Review: 70918 The Bat-Dune Buggy

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View image at flickr

Without super powers to rely on, Batman must instead be equipped with gadgets and vehicles in preparation for every eventuality. Thankfully, billionaire Bruce Wayne can comfortably afford such luxuries and the Batcave therefore houses a selection of remarkably specialised equipment.

This includes 70918 The Bat-Dune Buggy which is designed for off-road pursuit where larger and more heavily armoured vehicles might not suit the terrain. The dune buggy looks marvellous in official images and I have been looking forward to building it. However, the exclusive Captain Boomerang minifigure appears to be the highlight of this set, taking inspiration from his original Flash #117 design!

Minifigures

Batman appears in almost every set based upon The LEGO Batman Movie, as one might expect. The figure wears a new utility belt which fits around his waist and looks superb, featuring a few pouches on the front and a row of tiny canisters on the back. I like the shaping of the cowl too. It lines up perfectly with the grinning and angry expressions as well as the eyes which change shape to reflect Batman's emotions.

70918 The Bat-Dune Buggy

The torso is nicely printed with some muscle definition and a traditional Batman symbol which is yellow to match the belt. A black cape completes the figure. This is made from a soft fabric to avoid becoming creased when the Dark Knight is seated in his dune buggy. Batman is equipped with two Batarangs in this set and faces perhaps the only person who is equally skilled with weapons of this variety.

70918 The Bat-Dune Buggy

George Harkness, better known as Captain Boomerang, made his debut appearance in 1960's Flash #117 and is often associated with the Scarlet Speedster. However, he has also fought against Batman on several occasions and featured among the villains in The LEGO Batman Movie. This minifigure takes direct inspiration from the character's original design, sporting a blue costume which is decorated with white boomerangs. Only his scarf is absent.

70918 The Bat-Dune Buggy

I love Harkness' confident expression and the ginger sideburns are also a traditional feature of Captain Boomerang in the comics. The hat looks brilliant too, again matching the first rendition of the character right down to the boomerang symbol on its left side. Captain Boomerang also appeared in 76055 Killer Croc Sewer Smash wearing a black coat but this more traditional version is definitely my favourite of the two minifigures.

70918 The Bat-Dune Buggy

Naturally, Captain Boomerang is properly armed with a pair of his signature weapons. The boomerang element has not appeared in white before and nicely compliments those printed on Harkness' costume. It can be held at the edge, as shown below, or placed on top of a minifigure's hand via an anti-stud on the underside of the accessory.

View image at flickr

The Completed Model

I was not expecting this to be a large model but was still surprised that the Bat-Dune Buggy measures a mere 12cm in length. This makes sense given the purpose of the buggy but it feels quite small in relation to the price point of £19.99 or $19.99. Nevertheless, the detail is splendid throughout and I like the colour combination of black with red stripes, a consistent design feature of Batman's vehicles in the movie.

View image at flickr

The vehicle rests on four balloon tyres which feel appropriate for off-road driving. I love the textured the tread and the yellow lights along the bumper look great, loosely resembling the design of several real dune buggies. However, a sticker featuring Batman's insignia confirms that the vehicle lies in the realm of fiction. This is placed between the lower parts of the roll cage but does not come away as the cage opens.

View image at flickr

A simple steering wheel is fitted inside and the reddish brown seat looks great, again matching the rest of Batman's arsenal. The exposed yellow pieces beside the seat seem slightly out of place to me and the blue Technic pin in front of the engine looks similarly odd. I am very impressed with the shaping of the roll cage though as it lines up absolutely perfectly with the rest of the bodywork, as shown in the images above.

View image at flickr

The rear of the Bat-Dune Buggy is elevated above the wheels, giving the model a forward rake and an impression of speed which looks magnificent. Stud shooters are fitted on either side of the cockpit and these can be rotated all the way around to fire at pursuing villains if need be. I like the decorative bat wings above the tyres and even the Technic liftarms that form the chassis look good as bodywork is often stripped from dune buggies to reduce weight, leaving areas of the frame exposed.

View image at flickr

Soft suspension allows the vehicle to cross rough terrain with ease. This is facilitated by two rubber bands underneath and works brilliantly, although the range of travel is quite limited when compared with many other sets which include functional suspension. Even so, this is a fantastic feature on a set of this size and I think the model looks equally impressive when the rear is pushed down, almost entirely eliminating the forward rake.

View image at flickr

A large engine dominates the rear of the dune buggy. This includes some attractive details, with pearl silver 1x1 round plates representing the manifold and radiator grilles beside the bat wings. A second sticker identifies the main exhaust outlet at the back of the engine and you could imagine that this allows the buggy short bursts of speed, perhaps by attaching a flame to the exhaust. The rear axle is clearly exposed but even the bright red Technic pins look alright to me, matching the accent colour of the stripes and rubber bands.

