The LEGO Batman Theme was released from 2006 to 2008. Batman was the perfect superhero to be given his own line of building sets. To quote Jack Nicholson’s Joker, “Where does he get those wonderful toys?”. Most of the models were based on Batman: The Animated Series but other Batman medium’s, like the films and comics, were also used for inspiration. With the exception of The Batmobile: Ultimate Collector's Edition, every set would include villain and hero pieces. This meant every box allowed you to create your own action sequence of good vs. evil. Although this theme was discontinued after only a couple years, LEGO Batman models would be released again in 2012 under the new Super Heroes Theme. This time around, building sets would include many of the most popular characters from both the Marvel and DC Universe.
The Batman Dragster: Catwoman Pursuit
Item #: 7779
- Batman (Grey Suit)
Batman’s black dragster had a spinning laser cannon and flick fire missiles. Flick fire missiles are pieces that fit in a slot and then you can “flick” it, to give the appearance of being launched. I know, high tech! Catwoman’s motorcycle is much simpler in it’s design. However, it can still be used to have a fun chase sequence through Gotham City or your kitchen. The Catwoman minifigure is exclusive to this set.
The Batboat: Hunt For Killer Croc
Item #: 7780
- Killer Croc
Batman’s Batboat would be more appropriately named the Bat-Hovercraft. This amphibious vehicle has rotating engines and is significantly larger than Killer Croc’s speedboat. (Does Killer Croc need a boat? I thought he could swim.) The set comes with a small Bat Jetski that can be stored in the back of the Batboat. This space in the back is big enough to fit Killer Croc’s boat as well, if he attempts to board Batman’s vehicle. The Killer Croc minifigure is exclusive to this set.
The Batmobile: Two-Face’s Escape
Item #: 7781
- Two-Face Henchman
This building set comes with a lot of interactive components. There is a blockade for the Batmobile and Two-Face’s van to smash through, as they chase after each other. The Batmobile has a rocket that can be launched from its front. The back of the van has a lever that when hit will detach the roof, knocking off any minifigure placed on top. The van not only takes damage, but can dish it out. Pop-out blasters can be opened and closed on both sides of the vehicle. The Two-Face and Henchman minifigures were exclusive to this set. Two-Face was the first minifigure to have printed hair. His split design causes a lot of confusion among LEGO fans. The Two-Face figure has grey and flesh colored hands, but LEGO Catalogues would switch hand color between flesh, grey, white and black. There were also two variations of his minifigure; one had a black stripe going down his leg and the other was solid.
The Batwing: The Joker’s Aerial Assault
Item #: 7782
- Joker’s Henchman
This building set was inspired by the end of the 1989 Tim Burton Batman movie. Both the Batwing and Joker’s Helicopter come with lots of interactive features. To give the flat streamline appearance of the Batwing, more plates are used than bricks. You can still fit a minifigure inside the cockpit, despite this design. The wings and wing flaps were able to open and close. When the wings were in the closed position, rockets could be slid out and in the back of the of the Batwing, you could launch a spring fired missile. The helicopter’s main rotor blade and tail blade were able to spin, so you could simulate flying. Joker being a homicidal maniac had a lot of weapons at his disposal as well. Joker Bombs could be dropped from below by pulling a lever, guns folded in and out of the sides and the cockpit held two minifigures and their weapons. A spotlight on the side could be hit and fall off, it would then release drop ladder.
The Batcave: The Penguin And Mr. Freeze’s Invasion
Item #: 7783
- The Penguin
- Penguin Minions (3)
- Mr. Freeze
- Mr. Freeze Henchman
- Bruce Wayne
This would be the largest Batman Building set released and was a lot more than just the Batcave. The set also came with Robin’s Jet-Ski, The Bat-Blade Ice Sledge, and Penguin’s Submarine. Most of the vehicles that come in this set are very basic in their design, but the submarine has panels that can be opened to store Penguin Minions and the rear foot flippers can move up and down. The Batcave is the dynamic model in this building set. A large turret uses technic pieces, so that it can rotate as well as raise and lower its arsenal. The turret has the bat-signal, a cannon, and a net launcher. The vehicle pad spins to deploy the Bat-(insert vehicle name) and was large enough to accommodate most of the models sold in the other building sets. The table top of the Bat-Computer can be lifted to store Batman and Robin’s various gadgets. The room containing the Batcomputer is not too interactive, but it does come with lots of great details. The computer looks as if it is currently being used to investigate Two-Face and Joker. It has different sections that Batman might use to keep an eye on Gotham City and help him with his detective work. To help incorporate the other villains in Batman’s rogue gallery, this is where his trophy room is located. In case any enemies should make it into the Batcave, there is a trap door that opens up and drop its victims into a cage. Since Bruce Wayne doesn’t spend all his time in the Batsuit, there is a costume transformation chamber, that lets you rotate and instantly switch between Batman or Bruce Wayne. The Alfred, Bruce Wayne, Robin and Mr. Freeze Henchman minifigure designs are exclusive to this set.
