Chevy cars can be seen on the screen in many films and television shows, but one of the most in-depth projects was the Batmobile. With the release of The Lego Batman Movie in February of 2017, Chevy teamed up with Warner Brothers to show off their rendition of the Lego Batmobile a month prior at the North American International Auto Show.
The North American International Auto Show (NAIAS)
Is a well known automotive event that takes place annually at the Cobo Center in Detroit, Michigan. Since 1989, the NAIAS has been the place where major industry news is released, so contributors are willing to disregard the digits of the price to attend. Not only is it a place for gearheads to get together and revel in joy, but the show hosts charity events for children, which generates a few million dollars each year that its been incorporated into the show.
One of the main events of NAIAS, which spans across multiple days, is the awards that are granted. Chevy has taken home numerous titles with a few different models. In 2004, the fifth generation of the Camaro took home the EyesOn Design award for concept implementation. Of course, the everlasting Chevy Silverado won the North American Truck of the Year in 2007. Other Car, Truck, and Utility of the Year awards go to the Chevy Malibu in 2008, Chevy Volt in 2011, and the Chevy Bolt in 2017. In 2014, Chevy took home both the gold for car and truck with the Corvette Stingray and again the Chevy Silverado. With Chevrolet crushing the competition, their reveal of the Lego Batmobile bonded gearheads, Batman fans, and Lego builders together with just one project.
The Lego Batmobile
Chevy put an extensive amount of effort into a life-size Lego Batmobile to debut at the 2017 North American International Auto Show. Luckily, the teams worked together so well, that the project was a fun one to work on. It had its struggles, just as every project does, but Chevy and the Warner Brothers Lego team both enjoyed working on this light-hearted, superhero vehicle. The debate is still strong when it comes to classifying what type of hero Batman is, but for all intents and purposes, I’m sticking with, “superhero.”
It took over 344,000 Lego bricks to create the 17-foot long speed-wagon. Not only was this vehicle long, but it was seven feet tall and nine feet wide. The weight was a bit lighter than the average vehicle, weighing in at 1,695 pounds. A good portion of the weight came from the tires because each weighed around 100 pounds each.
The Lego Model Shop in Enfield, Connecticut is where the Master Builders made this fantasy vehicle become a reality. It took around 222 hours to be designed, where they were able to incorporate 17 different colors. Though that doesn’t seem to be too bad, the process of building the Chevy Batmobile took around 1,833 hours to complete.
Unlike its massive counterpart, the miniature Lego Batmobile can be built right at home! It’s available on Amazon for around $70 and 581 pieces. Once built, it reaches three inches high, 11 inches long, and five inches wide. The time it takes to complete depends on who is playing the part of a Master Builder, whether it be the 30-year-old fanboy adding to a collection or the DC obsessed child.
The Lego Batman Movie
The movie starts off with Batman continuing to relieve Gotham of its injustices when he has a run-in with the infamous Joker. When Batman told him that he was less important than he believes, the Joker set out to prove him wrong.
Commissioner Gordon is being replaced by his daughter, Barbara, who set out to make the police force thrive without the help of Batman. The Joker and other DC villains decide to crash the city’s winter gala where the celebration is being held, but end up surrendering; that is except for the Joker’s other half, Harley Quinn.
Batman comes up with a plan to visit the Joker at Arkham asylum in order to be able to send him into the Phantom Zone. He and Robin get themselves locked up by Barbara for their actions, and Superman’s device gets stolen again by Harley. She releases the Joker, and they round up some unforgotten allies from past movies.
Barbara releases Batman and Robin when she sees that the police do need them to help rescue the city from the Joker and his debauchery. After a few obstacles, the Joker sends Batman into the Phantom Zone while the Joker steals bombs to keep moving forward with his plans. In order to save the city, he must realize the impact of his selfish decisions on those around him. He makes a deal with the Phantom Zone gatekeeper in order to return to Gotham and continues to gain allies that he learns to trust. In the final battle of good and evil, Batman does his best to save Gotham yet again in one of his more humbling experiences.
What makes the movie so successful is the incorporation of Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey and basic hero archetypes. Though its seen again and again across all forms of entertainment and media, Warner Brothers was able to put a fun and creative twist on the characters and concepts that we have seen time and time again. The Lego Batman Movie is about teamwork, selflessness, and empathy, much like we see Chevy and Warner Brothers work together to create their iconic Lego Batmobile.
The Bond Between Chevy and Warner Brothers
The partnership between Chevy and the Lego movie franchise reaches further than just the Batmobile. From 1997 to 2005, GM produced a minivan called the Chevrolet Venture. There was a Warner Brother edition to the Venture, which was only available from the year 2000 to 2003. Its features and amenities were geared toward making the child passengers happy to travel, which in turn made their parents less distracted when behind the wheel.
Advertising campaigns gave sneak peeks at the new Chevy Silverado as we know it, as well as a life-size Silverado made from Legos. The US Vice President of Chevrolet Marketing, Paul Edwards, said himself, “from Emmet’s custom High Country to the real-life Trail Boss that inspired the full-size Lego brick model, we have a Silverado for everyone, both Lego mini-figures and everyday drivers.”
The Lego Silverado 1500 LT Trail Boss was debuted and promoted at the Detroit Auto Show in early 2019. The impressive pickup truck replica was made of 334,544 Lego bricks which took the team more than 2,000 hours to complete. Considering it had working lights, the builders put their best foot forward when given a project that was being held to the high expectations after the Batmobile.