How much would it cost to be Batman?
According to the Forbes Top Fictional Fifteen, Bruce Wayne, the multi-billionaire and chairman of the fictional corporation Wayne Enterprises is worth an approximate 6.3 billion dollars, and ranks 7th on the list of Top Fictional 15. Money evidently isn’t an issue for Bruce Wayne/Batman. The guy can literally buy what he wants (like random hotels in the movie Batman Begins).
In this post, I’ve searched the vast world of the internet to find how much you would have to spend, and this wonderful article from Forbes answers all the questions.
So how much would it cost to be a vigilante with cool gear? Lets find out…
You’d better be ready to defend yourself if you plan to take on all the thugs and super-villains that call Gotham home.
In Batman Begins, young Bruce Wayne goes to Tibet on the mother of all study-abroad trips and ends up learning the martial arts from a group of vigilante ninjas called the League of Shadows. But similar training is available to those not lucky enough to get plucked out of obscurity by Liam Neeson.
They say the suit makes the man, and Batman’s no exception. Without his outfit, it’d just be Bruce Wayne running around out there, and there’s nothing particularly scary about a billionaire playboy in his underpants.
Batman’s suit is a modified piece of infantry armor built by the applied sciences division of Wayne Enterprises. It’s waterproof, bulletproof, knife-proof and temperature-regulating. Paired with an impact-resistant, graphite-composite cowl and spiked ninja-style gauntlets, it allows Batman to protect himself against everything from swords to machine guns. Wayne Enterprises also supplies Batman with his cape, a specially designed nylon-derivative fabric that stiffens when hit with an electric charge, allowing Batman to use it as a glider. All this doesn’t come cheap. In the new movie, Wayne’s told that the armor alone costs $300,000.
Real-world superhero wanna-bes will have to go with a much more prosaic solution. We recommend a lightweight ProMAX OTV bulletproof jacket, which will cover your arms and torso for only $1,085. A decent Kevlar helmet will run about $500.
Of course, if you don’t want to lug around all that stuff, you could forgo the armor and just buy yourself a collectors-grade Batman movie costume for about $430. It won’t provide any protection, but at least you’ll look cool.
So for you cheap wannabe vigilante heroes out there, it would cost you anywhere from $430-$1585.
Batman’s utility belt was a recurring gag in the old 1960s TV show; every time the caped crusader got into a jam, he’d find the perfect deus ex machina right on his hip. Mister Freeze imprisoned him in an icy jail cell? Good thing he brought along the old Bat-defroster. Getting eaten by a giant carnivorous plant? Whip out the old Bat-defoliant.
Needless to say, that’s a source of never-ending angst for his enemies. In Tim Burton’s 1989 Batman movie, after Jack Nicholson’s Joker watches the Dark Knight fire wires out of a grappling gun and escape from his clutches by flying through the air, he asks the question on all our minds: “Where does he get all those wonderful toys?”
The answer, unfortunately, is from Wayne Enterprises. Batman’s utility belt is a one-of-a kind prototype climbing harness, paired with a magnetic grappling gun with a monofilament decelerator climbing line. Fortunately, you’ve got other options. A decent nylon utility belt can be procured for about $10 from any martial arts supply store. You can also equip yourself with:
Climbing spikes: $70 (Black Diamond Spectre Ice Beak Ice Piton)
Small digital cell phone: $150 (Motorola RAZR, with cellular contract)
Ninja spikes: $10 (Set of three)
Throwing stars: $30 (Set of four)
Medical kit: $20
Cost: $2,000,000 (plus thousands in gas)
Forget sports utility vehicles–what you need is a “sports tank.”
That’s what the producers of Batman Begins call the Caped Crusader’s new ride, a repurposed military vehicle that can leap buildings and go from 0 to 60 in five seconds. Built by the Applied Sciences division of Wayne Enterprises, the “Tumbler” is meant to move soldiers through hostile territory–which explains the armor plating, jet engine and front-mounted dual .50-caliber machine guns.
