Da Da Da Da Da Da Da Da...Batcave!
This is my third Super Heroes review. This is the largest set of the DC Universe subtheme as of now, and I'd probably say that it's the flagship of the wave. I almost always say the big sets are. Again, a remake, this time of 7783 The Batcave: The Penguin and Mr. Freeze's Invasion.
This set has recieved its fair share of hate, but not usually from owners, not that I've seen too many reviews. I will do my best to decode why in this review.
The box isn't generally something I care about, which is the case here too. If you care about the box, look up my other two Super Heroes reviews where I describe it, the Catwoman and Two-Face sets. I'll let the pictures do most of the talking.
There are three instruction booklets and five bags are divided up among them. The first booklet is for Batman, Bane the batcycle, the drill, Poison Ivy, and the holding cell. The second book has Bruce Wayne and starts the transformation elevator. The third booklet has the rest of the elevator, Robin, and the entryway. Again, pictures for the talking.
The comic book is a nice inclusion, but nothing too special. I tried to take pictures of it and I think some of them came out okay. The end is left open for playability, or maybe to save paper.
Under those question marks on the second to last picture would be a code, but I took the picture so that it would be cut off as I don't know if they are unique or not.
This set includes 690 parts for $70, which I think is very good. It is very close to the golden ratio, and I think that the exclusive figures and pieces make up for it, I don't think Earth Blue is a cheap color to make and the figures are very detailed, especially Poison Ivy. A lot of rare pieces are included, mostly in Transparent Light Blue and Earth Blue parts. There is also a lot of Black, Dark Stone Gray, and Light Stone Gray, but not on too many rare parts. There is some juniorization, but mostly on transparent parts, which I support completly because transparent pieces in the same color look bad with one another, which is one of the two reasons I am sure we will never see Wonder Woman's invisible jet. There are a few other juniorize parts, but they either are meant to have stickers on them (which is good, because nobody likes them to overlap) or are for structure, but there are a few 1x2x2 bricks which aren't really needed. There are a lot of parts in rare colors, as I said, mostly the trans. light blue and dark blue. I am pretty sure that those dark blue lattice towers are exclusive. I know that that black printed radar dish with the batsymbol is exclusive. The minifigure parts are great too, but I'll go into that in the minifigure section. There are some stickers, but most of them were big and I found them easy to apply, except for the one on the elevator of Batman, once you get that one down, there is no getting it off. The extras weren't anything too special, but there was an extra gear included for Bane's drill. Like 6864 Batmobile and the Two-Face Chase, there was a brick separator included, one of the new orange ones.
Here is the parts list at BrickLink. Just scrolling through, I noticed something I think is false though-I had no extra batarang. I wish that there was, as this set only includes two, which is more than all of the other DC sets, but less than all of the Batman sets (except the small ones and ones which didn't include Batman).
The minifigures are all very detailed (except for Bruce who is pretty average) but all have minor misprints. I find that this is the price you pay for detailed figs and if you don't look too closely and specifically for misprints, you probably won't find them.
I need to correct something from my review of 6858. I never said that my Batman from that set had a misprint on the torso. Look in the image below to see if you can find it in the abdomen area on the jet-packed one's torso. It may look like the lighting, but it is not. The torso on the one included though doesn't have the misprint (literally, it looks like the printer missed the figure there), but the figure's printing does have its faults; with the cowl removed, you can make out the beginnings of Bruce's eyebrows under the head band. The left eyebrow is missing on one side. Thanfully, my other Batmen faces are fine and the cowl covers it up. Other than that, this figure is spectacular and the blue cape is really nice. As that's the only thing different from 6858, I'll just copy what I had there; This variation of Batman seems to be a cross between three previous ones from the original Batman line. Batman has an Earth Blue cowl, which was previously exclusive to the two Batman sets from 2007. The face is okay, but looks too much like Superman's, only younger and with a white headband. The head is double sided, with a scowl on one side and a large smirk on the other. If it wasn't for the smirk (which reminds me of the campy Adam West Batman), I would actually prefer the original face to this one. I like the torso more than the original, mostly because it has my favorite Batsymobol with the rounded appearance and yellow background and backprinting.
