Holy fanboy, Batman! Bruce Wayne has captivated Jake, a DJ by profession, for nearly his entire life. He even turned his basement into his very own version of the Batcave! The rec room comes with all the bells and whistles, including a DJ booth, a wine cellar, and a home gym, and is fully stocked with Bat memorabilia that put the priceless collection of Etruscan snoods to shame (sorry, Robin).
Watch the video below to get the full tour!
When and how did you start collecting?
My collection really started as a young child. I was always into superheroes. I grew up watching Tim Burton’s Batman (1989) as well as Batman: The Animated Series and the X-Men and Spider-man cartoons from the ’90s, so my mom and grandparents would buy me lots of DC and Marvel Action figures. I probably had nearly 100 different action figures at one point. As I got into high school, I started getting into reading and collecting the Batman comic books and trade paperbacks. Additionally, over the years, friends and family would gift me various Batman memorabilia, which I’d put on display.
My collection really took off though in 2019 after I discovered the market of licensed statues and collectibles. Since then, my collection has grown and expanded tremendously.
What do you collect?/What sort of things?
I collect anything and everything Batman including clothing, hats, sunglasses, masks/cowls, comics/trade paperbacks, enamel pins, posters, art, statues, action figures, hot wheels, and more.
What is that you love most about DC and Batman specifically?
I enjoy DC and Marvel quite equally; they both have a great cast of characters and a rich history of amazing stories. However, Batman has always been the one superhero that resonated with me the most and has been a constant throughout my life.
I think part of it stems from me continuously finding something new to love about the character every couple of years. As a young child, I was so impressionable and would watch Batman (1989), Batman Returns (1992), and The Animated Series all the time while playing with my Batman action figures. My great-grandmother even made me my own cape that I would wear everywhere while living out my Batman fantasies. Once I was old enough to read and understand the comics, I then found a whole new love and appreciation for the character, including the art and his history.
Towards the end of high school, Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins (2005) was released, which kicked off the Nolan trilogy and reinvented Batman, making him more grounded and realistic. It’s basically just been a snowball effect with Batman throughout my life. As far as the character goes, I’ve always admired his iron will, persistence, and determination; he never gives up. He’s also a master planner; if you give Batman time to plan and prepare for a situation, he’s unstoppable. I’ve also always been drawn to characters that embrace darkness for some reason, such as The Crow, Sting (the wrestler), Symbiote Spiderman/Venom, etc.
Which Batman movie is your favorite?
The Dark Knight is my favorite Batman movie of all time. No matter how many times I’ve seen it, it still gives me goosebumps and hits the same as the first time I saw it in theaters. I also love Tim Burton’s 1989 Batman because it’s what I grew up with. I can watch both of them over and over.
Which item in your collection is most special to you and why?
I think the most prized item in my collection is my 1:6 scale Hot Toys 1989 Batmobile. It’s always been my dream in life to one day own a real-life-size 1989 Batmobile, so until then, it’s as close as I’ll get. It’s arguably one of the most iconic and recognizable cars in the film. On top of being totally bat-ass, it’s a true work of art.
Aside from that, I’d have to say my collection of Kenner Action Figures and Batcave. These are the actual figures I owned and played with as a kid. My parents kept them all in a box in the attic, which I just recently found. I’m so excited to give them to my son, Grayson Wayne, once he is old enough to play with them.
Do you have any weird/super rare items in your collection?
One of the rarest statues I own is my 1:4 scale Batman status from Grumpy Bear Studios; they only produced 30 of them. It came with three swappable heads (one of which is Bruce Wayne unmasked) and three swappable hands. It’s a really incredible and beautiful piece that features Batman standing atop a giant Joker head, with his cape blowing in the wind. And if you look closely at the Joker playing cards at the base of the statue, you’ll see four different incarnations, including Nicholson, Ledger, Hamill, and Lego.
I also have a pair of custom hand-painted Nikes from @jbkustomkickz. JB spent somewhere between 30-40 hours meticulously hand painting each shoe using Angelus leather paint. The right shoe features my favorite Batman comic book logo, and the left features a recreation of some original artwork drawn by Jim Lee, one of my favorite Batman artists.
Lastly, I also have some Batman Returns merchandise from 1992 that’s in mint condition, including a Batman Painter’s Cap/Hat and a Penguin T-shirt. A friend online happened to stumble upon someone who had a bunch of old Batman Returns merchandise in mint condition, and I was able to acquire a few of those pieces from him.
What’s the best part about being a collector?
For me, the best part of collecting is being able to share my collection with others who appreciate it. My wife and I love to entertain, so we always have friends and family over, but a lot of them don’t necessarily appreciate the items in my collection. So I really enjoy it when I can share my collection with fellow Batman fans and “nerd out” with them for a bit.
How do you organize your collection?
My collection is organized and separated into different spaces. I’m also a big fan of symmetry, so you’ll notice that throughout my Batcave. I have a whole wall dedicated to the 1989 Batman film.
I have another wall dedicated to displaying my Kenner Toys action figures. Then I have another wall that is dedicated to displaying my comic book collection, along with my McFarlane Toys and DC Direct action figures and smaller-scale statues. I also have another wall that displays all of my Lego Batmobiles and Batwing. For my theater wall, I have it outlined with some of my larger scales 1:3 and 1:6 statues and Batmobiles, respectively.
I also have a DJ booth (I DJ under the alias “The Dub Knight”) which contains some of my favorite Batman hats, some old flyers from my past DJ gigs, a “Dub Knight” flag, and more. My pool hall contains a lot of random Batman art and memorabilia I’ve been gifted over the years. And then my office space serves as a gallery wall, containing some random Batman art and my Batman coffee mugs.
How does it feel to own your own Batcave? 🤩
It’s pretty awesome! My Batcave is multi-function; it’s a home office, home theater, game-room, night-club, art gallery/museum, and home gym all rolled into one. The entire basement is around 2,000 square ft and contains a projector w/ a 120” inch screen and surround sound, a pool hall w/ billiards table, a barcade w/ wet bar and mini-fridge, a DJ booth, a home gym, a wine cellar w/ darts board, and my home office/gaming PC. I spend a lot of time down here, and it’s nice to be surrounded by so many cool Batman pieces that make me happy.
Do you have any Displates in your collection? If yes, what do you like most about them?
Yes, I currently have 4 Displates in my collection! I’m starting to run out of wall space, so I love how small they are because they help fill in the gaps. I also love how easy they are to hang!
Anything else you would like to share?
Over to You!
If you had the opportunity to turn your basement into a fandom paradise, what would you turn it into? Let us know in the comments below.
All photos used in this post are © Jake Marsh, used with permission.