2017 is going to be defined by The LEGO Batman Movie with the blockbuster movie boasting astronomical levels of hype and an absolute truckload of LEGO sets waiting to assault our wallets in the new year.
If you’ve read my 2017 LEGO Batman Movie preview, 70906 The Joker Notorious Lowrider was one of the sets I was looking forward to the most, simply because it’s such a pimpin’ vehicle and it’s high time the Joker embrace his identity as the OG of the DC Comics Universe.
Is this flamboyantly loud Cadillac-inspired car worth its hefty pricetag? Read on to find out!
First up, here’s a look at the sticker sheet included in the set. Unlike most LEGO Super Heroes sets, I’m glad that this set isn’t overloaded with stickers. With only a console sticker, flag sticker and registration plates, you probably won’t struggle much with applying stickers with this set.
Before we get started, here’s a look at some of the new or recoloured elements that make an appearance in The Joker Notorious Lowrider. Firstly, we get a pair of skates in red, which has never been done before.
For Batgirl, we get one of the snazzy new utility belts and a yellow Batarang. You’ll see a lot more of the utility belt later on when we take a look at Batgirl, but I was delighted (and surprised) to discover that the utility belts are made of hard plastic and not rubbery material as I was expecting!
Pearl gold parts are aplenty in this set, and we get a pearl gold chicken and nozzle. I was also very surprised that the zebra-print tiles are printed instead of being stickers!
Three minifigs are included in the set, of which Harley Quinn is the
only real exclusive in this set. A variant of Joker with fabric coattails shows up in 70908 The Scuttler so I don’t consider him a true exclusive, and Batgirl also shows up in 70902 Catwoman Catcycle Chase.
Update: Thanks to Uday for the correction. This version of the Joker with the vest and card suites on his arms is indeed an exclusive. A variant of this torso design does show up in 70908 The Scuttler, but with a suit jacket over it.
It’s still a decent spread since these are all 3 pretty important characters to the movie, but for a $90 set, I did expect a stronger selection of minifigures.
I really love that they decided to go with the iconic purple Batgirl suit for the movie. There’s something indescribably cool and retro about how the purple clashes loudly against the yellow. She has a brand new cowl and comes with the new utility belt accessory and a pair of matching yellow Batarangs.
The utility belt might just be The LEGO Batman Movie’s biggest contribution to DC Comics sets – it’s a little chunky but it adds a whole new level of detail to any Bat-fig. The proportions are just right and it doesn’t stick out in an awkward way.
The printing on her suit is remarkable, the black lines are clearly defined and I also like the shiny silver sections around her waist.
What really takes Batgirl’s suit to the next level is the printed boot straps on the side. Her arm prints are nice, but the boot straps are just designed and printed so well. From this angle, the shape of the boot is really apparent and it also helps that the black lines contrast really nicely against the yellow.
From this view you can also see Batgirl’s removable ponytail piece. I’m torn on the ponytail addition – while it does look cool, I don’t like how it’s attached to the cowl.
You can see here that the cowl has a stubby little bit sticking out where the ponytail hairpiece goes on to. It just doesn’t look clean and I would’ve preferred a small pinhole instead, but I think that LEGO are going to use this for a myriad of other applications in the future.
Here’s a look at Batgirl’s alternate angry face.
In unrelated news, Batgirl’s head lets you create a Female Buzz Lightyear/Space Ranger!
Up next is the Joker, the primary villain of The LEGO Batman Movie who is voiced by Zach Galfdkuwdkwdhkshqniakis. Sorry, I can never spell his name right. This version of the Joker looks set to be the most cartoony of the bunch, and boasts some incredible printing on his torso and legs.
Sporting a lazy smile with a sharp pointy tooth sticking out, it makes for a refreshing take on Batman’s arch-nemesis. I really like the details on his jacket, namely the tiny skull buttons and matching pattern on his tie, as well as the hearts and diamond pinstripe pattrern.
The Joker also sports a fantastic new hairdo with some brilliant textures that looks very anime or Dragon Ball-esque. I mostly like how comic-booky it looks and its size relative to his head.
You can also see The Joker’s back printing and side arm printing, where he has a club and heart symbol on his sleeve.
Here’s a look at The Joker’s alternate face which has a massive grin and also provides evidence that The Joker has really bad dental hygiene. On his other arm, he has the remaining two card suits printed.
The Joker comes equipped with a trick gun, which has a flag shooting out of it – a very classic weapon employed by everyone’s favourite trickster.
Last but not least is Harley Quinn, who is exclusive to this set. This time, we get a Red and Black variant of Harley Quinn, who has enjoyed a bit of a resurgence lately thanks to Margot Robbie in the Suicide Squad movie.
She’s hands down the best minifigure in this set, with an insane level of printing across her entire body. The red and black dual-tone looks fantastic on her and I also like her punk rock getup which complements her skater outfit.
She’s wearing a Smylex shirt, a very clever nod to Tim Burton’s 1989 Batman movie which caused people to laugh uncontrollably before dying a very painful death with a giant grin plastered on their face.
Here’s a look at the back printing on her torso, which has some bowling pins and a bomb on it. Her hairpiece is downright gorgeous, and is one of the most impressive Harley Quinn hairstyles yet. I hope to see this being re-used for other characters.
