LEGO Batman 76271 Gotham City [REVIEW]

What would you get if you combined the LEGO Architecture theme with LEGO DC and threw in a splash of LEGO Art? A massive Gotham City skyline from the 90’s hit television series, Batman: The Animated Series that can either hang on your wall (if you have a stud finder) or display on your shelf. The animated show from Warner Brothers Studio aired from 1992-1995. The visual style was dark and gritty, taking much inspiration from the Art Deco movement with sharp angles for both the architecture and the characters, and a muted and dark color palette. Combined with a stellar original musical score and great storytelling, the show was instantly popular with audiences young and old, and introduced some of the franchise’ most-loved villains like The Joker, voiced by Mark Hamill, and his Psychiatrist/lover/henchwoman Harley Quinn. LEGO Batman 76271 Gotham City comes with 4,210 pieces including 4 minifigures and will be available on April 1st for LEGO Insiders members and on April 4th for everyone else for US $299.99 | CAN $389.99 | UK £259.99

The LEGO Group provided The Brothers Brick with an early copy of this set for review. Providing TBB with products for review guarantees neither coverage nor positive reviews.

Unboxing the parts, instructions, and sticker sheets

The set comes in a large square black box, which is fitting, with both the Batman: The Animated Series logo and the DC and Batman logos, along with a band of LEGO elements across the bottom found on all 18+ packaging, in black, of course. The skyline is shown prominently with the brick-build letters “Batman” on the top in the classic Art deco typeface. The minifigures are not shown on the front.

On the back of the box, the completed skyline is shown from another angle, with some of the detachable sections displayed in front, along with the four minifigures that stand on a rooftop architectural detail including a gargoyle on each side. There is a row of four smaller images along the bottom showing from left to right, the set dimensions, the removable sections, and the finished set displayed on a table and hanging from the wall.

Inside the box there are 44 numbered bags, half of which are enclosed in a smaller white box. There is an un-numbered bag with a few red plates, and more larger red plates loose in the box.

A large envelope inside the smaller white box includes 2 instruction booklets and 2 sticker sheets.

The first instruction booklet includes a few 2-page spreads introducing the set, with some history from the show. It also has a page that shows how many characters have stickers to represent them as a sort of gallery, with the characters drawn in a simple style. We’ll get into as many of the characters as I could identify later in the review. Another fun inclusion is the name of each episode at seemingly random intervals.

The build

The build starts with the rooftop stand for the minifigures, and Batman is first. He wears a dual-colored cape just like the show, with blue on the underside and black on the outside. His outfit is black and gray with the classic yellow bat logo on the chest. The cowl is dual-molded so the white eyes are part of the cowl instead of the white “headband” which is usually one of the minifigure’s expressions.

Starting in on the skyline itself, we have a 16×16 red baseplate with dark red clouds which perfectly matches the scene from the show intro, right down to the multiple police blimps with yellow/orange spotlights. The blimp uses a gray flower element for a propeller.

The next square includes a blue moon, and the first of the many character stickers – this one for Alfred Pennyworth, the Wayne family butler. The first two squares are connected and then we build the façade for Wayne Manor, which attaches with one of the 2×2 plates with a perpendicular plate (used to attach many of the buildings).

The first segment now stands on its own, with the help of a brick base that extends forward along the bottom. There will be two swivel-able arms that support the weight of the finished model that we will cover later. A few details for the Batcave are visible here, including the red computer bank and the giant penny. The elevator shaft connected to the grandfather clock upstairs is also shown. Character tiles for Robin and Batgirl are included.

The Batcave gets a large bat-shaped ring around the front of the build, and there is a large gray door that swings down to form a bridge for the Batmobile. Speaking of the Batmobile, a brown rocky base holds one of the coolest micro scale models of the classic vehicle in dark blue.

Next we have the second removable building which includes a forced perspective road winding up the hill to Wayne manor. Two building line the front, the Wild Deuce (where Two-Face was ambushed by Rupert Thorne and his gang in Season 1, ep 18) and the Stacked Deck, a bar frequented by Gotham City criminals.

Moving on to the next panel, we start the lettering with an N, and add another blimp. We also get our first of two picture hanging support structures.

Filling in more of the city skyline with buildings in the back row, made of all black parts with bright yellow tiles for windows, we also add the first swinging arm attached to the bottom with Technic beams. A few more character tiles are added along with a large question mark for Edward Nygma a.k.a. The Riddler. Catwoman and Clayface are also given their own buildings.

The Gotham City Court and Fat Paulie’s pool hall complete the ground floor of this section, and Galaxy Broadcasting is the dominant skyscraper for this panel.

The next panel includes the A and part of the M in Batman. It also has more filler building in black with two more skyscrapers: one looking a lot like the Empire State building, and one topped with a row of statues and a façade using offsets to achieve the scalloped look common with Art Deco architecture. Also, there is a super-small blimp made from only 3 pieces flying between the buildings in the back of the skyline.

GothCorp joins the skyline, the company where Victor Fries (a.k.a Mr. Freeze) worked before the death of his wife and the theft of his life’s work led him to seek revenge. At ground level, the Gotham Opera can be removed to show the Penguin’s character tile.

At this point we set aside the right half of the skyline and start on the left half. We add an attachment point for the Batwing, and another blimp. The next section builds the outline of Arkham Asylum, and the Joker character tile standing at the broken railing of Ace Chemicals where Harley Quinn “fell” into a vat.

