The transfer of mid-2000's 'Batman' product line to a sub theme of 'Super Heroes' was a fantastic decision, as this has opened up many more possibilities for how our caped crusader integrates into the DC Universe.
This being said of course, a Batwing and Joker helicopter has already been released in the past; 7782 was the first iteration of this very product. But being a huge fan of the 1989 smash hit 'Batman' (which starred Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson as the hero and Joker respectively), this was one product that I couldn't pass second time round. I should also point out that this is one of the few Lego Batman products to tie in closely with not just a particular movie, but also a scene from it, and that is makes the product equally special.
'Batwing Battle Over Gotham City', even without my bias for the movie itself, is simply a fantastic set that balances playability and authenticity well. In this respect, it is suitable both as a toy and as a model for display.
7782 vs 6863This 2012 offering of the Gotham City battle has attracted some criticism due to its downscaling, but in all honesty, it's not justified in any way. I can't understand it.
I may hazard a guess that many owners have not seen the 1989 Batman movie (which is understandable as it is not for children) that these crafts are inspired by, and if that is indeed the case, then I can appreciate some frustration. However, the new designs are far more faithful to their movie counterparts in terms of proportions.
Yes, the scale of the Batwing in this set doesn't quite match the epic nature of that which is seen in film, but designers have made the right choice by enhancing the playability over authenticity. If the Batwing was indeed 'to scale', it would be incredibly fragile, cumbersome and wouldn't integrate well with other Batman products. This is no different to how the Star Wars X-Wing Starfighter, though meeting similar proportions to its original designs, is quite a bit smaller than what we see in the movie.
I would also guess that any complaints arise from the "if it's smaller, then it must be worse!" syndrome. If one compares 7782 to the Batwing from the movie, then they will appreciate just how bad the model actually looks.
6863 is clearly superior.
Build and Play
The Batwing itself is a beautifully compact and intricate model, which is all the more amazing with the modest piece count. The back-wings have the ability to move up, though I personally don't think it looks very good in this mode (its inclusion is again there for playability). Batman can lay inside the cockpit, though if you're planning on having this model on display, leave him out as his cape will get creased. The lack of studs to keep in him place would seem unfortunate, but it's a tight fit anyway so he won't roll around.
Then we have the Joker's helicopter - a real gem which makes a change. I've never been a fan of Lego helicopters for the simple reason that they always look awkward, but in licensed themes such as Super Heroes, the designers can get away with some more wacky designs. This 'copter is amazingly faithful to the movie, and has some really details such as the rope ladder.
Both of these crafts are solid builds, the latter even more so. The only potential for damage with the Batwing are the two back wings on their hinges, but providing you move these up and down with moderate force, they're not going to break off at all. Anyone who does complain about 'flaws' such as this are too heavy handed, in my honest opinion.
The colours used for each model are absolutely excellent, with almost all of the components in the Batwing in black and yellow, while the Joker's 'copter includes purples, greens, reds and greys. Both make a stark contrast of one another, but equally look tremendous. They set each other off perfectly!
I don't know if I've missed something, but why have 'flick missiles' suddenly invades Super Heroes and Star Wars? If they added lots of value to the playability then I can understand this, but I fear the designers are at times going overboard. Not only is Joker's 'copter equipped with four and the Batwing two, but each craft also has a bomb! I'm guessing this product, they've been included to balance the odds of the battle during play, but the discreet bombs actually look great. The flick missiles meanwhile just look like... flick missiles.
As with most licensed products now, the first thing children and adults consider are the minifigures. The Lego Group has seemingly made a nod to this by displaying artwork of each included minifigure on the bottom of the packaging, though this only reiterates how unimportant models can be, sadly. In the case of 6863, both the minifigures and models make an equal impression, so I'm happy to have the whole product on display.
In this set, we get what I call 'Tim Burton' Batman, who sports an all black suit and cowl, muscle definition and a yellow logo and utility belt. Again, the colours are totally striking and it's great to have a minifigure of this memorable film character.
