Batman's Flying Fox seems certain to occupy a significant role in the upcoming Justice League movie, transporting the heroic team around the world as they attempt to defeat Steppenwolf and his army of vicious Parademons. 76087 Flying Fox: Batmobile Airlift Attack is accordingly the largest of the three sets based on the film.
Not only does the set include the enormous Flying Fox and an updated model of the Batmobile but also an impressive selection of six minifigures and even a brick-built incarnation of Steppenwolf himself. However, little information has been made available surrounding the capabilities of the Flying Fox and the price of £99.99 or $129.99 seems rather high so I am not entirely sure what to expect of this set.
The return of Superman will come as a shock to nobody but I was a little surprised to discover that the minifigure continues to sport the standard dark red and blue suit rather than the black attire he wears upon his resurrection in the comics. We will have to wait and see whether or not he returns in a black suit in the movie but the minifigure is identical to that which appeared in 76044 Clash of Heroes last year and looks great. I love the wavy hair piece and the double-sided head, featuring a smile on one side and red eyes to depict heat vision on the other, is perfect.
However, it is somewhat disappointing that the legs are not dual-moulded as they were in 76046 Heroes of Justice: Sky High Battle. Instead they are entirely dark blue to match the torso which is decorated with Superman's famous symbol, a few golden details and some muscle definition which continues onto the back, beneath a bright red cape. This is made from a soft fabric so will not become creased but it tends to bunch up around the neck which sometimes looks slightly awkward.
Batman has upgraded his suit since Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice so it now consists of segmented armour plating, a little like the Batsuit from the Batman: Arkham Knight video game. This tactical design includes some silver highlights on both sides of the torso and the front of the legs which I like very much, although the combination of dark bluish grey, black, metallic gold and metallic silver is perhaps excessive. Nevertheless, it is nice to see something different and the bat symbol on the centre of his chest is particularly visually striking.
While the torso and legs have been updated, Batman's cape and cowl remain the same. The short ears are a good match for the source material and the shiny silver eyes visible through the cowl are superb. Silver bands are printed on the head underneath and the fine stubble looks great in relation to Ben Affleck's portrayal of Bruce Wayne. This head also features two expressions which are slightly different to those found in 76086 Knightcrawler Tunnel Attack but the figure comes with his standard arsenal of a batarang and a grapnel launcher.
This version of Wonder Woman first appeared in 76046 Heroes of Justice: Sky High Battle and is truly excellent. The wavy hair piece is cast in dark brown and looks brilliant, as does her double-sided head which features a smile on one side and an angry expression on the other. A golden tiara is printed on both sides and matching metallic gold printing lines the top and bottom edges of her dark red bustier.
Promotional images suggest that Wonder Woman will be wearing a relatively dark costume in Justice League and in that respect the combination of dark red and dark blue is probably the best choice. Personally, I prefer the brighter minifigure found in 76075 Wonder Woman Warrior Battle but this design looks great too, featuring reddish brown straps across the torso and a pleated skirt which is printed on the front and sides of the legs.
Wonder Woman is armed with a pearl silver sword which appears to be a reasonable approximation for the weapon she wields in the movie. However, it is the shield that really stands out as this accessory features a bird symbol representing Wonder Woman's Amazonian origins and an attractive circular design runs along the edge.
Cyborg has undergone a considerable update since the character first appeared in 2015's 76028 Darkseid Invasion, reflecting his fresh design in the Justice League film. The helmet component remains the same but includes a new printed design, with a single red eye and a blue icon on the forehead. I like how the hair has been incorporated into this element and the head underneath includes a stern expression on one side and a smile on the other, both of which seem appropriate based on Cyborg's traditional personality.
Intricate printing covers the entirety of the torso and legs which are cast in pearl silver. I like the contrasting panels of pearl and metallic silver on Cyborg's chest and the glowing red streak along the sternum looks great. The most distinctive addition to the figure is a new arm component which incorporates a pearl silver stud shooter, although this is easily removable. The arm is impressively detailed but the gap between the arm and the body looks odd and Cyborg's arms are usually the same size so I am not sure why only one is represented by a new element in this set.
