Review: 76112 App-Controlled Batmobile

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View image at flickr

LEGO has recently released a new wave of motorised sets using the Bluetooth enabled Powered Up system.

The 76112 App Controlled Batmobile is the latest LEGO set to utilise the Powered Up format. The difference with this set is that it requires a smartphone app to control the model as it does not come with its own remote controller.

Read on as I review the App Controlled Batmobile and test out the new app controller.


The Box

The front of the box shows the Batmobile being controlled by a smartphone app. This set is recommended for young people aged eight years old or older.

The box is a high-quality, Ideas styled, box made out of black cardboard.

View image at flickr

The back of the box shows some of the play features of the Batmobile. It indicates that the minifigure is exclusive to this set.

View image at flickr

Instructions

The instructions come in one booklet.

View image at flickr


Parts

The parts come in three numbered bags.

View image at flickr

View image at flickr

he four tyres, Powered Up Hub (battery box) and the two motors are loose in the box.

View image at flickr

The Powered Up medium motors have been seen before under the Education theme - WeDo.


New or Rare Parts

The set comes with a small polybag containing bat parts that have not been seen before.

From left to right there are:

  • Two small bats
  • Four elongated bats
  • Two upright bats
  • Three medium bats
  • Two large bats

These parts are coloured Titanium Metallic.

View image at flickr

The small, medium and large bats can be attached to a stud underneath. The medium and large bat has a stud on the top.

Only the elongated, two medium and one large bats are used in this set; the rest are spare.View image at flickr

The set includes these rare parts:

View image at flickr

Printed Parts

You will be pleased to read that there are no stickers in this set. The set contains these three printed parts.

View image at flickr

View image at flickr

Batman Minifigure

The set has an exclusive Batman minifigure.

Batman's muscle-defined, armour plated torso is printed with his bat logo on his chest. The bat utility belt is also printed on. Batman's trousers and boots have been printed on a Titanium Metallic set of legs.

The Batman mask has only been seen in Titanium Metallic once before.

View image at flickr

Batman's back continues the print of the armour plating.View image at flickr

View image at flickr

Batman's head shows two expressions: on one side is his gruff, annoyed expression with his unshaven cheeks and sideburns.

View image at flickr

On the other side, Batman has gritted teeth.

View image at flickr

View image at flickr


The build

While I was building this model I reminisced about the stud-built Technic that started to disappear in the mid-1990s. The chassis is constructed around a rigid, studded Technic frame.

Bag 1 - the chassis

There is a variety of coloured tiles and bricks hidden inside the build.

The motorised system is similar in principle to the 42065 RC Tracked Racer: one Powered Up medium motor drives each side of the vehicle. The driving wheel is connected to its slave wheel through two 40-tooth gears and one 24-tooth gear. Using these gears, particularly the 40-tooth gears, gave me another flash-back to the very early Technic sets.

View image at flickr

Four black boat-studs ensure that, should the Batmobile run aground, it will easily skid off whatever it has touched.

View image at flickr

View image at flickr

Bag 2 - the cockpit and body

The build continues by assembling the cockpit and body of the Batmobile.

View image at flickr

The two printed computer consoles sit each side of the cockpit.View image at flickr

View image at flickr


The completed model

I am reminded of Batman's quote from The LEGO Movie, "I only work in black. And sometimes, very very dark grey."

The external detailing of the Batmobile is dominated by black bricks and plates.

The Batmobile has four forward-facing stud shooters.

View image at flickr

When viewed from above, the Bat emblem, made with angled plates, has been cleverly recreated and seen in the detailing around the cockpit.

The flat printed tile shield acts as the on-off button.

View image at flickr

When seen from the side, the Batmobile has a very compact wheel base. The black, angled armour plating gives it an intimidating look.

View image at flickr

View image at flickr

The rear door opens to reveal the electric cabling.

View image at flickr


Downloading the Powered Up App Controller

To enable your smartphone to operate the App Controlled Batmobile you will first need to go to the App Store (for iPads or iPhones) or Google Play Store for the android version and download the Powered Up app. (this hyperlink is for the Google Play Store)

You will then be given the option to either download the new City train controller app or the Batmobile app.