The Joker meanwhile is a bit less interesting, if only because he's almost identical every time he crops up. This isn't a bad thing necessarily as that's just his look, but the benefit of this set is that you're getting not just Batman, but arguably his best arch nemesis in one product. His green hair, garish teeth and bright purple and green costume is wonderful (if also pushing creepiness...) He also gets to hold a nice gun with a flag on the end, which is a reference to the moment in the bell tower when he shoots himself.
Joker's henchman is an absolute joy - his face is a sadistic clown with whitened skin and big lips. The clothing is basic, but on his back he sports a 'Joker' graphic which is fantastic and so unusual.
Both the Joker and Batman have double-sided faces.
At £35, this yet another licensed product that aims to test our wallets more than anything. With only 278 pieces and 3 minifigures, a £25-£30 price bracket is certainly more reasonable, and in-line with what you would expect from TLG's in-house product lines. At the current RRP, I would definitely expect either one more minifigure (perhaps another henchman?) or a microbuild to compliment the two crafts.
Pricing aside, I can't recommend the product highly enough. I have no doubt that film fans will appreciate the nature of this set more than children, for the movie is purposefully dark; the Joker being a sadist. This is another reason why I'm glad The Lego Group have designed Super Heroes as one product line, because they are able to reference elements of these movies whilst also making them safe for children. That's incredibly important, as both Tim Burton and Christopher Nolan's Batman movies can be violent affairs.
But even without the backstory, this is still a lovely build that has been designed for maximum playability and no strict narrative. Both crafts make excellent 'swooshers', and are equally balanced as a hero/villain by containing weapons and figures.
3 out of 4 people thought this review was helpful.
LOVE IT! the overall design of both the helecopter and the batwing is much better than the original and the figures are sensational.
and the joker gas bomb.
batman has issues sitting properlly.
joker:love this verison! much better than the original and the double sided face adds a nice touch of evil to him.
batman:same as the originals.
goon:much better than the original,love how he has clown make-up and a green jacket with jokers face on the back unlike the original wich just had a purple shirt.
the helecopter is improved over the original and joker looks awesome hanging off the ladder.
the batwing is pretty good,dont like batmans sitting issue but i'll get over it.
i got this set for $39.98 at walmart and it well worth the money so i recomend this set highly
This review has been rated unhelpful.
Just built this set and I'm off to do the review right away. I was happy to aquire this set at a local store without the mark up other store's do, and earlier that I have actually expected. The price is not actually bad for the set, more for the lego fans in that case.
When I opened the box, saw the big comics inside. I did thought that it's a new comic, but to find out its the same comic that was with 6862 set which was alright, still no backing board to keep the instruction or the comics straight. Minifigures are awesome, ofcourse... Batman (does look like the Batman Minifigure in set 7781 with an improved utility belt) and Joker i would say is a big improvement, torso print looks amazing, hair piece is better and face looks more devious. I love both main character, but what did surprized me was the hench man minifigure, well more than Jokers previous hench men by all account. The lime green torso with the print makes this hench man cool, the face print does make this minifig stands out as jokers hench man. This set has only 8 big stickers which is alright by me, though it would be better if they were prints.
I'm just questioning how come they did the same pairing with the DC universe set like the Batman set. I mean Batwing vs. Joker Chopper, Batmobile vs. Two Face Bank Armor Truck. They could have did the Batwing vs. Two Face, etc... then again who am i to complain. Both the Batwing on this set and the Chopper is a fantastic build, ofcourse they are both smaller compared to the 7782 set as brick pieces is just half of the other set. I do think the Joker Chopper looks better, much stealthier than the previous chopper, but the hidden rockets on 7782 is much better. One thing I also love about this set it is the megaton bomb thats is in front of the Chopper, I do love that it has the Joker face. Batwing also is half the size of 7782, same gimick on how the other wing flips up to reveal rockets. This set would have been more awesome if it has even a simple Batwing stand, but then it is awesome as it is. Im sure nobody can argue that the releasable mini Batwing or tracker is a winner, simply built but masterfully designed. Playability is fantastic on this set, specially for kids. Must have specially for the holidays for gifts and adult collectors.
