Friday 17 February 2017

Toybox REVIEW: The LEGO Batman Movie Set 70920 Catwoman Catcycle Chase

Release Date: January 2017
RRP: £19.99/$19.99

The LEGO Batman Movie minifigure range may seem like the easiest/cheapest way to pick up some of your favourite characters, but of course many of the best ones have also been reserved for the larger sets too. So while the blindbags can fill your Dick Grayson and Barbara Gordon needs quite easily, the same can't be said if you're looking for them specifically as Robin and Batgirl. However fans should look no further than set 70902 Catwoman Catcycle Chase, which offers an affordable way to pick up both characters along with one of Batman's most iconic villains - Catwoman. This set is not to be confused with the previously released 6858 Catwoman Catcycle City Chase, which was released as part of the DC Super Heroes range back in 2012.

Catwoman Catcyle Chase comes packaged in standard cardboard LEGO packaging, with a perforated semicircle on the back to push and open the spine. The front and back feature some great photography of the set itself, showing off both sections of the build as well as the minifigures in some dynamic (well, for minifigures anyway) poses. Inside you will mind the majority of the pieces bagged away in two separate plastic bags (one for each section of the build), with the smallest pieces in their own smaller bags inside. The 12x6 base piece comes loose in the packaging, as does the small sticker sheet required for some of the set's additional detailing.

The instruction booklet helpfully lays out all the guidance needed to build the two different elements that make up the set, as well as the way to correctly assemble the three included minifigures. The back of the booklet also contains a full breakdown of all the parts included in the set together with their ID numbers, just on the off-chance your set might be missing parts or alternatively you need to seek out a few more specific pieces.

Catwoman Catcycle Chase is one of the few sets in The LEGO Batman Movie range to not include a Batman figure, however this is actually a good thing as there's actually next to no variation between the Batman minifigures (other than the facial expressions that is). The first of the three minifigures included here is none other than the Boy Wonder himself - Robin! Complete in his classic comic outfit (although in this movie it's of course a modified 'Reggae Man' outfit) with short sleeves and even shorter pants, Robin is undoubtedly one of the most adorable minifigures in the whole range. The head features two alternate expressions (smiling and confused), with the one on the back of the head covered by the brown hairpiece which has his goggles attached. These goggles also differ slightly to ones on either Dick Grayson minfigure, which have pink lenses rather than green.

Next up is the third crimefighter in Batman's newfound family - Batgirl! Although this version of Barbara Gordon is very different from her comics counterpart, her suit in the movie is heavily inspired from the one Babs adopted in the currently ongoing "Batgirl of Burnside" run. The minifigure features a considerable amount of detailing - not only on the torso but also the arms and boots too. Again the minifigure has two alternate expressions (smiling and angry), with the second face covered by cowl when applied. Batgirl's cowl interestingly also has a peg at the back to attach a separate ponytail piece, which is a really nice touch to make it feel that little bit more unique. Finally, just like Batman Batgirl also has a yellow utility belt piece, which fits in comfortably between the legs and torso pieces.

Batgirl comes with two batarang weapons (one of which could of course be given to Robin), which are the same mould as the ones used for previous Batman figures in the DC Super Heroes range. However these ones are also moulded in yellow to make them a little bit more special, matching the ones she uses at the end of the film when she finally takes the Batgirl mantle.

Last but by no means least is the Catwoman minifigure, which should have been pretty obvious given the title of this set. Out of all the LEGO Batman Movie villain redesigns Catwoman's is one of the most faithful to the comics, sticking with her standard bodysuit with cat-eared cowl - adding a purple recolour of Batman's utility belt into the mix. The purple jumpsuit features a great amount of detailing, including wonderful little touches like the front zipper being in the shape of a cat. The mask also features silver lining around the eye holes to give off a convincing goggles look. Underneath the cowl Catwoman's head is largely covered by a purple balaclava, but what's on show includes swirling green goggled eyes and the lower half of her face. The head features both smiling and snarling expressions. Catwoman comes with her trademark whip as weapon, just like any good Catwoman figure should.

The first part of this set is the titular Catcycle, which makes a brief appearance during the film's opening sequence as Batman's enemies descend upon the Gotham Power Plant. And what a wonderful build it is - at this price point it would be foolish to expect something especially complex, but the Catcycle is surprisingly intricate with its various LEGO Technic parts and thick rubber tires. The grey, silver, purple and black pieces used all go together beautifully, fitting in nicely with Catwoman's general colourscheme. The printed pieces also give it a bit of extra character, especially the purple-flamed speedometer piece that sits just under the handlebars. Personally I would have liked it have a bit more of a cat-motif, but the end product is certainly far from bad.

Catwoman can sit comfortably on the bike in the 2x2 square provided, with the bike's handlebars able to pull down into her hands to steer. Both wheels can spin freely, allowing Catwoman to speed off away from the scene of the crime before the Caped Crusader catches up to her.

The second half of this set is a small jewel shop diorama, which doesn't actually feature in the movie (at least not prominently anyway - it might be in the background somewhere but not from what I remember) but is certainly fitting for a Catwoman set. The build is basically a black storefront, with a coloured awning above the door and two jewels on display behind the window. Just outside is a streetlight as well as a green trash can. This part of the set also uses the three stickers included - a 'closed' sign for the shop window, a missing cat poster and the shop's sign. The sign is a nice little play on the theme too, featuring three diamonds arranged in the shape of a cat's head complete with gold lines for whiskers. Although the shop might be fairly basic in design, the door can be opened and there's also plenty of room of the base for minifigures to stand behind the window.

As well as the opening front door, the streetlight outside is connected to the base via a hinged piece and so can be moved downwards as though it were knocked over by a hastily escaping jewel thief on her motorcycle. The actual lamp at the top of the post is also on a hinge, so likewise can be moved upwards or down as if it had crumpled on impact. To make it more fun though, the post is thin enough to be held by a minifigure and the lamp has studs on the top for them to stand - resulting in all kinds of fun display options to make this set all the more dynamic.

One of the main reasons I loved the Joker Balloon Escape set because it was the most affordable way to get two of the film's most important characters along with a great-looking build. Catwoman Catcycle Chase is a great set for similar reasons, as it is the cheapest way to get both Robin and Batgirl in one go (Batgirl in-costume might not feature in the film all that much, but she's a huge part of the promotional material). Catwoman might not be so essential, but she's one of Batman's most iconic villains nevertheless so has certainly earned her place here. The minifigures are all fantastic, the Catcycle is a great little build and while certainly simple, the Jewel Store diorama has plenty of character to it. If you aren't planning to splash out on some of the more expensive sets to get a hold of Robin or Batgirl, then this is a set that's definitely worth your time. If you are however going all-out on the LEGO Batman Movie range, then the affordability of this set and the inclusion of Catwoman (meow, meow) still makes it totally worth the purchase.

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