We’re days away from August, which means that the remainder of the second half of 2016 sets are due to be released in Australia stores. This year, LEGO did a few things differently – one of which is that they seeded selected sets from the 2HY catalogue to several different retailers before the general release.
I stumbled upon 76056 Rescue from Ra’s al Ghul during a recent Kmart visit, and upon discovering that it was a retailer exclusive, promptly picked it up – mostly because of the minifigures and the fact that retailer exclusives tend to offer good value.
Let’s see if my optimism is rewarded in this review of 76056 Rescue from Ra’s al Ghul!
Name: Batman: Rescue from Ra’s al Ghul
Set Number: 76056
Price: AU$59.99 | US$29.99 – Buy from LEGO.com [AUS] [USA]
Exclusive to: Kmart Australia / Walmart (USA)
Theme: DC Super Heroes
Year of Release: 2016
The standout feature of Rescue from Ra’s al Ghul is undoubtedly the lineup of minifigures – my main motivator for picking the set up. All four minifigs are exclusive to this set (Robin is exclusive-ish) and this marks the debut of Ra’s al Ghul and Talia al Ghul minifigures which should excite DC Comics and Batman fans!
Before we get into the finer details of the set, I should mention that I went into this set with pretty low expectations. I’ve been noticing that the trend with LEGO Super Heroes sets has been slowly heading towards more and more disappointing models – so much so that the actual LEGO builds seem to take much more of a backseat role than previous years.
Maybe I’m getting older and wiser, or LEGO is beginning to clue on to the fact that Super Heroes fans are going to buy sets purely based on the minifigs included. I am certainly guilty of that.
Rescue from Ra’s al Ghul has plenty of capes, a black newer cloth one for Batman, but curiously, Ra’s al Ghul and Robin’s capes are made out of the starchy paper material. It does feel pretty odd that the cape material isn’t standardised across the board as I’m a much bigger fan of the newer cloth capes as they tend to drape better over minifig shoulders.
For the good guys of this set, we get a short Robin and Batman in a pretty bad-ass new Desert suit. Robin is the de facto damsel in distress for Batman, and he has once again been imprisoned – this time by Ra’s al Ghul and the League of Shadows. Batman obviously has no choice but to save his sidekick/ward.
This Robin minifigure (Damien Wayne) is exclusive to this set. If you’re a longtime DC Super Heroes collector, his torso should be familiar to you as it’s the same as the one from 2014’s Joker Steam Roller. The only major difference is that this version of Robin has a black hood and a new yellow cape with jagged edges.
I kinda like the snazzy new cape – it manages to give Robin a very playful circus vibe while deftly avoiding looking too clowny or kiddy.
Batman is another bright spot of the set – outfitted in a brand new tan-coloured desert suit. The Desert Batman minifig is one of the most impressive Batman suits in recent times and this particular variation is a solid addition to any LEGO Batman collection. I really love the armour plating and the shiny copper coloured accents across the suit and utility belt.
It’s hard to make out in a static photo, but the metallic copper sections are reflective which really take the outfit to the next level. For some strange reason, we get the older version of Batman’s cowl which has pointier ears.
Here’s a look at the back printing and alternative faces of both Batman and Robin. From the back, Batman’s suit really shines as you’re treated to a lovely view of the armour plating and more of that shiny copper sections.
The Desert Batman suit is obviously meant to camouflage himself against the rocky and sandy region surrounding Nanda Parbat, home base of the League of Assassins but the black cowl and cape kinda defeat the purpose of concealing Batman as it contrasts quite wildly against his tan suit. It may be a bit of an ask, but I would’ve LOVED a matching tan cowl and cape.
That said, the Desert Batman minifig is one of the more interesting variants and should not disappoint Batman fans who may be tired of the black or dark grey suits.
As great as the Desert Batman minifig is, it doesn’t hold a candle to the highlights of the set – Talia al Ghul and her dad, Ra’s al Ghul. These two characters, especially Ra’s are incredibly important in the overall Batman mythos and it’s pretty astounding that we had to wait till 2016 to get a proper Ra’s al Ghul minifigure.
