LEGO's 1989 Batmobile Kit Will Take You Back to Michael Keaton's Battle with Jack Nicholson

You can buy a scale model of the Batmobile from when Batman wasn't as moody as he is today.

These days, Batman is a dark mother batter. He broods around while grappling with issues ranging from not actually killing anyone to battling evil without himself sliding into evil. Even the villains he fights are darker than ever—at this rate, we can't really fathom what the next Joker character will be like. Will he simply be a smiling international terrorist? So, let's kick back to a time when Batman was more laid-back, almost amusing, shall we? LEGO is here to help, and while the newest Batmobile replica it's come out with isn't exactly a throwback to the "pow!" "zing!" "jeepers!" days, it reaches far enough back to predate Batman's depression.

Specifically, the new Batmobile LEGO kit is modeled after Batman's ride from the 1989 film Batman. That means Michael Keaton's dark hero was at its wheel, and the Joker he battled was played by Jack Nicholson. That Batman movie, by the way, was delightfully weird, mostly because it was directed by Tim Burton, for whom everyday seemingly is Halloween. All of which explains why the then-Batmobile, now available in LEGO form, was shaped like a giant wiener.

Or maybe the Batmobile's shape had more to do with it being powered by a jet turbine. Either way, like the many other Batmobiles over the years, the '89 model had its charms, all of which are realistically recreated on this shoebox-sized LEGO version. There are the wing-like addenda trailing the rear fenders, a wraparound windshield that slides forward to reveal the cockpit, and two machine guns that pop out of hidden cubbies by twisting the turbine exhaust outlet. Other details include grappling hooks, small bat logos on the wheels' center caps, and accurate-to-1989 getups for the included Batman, Joker, and Vicki Vale figurines.

In short, the kit is sweet, and surprisingly, it has nearly twice as many pieces (3306) than the seemingly more complex (and discontinued) LEGO version of the "Tumbler" Batmobile from the Chris Nolan-directed Batman trilogy. But, hey, that Tumbler was too hulking and scary, anyhow. This '89 Batmobile is much, much more fun, so begin scrounging together the $249.99 it'll cost you when LEGO officially releases the kit November 29.