gone, however, and showed up in the low horizontal fins and twin bubble windshields, as well as the now-familiar blue color.
The Superfriends Batmobile was later introduced into canon comic books later in the 1980s, as Batman is actually shown to be driving it on several occasions.
This Batmobile was actually released as part of DC Direct's Superfriends toy line in 2003. It was approximately 3.5" long and available with Robin & Riddler Superfriends action figure set.