In Color! 76188 Batmobile ’66 Hands On Review

It was 1977. Already the series was a decade old, and it was screening after school in melbourne. My family had just bought their first colour television, and the theme music started pulsing through the house. The title card promised that the program would be in colour… and it was. I was still of an age where I was somewhat disappointed to discover that the characters were all ‘Live Action’ after the animated titles. But never mind. This was the program that introduced me to the cliffhanger episodeic ending….Tune in Tomorrow: Same Bat Time, Same Bat Channel. The program was about as serious as eight year old me could deal with.

But there was, undoubtedly, one thing that made this series realy cool: and extended into the world outside the living room: The Batmobile. This modified Ford Futura allowed Batman and Robin to leap over the door, and into their respective sets. Thank heavens it was never raining in Gotham City! But the really awesome thing was the Corgi Batmobile car: gloss black, with small figures of batman and Robin, as well as an image of Batman embossed on the bottom service of the car. But it had other great play features: push on the radar on the hood, and a blade would flick out ( of course, it was not sharp enough to inflict actual injury) and the rocket launcher. I have no idea what the actual rockets were like that came with the toy. My friends had long lost theirs. Instead, we used matchsticks. It was all fun and games, unless somebody loses an eye…

Source: Wikimedia, user PDpH under Creative Commons.

I never owned that car. That’s OK. With Mint in sealed Box versions going for thousands, and well played with, but restored versions selling for many hundreds, I can live with it. However, I’d be lying if I were to say I was not in any way excited when I discovered this set amongst some that the LEGO Group had sent over for me to take a look at.

The Batman Classic TV Series Batmobile has 345 parts, 2 minfigures and will retail for $USD29.99/ €29.99 / £34.99. It will be available from the usual sources from April 26, 2021. Read on after the break to see how the build comes together.

Bag 1

Let’s start at the beginning.There are 6 bags: two of each labelled 1, 2 and 3.

There are no new elements in the set: I’ll highlight the recolours as we go through…

Bag 1 reveals a red 10×4 car chassis: these are placed side by side, and are new in bright red. the other new elements are those seein in the Batman Minifigure: but I will look at that later in the review.

We start work on a display base for our model: based on a 8×8 disch (neo classic space fans, they are thinking of you here). The dish is attached to a ramp element, with a large sticker attached.

A technic frame sits at either end of these chassis elements, and inverse sloped elements form part of the undercurve on the doors.

At the end of the bag, we have a sturdy chassis, with axles visible. It looks like the body will be a little over 8 studs wide and around 22 studs long.

Bag 2

No new elements here, either molds or colours, as far as I could tell.

Bag 2 starts work on the tail end of the vehicle. We place a few wedge plates side by side, before installing tail lights. We have some angled curved slopes over the tail assembly. We place some hinges on either side, before building up along the sides with black plates and panels.

Then we move to the front, we can see the use of a row of headlight bricks, with a plate attached to the stud on the side, to produce a half plate offset. perfect for then attaching a side mounted bracket, as you can see in the pictures below:

At the end of Bag we have most of the mid body of the car completed, as wellas the front grille.

As mentioned earlier, there are some wedge plates used in developing the shape of the rear end of the vehicle. the curves work quite effectively to build up the shape of this part of the car.

I really like the way that stickers are used to add to the detail in the cabin. NOTE ensure you align the stickers correctly – one of these slopes is placed on its side, the other in the traditional angle. A also love the use of the ‘classic’ red telephone handpick.

Bag 3

The final bag sees a few new recolours, as well as a new printed element. The Grappling hook, as well as the bar holders with clip are all new in pearl metallic silver. There is also a new 1×1 round tile, with a printed Bat-Logo.

We will look at the nature of the Joker Minifigure, compared with the version in the classic batcave shortly.

This bag sees us build up the bonnet details, both front and back, as well as install the (slightly less dangerour than the Corgi Version) rocket launchers. the main instructions see us install stud launchers on the front bonnet, but is you are after a purer look, there are additional elements allowing you to build a smoother look, albeit with reduced offensive capacities.

I love the way the final car looks on its stand. If you want to display it, i think it looks great here: a nod to the way that an AFOL collector may wish to display it. That said, the set is recommended for an audience of 7+

The Minifigures:

Lets take it to the streets, and look at the minifigures:

There are two minifigures included in this set: Batman and Joker.

Batman consist of a new, recoloured print on a new torso, as well as a new head print. His cape is spongy, and crushable, so there is little fear of tucking it into the seat, behind him in the car. His head is printed on dark blue,and he has a determined look on one side, and a jovial smile on the other. The cowl is dark blue, with black and white markings on the front, marking in Batman’s eyebrows and nose.

The torso and legs in the ‘original’ 76052 Classic TV Series Batcave, were sand blue, with dark blue printing. In this version, the torso is medium stone grey, with dark blue details, and an extra ab (or is it flab) compared to the figure in the Classic Batcave. Not to mention the zipper printed on the back. The legs of the original figure weredual molded sand blue, and dark blue, with some dark blue printing. Thie legs on the new version are dark blue, with printed grey details.

Joker wears a very similarbright purple suit to the original version: but the printing is subtly different compare to that original. The hair mold looks to be slightly different to the previous version, but I suspect it is the same, despite a new design ID in the instructions. I do love the way that the minifigure’s face pays homage to the fact that actor Cesar Romero refused to shave his moustache before applying the Joker’s white makeup.

Until today, this is the first ‘Classic Batman I have owned. Prio to this, I used a brighter blue version, as included in the Juniors sets.

Comic book/cartoon Batman on the left. TV realistic Batman on the right!

As you can see, the cowl design has been adapted over the years; as well as the move to spongy cape material, which I regard as a great improvement.

There is one figure missing for me, and it has been quite hard to recreate raithfully to the TV Version: Robin. The many of the marks worn by the robin minifigures I own are a little too dynamic. This is possibly thebest match I could get – but even this is not perfect. The TV version wears a black mask that straps around his head. Hopefully we will see a way to obtain such a mask, with out an overly comical face some day.

I love the final effect of this build: It evokes all the necessary nostalgia, and leaves me expecting to see the dynamic duo leaping into some perilous trap, only to escape in the next episode.

I am excited to see this set is coming: I never felt comfortable with the idea of investing in the Classic series Bat Cave, but this is very satisfying as a display piece, or for just zooming up and down the living room floor. The build is not too complicated, but the final result leaves me more than happy to give it a 4 out of 5 arbitrary praise units.

What do you think of this model? Play thing, or Display thing? Please leave your comments below, and until next time…

Play Well!

This set was provided by the LEGO Group for review purposes. All opinions are my own!

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