Review: 76027 Black Manta Deep Sea Strike

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Black Manta Deep Sea Strike

Black Manta Deep Sea Strike

©2015 LEGO Group

This is the weakest DC set of the fantastic new wave by some distance. The minifigures are almost always what sell Super Heroes sets and a few new characters is usually enough to warrant the purchase. Unfortunately that is not the case for 76027 Black Manta Deep Sea Strike as although it contains a highly desirable Black Manta minifigure, this is simply not sufficiently impressive.

The fact that only a single new character is included is disappointing, but probably even more so is the price of £49.99 in the UK and $39.99 in the US. Those of us in the UK (and other countries) often point out the discrepancy in pricing between the US and the rest of the world, but few sets feel the difference quite so sharply. As the set contains 386-pieces even the US price is not particularly good value, but for the UK and overseas it is obviously substantially worse.

Anyway, let's discuss the merits of the set itself and put aside the price for the time being.

Box and Contents

The box is a little smaller than I had expected but features some nice artwork showing the heroes' attempts to free Robin from the clutches of Black Manta. On the back we see the features of the set and an action shot of the minifigures in battle.

76027 Black Manta Deep Sea Strike

There are four numbered bags inside along with three instruction manuals and a small sticker sheet. There is no need to include three manuals, but I suppose this would be beneficial if more than one person were building at the same time.

76027 Black Manta Deep Sea Strike

Minifigures

This set is all about Black Manta and as such I will start with him. This is a superb minifigure, closely resembling Black Manta as he appears in the comics and featuring a suitably intimidating helmet. The helmet is one piece, but it is fitted unusually as it comes in two halves linked only by the black tubing. You place the neck piece on and then fix that down by pushing the rest of the helmet over it. The result looks fantastic and although the shape and colours are simple, they look perfectly accurate to me. The torso is also fairly bland with some subtle grey detailing printed over muscle definition on the front and back, and his legs are plain black. There is no need for any more detail than this in my opinion as it is accurate to the comics and he comes armed with a pearl silver spear which matches his helmet nicely.

76027 Black Manta Deep Sea Strike

The next minifigure is Black Manta's arch nemesis: Aquaman. This figure is identical to that in 76000 Arctic Batman vs. Mr Freeze: Aquaman on Ice, which is a shame as I think one or two improvements could have been made. The hair piece is not ideal for the character in my opinion and I would have preferred a shorter style more like that seen in the comics. Personally I think a blonde version of Superman's hair piece would have worked better than this one. His head is printed with two expressions, one angry and the other fairly neutral. The scaly orange shirt worn by Aquaman is captured very nicely by the torso design on the front and back while his legs are plain green. Just like the minifigure released in 2013, Aquaman is equipped with the golden Trident of Neptune.

76027 Black Manta Deep Sea Strike

Although the focus of the DC sets so far this year seems to have shifted away from Batman, he nevertheless makes appearances in this set and 76026 Gorilla Grodd Goes Bananas along with one of his arsenal of vehicles. Batman has received a substantial redesign for this year which notably includes a brand new cowl. The ears have been shortened and the chinstrap is now printed on the head rather than being moulded into the cowl. I like this redesign as the old chinstrap was probably a little too bulky, although the original version was perfectly serviceable. The head is printed on one side with Bruce Wayne's face and on the other with some breathing apparatus. The same piece appeared last year in 76010 Batman: The Penguin Face Off where the hero was also at work underwater.

76027 Black Manta Deep Sea Strike

The soft cape is new this year and I love it. No longer is there any need to worry about creasing the fabric when the minifigure is sat down and the material hangs more realistically behind the figure. Batman's torso is printed with muscle detailing and a bat symbol on the front as well as a golden utility belt which continues onto the back. His legs are plain dark bluish grey which is a bit of a shame as some detail would have been nice, and he wields a batarang.

