65 Hamleys Christmas Extravaganza – 17th November 2013

Location
Hamleys Toy Store, Glasgow 11:00 – 17:00

Mission Report
Perhaps it’s available as a Deleted Scene set a couple of hours after the opening fight with the Red Triangle Circus Gang, but I don’t recall a sequence in Batman Returns where Michael Keaton has trouble getting up or down the stairs in Wayne Manor. Then again that fight was over substantially quicker than the six hours I spent in the Batsuit for the Hamleys Christmas Extravaganza, so maybe that explains why he still had feeling in his legs afterwards.
Another curious oversight would be Alfred’s washing line of sweat-sodden underpants and socks stretching across the width of the Batcave but, I digress…

Positioned on the floor below Hamleys itself I didn’t get to see the others attending this troop, beyond Boba Fett or a Cylon in passing, however the was a near constant procession of kids, babies (and the occasional adult) all day for photos which meant the time passed pretty quickly. The demand was such in fact that I had to be retrieved having only had a couple of bites from my 15:00 sandwich lunch as a substantial queue had already built up in the time it took me to walk back to the Management Suite!

As a downside to this I did feel some of the kids were rushed through slightly, with the next set moving in to position before the previous lot had stepped out of frame. Judging by some of their Joker-like smiles the majority of them seemed happy enough though, even if my interaction was essentially asking them their names, introducing myself and asking the if they wanted a picture each time, making it slightly awkward when some were returning a second and third time.
Many were proud to display their Bat-related t-shirts and tops, the couple sporting Superman sweatshirts being reassured that I could totally beat him in a fight.
Also, I have to wonder what the babies that had their picture taken with Batman holding them are going to make of those photos in a few years…

As always the Hamleys staff looked after me well, wrangling the crowd and coaxing those brave enough to spend time queuing, but maybe having second thoughts when it was time to approach and thanks should go to our security guard escorts, who’s name I unfortunately did not catch for watching over me for the duration.

Might have to attach a pouch to my utility belt for the storage of gifts in future if my haul of a chocolate gold coin and two drumstick lollies is anything to go by. However the best gift of the day would not have fitted, being a small boy who turned back after his photo to reassure me that I was by far the best Batman he’d met and that my voice was really, real causing a momentary break of character as a grin broke out on my otherwise grim visage.

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DESIGNED FOR ESPIONAGE AND HIGH RISK RECONNAISSANCE MISSIONS, STEALTH TROOPS, THE SO-CALLED "SHADOW STORMTROOPERS" ARE A SPECIALISED DIVISION OF ELITE SOLDIERS USED AT THE SOLE DISCRETION OF IMPERIAL INTELLIGENCE. WHERE STANDARD STORMTROOPERS OVERWHELM WITH NUMBERS AND FIREPOWER, THE SHADOW STORMTROOPER MOVES IN STEALTH AND SILENCE, NEVER EXPOSING HIS PRESENCE UNTIL HE STRIKES. HIS STYGIUM-TRIPRISMATIC ARMOUR IS LACED WITH SENSOR-JAMMERS AND SOUND DAMPENERS, MAKING HIM ALL BUT UNDETECTABLE. EVEN HIS WEAPON - A DC-19 "STEALTH" CARBINE WITH BUILT-IN SUPPRESSOR - DOES NOT BETRAY HIM. HIS IS TRULY A SHADOW ARMY, AN ENEMY YOU WILL NEVER SEE... NEVER HEAR... UNTIL IT IS TOO LATE.

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