View image at flickr

Overall

70918 The Bat-Dune Buggy has proven to be a lovely surprise. The brand new Captain Boomerang minifigure remains my favourite aspect of this set, as expected, but the dune buggy is excellent too, including impressive detail throughout as well as some marvellous functions. I particularly like the rear suspension which works very well but does not interfere with the appearance of the model at all.

View image at flickr

Unfortunately, the level of detail included has dictated the size of the model and it therefore feels quite small given the price of £19.99 or $19.99. A third minifigure may have gone some way to justify that cost but with only two it seems expensive. I would therefore recommend waiting for a discount before purchasing this set, although it should not be overlooked entirely in my opinion as the Bat-Dune Buggy and Captain Boomerang are tremendous.

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

 

Sponsored content

Hamley's Royal Guard available at Amazon

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Hamleys Royal Guard

Hamleys Royal Guard

©2018 LEGO Group

If you can't get to London to obtain the 5005233 Hamleys Royal Guard polybag you can now purchase it directly from Hamleys on Amazon.co.uk, for the regular price of £6.

Postage is £5.50, however many your order.

Thanks to Alex F for the news.

Design a Gift with Purchase

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LEGO Ideas is holding another competition this month with the prize being, among other things, the opportunity to have your submission turned into a gift with purchase set:

"We’re looking for the next exclusive LEGO Gift with Purchase set, for our LEGO Stores, LEGOLAND, LEGOLAND Discovery Centers as well as Shop.LEGO.com. We need your help. Show us your best small and mid-sized space designs in this contest and your entry has the opportunity to be adapted into a Gift with Purchase set in 2019!

"We invite you to show us your LEGO moment in space! Use your imagination to create the ultimate space model – make it as sci-fi or realistic as you wish, just stay within a base of 16 x 16 studs. One lucky winner has the chance to have their entry transformed into a new Gift with Purchase set, and will win a collection of past exclusive Gift with Purchase sets!

You have just 23 days to submit your entry. Find out how, and more about the prizes at LEGO Ideas.

Good luck -- and we'll be announcing the winners of our Star Wars competition in the next week or so.

Discounts at Amazon.com

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Latest >= 25% discounts
41230 Batgirl Batjet Chase$16.99 ($24.99)Marketplace-32%

Review: 75197 First Order Specialists Battle Pack

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View image at flickr

Effective armies within the Star Wars universe are often diverse, consisting of many different kinds of troops who occupy various roles. Star Wars: The Last Jedi introduced a few of these specialised units within the First Order army, some of whom appear in 75197 First Order Specialists Battle Pack.

Only a couple of years have passed since the Sequel Trilogy began and we have already seen two Battle Packs focused upon the First Order. Those previous sets were both excellent so I have high expectations for this one, especially since the price in the UK has increased to £12.99 while the US price of $14.99 remains the same.

Please note that this review is spoiler free.

Minifigures

The two First Order Stormtrooper Executioners are currently exclusive to this set so are probably its most appealing feature. Their armour is shared with standard Stormtroopers so the printed designs are familiar but for some black accents on the helmet, torso and arms. I like this colour combination very much and it matches the movie closely, although only the shoulder armour is black in the film so dual-moulding would have been ideal here.

Nevertheless, the detail on the legs and torso looks superb, as usual. I am also very impressed with the helmet as the shape of the mouth has been slightly updated to reflect the design change in Star Wars: The Last Jedi. The black stripe looks brilliant too, even from the back and side, although it should extend a little further to connect with the lenses. Presumably this looked strange on a minifigure, hence the alteration.

View image at flickr

Each trooper is equipped with a stud shooter and a laser axe. The axe consists of just three pieces but it resembles the weapon from the movie and I like the trans-light blue blades which include two energy ribbons. Furthermore, the blades can fold back to represent a stowed configuration so I am pleased with this design given the absence of new parts.

View image at flickr

75190 First Order Star Destroyer included a single First Order Shuttle Pilot and I am glad to see another in this small set, although it would have been more appropriate in a set which actually contains a shuttle! The figure looks marvellous though, wearing a helmet which seems to be the same as that used by Fleet Engineers, albeit with the faceplate raised to reveal a headset and a stern expression underneath.
View image at flickr

View image at flickr

The black uniform is equally familiar and is also worn by a First Order Gunner in this set. This figure first appeared in the first wave of Star Wars: The Force Awakens sets where it was described as First Order Crew. Unfortunately, the plain design has not been improved since then, although it matches the source material fairly well and I do like the helmet. Even so, it would have been nice to see something different here as these troopers have appeared in four previous sets so are very common.

