Lego Batman is a theme and product range of the Lego construction toy, introduced in 2006, based on the superhero character Batman, under license from DC Comics. The sets feature vehicles, characters and scenes from the comics and films. The inspirations for the design of these varies widely. For example, the Batmobile retains its basic sleek shape and prominent fins from the Tim Burton films, whereas the "Bat-Tank" seems to be based on the tank-like Batmobile in Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns. In 2008, a video game based on the theme, Lego Batman: The Videogame, was released, along with four new sets. The theme was relaunched in early 2012 as part of the Lego DC Universe Superheroes line, which is a sub-theme of the Lego Super Heroes line. In total there were seventeen sets, and almost all of them have Batman in.
Batman (Dark Knight suit), The Joker, Joker Henchman
Batman is given a wide range of vehicles, their appearances resembling their accepted forms. Several vehicles, including the "Batman Dragster", "Batman's Buggy", and "Bat-Tank", have also been introduced. The Batmobile appears similar to the way it does in the 1989 film, while the Batboat takes on a hovercraft-like form. All the set-boxes feature a comic strip by artist Greg Hyland at the back, featuring stylized versions of the set in action.
Lego obtained the license to produce sets based on all available mediums in which Batman appears. Lego released a line of Batman sets in June 2008 to tie in (albeit indirectly) with the release of The Dark Knight. However, these sets do not directly reflect sequences or scenarios in the film, unlike most of Lego's other movie tie-in lines with all Batman sets. Sets include villains from TV shows and movies.
In 2006, there were packs of the same minifigures used in the sets.
List of Lego DC Universe Super Heroes sets from 2012-Present
Batman (2014 black suit, Batman Begins version), Joker (The Dark Knight version)
The first sets were updated versions of the older sets. The new sets are not known as Lego Batman, but Lego DC Universe Super Heroes instead, because the new series features not just Batman characters, but also Superman, Aquaman, Green Lantern and Wonder Woman characters. The Lego Super Heroes theme is due to expand in April 2012 with the Lego Marvel Super Heroes sub-theme.
On October 27, 2014, Cartoon Network aired the television special Lego DC Comics: Batman Be-Leaguered which details Superman wanting to recruit Batman into the Justice League while he is fighting Penguin and other villains over a gem, but he refuses the league. When Superman mysteriously goes missing, Batman recruits Flash to help find him. With nothing to report, they run into Captain Cold, who is trying to steal an Atlantean pillar in a desert. After a fight which results in the Batwing getting destroyed and Flash mysteriously disappearing, Batman defeats Cold, only for him and the pillar to go missing as well. He goes to Aquaman in the sea, who fights Black Manta for the trident of Posiedon, but he goes through a similar situation, where Aquaman disappears, Batman defeats Manta, and then he and the trident are warped away. Realizing that the Justice League is the target and not the artifacts Batman goes to Wonder Woman and Cyborg, who are fighting Luthor in Metropolis. As Luthor reveals an anonymous buyer wants the daily planet globe, Wonder Woman and Cyborg disappear, leaving Batman to defeat Luthor, only for him and the globe to disappear. Batman realizes that the plot was by Bat-Mite and it was to abduct the members of the Justice League and so that Batman can be the number one superhero in the universe.
On October 10, 2014, The Hollywood Reporter revealed that, due to the popularity of Batman from The Lego Movie, the character will get his own spin-off film. According to the report, Warner Bros. was targeting a 2017 release date for the spin-off, pushing the sequel to The Lego Movie back to a later date. Arnett is set to reprise his role of Batman, while Chris McKay, who was earlier attached to the sequel, will direct the film, which is being written by Seth Grahame-Smith, and produced by Roy Lee, Dan Lin, Lord and Miller. A few days later, Warner Bros. scheduled The Lego Batman Movie for 2017, and The Lego Movie 2 for 2018.
A direct sequel to Lego Batman 2 called Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham was released in 2014. This third installment saw Batman travel outside of Gotham into space with the Justice League. With bonus DLC content featuring different generations of Batman in Lego form such as Batman 1966 and The Dark Knight Trilogy. Despite the title, Batman was not the main focus in this installment and it was more focused on the entire Justice League and other DC Superheroes.