Well hello there! Welcome to what is most likely the best review you will ever... well, no. I lied. This is my first review, as well as my first post. So hi! I've been looking forward to some Batman sets tied to the Nolanverse and couldn't resist picking this up. I also thought I'd try my hand at a review. So, here goes.
Set Name: The Bat vs. Bane: Tumbler Chase
Set #: 76001
Theme: DC Superheroes
Year of Release: 2013
Price at Release: US $39.99 - AU $69.99 - UK - £39.99
Nothing too special here, although the TDKR logo in the bottom corner was somewhat interesting. The art behind the vehicles is actually better than I was expecting, and is somewhat reminiscent of Gotham in the film. I'm not sure why Commissioner Gordon is firing at the Tumbler.
I was a bit surprised to see multiple booklets in this set, given the size. Aside from that, you get three bags, the standard comic book (which I believe is the same one included with the Arkham Asylum set and others), and a code to download the PC version of the original Lego Batman. While I own a gaming PC, I can't imagine that most of the kids buying or receiving this set do. However, upon further reflection that was really the only viable option, as I don't believe Lego Batman is on the marketplace of either the PS3 or Xbox 360. Cool that they threw it in there regardless! (Adding to my already enormous backlog of unfinished games).
Also seemed a bit odd that all the minifigures weren't included in the first bag, but instead each bag contained the parts for one. Bag 1 had Bane, Bag 2 had Batman, etc. My only thought was that they wanted you to build the figure with the respective vehicle, thus Bane in the first bag with the Tumbler.
Finally, the stickers. No. Just no. I'm not going to rehash the usual sticker hatred, I don't think anyone prefers them to printed pieces. But why did the designers feel the need to add what are essentially Bane logos/mascots to the tumbler in this set? Why would there be an image of Bane's mask on the front and hatch of the tumbler. It makes absolutely no sense, and it detracts horribly from what is already a sketchy recreation of the vehicle in the film. The same can be said about the bat logo on The Bat (you wouldn't have known the vehicle called "The Bat" belonged to Batman if you didn't see that logo?), but at least it's not quite as glaring. Extremely disappointing either way.
Due to a complete lack of competence on my part, I only remembered to take a picture of the contents of bag one splayed out on the table. Pictures aside, rest assured bag two and three do indeed contain Batman, Gordon and The Bat.
As you can see, quite a few tan pieces. The sadly not pictured bags two and three contain blue and black pieces, which of course is quite unusual. No, really. They do!
As far as I'm concerned, this is easily the best part of the set. I'm a huge fan of the film trilogy, and the opportunity to get my hands on a Bane minifgure was something I couldn't miss. Thus, let's start with
My own excitement from the fact that this even exists aside, the detailing is pretty good. Bane's mask has a nice silver paint, and the plates on his armor also have a darker metallic paint which looks pretty great. While I would have preferred a molded headpiece over the printed mask, it still looks great even with the weird split between the print on the sides of his head. Aside from that, the legs are a bit barren but the lack of leg printing makes sense in this case.
The suit printing is great, although perhaps more inspired by the design of the suit in The Dark Knight. The lack of some basic leg printing is disappointing, I think even just some kneecap bits would have been incredible. Not clear on the grey color either, but it still looks fantastic.
Back printing is excellent as well, especially the metallic ribbing.
Not much to comment on here. The swat uniform is pretty much what I expected, and it looks exactly like a minifig version of Gary Oldman. I'm satisfied. Could it have been better? Sure. But all in all, it's fine.
I didn't document the entire build, but I compiled a fair chunk of it. Nothing crazy to comment on, just a fairly standard build with some of the new-ish SNOT pieces seen in, for example, the Arkham Asylum set. I'll let the pictures take it from here:
I'm going to be a bit critical here, so be prepared. Well, maybe a bit of an overstatement, it's not going to be that bad. Let's start with the tumbler!
Doesn't look too bad! However, there are a few flaws. For example, the design. (I said I was going to be critical. I meant it)
While it retains the distinctive look of the tumbler, it is easily one of the worst designs I've seen of the tumbler. The oversized tumbler from the Batman Begins set a few years ago was better, most of the MOC's I see are much better, and to be completely honest it's just disappointing. It's also way too small.
There's the usual flick fire bit, hidden by some flaps (which I definitely appreciate, I'm not a fan of the aesthetic qualities of the flickfire setup).
From the front:
Definitely a tumbler. It's worth noting that when a minifigure is in the cockpit, their head is up near the hatch, not by the window. Hmm.
The flame is kind of cool, and somewhat accurate to the films. However, the lack of double tires is completely unacceptable. That is a defining feature of the real vehicle's design, and the lack of it here is just bad. If I had to choose only one thing to fix about this set, it would doubtless be this glaring flaw. I could go on for days about how disappointing this is, so I'll just move on.
One more picture, from the side:
I lied again, I still have one more with Bane:
Not sure why I had the wings folded flat in the last two, but now you know it's possible! Which is totally why I did that. Yes... completely planned.
Oddly enough, I actually like this model better than the Tumbler. Does the cockpit design remind me of something I built a decade ago? Absolutely. It's not very good. It's also worth noting that literally almost ever MOC I've seen of the bat is better than this one. But once fully assembled and articulated properly, it's a pretty cool looking vehicle that does look essentially like the one in the film. My only real complaint is the blue highlights. I hate them. They have no purpose, and they really detract from the set. Also, Nightwing.
Minifigures: 8/10 - Bane is great, Batman is pretty great but could be better, and Gordon is kind of just... there. He exists, and I can't find anything objectively bad about him, but... I feel that it could have been better.
Parts: 7/10 - Nothing special. I don't have a lot of tan pieces, and there was one or two new SNOT pieces, but just an average selection.
Design: 5/10 - It's pretty bad. The tumbler is missing significant, defining features and is not movie accurate at all. The Bane mask logo stickers are almost unforgivable. The Bat is merely ok, but the cockpit is dated, and the blue trim is unnecessary and overall detracting.
Price: 6/10 - Not bad. I paid $39 USD, and I feel like I got my money's worth, which I've only thought before about the UCS R2-D2. However, the price in several other regions, specifically the U.K, is absurd.
Playability: 8/10 - Playability seems to be the only thing this set was designed in mind of, with the tumbler and The Bat being very sturdy, and of course the atrocious stickers. Yes, I mention the stickers here because the only reason I can imagine someone justifying their existence is to make sure it looks cool enough for the demographic it's targeted at.
Overall: 6/10 - I want to like this set. Honestly. And for the most part, I do! It has some cool elements, and the minifigures are amazing, especially if your a fan of the films. For me, even with all the problems this set has, it was worth the purchase because of the property it was based on. However, that isn't enough. I hadn't purchased any sets from any themes aside from Star Wars until this point, and as far as design goes I have to say this is the worst Lego set I own. Even the 7144 Slave 1 I own from over a decade ago was a better depiction of the source material than the vehicles in this set. Unless you love the films, I can't recommend this set, and even as someone who does love the films I was quite disappointed with almost every aspect of it. I'm crossing my fingers that future sets in TDKR sub-theme will be much, much better designed.
Thanks for reading, or glancing at the pictures as I often do myself. As I mentioned, this is my first review so any tips would be appreciated and put to use in the future. Hope you enjoyed!
Edit (1/07/2013): I updated the original pricing score to reflect the pricing in other regions.