View image at flickr

Once downloaded and your smart phone Bluetooth connection is enabled you will be able to pair it with the Powered Up Hub. It will take you several minutes the first time you try to pair the devices and you can see the progress as a percentage.

The App Controller

The main page of the app controller gives you two choices: the red options and the blue options.

View image at flickr

The Red controller has two sliders that powers up the two motors. The battery icon with tick indicates that the controller is paired with the Powered Up Hub.

The three red hexagons have the following preformatted actions:

  • A quick reverse and a wheelie with the statement "Batman" in a gritty voice.
  • A 270° turn with a squealing tyres noise.
  • A quick reverse and turn with "b o o m" said in Batmen's resolute voice.

View image at flickr

The Blue Controller applies maximum power to either motor when the + or - is pressed.

The three blue hexagons have the following preformatted actions:

  • Electronic sounding gunfire is heard as the Batmobile recoils backwards.
  • A sharp wheelie with a "ka-boom" spoken.
  • The Batmobile rotates around as it scans for enemies.

View image at flickr

A Powered Up train controller (not included in the set) will also pair with the Hub and control the Batmobile but it won't have all the other options.


Overall opinion

I have had an enormous amount of fun using a smartphone to control this unique LEGO set.

I wonder whether a Powered Up remote controller should be included in a set like this but I am also aware that most young people (aged 8+) own a smartphone or tablet.

The Batmobile is a bit jumpy when it turns due to the sticky grip of the tyres. It would be interesting to see how this model would work with tracks similar to the 42065 RC Tracked Racer.

The Bluetooth connection dropped out a few times when testing this but it was a quick process to re-establish this. Overall, the app controller worked really well and having the options with sound effects added some extra fun.

View image at flickr

This is a neat, tidy build that is very solid and sturdy. The only items that are likely to fall off are the three Titanium Metallic Bat motifs on the sides and rear.

While it is great that Batman comes as an exclusive minifigure, he must be fully reclined to fit in the cockpit.

The LEGO Group has obviously invested considerable research and development into this new Powered Up system to go head-to-head with third party Bluetooth enabled remote controlled systems that are compatible with the LEGO System.

I am looking forward to seeing how the programming system can be expanded so that your own sounds and special effects can be added to the library of options on your Powered Up smartphone controller.

Value for money

The IR Tracked Racer retailed for £74.99 / $99.99 / 79.99€.

Admittedly of the Tracked Racer’s 370 parts, 157 are pin connectors and 74 are tracks pieces. There is very little in the way of body work on this fabulous set. It must be remembered that it does include an IR Remote and an IR Receiver though.

The App Controlled Batmobile retails for £89.99, $99.99 or 99,99 €.

At 231 parts, 140 less parts than the Tracked Racer, it retails at £15, $0 or 20 € more expensive.

The App Controlled Batmobile does include an exclusive minifigure but does not have a self-contained Powered Up remote control. It is also from a licensed theme.

In my opinion, the App Controlled Batmobile represents value for money and, interestingly, it is cheaper in New Zealand than most other countries. This is a pleasant change.


This set was provided for review by The LEGO Group but the review is an expression of my own opinions.

Thanks to Michael Howell for allowing me to use his fabulous Batman Cave MOC as a backdrop for the first and last images for this review.

The App Controlled Batmobile will be available from shop.LEGO.com on 1 August priced at £89.99, $99.99 or 99,99 €:

USA | Canada | UK | Germany | France

I'm often asked about antipodean prices - this set will be available from shop.LEGO.com on 1 August priced at NZD $169.99 and AUD $139.99:

NZ | Australia

48 comments on this article

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By in United States,

It looks like there are some issues with a few of the photos. "They are no longer available."

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By in Russian Federation,

A day will come when they redesign this ugly mask so that his face prints won't be ruined by these white bands

By the way, this minifigure totally reminds me of that costume he wears in Arkham Knight.

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By in United States,

Love this thing. The exclusive Batman figure is based off of the Arkham Knight video game and I assume the general shape of the Batmobile is based off the game too. But may I say “Holy Moc Batman!” Id love to see shots of that Batcave! Is there a Flickr page or somewhere we can all see it?

