The Batwing was only given a couple of minutes of screen time in Tim Burton’s BATMAN (1989), but it was key to a number of iconic images from that film. The LEGO Group sent over a copy of the new 76161 to review: how does it fit in
It was the mid-year holidays in 1989, and Blockbuster movies were yet to have global release dates. And in the Northern Summer of 1989, this was one of the greatest years for the popcorn industry: Ghostbusters II, Star Trek V, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade: as these franchises were coming to an end, one was threatening to rise up: In Australia, we had heard tales from across the seas, of people buying a full priced ticket in the US that summer, just to see the trailer for Tim Burton’s Batman – and then leaving the cinema.
It’s the Third Saturday in September: 81 years ago this week, Batman made his debut in Detective Comics #27. A year ago, we got our first official glimpse of the LEGO Batmobile, based on the 1989 movie, directed by Tim Buron, and starring Michael Keaton. Of course, this was not the only attention grabbing vehicle of Batman’s in that movie.
Its not just the car: The Batwing made a pretty impressive entrance in that film too, up until the moment that the Joker stopped it with a comedically outside handgun. And now it’s going to be released as a LEGO Set!
Coming on 21st October (for VIPs) and 1st of November more generally at LEGO Branded retail, the set has 2,363 pieces, 3 minifigures, and has a RRP of £179.99, €199.99, $199.99,
With an ominous silhouette, the final model has a wingspan of 58cm and is designed to support being wall mounted.
Thirty Years Ago, Comics had undergone a Dark and Gritty Rebirth. Inspired in part by stories such as Frank Miller’s ‘The Dark Knight Returns’, and Alan Moore’s ‘Watchmen’ in the mid 80’s, super hero comics went from bright and fun and dark and gritty, almost overnight. It was on the crest of this wave that design cues were drawn, and Tim Burton’s BATMAN was born. Up until now, most people who didn’t read comics only remembered Batman in the form of Adam West’s performances in the late 1960’s. Bright, colourful and camp. In the eyes of the movie going public, Burton’s film changed the public perception of the Dark Knight, from one of Camp Crusader to a Dark and Brooding Knight, taking on the crime and corruption of Gotham.
In which I am astounded to find a LEGO Batman set to related to a relatively recent storyline from the comics. In putting the set together, I reach new highs, new lows and breathe a sigh of relief as I get my hands on a colour I hadn’t seen for a while…
Batman, Batwoman and OMAC. (Oh My!)
The 76111 Brother Eye Takedown set is part of the DC Superheroes line, and was released in the second half of 2018. I was intrigued by the existence of this set: while an ongoing part of the DC (comics) Universe continuity, Brother Eye and OMAC are not necessarily widely recognised by the non comics reading public. In it’s current guise, Brother Eye comes across as a DC satellite equivalent of Marvel’s Ultron: an artificial intelligence with the ability to take down Earth’s Greatest Heroes. I was even more intrigued by it’s presence here as I was reading the ‘Lonely Place of Living’ as well as the ‘Batmen: Eternal’ storylines in Detective Comics when I saw the set announced. Brother Eye, the OMACs and Batwoman play an important part of these storylines. Beyond this I shall not elaborate, as I don’t want to hit you with too many spoilers, and I don’t want to give away the fact that I have misplaced a couple of issues, making a complete rereading of the storyline impossible for me at present.
Sometimes, I forget about the importance of Play. And the way that it can be a fun thing to do with your LEGO® Bricks. I don’t just mean take a couple of bricks and roll them around until they click together in a novel way. I mean, let my imagination kick in, and have stories unfold in front of me, with no idea where they might be going or how they will get there. Some sets set themselves up for rough and tumble storytelling, where kids can assemble them quickly before getting on with all the serious zooming and swooshing that comes with putting a vehicle together.
These sets are designed to be easily assembled by young builders, and ready for play. Even if you are only partway through the final construction. That’s right: the Juniors sets: designed for younger builders, these sets span the LEGO themes, from City, to Ninjago and Friends to Disney Princess and Superheroes. Many of the sets feature larger elements to simplify the construction process. Today, I would like to take a look at the Juniors set 10753 The Joker Batcave Attack.
After looking at the box art and instruction booklet, I realise that today I have returned to an world of instant gratification. A world where a vehicle can be put together in seconds. From memory. After only a cursory examination of the box art. And it’s all in the first bag, along with our hero mini figures. The second bag contains the second vehicle, and the villain. And the third contains a building. And there are precisely NO stickers. That’s right: would a sticker slow down the time it takes to produce a playable toy? Leave it out. Include a printed element instead.
The Joker Batcave attack is the third DC Superheroes Juniors Batcave set, previously featuring a blue and grey ‘classic’ batman and robin, looking as if they were coming straight from Super Friends, in 1972. Then we had the same Batman, with Superman and Lex Luthor. Each of these came with a Batmobile. This year, we have something a little different…
There I was, browsing through my LEGO Life newsfeed, and the announcement leapt out at me: The LEGO® Batman™ Movie App, now available for download. So I visited my App Store of choice and tracked it down. It had the right price: this App is free, with no claim of in-app purchases. But what would the cost be?
The opening splash screen give you some options for where to start. You can choose to watch videos, read about the Lego sets, play the game,customize your vehicle or purchase upgrades in return for studs that you collect around the game..
Let us start with the game…
The game starts of interestingly enough: Select your character: Batman or BatGirl with the promise of many others to unlock as you gain the universal unit of LEGO®game currency: the stud. And run. Just run. Dodge, jump over, or slide under obstacles. Occasionally, you may gain the use of a vehicle – initially the standard Batmobile from the movie, but able to be customised – and crash through barricades.
A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to place more than 20 stickers on a single lego car. It was a bit challenging: frustrating when the stickers wouldn’t quite line up, and in some areas looking like a cop out in the place of a more complex build.
So today, I was pleasantly surprised as I assembled the new DC Superheroes for Juniors set, 10724 Batman & Superman vs. Lex Luthor. The last time Batman, Superman and Lex Luthor were in a set together, it was the Batman vs Superman Set 76046 Heroes of Justice: Sky High Battle. While this set has some good points – primarily two tone boot printing and the presence of Wonder Woman, it primarily reminds people of the cinematic disappointment that was Batmans vs Superman.
Our Juniors set however, is much more friendly: Bats and Supes have buried the hatchet, and are now playing well with others. Of course, Lex isn’t one of those others. But that’s OK. He is the central villain of the piece.
Let’s look at the figures first: Lex appears with the Power Armour first seen in 30164:Power Armour Lex, a poly bag released at the same time as the Lego Batman 2 video game. He has changed his shirt and trousers, however. So much Green and Purple, you’d almost think he was one of the Joker’s henchmen (or vice versa). Neither superman or Batman have new printings on their bodies: Batman is a carbon copy of the figure that appeared in 10672: Defend the Batcave, although on that occasion we had Batman and Robin, as well as the Joker. The cowl, smirk and cape are all identical (even if i didn’t take the cape out of its box!). Superman’s body is a copy of the one seen in 6862: Superman vs Power Armour Lex. Although, here he has the same face as seen in Batman vs Superman: 76044: Clash of the Heroes. Old ‘comic style’ body, ‘new movie’ head, complete with angry heat vision eyes. Continue reading →