Batman and MetalBeard were probably among the most impressive characters to emerge from The LEGO Movie so 70836 Battle-Ready Batman and MetalBeard should be a marvellous set. The new rendition of MetalBeard appears absolutely ridiculous which is fantastic and I love Batman's post-apocalyptic attire.
In addition, this minifigure is only available here and in 70840 Welcome to Apocalypseburg, although the version from the larger set includes a pair of decorated arms. Nevertheless, I am pleased that Batman and MetalBeard are found in a set which is relatively affordable, costing £17.99 in the UK or $19.99 in the US.
Please note that this review is spoiler free.
Many different Batman minifigures have been produced, wearing an impressive range of unique suits for every eventuality. However, this version appears particularly extravagant, featuring two tyres which protect the shoulders and a striking red bat emblem. This piece combines hard and rubbery plastics to create a remarkably detailed design and I love the metallic silver highlights on Batman's chest.
A tattered cape fits underneath the shoulder armour. This feels suitable for an apocalyptic environment and the facial expressions appear appropriately severe, corresponding with Batman's traditionally dour demeanour. Furthermore, he wears a yellow belt around his waist which looks wonderful and presents an attractive contrast against the otherwise dark colour scheme of this minifigure.
The arms are not decorated which is disappointing as the minifigure which appears in 70840 Welcome to Apocalypseburg does feature printed arms. The torso and legs, on the other hand, are very detailed. That is fortunate as Batman discards his shoulder armour for a period during the film. I particularly like the leather strap around his torso and the metallic silver buckles are marvellous. The hero carries two batarangs into battle.
Many ferocious post-apocalyptic characters reside in Apocalypseburg, including Maddox. This warrior features some dark red facial hair and a pearl dark grey shoulder armour element which was designed for The LEGO Movie 2. This piece is only otherwise available in 70840 Welcome to Apocalypseburg so I am delighted to find it in a smaller set too.
Furthermore, the torso is shared with Fuse from 70840 Welcome to Apocalypseburg. He wears reddish brown braces and Maddox includes a pearl dark grey leg, suggesting that he has suffered at the hands of the DUPLO invaders. The minifigure carries a pearl dark grey spear that is presumably for throwing from MetalBeard's crow's nest.
70830 Sweet Mayhem's Systar Starship can unleash some unusual weaponry, including Star missiles. This yellow character consists of a new star-shaped component and a 2x2 tile which is decorated with an endearing facial expression. It can therefore evoke sympathy from its targets before detonating, as demonstrated in trailers for the movie.
The Completed Model
MetalBeard is intended to resemble a crab and I do recognise some shared traits between the mighty pirate and his crustacean inspiration, although the design is somewhat abstract. He looks pretty good though, consisting primarily of reddish brown elements with golden highlights and incorporating some traditional piratical features, including a crow's nest, numerous swords and a treasure chest.
The formidable pirate lost his original body during an expedition against Lord Business at Octan Tower, narrowly escaping with his head, organs and iconic beard. His hat is ingeniously decorated with a skull and crossed wrenches while the plume is represented by a trans-neon orange flame. A couple of pearl gold exhausts are situated on either side of the head, capturing the industrial feeling which is central to each incarnation of MetalBeard.
A reddish brown treasure chest forms MetalBeard's torso and this can open, revealing a single bone and a sausage! Fortunately, the crow's nest is mounted on a ball joint so it can move aside when the chest opens and this is also useful for display as you can adjust the position of this elevated platform. MetalBeard has frequently demonstrated that he is a capable warrior without any limbs but he comes with two articulated hooks here, both of which are comically short but look superb.
Six more limbs are attached beneath the treasure chest and these are individually articulated so you can create some interesting poses. However, these hinges are not actually strong enough to support the weight of the whole figure, unless you are very careful, so a trans-clear stand would have been a useful addition. Of course, you can also spread the legs further apart, as exhibited below.
These limbs are excellent, suiting the mismatched materials and parts that were presumably available in Apocalypseburg when MetalBeard was constructing his new body. My favourite details are the pearl gold peg leg and the hopelessly tiny arm holding a sword, both of which combine traditional features of pirates with the absurd world of the LEGO movies.
Batman's arrogant personality was a focal aspect of The LEGO Batman Movie and returns with similar prominence in The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part. He is accordingly equipped with a unique throne which features a pair of enormous bat wings flanking the hero. This seat looks rather rudimentary and could probably have been improved, although I do like the decorative swords and its elevated position further reflect's Batman's character.
In fact, the Caped Crusader is so accustomed to receiving praise from those around him that a printed banner can emerge from behind him! This is activated by rotating a gear on the back of the model and works perfectly. In addition, there is space to stand a minifigure beneath the throne and two batarangs can be stored on clips there as well.
As its name indicates, the characters are undoubtedly the focus of 70836 Battle-Ready Batman and MetalBeard. In that respect, this is an outstanding set as the new Batman minifigure looks absolutely tremendous and MetalBeard is impressive too, although the original design from 70807 MetalBeard's Duel remains my personal favourite.
Batman's throne is less appealing which is unfortunate as I think this could have appeared spectacular in a larger set. Nevertheless, 70836 Battle-Ready Batman and MetalBeard offers a brilliant opportunity to add some fun characters to your collection and its price of £17.99 or $19.99 represents reasonable value so I would recommend this set, especially to those who are not intending to purchase 70840 Welcome to Apocalypseburg.
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