LEGO DC 76224 Batmobile: Batman vs. The Joker Chase [REVIEW]

Believe it or not, there was a time when movies about superheroes were few and far between. Comics were seen by the general audience as cheap and disposable children’s entertainment. But all that changed in 1989, when Tim Burton’s Batman conquered the world. From clothing to video games to breakfast cereal, it seemed like there was nowhere you could go without getting a bat-logo shoved in your face. And we loved it. Batman would continue to dominate the cultural landscape well into the 1990s, but Michael Keaton would only reprise the character for the follow-up Batman Returns and then never play the character again ever in any movie at all. (No need to fact-check that statement, I’ve done the research.) And, while LEGO recently celebrated Batman Returns with the impressive 76252 Batcave Shadowbox set, the original 1989 film that started it all is getting some more affordable love with two smaller sets featuring Batman’s iconic vehicles. The first of these is 76224 Batmobile: Batman vs. The Joker Chase. This 438-piece set will be available August 1st for US $47.99 | CAN $59.99 | UK £42.99. But is it a set worthy of the cultural juggernaut that spawned it? Let’s get nuts and find out.

The LEGO Group provided The Brothers Brick with an early copy of this set for review. Providing TBB with products for review guarantees neither coverage nor positive reviews.

Unboxing the parts, instructions, and stickers

The Batmobile comes packaged in a thumb-punch style package. Most of the front is given to a shot of Batman’s nemesis, The Joker, fleeing from the speeding car. The DC Logo, and the shiny black and gold bat-emblem that served as the logo for the original movie adorn the top of the bow, while down below we get the usual minifigure mugshots.

On the back we see Joker apprehended as Batman waves around his weapons and some inset images show-off the car’s play features: pop-up cannons, a storage compartment, and spinning flame exhaust.

Inside are four numbered bags, one instruction booklet, and a small sticker sheet.

The build

Despite the rather monochrome color of the final car, the build offers plenty of colorful bricks which you’ll make use of early on to craft the core of the vehicle. Reds, greens, yellows, and lots of fancy chrome are all offered up early before you cloak the whole set in black.

There’s also some gear work at play to craft the cannon and flame play functions.

One of the rarer pieces in this set is a Trans-Clear brick with two studs on top and four studs on either side. This piece isn’t new to this set, but it is a rarity. The Studs Not On Top technique is put to good use here as a way to craft the vehicles side intakes.

Eventually you get to primarily black pieces and the familiar car begins to take shape.

The final model

When all is said and done, the results are unmistakable: It’s the Batmobile, complete with its trademark center turbine and various fins and vents. Although it isn’t a flawless recreation. The cannon function keeps the car from achieving a more accurate hourglass shape, for instance. At first glance, it looks identical to the Batmobile that comes in the Batcave Shadowbox set. But eagle-eyed fans will spot a couple of differences, in the form of differently constructed side vents, rear fins that don’t angle up as much, and decorative elements protruding from the center of the wheels.

Batman sits comfortably in the driver’s seat, but with no room for Vicki Vale to ride along (kind of a bummer, considering the size of the model).

Turning a very unsightly gear on the right side of the hood causes two cannons to pop-up, knocking some covers away as they do.

The cannons are visible while retracted, but they do a great job of mimicking the car’s various sci-fi engine greebling.

And in the back, the flame spins as you roll the car along. The conical piece used here does come in black, and I think that would have worked better. While the actual car’s rear thruster was more gray than black, it was also proportionally smaller in relation to the car. The large cone here is too much gray for my taste.

The set also comes with plenty of gear for Batman – a grappling gun, a pair of handcuffs, and of course a batarang. All of this stores easily in a rear compartment with a flip-up door.

The minifigures

The 1989 film had only two costumed/code-named characters in it, and both are available in this set: Batman and his arch-nemesis The Joker.

If you missed the UCS Batmobile and Batwing, then this is one of your first chances to grab 1989’s Batman in minifigure form. And this is a new version of the suit from those UCS sets. The rubber cape and cowl single piece has been replaced with a more traditional cloth cape and separate plastic cowl. The cloth cape, of course, allows Batman to sit inside the car. And this is a brand-new plastic cowl, with dual molded white plastic for the eyes, meaning Batman no longer needs to be wearing a white headband on his forehead. You can place any minifigure head under that mask and it’ll work just as well. Although the shorter ears are slightly less accurate to Keaton’s costume than the UCS cowl, I still think this new cowl piece is pretty cool and will offer plenty of Bat-options in the future.

The Joker is a solid take on the character, although he doesn’t capture Jack Nicholson as well as the UCS figure did. And there are several movie-specific details missing, like his acid squirting flower. Since the head and torso are new prints, I have to imagine that, like the new Bat-cowl, LEGO is planning to reuse these pieces in sets that aren’t tied into the 1989 film. Still, this Joker comes with hair in the proper shade of green, which the UCS figure was missing.

Conclusion and recommendation

This is a solid set. Certainly it is LEGO’s best minifigure-scale attempt at this car to date. But it isn’t quite perfect. The play features tend to get in the way of complete screen accuracy, and I kinda mourn the set we could have had if it had been designed without them. But I doubt the play features will bother the casual builder picking this up for a hit of nostalgia, and more serious builders can probably alter the car to fit their needs without much effort. I know I’ve already started poaching it for pieces to revise my own Batmobile-MOC. And the minifigures are really strong. If you can’t swing the Batcave Shadowbox, but you need a Keaton-Era Batmobile in your life, this set is definitely going to scratch that itch.

76224 Batmobile: Batman vs. The Joker Chase comes with 438 pieces and will be available on August 1st for US $47.99 | CAN $59.99 | UK £42.99. It may also be available from third-party sellers on Amazon and eBay.

The LEGO Group provided The Brothers Brick with an early copy of this set for review. Providing TBB with products for review guarantees neither coverage nor positive reviews.

2 comments on “LEGO DC 76224 Batmobile: Batman vs. The Joker Chase [REVIEW]

  1. Chris Adams

    I have been waiting for a duel injected Batman cowl ever since the red Captain Marvel helmet came out a couple of years back.

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