We don’t yet know how good The LEGO Batman Movie will be when it hits theaters Feb. 10, 2017, but if we can judge by the sets and trailers, it will definitely be a memorable take on the dark knight and his many nemeses. The sets based on the film are awash in villains both famous and obscure, including most of the mainstays of Gotham lore. The Penguin is one such iconic villain who hasn’t seen much screen time in recent years; in fact, the Penguin hasn’t made a big-screen appearance since 1992’s Batman Returns. Ever the dapper madman however, the Gentleman of Crime is back in The LEGO Batman Movie with a posh cruiser befitting his illicit opulence.
70911 The Penguin Arctic Roller contains 305 pieces and 2 minifigures. It will be available Jan. 1, 2017. We don’t yet have word on the price, but expect around $30 USD.
This is a striking car, and I couldn’t wait to start building the set from the moment it arrived from LEGO. A monstrous 6-wheeled coupe, the Arctic Roller is a completely different take on a crime lord’s cruiser from The Joker’s Notorious Lowrider that we reviewed a few days ago. It seems to be a mashup of Duesenbergs, the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen’s Nautilus Car, and the 1923 Hispano-Suiza H6A 6-Wheel Victoria Town Car, a real-life 6-wheeled luxury sloop.
Inside the box are two numbered bags, and an instruction booklet for each. The build is pretty straightforward, with a Technic frame and a largely simple studs-up construction. The running boards do make use of some modified tiles to allow the fenders to clip in place, and the middle of the engine also narrows to a single stud width to accommodate the wide fenders. There are lots of curved white slopes, and a good variety of gold elements.
But while there aren’t too many unusual techniques to see on this grand beast, the designer has done a magnificent job shaping the model with interesting pieces. The most obvious, of course, are the billowing fenders made from hot air balloon panels. They lock into place firmly, and a more elegant design would be hard to imagine, with their smooth transition to the curving white brick 1x3x2 along the doors.
The silver and gold accents look great against the black and white body of the car, and little details go a long way. The exhausts on the sides are made with upturned revolvers, and the lowest pair of headlights with light grey ice cream cones (a first in this color). The door handles are purely for show, since the doors don’t open. The roof, however, lifts off for easy access to the single seat inside that’s spacious enough to fit the Penguin and his top hat. Like most characters in Gotham, the Penguin has a flair for thematic elements, and so the hood ornament is a tiny penguin, and the sides are adorned with bullet-nosed fish tipped with red unicorn horns. Both bumpers sport a 1×2 tile stickered with a fancy license plate reading High Flyer. All of the decorated elements in the set are stickers, except the 2×2 round tile fan on the hood.
The back hatch lifts open revealing a long, narrow trunk into which slides a little scooter that vaguely resembles a penguin, made of only 8 pieces. Still, the scooter works well enough as an extra play feature for the real vehicle, and it’s better than penguin-shaped luggage. And speaking of play features, pressing the radiator cap on the hood fires two trans-blue spring-loaded darts from the grille.
The Penguin’s Arctic Roller comes with two minifigures; the Penguin, and of course, Batman.
Batman is the same minifigure as in most of the other The LEGO Batman Movie sets; a black suit with a nifty new yellow utility belt piece, and a soft cloth cape (not starched like most capes). He also carries his Batarang. The head is double sided with two alternate expressions, and the utility belt slips over the hip studs. It’s got 4 small pouches on both the front and back, as well as several small canisters on the back. Like all the sets with Batman, a spare utility belt is included.
The Penguin is the real star here. He sports a brand new top hat and umbrella, and wears a white fur stole around his shoulders. Interestingly, the fur is not the same piece that Kraven the Hunter wears in 76057 Spider-Man: Web Warriors Ultimate Bridge Battle, but is a smoother, more refined-looking stole that slips around the shoulders and head. The new top hat and umbrella are fantastic, and are just begging to be used for a Steampunk gentleman. The torso print shows a grey and white striped vest with a purple polka-dotted cravat. The Penguin’s head is light aqua, and neither head nor the torso have any printing on the back.
The Conclusion & Recommendation
The design alone of this stylized road coach is enough to recommend it. The Penguin has always been a laughably eccentric villain, but this car gives him class. There may be only two minifigures, but the Penguin’s new accessories make him a must-have — even if you’re not big on comic book characters, you’re sure to find other uses for the elements. Most of the playability in the set comes from the fact that it has wheels and rolls, and the Penguin’s scooter doesn’t add much, but we think you won’t care. This car exudes villainy and cool just sitting there, and is sure to be a favorite.
70911 The Penguin Arctic Roller will be available in January 2017. Check out our reviews of other sets from The LEGO Batman Movie below:
The LEGO Group sent The Brothers Brick an early copy of this set for review. Providing TBB with products for review guarantees neither coverage nor positive reviews.