Talia al Ghul’s minifigure is decidedly average looking with only a dark red catsuit that’s unzipped seductively to reveal a bit of skin. She has an average female face for her primary expression and also an existing hairpiece. She does come with a cool weapon – an “Elven blade” which first made an appearance in The Lord of the Rings theme.
The Ra’s al Ghul minifigure on the other hand is nothing short of excellent. The designers have done a splendid job paying homage to his comic book appearance. They’ve nailed his green costume, and I love the golden “collar” piece and the tiny details around his neck. Ra’s has a brand new face with his signature wispy moustache bits and a pretty old expression.
He has a cool cape, with the popped collar and comes with a pearl gold katana.
Here’s a look at Talia and Ra’s back printing and their alternate faces. Ra’s has a very peculiar alternate face – a younger-looking face with black eyebrows and moustache instead of grey and also green eyes – alluding to his mystical powers and longevity granted to him by the Lazarus Pit.
Even though Talia is pretty plain looking, I still kinda like her, mostly due to her notoriety and character. As a minifigure, objectively, she’s pretty average and if she wasn’t named Talia, could definitely pass off as a random female guard.
Ra’s al Ghul is everything you could ever want from a Ra’s minifig and is hands down the brightest point of this set. The wait was long, but it has definitely paid of.
Here’s a look at the sticker sheet included in the set. Nothing too crazy, just a few stickers to give flavour to the structure and vehicle.
It wouldn’t be a Batman set without some sort of Bat-vehicle, so the first thing that you assemble is this pretty cool Dune/Desert Buggy. It’s a little on the small side but is built quite ruggedly and feels very solid.
Unlike other Batvehicles, there’s not a lot that makes it stand out. I do like that it looks a lot like a regular civilian or military vehicle but there’s not too much going for it, appearance-wise that would make you jump at displaying it.
Here’s a look at the Dune Buggy from above, which gives you a general sense of its shape. I do like the oversized tyres which give it a very outdoorsy 4WD look, like its capable of taking on massive cliffs or sand dunes.
Here’s a look at the back where there is a clip for a Batarang and a Katana. Not sure about the position since they’re right next to the exhausts which will probably heat them out and deform the weapons. For a smart guy, I expected more planning from Batman.
For all its plainness, the dune buggy functions quite well as a toy. Younger kids will definitely enjoy rolling it around and getting physical with it. Thanks to its relatively sturdy build, it should hold up quite well to vigorous play.
If I were to improve the buggy, I’d make it tan instead of black. While we all know that Batman “only works in black, and sometimes, very, very dark grey”, in the context of a sandy environment the heavy black tones don’t make much sense.
Here’s the main fixture of the set, a small cutaway section of Nanda Parbat. It’s stuffed to the gills with play features so if you’re into LEGO playsets there’s plenty to look forward to. If you’re more like me and display sets, this section is honestly quite disappointing as it just looks unfinished.
All we’re really getting here is a door, a flight of stairs and a jail cell. Pretty disappointing considering this set retails at full price for AU$60.
Here’s how it looks from the back – pretty bleak and uninteresting.
First off, here’s the Lazarus Pit, a mainstay of the Batman comics and Ra’s al Ghul. Lazarus Pits are mysterious magical spas that provide swimmers with the powers to reverse ageing, achieve pseudo immortality, resurrect fallen foes and probably gets rid off acne or skin problems as well.
Think of it as the ultimate step in your skincare regime.
The pit itself is super simple, with some transparent green tiles to give off an unearthly green glow. There’s also some sort of reverse diving board which you can jab down to launch whoever is in the pit out flying – possibly in a fit of resurrected rage.
Nice nod to the comics, but pretty lazily executed.
There’s honestly not much to say about Ra’s al Ghul’s headquarters. There’s nothing particularly special about the flight of stairs and the jailcell that holds Robin is nothing to shout about either.
There are two play features baked into this section. Firstly, you jab a rod in and the jail cell pops open, resulting in Robin being as free as a bird. The second play feature is a swinging axe trap which works quite well – you just jab a lever and the axe wildly swings to decapitate someone that is rushing up the steps.
