In Tim Burton’s Batman (1989), Jack Nicholson’s Joker utters the memorable phrase, “Where does he get those wonderful toys?” The “he” being referenced is none other than the Dark Knight, and the “toy” in question is a grappling hook gun/zip line. And despite the many changes that have been made to the character throughout the years, Batman’s grapple gun has remained a mainstay in the Caped Crusaders arsenal along side other iconic items such as the Batmobile and the Batarang.
To answer the Joker’s question, these “toys” are made by Batman himself, or they are secretly obtained via Bruce Wayne’s wealth and business connections. So, where does that leave those of us who aren’t brilliant super-scientists or well-connected billionaires? How do we go about obtaining a grappling hook gun of our own?
That’s a question engineer James Hobson of Hacksmith Industries1 found himself asking. And as the following video from his YouTube channel demonstrates, his answer was to build one of his own:
Despite the shaky start, a full battery of tests demonstrated Hobson’s homemade device would be right at home on Batman’s utility belt. A follow-up video even demonstrated the gun’s zip line capabilities:
While Hobson’s grappling hook gun is impressive, it’s far from the only Batman inspired item the internet has to offer. Here’s a look at some other people who have made real-life versions of Batman’s gadgets:
Victor Poulin isn’t a Batman expert. He’s a boomerang enthusiast. But it just so happens that Batman is a bit of a boomerang enthusiast himself. So Poulin decided to pay a tribute to his fellow boomerang-phile by recreating the Batarang.
While the idea of Batman riding a motorcycle isn’t exactly new, Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy introduced us to the Batpod, a motorcycle-like auxiliary vehicle that launches from the Batmoblie/Tumbler. And thanks to a motorcycle shop called Chopper City USA, a replica of the Batpod is out on the streets.
In The Dark Knight (2008), Bruce Wayne is forced to relocate his base of vigilante-related operations while his home2 is rebuilt. In the meantime, he utilizes a secret underground garage to stash the various vehicles. Apparently, a wealthy Australian living near Melbourne was inspired by the idea, and had a similar garage built underneath his mansion’s tennis court and gardens. The result would make Bruce Wayne proud.
Seeing someone in a Batman suit isn’t that uncommon. However, an industrial design student at Philadelphia University named Jackson Gordon3 took his cosplay to the next level by creating a Batsuit that was actually functional. After several prototypes and a Kickstarter campaign, Gordon’s final product weighed 25 pounds, and utilized Kevlar to protect against punches, knives, and machetes4. Gordon also claims that wearing the suit doesn’t result in a significant loss in speed or mobility. Pretty impressive. But then again, what did you expect from a guy who grew up in Wayne, Pennsylvania?