While The Batman may not be as beloved as other animated shows about the Dark Knight, the LEGO Group has been inspired the underrated but excellent series
The Batman is an animated TV show that ran from 2004 – 2008 on Cartoon Network. Often overshadowed by the more well known Batman: The Animated Series and its follow up show The New Batman Adventures, The Batman will always rank highly among my favorite cartoons I watched growing up. So naturally, I was blown away when the LEGO Group started making characters based on the show.
What set The Batman apart from other Batman shows? Unique character design. Not only were brand new villains introduced, but every classic Batman villain who appeared in the show was reimagined, with some changes more drastic than others. So far the LEGO Group offered three unique minifigures ripped straight from the show – The Kabuki Twins, Firefly, and Man-Bat.
The Kabuki Twins
The Kabuki Twins were a pair of characters created exclusively for The Batman. First appearing in Season 1’s “Call of the Cobblepot” and equipped with long blades that extended from their hands, these ninja-like assassins served as The Penguin’s bodyguards. I found the twins especially creepy as a kid, their flexible bodies contorting as they fought Batman, their true faces never revealed. Were they even human? We will never know. I find it interesting that the only other place to feature the twins is none other than The LEGO Batman Movie. They have been featured in no other media whatsoever and have yet to be introduced in the comic books. In fact, a Google search will pull up a mix of stills from The Batman and various images of their minifigures. In 2017, the pair were featured in 70905 The Batmobile alongside a brown Man-Bat. This would mark the first time that the LEGO Group explicitly used material from the show.
This version of the character appeared in LEGO Batman: The Videogame (2008) and fans have wanted a physical minifigure ever since. Eleven years later, Firefly made his LEGO debut not in his usual grey outfit, but in the unmistakable black and yellow seen in The Batman. Released in 2019, 79117 Batman Mech vs. Poison Ivy Mech didn’t even feature Firefly’s name in the set title. But his bright yellow helmet, speedy jetpack, and flamethrowers were all he needed to stand out. A pyromaniac and a thief, Firefly was a frequent villain on the show and first appeared in the Season 1 episode “The Big Heat”. The fact that the LEGO Group chose this version over a more comic accurate rendition goes to show that the creators of The Batman knew what they were doing when they designed Firefly’s new look.
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Not just a quirky variant, Man-Bat has only ever been white (and not his usual brown) in The Batman series. Making his debut in “The Man Who Would Be Bat”, he has never appeared white in any other media to this date. You can find this Man-Bat in 2020’s 76160 Mobile Bat Base. I was around five years old when my parents bought me the white Man-Bat action figure from the show. In fact, I also had a Firefly figure. It’s not often that a childhood action figure from a mostly forgotten show reappears in LEGO. I have yet to acquire this minifigure, but when I do, I’ll make sure to add him to my (surprisingly) growing The Batman minifigure collection.
The Kabuki Twins, Firefly, and Man-Bat make for some fantastic minifigures- but what other characters from The Batman should be made into minifigure form? While I would like the entire cast of charters, I’d settle for these three…
One of the most unique takes on Joker I’ve ever seen, this characterisation is still a serious threat. While a new hair mold would be ideal, I could see the LEGO Group just using new leg, arm, and torso prints to capture this fun envisioning.
With a villain as iconic as Mr. Freeze, the amount of minifigures we have gotten should be no surprise to anyone. Still, setting his dome aside and instead enveloping Freeze’s head in an icy helmet would be a nice change of pace.
Catwoman’s most prominent features from her appearance on The Batman are her large orange goggles and cat ears. A new head attachment would be idea to make this animated character come to LEGO life.
We are left with the question – why? Why of all the Batman material out there has the LEGO Group chosen to create minifigures based off of this relatively obscure show? Perhaps after hundreds of minifigures, mixing up the source material helps. Perhaps the out-there designs provide new options. Or perhaps the LEGO Group has a soft spot for The Batman like I do.