This Batman seems to be a cross between three previous Batmen;
Tim Drake has recieved a new costume since 2008 and now sports a red/black/yellow colored one rather than a red/green/yellow one. I personally never cared for the green on the old one, it clashed with the red and yellow too much I thought. I liked the yellow cape more though I think, but black looks nice too. Robin now has Obi-Wan Kenobi's Clone Wars hairpiece in black. It looks okay, definitly a good idea and reminds me of the campy sixties Robin's hair (even though that was Dick Grayson). The black isn't as affective though as the original color, so I'm saying it looks better in burnt orange. The torso print is great, and I do prefer it to the original, but it isn't all that different, save for the backprinting inclusion. The face is great, I don't like the scowling experssion all that much, but the screaming/"Holy <insert relative word here>, Batman!" side is hilarious. I do have a problem with the torso, but I'm not complaining, here. You'll have to wait until my Funhouse arrives, because it goes along with The Riddler's new variation. There were technically two Robin variations before this, but the only difference between the two was the hair. I'm showing the original because I think that the hair used was meant to reflect the same style here.
Not much to say, really nothing special. The hairpiece is a nice inclusion and it is exclusive in this color to this set. The face is too similar to Superman's for my taste, the only difference being that this one doesn't have any wrinkles and isn't double-sided. The sand blue suit is exclusive. I would actually prefer and use the old figure's face because of the resemblence to Superman, but then it would be inconsitant with Batman because of the lack of cheekbones (which is why I almost prefer Batman's old face, no cheekbones to make him look like Superman). I guess I'll live with it.
I prefer most of the minifigures from this line to their Batman counterparts, except for probably Two-Face, but Bane I have mixed feelings about. I've never cared much for the character, he's just a smart luchador on super steroids, but maybe that's because I haven't found a depiction I particularly like. I prefer the new face to the old one, but it's less accurate to the depictions I've seen (not know, seen) where the old one is more accurate. I also like the dark blue luchador outfit of the old one, the analogous black isn't very good looking. One more thing I prefer about the old one; it doesn't have a huge belt taking up the waste. LEGO has redone the abdomen muscle designs on most minifigures so that they are too large and only two of the six are visible, which makes the belt look big. I can tolerate it on Batman and Riddler and Superman doesn't even have a probelm, but really, on Bane it is ridiculous and makes him look less muscular than I think he should be.
I do prefer the back of the minifigure though, the backpack and tube going up his head are nice. Bane isn't a bad figure in terms of detail though, and I'm still glad to have him. I feel he has great potential for a character, I only need to find a way which I feel expresses that well. I like this figure, I just feel that the old one is better, except for the back
I did save this one for last on purpose, I know she is probably one of the theme's most anticipated minifigures. She is great, the printed hair, the face with it's expressions, the leg printing, and torso too. The best part, none of it is chinese. I will reserve my thoughts on hybrid minifigures for when 6862 is review (sometime soon I hope) though. This is a huge improvement over the original, but I still think that there is room for improvement. That hairpiece in red is really bright, but it is tolerable. Like Bane, I have yet to find a depiction of Ivy that I like, but from what I understand, this minifigure works the way the character is supposed to-the happy side paired with the plant-motif leotard and stockings and red hair is attractive, while the angry side makes it kind of creepy (and reminds me of the Pirates of the Caribbean mermaids). I almost prefer the original torso, if it wasn't for that one stray leaf on her side which really bugs me, I would.
The minifigures are great and all, but I can't help but feel that only five is enough to justify such a large price tag. I would of liked at least one more, preferably Alfred, but I would of settled for Tim Drake. I would've traded Bruce for Alfred easily, as Bruce would be much easier to make than Alfred.
There are five bags included:
- The first one is for Batman, Bane, the batcycle, and the drill tank
- The second one is for Poison Ivy and her holding cell
- The third for the start of the elevator and Bruce Wayne
- The fourth to finish the elevator tower
- The fifth for Robin, the entryway, and the batcomputer
I have no idea why they split the figs up, my guess would be to try and foil resellers from selling all the bags but number one opened (for those that try to sell the figs and set seperatly). I enjoyed the build, and it went smoothly. I like to build the drill tank as I almost never get sets with gears and I always enjoy using them. The elevator was a little difficult at times because attaching those Technic rods is difficult, but not too bad, except for it made the supports collapse at times. While about halfway through the enrtryway build, the step where you add the large plates for the second floor, I pushed down on a piece besides the plates you needed to add to hard and a piece came off and gave me a fair scratch on my left thumb, so be careful. Other than my minor injury and applying the Technic beams, I enjoyed the build. The small and large parts made it interesting, as did the colorscheme-it's a great colorscheme.
