There’s something about The Batman that I find compelling. Honestly, I was dreading the movie up until its release, because it just didn’t seem like the type of Batman movie I was wanting. Granted, it wasn’t, but I ended up enjoying it a lot more than I thought I would. Some of the aesthetic choices I initially hated I’ve now come to accept within the context of the movie, and while I won’t ever quite love the film, I find it curiously rewatchable despite the hefty runtime.
It’s a good movie, is what I’m saying.
One of those aesthetic choices I wasn’t head over heels in love with was the look of the Batmobile. Sure, it’s a cool looking car, but it isn’t quite cool enough as Batman’s ride. If it had some more pronounced rear fins, or maybe a reinforced front bumper that resembled a bat head, that would have gone a long way toward making it A Batmobile instead of just A Cool Car.
Still, despite those feelings, I’ve found myself drawn to The Batman Batmobile collectibles. I have several of the Hot Wheels releases of the car, and a small LEGO set that fits in the palm of my hand. Recently, I acquired a significantly larger and much more complex LEGO set of this Batmobile, specifically from their Technic line. Like the movie it’s from, this is a very fascinating, compelling, and slightly frustrating build, and I’ve decided to chronicle the two day project for you, dear readers.
Bearing LEGO product number 42127, the set consists of 1360 pieces. The box is quite large, probably a good 18” x 12” or so, and contains 7 large bags of pieces, some of which have several smaller bags inside, two additional smaller bags to supplement bags 1 and 2, a bag of tires and wheel accessories, a bag of curved pieces for the wheel housings, a sticker sheet, and a huge instruction booklet.
Now, I’ve put together my fair share of LEGO sets before, some of which have had more pieces than this one. Regardless, this is far and away the most difficult build I’ve ever done, thanks to the different techniques used in Technic designs. Where a standard LEGO set is relatively blocky with lots of squares and smooth edges, Technic uses pieces like rods and hinges, along with a lot of curved angles. It’s a very geometric approach to assembly, which is what makes it both challenging and rewarding.
Most of the early stages of the build are devoted to the internal framework of the Batmobile, so it takes a while for the look of the car to take shape. It’s not until you finish the second bag that any of the exterior becomes recognizable, with the roof and rear engine hinting at the rest of the vehicle to come.
And that engine is super cool too. The way it’s assembled, you put the pistons in the engine housing, which is then attached to a crank that moves with the rear wheels. When turned, this makes the pistons move up and down and “fire,” which looks awesome in action.
Surprisingly, the most difficult pieces to put together were the doors. They’re pretty complex, using a lot of pieces that are nearly identical save for being reversed from one another, so you have to be sure you’re using the correct ones for each respective door. Those and the wheel wells were pretty tough, with the latter requiring some finesse to get the right angles with some of the pieces. Generally speaking, it’s a pretty forgiving set, as you don’t have to bend any pieces to the point of breaking or anything like that, but if you don’t line something up just right you’ll find yourself repeating some steps.
And you will find yourself repeating at least a few of these steps.
There are some traditional LEGO blocks used in the construction of the set, mostly in the interior framework of the Batmobile rather than the visible parts of the car. Most of the pieces are Technic rods, connectors, and larger molded pieces. Everything goes together relatively easily, though my fingers did get a little sore after having to snap in lots of the small red, blue, and black pieces for hinges and locking things together.
When fully assembled, it definitely looks like the Batmobile from the film, with a bit of LEGO flair. The small blue flames on the hood and rear exhaust are fun, if unnecessary, though the larger flames coming from the rear turbine look really cool. That’s attached to the same spinning axle as the engine, so it spins while the engine moves, which is a really cool effect. There are two light blocks inside too: one in the rear engine and the other under the hood. The former is activated by pressing the small wheel on the roof, which also turns the front wheels to the left and right. Pressing down on it makes the rear engine light up with a deep red, which looks pretty sinister.
The latter light in the hood is a whitish yellow, and it’s activated by pulling forward on the gear shift in the cockpit. Not quite as cool as the rear light, but still a pretty cool effect.
Fully assembled, it’s a pretty impressive specimen, much larger than I expected. 17” from front bumper to rear flame, 6” wide, and 4” high, I’m… not sure where I’m going to display this, honestly. It’s a good problem to have, I guess. Here it is next to a ‘66 Batmobile LEGO set, the aforementioned smaller Batmobile of this same design, a Hot Wheel of this Batmobile, and a 4” Pattinson Batman figure for scale.
Retailing for $99.99, it is a bit of an investment, though one that will be well worth it in the end. You get plenty of bang for your buck, with at least several hours worth of construction ahead of you after you open the box. I had a blast putting it together, and it made me appreciate this cool car as a legitimate Batmobile.
Disclaimer: The LEGO Technic The Batman Batmobile set was purchased with personal funds.
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