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By in Russian Federation,

I am really disappointing by this set. When i first read description i was like "OMG THIS IS A ARKHAM KNIGHT BATMOBILE WOAHH" and then i was see the picture and "come on Lego why u need app-controlled batmobile, it's just little cube on the wheels"
One thing is great about this set - the minifigure(but at least figure of Arkham Knight himself will be so much cool)

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By in New Zealand,

^ They are all Public. I will look at this shortly.

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By in Ireland,

The build looks like something from the 80s. It’s definitely going to give us older guys flashbacks. A severely ugly set.

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By in United States,

Looks pretty cool and I think my oldest son could add bits and pieces to it to make uniquely his own. The exclusive minifigure looks outstanding and is a nice bonus. I'll save up for this one. With it being able to be controlled via phone or tablet I see my oldest getting plenty of use out of this.

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By in United Kingdom,

All the images display for me.

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By in United Kingdom,

I don't know that I care much about the batmobile but I want that bluetooth controlled RC system for my own stuff!

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By in United States,

Missing a few pictures for me. Anyway, does anyone know if these new apps work on Kindle Fire HD tablets?

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By in United Kingdom,

Does it work with a Powered Up remote controller as well as a smartphone? Just wonder if that would solve the bluetooth issue? Will get this but probably modify it to look more like a batmobile as this looks like a generic rc tank with bat emblems stuck on it....

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By in United Kingdom,

That's one amazing Minifig!

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By in Portugal,

I love this Minifigure.

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By in Puerto Rico,

This Batmobile has the general shape of an APC, make the vehicle a bit longer and eureka. I am so wanting to see what other vehicles Lego makes out of this (AT-AT/AT-ACT).

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By in Jordan,

Well at least it's not $160 as initially reported... still a no from me though.

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By in United States,

It looks like a lot of fun to control but I absolutely can't justify the price. The 42065 Tracked Racer Technic set comes with two motors, a battery box, a receiver, a remote, and a similar number of pieces for the same price- I can see $70 worth of added value in stuffing all that into a pretty small model. This comes with the hub and two motors which, even taking into account that they're brand new and significantly more complex, do not seem to me to also be worth $70 all by themselves.

Also, it's hideous, which does not help the perceived value in any way, shape, or form.

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By in United States,

I think it looks pretty fun. I wish they'd offer a similar controller app for use with the Boost hub. Perhaps out of laziness but I'm currently using a third party app to use the boost hub like this (a remote control car).

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By in United Kingdom,

Want that Batman fig sooooo bad. One of the best LEGO has done.

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By in United States,

reminds me of a Big Trak...

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By in United States,

is the battery box unique to this set? or can any of the powered up battery boxes be interchanged and the application has different settings, like for trains vs the batmobile?

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By in New Zealand,

^ The new Powered Up Hub is seen in the new trains as well.

I've added some comments on value-for-money in the main article.

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By in Australia,

Thanks for a great review FlagsNZ. And thanks so much for including pricing for you guys, plus us over in Aussie.
This set intrigues me as a tech junkie and an AFOL. I'm not a DC Comics fan per se, but seem to have amassed LOTS of DC LEGO, so I'll be grabbing this even though it is seemingly expensive.
It'll just turn up in my next order. My poor wife has all but given up on my LEGO addiction. :)

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By in United States,

i've an older tablet so according to google play, the app isn't compatible with my device. that makes it a no-buy. thankfully the upcoming "powered up" passenger train has a dedicated controller!

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By in Canada,

Four pictures missing for me on both my android phone and apple ipad, but if I click on them I can see the, on flickr.

I'm very curious as to what other motors will come out for this new system. And while I know it will never happen, an equivalent to the older buggy motor would be swell!

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By in New Zealand,

^ Can you describe the four missing photos (when you see them on Flickr) as I'm intrigued to resolving this glitch.

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By in New Zealand,

^ Thanks for this information. Hopeful I have fixed those four images up.

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By in United States,

The price of this set is the real kicker for me. We know from things like The Manas, Mindstorms, and Boost that power functions do increase the price of set, but nowhere near as much as this! Plus the minifig isn't *that* exciting. A shame really.

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By in United States,

It looks like if a Batmobile and a Mega Core Magnetizer had a kid. I kind of like it, and love the minifig. I had written this set off as a gimmick but now I’m on the fence.

