We have reached a point in human history where LEGO and Batman practically go hand in hand. There are tons of Batman LEGO sets.
Batman was in The LEGO Movie.
LEGO Batman had his own movie, complete with righteous theme song.
Will Arnett, the voice of LEGO Batman, hosts the hit competition show LEGO Masters.
Full circle. I think I’ve proven my point.
So yes. LEGO. Batman. LEGO Batman. Two great tastes that taste great together, and two of my very favorite things to boot.
The fine folks at LEGO were kind enough to provide a few of their new Batman sets for review, which delights me as an adult who still likes to play with toys while simultaneously delivering only the finest of reviews for all Batman-related products. The first set is part of a new line of helmets and headpieces that they’re offering, which include such characters as Boba Fett, Carnage, Darth Vader, and Iron Man. As this is a Batman site, I will not be reviewing any of those, but good news! They have a Batman set too!
Before you even open the box, it’s pretty clear that this series is aimed more toward adult builders and collectors than kids. Aside from the 18+ age suggestion, it’s made of sturdier cardboard than a typical LEGO set, and has some fancier graphics on it as well. There’s comic artwork on the back, and a really nifty Batman logo with his name in a fairly classy font.
Cracking open the box, you presented with three bags that contain the over 400 pieces used for construction, along with the assembly guide. It’s pretty thick, to the point that it’s held together by glue instead of staples at a fold, and also has a fun description of the Dark Knight in multiple languages. Plus, more artwork from legends like Jim Lee and Greg Capullo. I won’t say no to that.
While I was assembling this set, I sent some progress pics to our dear and beloved Comic Chief Andrew Asberry. At one point he asked me if the joy of LEGO sets comes in the assembling or the completion. I told him it depends on the set.
This one was definitely at completion. It’s a fun set to put together, but it is hard. One of the most difficult builds I’ve ever completed. A lot of that comes from the fact that you’re assembling a roundish object on top of a completed base, rather than making the base and head sculpt separately and bringing them together in the end. That might have made the build a bit easier, but like I said, it’s still fun.
This is definitely one of those sets that takes a while to be realized, as there’s a ton of work that goes into the interior structure before you get to the recognizable features of the cowl. I’ve got to say, whoever designed this needs a raise, because there are some incredibly clever uses of different pieces.
Also contributing to the set’s difficulty are the massive amounts of black pieces, which approach Spin̈al Tap levels of darkness.
A quick aside: I don’t know why, but the small piece you assemble to create the nose on the cowl cracked me up. By itself, it’s very pointy, and, well, as you can see if the gallery, it’s hinged so you can make it stick out from the rest of the cowl.
That’s not to ridicule it or to say it’s a negative, though. I know that designing these sets takes an insane amount of engineering knowledge and creativity in equal parts, and pieces that may look goofy by themselves work well in the overall build.
Case in point: once you get everything together, this Batman helmet looks pretty awesome. My kid got a kick out of the fact that you can adjust the brows to make Batman look sad or worried, which adds some fun character to the piece. As tough as it was to assemble, the end product definitely looks like Batman’s cowl, from the pointed ears (which are just about the right length, in my book) to the white “lenses” in the eyes. There isn’t much play value with it, but given that it’s aimed at an older crowd, it looks pretty sweet when out on display.
Overall: One of the toughest, most unique LEGO sets I’ve ever put together, the Batman Cowl is a great piece for older fans and collectors. It’s challenging in the best ways, with a satisfying build and an end product that looks great on display. Retailing for around $60, it’s a tad pricier than a typical LEGO set with the same number of pieces, but it feels right at that price given its target audience and intended purpose.
LEGO provided this set to Batman News for the purpose of this review.
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