A few weeks ago, LEGO revealed the latest Ultimate Collector Series-style Batmobile, 76139 1989 Batmobile, which will be available for the first time on Nov. 29, Black Friday (US $249.99 | CAN $299.99 | UK £219.99). Shoppers who brave the crowds between Nov. 29 and Dec. 5 to purchase the giant 3,306-piece version of Tim Burton’s Batmobile will also get a free Gift With Purchase (GWP) set in the form of a smaller, minifigure-scale model of the same iconic car. 40433 1989 Batmobile has 366 pieces and features a similar rotating stand and info placard.
While any free LEGO is good LEGO, gift with purchase sets range from uninspired afterthoughts to enticingly fantastic. So how does the mini 1989 Batmobile stack up? Spoiler alert: it’s very, very good. In fact, the most disappointing thing about it is that it is a gift with purchase, which means you can’t easily get multiples without laying out some serious cash to get multiple copies of the big set.
The box and build
The mini 1989 Batmobile feels like a full, standalone set, not something that was developed to be given away as free swag with a bigger set. At 366 pieces, it’s larger than the vast majority of GWP sets. Inside, the parts are packed into four numbered bags, and there’s only a single sticker for the placard.
The build progresses with a lot of details, and you quickly get a feel for how large this car is. Sure, it’s not strictly minifigure scale like some fan designs, but LEGO cars of all stripes are always a little oversized, due to the nature of the medium. What quickly impressed, though, was the level of detailing with lots of bracket elements for studs-not-on-top work around the wheel wells and side panels. There’s also a simple geared mechanism to spin the jet engine flame as the rear wheels turn.
The completed model
The finished car is beautiful model. Tim Burton’s sleek, curving design has been translated remarkably well into curved slopes. Paired with the simple yet effective turntable stand and placard, it’s a great display piece all its own, and the size makes it much easier to display than the large one. I can see many fans getting the pair and displaying one at the office and one at home.
The bullet nose looks fantastic, while around back the quad exhaust pipes and taillights give the car gravitas.
The tan interior is minimal but is accessible thanks to a hinged canopy. And speaking of tan, I did encounter one very odd thing: the set includes a tan 1×2 hinge brick base that’s not used in the set at all. Two yellow ones are used in the set, but the tan one has no home, according to the instructions, although it does appear in the set’s inventory. I’d guess that it didn’t get deleted from the digital files of an earlier version of the model. While LEGO’s plastic element quality largely remains as good as it’s always been, we here at The Brothers Brick have been noticing a marked uptick in instruction errors and oddities like this over the last few years. Thankfully this one is benign and just leaves you with a free, moderately uncommon element.
If I do have one gripe with the set design, though, it’s the dark grey barrels used as the intakes on the sides. They really should be black. Black barrels haven’t been produced by LEGO since 1990, and they only came in a single space shuttle set. LEGO designers often work with restrictions on getting elements in colors not currently in production, and adding black barrels to this set was apparently low in the priority list.
While the set doesn’t include any minifigures, the large-scale Batmobile includes three. Since the two sets are sold as a matched pair (for now, at least) that won’t be an issue for people who have both. Right now, LEGO says it’s only available during the week following Black Friday, while supplies last. It remains to be seen if LEGO will make the set available somehow after that period. The good news for fans, though, is that I don’t immediately spot any unique elements in this set, which means it will be easy to recreate once the instructions are available from LEGO’s website for those who can’t justify forking over $250 this holiday to get the big Batmobile set, because every LEGO Batman fan will want a copy of this model.
LEGO 40433 1989 Batmobile includes 366 pieces. It is available Nov. 29-Dec. 5, 2019, as a Gift With Purchase for buyers of 76139 1989 Batmobile, which retails for US $249.99 | CAN $299.99 | UK £219.99.
Be sure to also read our review of the big set: 76139 1989 Batmobile Review
The LEGO Group provided The Brothers Brick with a copy of this set for review. Providing TBB with products for review guarantees neither coverage nor positive reviews.
Check out all the images below: