76161 Batman 1989 Batwing Review

Reviewed by Thys Brits (SAFOLs Member, jhbLUG Member)

I have not done many reviews on LEGO® sets (in fact, this is only my second one), but I’ve read quite a few and appreciate what people who have done many of them try to put into them. Seeing as there have been so many other reviews done on pretty much every LEGO® set out there, I decided to keep it straightforward and simple. Here are the views of an avid LEGO® builder (not collector), although as a family, we have managed to build up quite a collection over the last few years.

Apart from looking great next to the earlier released 1989 Batmobile, the Batwing makes a unique display piece that can be easily wall-mounted. This set has quite a few surprises to it, from plain building fun, to very clever building techniques and hidden gems. There are also a few parts that only appear in this set.

The build starts with what feels like building a Technic set, with a very big structure to keep the model together. While building this, you already start getting the feel of the size of the final build.

After completing bag set 1, the framework is complete and the unique Batman minifigure is inspecting the build process. The minifigure is in fact the same minifigure from the Batmobile set, with the unique moulded cape and cowl.

From there on, most of the building happens with the many black parts that make up this set. If you are purely looking to build up your collection of black parts, this set will go a long way. The techniques used to get to the unique shape of the final build are as varied and unique as the model it represents. Various sideways and upside-down mini constructions are put together and then attached to the main construction. The SNOT (Stud Not on Top) technique is used a lot.

One odd thing about the set is the few odd parts that are hidden away inside the build, including a round 2×2 tile with the Bat signal printed on it.

The set does have a sticker sheet, but only a few stickers to make up details for the cockpit and of course the big display plate.

The build took the better part of a week, building two to three sets of bags per night, so as for value for money, it is worth it. Finding a place to display it will always be a problem, due to its size, so many people will be tempted into putting it up against a wall. The instruction manual has great instructions on how to do this. Purists, like with the Batmobile, will say you need to build this set with gloves, as all the black parts tend to show fingerprint smudges very easily. But for those who build this for the fun of building and having it played with, this should not be an issue. It certainly is playable. My 8-year-old son has flown it through the house quite a few times, and the build is extremely sturdy, with no parts coming off while playing with it.

The final product is amazing, and it displays beautifully next to the Batmobile. All in all, a great set. Lots of fun to build, play with, and for those who collect parts it is a great set to get a load of black parts.

Official LEGO® Images