Review: 76118 Mr. Freeze Batcycle Battle

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Batman's multitudinous enemies are frequently redesigned within comics, movies and television series. The same principle applies to minifigures and Mr. Freeze is an archetypal example, having appeared in numerous forms since the Batman theme commenced during 2006.

76118 Mr. Freeze Batcycle Battle contains a new rendition of this villainous cryogenicist beside Batman and Robin. Furthermore, the famous Batcycle has been updated quite substantially, featuring two motorcycles which combine to create an interesting four-wheeled vehicle with twin cockpits!

Minifigures

Numerous versions of Batman have been released and this example wears predominantly dark bluish grey attire, along with a black cape and cowl. The torso appears simple when compared with previous minifigures, although I like the metallic gold border around the bat emblem and Batman looks suitably muscular. Unfortunately, his double-sided head seems washed out, albeit not to the extent of Mercy's face from 75975 Watchpoint: Gibraltar.

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Robin has been updated as well. This minifigure most closely resembles Damian Wayne, featuring a wonderful yellow cape with a corresponding belt. The black arms and legs look marvellous in contrast with this colourful torso, although I believe medium articulated legs would have been more appropriate here. Robin wields a pearl silver katana while Batman is equipped with a batarang and a stud-shooting grapnel launcher.

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However, my favourite minifigure in this set is undoubtedly Mr. Freeze, whose vital cooling suit seems more lightly armoured and unrefined than previous incarnations of the character. Nevertheless, I think the figure looks superb, sporting a spherical helmet that was originally designed for Mysterio from the Marvel Super Heroes range. This element loosely resembles that worn by Mr. Freeze during Batman: Arkham Origins.

76118 Mr. Freeze Batcycle Battle

Moreover, the head includes a pair of red goggles and an emotionless expression, perfectly capturing Victor's personality. The metallic silver band that secures these goggles does not continue around the entire head which is disappointing, although it does appear on the reverse. Pearl dark grey dominates the torso and I love the sand blue highlights. Unfortunately, such detail is not found on the legs, hence they appear bland by comparison.

76118 Mr. Freeze Batcycle Battle

The minifigure carries an enormous ice cannon which is connected to an interesting assembly on Mr. Freeze's back. This incorporates two pearl silver elements which represent warheads in several new DC Super Heroes sets but presumably depict storage tanks here. I like the flexible whip between the backpack and the ice cannon, despite it hindering articulation to some degree.

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The Completed Model

Mr. Freeze drives a snow scooter which seems appropriate. This model is reasonably simple but I like its sand blue skis and there is enough space for a minifigure to stand behind the control panel. Ideally, the driver could be seated, although that would be difficult for Mr. Freeze as his substantial backpack might cause an obstruction.

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LEGO has produced eleven different versions of the Batcycle, varying rather dramatically in scale and design. However, this example seems particularly unusual as it actually combines two Batcycles which unite to form one vehicle and measure 11cm in length. I think it appears impressive though, resembling the Tumbler without a roof structure!

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Despite traditionally employing non-lethal tactics, Batman has armed the Batcycle with an impressive arsenal of weapons. Pairs of warhead launchers are mounted on either flank and a grenade launcher occupies the centre of the model. The wheels make ingenious use of narrow Speed Champions tyres around broader hubs, thereby softening the transition between each tyre and any surrounding armour.

View image at flickr

Batman and Robin can both stand in their respective cockpits. I like the reddish brown seats along with the printed control panels but am somewhat disappointed that Batman cannot sit down. However, there is enough room to store accessories on clips beside each seat. In addition, the subtle highlights behind the cockpits are excellent. Red seems to identify Robin's vehicle while Batman's motorcycle includes a couple of yellow pieces.

View image at flickr

The mechanical detail surrounding the rear tyres looks reasonable, comprising angled exhausts and two stickers. Each wheel is attached using Technic pins towards the centre of the model but they are not connected to the external armour plates. The wheels feel accordingly fragile, although they seem unlikely to become detached from the chassis.

View image at flickr

Dividing the vehicle creates two models that more closely resemble a standard Batcycle. This feature works perfectly and the integration between the motorcycles is almost seamless, although separating them exposes some colourful Technic elements that look dreadful. They provide a secure connection but could undoubtedly have been concealed more effectively. On that basis, I would suggest keeping the Batcycles together for display.

Overall

Minifigures are frequently the highlight of smaller Super Heroes sets and 76118 Mr. Freeze Batcycle Battle certainly contains some excellent minifigures, the most notable of which is the new Mr. Freeze figure. However, I think the updated Batcycle is worthy of attention too, particularly when combined in its four-wheeled configuration which stands out when compared with previous designs.