Unfortunately, most aspiring crime fighters don’t have access to prototype military hardware, so you’ll have to armor up a Hummer. But don’t despair; Fred Khoroushi, president of Alpine Armoring, says there’s plenty you can do with a stock car.
For armor plating, you could use a composite material like silicon carbide, which will stop bullets but not weigh the vehicle down too much. Add all the electronics and gadgetry you want, including devices that will sense chemical, biological and radiological weapons. And the security system for this car won’t just chirp and annoy the neighbors–how about delivering an electric shock to anyone who tries to open the door?
Many of the coolest modifications–like oil slicks and built-in machine guns–are totally illegal in the U.S. But if you didn’t care about the law, a fully pimped-out gunboat could be obtained for around $2 million, says Khoroushi, though you might not get it past your first speed trap. Keeping the Batmobile street-legal would run you only about $200,000. But where’s the fun in that?
Cost: $24,000 (for one year)
Now that you’ve got all the cool gear, you need somewhere to stash it. Bruce Wayne once again lucks out by advantage of his birth. Stately Wayne Manor just happens to be atop a huge network of caves, accessible to the outside world through a hidden entrance behind a waterfall.
Regular folks don’t have access to that sort of resource. Besides, according to the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, there are no natural caves or caverns of any size in New York City, the real-world “Gotham.”
So what’s a budget-minded vigilante to do? We recommend you find yourself a nice out-of-the-way warehouse. In the outer boroughs of New York City, a decent-sized ground-floor commercial space can be leased for as low as $2,000 a month, particularly in isolated, questionably safe neighborhoods, exactly the kind of place the Bat would fly.
The Alter Ego
Bruce Wayne was born into money and the social elite, so he’s no stranger to huge homes, fancy cars, nice clothes and splashy parties.
But this conspicuous consumption serves a purpose, too. Wayne lives the high life as cover for his life as Batman. He goes to big parties, dates models and swigs champagne so people will think of him as a playboy, not as the kind of guy who hangs out in a cave, dresses like a bat and beats up muggers.
To pull off a Wayne-style alter ego, your expenses would include the following, based on the Forbes Cost of Living Extremely Well Index:
Clothing and accessories, including bespoke suits and shoes, Patek Phillippe watches and Tiffany platinum cuff links, would run $434,230. Food and dining, including regular doses of filet mignon, lobster and meals at the city’s finest restaurants, would clock in at $233,844 a year. Entertainment, including tickets to all the city’s best events, would run $144,000 a year. And count on forking over $297,000 a year on gifts, including Tiffany diamond earrings and necklaces for your lady friends.
Cost: $200,000 a year
Batman’s secret weapon isn’t a gun, Bat-arang or even the car. It’s his faithful servant Alfred.
Born in England, Alfred Pennyworth was hired by Bruce Wayne’s parents to serve as Wayne Manor’s butler. Upon their death, he raised Bruce on his own and today remains his closest friend, confidant and ally. Sure, he cooks, cleans and keeps appointments. But he also maintains the Batcave, helps build and repair Batman’s gadgets and vehicles, and even tends to the crime fighter’s wounds.
So what would it cost to get help like this? “You can buy a Chevy Chevette or a Rolls-Royce, and either one will get you from A to B,” says Charles McPherson, vice chairman of the International Guild of Professional Butlers. “The cost depends on the lifestyle of the family.”
Inexperienced butlers just out of school earn annual salaries of around $50,000 to $60,000, says McPherson. But experienced help can easily pull in $125,000 to $150,000 a year, and a gentleman’s gentleman like Alfred might earn $200,000 or more.
The Bottom Line
Final Cost: $3,365,449
The Training: $30,000
The Suit: $1,585
The Belt: $290
The Car: $2,000,000
The Cave: $24,000
The Alter Ego: $1,109,574
The Butler: $200,000