Item #: 7785
- Poison Ivy
- Security Guard (2)
The Elizabeth Arkham Asylum for the Criminally Insane is the psychiatric prison that houses some of the most dangerous criminals in the DC Universe. It is located on the outskirts of Gotham City and many of Batman’s enemies end up being declared legally insane and imprisoned in this facility. They tend to escape...a lot, which can make this an action packed building set. To create this maximum security psychiatric prison, the set lets you build a guard tower with searchlight, holding cells, an entrance gate, storage locker, and of course a lab to run experiments on the inmates. The holding cell wall swings down to recreate a break out and there is a bed sheet rope that lets the minifigures climb down from the wall. The set also includes an asylum van, to transport patients to and from the facilities, and a motorcycle, for security detail. To help Batman reach the facility, a jetpack is included to let him fly over the high prison walls. The minifigure designs for Poison Ivy, Nightwing and the security guards are exclusive to the Arkham Asylum set.
The Batmobile: Ultimate Collector’s Edition
Item #: 7784
Of all the vehicles Batman has at his disposal, none is more famous than the Batmobile. When films are made of the caped crusader, fans are just as excited to see the Batmobile design as they are his costume or what villains he will face off against. It is appropriate that an Ultimate Collector Series should be made of the Batmobile. This model most closely resembled the design found in the comic books from the mid to late 90s. At the time of its release, this was the only Ultimate Collector Series that was not based on the Star Wars theme and would be the only Batman LEGO set to not include any minifigures.
The Batcopter: The Chase For Scarecrow
Item #: 7786
This building set includes the Batcopter, with a working missile launcher to shoot down enemy aircraft, and Scarecrow gets a biplane to drop his gas bombs from. It is interesting that Scarecrow gets a biplane all the time. There is the obvious association with farming and crop dusting, both of which tie in nicely to his moniker and use of poison gasses, but a biplane against a bat vehicle doesn’t stand a chance. These vehicles would make it into the LEGO Batman video game, but Robin was the one flying the helicopter. Perhaps that is why for the LEGO Batman 2 video game they changed the colors to fit Robin’s costume pattern of red, yellow and green.
The Bat-Tank: The Riddler And Bane’s Hideout
Item #: 7787
This set can be a little misleading and is not as huge as it may sound. Yes, the Bat-Tank measures an impressive 10 inches long, but the Hideout is basically a large fence, with a gun turret and spotlight on the sides. It also comes with a motorcycle and some accessories like weapons, explosives and a canister for Bane’s venom, but there is not a building for the “hideout”. The tank comes with flick-fire missiles and moving treads to help destroy anything in its path.
The Batcycle: Harley Quinn’s Hammer Truck
Item #: 7886
- Harley Quinn
For this set, Batman must rely on speed to take down Harley Quinn. While both vehicles come with flick-fire missiles, the Hammer Truck has a working hammer, that can be swung using a knob on the back. When you are driving something made of LEGO bricks, Hammer beats missile every time. The Harley Quinn minifigure design is unique to this set.
Batman’s Buggy: The Escape Of Mr. Freeze
Item #: 7884
- Mr. Freeze
With only about 30 pieces used for each of the vehicle found in this set, they could have been sold as a Mini Building Set. These vehicles are so small that Mr. Freeze’s kart doesn’t have a steering wheel. (Not sure how successful this escape will be, if he can’t turn.) Although this set was not based off of the Christopher Nolan movies, the Batman minifigure had The Dark Knight costume, because this set was released the same year as the film.
Robin’s Scuba Jet: Attack Of The Penguin
Item #: 7885
- Penguin Minions (2)
This set lets you have an underwater adventure. Robin’s Scuba Jet is a mini submarine, that can go after the larger Penguin Submarine. Although he better be careful, while both subs have movable propellers, only the Penguin has flick-fire missiles. While Robin can easily fit inside the cockpit of his vehicle, the roof must be taken off of the Penguin’s sub to fit him inside. Also, the tally marks on the side of Penguin's sub don’t count his Batman kills, but the number of times he has been defeated. This is one of only two Batman sets that did not include a Batman minifigure. Perhaps that is why in one of the 2008 LEGO catalogs the Robin minifigure was labeled Batman.