Small ball joints have allowed designers to create several brick-built figures in recent years, the latest of which is Steppenwolf. The quality of these figures has been mixed as organic characters such as Groot tend to look very blocky while those wearing armour plating are better suited to the style. This figure definitely falls into the latter category and looks pretty good on the whole. The head is brand new and includes some pleasing printed detail while the front of the torso is formed using a single piece decorated with ribbed armour.
The back of the figure is far less detailed while the arms and legs are simply constructed around those little ball joints. The smattering of red and white elements seems out of place to me but we have yet to see a clear image of Steppenwolf so I imagine his armour does feature a few colours other than black and grey in the movie, presumably depicted by these more brightly coloured elements.
Steppenwolf is armed with an enormous axe which can be held using a clip in the right hand and posing the figure as though he is fighting is very easy due to the use of ball joints. These are located at the knees, hips, shoulders and elbows while the head can rotate just like a standard minifigure head. The fingers are also articulated but have a fairly limited range of motion. I think there is still room for considerable improvement where brick-built figures like this one are concerned but Steppenwolf looks pretty good on the whole.
Steppenwolf is accompanied by a pair of Parademons. This set includes both the green and yellow variants, both of which are very highly detailed. I love the insectile exoskeleton which protects the creatures and their red goggles are delightfully disconcerting. Some speckles of green and dark blue contrast with the base colour on each figure, giving the impression of textured skin and armour.
Each figure sports a pair of wings made from a pliable plastic. These are printed with impressive detail and I particularly like the intricate veins running across the lower wings. They are attached to the back of the minifigures using trans-clear neck brackets and a 1x2 tile holds the wings in place quite securely.
Collecting all three sets yields a total of five Parademons which is quite satisfactory for a small army, although they fly in enormous swarms in the movie so you might wish to collect a few more for a full display. I appreciate the colour variation between the figures and the differing wings look superb too. The stud shooters are not ideal but these weapons appear to resemble those seen in the trailers so they do not bother me too much.
The Parademons have come to Earth in search of four Mother Boxes, powerful computers with a host of abilities and some degree of sentience. This dark red example features a unique printed design on the top and 1x2 bricks with grooves create some texture on the sides. Cyborg also represents a Mother Box which was fused with Victor Stone's body in order to save his life, as revealed in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice.
The Completed Model
The Flying Fox measures almost 35cm in length so its size surprised me, particularly in relation to its remarkably light weight. This is ideal for play as it is very easy to hold the model in one hand without fear of it dropping it but also means that certain areas of the vehicle lack detail. However, I think the Flying Fox looks brilliant when viewed from above, with a sleek and angular shape as well as a consistent colour scheme throughout.
Technic beams form the core of the fuselage so ensure that it remains sturdy, Unfortunately, these are partially visible near the front as black armour does not cover the areas on either side of the Batman symbol but the armour is otherwise fairly seamless, protecting all sides of the Flying Fox and slotting together very nicely. A couple of stickers represent mechanical detail on top and two air intakes, complete with splitters in the centre of each one, flank the entrance to the cargo bay.
These are decorated with a pair of Wayne Technology stickers which give an obvious indication of Batman's identity, although the other members of the Justice League who use this vehicle will already be aware of that. I think the balance between exposed studs and tiled surfaces is perfect, particularly on the wings where pentagonal tiles create a ribbed texture. The stubby wings will not appeal to everyone and it seems very unlikely that such a bulky vehicle could fly but I like the overall profile. Moreover, this design appears quite faithful to the source material based on what little we have seen of the Flying Fox in trailers so far.
Four large stabilisers are situated around the thrusters towards the rear of the craft and rows of angled vents line either side, presumably to expel excess heat from the engines. There are two stud shooters mounted in front of the cockpit but the cockpit itself is the most striking aspect of the model when it is viewed from the rear as its trans-red canopy really stands out against the black fuselage. This colour scheme emulates that of the Knightcrawler in 76086 Knightcrawler Tunnel Attack and it looks great.