The Batwing attaches to a pair of jumper plates with hollow studs in a way that I am definitely taking note of to use in my own models.

Now we add more details for Arkham Asylum, including 5 character tiles in cells starting with Scarface, Baby Doll, The Mad Hatter (I think), the Man-bat, and finally Lockup, a former guard turned villain. There’s also a sewer section with two more characters, Killer Croc and Bane, as well as a ducky that represents The Penguin’s duck boat. To the right, there is a vat of Ace chemicals waiting to seal poor Harleen Quinzel’s fate.

The last building for this panel at the moment is the Gotham City Botanical gardens, where it looks like Pamela Isley (a.k.a Poison Ivy) has been doing a bit of extra-curricular gardening. This building also includes another forced perspective road past the Arkham Asylum gate and up the hill.

Moving right to the next panel we get the B from Batman, and the second picture hanging structure, along with more black buildings. There is another tiny 3-piece blimp as well. A tall skyscraper that reminds me of a vintage radio dominates this panel.

Closer to the ground we start to see more smokestacks from Ace Chemicals that use a gray banana for the plumes of smoke spewing from the industrial district. There is also a clock tower with the character tile of Temple Fugate (a.k.a. The Clock King) and some gears.

At ground level, we get Joker’s amusement park and the stage for the Laft City Theater which The Joker used as his hideout, re-branding it Laff Palace. There is another character tile here for who I could not identify, but might be The Gray Ghost.

Starting on on the final panel gives us the A, T, and the rest of the M. We also add the Bat Signal with a round base for attaching the printed radar dish at the end of the build. Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy get their character tiles. There are more black building in the back row, and a few more skyscraper tops added as well.

Two more buildings are added and in the midground – what I think is Gotham City Hospital, which also includes Two-Face’s character tile. At ground level, we see the front of the Laff Palace and the start of the Gotham City Museum, featuring two more tiles, Ra’s Al Ghul and The Scarecrow. There is a fun detail here, with a bomb of The Scarecrow’s fear gas detonating in the bottom right corner.

The façade of the museum and the hospital complete this section of the panel

With both halves mostly built it is time to bring it all together before adding the final buildings, which will include the tallest skyscraper, Wayne Enterprises. Just to the left of Wayne Enterprises tower there is a silhouette of the elevated train tracks. There is also a 2×2 printed red tile with Batman atop a tall building in the background, which is a direct reference to the opening sequence of the show.

At the ground level in the center is the Gotham City Police Department building which has three character tiles from left to right, Officer Renee Montoya, Detective Harvey Bullock, and commissioner James Gordon.

The Minifigs

The set comes with 4 minifigures of characters from the show, starting with Batman, who has a dual color cape (in the animated series, they used dark blue for the inside of the cape and the bat vehicles to improve visibility and contrast. He also has a dual molded cowl to give him the iconic white eyes from the series. Next is Harley Quinn in her harlequin costume. Then there’s the Joker with his purple suit adorned with his signature yellow flower rigged with all sorts of unpleasant surprises. Finally, we have Selena Kyle, a.k.a. Catwoman, with her gray and black body suite and cat ears.

All minifigures have front and back printed torsos and front printed legs, with both Batman and Catwoman featuring dual-colored legs. Harley Quinn’s alternate face print is a smirk, while Joker’s is more frustrated. Batman has an angry sneer.

The finished model

The finished model is a fantastic tribute to a ground-breaking animated series that gave Batman a more mature and deeply nuanced story. The architectural style dubbed Dark Deco really captures the muted tones of the city, with a variety of building styles that, while somewhat repetitive, were still really fun to build. The layered look of the skyline adds visual interest and depth with a very limited color palette.

The back of the box shows a few of the buildings removed from the skyline, but there are actually a total of 15 removable sections which each reveal 1 or more of the character tiles. From left to right: The Gotham City Botanical gardens and the road to Arkham Asylum reveal 6 inmates of Arkham. Ace Chemicals reveals the Joker standing behind a broken safety railing. The Laff Palace reveals the Clock King, and the unknown character with the two guns. A section of a building with diamond shapes reveals Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy after a jewel heist.

The museum reveals Ras al Ghul and the Scarecrow, the hospital reveals Two-Face, and the Gotham City police department reveals officer Montoya, Detective Bullock, and Commissioner Gordon.

The Opera House reveals the Penguin, and the GothCorp façade reveals a woman who might be Calendar Girl and Mr. Freeze. The building behind the courthouse reveals Catwoman.

The building behind Paulie’s reveals a giant question mark, and the Riddler, Wayne Manor reveals Alfred, and the Batcave reveals Robin and BatGirl.

Conclusions and recommendations

As you may have guessed, I’m a huge fan of the show, and was thrilled to find the entire series on Amazon Prime, where I plan to binge watch it after taking this fantastic trip down memory lane in LEGO. The $300 price tag is a bit stiff for a display set, but for over 4,200 pieces that comes down to just over 7 cents a part. If you are a fan of the franchise, and you have both the display space and the budget, I would highly recommend considering picking this set up.

LEGO Batman 76271 Gotham City comes with 4,210 pieces including 4 minifigures and will be available on April 1st for LEGO Insiders members and on April 4th for everyone else for US $299.99 | CAN $389.99 | UK £259.99

The LEGO Group provided The Brothers Brick with an early copy of this set for review. Providing TBB with products for review guarantees neither coverage nor positive reviews.

The post LEGO Batman 76271 Gotham City [REVIEW] appeared first on The Brothers Brick.


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