Back in 2005, Spaghettios offered a free Batman action figure with a few proofs-of-purchase and a shipping and handling fee or something (okay, I don't remember all the details - but I have the Batman to prove it!)
The figure offered was an exclusive camo Batman from the then running The Batman cartoon show. I'm a sucker for free toys and Spaghettios, so I jumped!
The figure arrived in a plain cardboard box...
But inside was contained in a really nifty Campbell's soup looking box. Andy Warhol would be proud.
I don't remember if the offer was exclusive to Spaghettios, or if they accepted soup labels as well, but it's funny and cool how they up-play the Campbell's angle. The back does mention Spaghettios though.
The figure is the same as any Batman figure available at the time...including the much maligned "non-removable batarang" feature. Note to those bitching about the hex-holes on Batman: The Brave and the Bold toys, Mattel will soon release them without. They did it with The Batman; first releasing Batman with this action feature only, and then later releasing him without it. Mark my words: If anyone follows decades old patterns in toy manufacturing, it's Mattel.
What made this figure different and exclusive to this offer is his camo detailing. Now I am all for variant Batman figures, as long as said variants make sense to the character. This camo detailing does so in my book. It's not your atypical army type camo either, it's more of a blues and greys urban/night camo, and I can imagine Batman using it on a mission into Gotham City's version of Central Park to defeat a nefarious plan set forth by Poison Ivy.
So when I heard about this mail-away offer, I went out and bought the pre-requisite cans of Spaghettios, ate them, and sent away for my toy. I assume there must have been a shipping and handling fee, or else I would probably own more than one. Because then Spaghettios = free toy. But since I had to buy Spaghettios AND pay for the figure, I stopped at one; because Spaghettios + money = I ate some Spaghettios and bought a toy. Not nearly as satisfying as scenario #1, but still satisfying.
I remember the fanboy chatter back then about The Batman toyline and how all Batman figures had this non-removable batarang. "Collectors" frothed at the mouth because it didn't come off and therefore was more "toy" than "collectible" and probably pushed too far into the realm of manhood questioning for their comfort. I for one didn't mind it (nor do I mind the hex-holes on Brave and the Bold figures) because they ARE TOYS and I can appreciate the attempt on the toy manufacturers to produce something exciting and new for kids to enjoy.
In fact, not only does the batarang extend, but it retracts too, making for a fun little climbing feature for Batman to enjoy.
I liked a lot of the toys from The Batman, and this one is no exception. I don't know how HTF, limited or rare these are, but I love mine and am glad he's part of my collection.
Oh yeah: cloth capes = WIN!