Jim Lee Batman Collection Review – Part III

HAPPY BATMAN DAY!!🦇Welcome Bat (back) to our last day of Batman Week. I hope you have enjoyed our look at Batman sets this week. For today’s final review I am bringing you one last look at the Jim Lee Batman Collection. This one’s the biggun’ – the triple size ultimate Batman portrait made by combining three sets. Part II, the Batman/Catwoman double-size portrait, was my first foray into combined LEGO®️ Art sets. And while I very much enjoyed the experience, I was most eager to get this beastly set built and up on my wall. I have talked A LOT about these mosaics this week. As such, I’m keeping this one a bit more concise. So please make sure to check out my other Art reviews for full details on these types of builds. On to the set of a million studs!

NOTE: Two copies of this set were provided by The LEGO® Group to True North Bricks for review. The third was purchased independently. This does not guarantee a favourable review and all opinions are my own. For a breakdown of the rating system, please click here.

set SUMMARY

JIM LEE BATMAN COLLECTION (31205) | ART / 18+ | MARCH 1st, 2022

Original Artwork by Jim Lee and Alex Sinclair. ©️2022 DC Comics and The LEGO®️ Group
  • COST:  $449.97 CAD
  • BRICK COUNT: 12,501
  • COST-PER-BRICK: $0.04
  • BUILD TIME:
    w/ disassembly = 567 mins
    w/o disassembly = 466 mins
  • COST-PER-MIN:
    w/ dissassembly = $0.79
    w/o dissassembly = $0.97
  • DIMENSIONS:
    146 x 50 studs
    136cm x 40cm
  • TOTAL STUDS AVAILABLE:
    11,901
  • TOTAL STUDS USED:
    6912 (58%)
  • TOTAL FRAME PIECES:
    258 (65% used overall)

QUICK SUMMARY

  • VALUE: 92% (a great value overall even if only looking at total pieces used)
  • BUILD: 100% (the most enjoyable of the options, great design and colour use)
  • ENTERTAINMENT: 98% (my favourite of the five for display, a very epic piece of wall art)
  • OVERALL SCORE: 97% (a must-have for Art and Batman theme fans, a very fun set)

VALUE: 92%

The Jim Lee Batman Collection is technically the largest set I have built to date. Combining three copies of this set yields over 12,000 pieces to play with. Purchasing all three will set you back $449.97 CAD which, although pricey, still gives us a cost-per-brick of $0.04. And yes, that’s still an outrageously good value and a score of 100%.

But if I may get my stats hat on for a moment here to slightly editorialize. After building 5 different mosaics I realized that you don’t get to use anywhere near that many pieces. Twenty-seven plates at 48 Studs apiece combines for a total ‘area’ of 6,912 studs. That’s only 58% of the 12,501 studs you have at your disposal. It’s so odd to have that many extra pieces. What does one do with the remaining 5,589 studs? Ultimately, you will make this giant portrait with 7,170 pieces (frame included). Using that number we would still get an excellent cost-per-brick of $0.06, which is still 100%. So even with a million leftovers, this is definitively an awesome value.

Call Me An Expert

After building and disassembling four mosaics, I can safely boast that I am a pro at this theme. I took apart the Batman/Catwoman image in only 100 minutes. Altering my previous method clearly made for positive results. But don’t get me wrong, it was still a bit monotonous. My final build time including the dismantle was 567 minutes. That’s certainly faster than expected but also not surprising given how many I have done now. And the large swaths of one colour make for faster building. At one point I even had both hands placing studs down with ease. With these numbers I get a cost-per-minute of $0.79 for a score of 83%. Considering how quickly I built this, I’m happy to still get a decent score that’s above average. This ultimate triple build gets a final Value score of 92%.

BUILD: 100%

Like the Bat and the Cat, instructions for the Jim Lee Batman Collection can be found and downloaded online. In this case there are lots and lots of extra pieces. I kept my bags of sorted studs handy and got to work on those 27 plates. Not much new to report here in terms of technique. If you’re at all a fan of Batman, then you will love this incredible build. Jim Lee’s artwork is wonderfully translated here into a mosaic of epic proportions. The extra space really allows for tons of detail and a totally substantial scale. The finished build feels a little fragile when you pick it up, but it’s certainly sturdy enough – just don’t grab it in the middle to avoid any excessive bending.

Leftovers for Days

With each opened box I was able to leave bags of studs sealed because I knew I wouldn’t need them. In starting this final mega build, I had ten bags intact, eventually needing to open the navy blue and dark gray for a top up. Even the frame pieces leave you with quite the inventory of spare parts. So if you’re a moc maker, you get a nice little boost of very useful pieces. And of course, you’re left with a few thousand studs to store or reuse. Any mosaic makers out there will be happy. I also took the spare 2×16 and 2×8 plates and used them on the back to better secure the giant pieces together. A little extra stability never hurts.

Big Bad Bat

Batman’s colour scheme is really well realized here. The suit is done with plenty of grays, blues and black. This palette gives me serious 1970’s Dennis O’Neill and Neal Adams vibes. And like all the other builds, the use of the metallic gray is a nice touch helping give some depth and variety to an otherwise flat image. Of the 16 colours, only medium lavender goes unused. I do find it odd that it couldn’t find a spot anywhere in all the space. His tan/white utility belt really stands out against an entire middle section of gray, black and more gray. That batarang feels a bit tiny, but its blue colour is smart against his monochromatic torso.

Unlike the Bat/Cat image, we get less background detail. Whereas Batman and Catwoman are in front of a skyline, here we see Bruce taking up most of the space and nothing apparent behind him. The only ‘background’ is some smoke or clouds that are cleverly done in red. I really like the primary colours that contrast nicely against one another. And that highlight in green is a great way to define the figure and add a splash of colour. Rendering him in a slight profile view makes for a much more dynamic pose too. It’s a spot-on recreation of an iconic hero is a very classic pose. Overall this is the best design of all five options and I’m giving it a very enthusiastic 100%.

ENTERTAINMENT: 98%

If you’re looking for a statement piece, this is it people! This is easily the best displayable build of the five and it will absolutely make an impression on your wall. You don’t get really get a clear idea of the size until you’re finished. It’s seriously big and not for those with limited space. So while I didn’t enjoy the build process any more than the previous four, I will give it higher marks for pure stage presence. I will reiterate that building this set from unopened boxes and not having to dismantle them would easily make for a better experience. But even with the disassembly it do go much smoother this time around. So the tedium was thankfully lessened. My final score for this category is 98%.

OVERALL: 97%

If you are a Batman fan or a mosaic fan, this is definitely a must-have. The Art theme is a staple of the 18+/For Adults category and I am genuinely impressed with all the releases thus far. These combination builds take advantage their bigger size to show max detail. And we need to acknowledge how it’s no small feat to reuse a set amount of pieces to make alternate images. So hat’s off to Kit Kossman and the entire team for these awesome achievements. Despite making five giant mosaics in 2 weeks (oh deadlines…) I still had a tremendous amount of fun. I’m always eager to talk Batman and I now have an epic display piece in my LEGO®️ room. My final score is 97%.

And that is a wrap on the Jim Lee Batman Collection AND Batman week my friends. I know that’s three very similar reviews, but I hope you enjoyed looking at the differences among them. I certainly did. I hope you take these sets into consideration for the Bat fans and Art lovers in your life. But what do you think of this giant homage to the Caped Crusader? Do you have any of the large portraits from other releases? Are you doing anything fun and nerdy for Batman Day? Please comment below and share your opinions with us. Thanks for reading and as always, keep on brickin’. 🧱

-Frank

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