The fourth and final minifigure is a new variant of Robin, this time in scuba gear. The red helmet is the usual design and features the usual trans-light blue underwater goggles which can be hinged up to reveal his face. This features the same black eye mask as ever on one side but on the other is a new design featuring breathing apparatus much like that of Batman, while some yellow air tanks are present in place of his cape. The torso is printed on the front and back with more breathing equipment and the ever-present Robin insignia. The legs are red and he wears some black flippers, although he won't be getting much use from those it would seem as he comes with a pair of handcuffs and a chain for imprisoning the minifigure.

76027 Black Manta Deep Sea Strike

The Completed Model

Four models are included in this set, the first of which is a shark. This creature seems to have been recruited by Black Manta as the body section is cast in black for the first time while the head features a sticker with some electronics on it. Perhaps this is a robot shark, although since the comic book included has Aquaman turn the shark on its master by means of his super powers, it is presumably a normal shark, albeit one under the control of a supervillain bent on world domination. Two guns are fitted to the belly of the shark and there are some glow in the dark 1x1 round plates here too which is a nice detail.

76027 Black Manta Deep Sea Strike

A small portion of Atlantis is also included where Black Manta has imprisoned Robin. This is a very simple little model with four columns, one of which has collapsed, some undersea plants and a mount for the trident. Robin is hung upside down using a chain but can be released by knocking down the top section of the structure. I would like this feature much more if this could be done using a missile found in the set, but unfortunately only the super jumper has the required force behind it.

76027 Black Manta Deep Sea Strike

Speaking of the super jumper, one is included in this set. I am not keen on it at all and since it has been reported that placing minifigures in position on the piece can cause damage to them I am even less inclined to use them. I would not be at all surprised if this were a problem as it can be quite tough to wrench the figures in and out, and the legs appear to be under some stress when they are in place.

76027 Black Manta Deep Sea Strike

Black Manta has not kidnapped Robin without good reason and I suspect he intends to ambush the heroes when they arrive to rescue the Boy Wonder. He has a pretty substantial semi-circular submarine with him for this purpose and this is a great model in my opinion. As far as I am aware it is not based on any particular vehicle from the comics, but it borrows features from various sources and comes together nicely.

76027 Black Manta Deep Sea Strike

There is plenty of room for Black Manta in the cockpit and a sticker with an image of the sea floor forms a control panel for him. A couple of stud shooters are found at the front of the vehicle which launch missiles and there is a nice Black Manta insignia beside the orange canopy too. This canopy might be useful for MOCs themed around Ice Planet 2002, an ever popular subject. The submarine is generally suited to Black Manta and although it is not the most advanced model in terms of building techniques, its fulfills its purpose.

76027 Black Manta Deep Sea Strike

Batman's Batsub on the other hand is more impressive. This is a sleek vehicle with some lovely curved shapes running the length of the ship. A bubble canopy covers the driver's seat and there is a steering wheel in here as well as room to store the batarang, although this is loose and might move around if you are swooshing the model around. The pair of moveable flick fire missile pods on either side of the cockpit do not interfere significantly with the general shape of the submarine and add some extra playability, so I am happy to see them included.

76027 Black Manta Deep Sea Strike

At the rear is a detachable mini sub and a tall fin which brings the shape of the vehicle to a nice sharp tip. This is one of my favourite bat vehicles released so far simply because it looks so elegant. The only improvement that I would make is to add a spring loaded missile launcher to free Robin, which would fit quite nicely in the nose of the submarine I think.

76027 Black Manta Deep Sea Strike

Overall

This is not a bad set as a whole and the Black Manta minifigure is going to be a must have for many DC fans I am sure, but priced at £49.99 I don't recommend it. At a decent sale price of perhaps £34.99 or even less this is a good buy, although even then I would probably recommend other Super Heroes sets over this one.