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By in United States,

I wish this and the trains had a Windows app. I know I can use a controller, but if sounds can be added...BOOST is on Windows!

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By in Spain,

I imagine the Powered Up hub slides out so you can change the batteries?
How does the button/shield stay in place?

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By in Germany,

Is this Lego exclusive or can we expect a better price from Amazon or Toys‘R‘Us?

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By in Germany,

So in essence, another extremely overpriced new set.
Wonder how LEGO thinks their 2018 sales figures will improve if they keep on releasing such stuff.

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By in United States,

@FlazNZ - the missing photos appear to be working for me now. Thanks!

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By in Poland,

Sorry but the price for this set is so bad. Why Lego is still using such big motors? RC/Blootooth controlled cars can at whole be small as 2x2 brick nowadays. And you can get one for like 1/5 of price of this ugly mess.

Lego really needs to start making better and more intuitive electric components.

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By in United States,

To answer my question from much further up, looking in Amazon's app store it appears that this app is not available for the Amazon Fire HD tablets. The Lego Boost, Minstorms Commander, and Mindstorms EV3 Programmer apps are there but not this. My 7 year old would love this but since he does not have his own phone and only has an Amazon kid's Fire HD tablet, this is a no purchase for me. If only it contained a stand along controller too, like the train...

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By in United Kingdom,

This must be the ugliest batmobile ever released. They could have done so much more with app controled vehicle.
It doesn't even look like a batmobile. Batman would be ashamed!

And the minifig looks ok but i stil don't understand why they just don't put the white eyes on the cowl instead of printing a white band on the forhead. That just looks weird.

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By in Germany,

@ChrisBricks81: without their mask, all Batmans become "Fitness studio/Gym Batman", what with their white head-/sweatband.
;-)

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By in Sweden,

Honestly, I think LEGO should've gone larger with this and made a Batmobile on the scale of the 2014 Tumbler (76023). I don't hate the way this one looks, but at the same time it feels like it's the bare minimum to cover up the power functions. Had they made a proper Batmobile, like maybe a large-scale 1989 Batmobile (or the Tumbler) with power functions, I'd imagine it would've sold like hotcakes.

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By in United Kingdom,

So when you pair the train controller, does it work as two forward/back buttons (i.e. not speed up and slow down as it does with a train motor)? That would suggest the hub is detecting the type of motor and changing how it controls it; you don't get to choose.

It also suggests it's not possible to simply switch this type of motor on and leave it running, so GBCs are stuffed.

Also, does the sound come out of the phone or the hub?

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By in France,

I feel a bit alone but... I like its overall design. As quoted in a comment makes me think of old Bigtrak toy which I had as a kid. Like this bulky tank looking like shape. Looks indestructible, being able to roll over any terrain and obstacles. And it must be quite fun to control with the phone or tablet. I won't talk about the price I find it way too expensive. Thanks for the review and nice pictures.

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By in United States,

It's almost as poorly overpriced as that James Bond car, but worse it's just a really ugly Batmobile Tank thing. It's just a mess in general.

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By in New Zealand,

I'll answer the following questions:

I imagine the Powered Up hub slides out so you can change the batteries?
How does the button/shield stay in place?

The Hub is held in place by some studs. The button/shied is attached to the top of the Hub.

So when you pair the train controller, does it work as two forward/back buttons (i.e. not speed up and slow down as it does with a train motor)?

The motors work at max speed when paired with the train controller.

Also, does the sound come out of the phone or the hub?

The sound comes out of the phone.

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By in United States,

I'm hoping, by the time that this, like most app-connected toys, goes on clearance, I can get the train controller by itself, either through Lego or Bricklink. I can't stand anything that works with a tablet--RC should have a dedicated controller, programming robots is OK with a tablet, but I prefer a PC.

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By in United States,

Weird question, but why did the font change at the tail end of the review? Good review, I was on the fence now I may give it a whirl.

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By in Netherlands,

I just want that printed power button tile.

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By in United States,

LEGO really knows how to get poeple to buy this thing intended for kids by sticking in an Arkham Batman.... :/

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By in United States,

Ugly as sin with lots of superfluous chassis parts, so will rebuild it like I did the RC Racer! But still, a neat concept and loads of fun.

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