The LEGO DC 1989 Batwing (76161) releases on November 1 but if you’re a VIP member, you can get it a few weeks early on October 21. LEGO sent us a review copy and I spent a few days having fun building it. The Batwing has 2,363 pieces and retails for $199.99 and that makes it about $0.08/piece which includes some larger pieces. The contents of the box include bags numbered to 13 as well as the instruction booklet packaged with a medium count sticker sheet.
Box & Instructions
The box is your standard one but I do like the Batman silhouette on side. The front of the instructions talks about the design process of the Batwing from designer Adam Grabowski and graphic designer Ioana Popescu.
There are only three minifigures in this set, Batman, the Joker, and Lawrence. Batman is the same version that is found in the 1989 Batmobile (76139). The torso is black showing his muscles in the front along with the utility belt. The cowl and cape is one large rubber piece and it makes it look like the cape is flowing. The head is the usual double-sided one with the headband that doubles up as his eyes. His accessory is the Batarang.
The Joker has on the outfit which was from the scene where he kills Vinnie Ricorso at City Hall. The suit is black and white and the look is completed with the checkerboard pants and top hat. The head is mostly white with some red on the lips. I would have preferred if the top hat also had some of his green hair to match it closer. His accessory is the poison quill pen that he uses to throw at Ricorso’s neck and declared to the crowd, “The pen, is truly mightier than the sword.”
Lastly, we have Lawrence who LEGO calls the boombox goon. He was most recognizable during the museum scene where they are rocking to Partyman. He has on a purple jacket showing the Joker’s face above the pocket and some dice around the collar. One of the arms has printing of some playing cards featuring jacks. The head shows him with some sunglasses and a handlebar mustache and I think this head can be useful for other minifigure uses. One thing to note is that the jacket Lawrence wears in the museum looks more like a dark navy blue to black and not purple as the minifigure shows.
The first two bags are basically for the frame of the Batwing. A majority of it uses the Technic 6×8’s connected with pins which gives it a sturdy foundation. You’ll get a feel of the size when you get done with these steps. You also see the mounting bracket which is just a LEGO Technic Panel 3X5, W/ 4.85 Hole.
The third bag is used to fill in the gaps between the Technic bricks using plates and tiles. There are a number of colored parts to give you a sense of direction and that is nice to have and it also makes the building not too monotonous with all the black.
At the 4th bag, we start filling out the exterior of the Batwing. This includes adding sections between the wings on the top and bottom of the ship. The bottom has more to it since there are those pointy sections that slot in on the 2×16 plates. In addition, we also fill out the bottom tips of the wings themselves as well.
Following that, we build the curved section that goes on at the edge of the wings. This is made up of smaller sections that are connected using a lot of hinge plates. Spread out towards the ends are some things that help secure the edge to the ship. This includes using some rubber bands to go around the yellow nozzles. There’s also a little easter egg here with the printed 2×2 round tile of the Batman logo. Various sized plates are used to secure everything together on the top.
Bag 6 is pretty much the same thing for the other wing but opposite. Like with the other side, there’s the Batman logo tile on this side as well.
Next up, we’re finally adding some details to the top part of the Batwing as well as some foundation for the cockpit area. Inside the cockpit, there’s a couple of 2×8 slopes with some stickers for the controls. The most time consuming thing here is putting on the 43 grill pieces on the edge of the wing.
For bag 8, we’re starting to see the Batwing take shape a little more by adding the tail area in. This is done by stacking wedge plates together at an angle and connecting the section to the sides at the tail. You also build up the front cockpit area where the canopy goes by using wedge bricks to give the shape.
Bag 9 is used for the two little wings that go on the bottom of the Batwing. This is made by using a lot of 1×4 bricks with studs on the side to allow it to connect to the bottom.
On to bag 10, we fill out the front of the ship by adding on the “ears” first and securing them using curved bricks. The front also uses some 1×8 slopes to give it more definition.
Next up, we have some cannons that go in the front. I believe these are some new pieces in dark gray but I could be wrong on that. We also fill in the cockpit with the HUD which includes sticker of the Joker when Batman is getting ready to shoot him down. You will also build the reclining bucket seat with movable headrest. Lastly is the Bat Engine which has a sticker that goes on the hood piece.
Speaking of the Bat Engine, it opens up to reveal a couple of crowbars which are used to pry out the seat for the wall mount feature. We’ll get to that at the end. Two large brick-built miniguns go on each side of the canopy and two posable flaps go right behind it. In addition, there’s also a couple of rocket launchers mounted next to the flaps. Lastly, we construct the windshield which slots in to the cockpit area. Note that it doesn’t clip on to anything and just sits there. This could pose a little problem when you’re wall mounting it. The last step for the bag by adding a couple of slope pieces holds it there but that’s about it.
The last bag is for the display stand for the Batwing as well as for the three minifigures. The Batwing stand uses a number of Technic beams to prop it up. It doesn’t seem too stable as it is held up only by a small 2×3 area that goes underneath the ship opening. The stand also has a plaque showing some of the facts of the Batwing.
The minifigure stand is the same one as in the 1989 Batmobile which I believe are the rooftop gargoyle statues.
The other feature that the Batwing has is that it can be wall mounted. All you have to do is to use the crowbars under the Bat Engine to remove the seat in the cockpit which reveals the mounting bracket. Align it up to your wall, screw it in, replace the seat and that’s it. Hopefully you have some thick screws or else you’ll have a mess to clean up later on. I won’t be doing this personally because I live in near earthquake central.
Overall if you’re a Batman fan in general, you’re probably going to pick up the new LEGO DC 1989 Batwing (76161). It matches well with the Tim Burton 1989 Batmobile it obviously makes a great display piece to your collection. The build itself sometimes gets a bit repetitive due to the fact that both sides of the ship are pretty much the same. The details on the Batwing are decent, mainly in the cockpit area with the Joker sticker. The wall mounting feature is a nice addition for those who want to do that.
The thing that I think could have been improved on is the windshield. Currently it doesn’t attach to anything so it can easily fall out especially if you do decide to wall mount it. One tiny bump on the wall could potentially knock the windshield off.
As for the minifigure selection, it was okay. Batman is the same one as in the Batmobile and a variant would have been nice. The Joker is good although I would have preferred some color for the hair. Lawrence is questionable as I thought Bob would’ve been a better choice. I guess it’s a matter of preference.
Again, the LEGO DC 1989 Batwing (76161) will be available for VIPs starting on October 21 and the general public will get it on November 1.
Thank you to LEGO for sending in this set for me to review. The content above represents my own opinion and not the company. Review sets sent in does not guarantee a positive review.
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