Batman's original utility belt was made out of sponges
Holy absorbency! Find out how the 1966 prop was made — and how to make one yourself.
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Who didn't want to own a Batman utility belt as a kid? In the 1960s, the Ideal Toy Company manufactured one for purchase, complete with Bat-Cuffs and "Bat-A-Rang." It was fun but looked nothing like its TV counterpart. (You can see it at the bottom of this post.) The bright yellow, pouch covered belt hanging around Adam West's waist was an iconic part of his Batman outfit.
Let's peek into the Batcave closet and take a closer look at the secrets of the belt. There were several versions and add-ons during the production of Batman.
Believe it or not, one of the utility belts was made of kitchen sponges. When the show was first broadcast, such source material would never have been noticed. However, with our HD broadcasts, the detail is right there on screen. You can see the dishwashing-ready accessory up top.
Thankfully, the absorbant "pouches" were later replaced with wood blocks, sometimes covered in leather, which were then painted with yellow latex gloss paint.
The pouches were, in some cases, interchangeable to add the deep triangular pouch used to holster the Batarang on the belt. As for the tubes that are seen on the belt, those were simply wooden dowels painted and added to break up the belt a bit from the rectangular pouches.
With a little time and effort, you might be able to make yourself, just as Chuck Williams has. Previously, we showed you how Williams constructed a perfect replica Batman cowl. You can see a little bit of his utility belt process here.
So get ready, chums. Be it for cosplay, Halloween or for fun, you can make "those wonderful toys" for yourself.