View image at flickr

The Completed Model

Battle Packs are undoubtedly focused upon the minifigures and the models included are usually fairly dull as a result. However, this turret is perhaps more interesting than most. It does not appear to take direct inspiration from anything in Star Wars: The Last Jedi but suits the visual style of the First Order and includes some useful parts, the most notable of which are the eleven dark bluish grey 1x2 roof tiles that were only introduced last year.

View image at flickr

The four-legged design reminds me of the turret from 75088 Senate Commando Troopers and this one also includes a laser cannon which is mounted on a Technic pin so moves up and down. The turret rotates on a 4x4 turntable and you can pose the legs to suit the terrain, although a trans-clear 2x2 round brick provides some additional support underneath. A Technic pin and a black bar represent the laser cannon barrels which look good, although I wonder whether the lower barrel is actually a targeting sensor.

View image at flickr

A spring-loaded shooter is placed above the laser cannon. The tail of the trans-red missile extending from the rear spoils the appearance of the model to some degree, although it can easily be removed and is useful for play. There is a seat for the gunner and a clip on the side allows you to store a stud shooter but there are no controls which is a little disappointing.

View image at flickr

Overall

75197 First Order Specialists Battle Pack is not the most impressive Battle Pack of recent years but I am very pleased with it. The First Order Stormtrooper Executioners look fantastic and the First Order Shuttle Pilot is a perfect addition to the set given his rarity. In addition, the laser cannon turret fits with the design of existing First Order equipment and offers reasonable play value as well as a selection of interesting pieces.

View image at flickr

However, I am not entirely satisfied with this minifigure selection. The First Order Gunner has appeared in several previous sets, including a Battle Pack, so it would have been nice to see something different. A First Order Snowtrooper or even a Stormtrooper with the updated helmet would have been welcome. This is still a good set though and I certainly recommend it to those looking to bolster their First Order forces.

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

[UK/EU] Millennium Falcon back in stock

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Millennium Falcon

Millennium Falcon

©2017 LEGO Group

I think there are enough people who still wish to acquire a 75192 Millennium Falcon to warrant posting a news article every time it comes back into stock, so...

It's back in stock in UK and Europe, but who knows how long for!

Please use these links to place your order:

UK | Germany | France. Thank you!

Update 19:20: Out of stock again, unfortunately.

Review: 70920 Egghead Mech Food Fight

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View image at flickr

Batman has developed an unparalleled rogues gallery over the last several decades and some of his adversaries are almost as popular as the Caped Crusader himself. However, not every villain enjoys such an illustrious reputation.

70920 Egghead Mech Food Fight includes two such lesser known characters, Egghead and the Condiment King. Both villains are fairly obscure but appeared in The LEGO Batman Movie along with most of Batman's other enemies. I have therefore been looking forward to building this set very much indeed, not only because it features such unusual minifigures but also due to the impressive design and delightfully consistent theming of Egghead's bizarre mech!

Minifigures

The design of the Batman minifigure has fluctuated quite considerably in recent years but the version from The LEGO Batman Movie takes obvious inspiration from the black-suited figure released in 2012 with the first wave of DC Super Heroes sets. His torso is printed with the same muscle definition and symbol while the legs remain plain black. Some printing would have been welcome but this design remains true to the classic version.

70920 Egghead Mech Food Fight

However, a new belt element was introduced for The LEGO Batman Movie, featuring four pouches and a buckle on the front as well as four more pouches and some canisters on the back. The figure wears a black cape made from a pliable material and his head includes an intimidating grimace on one side and a bewildered expression on the other. Batman comes equipped with a grapnel launcher but no batarangs, unusually.

70920 Egghead Mech Food Fight

Egghead was created for the 1960s Batman television series and has made very few appearances in the comics but he still remains popular as one of Batman's strangest foes. The design of this figure is faithful to the version from the television show and includes a large head, after which the character is named, with a new domed piece on top. I like his furrowed brow and the neatly tended moustache matches the original series perfectly.

70920 Egghead Mech Food Fight

The egg motif continues onto the torso as Egghead wears a white jacket with yellow highlights along the edges of the lapels. His pale yellow shirt looks great beside the jacket and I love the cravat which resembles a poached egg! There is no printing on the back of the torso which is unfortunate, although this seems to be a consistent feature of minifigures with fabric jacket tails attached around the waist.

70920 Egghead Mech Food Fight

The LEGO Batman Movie has yielded some unlikely minifigures but I think Condiment King might be the most wonderfully ridiculous of them all! The character was created for Batman: The Animated Series and has since returned to irritate the Dark Knight on several occasions in the comics, always presenting very little threat in his attempts to rob restaurants while armed with a pair of unwieldy condiment cannons.

