DC are about to get in on the fun of a super hero team up, and the LEGO Group has released a selection of sets to whet the appetites of fans awaiting Justice League. 76086 Knightcrawler Tunnel Attack offers an all-new bat vehicle
Price: £54.99 / $49.99 / €49.99 Pieces: 622 Available: Now
Is that a LEGO MacGuffin in the box? Justice League may not be gracing cinema screens until November 17, but the official set description explains that the Mother Box has been taken by the Parademons, with Batman unleashing the Knightcrawlerin order to retrieve it.
I will forgive a set a lot of sins if it is trying something different. AFOLs love to complain about the 276th Snowspeeder release, but are just as likely to condemn a brand new ship for stealing a slot from a vehicle that they would like to see remade. We are a hard group to satisfy.
76086 Knightcrawler Tunnel Attack gives us a DC Super Heroes vehicle unlike any that has come before. The closest sets I can think of are from Exo-Force, specifically some of the four legged tanks such as 7706 Mobile Defence Tank. While obviously inspired by the Justice League movie, the LEGO Group has taken a chance with this one in creating a licensed set for which there is no pre-existing nostalgia. The Knightcrawler must win fans over on its merits alone.
Construction of this set alternates between being very interesting and dull, the latter the outcome of four largely identical legs constituting half of the build. Between the monotony there are some really interesting techniques and connection angles normally reserved only for Technic sets. Whoever designed this set should receive major credit for such a solid level of construction that still looks good. While pins and Technic beams are used throughout, they are fairly well hidden. 76086 is meant to be played with rough, and it will stand up to that challenge.
That feeling that this is a mixed bag continues to play out in the aesthetics of the set and the overall level of detail. Here it is useful to compare this set to some of the zany vehicles that were released as part of The LEGO Batman Movie line that launched earlier this year. Something is decidedly different when pitting the Knightcrawler against, for example, 70905 The Batmobile – this set feels more juniorised. I recognise that juniorised is a loaded word, especially for those who recall the late 1990s LEGO product line, so I should note that it only seems juniorised by comparison. I can’t name a specific trait which defines the simplification, it is the sum of a variety of parts.
The best way to describe it is that upon completion of a set like 70905 The Batmobile or 70908 The Scuttler it felt like exactly the right number of parts had gone into the set. The Knightcrawler feels like it could have used about 100 more and the result is something that feels a bit less detailed and a bit less complete than it should. This seems to have been designed as a playset first, display model second – which is not a crime, but a whole theme of sets balanced those two objectives, and sits on the shelves alongside this one. Put another way, this set feels like a standard City offering sitting next to a Modular. It is just a different level of quality in build, design and aesthetic.
Although receiving a mixed grade in terms of build quality, 76086 scores better in terms of value. Its price to piece ratio meets the magic number for those who still subscribe to that measure, and four minifigures is nothing to scoff at. Two heroes and two evil minions mean that kids – and big kids – can have a pretty satisfying play experience right out of the box and lovers of minifigures will find a lot to enjoy as well.
The figures themselves are a real highlight. Meant to depict their onscreen counterparts, the level of detail has been dialled up to 11, very different to the typical DC Super Heroes minifigures inspired by the comic books. The Parademons feature an incredible level of detail, from the texture of their skin to the suits that clothe them. Likewise, Flash’s suit is a wonder of printing with layering on the torso and legs alike. Fans could be forgiven for Batman figure fatigue, but he is likewise excellent, even if it is probably the 50th iteration to be added to the collection.
A mixed bag is the right description for this set. The Knightcrawler will appeal to Super Heroes minifigure collectors, those who love unique vehicles and DCEU fans. Most other LEGO fans will still find plenty to delight them, especially if they snag 76086 on sale – there is a bit of disappointment in the box, as this a set that is good but not great.
This product was provided for review by the LEGO Group.