Review: The Joker Balloon Escape 
Name: The Joker Balloon Escape
Set #: 70900
Theme: The LEGO Batman Movie
Cost: $16.99 CDN
Brick Count: 124
Release Date: January 2, 2017
Summary Review: 73%
VALUE: 80% ($0.14/brick is an ok value.)
BUILD: 80% (A little weak in terms of design, but fun.)
MINIFIGURES: 90% (Decent Minifigs, and a great brick-to-fig ratio.)
ENTERTAINMENT: 40% (Really bad build-time value, passable enjoyment rating.)
At $16.99 in Canada, and coming with 124 pieces, this set will cost you $0.14 per brick. That is $0.01 over both the average cost of a brick in the LEGO Batman Movie theme, as well as the overall average cost that I have calculated using the January 2017 catalogue (click here to read my analysis). It is still not a terrible value though, and earns this set 80% for value.
Much like with the Mr. Freeze set I reviewed a couple of weeks ago (click here to read it), this one comes with a piece of the Gotham Power Plant. I find it looks more like a chemical plant, but that is just my opinion. By itself, it is a little lack-luster. When you attach the separate bomb piece on, it looks a little more elaborate. There is also a built in switch that you can flip, causing the fuel tank to blow apart. The fuel tank is rather precariously attached for that reason, and comes off very easily. I think they probably could have achieved the same effect and made it more sturdy. Just like with the Mr. Freeze set, the pipe work here is really nice, as is the computer terminal. There is a neat explosive hazard sign sticker to affix to the fuel tank too. As I mentioned with the Mr. Freeze set, I like that these sets are designed to be joined together to create a larger play set. I kind of wish more LEGO sets and themes were designed with this in mind. The other little build that you get with this is Joker’s balloon/jet pack. It is actually fairly nicely designed. My one complaint about it is that the balloons come off super easily. I am not as crazy about this set as the Mr. Freeze set overall, but it is still fun. It earns a build score of 80% from me. MINIFIGURES: 90%
You get two Minifigs in this set, Batman and Joker. Batman is nothing we have not seen before. His facial expressions are a little different than in Mr. Freeze Ice Attack. You get one scowling, and the other surprised. He also comes with a grappling gun, rope, and hook. Otherwise, there is nothing new. He earns the same 80% as before. Joker comes in his traditional purple suit. What I really like about this variation is the overly long coat tails. He also comes with a double-sided face; one side showing an evil grin, and the other laughing. Joker has a front-printed torso and legs, but no rear printing on either. I suppose you could consider the jet pack an accessory, as well as the bomb. At the very least, the two sticks of dynamite on the bomb count as accessories. He also earns 80%. With two Minifigures and 124 pieces, you get a brick-to-Minifigure ratio of 1:62. That is really good, and way below the average for both the theme and LEGO in general according to my analysis of the January 2017 catalogue. So, this set gets a ratio score of 100%. When combined with the design scores from above, this set earns 90% overall for its Minifigures. ENTERTAINMENT: 40%
This set took me 17 minutes to build. With the whole set coming in at $16.99, that means that every minute of build time costs just about $1.00. That is a terrible value in my books, and earns a score of 20%. Luckily for me, I got this set using VIP points, and didn’t actually pay anything for it. As I mentioned before, I am not as crazy about this set as I was the Mr. Freeze Ice Attack. It is still fun, and comes with some nice re-usable parts. But, unlike the Mr. Freeze set, which I will drop into a future custom project more or less as is, this one will probably be modified. The parts will certainly be used, but it will likely not be recognizable when I am done with it. As such, it earns 60% in terms of my enjoyment of it. Combining that score with the really bad build-time value score gives this set an overall entertainment score of 40%.
This set has a decent per-brick value and build. Though the Batman Minifigure is pretty much the same as in any other set, Joker is really nice, and both are pretty good for such a small set. Where this set really suffers is the build-time value. It is a really short build for the price that you will end up paying. If you took advantage of the last Double VIP Points event, this is a fun set to get for free. Otherwise, waiting for a 20% off sale will make the build-time score a pass.
What do you think of The Joker Balloon Escape? Feel free to drop me a line in the comments below.
Until next time,