Suggested Age: Catcycle – 7-14 / Arctic Roller & Lowrider – 8-14
Pieces: Catcycle – 139 / Arctic Roller – 305 / Lowrider – 433
Casual Build Time: Catcycle – 30 minutes / Arctic Roller & Lowrider – 1 hr 30 minutes
Dimensions: Catcycle – over 1″ x 5″ x 1″ / Street Scene – over 3″ x 3″ x 1″ / Lamppost – over 4″ / Arctic Roller – over 2″ x 8″ x 2″ / Lowrider – over 2″ x 9″ x 3″
Brand: LEGO Batman Movie
Today’s review is a bit special. In celebration of the new LEGO Batman movie, my sister, partner and myself each purchased a different one of the tie-in kits and are sharing this blog space to tell you what we thought!
The sets all feature vehicles which appear in the movie and vary in size and price. The cheapest set is Catwoman Catcycle Chase, which includes the pieces to build a small street scene, the Catcycle, various accessories, and three minifigures: Batgirl, Robin and Catwoman.
The second largest of the sets is The Penguin Arctic Roller. This set is a lot more hefty, containing the necessary pieces to build the car and a small jet ski. It also comes with an umbrella and batarang accessories, and two minifigures: Batman and the Penguin.
The final set is The Joker Notorious Lowrider. This set simply contains the pieces necessary to build the car. It also comes with a variety of accessories and three minifigures: Batgirl, the Joker and Harley Quinn.
More details and photographs under the cut!
Catwoman Catcycle Chase
LEGO Batman is clearly the second best LEGO film, but probably the best Batman film since, well, ever. But he’s absent from this set (looking at the range this actually feels like a minority); instead Catwoman, Batgirl and Robin star here.
The kit was easy to put together; one bag devoted to Catwoman and the Catcycle, the other containing Batgirl, Robin and the jewellery store. I am not a regular LEGO builder, but the instructions were easy to follow and the results look great. The Catcycle is small but chunky and stands on its own without trouble. The shop comes with two gems to steal/rescue/stop Catwoman getting her hands on and a lamp-post that can be sent crashing to the ground.
There are no appreciable problems with the kit; the cycle rolls well, and the shop is small but perfectly usable as a set-piece. As a cheaper kit, I wasn’t expecting anything too elaborate or complex and this fit the bill nicely.
The Penguin Arctic Roller
I’ve wanted to build this set since I first saw it on the market. I normally prefer to make buildings over cars but this one was particularly eye catching so I knew I had to add it to my collection – also, it’s Batman, so let’s face it you can’t really go wrong.
My favourite part about this set is the smooth design of the vehicle, I particularly love the curved side panels that make the wheel arches and the huge head lamps that adorn the front of the car. I think it’s really well designed and finds a good balance between being classy enough for older collectors and entertaining enough for younger Master Builders to enjoy.
It was a relatively easy kit to build. It contained just two bags and the only things that gave me issue were a couple of small fiddly studs on the side (most likely easier for smaller, child sized, hands) and as always the stickers but I think that’s more my failing than that of the kit, I’ve never yet managed to get one on straight. The whole build took me a little under an hour and a half but I think someone with a little more building experience would finish it in closer to an hour. It should be noted that the second bag contains what seemed like hundreds of tiny pieces, which I loved but it likely what took the extra time.
As a toy I think it works extremely well, it has many interesting bits to it including a tiny (and adorable) jet ski that’s concealed in the boot of the car and twin missiles that shoot from the front when a handy button is pressed on the bonnet. I do feel that I should offer a friendly warning that the missiles shoot with impressive force so perhaps don’t point them at someone’s face before pressing the release button. I also adore the finer details such as the tiny penguin face on the front of the car, it just makes the whole thing seem complete.
The set comes with two mini figures; a regular dual faced Batman who is a nice piece to own but nothing overly special and, of course, The Penguin. This figure makes the kit, he’s genuinely amazing. He’s made with the smaller, non jointed legs that we’ve seen before in the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings sets. This makes him a smaller figure but does also carry the disadvantage that The Penguin cannot sit down. This doesn’t matter particularly matter as the rest of the figure more than makes up for it. His face is fantastically expressive and he’s accessorised with a huge top hat, fur stole and, of course, his famous umbrella. Penguin is one of my favourite mini figures ever, I’m sure that any Batman fan will adore him.
Whilst overall I think this set is fantastic there are, as ever, a few minor issues. The doors don’t open which could affect playability and once the roof is on it is difficult to see what’s inside the vehicle. It shows finger prints like crazy which I don’t think would bother a child but may irritate adult collectors. Other than this I really can’t think of any disadvantages to the kit, it was a really enjoyable build and resulted in a pretty impressive model (or toy).
I do think that the Joker’s car is more impressive overall but as a middle of range priced kit I don’t think it’s at all bad. It is perhaps a little over priced for what you get but that seems to be the case with the licensed kits and for me it was certainly worth it.
The Joker Notorious Lowrider
The Notorious Lowrider is a pretty straightforward set to build and I didn’t really come across any difficulties. The instructions were easy to follow and the only real issue was that so many of the pieces were purple that it often took a little while to find the ones that I was looking for! This colour scheme makes the finished model particularly eye catching:
It’s the little details that I like most about this build. The chicken statue on the bonnet, the clown horn, zebra print interior and vanity plates make it instantly stand out as the Joker’s chosen mode of transportation. However, it’s not quite as interactive as it might look. The roof of the car looks as though it should draw across but is actually locked in place. Similarly, the doors of this model don’t open, but it’s easy enough to place the figures in through the open roof.
However, I should note that at £55, it’s a pretty expensive kit for an hour and a half build time. I know that LEGO Batman is popular at the moment and so you’re really paying for the brand, but I do usually expect for kits at this price to take me at least a couple of hours to complete. Unless you really want it, it’s possibly worth waiting to see if you can snag it in a sale.
The coolest thing about the Lowrider is its working suspension. All of the wheels are on little hinges which are held in place by rubber bands beneath. By simply pressing down on the kit, you can make it “stick” on two different heights, however it should be noted that this makes it a little fragile as the bands won’t stand up to too much rough play.
However, the Lowrider still makes a great toy. Two figures can easily sit in the seats (though it should be noted that Harley Quinn doesn’t fit in here too well unless you remove her roller skates), and there are two hidden missiles in the boot which fire when buttons beneath the roof are pressed. This makes it a rather fun toy to play around it, though the missiles don’t seem to fire quite as far as those in the Arctic Roller.
Finally, there are the minifigures. These are all very cool and suit the set nicely. I was particularly pleased to get two female characters – a hero and a villain – as my Star Wars kits often feel a bit male-centric. The Joker is very striking, though lacks his purple tailcoat from the movie (though this at least means he fits in the driving seat). His trick gun accessory is possibly my favourite thing ever and I love the tiny details on both his and Harley’s costumes.
All in all, I actually really liked this kit. Although it is a tad expensive for its size, it looks great as a model and works well as a toy. I think it will appeal greatly to master builders of all ages!