5 out of 5 people thought this review was helpful.
Set #6863 Batwing Battle Over Gotham City: Back in 2006 when LEGO Batman was first released there were many great sets, unfortunately I couldn't afford many of them and so they vanished rapidly from store shelves preventing me from knowing the joy that is LEGO Batman.
Fast Forward to today and we find the new DC Super Heroes line re-visiting many of those exact same builds and model designs for 2012, with very few changes honestly. Perhaps the builds were different, some might call them smaller than their pre-decessors. Bur are they worth pursuing if you already own the 2006 LEGO Batman sets? Read on and find out.
The LEGO DC Super Heroes sub-theme features a much more colorful box design than the older LEGO Batman Theme. For starters these ones are a lot lighter in colour compared to the darker designs of the 2006 Theme. All of them incorporate the blue color of Batman's cape, they show off the sets and their action features and include a picture of the Mini-Figures with their names in the right hand corner.
Overall I much prefer this design over the older Batman one, the lighter colouring means that you won't have trouble spotting them on the shelf from a distance. They also look ten times more impressive when standing next to the rich red colouring of the Marvel Super Heroes boxes, both complimenting and easily distinguishing which comic book heroes you'll find in any one set.
The one flaw in this box design is how the instructions are packaged, not only is there no cardboard protection, meaning you run the risk of having creased or mangled instructions. But the included comic and sticker sheet are also in danger of being damaged. (My Daily Bugle Showdown still has creased stickers that like to peel up slightly at the edges because of this practice.) It might cost more, but is it that hard to include some kind of protection for the instruction manuals and the stickers? (The comics aren't much to worry about, they're just little throwaway recyclable things honestly.)
This set has a lot of nice looking parts a load of useful black and green pieces between the two models, the biggest part I could see being useful for MOCing though is the white line with studs used for the rope ladder, there are two in the set, one as an extra in case of loss. The purple pieces are a nice touch though and could come in handy also.
This set features the black suited version of Batman, he's the exact same one from the Polybag I reviewed a while back. This time he gets batarangs plus the cape and cowl, I love the detail in his print just as much as I did before and this time the Theme of the set itself matches with the costume choice. (Being a Tim Burton-like re-enactment of the 1989 Batman climactic scene.)
The Joker's Henchman is a real treat to finally own, his classic looking printed jacket and the frowning clown face makeup look ideally suited for a thug working for the Joker. Like he just stepped out of the games. His main accessory is the helicopter's arsenal so he doesn't get to carry anything, but his black beanie is pretty spiffy.
Now we come to the Joker himself, and as I managed to pick up a loose 2006 version I can compare these two, unlike the rest of the set. While both of them have very similar patterns the subtle changes and enhancements made to the Mini-Fig since 2006 really make him stand out better in my opinon. The bowtie looks neater and cripser, the joke flower in his lapel stands out more and is larger, the checkerboard pattern on his inner coat is a vast improvement from the plain orange of the original and this new version has a double-sided torso.
That plus he has a double-sided head print which makes him look more menacing, his hairpiece looks a lot less Wolverine and a bit more suitable for The Joker and the fact that the new version includes white hands (to simulate the white gloved appearance he's had ocasionally in other media) makes him a keeper in my books. I will admit though the 2006 version has one thing better, his accessory was a bit better suited as it featured a classic gag flag gun with the word bang on it. This version has a genric looking red flag attached to the machine gun piece, not the best.
Using 3 numbered bags you build up the Batwing and the Joker's Copter, bag one starts you off with the front of the Batwing while bag #2 builds the rear assembly which is then combined together.
Bag 3 is all for the helicopter. I found this build to be pretty fast and fun, there wasn't really any part I felt would prove troubling to younger builders. The fact that these 2012 LEGO Super Heroes instructions aren't all black making it hard to see what's on each page helps immessurably. (No matter how many times I rebuild my Killer Croc set I still miss a step or two during the build because of the poor design choice.)
