Review: 40433 1989 Batmobile

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Construction

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

View image at flickr

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.

View image at flickr

Overall

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.

View image at flickr

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.

The set is currently free with purchases of 76139 1989 Batmobile. Place your order at LEGO.com here.

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.

44 comments on this article

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By in United Kingdom,

...was briefly available

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By in Australia,

I want this one so bad. It's interesting that both this one and 76119 came out this year, spoiling us for choices in terms of exactly recreating the Batmobile from the '89 movie, or one that's close enough (but still features Batman versus the Joker).

I guess, personally, the '89 Batmobile is the most iconic Batmobile there is, and to finally have one for my Lego city would be the best thing ever, but alas, there's no way to get one without spending a fortune on Lego.com (buying something that I really don't want), or else, hunting down one on eBay (and they're all well over $100, at the moment).

As for the minifigure, no, the '89 Batman figure won't fit because of his cape ... but the Batman figure from "The Lego Batman Movie" is essentially the same outfit (minus the cape, and a couple of smaller details), so that presents no real problem at all.

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By in Poland,

Are you posting this review to deepen our frustration?

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By in United Kingdom,

got it this morning.
To open or not to open, that is the question!

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By in Croatia,

1. I knew I SAW this Batmobile before. Slightly diffrent design was for "Batman 3: Beyond Gotham" video game.
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ioO-Zw6-NkU
2. Don't get why Lego don't give this set as a stand alone buy, it would be HUGE selling hit.
3. That Limited Edition writing means nothing. If is not numbered it is not limited. It is going to be A LOT of them to buy, you'll see.

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By in United Kingdom,

Wow, that's rubbing it in that you can only get this from eBay flippers now.

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By in United Kingdom,

That wasn't the plan at all. We didn't anticipate that LEGO would have so little stock in Europe that it would run out by 9am, although perhaps we should have, going on previous experience...

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By in United States,

Geez. Out in Europe already? Still in stock here in the States (though admittedly it is 8 a.m. , so that will probably change soon:).

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By in Hungary,

Extremely annoying you cannot get this on its own. I mean sure 76119 is a thing but if you like the look of this better and don't want to fork out triple digits for the humongo version (fwiw that's great, I'm just not really interested) or go through the mad quest of parting it together off bricklink then tough luck.

Lame and alienating move.

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By in Germany,

Good review. However, not very nice to read a good review of a set which is not even available.

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By in United States,

Been trying for hours. Won’t ever actually charge my card or PayPal.

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By in United Kingdom,

Wow. Didn't realise this would sell out so quickly. Good job I stayed up last night and purchased before going to bed.

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By in United States,

A beautiful display piece.

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By in Brazil,

Would love to get the instructions for it.

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By in United Kingdom,

I've hopefully got one having spent over an hour at midnight slogging away at the refresh button etc, but I do feel for those who tried and failed to nab one even by the early hours. Given the iconic nature of the Batmobile and film, I really can't believe that once more the S@H site has issues and again limited edition GWPs are gone before there is a genuine chance to get one. I accept its a GWP and it seems we are moaning over a 'freebie', but this was heavily advertised, and was on GA release so its a shame its ended up creating negative feelings being so poorly handled.

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By in Russian Federation,

Nice Batmobile, but i think, that it could be better with the cockpit from 76045 and 75046.
https://brickset.com/sets/76045-1/Kryptonite-Interception

+ "The shaping of the bat-shaped fins could have been improved and I think the dark bluish grey barrels appear slightly out of place."

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By in Canada,

On the bright side, this one looks easy enough to bricklink

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By in Netherlands,

This review confirms that I definitely like this set a lot more than the larger version. This one's mistakes in the shaping can be forgiven at such a small scale, yet it looks sleeker than the large version. The headlights and the addition of the flame add a nice bit of color in the form of highlights, which the other version could use more of.

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By in United States,

I believe I got one when I ordered the large Batmobile half and hour ago. I braced myself for slow, buggy page loads, sold out promotions, and worse, but it was a breeze and I even got the Christmas Tree promo item as well. That, plus the mini Batmobile and the full size one make this feel like a really worthwhile purchase!

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By in Portugal,

If Lego allow us to Backorder some difficult-to-get Sets, why don't they do the same for giveaway offers like this one? It's not fair what happened with the Mini Batmobile this night.

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By in Belgium,

So glad to know what I missed thanks to LEGO IT team.

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By in United Kingdom,

Out of curiosity, are there loads of exclusive/rare pieces in this set, or could I bricklink the pieces and build it?

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By in United Kingdom,

Do Lego usually publish instructions for gwp sets? Would like to bricklink this

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By in Germany,

Sometimes I don't get Lego.

One of the coolest minifig-scale Batmobiles they've made... and it's only available as a GWP, for about three seconds.

