LEGO Batman The Joker Balloon Escape and Mr. Freeze Ice Attack review

The LEGO Batman Movie has been a huge boon for fans: it’s hilarious and heartfelt, poking fun at some of the sillier aspects of Batman while still celebrating the character through and through.  There’s something in it for every fan of the Caped Crusader to enjoy, with loving nods to the early 1940s serials all the way up to Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.  It’s irreverent fun that manages to respect what makes the character work.  A difficult balance to be sure, and one that it manages to keep.

And, given that it’s a LEGO movie, that means there are lots and lots of awesome toys and sets out there.  Like the BrickHeadz featured earlier, LEGO was kind enough to send us two sets featuring scenes ripped straight from the movie: The Joker Balloon Escape and Mr. Freeze Ice Attack.  And when I say “straight from the movie,” I mean “this is literally stuff that happens on screen.”

Case in point:

The Joker Balloon Escape

You remember, don’t you?  Early in the movie, after Batman takes out most of his rogues using sweet backflips and shredded abs, he and the Joker finally confront one another.  The Clown Prince of Crime has placed a bomb that will cause LEGO Gotham City to tear apart and collapse.  He also has a balloon jetpack thing strapped to his back as his means of escape.  This leaves Batman in a serious quandary: he can either save the city from certain destruction, or he can prevent his totally-not-greatest enemy from escaping.  This set lets you recreate that scene down to some pretty impressive detail.

The set, catalog number 70900, contains 124 pieces used to build the Batman and Joker minifigs, Joker’s balloon jetpack, and the bomb placed to destroy Gotham.  There are three bags of pieces, a sheet of stickers, and a small cardboard box containing Batman’s cape and Joker’s amazing/ludicrously long coattails.  It retails at $14.99.

The Batman and Joker figures are nicely detailed, each with two different facial expressions.  I really like that LEGO have been doing that lately, as it allows for different play and display options. Plus, as we’ll see with the second set, there’s a wider variety of figures available as well.

Batman also has a fairly large grappling hook that he holds, which is perhaps my only qualm with the set.  It’s kind of awkward looking, with the hook attaching to a 1×1 plate with a vertical holder hook.  Standing stationary it looks a bit strange, but having the plate means you can either attach to another brick or wrap the hook around the line that it’s on.  Even if it looks a little strange, those options are nice if you have specific ideas on how you want to display the figure.

The details on each figure are pretty great, with good graphic applications.  Batman’s “nine-pack” is nicely detailed below the classic yellow oval Batsymbol, and the Joker pops with color.  His suit is various shades of purple with nice pops of orange and green from his shirt and tie, and yeah, those coattails are great.

Joker’s balloon jetpack is a pretty fun build, and would be the highlight in any other set.  It’s nice and compact while still having quite a few pieces that make it fun to put together.  I like the different rod lengths they use for the balloons; it gives the piece a nice visual with the balloons jutting out different ways.  That lack of uniformity fits the Joker’s personality: it’s colorful chaos.

I did have a bit of trouble getting the figure’s hands over the handles, but after some finagling I got him on there.  Now I just won’t take him off.

The jetpack is fun, but the best part of the set is the bomb and its accompanying base.  This thing is loaded with detail, looking exactly like it did in the movie.  There are “computer screens,” pipes and rails, and even a cool little launcher to simulate an explosion.  I absolutely loved putting this piece together, both during the process and enjoying the end product.  It’s an inspired design, and makes an already great set even better.

Even if this set had only included half of what’s here it would still be worth getting, but with great accessories, two iconic characters, and tons of detail, this set makes reenacting an iconic scene all the more enjoyable.

Mr. Freeze Ice Attack

If the previous set excelled in design and details, this excels in playability.  Mr. Freeze Ice Attack is catalog item 70901 and has 201 pieces to build the Batman, Mr Freeze, and security guard minifigs, as well as a lab set, a sweet block of ice, and Mr. Freeze’s robot suit.  The set includes two large bags of pieces and a sheet of stickers.  It retails at $19.99.

The three mini figures, like in the other set, are very nicely detailed.  Batman has different expressions than in the Joker set, which is great, especially considering this one has a cocky smirk.  The security guard is also a nice figure, with a pretty blank expression and a hilarious “screaming in terror” face.  Their accessories are fun, too: Batman has a flamethrower, and the security guard has a backpack, helmet and clear face mask, and a gun of some sort.

Mr. Freeze’s design is pretty busy and robotic, though decidedly Freeze.  I wish he had a more simple look, maybe akin to his animated series design, but it works here.

Oh, and he has a giant freeze gun.

I really like that a character’s accessory is that complex.  It’s a fun build, with a few moving parts, and the design is kind of retro.

You wouldn’t think a big block of ice would be a fun piece to build, but like me, you’d be wrong.  With two translucent blue pieces, the effect of Freeze’s ray is set upon two hinged pieces, allowing it to open and close on any unsuspecting victims.  It’s simple and fun, and that’s all it needs to be.

The lab set is also pretty nice.  It isn’t as impressively designed as the bomb from the previous set, but it’s not without its charms.  The stickers give it a nice old-school industrial look (yes, that is a reel-to-reel tape deck), and the coffee cup is a nice touch.  It also has a hinged base, with the construction guide indicating that several different sets can be linked together to create larger environments.

Finally, there’s Freeze’s robot, also seen throughout the film.  Contrary to its appearance, this isn’t nearly as complicated to build as you would think.  While there are quite a few pieces to it, it’s still fairly straightforward.  There are enough unique elements to make it fun, though, including the tubing, actual hands, and hinged joints.  That also makes the robot tons of fun to play with, as it’s immensely posable and has a great design.

Plus the freeze ray fits in its hand a bit better, so that’s nice.

I guess you could say this set is pretty… cool.

You’re welcome.

Overall: It’s Batman and LEGO.  It’s hard to mess up a winning combination like that.  With great minifigs, accessories, and environments, these two sets perfectly capture the spirit of the film in LEGO form.  Buy one, buy the other, or buy both.  No matter what, the Joker Balloon Escape and Mr. Freeze Ice Attack sets are great fun for Batman and LEGO fans alike.

Once again, thanks to LEGO for providing the sets for review.