Recreating the Rocket Penguin from Batman Returns

Art & Sculpture Craft & Design
Recreating the Rocket Penguin from Batman Returns



You might not hear much about the second 1990s Batman movie, since it came out over 20 years ago. Danny DeVito’s Penguin was certainly memorable, but perhaps you forgot about his little rocket-bearing friends. Fortunately Amelie and Scott didn’t, and after finding a model penguin, they decided to convert it into something more menacing.

The build started out with, as mentioned, a cheap penguin model and the drawings of DeVito’s mind-controlled rocket-penguins. The creators then obtained the necessary extra parts to recreate the look: thin bendable sheet metal, hanger straps, and a piece of PVC pipe for the rocket body.

Straps were attached around the penguin’s neck chest and torso to imitate the rocket attachment hardware found in the movie, then plates for the little guy’s back and front were added. After this, a little metal hat was cut out, and the all-important mind control antenna was bent out of soldering wire.

After this, the rocket was made out of PVC pipe, and wrapped with red sparkly ribbon meant for Christmas decorations, matching the birds from the movie. The nose cone was first made out of Styrofoam covered with aluminum foil, but eventually the creators decided to make it out of sheet metal wedges instead. Fins were also made out of sheet metal and colored red with a marker.

Finally, the rocket was attached with more straps, giving a nice imitation of what Batman had to deal with (besides Catwoman, the actual Penguin, and a rubber ducky car thing, if I remember the movie correctly).


According to its creators, their model is “Not perfect, but super fun and came out as good as we wanted it to.” They also claim that replicas of these little beasts sell for $400 online, so considering their simple parts list, I’d call this a great success!


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Jeremy is an engineer with 10 years experience at his full-time profession, and has a BSME from Clemson University. Outside of work he’s an avid maker and experimenter, building anything that comes into his mind!

View more articles by Jeremy S Cook


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