Yeshhh, we are in the middle of Spring and there’s nothing better than flying a kite in the wind. Don’t ask how many times I’ve been told to do so, I can’t count that high. Probably equal to the times I’ve been asked to go for a long walk off of a short pier. The question I have for you is: when does a kite become a suit? Say what?! Maniacs, I’m glad you had me ask that and I’ll give you the answer. We’re going back to 1974-75, when I wore plaid pants and orange sneakers.
It comes as no surprise that I was with my Mom, Jean, when I saw what I thought was the greatest product at that time. She didn’t drive, we either caught a ride with someone, or she commandeered her purple Schwinn bike with metal child seat attached. We were at the Mid-City Plaza and I can’t remember what store it was, but we discovered a Sky-Way Products inflatable Batman Kite. Sky-way also produced a Spiderman and Superman kite. But, my Bat-brain needed that Batman kite!
After returning home, it came time to inflate and fly that bad boy. After doing just that, I wanted to wear the thing like a sheet ghost and cut out air and eye holes. The kite was a little smaller than me at that age. I was 4 or 5. I was no scientist but I thought – yeah, this’ll work! I could be Batman 365 days a year! Not just Halloween.
Well, the thought of purposefully damaging a brand new toy didn’t go over too well with my parents. I have to admit they were totally right. I was a Bat-brat. But, the thought of donning the Bat suit in some form was too much to dismiss. Yeah, I was a dork and still am. After a series of successful flights, the kite sustained damage from a tree and we did cut the necessary holes. It didn’t work like I had hoped at all. The holes didn’t line up and the only thing we could do, was make one hole for my head to pop through, by cutting away the cowl/head area.
The kite inflates to 36″ x 45″ and sports some terrifically colorful and classic Silver/Bronze Age Batman graphics. The arms are drawn a little large and out of proportion to accommodate the wingspan. I never forgot about the kite or the “Bat suit” it became and as it is with collectors and the secondary markets, I discovered it on EBay. The pricing varies widely, so I’m not sure where to accurately place its dollar value. After a few failed bidding attempts and listings, I did finally get one at the more reasonable end of the pricing spectrum. It’s never been opened, but that might change as the Spring winds are just right to send a certain inflatable Caped Crusader on a mission in the sky. It’s either that or I try the suit idea again. But, believe me, there’s not a chance I could fit my fat head through a hole in the kite, now! Better to tame the winds!