Batman (originally referred to as the Bat-Man and still referred to at times as the Batman) is a fictional character, a comic book superhero co-created by artist Bob Kane and writer Bill Finger (although only Kane receives official credit) and published by DC Comics.
The character made his first appearance in Detective Comics #27 (May 1939). Batman's secret identity is Bruce Wayne, a wealthy industrialist, playboy, and philanthropist. Witnessing the murder of his parents as a child leads him to train himself to physical and intellectual perfection and don a bat-themed costume in order to fight crime. Batman operates in Gotham City, assisted by various supporting characters including his sidekick Robin and his butler Alfred Pennyworth, and fights an assortment of villains influenced by the characters' roots in film and pulp magazines. Unlike most superheroes, he does not possess any superpowers; he makes use of intellect, detective skills, science and technology, wealth, physical prowess, and intimidation in his war on crime.
Batman became a popular character soon after his introduction, and eventually gained his own title, Batman. As the decades wore on, differing takes on the character emerged. The late 1960s Batman television series utilized a camp aesthetic associated with the character for years after the show ended. Various creators worked to return the character to his dark roots, culminating in the 1986 miniseries Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, by writer-artist Frank Miller. That and the success of director Tim Burton's 1989 Batman motion picture helped reignite popular interest in the character. A cultural icon, Batman has been licensed and adapted into a variety of media, from radio to television and film, and appears on a variety of merchandise sold all over the world.
In 1966, the Ideal Toy Company launched a line of super hero dolls called Captain Action in response to Hasbro's popular G.I. Joe line. The Captain Action doll came dressed with a cloth super hero costume, hat, ray gun, and sword, ready for kids to enjoy. But parents could also buy additional super hero costumes that were sold separately. Kids could take Captain Action's costume off and replace it with one of several super hero costumes based on famous comic book characters.
Also in 1966, ABC television launched a live action Batman TV series. Because of Batman's growing success in the mid '60's, a Batman costume was included in Captain Action's arsenal. This Batman costume was detailed with a horizontally striped cape as well as a black and gold chest emblem (the costume set was available with both metal and decal chest emblems). Batman's accessories included a blue Batarang, flash light, and drill which could attach to the utility belt.
In 1967, Ideal released a partner doll for Captain Action, his youthful sidekick, Action Boy. Ideal Toy's released only three costumes for Action Boy to change into, one of them being Robin, Batman's sidekick.
See also: Guinness record with Batman collection.
What's it worth? Take a look at this Batman price guide: sold listings for a value indication.