70920 Egghead Mech Food Fight

Condiment King's design has been updated a few times in recent years but this figure is definitely based upon the original version from Batman: The Animated Series, wearing a bright green helmet and a pale blue costume which is emblazoned with the Condiment King logo. The legs are dual-moulded to represent boots and the head is printed with two faces, one of which shows the villain eating with mustard around his mouth! Unfortunately, the green base colour of the head affects the skin tone which is disappointing as an identical quality issue has been present on several recent minifigures.

70920 Egghead Mech Food Fight

The back of the torso is not printed but this is completely obscured by the villain's large backpack which supplies him with plenty of ketchup and mustard. Black hoses link the bottles to stud shooters which fire red and yellow 1x1 round plates representing the two condiments. It would have been nice to see the cup pieces shown in the movie here, although the stud shooters do not look out of place and offer some extra play value.

View image at flickr

The Completed Model

The Egghead mech measures just 16cm in height so is slightly smaller than I was expecting. However, the model is packed with detail and its egg theme is consistent throughout, even in relation to the weapons fitted on each arm. The colour scheme of white and flame yellowish orange is also unmistakably reminiscent of an egg so matches Egghead and stands out among the vehicles belonging to other villains.

View image at flickr

Articulation is vital to the design of a successful mech and this model is very satisfying in that respect. The ankles, hips and elbows all feature ball joints while the shoulders use ratchet joints to support the weight of the arms. Creating a wide range of poses is therefore very easy and the low centre of gravity allows the mech to balance quite comfortably, even when it is only standing on one foot.

View image at flickr

The rounded shape of the cockpit is marvellous, making good use of a large trans-clear canopy which has not appeared in a set since 2013. I believe the bright colour scheme is intended to resemble a soft boiled egg with the runny yolk flowing from the centre which is fun. Nevertheless, there is still plenty of room for a minifigure to stand inside and two levers are included to simulate controlling the mech.
View image at flickr

View image at flickr

A large claw resembling a whisk is fitted to the right arm, thereby continuing the egg motif. The claw includes three fingers which are individually articulated on ball joints, allowing it to grip almost anything. Moreover, the digits can be turned upside down to form a shovel-like shape if you wish. I like the combination of black, light bluish grey and yellow and the pearl silver details on each finger tip look superb.

View image at flickr

A black gear beside the elbow activates the rotating claw. This is a simple feature but it works perfectly, particularly when the fingers are closed to more closely resemble a whisk. I love the sticker on the shoulder which denotes the different speed settings for the rotating claw and the entire assembly feels appropriately preposterous for a set of this kind.

View image at flickr

Egghead's mech is equipped with an equally absurd egg cannon on the left arm! The conical barrel looks brilliant and I like the printed 4x4 dish which reveals that the weapon can fire scrambled or fried eggs, depending upon how they have been cooked inside the cannon. A disc launcher allows you to launch printed 2x2 tiles representing fried eggs and this is cleverly disguised as a magazine fitted beneath the barrel.
View image at flickr

View image at flickr

A flexible pearl silver hose links the egg cannon to a trans-clear tank which supplies the ammunition. Three eggs are placed at different levels inside the tank, presumably on a carousel system of some kind. A white chicken sits at the top of the tank and seems to be the source of the eggs which would cast doubt upon the 'free range' claim of the egg cannon, although it may be decorative as the chicken does not feature any printed detail.

View image at flickr

Overall

Almost the entire range based upon The LEGO Batman Movie has been excellent but 70920 Egghead Mech Food Fight has instantly become one of my favourites! The entire premise of the set is delightfully ridiculous and the mech is absolutely brilliant, perhaps among the best that LEGO has ever released in my opinion. This is saying a great deal given how many have been produced but I believe it is worthy of such praise as the model looks fantastic and includes plenty of functionality.

View image at flickr

The Egghead and Condiment King minifigures are equally impressive. Just seeing such wacky characters in LEGO form is wonderful and both are highly detailed, although Egghead would have been even better with some back printing on the torso. Moreover, £29.99 or $29.99 feels quite expensive in relation to the size of the mech but seems reasonable to me given its high quality. I would therefore highly recommend this set, even at full price.

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

Forthcoming events

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The following events are taking place in the next 30 days:

Europe
ItalyAnother Brick in Albese - ItLUG Albese 201827 Jan
ItalyReggio Emilia 201827 Jan
PortugalOeiras BRInCKa 201810 Feb
SerbiaThe tenth jubilee big show in TC Karaburma27 Jan
North America
CanadaConstruire pour guérir27 Jan
United StatesLEAHI Brick Event - Hawaii Kai20 Jan
United StatesAmherst Railway Society Railroad Hobby Show27 Jan
United StatesWisLUG at Janesville Hedberg Public Library03 Feb
United StatesSTEM Moon Shot03 Feb
Oceania
AustraliaCoffs Harbour Brick Event20 Jan

View all forthcoming events »

This list has been obtained from the LEGO Ambassador Network. To have your event added to it, contact your LUG Ambassador.

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