The Tumbler: Joker’s Ice Cream Surprise
Item #: 7888
- Joker Goon
This building set incorporated Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight movie but did not recreate any scenes from the film. The Batman minifigure, based on Christian Bale’s Batsuit, and the Tumbler were included in this box, but the Joker Ice Cream Truck was obviously not part of this gritty film. The Tumbler’s cockpit can be opened up to seat two minifigures and can launch flick-fire missiles. The ice cream truck has some surprises of its own, pushing the ice cream cone on the roof down will launch a missile out the back door.
The Batman Comic-Con Exclusive
Item #: COMCON003
For the 2008 San Diego Comic-Con, LEGO gave away an exclusive minifigure Collection box that contained Batman and Joker. This was a great way to bring attention to the Batman Theme Building Sets and The Dark Knight movie being released that summer. Although, the minifigures were not based on the movie characters.
Comic-Con Exclusive Batman Giveaway
Item #: DC-1
Technically this promotional set belongs to the LEGO Super Heroes Theme, but since it is a Batman minifigure and often gets included into LEGO Batman Theme lists, I have included it here. The 2011 Comic-Con in San Diego raffled 1,500 of these minifigures, with its exclusive card. The card resembled the front page of a newspaper and gave people information on the Super Heroes Super Challenge Contest, which let people create their own LEGO Super Heroe video and a chance to win a prize. The Batman minifigure varied from previous versions by giving him more of a scowl and adding more details to his utility belt and costume.
For the final year of the LEGO Batman Theme sets, Traveller’s Tales would release a LEGO Batman video game. It would incorporate many of the sets released into a playable game, plus many, many more.
LEGO Batman: The Video Game
LEGO Batman would be the first LEGO video game, based on licensed property, that would have an original story. Up until this point, these games had followed the story of the movie franchise they were based on. The game does draw inspiration from different movies, comics and cartoons, but the through storyline is unique. It even used Danny Elfman’s score, from the 1989 Batman movie. The game plays like other LEGO adventures. The hub world, where you can purchase characters, upgrades and enter levels, is set in the Batcave (heroes) and Arkham Asylum (villains). As you play through the levels, the minifigure characters smash LEGO objects, assemble bricks, and solve puzzles. Different character have special abilities and, to incorporate the idea of Batman’s famed gadgets, Batman and his allies can use different suits with special function.
Nintendo DS: A special versions of the game had to be created for the Nintendo DS, Smart Phones, and iPhones/iPads to accommodate the memory and size constraints of these devices. While the phones and tablet versions suffered from this conversion, the Nintendo DS would be nominated for IGN’s Best Action Game of 2008 on the DS. Villain Hunt was an exclusive minigame that let players unlock 10 additional characters, only available by playing on the DS.
Batman 2: DC Super Heroes
In 2012, a sequel to the LEGO Batman video game was released. However, this time it would tie into the LEGO Super Heroes theme that includes the entire DC Universe and not just the Batman family and his rogue gallery of villains. Once again, it would be a LEGO Batman video game that would break tradition and introduce a completely new element. This was the first TT LEGO game to break away from the mumbling, grunts, gibberish and miming used by the characters to communicate. They cast actors give these characters voices and use actual words to communicate. With 70 playable characters and an open world hub, this LEGO game was epic. Its was enhanced even more by scores from Danny Elfman’s Batman, John Williams’ Superman and original music by Rob Westwood.
If you enjoyed this LEGO article check out my others articles about these amazing building toys.
Watching Batman Movies way too many times.
Geekdom (author) on August 19, 2014:
At least the new DC Super Heroes include Batman.
Anonymus321 on August 19, 2014:
I miss the old Lego Batman sets so much too...
LEGOdomenick on June 24, 2014:
I am glad to see some of these models being recreated for the super heroes theme. I missed them on their original release.
Geekdom (author) on April 13, 2014:
They have a new Arkham Asylum that is currently available in stores under the new DC Super Heroes Theme. It is really awesome as well.
Geekdom (author) on March 20, 2013:
That would have been AWESOME!
J Antonio Marcelino from Illinois, USA on March 20, 2013:
After reading this hub, I'm kind of disappointed that that Traveller's Tales didn't put the Bat-Tank into Lego Batman 2: DC Superheroes as an ulockable vehicle.