*Incoming transmission from Robin’s Scuba Jet*
- You crazy old man! Ar-rgh!
- What’s wrong, Robin? What’s that sound?
- My jet is sinking, dammit! Why the heck didn’t you tell me that Penguin has superpowers!?
- I didn’t know that he has any superpowers…..
- Then why do I see him grinning at me now!?
(The pic is an official box art one.)
Set Number: 7885
Name: Robin's Scuba Jet: Attack of The Penguin
Year of Release: 2008
Price: $20 USD
Brickset, Bricklink, Peeron parts inventory
All images can be found in my brickshelf folder.
This time, ladies and gentlemen, I’m proud to present you my new Batman review, which is not just any review, but a really special one for me. It’s time show you my new submarine as promised in the previous review! We’re going deep!
The box is approximately of the same size as the Scarecrow one. It’s 28 x 28cm which I find to be one of the most reasonable sizes, since I could easily bring home 6 of those from the post without any trouble back there in 2008. oh those good all days when you could buy out entire Bricklink shops of Batman sets!
This set belongs to the third (and, alas, final wave of Batman sets), which received a certain graphic revamp. Those sets were released just before Nolan’s The Dark Knight, so naturally it received the film’s color scheme.
This set was no exception and the box art has been made in the nice black-purple color scheme with a new Bat-symbol in the top right corner. The scattering symbol is iconic for Nolan’s Batman universe and in the left bottom corner you can actually see the Bale Batman himself. And, damn, he’s just ugly. Not Christian Bale, of course, but that hand-drawn Batman! Why is he there, anyway?! It’s the only set you don’t appear in and you just couldn’t let it happen, could you Bats? Now I understand why Boy Wonder hates you.
The top side of the box depicts the minifigs in their actual size. This set as all other 3-rd wave ones (except the Truck one) does not have any unique figures or accessories. Actually this set is jus great for those who couldn’t afford or simply missed the Batcave one, since both of the exclusive wave 1 characters are here, Robin the boy wonder and me, the master of Gotham, lord of the crime underworld, a fine-feathered gentleman of crime, the Penguin. *thunderous applause*
But the best thing about the box art is….. (Haven’t you got it already?) Yes, it’s me again! Chuck Norris has a heart attack, since I can breathe underwater! Not only breathe, but steer the sub at high speeds and still have my monocle fixed as well! Now that’s what I call mastery and class.
Unlike the box art the characters were not changed at all, except that Robin got his hair cut and received rare-at-the-time Mutt’s hairpiece in black. Looks much better this way! (No match when standing next to me, of course!)
The back of the box shows us some play features of the set, and a very nice comic story as usual.
Play features of the set are pretty obvious and still very interesting. Actually I suppose that this set is one of those that really work well for both display and playing purposes. Actually I would point out two main play features here: 1) the rubber torpedo shooting one; 2) opening submarine to place me inside. Yep, it’s that that rare case when I agree that opening hatches/hulls/cockpits are actually play features. And do note that both play features are provided by my sub, yay!
As in each and every Batman set we get a very nice comic story. This time it’s about me chasing Robin, Robin chasing me. Boom, bang! Ka-pow! And he gets me! Wow, how unique, how innovative…. Not to mention that somebody will have to pay for my wet suit from his pocket money now!
Now that is a real torture! Torture I tell you! The set suggests that I should apply this lovely penguin face on the sub’s nose and still I stood firm, braced myself and resisted the temptation. And now look at those awesome illuminator stickers, and the hilarious cuts near the bat-symbol, meaning that I have sunk at least four Bat-vehicles! In your face, Bats!
One more thing that I’d like to draw your attention to is the fact that the penguin drawn on the sub is not actually an Emperor penguin that is usually associated with me, but the Rockhopper penguin, the most aggressive penguin there is. Have a look:
I just love those neat little touches about the sub, that actually make the set become really outstanding.
The instructions booklet shows the same box art as the box front. Nothing special here, a bit battered. Though since I really enjoy the box art it’s good to have a look again.
Here’s a random page of the booklet. Since the vehicles are pretty different in style it’s quite interesting building those. The build is in no way repetitive and not complicated at all.
