Batman made his first comic book appearance in 1939, but it wasn’t until 1972 that the Mego Corporation got the bright idea to mass-produce a line of toys featuring the superhero and all his gadgets, vehicles, sidekicks, and adversaries. Ever since then, the character has been a staple of the toy aisle, even during the years when his comics weren’t selling so well.

That’s what makes it all the stranger whenever a new Batman movie comes out. Most years, the Dark Knight’s action figures look like they popped right off the page. Then, every so often, they suddenly change to resemble Michael Keaton or Christian Bale, while accompanied by accessories and play sets that are tied to the long-forgotten plots of some summer blockbuster.

This won’t really be a problem with The LEGO Batman Movie, which is based on a toy to begin with, and will spin off merchandise that looks just like every other LEGO Batman product of the past decade (ever since the brick-building company licensed the superhero’s likeness from DC Comics in 2006). Nevertheless, in honor of this toy superhero movie, the gallery above offers a look at the most dubious of-their-time toys tied to the Batman cinematic universe.

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