1983 "Batcopter stickers & blue dashboard"
The distinguishing features of this version include a filled-in nostrils on the bat nose, taillights that are also completely filled in, a non-moving exhaust flame, the Batmobile label on the underside of the car was revised to include a copyright stamp for National Periodical Publications, a wider slot for the chain cutter which was slightly dimpled at the top of the slot and wider whizzwheels that extended out beyond the car's fenders.
In terms of quality of construction, this is the worst. From about 1976 on, the "rivets" particularly those inside the car were often not as tight as on previous versions. Also, I've seen dashboards that were simply never chrome plated with this version.
1979-83 Corgi Batmobile - now made with wide wheels, (people tended to complain that the thinner whizzwheels broke or bent too easily and made the car useless when playing with them on concrete, and the suspension broke too easily, hence the wide wheels) early versions that came in the yellow blue with built in header card came with the pink Robin, the headlights changed from yellow to orange, and the horn indicators were not cut out properly. When the box itself changed in 81, to the black red yellow box with detachable header card, Robin was no longer in the car. Later versions had what’s known as the blue dashboard, (which is easily accomplished, (you could do this yourself with a cotton bud and a bit of white spirit) Batcopter stickers on etc. These were the last to leave the assembly line, since Corgi knew they were finished, and built the car with what was left. The horn indicators, either side of the beacon, now were not cut out properly. If you look at any version before this one you will notice that the tips are still on the wide wheeled version, but instead of bending into a curve from the top. It just goes straight down now. Previous versions the curve was cut out. The header card was also packaged separately when it went to the shops, (so the header card didn't get bent or damaged) and it was up to the shop keeper to attach them, which the majority of the time he didn’t. That’s why the last issue box with a header card is extremely rare.
It was expensive to make the red hub Batmobile, with all its features, so they simply got rid of some of them. The first casualty of the change was the pulsating flame, which was lost due to the change to red tyres. In 76, they got rid off the instructions envelope, and instead printed them on the box itself. The last version, the wide wheeled was by far the worst. They didn’t trim the indicator horns, didn’t paint the dashboards properly, and even ran out of the bat logos for the doors, but still had cars left over. The solution ? Simply use the Batcopter stickers. They weren’t going to print off more, especially since they were going under. (For anyone whos worked in a factory, it can take several months or even a couple of years to shut down a factory!!) If only they'd kept it the original way, it might still be popular.
The final Batmobiles to leave the factory were the Batcopter stickers version AND the blue dashboard version. When it became clear they were going under and working short-time, they used what was left. Usually, these faults wouldn't have passed, but because they went bust they had to pay their staff and crediors with something. So, any parts left built a Batmobile. At first they separated the faults, so not all the faults appeared on one car. Later on, they combined them, so its possible to find a Batmobile out there with a blue dashboard and Batcopter stickers. I have never seen this version, but i know it exists somewhere!!
* note the rare and unusual bright blue dashboard found on these versions *