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By in South Africa,

@ecleme11 All very common parts, except only for the sticker though. I'm Bricklinking it even though I have got my hand on one this morning.

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By in Germany,

Those who prefer the minifig-scale Batmobile should maybe consider getting 76119 instead. Easier to acquire than the GWP, and even comes with Minifigures.

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By in Finland,

This makes me wonder why lego doesn't just make sets based on existing movies and games (mainly talking about superheroes), I mean it makes perfect sense to me, kids will see a recognizable character and want it, and the adults will recognize the source material and want it, it's a win win situation

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By in Russian Federation,

The_Toniboeh ??? that's why LEGO already has SUPER HEROES and other licensed themes ;)

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By in Portugal,

Glad to see that I'm not the only one who prefers this one instead of the big batmobile... Such a nice build, hopefully instructions might became available soon online.

Lego should consider to sell it as a stand alone product. Usd 50.00 would sell like hot cakes...

And they could announce it on Bricklink directly, now that they own the thing... Lol :p

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By in United States,

That is... really big for a promo, but okay.

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By in United States,

My local LEGO store had 60 1989 Batmobiles, with 60 of the gift with purchase sets to go along with it. By the time I left the store a half hour after it opened more than half the stock of Batmobiles were gone. So I’d expect these to be gone in the US soon here also.

That being said this rendition is just great. I have a small display of pop culture vehicles in minifigure scale featuring the DeLorean, Ecto-1, and Mystery Machine, but I didn’t have any film specific Batmobile to seal it all together until now. It fit perfectly into the display and is now the centerpiece while it’s “big brother” got a shelf all to himself.

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By in United States,

Or another option...part out this set and follow Jerry Builds Bricks on YouTube:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZzzHoyZyjDo

He has many amazing creations in the spirit of Speed Champions including three renditions of the 1989 Batmobile...

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By in Singapore,

Managed to get one on secondary market. At least prices in my neck of the woods are not too crazy. Been waiting for a minifig scale Batmobile to display with the Ideas Ecto-1 and DeLorean (80s film iconic cars) as I think all 3 will look great side by side. Wish it could have been easier to track down though but can’t wait to build it now!

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By in United Kingdom,

Absolutely stupid to have this as a bonus for buying the same model but larger - what is the point?
If it was smaller Batwing model to compliment the Batmobile that would be FAR more logical.

This set should be released on it's own in stores. All Lego are doing is helping scalpers AGAIN. Companies are forever so stupid for these decisions.

I would have gotten this set otherwise - I have no room for the large scale set (as beautiful as it is) this set would have been perfect, even though it's missing a mini figure which is an equally stupid decision.

Shame on you Lego, hurting your fans and customers once again.

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By in Canada,

@Lego_K, that was my initial thought too. That it was odd to include it with a similar build. I built them both up yesterday and I do have to admit that having a minifig sized version of the same model to fidget with is kind of a fun little extra. As lovely as the D2C model is (and it is quite something to behold), it's essentially a decorative item. Having a toy to 'play' with and add to your minifig superhero collection definitely adds to the overall experience. I kinda hope this is the start of a trend going forward, tbh.

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By in United States,

Local LEGO store had 2 left.....now one.

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By in United Kingdom,

Sadly this GWP set has appeared all over eBay in less than 24hrs. One seller had 10 in stock selling for £75 each. I cannot understand why Lego have had so little stock for this free set. Very foolish....

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By in Austria,

I've ordered the Batmobile yesterday morning, the little one was out of stock and the delivery wasn 't before 10th of December. Now i've got the delivery confirmation and it seems that i got one of this. Guess who's happy!

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By in United States,

@renegade_clone @lego_k
There are reports of the mini Batmobile being sold on shelves in several UK locations — I know from the forum that yesterday there were still a few at £36 at the Legoland Discovery Centre @ Trafford Centre. Perhaps you could get lucky at a location near you?

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By in United States,

Built this last night and it's just fantastic. I happened to have some of the ultra-rare barrels in black, so I swapped them out as well as some of the the dark bley pieces. Next step is to re-fashion the rear wing spoilers and brick-build them, although I can see why LEGO would want to use the singular piece for this model. What a great GWP! And the 1989 Batmobile is stunning in-person.

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By in Belgium,

Why is there an extra piece 6174919 (1x2 rocker bearing tan) ?

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By in United States,

The exclusivity of this set feel like an insult. Lego has made close to a dozen batmobiles inspired by the 1989 version but never the actual model. Instead just selling this a a separate product the made it unobtianium for the general population.
It seems like a missed opportunity to give people exactly what they wanted.

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By in United States,

^ Hear, hear! It's the Batmobile everyone has wanted most since 2006, and it's released in the finkiest way possible. I mean, it's a fantastic GWP - but it really should have been a normal retail set.

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