The Completed Model
I just said that I loved the colorscheme, and I do. I think it works with both Batman variations we have. The trans. blue, grays, black, yellow, and dark blue all look pretty good together. When the first clear pictures surfaced, this set was criticized for being too bright. The only spot I'd call bright is the BAT GEAR wall, and only because of the yellow. I like the design of the set too, it seems to be a cross between the last LEGO Batcave and the campy sixties (I'm starting to sound like a broken record, aren't I?) Batcave, but a more modern version of it. And by modern, I mean high-tech, because that one was for the time (sadly, I can't find a picture of it). I remember that people were excited that this seemed to be an add-on to the original Batcave, I beg to differ. First of all, the colorscheme and style are different. This one is like a high-tech version of the sixties Batcave with a more colorful colorscheme which fits how the Super Heroes theme is more campy and colorful. The original Batcave used black and dark gray for the colorscheme and a more gothic look, which worked for the Batman theme. Plus, this one has mostly everything that the other one did (or needed rather), except for a turning platform for the Batmobile, except it has all been restyleized. So, I think that this set is different enough than the original, and I like it more than what I've seen of the old Batcave, but more on that in the summary.
Before I forget about the vehicles, this is my favorite of the three batcycles LEGO has done so far, but I'd like to add a few aspects from the funhouse one to this, but I prefer this one. The tank is hilarious and works well, the colors are weird though, it looks like it belongs to Robin more than Bane.
I do have a problem with the stickers though, even though I usually don't. Some of them make the set too specialized for the situation. Ivy's cell can only be for her with the stickers because of the floral designs and the scan with her picture, so you can't put Bane or anyone else in there with the stickers, so I simply didn't apply those. I also cut up the one for the batcomputer with Bane's picture because it read INTRUDER ALERT and had a small picture of a drill so that it wouldn't be so specialized, but wouldn't leave a monitor blank. Same thing with the ALERT! turrets, but those are just extra pieces as far as I care. The completed appearance is nice though, but I doubt it would be as nice without the stickers I did apply.
Great figures, great design, great colorscheme, and great playability. Great price too, and a good size for it. People have complained about it being smaller than the last Batcave. I don't know how many people noticed, but this one also costs fifty dollars less and has 400 less pieces. And really, the only thing worth missing is the vehicle turntable, the old Batcave had a huge cell and the batsignal inside of the Batcave (how does that make any sense) as well as large, empty spaces.
- Great colorscheme
- Minifigures included are great
- Vehicles are nice, but nothing too special
- Play features are nice-spinning drill and changing elevator (the elevator needs to loosen up though (it hadn't at the time of this writing, it has now))
- Nice pieces in rare colors
- Some of the stickers make it seem too specialized to the situation (they don't need to be applied though, and can be modified)
- Could use another figure
I'd recomend this, mostly for the figures, but I like the set too. It is pricey, but doesn't cost as much as the old Batcave. If you have the old Batcave and are happy with it, I'd say that you could skip this and BrickLink Ivy and Bane (unless you own the old Bane). But be warned, these minifigures are already selling for high prices. I've heard stories of Wonder Woman selling for more than twice the price of the set she is included in.
5 / 5
|Building Experience:|| |
4½ / 5
5 / 5
5 / 5
4½ / 5
|Value for Money:|| |
5 / 5
3661 Bank & Money Transfer | 3826 Build-A-Bob | 4428 City Advent Calendar 2012 | 4429 Helicopter Rescue | 4644 Marina | 4738 Hagrid's Hut | 4866 The Knight Bus | 6478 Fire Station | 7931 T-6 Jedi Shuttle | 6857 The Dynamic Duo Funhouse Escape | 6858 Catwoman Catcycle City Chase | 6860 The Batcave | 6862 Superman vs. Power Armour Lex | 6863 Batwing Battle Over Gotham City | 6864 Batmobile and the Two-Face Chase | 6866 Wolverine's Chopper Showdown | 6873 Spider-Man's Doc Ock Ambush | 8941 Rockoh T3 | 9464 The Vampyre Hearse | 30164 Lex Luthor
♦ indicates a Featured Review