80 Years ago this year, Batman made his first appearance in Detective Comics #27. Thirty years and three weeks ago, Tim Burton’s Batman (with Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson) premiered in Australia, a couple of months after it appeared in the USA. I couldn’t get to the film for a couple of weeks…so I guess this week is probably the 20th anniversary of me seeing that film, which rewrote what we came to expect of superhero movies at the time.
And finally, for reasons I don’t quite understand, Warner Brothers/DC have declared September 21st to be Batman Day, 2019.
In 1986, Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight returns set the mood for a darker Batman. Following on from the Burton/Keaton film, and its sequel, Batman Returns, Batman: The Animated Series premiered on Fox, in the US, and set the standard for a telling tales in a more gloomy Gotham.
For me, this period represents one of my favourites for enjoying Batman: There was The Animated Series; The 2 Burton/Keaton Batman movies; and the Knightfall storyline in the comics. And I found myself attracted to the aesthetic of the screen portrayals of the time: particularly the Art Deco architecture and film noir aesthetic.
76119 Batmobile: Pursuit of the Joker.
This version borrows heavily from the 1939 comics, the 1989 movie and the 1992 animated versions of the Batmobile, and in doing so has a nostalgic, noir look to it. The box art depicts Batman driving the Batmobile down a wet street, with the Joker shooting at the car, presumable with some form of acid or Smilex substitute. An 80th Anniversary logo appears on the end of the box.
For me, this vehicle felt like an alternative design from the Animated series, so I attempted to borrow the art style, with the aid of some cardboard and a felt tip pen.
But before leaping too far ahead, lets look at the set itself. There around 380 elements in the set, predominantly in black. Or very dark grey. For those who use LEGO Life, Instructions plus is also available for this model.
The first bag brings us Batman, and the base of the chassis. I was impressed by the overall dimensions of the wheelbase: 8 studs wide x 31 studs long. Yes, thirty one. The base is sturdy with a little SNOT work. By way of play fret, the exhaust flame is linked to the rear wheels, so it rotates as the car drives.
The second bag adds a layer to the chassis, as well as unwraps the Joke, with his lime green stud gun. Bag three sees all of the bodywork attached. Building is not overly complicated, as you would expect with the recommended age range of 7+.
On the whole, most of the elements are generally available, but there are a few that are otherwise relatively scarce: the 2×6 arch brick had a new mould made 5 years ago, and this is the first time it has appeared in black. the previous mould has not been used in black for over 10 years. The radar dishes depicting the Bat Logo are new this year, and the wings are a mould first used last year, and this is the first time they are entirely black. The bat-logo elements, first appeared last year, and we saw them in the Brother Eye Takedown set, in bronze. This version is in ‘titanium metallic.’
The car sits one figure, although it is a little awkward with Batman’s Cape. The dashboard is printed, and there are in fact no stickers to be seen. The build feels quite solid, and it rolls well across the floor with a firm push. Play features are limited to an opening cockpit to the vehicle, stud shooters, the spinning flame and your imagination!
The set does feature a variety of elements to allow SNOT Building as well as a variety of curved slopes. We also have missile launchers that flip[ up from the side.
Looking at the minifigures, the torso and head are new for 2019, but are found in each of this year’s Batman sets. The head is dual sided, and features a new look for batman: rather than wearing a sweatband on his forehead, he appears to have large goggles lifted up. there is no leg printing.
The Joker has a new torso, but the double sided head is the same that was seen in last year’s and this year’s Juniors Batman sets. His legs are also unprinted.
I love the finished model, and it would be simple to adapt to be more accurate to the Animated series version, with some alterations to the front grille. I find the paucity of unique elements exciting: you could brick build arches and wings if you wish, and alter the grille
I find this to be one of the more evocative Batmobiles released in recent years, and the inclusion of the iconic Joke in this set makes is a perfect celebration for the 80th Anniversary if Batman’s first Appearance. I give the final product 4 our of 5 Arbitrary Praise Units. It looks good, and runs smoothly.
What do you think? Do you like it as it is, or would you modify it in some way or another? why not leave your comments below, follow the Rambling Brick and until next time,
While you are here…
Have you heard about our competition, with a chance to win a complete set of the new Series 19 Minifigures, as well as a change to go shopping at the online LEGO store? For details, check out the link, here. Entries close at midnight, October 6th UTC.