Some art draws itself. Some stories write themselves. Some designs….. look, I’m just saying: if you have over 75 years of design history and narrative across multiple media to draw upon, some design ideas should be pretty easy to get your head around.
Anyway, today’s Lego 250 review takes on Batman.
Riddle me this: If your name is Batman, and you have a Batcave, and a Batplane, and a Batboat, and Batarangs, and Batcondoms, and, saaaaaaaaaaaay, a Batcopter, what do you think they should resemble in some way?
Yeah. So if I tell you that the Batcopter in 76011 Man-Bat Attack doesn’t resemble anything bat-ish in the slightest, how do you think this review is going to turn out?
Let’s start with the helicopter. I love helicopters. I like Lego helicopters. I have more than a dozen in my collection. You’ll be seeing them regularly as we progress. The best lego helicopters employ a range of techniques to create the unique combination of hull, tail, and rotor mounts that makes a helicopter such a wonderful looking contraption.
Okay, it’s a helicopter. I’ll give you that much.
The Batcopter in this set is, basically, a couple of flat hull pieces, a cockpit piece, and a triangular girder. And, as I gently intimated earlier in the review — you may have missed it — apart from being black and having a couple of bat-stickers, there’s no thought taken into how to transform it from helicopter to Batcopter (If only there was something to give them a hint). Sticking a curved wing piece onto the tail section isn’t enough. As a helicopter, it’s minimal. As a Batcopter, it’s just outright lazy.
A tail piece and a sticker do not a Batcopter make.
The Younger Sibling Build in this set consists of a jetpack for Nightwing. Ah, Nightwing. Poor Nightwing. As in the comics, here he’s just an unwanted substitute for not getting the Batman product you really had your eye on.
Truth be told, if this was a polybag I’d probably have picked a couple up. There’s a nice selection of parts for such a small component, and the colour combination is appealing. But as part of an underwhelming set, it very quickly becomes apparent that it, too, contains a serious flaw. See if you can detect what it is.
This is the jetpack from the front.
Fair play, they got his hair right. His legendarily bad, bad, hair.
This is it from the back.
How is the sidekick build more bat-like than the bat-thing specifically made for the guy in the actual bat-suit who makes everything bat shaped?
And this is it when you take away the white bricks.
As good as it looks, and I do think it looks good, it’s hideously unbalanced. Not a problem if you’re swooshing it around, but exactly how do you include this in a display? Wrap your answers around a brick and deliver it to Acknowledge Bill Finger You Bastards, 3rd Window to the Right, DC Comics, Bob Kane’s Koolaid Building, America.
It should be acknowledged, of course, that the set is called Man-Bat Attack. Man-Bat is the third of the three minifigs in the set. As you can see, Batman has a helicopter. Nightwing has a jetpack. Man-Bat gets two sticks of dynamite, and Chuck Norris’ chest hair. That seems fair.
It’s become a fact grudgingly accepted by Lego fans that licenced sets inevitably cost more than similar, unlicenced builds. Frankly, if such a minimal set was offered from a normal theme, I’d likely walk straight past it without looking. As part of a Batman line, it became a present for a child, who loved it so much they later returned it to me for video-game-buying money. When a kid voluntarily gets rid of superhero gear, while still firmly in the demographic age range, that’s a clue.
There’s simply nothing to recommend this set, either as a Batman product or as a Lego kit in its own right. It’s a lazy, badly-thought out, second-rate attempt.
For an overpriced set, it’d make a reasonable polybag, if you got rid of everything but the Nightwing stuff. And when has anyone wanted less Batman and more Nightwing in their life?
Boring as batshit.
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