image

A Real-Life Batmobile: When Nerds, Cars, and Charity Combine

It’s no secret that we’re all a pack of nerds here at Quality Logo Products. We nerd about marketing, we nerd about IKEA, but most of all, we nerd about superheroes.

So when I found out that DC and Kia were teaming up to create 8 unique cars based on members of the Justice League, I quickly had to interrupt the blog meeting to inform everyone.

Let me first show you the picture that inspired this post:

Batman Kia Optima

Awesome, right?

But its sheer beauty isn’t the only thing that makes this car so awesome. Here are a couple reasons why it’s so great:

1. It’s Co-branding at its Finest

Comic book and superhero enthusiasts have been building their own versions of the Batmobile for years. But now a well-loved comic book brand has teamed up with an actual automaker to create something “official.” Famous comic book artist Jim Lee collaborated on the design of the Batmobile and all of the other cars.

I’ve talked before about the great pairing of DC and Chuck Taylor All Stars, but having a car that one can actually drive takes being a fan to the next level.

2. It’s Cause Marketing at its Finest

The downside for fans is that the eight unique models are the only cars being made. After being shown at comic book and entertainment conventions and car shows across the country, the cars are going to be auctioned off. All proceeds are going to a charity called We Can Be Heroes, which seeks funds to squash the hunger crisis in the Horn of Africa.

In addition to eventually raising a ton of money for charity, DC and Kia have both benefited from lots of exposure and press. It’s a smart move because neither brand is at the top of their industry. Marvel is crushing DC in the entertainment department, and Kia isn’t exactly the most popular car brand in the world.

But when the two of them combine, it’s marketing gold. Geeks and non-geeks alike can all agree that a real-life Batmobile is awesome. Even if you know nothing about Batman, you can’t deny that it’s one sharp-looking car.

The next in line, the Green Lantern car, isn’t too shabby either.

Green Lantern Car

And yet, I can’t help wondering if there’s a serious missed opportunity by not mass producing these vehicles.

Custom-designed cars take time, and the novelty will certainly attract big bucks in the auction. But if DC and Kia had taken the time to create an easily mass produced car, I have to wonder if they couldn’t have raised even more money.

Interested customers could’ve pre-ordered the vehicles to ensure no leftovers, and KIA could’ve added another $2,000 to the total for We Can Be Heroes. I don’t have any official numbers or polls, but I’m pretty sure that there would be legions of Dark Knight fans who would jump at the chance to drive around a Batmobile. Debut those cars at comic cons across the country, and they’d be generating plenty of word-of-mouth.

So what do you think? Are these DC-inspired cars just excellent cause marketing? Or are all three organizations missing a great opportunity? Sound off in the comments below!

HAT TIP TO DESIGN TAXI. IMAGES ARE FROM DESIGN TAXI AND THE OFFICIAL GREEN LANTERN FACEBOOK PAGE. BATMAN AND GREEN LANTERN ARE OWNED BY DC COMICS AND WARNER BROS. ENTERTAINMENT. OPTIMA IS OWNED BY KIA MOTORS AMERICA, INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.


Mandy Kilinskis

Mandy is proud to be a part of QLP’s content team. A self-professed nerd, her interests include video games, sitcoms, superhero movies, iPods and iPhones but never Macs, and shockingly, writing. Her claims to fame are: owning over forty pairs of Chuck Taylor All Stars, offering spot-on coffee advice, and knowing an unbelievable amount of Disney Princess facts. You can connect with Mandy on

Comments

  1. Ness

    What are all of the superhero cars they’re making? Pics or it didn’t happen!

    Also, how about some Marvel cars too?

    Lastly, I would definitely buy something like this if I had a ridiculous, stinky pile of money just hangin’ out!

    • Mandy Kilinskis

      They’ve only released five of the cars so far, and you can see them all on the Green Lantern Facebook page that’s linked above.

      And I’d love to see some Marvel cars. Even better, I’d love to see some massed produced Marvel cars. I tweeted Chevy, but I have yet to get an answer. :)

  2. Eric

    I see where they’re going with this, and it makes sense for the superheroes with a high production value, so to speak…the Green Lantern and Cpt. America make perfect sense, there. Sadly, about the only thing I like about the “Batmobile” would be the bat-shaped front grille. Having the logo emblazoned across the entire side of the vehicle’s a little much. And ground effect lighting? WTF? To each his or her own, I suppose.

