Batmobile: The Penguin Chase Review

The Batman starring Robert Pattinson hit theaters last week. I went to see it on day one. It was my first trip to the movies since the pandemic began. To celebrate, I reached into my pile of shame and pulled out Batmobile: The Penguin Chase. I bought this set months ago simply because I collect cinematic Batmobiles in LEGO® form. I have minifig scale versions of ‘60s Batmobile, the ’89 Batmobile, the Tumbler, and the DCEU Batmobile. Even though I am not super keen on it, how could I not get Pattinson’s too? I already reviewed the larger Technic version of this set. It feels more like a Fast and Furious ride than a Batmobile. However, a Batmobile it is. With the movie out, the time is right to review the smaller one too!

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BATMOBILE SUMMARY

  • NAME: Batmobile – The Penguin Chase
  • SET #: 76181
  • THEME: DC Comics Superheroes
  • COST: $39.99 CAD
  • BRICK COUNT: 392
  • MINIFIGURES: 2
  • RELEASE DATE: October 9, 2021

BATMOBILE QUICK REVIEW

  • VALUE: 84% (Very good cost-per-brick and a good amount of build time for the price.)
  • BUILD: 90% (Great looking car, but those stickers drove me nuts.)
  • MINIFIGURES: 88% (Great character designs, but two minifigs is not enough.)
  • ENTERTAINMENT: 90% (Not my favorite Batmobile, but it its fun anyway.)
  • OVERALL SCORE: 88% (Pretty good set.)

BATMOBILE: THE PENGUIN CHASE REVIEW

VALUE: 84%

The Batmobile costs $39.99 in Canada. Additionally, the set includes 392 pieces. The resulting cost-per-brick is $0.102. Comparatively, our average cost-per-brick across all themes at True North Bricks is $0.138. For the Superheroes theme alone, it is $0.132. Consequently, this Batmobile is a good value no matter how you look at it. You get a good number of bricks for the price. I rate the cost-per-brick at 92%.

Batmobile: The Penguin Chase

I assembled the Batmobile in 55 minutes. That is comparable to the time I spent on the ‘60s and ’89 minifig scale versions. At full price, the cost-per-minute works out to $0.73. By comparison, the average cost-per-minute of build time at True North Bricks is currently $0.85. For the Superheroes theme, it is $0.77. As such, you get a good (but not great) amount of build time with this set. That earns 84%. Averaging this with the cost-per-brick score gives a final value rating of 84%.

BUILD: 90%

This set only includes a Batmobile. I quite like that. So often, we get sets that have a main build accompanied by crappy side builds. A set called “The Penguin Chase” could easily include a lame second vehicle. Thankfully, the Penguin has to try and outrun Batman on foot in this set. Additionally, the Batmobile looks great. The engine in particular is wonderfully detailed for a set of this size.

Batmobile: The Penguin Chase engine.

The interior is also great. I was surprised by how much detail it has. Firstly, two Minifigures fit side-by-side. However, the dashboard is really the showpiece. I love the angle of it. Additionally, the steering wheels has a gear stick. I don’t think I have ever seen that in a Minifigure scale car. It looks good. With that said, the model does not have doors. You remove the roof to place Minifigures inside.

I do have a word of warning for all the sticker haters out there. There are tiny stickers in this set. Stickers do not normally bother me. However, the tiny ones in this set started to. There are not many of them. However, they are hard to place with big fingers. Ultimately, I enjoyed this build. I liked building the engine and the cab. The parts usage is fun. Do I love it as much as previous Batmobiles in my collection? Perhaps not. But that is more because of the movie version’s look rather than anything related to the build. I rate this model at 90%.

Batmobile: The Penguin Chase

MINIFIGURES: 88%

Batmobile: The Penguin Chase includes two Minifigures. Both feature new prints and all the standard parts. Batman’s torso and leg printing in particular is amazing. However, Batman features the original LEGO® Batman cowl. It makes this Batman look like Will Arnett’s version. I do not feel the cowl looks at all like Pattinson’s version. The newer cowl piece would do a better job. But designers really should have made a new one. With that said, the characters still look great and have double sided faces, front and back torso printing, and leg printing. Batman also comes with an alternate head and hairpiece, which also has two expressions. Finally, the characters come with two guns (one new model of stud shooter), and two Batarangs. I rate the character design at 100%, despite the lack of a new cowl.

Two Minifigures in a 392-piece kit gives a brick-to-fig ratio of 196 bricks/fig. Comparatively, our average at True North Bricks for the Superheroes theme is about 175 bricks/fig. Across all themes, the average is 170 bricks/fig. As such, you do not get many characters for a set this size. The offering is not terrible though. I rate the character count at 76%. Averaging this with the design score gives and overall Minifigure rating of 88%.

ENTERTAINMENT: 90%

This Batmobile looks more like a car than a Batmobile. I know, I know, that is the point. Several people are probably ready to tell me that this is Batman early in his career, he doesn’t have the bells and whistles. Or perhaps how this is a more realistic vision of Batman and his car. For me, Batman is not about realism. Batman is about escape. I want fiction, I want an amazing looking Batmobile that does not look like Vin Diesel’s Furious 1000 sequel ride. For that reason, I am not as happy with this car as other Batmobiles I own.

Penguin from Batmobile: The Penguin Chase

From a play perspective, it has two front missile launchers. If you have small fingers, you can even launch them independently. As a playset, this Batmobile is great. Despite my misgivings about the film’s direction with this car, it is nice to display with my others. I rate the entertainment at 90%.

OVERALL SCORE: 88%

Batmobile: The Penguin Chase is a good value set with good Minifigures. The build is surprisingly detailed for a set this size, and it has play value. Batman fans will enjoy the set. That is particularly true if you have a Batmobile collection, like me. It is not my favorite Batmobile, but again, that has nothing to do with the LEGO® set and more to do with this need to make comic book characters realistic. What do you think of this Batmobile? Let us know in the comments below or reach out on social media.

Until next time,

-Tom

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