As I have already said before, this set is an ideal way to get Penguin and Robin’s minifigures if you didn’t have the chance to get the Batcave set. Perhaps it would have been better if Robin got some bat-gadgets in some different color for a change, but it’s okay even without those. The Penguin actually gets a bigger than usual umbrella cupola for some reason, but that can be easily fixed, should you not like that.
Some of you may claim that my opinion is biased toward Penguin’s minifigure, but I’ll try to prove that wrong.
Penguin is a very nice minifigure and one of the best in the whole theme, in my opinion still. He is based on a classical 60-s image of him, as he appears in comic stories and in the Adam West Batman series, played by Burgess Meredith, who made the character extremely popular then, actually making him Batman’s second biggest rival.
He has everything the character needs: a tuxedo suit, a purple bow tie, a podgy belly, a classical orange vest and purple trousers. The color scheme may seem odd for people who got used to either monstrous look of the character or a classical gentleman one. I myself prefer the second one, but find the classical approach a reasonable, still a bit unexpected move from TLC.
Now to cons. I see two major ones here and both are “purple” in some way. The first one is that it would have been much more “classically-classy” if Penguin’s top hat was purple, following the tradition started by comic stories and 60-s series. The second one is legs. I do not like short legs on Penguin minifig at all. Yes, they are supposed to show his moderate height and even look good to make an impression of him being a overweight, but still he looks like a gorilla that way with a normal torso, head and seemingly long hands. I prefer a “normal approach” to the character, which implies that he’s a normal-looking person with a love to penguins and living with class: pretty much like myself in reality!
I find it highly debatable that those little pests can be called minifigures, since I consider them to be "play features", but still they're worth showing. They are exactly the same as ones in the Batcave set. I find the design to be really ingenious though. I remember they have even been used on some Christmas poster in LEGO City theme.
For comparison I gave a Batman Returns movie penguin, since it's the only case Penguin used them as armed soldiers, as far as I remember! For me LEGO ones however have always been mechanical robotic penguins, since normal ones can't weild guns and things like that. Or do they actually want us to think so!?
Robin, the Boy Wonder, minifigure is one of my most favorite Batman minifigures as well. Actually in terms of figs this set is an ideal one for me, since I never shared the general dislike of Robin as a character which can be seen among some Bat-fans.
It is not quite clear what Robin this minifigure is based on, but apparently it’s Tim Drake (the third and last Robin so far), since the first one, Nightwing appears in Arkham set, and the second one, Jason Todd, has been brutally killed by the Joker. Though Tim Drake usually wears red-black outfit….
Aren’t you bored yet? Oh, sorry. The fig itself is just great, the printing shows the boy in his late-teens, who is not that heavily muscled as Batman, but nevertheless he looks imposing. What I really like about the fig is that you can easily change his hands and legs to any color you wish to make every Robin version, starting with 60-s Burt Ward one.
As said before, Robin received a new hairpiece, black Mutt’s hair, instead of Lockheart’s one which he had in the Batcave set and the videogame. Who on earth ever thought of giving him that piece in first place?!
Robin’s Scuba Jet
When I first saw the set back in 2008, I immediately though: “Why does TLC always give Robin vehicles, colored in yellow, red and green?” Yes, I do understand that it’s his colors, but in comic stories and animated series he usually borrows vehicles from Bats, and those are obviously painted black, dark grey, etc…. In fact as far as I remember Robin only has a dark red-black colored motorbike of his own. Still, now that I think of it, I suppose that it would look blank and boring in black, and would be a match to the Penguin’s sub, which will definitely make the set look worse.
You can see that the jet is pretty simple in design and its front is somewhat even plain. Though I must say that it’s good to have that front glass piece, since as far as I remember it has been used only in SW Naboo Fighter set before that. Oh, no? Shame on me! It has also been used for Batwing, of course! Still I never liked it there.
Here is the side of the jet. The jet is pretty small, but it is very sleek at the same time, almost fish-like. The turbines that are usually used for planes and old school Space are used in an innovative way here and come in a green color. You can also see those yellow lights that you can see installed on practically on every Bat-vehicle. Though if we believe the comic and the videogame those are not lights but some kind of energy guns, or something of the kind. Where does Bats get such toys!?
