The Dark Knight is one of the most popular characters of all time, having spawned countless smash-hit games.
Ahead of his latest outing, MCV looks at the merchandise that fans might not need, but deserve
He may almost be an octogenarian, but Batman’s popularity only seems to be growing among all age groups.
Serviced by various film tie-ins throughout the 1990s and 2000s, Batman’s gaming success fully took flight with Rocksteady’s Batman Arkham Asylum in 2009. Critically acclaimed, the game sold almost two million units worldwide in its first three weeks on sale and topped the UK All Formats Chart for two weeks.
Asylum’s sequel, 2011’s Batman Arkham City, shipped more than 4.6 million units worldwide in its first week on shelves.
But it’s not just Batman’s gritty outings that have proved big sellers. The first LEGO Batman title was crowned as the best-selling superhero video game of all time in December of last year, having sold more than 12.8 million units worldwide since its launch in 2008.
As of 2013, the LEGO Batman franchise had sold 14.4 million units – although this doesn’t include last year’s LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham. According to GfK Chart-Track, that third entry in the series was the 18th-biggest selling game of 2014, ahead of titles including Forza Horizon 2 and Halo: The Master Chief Collection, and one place behind Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor.
The Arkham series concludes this month with the release of Batman Arkham Knight, which was voted the most anticipated title of 2015 by retailers in MCV’s Annual Retail Survey last year.
But even with the closure of Rocksteady’s trilogy of titles, Batman’s legacy is already set to continue; the world’s greatest detective will make an appearance in toys-to-life game LEGO Dimensions, while ensemble superhero film Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is slated for a release next March.
Clearly, there’s plenty on the way to make fans go batty for Bats.
"For the Batman Arkham franchise, apparel and collectibles have led the licensing programme," observesPreston Kevin Lewis, general manager for Warner Bros consumer products UK and Ireland.
"We find that the fans and gamers who immerse themselves in the game for many hours at a time proactively seek other ways to extend their interaction with the game – and great consumer products allow them to do this.
"Additionally, apparel is hugely popular at fast-fashion and High Street retailers. It appeals to style-conscious consumers who love the cool Batman graphics – whether they are gamers or not.
"Batman is a true classic and the enduring popularity of the character allows us to offer a Batman for every fan, from the youngest fan to adult collectors.
"Batman captures the imagination of all consumers regardless of gender, generation or geography."
Batman Arkham Knight: The Riddler’s Gambit
Serving as an official prequel to the upcoming Batman Arkham Knight game, this novel sees the Caped Crusader facing off against the tricks and tests of fan-favourite villain The Riddler. The Riddler appeared in preceding Arkham entries Asylum and City, and this paperback follows the baddie after the events of the last game. The book stretches to 320 pages and was written by award-winning author Alex Irvine, who has also written licensed tie-ins for Star Wars, Transformers and Iron Man.
Manufacturer: Titan Books
Distributor: Titan Books
Batman Silicone Controller Jackets
They might not deflect bullets like the armour of the Dark Knight himself, but these rubber cases will save PS4 and Xbox One controllers from scuffs and scratches. Each is branded with the Arkham Knight logo and can be paired with the bat-inscribed analogue stick caps to provide extra grip and comfort.
Contact: 01216 253 388
Batman Arkham KnightSkyline T-Shirt
The watchful protector safeguards refined abs and beer guts alike on this top branded with the Arkham Knight logo.
Manufacturer: Completely Independent Distribution
Distributor: Completely Independent Distribution
Contact: 0116 258 1450
Batman Arkham 2015 Calendar
Bat-fans can count down the days to the Caped Crusader’s next appearance with this calendar showcasing art from Arkham Knight.
Batman Snapback Cap
When Batman isn’t dressed in his iconic cowl, he probably likes to kick back in this snapback hat decorated with the bat logo. Probably.
Distributor: Refuel Global Brands
Contact: 01296 658 717
Batman Stereo Headset
This headset includes 40mm drivers, breathable ear cushions and an inline volume control. Stick-on bat ears (not included) are optional.
Contact: 01216 253 388
Batman Print T-Shirt
Nighttime vigilantes can keep it down low with this top branded with a blend of Batman’s face and symbol.
Manufacturer: Joystick Junkies
Distributor: Joystick Junkies
Contact: 0207 724 9243
Harley Quinn Fire Maxi Poster
The Joker’s foolish partner-in-crime Harley Quinn gets her due with this fiery artwork based on her Arkham Knight appearance.
Manufacturer: GB Posters
Distributor: GB Eye