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Tim Burton's Batman in 1989 may have redefined how the general audience viewed DC’s Caped Crusader, but just imagine how he affected the populace of Gotham City within this fictional universe. One minute they’re living their lives in this anachronistic setting, the next minute a guy dressed like a bat is beating up criminals in the night. People may have been off put by him at first, but by 1992’s Batman Returns, Gotham City was used to its caped vigilante - so much so that the movie almost featured a Batman-themed store, complete with an intense, action-packed scene that would have highlighted it.
1989Batman.com has posted images of the unused Batman store set filled with merchandise centered around Gotham City’s Caped Crusader. This place had everything from action figures to ball caps to stickers to his own arcade game (which suspiciously had Bruce Wayne’s face on it). What’s more interesting than the store itself, though, is the scene that was originally planned for it. In the script, the Batman store was going to be destroyed by a fire-breather from Penguin’s circus gang, engulfing all of the merchandise in flames. So if you were a Gotham City citizen looking to buy a Batman toy on the night of Max Schreck’s big speech, you were out of luck. Then again, you’d probably be more worried about the circus freaks causing chaos in the streets.
One of the notable items on display at the store was a Bat-sleigh, which was mentioned twice in the script. The first notation comes when a father shows his wife that he managed to get one, and the second is featured when a strong-man tosses one through Commissioner Gordon’s car window. The latter scene still made it into the film, except it was just a regular sleigh that struck the police car. Batman merchandise has existed for decades, but it was after the release of the movies that they really took off. It seemed like no matter where you went, that iconic logo was plastered everywhere. In a way, this unused store was the perfect meta tribute to Batman. People in Gotham City are heading to this place to buy Batman memorabilia while the same was happening in real life at places like the (sadly) defunct Warner Bros. Store.
The only sketchy aspect of this fictional store is that they’re cashing in on Batman’s image without giving him a percentage of the profits. The worst part is that Bruce Wayne can’t even sue them because then he would have to reveal his secret identity, and there’s no way that’s going to happen. Maybe that’s why he was brooding in Wayne Manor at the beginning of the film. He was depressed he wasn’t getting a cut of the money. Not that Bruce Wayne is lacking for funds, but it’s the principle of the matter! Oh well, at least karma struck back with the fire-breather destroying it.