It looks like all of those fans who thought there have been quite a few large LEGO sets recently are going to have their opinion reinforced, as the LEGO Group has announced The LEGO Batman Movie 70922 The Joker Manor with a whopping 3,444 pieces. And new images means a new batch of thoughts and reactions.
It is only fair for The LEGO Batman Movie to get a massive D2C set – after all, The LEGO NINJAGO Movie has 70620 NINJAGO City. With the special NINJAGO set, it is clear within a second of glancing at it that it is something special. Within a second of glancing at 70922 The Joker Manor my first thought was that this set is not what I expected.
What is striking about the images is that they make the set look so… small. Where are those pieces? Wayne Manor should be a huge, imposing property that has a sense of heft to it – or at least a convincing facade like 10937 Arkham Asylum Breakout was. This model could have been achieved as a smaller, £100-£150 set and nothing would have been lost. If it looks this basic, does it need to be this big?
The Joker decoration is quite neat, in particular the sign with the clown’s face on, but to give it more impact it needed more scale and grandeur. This is reminiscent of the best forgotten 76035 Jokerland set. Taking the entrance as an example, why are the Lime Green elements just built in a flat archway? Using different pieces and a mix of greens could have given this texture and variation to provide a real visual impact.
This set feels like a waste of a D2C slot – The LEGO Batman Movie version of Wayne Manor is beautifully designed on-screen, and a scaled down (although larger than this version) of that would have been great. Such a set could hold appeal for Batman fans in general as it could be used in non-TLBM Batman set ups. An opening set could include a detailed interior featuring some of the mansion’s rooms. Something along the lines of 75827 Firehouse Headquarters would have been gratefully received.
The minifigures of course are highly desirable, with the white suited versions of the characters from the closing musical montage must-haves. Robin in the Nightwing outfit looks absolutely fantastic. Ten minifigure is a fair number for a set of this size, although a few more as yet unreleased villains from the Joker Manor sequences would have been welcome.
The box art for the set is amazing – whoever decided to graffiti up the entire package, as if the Joker had defaced it like he has the house within, should get a promotion. What a wonderful way to represent the set contained within, and make it stand out on the store shelf.
It is a shame that when the rest of The LEGO Batman Movie line is so exquisitely detailed that this set looks to have been dialled back down to LEGO DC Super Heroes standards of build. What really doesn’t help it, is that it follows so closely behind 70620 NINJAGO City – that set really did raise the bar, and fans will keep their expectations raised. Let’s hope LEGO designers get the part counts, time and support to make more sets like that going forward – and that 70922 The Joker Manor proves more satisfying in person than it seems in these images.