View image at flickr

The colourful Technic pieces are fairly disappointing though so the separation function has fallen short of my expectations. Even so, the price of £19.99 or $19.99 seems reasonable given the content of this set and including two vehicles is welcome for play, despite the small size and simplicity of Mr. Freeze's snow scooter.

I hope you have found this review informative. Let us know by liking this article and share your opinion of the set in the comments below.

26 comments on this article

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By in United States,

This review has greatly improved my opinion of this set. Looks nice

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By in United States,

Loved this set when it was first leaked/revealed, started to have some doubts for a while, but this review has reestablished my love for it!

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By in United States,

Also, Bruce’s skin tone almost looks like Damian’s in the helmet-less photo above... is that lighting or is LEGO actually fixing the issue?

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By in United Kingdom,

One of the nice things about The Lego Batman Movie was they could lean into the creativity that mix of ingredients afforded them. Since then I feel like the DC minifigure designs and vehicle builds have been something of a letdown (though of course the movie range had a couple of stinkers in it).

Still, I know these are children’s toys first and foremost, and as a toy this looks like it could be a lot of fun for the target audience. There’s also the benefit of much better pricing... relatively speaking, anyway.

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By in United States,

Good review!

I’m not sure I agree about the short legs being too small for Damian Wayne — I just checked online since he looked quite young in the comics I’d seen him in. It turns out he is 13 years old in his post–DC Rebirth comic appearances, but noticeably shorter than the ten-year-old Jon Kent (the current Superboy) and VERY self-conscious of that. So I think the short legs are a good call if the designers were inspired by this particular incarnation of the character.

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By in United States,

@Mister-Johnny Agreed. I almost feel like we needed a break from LEGO Batman after the massive wave of LEGO Batman products.

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By in United States,

Doesn’t look like a bad set. Might be nice if they could do Batman sets based on the multiple incarnations of the character from various media, instead of them all being modeled on more recent comics.

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By in United Kingdom,

You think they'd cast the technic parts in black to stop them from ruining the models likes this. It's not hard to do considering it'd be a simple re-colour rather then a new mould part needed.

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By in United States,

When is TLG going to find a solution to the opacity issues with printing skin tone on dark surfaces? It almost seems to be getting worse.

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By in Australia,

Is there any reason not to use ball joints to allow separation in models like this? The stranger things set showed us that they have the strength

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By in United Kingdom,

@Echolord - I think this example is closer to the standard flesh tone than most, perhaps because it originated from a different factory. I am not aware that LEGO has made any changes yet.

@Fodder - Ball joints might have been too strong given the potential need for frequent separation of the Batcycles.

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By in United States,

As much as I want to like these sets, they seem a bit too-juniorized. Don't get me wrong, they give off some 2006 Batman vibes, but all the shooters and bat gadgets are quite distracting and superfluous. The lack of leg printing is also a missed opportunity. So overall, this is a decent Batman wave, but in all honesty, TLBM was a much better theme on the whole.

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By in United States,

TLG definitely needs to perfect printing flesh tones on a black base. Misako from the Quake Mech set (70632) I purchased was so washed out I requested a replacement that is only slightly better.

All in all, this is a Batman set I might actually buy.

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By in Singapore,

Not that into the current Batman wave. If there’s a LEGO Batman Movie sequel and the vehicles are just as fascinating as the first ones, I’ll get them all. These current sets are more like fillers just to get kids to continue buying them. And OMG, the minifig printing is just horrendous this year.

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By in Latvia,

Batman in his anniversary wears very dark grey! Even though black is his most famous color

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By in Poland,

Those warheads should not exist

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By in United Kingdom,

Good review! The set reminds me of set 7884-1: Batman's Buggy: The Escape of Mr.Freeze

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By in United States,

I realize that dual molded legs cost more, but how they haven't made 50,000 sets of light gray with black boots to use across dozens of sets, including every single Batman, is beyond me. It's bad enough that they are using the New 52 design without the trunks (which, they have moved away from again) but it looks even worse that Batman is nothing but boring gray from the middle of his torso down since the belt is painted so high on him. They all look terrible.

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By in United States,

Will definitely be picking this set up. That Batcycle is just screaming to be modded into a tumbler-esque Batmobile. Plus... Mr. Freeze is my all time favorite villain in any media, so I kinda have to get this.

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By in United States,

@jhuntin: I think that it's honestly been a problem for a long time. The Jango Fett minifigure from #7153-1 definitely suffered from it, and a lot of black-suited Batman minifigures' yellow Bat-Symbols are likewise really faded if you compare them with an actual Bright Yellow part (in that case, they benefit from the yellow not representing a skin tone, and so not having any sort of "zombified" look like these face prints often do).

