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Set Review - Batmobile 30161

I was really excited when LEGO released a Batmobile polybag.  I'm a Tiny Turbos fan and the Cars theme just wasn't cutting it for me.  Too cartoonish I guess.  But this Batmobile was the right scale and had the same feel from the pictures as the other Tiny Turbos.  And it didn't have a name like Star Chaser or Street Panther.

Halfway during the build I started getting apprehensive.  Something wasn't quite right.  Did I miss a step, get the wrong parts?  No, everything was there per the instructions.  When I finished I took a look around the set and I might have actually sneered.  This set looks terrible.  Period.  What's NOT wrong with it?

First is the bright yellow plate that's used in the chassis.  Now I understand that LEGO will throw these basic color bits in because they are already made and they don't want to do another run just for one set.  Brickonomics or something like that.  The problem comes when they allow it to show.  In this case there is a nice flash of yellow on either side.  Maybe it was an attempt to put in something that looks like the Bat symbol.  But a scalene triangle doesn't do the trick for me.  It seems more like a fail.

Second are those gaudy tail fins.  Maybe gaudy is the wrong word.  How about clunky, chunky, or fat.  Sorry, big boned.  Every other Batmobile LEGO has ever produced has gorgeous sloping dragon wings.  Not this puppy.  It's like an Edsel.  But it's not just the tail.  It's the rear fenders, the cabin, the nose, everything.  Maybe it's more like a 1984 Buick.

Third are the wheels.  Love them spokes - on something called Turbo Nuker.  But Batman driving around with that much bling is sort of the antithesis of the DARK knight.  The tires are low profile which is not what you want when you're riding around the tough streets.  You need some thickness so you don't dent the rims when you fly over a speed bump or a penguin.

Finally is the front bumper.  It's too simple.  It's cheesy.  And it falls off.  My 19 month old boy got a hold of this and lost the front bumper pretty quickly.  I haven't bothered to replace it.  The problem is that the lights are 1x1 tiles instead of plates.  If they had a knob then maybe there would be a little more grip with the front fenders.

But at least we get some flames.

I have three theories why this set turned out so bad.  First is that it was a Sun Promo and was whipped together by a brand new TLG designer because, let's face it, the Sun isn't exactly the highest quality news source (mine came from Target for $3.99).  Or perhaps quality control in Denmark has slipped as has the consistency on a dozen or more of their colors.  The most likely explanation is that they saw this on Cuusoo:

Copyright Tiler on Cuusoo

and realized that they couldn't replicate it without some serious plagiarism ramifications.  Not like they did with the minifig display boxes and the TMNT theme.  Just look at this thing!  It's beautiful!  The whole thing is curvy, the rear fins are delicate, the tires are fat, the wheels are black and the nose has the right shape.  There's even the essence of the Bat logo on the side.  This thing is right on at least 6 different levels.  THIS is what you want.

As for the official polybag, well, at least it's still LEGO and I can build something else with it.  Agreed?

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