Batman's utility belt is arguably one of the most important pieces of his costume.

His cape and cowl, along with the iconic bat symbol have cemented his image in pop culture, but it’s really that handy-dandy utility belt that helps him get the job done.

First introduced by comic writer Gardner Fox in Detective Comics #29 (July 1939) it contained choking gas capsules. Two issues after the debut of the utility belt, Fox also introduced Batman’s trusty weapon, the batarang in the story "Batman vs. the Vampire" in Detective Comics #31 (September 1939).

Over the course of the ensuing 73 years, contents have varied somewhat. Some of the gadgets stored in the Dark Knight’s belt include – a miniature camera, two-way radio, batarangs, handcuffs, zip line, tranquilizer darts, first aid kit, explosives, Cryptographic Sequencer, grapple gun, night vision goggles, lock-picking tools, re-breather, smoke pellets, EMP gun, taser, batrope and there have been several instances of Batman pulling out something that simply could not fit in his belt. Like a bazooka. Ultimately the belt will remain as mysterious as the Caped Crusader himself.

Over the years, a variety of Batman utility belts have been offered on the toy and collectibles markets. Some are simply belts with Batman’s name and/or Batman graphics emblazoned on them. Others tried to replicate the look and functionality of the genuine article. The most sought after of these being a set produced in 1966 by the Ideal Toy Company.

The reason this set is so coveted by collectors is its amazing attention to detail. The multi-accessorized belt came with a Bat-Rocket Grenade, built-in Bat-Storage Pouch, Bat-Rope with grapple claw, batarang, built-in Dummy Transmitter buckle, Bat-Signal Flash flashlight, Bat-Cuffs, Bat-Gun Launcher and Batman Message Sender. This set is often found incomplete and with damage.

The Batman Utility Belt being offered by Hake’s Americana & Collectibles in our current auction comes complete in its original box and is complete with minimal wear from use. Very few complete boxed examples of this are known.

Recently, a Batman Utility Belt in near mint condition and complete with its original box sold for over $16,000. This rare collectible is considered by many to be the ultimate Holy Grail of Batman collecting.

Bidding is now open on this item as well as over 3,000 items in our current auction. Visit our website www.hakes.com for more information and be sure to check out the Hake’s Facebook page which features various sneak peeks and items available for purchase.