The completed model
Ok so this Batwing is a lot smaller compared to the 2006 version, is this a bad thing? I don't think so, being smaller the design is much easier to grasp for smaller hands. It isn't prone to potential fall apart syndrome while being played with, and the design is much more evocative of the original 1989 Batwing from Tim Burton's first film.
It still uses a lot of stickers for the detail work, the bat symbols and such, and it still includes flick-fire missiles as part of the play feature. I don't mind it too much because the missiles are securely hidden from view, the fact that the wings can split in order to fire them is really similar to the original design's play features, however the smaller size means that this doesn't cause problems when playing with it.
You can also drop a batbomb, cleverly built using Castle Axeheads attached to a lightsaber bar in grey and a few extra bits to show how dangerous it is.
All in all I'd say the Batwing is perfect, except of course that Batman's cape will bend and crease over time the longer you keep him in the cockpit during display.
The Joker's Helicopter is a big improvement over the original, I remember the commercials in 2006 showing the fun play feature of blasting the large spotlight and causing the ladder to tumble from the copter, sending the Joker to his doom. I really didn't think that play feature worked all that well, I mean what's to stop it from dislodging at the slightest touch of your finger while playing with it? (Not owning the set I can't be sure, but it seems to me that would be one of the cons of the play feature.)
This version is a much better looking design, it also has a few stickers for detail, huge Joker faces on the missile launcher assembly area. It also has four flick-fire missiles to shoot at Batman's vehicle, plus the huge jumbo Joker bomb full no doubt of his patented laughing gas. It has a printed piece with the eyes of the Joker on the bomb making it look even more menacing, especially once its all built up with the ominous orange stud nose.
Much like the Helicopter from Wolverine's Chopper Showdown I'm impressed with the design of this thing, it's fun to play with and fly around the room for the kids (or kids at heart) and it works slightly better in the look of it compared to the original. Now I do believe it is also smaller than the 2006 version, just by going off of pictures alone, but again this isn't entirely a bad thing as it makes it much more durable for younger builders' hands.
Overall, while this set might suffer a little from sameness due to the exact same designs being used before I find this 2012 version a much better looking bargain than the older models. (And infinitely cheaper to collect compared to the old 2006 Batman sets which cost a lot these days.)
The entire set just looks a lot more play friendly in my opinion, the old version makes a better overall display piece, as it did include a stand you could park your Batwing on, but it just doesn't look as fun to play with and have adventures in your room of choice.
The much improved detail work and use of new hair pieces for the Joker Mini-Fig really sets it above the pre-decessor. My only real complaint is changing the gag gun into something a bit more generic, what was wrong with keeping that Bang flag?
As this set has been discontinued not only do I strongly recommend picking it up if you haven't done so already, but I also recommend it as a good investment set, in another few years time the next generation of LEGO builders are going to want to play with DC Super Heroes and who knows if another re-imagining of this one will be as fun to play with or include good play features?
So recommended and don't let it pass you by. Especially if you're a fan of the Tim Burton films, this set is a lot more faithful representation in my opinion, the longer wingspan of the 2006 Batwing just doesn't match my recollection of the design from the original film, plus it doesn't have the right profile when held up to a light to make the bat symbol.
1 out of 1 person thought this review was helpful.
I just got the new batwing from the lego shop and i must say it is pretty good for a $35 set. It is a smaller version of the batwing and joker copter released in 2006, i dont have that set, so i cant compare this one to that one. Even though this one is much smaller it does have some cool features like a ladder joker can hang from,a shooting laughing gas bomb, and the batwing's wings can go up and down. You also get 3 minifigs, 3 great minifigs, Batman (in black suit), the joker and one of joker's henchman. Now for the pros and cons.
- Great minifigs,the joker is the best.
- Good sized vehicles.
- Cool play features.
- Good price point.
- A few stickers.
- Not much room for batman in the batwing, and if you put him in with his cape on it creases it.
- Lots of flick fire missles ( they are lame and it is getting old seeing them in every set)
Overall this set is pretty good and is one you should pick up.
1 out of 1 person thought this review was helpful.