    Hopefully some of the folks buying these will hit the road in them and we’ll be able to see one up-close one day!

    • Mandy Kilinskis

      You could always keep the ground effect lighting off. I like that the Batmobile is a little more understated than the other cars, but I get where you’re coming from. I guess it’s a good thing you don’t have millions of dollars to spent on the car so you’re not even tempted to purchase it. ;)

      And we can only hope that some wealthy Chicago suburbanite will buy one!

  3. Rachel

    Well, I think this is awesome. I dig the over-the-top-ness of these — even the yellow lighting on the Batman car. Can you imagine seeing one of those suckers just tooling down the highway on your morning commute? It really is too bad that Kia and DC aren’t producing more of these, as I can guarantee there are superhero geeks out there with disposable income who would buy cars like this.

    Great post, Mandy! :)

    • Mandy Kilinskis

      I’m a big fan of all of the cars that have been released already. Even the Aquaman car is kind of awesome. I love the over-the-top-ness and the fine details. I mean, just look at the stitching on the Green Lantern seats! The bat-shaped grill! It’s just so dang impressive! I would be honored to share the highway with any of these cars.

      I can’t wait to see the Superman, Wonder Woman, and mysterious 8th car!

  4. Mikey

    Speaking as a superhero geek, I have to say, these are all kinds of awesome. I love the design on most of them, though the Aquaman car feels a little off to me; not enough orange to really feel like his colors. That, and I kinda surprised they went with Cyborg as opposed to, say, Martian Manhunter. But, that’s me, and I’ll always think of Cyborg as member of the Teen Titans, even if he has been getting a bigger role as of late.

    In any event, I must also say that I’d love to have the obscene amounts of money necessary to get my hands on these cars, or to at least get the chance to see on the streets. They look so awesome! They definitely put a lot of work and detail into these things. Thanks for the awesome post, Mandy. Definitely brightened my day!

    • Mandy Kilinskis

      You’re not the only DC fan who was surprised that they went with Cyborg instead of Martian Manhunter. But yeah, Cyborg is now a standard member of the Justice League in the New 52 comics, and DC wants their comic/movie/TV/product properties to all tie-in easily together. Though, they announced 8 cars and there are (as of right now) only 7 members, so maybe the last will be Martian Manhunter? Time will only tell!

      I’m glad that it brightened your day! :)

  5. Amy Swanson

    Wow, way to go Kia! I like this idea a lot more than seeing dancing hamsters on all their commericals. This one I can get behind, lol.

  6. Cybernetic SAM

    That is soo cool! I wonder if Joe will let me pimp his new KIA out as the Batmobile!
    I think that companies should make novelty things like this, you know like one-of-a-kind, they already do it with action figures which end up being worth lots of money and these would be worth A LOT! This was definitely a clever post great job!

    • Mandy Kilinskis

      I certainly hope that Joe lets you pimp out his KIA as the Batmobile. I mean, it would up his cool factor substantially. Because that’s what a Batmobile does; it ups cool factors.

      They are definitely going to raise a ton of money for We Can Be Heroes. I’m curious if the future owners are going to drive the cars around or just keep them in a garage!

  7. Depressed in Des Moines

    The new Wonder Woman Sportage looks AMAZING! Barring an actual invisible jet, this is about as close to my dream vehicle as I’m ever likely to see. I want one of these so bad it hurts and I’m super depressed that they’re not mass producing them. I think Kia really missed an epic opportunity here, as these Justice League cars would probably steal hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of people away from whatever brand they’re currently loyal to.

    • Mandy Kilinskis

      The Wonder Woman Sportage is beautiful! And I love the Superman Optima Hyrbid, too!

      So I’m with you! I normally wouldn’t look to Kia for a car, but I’m pretty sure I’d make an exception if I was able to get my hands on one of these Justice League ones.

      Sigh. Maybe one day if we hope hard enough?

Leave a Comment

Copyright 2003 - 2014 Quality Logo Products, Inc., Registration No. TX7-524-201. All Rights Reserved.