76027 Black Manta Deep Sea Strike

I love the design of the Batsub, although the most interesting part of the set in my opinion is probably the very fact that it exists. Hopefully it is a sign of things to come that LEGO are willing to release sets based on Aquaman, a member of the Justice League who is perhaps not known to everyone unlike Superman or Batman. I look forward to seeing similar sets in future.

36 comments on this article

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By in Australia,

Yeah, this is one of the few DC sets that I'll be skipping, this year. Having said that ... the Black Manta minifig is a must-have, and that aside, I really like the Bat-sub. What most interests me is that there's a different fabric for Batman's cape? The stiffer-fabric that they've used in the past is a problem, so I've always taken Batman's cape off entirely before sitting him in any of his Bat-vehicles. But a different kind of a fabric will be a good change.

And oh poor Robin, always a hostage.

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By in United Kingdom,

If it weren't for the hideously inconsistent pricing on this set it wouldn't be so bad. Expecting those of us in the UK to pay out nearly twice as much as the US is just rediculous on TLG's part. Do they not realise that thanks to the internet this sort of info is widely available now and such a large discrepancy really ticks people off?

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By in Austria,

GentlyBenevolent - that was my first thought as well :D

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By in United Kingdom,

I'm used to seeing UK prices be the same in £ as the U.S. $ price and try not to moan about it but £50 for a $40 set with less than 400 pieces is just wrong. There is no need to put a variant Batman or Superman in every set either. This is the same nonsense as re-releasing old SW sets with an exclusive fig in them to get collectors to part with their cash. Why not pitch this without the bats and Robin figs and lower the price?

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By in United States,

A very nice review. Although I consider myself a Marvel fan, (X-Men and Alpha Flight to be specific) I particularly like the early Aquaman comics. I think this set captures the characters and vehicles very well, but I only wish that Aquaman and Green Lantern could get out from Batman's shadow. I would have liked to see Aqualad (Aquaman's sidekick) in place of Robin. But nothing's perfect… Still, a very nice set overall.

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By in United Kingdom,

£49.00 from a $39.99 is an absolute disgrace!

It's a not a bad looking set, but others like Ape Goes Banana's snd the Green Lantern sets are far better (and atleast you get your value for money).

Wouldn't buy this unless it had at least 25% discount and even then I'd orobs just buy other sets.

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By in United States,

What! Love this set...but I'm a little biased, Aquaman is my favorite DC character. Please, no hate comments back at me, lol. Getting Black Manta minifigure is a BIG deal and getting great vehicles, 4 figures and small Atlantis build is a very good deal at $40 USD.

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By in United States,

The Manta sub reminds me of Aquazone. I wonder if that's what they were going for?

Is there something wrong with the Shark's head? I see a line running down it.

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By in United Kingdom,

That price is ridiculous.
It is a £25 set, at the most. Even with a bad exchange rate it should be £30 RRP in the UK.
I can only think that TLG expect everyone to buy it in a 50% sale.

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By in United Kingdom,

It's par for the course for licensed sets these days, I'm afraid. Unless the 'Hollywood tax' is more outside of the USA which I doubt there is no excuse and LEGO is just fleecing us for all it can. It probably doesn't care whether it sells in Europe or not because enough will be sold in the USA to guarantee ROI.

You can always do what I do and vote with your wallet.

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By in Belgium,

Such a massive price difference is unforgiveable. Even in Belgium we are regularly asked to pay €10 more than customers in Germany, even though for many of the country the nearest German toy store is 5 mins away by car. I for one no longer patronise the official Lego store in Belgium. Their special offers are terrible compared to other official stores and the promotional polys always seem to have run out near the beginning of the promotional period.

I for one am voting with my wallet. I like Lego but not enough to debase myself for TLG's pleasure.

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By in United States,

One thing to remember about the price: You're absorbing the cost of those new Hero Jumpers. New parts aren't cheap, and I have a feeling a lot of effort went into those parts.

Now, this still doesn't explain the price gap between countries.