The canopy is attached using only one stud so is easily removed but it will not become dislodged as 1x2 plates slot over the yellow 1x2 slopes shown in the image below. There is room to seat two minifigures inside and a couple of stickers form control consoles. The yellow interior seems excessively bright to me but this matches the rest of Batman's vehicles in the DC Extended Universe sets and I am glad of the consistency.
Black dominates the top and sides of the Flying Fox but turning it upside down reveals a jumble of grey, blue and yellow elements. These look awful but are really only visible from underneath as the anhedral wing configuration hides many of the light bluish grey parts as well as the spring loaded shooters slung beneath the wings. Technic pieces form the cargo area so it lacks detail but is very strong and this building technique reduces the weight of the entire model, allowing it to be flown around with ease.
I was hoping that official images of this set concealed an area for the minifigures underneath as the Justice League was seen standing at the top of the ramp in an early promotional image. Unfortunately, the space is entirely dedicated to the Batmobile and both ends of the cargo bay are left open so it looks very skeletal. Nevertheless, there are a couple of control panels showing Steppenwolf and Darkseid's omega symbol, as seen in Batman V Superman.
Without a rear wall or a ramp at the front it seems likely that the Batmobile will roll around inside the cargo bay, perhaps even falling out during flight. In fact, it remains completely stationery thanks to a pair of rubber elements hanging from the roof and the Technic pieces at the front and back ensure that it will not roll out unless the tiny wheel ramps are lowered. A folding ramp would undoubtedly have been preferable and I think a more detailed interior would have greatly improved the model but the current method of storing the Batmobile works perfectly and deploying the vehicle is very enjoyable.
The Batmobile has undergone some upgrades since Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice and the LEGO rendition is accordingly fairly similar to that found in 76045 Kryptonite Interception. The most notable difference is the addition of a large cannon to the right of the cockpit and the wheel covers at the rear have been removed so the model will fit inside the Flying Fox. The latter change is unfortunate as the wheels are armoured in the movie and it would have been nice to see some armour protecting the front wheels too.
This set presented a perfect opportunity to improve upon an already excellent model and it is disappointing that this has not been exploited to the fullest extent possible. However, I like the new black wheel hubs at the front and the dorsal cannon looks great, despite my aversion to such prominent guns on the Batmobile. Two stud shooters are placed between the front wheels and another is mounted on the roof of the cockpit but the Gatling guns situated in front of the driver are not present which is a shame.
A pair of new cockpit elements were introduced in 76045 Kryptonite Interception and one remains on the upgraded Batmobile. I love the sleek shaping of the shell and the trans-black windscreen looks superb, allowing you to see the driver but not interfering with the dark colour scheme as totally clear windows might. The other side of the cockpit is covered by the large cannon and there is room to place a minifigure inside.
The cannon section must be removed entirely but the other half of the canopy raises on a hinge, revealing a seat for Batman and some stickered control panels. However, perhaps most notable are the new 1x3 jumper plates, two of which secure the right of the cockpit canopy. These are sure to prove useful and I look forward to seeing where else they will appear as they are currently only available in this set.
The lack of armour around the rear wheels is disappointing but I still think the model looks pretty good from this angle. The fins at the rear of the Batmobile have been updated to include a few pentagonal tiles so they are smoother than those seen on the original model and the dark bluish grey elements between the wheels look splendid, giving the impression of mechanical detail and contrasting nicely with the bodywork.
76087 Flying Fox: Batmobile Airlift Attack has really surprised me. Images of the Justice League sets were revealed in June and I was not initially impressed but the Flying Fox is quite attractive when viewed from the sides or above and offers tremendous play value. It undoubtedly fits with Batman's established aesthetic in the DC Extended Universe and the sturdy Technic frame allows you to fly the model around with ease, with or without the Batmobile occupying the cargo area.
The comparatively low weight of the Flying Fox is important too as it can comfortably be picked up with one hand. However, this simultaneously works against the set as I think it feels somewhat insubstantial in relation to the price point of £99.99 or $129.99. I am also not entirely satisfied with the Steppenwolf figure, although without seeing clearer images of the finalised character design it is impossible to make a definitive assessment on that subject. This is certainly a set that I would recommend but the full price feels expensive to me so it would be worth waiting for a good discount.
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