Keaton’s Batman Returns with the Batcave Shadowbox

It was 1992, and the long awaited sequel to Time Butron’s Batman was released: Batman Returns took a left turn on the tone set by the first film, and felt like Tim Burton was well and truly establishing the franchise as his own. While 1989’s Batman was a single villain romp, retaining a bit of campiness thanks to Jack Nicholson’s portrayal as the Joker, this film felt more serious, introducing Catwoman, the Penguin and the self-serving Max Shreck. With a more wintry setting, it was a darker film to watch, without the same bursts of colour that we saw from the Joker in the earlier film. We have seen a couple of releases related to Batman – the 89 Batmobile and the ’89 Batwing, along with a smaller version of the Batmobile, but we have not ventured further in to franchise yet.

Today, we see a unique display model with play features unveiled: the Batcave Shadow Box. With 3981 pieces, and priced at $USD399.99 /£344.99/€ 399.99/ 599.99 AUD/8999.9 TRY/3699.0 CNY/169990.0 HUF/519.99 CAD, this set pushes the boundaries of what has been previously attempted with LEGO Batman, and brings us a new format for displaying such models.

The box presents us with a big wall of black, with a cut out Bat symbol on the front, while the back of the box reveal reveals further details of the Batcave along with as a parked Batmobile. We see the tools in the worshop, a monitor screen with varying images; a spinning chair, stairs to Wayne Manor; an opening armoury, and finally, the parking ramp for the Batmobile. The Batmobile model is 8 studs wide, just the right size to take on a track with the speed champions!

As with the Batman 89 Vehicles, Batman has the rubber cape, fixed in a ‘Swooshing in the breeze for dramatic effect’ position. This depiction of the penguin has gone on to influence the art style for years to follow and feels like a less colourful version of the figure seen in the LEGO Batman Movie. Alfred appears as you might expect, while Bruce Wwayne looks impressively casual. Max Shreck manages to retain some of the mystique of Christopher Walken. I really like the look of Catwoman; the print captures the ‘cut-up raincoat’ effect admirably.

There are several features around the cave that can be activated/ deactivated, including:

There is space for Bruce and Alfred to take in a cup of tea and talk about what it means to be a man of means, brooding deeply and protecting Gotham City

16th May 2023: The LEGO Group announces its latest addition to the LEGO Batman Collection – the LEGO “Batman Returns” Batcave Shadow Box. An official collaboration with Warner Bros. Discovery Global Consumer Products and DC, this highly detailed set combines beautiful display pieces with iconic iconography perfect for ultimate Batman fans.

Based on the Warner Bros. Pictures’ “Batman Returns,” the set is incredibly detailed and features the full Batcave, inside a display box with a cutout in the shape of the iconic Batman emblem. At the heart of the set is the Caped Crusader’s Batmobile and, just like Batman’s Batcave, the set features clever functions and gadgets including the ability to move furniture, change images on the big screen, open a vault and open a door, and several light bricks. 

In addition, the set comes with brand new minifigures of Catwoman and The Penguin, as well as various minifigures including Bruce Wayne, Alfred Pennyworth, and Max Shreck.

The set looks suitably mysterious when closed, but open it up, and you can see the full splendour of the interior.I love the large brick-built Bat-Symbol over the batmobile, as well as the efforts gone to to ensure the rockwork looks suitably Cave-like. And of course…Bats.

The set goes on sale on the 8th of June, with 5th June for VIP customers. Will it be a runaway hit? Or a miss with consumers like last year’s Black Panther, seen in LEGO Certified stores with upwards of 30% discounting. This is a big set and probably a most excellent selection of Black and Very Dark Grey. That said, the finished model looks impressive. As space is a premium at Ramblingbriock Central, it’s not one I am looking for on Day One, but I’d love to know what you think of this set. Why not leave your comments below and until next time… Play Well!

One thought on “Keaton’s Batman Returns with the Batcave Shadowbox

  1. It’s a great set, but with all the big releases and announcements this year, I’ll probably have to give it a pass. However, it inspired me to start building my own shadowbox for a classic lego theme.

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