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By in United States,

Does Black Manta have a head under the helmet or is the helmet it?

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By in United Kingdom,

Same piece count as Batman VS Two Face from 9 years ago. That set was £24.99. Is that inflation?

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By in United Kingdom,

Not only is the price a rip-off but the splitting of the instructions into 3 parts makes it easier for scalpers on Ebay to dispose for the 3 parts to the set (the ruins, the batsub and Manta's sub) separately after they have sold on the minifigures at an exorbitant price. How convenient for them. The jumpers seems altogether ill-conceived as the figure is left stuck to it. The clones in 7748 (Corporate Alliance Tank Droid) managed to jump/fly without being stuck to the launch mechanism.

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By in Canada,

It's unfortunate the set is so costly in Europe. I think its $50 Canadian. I would wait for a sale. As my funds are limited this year, and I already have aqua man, I will pass...

However, and maybe I am in the minority, I really like the set itself. The bat sub, as noted, as a very sleek vehicle. The flicks are built in, not obtrusively on the sides sticking out like many vehicles. The sub looks NICE. Manta's sub is very sf, fun space. The trans neon red canopy is Awesome. It appeals to the nineties space fan in me. And I like the ruins, especially the ridged pillar pieces.

Last year, the batsets seemed to lack any truly inspired or sexy vehicle designs. The mark II batmobile, the plane, the copter, mini-sub... All decent but last year's batch REALLY was all about the minifigures. The steamroller and duck were cool, but... The bat mech and bat sub are both several steps above!

Shame about the price...

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By in United Kingdom,

@LegoAthos - There is no head underneath the helmet.

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By in United Kingdom,

I am glad to be visiting the US in February. Not only will I get the set for £30 it will have the justice league printed on the box.

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By in Lithuania,

I will go to you batman

from blac manta

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By in United States,

I wonder if this was meant to be $50 and 40 pounds and something got switched around like with Batman and Super Angry Kitty Attack?

Anyways, this set is a serious disappointment. Batman is a variant suit (new-style cowl) of a variant suit (scuba), Robin's helmet would look more at home in a Town set from 25 years ago, Aquaman is exactly the same as the on I already have, and why is Black Manta's helmet designed that way?!
The Batsub looks like a downgraded version of the 2008 Agents submarine and the ruins are just a pile of garbage. So the only thing here worth owning is Black Manta's sub and the laser shark. Everything else is an EPIC FAIL.

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By in United Kingdom,

My word! That price! I hope it just doesn't sell in the UK and Europe (or TLG make some statement about how they've found a way to give amazing value to the US when Batman's in the set). I know the US market is enough for the set to do well enough, but surely a Danish company should be concerned about losing its home market, and low sales across the entire UK should at least make them worry.
I know we moan about prices a lot, and I have loads of times on SW sets, but TLG really needs to realise how disgraceful it seems to have £ figure higher than $. This seems a lot more serious than what's normally behind the normal moaning to me.

Nice enough set, thanks for the really good review, but there's no way I can even think about buying it until it inevitably gets marked down in sales.

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By in Australia,

I have never compared prices from different countries before this review but changing the region on [email protected] shows NZ prices are similar to UK, NZD $99.99 = £51.65 vs £49.99 for UK region. The UK prices include VAT but the NZ prices does not so TLG are getting an extra 15% mark-up from NZ customers. We have to pay 15% GST and other fees at the boarder for imports of NZD $400 or more which is also the threshold for free shipping from [email protected]

Fortunately NZ Post have a system where goods can be shipped to an "address" in the host country. I have used UK before but maybe I should use USA instead. Free shipping to US starts at USD $75 = NZD $96. There is a onwards shipping cost for using NZ Post but these are also much cheaper then [email protected] shipping costs.

https://www.nzpost.co.nz/tools/youshop/shopping-with-your-youshop-address/using-your-youshop-address .

