The DC and Marvel Super Heroes ranges often receive a great deal of criticism as a result of their tendency to offer excellent minifigures but poor models. However, the three Marvel Super Heroes sets released so far this summer have broken this trend as the standard of the models has improved enormously and I therefore reserved hopes that the DC selection would be similarly impressive.
76055 Batman: Killer Croc Sewer Smash is the largest of the three sets in this wave and is most notable for including the monstrous Waylon Jones, who appears as a bigfig for the first time. I have been waiting for years to see Killer Croc in this form and the presence of some other splendid minifigures, including Red Hood, as well as a reimagined version of the Bat-Tank leaves me with high expectations for the quality of this set.
This is the fourth appearance of Batman in this guise and it is easy to see why it has not been immediately updated given the quality of the printing on the front and back of the torso. It would have been wonderful to see dual-moulded legs on this figure as they were in 76035 Jokerland last year but plain dark bluish grey looks great too.
Beneath Batman's cowl is a double-sided face, with a serious grimace on one side and an angry expression on the other. The cape is made from the relatively new spongey material and Batman is equipped with two pearl silver Batarangs, one of which is a spare.
Katana is one of three characters included in this set who will also be making an appearance in the Suicide Squad movie later this year. The themes in the film are not entirely appropriate for official products but it is pleasing to see that LEGO have been able to produce comic versions of several characters in this set as well as Deadshot and Harley Quinn in 76053 Gotham City Cycle Chase.
Her hair is ideal for the character and the head is printed nicely on both sides with differing expressions. The torso is covered with dark bluish grey armour on the front and back while the legs are dual moulded with red boots. The contrast between this bright colour and the dull colours of her torso and head looks rather stark but is faithful to the source material. It might have looked even better in dark red though.
As in the comics, Katana's right arm is covered with silver armour and she wears a red glove. This assymetrical design is brilliant and the printing is fairly intricate too so I hope to see more arm printing on future minifigures. It is perhaps surprising that Batman has never had decorated arms given that his lightly armoured suit is so well known. Katana is armed, unsurprisingly, with a pearl silver katana!
Red Hood is one of the most interesting supporting characters in any Batman material and I am therefore delighted by his first appearance in a set here. The dark tan jacket printed over some body armour on his torso looks fantastic and the Red Hood symbol adorns his chest which is accurate to the comics. Some folds in the fabric of the jacket are printed on the back along with some details of his mask on the reverse of the head.
The mask itself may not be to everyone's taste as the printed design is arguably not as impressive as a separate helmet would be, particularly given that removing the mask to reveal the true identity of the character is integral to Red Hood's most famous story arc. On the other hand, the printing looks great to me and the mask is very close fitting in most versions of the character so I think this design works quite nicely. Red Hood is armed with a pair of hand guns so clearly he is not taking any prisoners, although one has to wonder what good they would do against Killer Croc!
Captain Boomerang is a slightly easier target but is equipped with a pair of brand new boomerang elements, shown below, so has the potential to be a dangerous foe. Like Katana, this character will soon be appearing in Suicide Squad but he has already made appearances in The Flash and Arrow television series, so might be the biggest draw to this set for fans of either show.
This minifigure does not disappoint. His hat is adorned with a boomerang symbol while the head is re-used appropriately after being included for General Hux in 75104 Kylo Ren's Command Shuttle last year. The ginger sideburns are present and his surly expression is suitable for the character but a grin on the other side of the head would have been lovely to see. Unfortunately he does not have an alternate face at all.
Several more boomerangs are strapped to the chest of the minifigure, beneath a black trench coat which is printed on the torso and legs. The detail of the scarf is impressive and I appreciate the blue shirt which matches his hat very nicely. There have been few Super Heroes sets which include such an impressive selection of minifigures and any one of the last three could justify the purchase of this set for some but the fifth and final character might prove to be the most popular of all.
Killer Croc has not been seen in a LEGO set since 2006 and this bigfig version is very different to the original. The size is obviously the most significant alteration which is interesting as a standard minifigure would be more akin to Killer Croc as he will appear in Suicide Squad. However, I like the bigfig as it reminds me of the character as he is seen in the Arkham video games.
Croc's head is the only aspect of this figure which I would question. The bigfig seen in LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham has some shaping on the head and I think that looks far better than this simple curved surface. The printing is splendid nonetheless and the teeth look very scary, as one would expect!
The figure is also decorated on the torso and legs as Croc wears a pair of torn blue shorts. His tan chest contrasts with the olive green scales of the rest of the figure and I like the seemingly random scratches on the surface which look very authentic. The ridges on Killer Croc's back are also a nice detail, although they make me wish that a similar form of moulded texture could have been used on the front of the head. As is usual for a bigfig, the shoulders and wrists can be rotated but the head and legs are fixed in place.
The Completed Model
Red Hood is equipped with a red motorcycle and this is the first time that the new fairing has appeared in this colour without black printing for the windscreen. It looks great and is decorated with stickers on both sides so is clearly recognisable as belonging to the character.
Killer Croc's Chomper is a mess. It looks awful on the packaging but I had assumed that there would be some hidden features which would justify the aesthetic choices. Unfortunately that is not the case as the only major function has been implimented very poorly and the most unsightly aspects of the model are totally unjustified. A little more care in the design and a few extra pieces would have allowed the Chomper to match some of the impressive Crocodile tribe vehicles from Legends of Chima but instead this has to count among the worst models I have ever experienced in an official set.
I like the pearl silver ammunition belt which is used to create the curve of the lower jaw and the teeth inside look splendid but there is no floor and this reduces the play value of the snapping jaws as you cannot simulate a minifigure being consumed. Instead a figure which passes through the jaws will be left behind on the floor as the Chomper rumbles over the top.
