Heath Ledger's Joker immortalised in Lego
Heath Ledger's stunning performance as Batman's iconic nemesis The Joker has been immortalised in Lego.
A new Lego figure - known in the Lego world as a "minifig" - depicts The Joker with the jagged, disturbing face make-up that was distinct to Ledger's portrayal.
Ledger played The Joker in the 2008 film The Dark Knight, opposite actor Christian Bale as the "caped crusader".
Tribute ... Lego's small but perfectly formed version of Ledger as The Joker.
The film was director Christopher Nolan's second Batman movie - the first was 2005's Batman Begins - and was responsible for rebooting the film franchise for the US studio Warner Bros.
Ledger died in 2008, while The Dark Knight was still in post-production.
The Lego figure of Ledger's Joker, along with a "minifig" of Bale's Batman, will be unveiled this week at the annual fan convention, Comic-Con, in San Diego.
Although Lego has released sets tied to the DC Comics-owned Batman franchise before, including "minifigs" of The Joker, this is the first time Ledger's Joker, with his distinct face make-up, has been represented in Lego form.
The two figures will be part of a Lego set for the "Tumbler", the black armoured vehicle Batman used in the Nolan films.
The set, with 1869 pieces and a retail price tag of US$199, does not go on sale in stores until September, but is being "previewed" at Comic-Con.
According to Lego, the vehicle is 15 inches tall and 9 inches wide, with "adjustable wings, a detailed interior and oversized rubber tread tyres".
The release of the figures is timed for the 75th anniversary of the Batman character, and is one of several tie-in events planned by the US studio Warner Bros, which owns DC Comics.
The others include the long-awaited DVD release of the 1966 Batman television series, and a new television series, Gotham, which is set in the Batman "universe" and will feature origin stories for many of the Batman franchise's key villains.
The stars of the 1966 Batman television series - Adam West (Batman), Burt Ward (Robin) and Julie Newmar (Catwoman) - will be special guests at this year's Comic-Con.
Since its launch in 1970, Comic-Con has grown to become one of the world's biggest fan conventions, and is now a major date in the marketing calendar for Hollywood films and televison series.
It is also a major retail event, with hundreds of brands showcasing new products and toys, including the Danish-owned Lego brand.
Sydney Morning Herald