I am interested in comments from AFOL in other countries and have a discussion on the Brickset Forum:

http://www.bricksetforum.com/discussion/18106/is-tax-included-in-purchases-from-shop-lego-com#latest

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By in Canada,

This set ROCKS!! If pricing is the only thing keeping fans at bay, there are a lot of other sets to gripe about. At $50 in Canada, I found it to be a good value in terms of what you get: 4 minifigs, 2 vehicles, a play set, and a shark with glow in the dark missles! Of all the new DC sets, I ran to this one first. I really don't know why people are so biased against the super hero sets in general.

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By in United States,

Am I the only one that really wants this for the black shark? Also , please tell me somebody remembers 'the shark' from some of the early green lantern issues and some aqua man ones , who was also a black/grey shark that hated aqua man.
Manta's sub just screams 'aquazone stingrays' for me , although not in respect to the colors. May also be why I prefer this set to the gorilla grod one - I loved the stingrays' vehicles , although not as much as the aquasharks' shark styled subs.
The bat-sub is indeed a great bat vehicle , and may in my opinion be the best bat-vehicle this year (the brainiac set's ship and the javelin not whithstanding). Much better than the bat-clamp from the joker steamroller.
All in all , pretty good except THE PRICE... Holy crap , that's too expensive. 40$ for 350 parts? I'll be waiting for a sale myself.

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By in United States,

I'm skipping this set but man, that manta sub takes me back to mid-90s era Lego. Between the angular windscreen in a neon color and the large curved pieces defining the shape, I can't help but think of Aquasharks, Roboforce, and UFO. It's just a nice little nostalgia trip.

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By in Singapore,

yeah it's kinda expensive for a measly set. the only draw is that manta. I'm not going to blame Lego for this just yet cos I'm not sure whether the taxes associated with the importing of these toys differ from country to country. also need to consider is the economy of scale and cost of logistics and whether your country has a free trade agreement between countries, etc. all these are contributing factors to price differences. I know the United Kingdom has probably the most expensive legos with the VATs, etc. If that's the case, blame it on the free-willing politicians and free medical service and education. ^^ In Singapore, I'm getting this set for S$85. which is about US$71.

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By in United States,

Sales tax differs from state to state in the U.S. in new York it's % 8.75 but in jersey it's only % 3.25. Whenever I'm going to buy over $100 or more worth of LEGO I cross the bridge to New Jersey.

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By in United Kingdom,

Honestly after building this set myself, if you don't think about the absurd price difference from UK to America then it's a pretty good set and when you put it all together it does feel like a £50 set whereas ,even though I prefer the Gorilla Grodd set, that set does not.

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By in Hungary,

It looks like I've been living under a stone, but I didn't realize the new shark mold with 2x2 connection place on its belly.

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By in United States,

I bought this set a while ago and I like it. The Batsub is great, especially since Bats can fit in it with no cape damage, and Manta and his sub are both very unique and look great. I enjoy Scuba Robin, but Aquaman should have been a new version, and the temple was too similar to the LEGO Atlantis theme, but not as attractive.

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By in United States,

For £50, I would expect the Atlantis build to be much bigger than that current version. It's just pitiful.

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By in United Kingdom,

I think it has been priced in the UK simply so it can be sold at 33% off RRP and people think they are getting a bargain.

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By in United Kingdom,

The pricing for the UK is just bizarre, what were they thinking? I've gotten used to £ for $ prices (which are already unfair) but this is intolerable.

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By in United States,

I have this set and I love it. It makes me want to dig out the pieces from my Robin's Scuba Jet: Attack of the Penguin, and rebuild the penguin's sub. This set is worth the pricetag....in America.....Where I live. I think there is some conspiracy going on with how much the European Market is having to pay for LEGO sets.

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By in United Kingdom,

Available on spanish amazon for £40.06 delivered to UK, 20% off retail and technically the correct price this should have been originally. No way this set is worth the same as Joker's steamroller set, even £40 is pushing it.

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