The back of the sub may seem a little silly. I’m no expert in such things but I doubt that the jet would need a propeller at the back when it has the turbines. Still it looks good and no Freud-related images come to my mind, as it was in wave 1 reviews!
Unlike Batman's comfortable vehicles, Robin has quite a miserable cockpit. not to mention the lack of any controll panels and such. I guess his arms and legs should really be acking when he gets out of it. Oh well, works for me!
The front of the sub looks quite interesting and very round, penguin-like. I still can’t really make up my mind about whether I like it with the sticker or without one. Without one looks more realistic and imposing, while stickered one looks much more classy and stylish. It is something for you to decide, but I suppose that applying a sticker would have been better still.
I just love the way designers used those new-fashioned rounded sleek parts here to hake orange markings at the side of the “face”, it looks so penguin-like! Not to mention those slope bricks that are supposed to represent the “flipper-wings”.
On top you can also see a periscope that can go up and down, pretty much like in the previous version of the sub, and the dreaded (and why green?) flick-fire missiles that got in the set somehow. Next time I order a sub, I’ll make sure none of those are included! Useless as they are and just add up to the total price. Bah!
Now the back of the sub is quite imposing with those nice big turbines and a rubber torpedo launcher. The previous version had penguin legs that looked cute but didn’t give an impression of being very useful as a driving force.
Some fans did not like the way the mechanism looked at the back, but it can be easily modded to become another room, or a storage area, or even a compartment for mechanical penguins that come with the set.
Just look at that nice red carpet in my sub! We even get a printed electronic panel brick. And do note that those are the things you do not see when the hull is closed, meaning that the designer did a pretty good job here, making it possible to play little scenes not only with the sub and the jet themselves, but inside the sub as well.
I was really amazed when editing the complete set photo, that it looked a bit blank on the verge of being “classic-looking” (in a bad way) without the stickers attached. I can’t believe that I’m saying that, but I’d recommend you to add those, at least the ones to the sub. Pimp my sub!
In this set I managed to calculate at least three major play features, which makes the set one of the most appealing in that matter in the whole line of LEGO Batman sets. Let’s have a closer look at this epic underwater birdfight between Robin and Penguin!
The main and the most obvious feature is the torpedo shooting one. It’s simple, yet interesting mechanism is shown above. Note that it doesn’t actually shoot it in the horizontal trajectory, but a bit higher. Up, up and away!
Speaking of torpedoes. Those proved to be pretty effective against Bats and Robin before! How do they always get out!?
See!? They cheated!
Earlier I did say that it is that rare occasion when I do consider opening cockpits to be play features. And my sub is the best example here with all those scenes you can possibly make. I even invited some of my colleague-villains to share my joy!
The third one may be a bit controversial one, and I remember having quite a discussion about whether to consider penguins to be minifigs or play features. Since they are brick-build (and robotic the way I see it) I consider them to be play features.
In the set we get two of those guys, one armed with a revolver gun and another with the underwater hunting rifle. In their design they are exactly the same as the ones in the Batcave set, apart from the weapons choice.
I was very glad to receive two of those in the set, which were instantly added to my 300+ Penguin Armada!
Design: 5/5 I can’t really find any single big design flay which may spoil the rating. It may not be the most beautiful or unusual set, but it is very neat and has everything it needs, no more, no less.
Build: 5/5 The build is simple and fast. But at the same time not repetitive. What else can we ask for?
Minifigs: 5/5 We do not get any exclusive minifigures, but this set is a cheap way to get Penguin and Robin ones. Very thoughtful of TLG.
Playability: 5/5 – Three playable features, with a little bonus as brick-build penguins. That is something worth being given a 5.
Parts: 4/5 – A nice collection of useful parts and some rounded sleek bricks. Though the set may seem blank with the lack of stickers. If it were printed, it would have become one of the best Batman sets.
Price:5/5 – 207 bricks for $20 is a very fair piece/price ratio. Nothing of that kind can be seen now.
Overall: 5/5 – According to my ratings this set is one of the best. In fact it can easily compete with Two-Face one, or the Scarecrow one. I tried to be fair and objective, but suppose that I will get accusations of being biased to my own vehicle still!
Good day, ladies and gentlemen! )
Edited by The Penguin, 13 April 2011 - 04:09 PM.