Miniature depictions of large-scale vehicles have frequently accompanied previous LEGO sets and 40433 1989 Batmobile looks brilliant. The model includes 366 pieces so is significantly larger than many promotional sets and complements 76139 1989 Batmobile exceptionally well.
This impressive model is currently available with purchases of the bigger Batmobile and interacts directly with minifigures, despite not actually containing any such figures. Nevertheless, this vehicle looks fantastic when compared with the source material so should prove interesting!
Box and contents
The box is larger than I had envisaged, exceeding even 40290 60 Years of the LEGO Brick that was released during 2018. I love its dark colour scheme and the 'limited edition' branding is interesting as that appears on relatively few sets. The reverse exhibits some nice functions, although one has been omitted which is surprising.
Opening the box reveals four numbered bags beside two light bluish grey 2x16 plates. The instruction manual comprises 84 pages which is slightly longer than the booklet from 76119 Batmobile: Pursuit of The Joker, demonstrating the size of this promotional Batmobile when compared with the previous set.
One large sticker accompanies the instruction manual, forming the information plaque. Printing would have been preferable but I appreciate the consistency between the appearance of this sticker and the sticker in 76139 1989 Batmobile. Furthermore, the application is reasonably easy.
Despite its modest size, this vehicle incorporates various enjoyable building techniques. The chassis seems reminiscent of 76119 Batmobile: Pursuit of The Joker, comprising brackets which are attached around layered plates. This structure is simple but feels sufficiently robust and I like the subtler details decorating the flanks, introducing some welcome variety to the construction process.
Technic bricks are then positioned across those plates, further strengthening the chassis. Gears are placed between the Technic elements, linking the rear axle to the turbine exhaust flame. Once again, this design is quite reminiscent of the Batmobile released earlier in 2019, although that is not entirely problematic because the function has been integrated neatly.
Furthermore, I appreciate the close integration between those Technic bricks and the internal details. The surrounding bodywork is constructed using curved slopes and makes brilliant use of 1x8x1 bows which form the wheel arches. The part number for this element has been updated but it is available in seven other sets, most recently with 76100 Royal Talon Fighter Attack.
Additional curved slopes and tiles complete the bodywork of the Batmobile, creating an appropriately sleek profile. Gaps are visible between some of these components because they cannot slot together perfectly but the shaping remains relatively accurate and nearly every colourful part is concealed. The only exceptions are the yellow 2x3 bricks towards the rear that can be seen through the exhaust vents.
Construction concludes with the display base, corresponding with the larger 76139 1989 Batmobile. This rotating turntable comprises relatively few pieces but I like how light bluish grey 2x3 pentagonal tiles have been employed to generate some interesting texture around the edge, taking advantage of their bevelled shape.
The Completed Model
While minifigure-scale models of the Batmobile have differed substantially in appearance, their scale has remained quite consistent. The vehicle measures 22cm in length, excluding its exhaust flame, so almost matches 76119 Batmobile: Pursuit of The Joker in size. That seems typically oversized beside minifigures but feels suitable for the imposing Batmobile from Tim Burton's 1989 Batman movie.
Elegant bodywork dominates this whole vehicle and its menacing aesthetic has been replicated quite effectively, particularly towards the front. I love the cylindrical jet engine which features an appropriate turbine blade design inside the wheel hub. The trans-yellow headlights also look superb and stand out more clearly on this model than on 76139 1989 Batmobile.
Stud shooters are situated beside the jet engine, corresponding with the location of machine guns on the original Batmobile. They seem somewhat awkward but can easily be replaced with 1x2 tiles if you prefer. The mechanical detail on either flank looks wonderful though and dark bluish grey barrels form air intakes. I think this design looks reasonable but black would probably have been more accurate.
This rendition of the Batmobile is minifigure scale, hence space for Batman is provided in the cockpit. The tan upholstery looks wonderful and I like the printed control console, although the minifigure from 76139 1989 Batmobile cannot actually sit inside due to its rubbery cape. In addition, the cockpit opens smoothly on hinges which works well, although a sliding mechanism would have been even better.
I think the vehicle looks most impressive when viewed from behind. Ideally, the decorative fins would have been rounded but the trans-red tail lights look marvellous and I appreciate the accurate exhaust arrangement too. The central turbine exhaust is similarly attractive and the flame will rotate as the car rolls along, replicating the function from 76119 Batmobile: Pursuit of The Joker.
These similarities are not wholly surprising since both sets were designed by Adam Grabowski, who also contributed significantly to the bigger model. They look particularly comparable around the nose and Huw evidently enjoyed photographing this area of the Batmobile with a wide-angle lens, creating an interesting effect.
40433 1989 Batmobile is definitely among my favourite promotional items which LEGO has released. This model captures the distinctive aesthetic of its onscreen counterpart and incorporates some great details, notably including several air intakes and the trans-yellow headlights that look superb. I like the rotating display stand too, drawing another parallel with the new large-scale Batmobile.
Of course, building the model at this scale has introduced certain limitations which are not shared by 76139 1989 Batmobile. The shaping of the bat-shaped fins could have been improved and I think the dark bluish grey barrels appear slightly out of place. Nevertheless, this is an excellent depiction of the Batmobile from the 1989 Batman movie and I hope it might become more widely available in future.
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.
This set was provided for review by The LEGO Group but the review is an expression of my own opinions.
Thanks to Huw for providing the photos in this review.