I suspect issues with Light Nougat (Light Flesh) inks being so translucent may be why for a long time, many characters who had their skin color printed on darker-colored torsos or heads had it printed in Nougat (Flesh) instead, even if they used the lighter color on other figures or other parts of their body.

You can tell that type of printing was deliberate and not just discoloration because minifig parts like https://brickset.com/parts/4524592 , https://brickset.com/parts/4524597 , and https://brickset.com/parts/4523064 use a darkened print for their skin tone even in very basic renders, which don't show imperfections like translucent inks.

If I had to guess why we're seeing actual Light Nougat printing with translucency issues now? Well, in some instances, LEGO HAS managed to overcome the translucency issues with lighter print colors on darker surfaces — most notably with the parts they sourced from an outside supplier in China, like those of the Collectible Minifigures or keychain minifigures.

An example that was particularly noticeable to me was that the Lady Iron Dragon minifigure pretty much always had a discolored/translucent face print in sets, but the one from https://brickset.com/sets/853756-1/Lady-Iron-Dragon-Key-Chain was pretty much flawless on every copy I saw on sale at LEGO Brand Stores.

I suspect that likewise, rather than deliberate false advertising, the copies of the sets that are produced for product photography on box art are made on production lines using more reliably opaque inks — possibly the same production lines that are being used for initial test runs of new molds or new printed elements.

So presumably, before LEGO had any inks without this translucency issue, they discouraged their graphic designers from using light-colored inks to represent skin tones on darker-colored parts. But once they did gain access to those inks, it's possible they dropped that guideline, even though not all their production lines were using the newer inks.

Aside from stuff like the collectible minifigures, I doubt graphic designers have any way of anticipating which factories or production lines will end up manufacturing the parts they create graphics for. So they may be coming up with minifigure designs and creating test runs of them in Billund with no issues, but then for mass production the parts end up getting assigned for manufacture on whatever production lines have room in their schedule to produce that part in the needed capacity, even if it's not using the newest materials.

In that case, it's not unlike how when LEGO has introduced new molds for existing elements like 1x1 plates with clips, the older and newer variants could often be found in sets from the same year, or even together in the SAME set. They make transitions like that gradually rather than all at once. But in this case, the failure of LEGO to coordinate the stages in this transition with the guidelines given to their graphic designers has led to a quality issue that the people creating the designs may not know the full extent of.

For that reason, I think the best response is to report parts with sub-par printing to LEGO Customer Service. with info from enough buyers on what sets have these issues and where they were bought, they can probably track down which production lines ar

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By in United States,

@JMLego: In this case I think the cause for this issue is that LEGO just doesn't have enough molds produced for the dual-molded (2K) legs to cover all the sets and themes that might need them, which forces them to be selective until more 2K leg molds have been produced and installed.

It's another example of how LEGO prefers to introduce new manufacturing methods, molds, and materials gradually instead of all at once. After all, if introducing dual-molded minifig legs or minifig legs with side printing or medium-length minifig legs meant waiting until enough of the machines or molds in question had been produced to supply ALL sets and themes with as many of these newer designs as needed, then it would have taken a lot longer for those advances to begin showing up in sets at all!

Instead, we have seen a steady increase from details like this only showing up in collectible minifigs or promo items, to becoming an occasional feature in sets, to eventually showing up across an increasingly wide range of sets and themes. I'm sure it's only a matter of time before dual-molded legs become fairly standard for even non-movie-based Batman minifigs, like they finally did for non-movie-based Spider-Man minifigs this year.

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By in United States,

Nice set, going to buy it.

As long as LEGO has the license to both DC and Marvel, enabling my son and I to stage all the crossovers and team-ups we like, they’re getting my money.

https://images.app.goo.gl/9sJTkVtbQjiC8muX7

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By in Switzerland,

This set is worse in every way than 76000 which not only had more interesting parts, better minifigs including a cooler Mr. Freeze but was also cheaper. And which can still be had for below retail...

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By in Canada,

This set's defiantly on my 'want' list; only thing I think is wrong/'off' is: "Damian" should have those HP short-functioning legs.

oh @MutiodMan, I was thinking along the same lines, but I think I can add one:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Batman/Teenage_Mutant_Ninja_Turtles
...of course that's after my mecha-throwdown (Lex vs. Nya vs. Gorzan vs. Baxter vs...)

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By in Papua New Guinea,

Definitely want this set as Mr. Freeze is my favourite Batman villain. Reminds me of 7884-1: Batman's Buggy: The Escape of Mr. Freeze, a set that I wanted as a kid, but skipped out on. Now it's over $300 sealed :'(. Great review, great photography, thanks!

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