Harley also has an alternate face with a “less than impressed” expression. This view also gives you a look at her baseball bat, which has diamonds printed on it.
Side printing is aplenty with skull motifs on her right arm, as well as printing on her legs as well.
Here’s the view from her left where you can see the diamond prints on her left arm as well as leg printing too.
The Harley Quinn minifigure is nothing short of exceptional and quite possibly, the best version of the character yet. The intricate printing on nearly every surface, and the winning black and red colour scheme make for one of the most attractive minifigures I’ve ever owned.
On to the main course, Joker’s Notorious Lowrider aka Pimpmobile, an homage to the garish Cadillacs and Lincolns from the 70s and 80s. The Joker has pimped up this Lowrider without sparing any expense, thanks to plenty of gold accented ornaments and customisations against the loud purple and lime green colour scheme of the vehicle.
The Notorious Lowrider feels both large and small simultaneously. By LEGO car standards, it’s a sizable vehicle, measuring 8 studs-wide, but for a AU$90 sets, it feels very undersized.
Up front, the Lowrider sports a set of tacky pearl gold grills, and most interestingly, a gold chicken as a hood ornament. His car plates are flower-power inspired, reliably placing this vehicle in the 70s era.
I really like the car’s oversized horn. It’s a simple build, but its very comical and fits in with the overall theme of the Joker and his Pimpmobile.
On the inside, we get plush zebra-patterned seats, because what is a Pimpmobile without fancy car seats. Behind the seats is a small radio console, and directly behind it are a set of speakers. The individual speakers are printed tiles, which I believe are new.
There are two blue technic pins that you can press down to fire off two spring-loaded missiles from the car’s boot.
Here’s a look at the back of the car, which also gives you a look at the back “Ha Ha Ha” plates.
The boot pops open to reveal plenty of storage.. and two spring-loaded missiles! Nothing like eating a missile in your face and having the Joker’s registration plates laughing at you before you blow up!
I’m not a big fan of spring loaded missiles, but I like how well they’re hidden from sight.
Here’s the side view of the Lowrider.
Zoom into the wheels, and you’ll be able to spy the Lowrider’s awesome play features – a working suspension system that let you bounce the car up and down as if it had hydraulics built into it!
It’s pretty neat because you can lower down the back and have the front of the car tip upwards, giving it that classic Lowrider look.
Here’s a video of the functionality in action. It works remarkably well and really ties the entire car together.
Turn the Lowrider around and you’ll see how the hydraulic suspension system works. It uses a combination of Technic pieces and rubber bands to bounce the wheels up and down in such an ingenious fashion.
In case you’re wondering about the size of the Joker’s Lowrider, here’s a side by side shot with the Ghostbusters Ecto-1, which fittingly is based off a Cadillac as well, so it’s nice LEGO retain the sizing and dimensions.
What I liked:
- The Lowrider is a bitchin’, pimpin’ model
- Hydraulic suspension system
- Minifigures are excellent, as you get 3 important characters in one set
- Harley Quinn’s sick minifigure design
What I didn’t like:
- Way too expensive for what you get
- Only one exclusive minifig (Harley Quinn)
- Overall poor value
Final thoughts: The Joker Notorious Lowrider is a really hard set to recommend. While I really enjoyed the build, and the Lowrider itself is an outstanding vehicle, the set’s pricetag unfortunately holds this set back.
I really liked how this set manages to encapsulate the playful tone of The LEGO Batman Movie. The Joker’s Pimpmobile (which is way more appropriate as a name) is a really fun and unique model. I love the loud purple, gold and lime green colour combination that goes very well with the Joker’s own primary colours.
Pimpmobiles are entrenched in pop culture, but outside of The LEGO Batman Movie, getting LEGO to produce a set like this is near unthinkable. The hydraulic suspension perfectly ties the entire package together, catapulting the Lowrider from Good to Great.
Despite how much I love the model, the asking price of AU$90 ($50 in the US) is just too hard to stomach for a 433-piece set that contains only one vehicle and three minifigures.
Normally, in licensed sets, a set’s high pricetag is usually offset by the inclusion of rare and desirable minifigures, but the Joker Notorious Lowrider also fails in this department.
Despite Harley Quinn being one of the best versions of the character, it’s still not enough to make it feel worth it.
That said, I still expect this set to sell very well, purely off the strength of the Lowrider model, and the prominence of the 3 minifigures included. I still wouldn’t advocate buying this set at full price, but if you can get it at about 20% off, it becomes slightly easier to stomach. Slightly.
If money is no issue to you, the entire tone of this conversation changes as The Joker Notorious Lowrider is a lot of fun, looks awesome on display and features The Joker at his pimpin’ best.
Thank you for reading! This is the first of what I expect to be many more The LEGO Batman Movie set reviews once the entire theme is fully released in 2017.
70906 The Joker Notorious Lowrider will see a worldwide release on 1 January 2017. The LEGO Batman Movie sets should eventually roll into Australian retail stores in February – yes, about 2 months before the movie is set to be released.
For readers lucky enough to be in the US, the set should already be on sale.
Let me know what you think of this set and if you think the pricetag is warranted in the comments!