The actual chomping function does not work very well either. The upper jaw is intended to open and close as the vehicle moves but the mechanism only actually allows the jaw to move by a couple of centimetres and the Technic elements used are completely exposed when the mouth is open. The image below shows the jaw fully open under the power of the mechanism alone, just to give you an idea of how little of moves. You can open it much further manually but that should not be necessary and is merely testament to the poor design of this play feature.
I am equally disappointed by the texturing on the top which does not look nearly as good as the many crocodilian models seen in the Legends of Chima range. The eyes are particularly disappointing as a pair of trans-yellow 1x1 slopes have been placed on top and they look awful due to their awkward positioning and strange colour.
The jaws of the vehicle look sloppy but Captain Boomerang's tower is by far the weakest aspect of the entire set. It is bolted to the side of the model using some Technic pins and no attempt has been made to conceal the jarring shift between the dark green and blue colour schemes. Captain Boomerang himself can stand on the top and boomerangs can be launched from the front using a Technic plunger, a function which works well but does not make up for the poor finishing of this lookout tower.
Killer Croc can stand in place behind a control console. I think he looks awkward when standing here but it is difficult to properly secure a Bigfig and I appreciate the attempt. The console sticker is nice as it looks suitably ramshackle and you can see Batman displayed on a screen in the centre.
The model gets no better as one moves to the rear given that the tail looks as unfinished as the rest of the model. It can swish from side to side quite effectively but the yellow bushes which secure the pins are distracting and I am not keen on the dark bluish grey elements used on top either. There is no lever to move the tail either which seems like a missed opportunity for a potentially entertaining play feature. Instead the tail must be adjusted manually.
Thankfully, the Bat-Tank is vastly superior to Killer Croc's Chomper. The black and yellow colours are nicely balanced when viewed from the front and sides of the vehicle and I like the unusual shape too. Armour plating is integral to any tank and it looks excellent here as a combination of curved and flat slopes are used to good effect.
The front of the tank is heavily armed with a manually operated six stud shooter, presumably loaded with stun rounds of some sort. The tank treads are mounted on axles so will tilt back and forth to account for rough terrain which is fun and each one is covered with thick armour which looks marvellous, as do the pearl silver bolts and lights.
The four separate tank treads are reminiscent of 7706 Mobile Defense Tank but their arrangement and the large open area between them is unique to this set. The elevation of the tank's bodywork is excellent as it allows the vehicle to traverse uneven terrain with ease. A Technic liftarm is visible on either side which is slightly irritating but this is only an issue when the model is viewed from a low angle. Bright red and yellow pieces can be seen behind the armour covering each tread. Some darker colours which would be more in keeping with the rest of the model would have been ideal, particularly in the case of the red gear wheel, but this is hardly noticeable when the Bat-Tank is on display.
The view from above is much more appealing as black armour covers almost every surface, presenting a formidable barrier against attacks. The air intake towards the front looks undersized in relation with the probable enormity of the engine but this speck of dark bluish grey serves to break up the silhouette of the model very effectively. The cockpit looks great too and has only a narrow windscreen to maximise the protection of the armour while it is accessible by opening the round hatch on top. This 6x6 dish is new in black and has the potential to be very useful so I expect this recolour will prove popular.
The interior of the cockpit is quite luxurious. It features red upholstery and Batman can be seated comfortably on two studs. The console makes use of a sticker and shows Killer Croc as well as some graphs and data about the enemy. It bothers me a little that the hatch does not close flush with the windscreen as the hinge at the back is raised by the thickness of a plate but this is hardly noticeable.
A pair of black fins are attached on click hinges towards the back of the tank. These fit perfectly with the shaping of the bodywork and provide a smooth flourish to match Batman's other vehicles.
The least impressive section of the Bat-Tank is visible from the rear. There are many more yellow pieces in this area than on the rest of the model and the red gear does not suit the dark colour scheme of Batman's vehicles. This mechanism is used to activate the primary function of the model but there are also two bombs which can be removed by hand and left behind the tank to discourage pursuers.
The gears are unsightly but necessary. Turning the thruster will deploy a battering ram at the front, shown below, drawing the forward treads in towards the rear. There is some minor backlash but it works fairly smoothly considering the weight of the ram at the front. Given that rotating the thruster clockwise will deploy the ram, I had assumed that doing the opposite would retract it. Unfortunately this is not the case and it must be returned to its starting position manually.
With the ram deployed I think the model looks splendid from the front. The Bat shape is present and the mounting is sufficiently sturdy that you can put some weight on the front when smashing through a wall of bricks so it is fun to play with.
Unfortunately the battering ram removes much of the armour from the centre of the vehicle to expose a couple of large yellow plates. This is frustrating as some simple engine greebling would have resolved this with ease and provided some attractive detailing. You can impliment this correction yourself, of course, but it would have been nice to see it included from the start.
Many aspects of this set are very impressive but the appalling design of Killer Croc's Chomper detracts from my enjoyment of the set as a whole. It looks totally unfinished and the play value is also fairly low as the functions do not work as well as expected. However, the Bat-Tank and minifigures are splendid, with a great selection of new characters as well as a fairly detailed model which fits perfectly with the aesthetic of previous Batman vehicles.
The price point of £69.99 or $79.99 seems reasonable in relation to the volume of the items included and the figures alone offer considerable potential for play so in that regard I think this is a good purchase. Ultimately, your enjoyment of the set will relate to your connection, or lack thereof, with the figures included. If Killer Croc and Red Hood are among your favourite DC characters, as they are for me, then this is a worthy purchase. If not, perhaps 76054 Batman: Scarecrow Harvest of Fear would be a better acquisition.
This set was provided for review by Norton & Co. but the review is an expression of my own opinions.
JANGBRiCKS' video review