By far my favourite thing about the entire Nanda Parbat is the hilarious stickered poster, which features a diagram explaining how the Lazarus Pit works. Old man Ra’s goes in, and comes out shredded at the end! There’s even a scribble at the top which has B + T in a heart symbol – alluding to Batman’s many flings with Talia al Ghul.
The final play feature of the set is the right door, which you can punch through using Batman’s Dune Buggy.
What I liked:
- Desert Batman suit is awesome
- Everything about Ra’s al Ghul
- Great set for DC minifigure collectors
- Dune Buggy is a decent vehicle
What I didn’t like:
- Outside of the minifigures, this set doesn’t offer much in terms of value
- The structural sections look unfinished
- Very expensive for what you get
Final thoughts: This is a pretty tough set to evaluate and depending on the type of LEGO collector or fan that you are (as well as your budget), you will definitely view this set differently.
There’s actually a lot to like about this set, but unfortunately, the negatives pretty much outweigh most of the positives. Let’s talk about what this set gets right. The minifigures are absolutely exceptional and it’s not often where I like all the minifigs included in the set.
Ra’s al Ghul does not disappoint in the slightest, and will probably be the main motivator for most DC fans to pick this set up. His supporting cast of Talia, Batman and Robin aren’t too shabby as well.
In an age where Batman suits are notoriously generic and unvaried, it’s a breath of fresh air to get a Desert suit, which I may add also has excellent printing and details – I’m a big fan of the armour plating and shiny copper bits throughout his suit which really steps it up a notch.
The set ultimately disappoints outside of the minifigs. The Dune Buggy is a decent vehicle, but for a AU$60 set, its diminutive size and relatively ordinary look doesn’t help its case at all. Perhaps if it was larger, or utilised more tan bricks, it would make it a lot easier to stomach but you do expect more from such an expensive set.
The structural section of the set is uninspired and drab to say the least. For a model of Ra’s al Ghul’s headquarters in Nanda Parbat, it’s much too barebones to even call it that. It’s barely a wall section and feels incomplete from every angle. When I was done with this set, I audibly went “Huh, is that it?”.
As a playset, the interactive features make a lot of sense, which should be fun for younger fans but as an adult fan, these play features don’t do much for me. Ultimately, a set’s overall appeal to me comes down to whether I’ll display it or not – which in the case of Rescue from Ra’s al Ghul fails miserably. I’ll disassemble this set almost immediately for parts.
For an AU$60 set, it’s not immediately apparent that there’s much value in 76056 Rescue from Ra’s al Ghul. You can debate about the perception that LEGO is hiking up their prices till the cows come home but it feels especially tangible with this set.
Objectively, it’s pricey, disappointing and pretty damn boring.
BUT. And this is a big but. Super Heroes sets are appraised and valued on one thing, and one thing along – their minifigure lineup.
This may sound completely contrarian to everything I’ve written above but I do think that this is a set which has tremendous value as an investment piece, purely based on the fact that we have a really important and iconic Batman villain in it AND that it’s a retailer exclusive.
These are two major factors that decide how much a set is ultimately worth and I wouldn’t be surprised to see this being an extremely sought after set after it retires.
In 2016, AU$60 for this set is definitely a steep price to pay, but come 2018 or beyond when this set has long retired, I wouldn’t be at all surprised that this set’s value doubles or even triples. This is all assuming that we don’t get reprints or Ra’s al Ghul, Talia or the snazzy Desert Batman suit.
At face value, this set is really poor value but if you take a long-term outlook on LEGO sets, it’s worth a pickup, especially if you’re a DC Super Heroes fan given how excellent the minifigure lineup is. I’m not too happy about paying AU$55 for this set (at Kmart) but I definitely do not regret adding this set to my collection.
If you’re a hardcore DC Super Heroes or Batman fan, you’ll be happy-ish about the minifigures in this set. If you’re a casual fan or couldn’t care less about collecting DC characters, you can probably skip this one and not miss out on much.
Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review! Given this set is pretty divisive, I’d love to hear your thoughts on it in the comments section, especially if you own one!
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