Batgirl’s Secret Bunker combines a location and a vehicle for Barbara Gordon’s alter-ego, but does that mean it brings bang for your bat-buck?
Price: £39.99 / $44.99 / €44.99 Pieces: 351 Available: Now
Batgirl is back, with a Secret Bunker from which to conduct her covert bat-activities. Differing from some of the more pedestrian locations that have been part of the DC Super Hero Girls theme so far, this action orientated set provides a mid-priced offering with two distinct builds in one box.
On inspecting the contents, perhaps what surprised me the most is that in a £39.99 set you only get two mini-dolls included – along with one of the mischievous green Kryptomites. Considering the recent LEGO Star Wars 75167 Bounty Hunter Speeder Bike Battle Pack managed to fit four desirable minifigures in a £11.99 set, this seems like a bit of a poor show in comparison. That said, the mini-dolls themselves feature excellent printing.
For those that may not yet have experienced a mini-doll, my main critique comes down to articulation of the limbs; or rather lack thereof. The torso can only bend forward and the legs can’t be moved separately either. On top of that, they can’t rotate their claw hand, so you’re left with rather limited poses which might be a hindrance for some.
Batgirl here is slightly different to the version from the first wave of sets and comes in a medium lavender one-piece suit, complete with silver moonboots and a hood/hair piece combo. Her face is one-sided and features the goggles with a lens effect which was missing from the first variant of Batgirl. I think the way the designers have represented the cape works well, although I initially thought it was missing until I found it tucked within the later pages of the instruction book, so look out for that. It’s worth noting there is a small part of the main build that has a place to hang her cape too, but I’m not sure why you’d want to keep removing it during play.
Of course, you can’t have the hero without the villain and in this set you also get Mad Harriet, Batgirl’s green-haired foe with a bit too much fake tan. Also sporting silver boots, Mad Harriet favours a green skirt (to match her hair) with a black and white torso. One hand is equipped with a ‘Wolverine’ claw (you get another spare) and her green hairpiece is reminiscent of Wonder Woman’s – complete with a silver tiara.
The last of the character selection comes in the form of a ‘Kryptomite’. Not being familiar with the TV series I had to do a bit of research on what these were, but it turns out they’re an evil experiment created by Lena Luthor. Essentially, when you cross-contaminate Kryptonite dust with technology you get evil minions, in a variety of kid-friendly colours.
Batgirl Secret Bunker comprises two parts, the bunker and the Batgirl vehicle. The former didn’t take very long to put together, but was still an enjoyable build as far as these less complex sets go. While light on piece count, it manages to include a few play features that will ensure the dust won’t settle for too long before it is fiddled with again – an archway big enough to allow Batgirl’s car to pass through has a barrier that can be moved up and down courtesy of a wheel on the back, while a slightly more secret entrance can be accessed by pressing a lever with a rather cool printed round 1×1 tile. I know this is supposed to be a ‘secret bunker’, but I don’t think anyone who happens to glance at the décor for a moment could fail to notice the bat-symbols dotted around the place. The bat-camera is another hint and also makes for a nice little build accessory.
The backside of the bunker provides a small weapon rack, some computer screens and access to a training gym. I quite enjoyed the simple but effective technique employed for the punch bag which also has a periscope attached to it for spying on incoming enemies. The long thin plastic piping allows Batgirl to swing into action from the lofty heights of her bunker roof and can conveniently attach to her vehicle. The instructions show me that this piece can be used to attach 41237 Batgirl Secret Bunker to various, taller sets for even more dramatic stunts..
The designers have made good use of Batgirl’s lavender/yellow colour palette while not overdoing it, still including the requisite black and greys seen in most Batman sets. This is what might make this set more appealing to any DC Super Heroes fans rather than just those sold on this theme already. With a few mods I could see this being a worthy addition to your Batcave, it is just not big enough as it is.
The final model included in Batgirl Secret Bunker is Batgirl’s bat-car and while it adds a bit of variety to the build, it uses up some of the valuable piece count that could have been used to improve the bunker itself. That’s not to say it is not a neat model in its own right. The nice dark blue with yellow and purple/medium lavender highlights do make it pop, and the use of a yellow Batarang on the front works well. I personally love the inclusion of medium lavender fence pieces, closing off the small prison area, which are making their debut in this colour here. LEGO designers love a flying car, so this vehicle has the ability to transform between land and air maneuverability. Just flatten the rear yellow tail fins into a more horizontal manner, push the wheels towards themselves and you now have a slightly odd-looking, but reasonably fun flying vehicle.
When looking at this set it’s clear that the designers must have had a fairly difficult job trying to meet all of the required criteria within a particular price bracket. Regardless it’s a satisfying build (certainly for the target demographic) filled with some nice details, play features and use of colour throughout. My biggest criticism of this set is actually in applying the stickers, of which there seemed far too many for a set of this size. Many of them are transparent so you have to watch out, as one incorrectly judged placement could lead you to be stuck with the cursed bubble bump.
As an AFOL, I want so much more from a secret bunker set, but of course the beauty of the LEGO system is that I can use my own additional pieces to do just that. For younger fans of the TV series, there is still plenty to enjoy here.
This set was provided for review by the LEGO Group.