Is there a more beloved take on the Batmobile than the Adam West 1960s Batmobile?
LEGO Batman fans who are yearning for some much-needed nostalgia (and who missed out on 2016’s Classic Batcave) can now celebrate as LEGO have brought back the venerable 1960s Batmobile in a very accessible small set, with a few neat upgrades.
The 2021 version of the Classic TV Series Batmobile will be released on 26 April 2021 worldwide, and will retail for US$29.99 / AU$49.99 and be available from LEGO.com.
I was fortunate to be sent an early review copy of the 1960s Batmobile, so let’s initiate the startup sequence and activate the “Atomic batteries to power… turbine to speed!” and let’s take a trip down memory lane to the 1960s!
Special thanks to the LEGO Group for providing this set for review
76188 Batman Classic TV Series Batmobile Set Details
Name: Batman Classic TV Series Batmobile
Set Number: 76188
Price: AU$49.99| US$29.99 | £34.99 – Buy from LEGO.com [AUS] [USA] [UK]
Exclusive to: N/A
Theme: DC Super Heroes
Release Date: 26 April 2021
Some bad luck with my set – there’s quite a large sticker sheet included, dominated by the display plaque, but mine got all curled up in the box as you can see above.
For a 345-piece set, this is really in the “small set” category, and the build was over and done with pretty quickly – so ideal if you want a quick LEGO Batman fix without devastating your finances.
There are 2 minifigures included in the set – Cesar Romero’s Joker, and the iconic Adam West Batman. They both represent the campiness of 1960s TV shows based on comic books, and the irreverence and fun that could be had with those characters.
In case you needed a refresher, here’s a look at Cesar Romero’s Joker, with the signature moustache showing underneath his face paint, and Adam West’s Batman, with the short ears and prominent nose markings.
I don’t have my Classic Batcave on display, but looking up reference images on LEGO.com, there are slight tweaks to the minifigures – they both have -near-identical torsos, so no massive upgrades in this department, but their heads and faces are slightly different.
Here’s a look at Joker’s back printing, and his alternate face which has a quizzical neutral expression.
Batman also has the same cowl, with the line markings over his eyes and nose, and a brand new face – say goodbye to the headband, ultra-tanned Batman of old – this version is decidedly paler, and has two little white eyes instead of the classic headband for his eyes.
The minifigure has some slight
He has a cute big smile on his main face, and a serious face on the flipside.
While most people complained that the Batman in the Classic Batcave had a pretty serious tan/sunburn, this one just looks a little sick, and the painting on his head is disappointingly pale.
One thing I really liked about this set (apart from its price) is that it’s designed to be a display piece – with this great UCS-esque (but not quite!) plaque which features the classic Batman logo, a silhouette of Adam West, and dimensions. I really like that it specifies that it uses “Batfuel”.
The Classic Batmobile can be displayed with ease on this slightly raised stand, allowing it be swivelled and positioned however you like it to show off its best angles.
For reference, here’s a look at the older Batmobile from the Classic Batcave, which looks a little stubbier, but still recognizable enough to pass off as an Adam West Batmobile. There are some major changes such as the front grills but this latest redesign doesn’t deviate much from the source material.
Here’s a look at the 2021 version of the Classic Batmobile which has a fat sleeker profile, thanks to the wonders of new elements and building techniques.
Stickers are used to for details on the bonnet and side, the latter is almost identical to the older version.
I’m really glad to see the return of the Batsymbol hubcaps!
Here’s a look at the back “wings” which I really like how they’ve angled, and here you can also see the really subtle sticker used on the edge.
And of course, here’s the iconic exhaust. Interestingly, LEGO have used stickers for the satchels/bags that flank the exhaust which I thought was a pretty neat touch.
Here’s a look at the back – I really like the use of the ridged piece which gives it a nice sense of texture.
Signature features such as the large red phone are present, as well as the siren.
And here’s a look at the consoles and control panels on the inside.
The most substantial upgrades are the front grills, which are much “fiercer” and way more detailed than the 2016 version.
If you don’t fancy the stud shooters on the Batmobile, you can easily swap them out for a cleaner look – alternative instructions and steps are provided at the back of the manual.
And here’s Batman riding in his Batmobile, ready to go save the day, or drink orange juice at the club.
What I liked:
- Great for LEGO Batman fans who missed out on the Classic Batcave
- Relatively affordable and has a small footprint that’s easy to display
- Looks fantastic on display and has enough updates to warrant an upgrade
What I didn’t like:
- Batman’s head printing
- No Robin minifigure
The strongest thing going for 76188 Classic TV Series Batmobile is its price and accessibility. In an age where LEGO sets are ballooning in price, it’s a breath of fresh air to have a great display set only cost US$29.99, and for it to come with 2 coveted characters as well.
Fans of Adam West and 1960s Batman are the target audience her, but even if you aren’t a fan, the distinct look of the Classic TV Series Batmobile, and how much nostalgic coolness it exudes warrants some consideration as well.
It’s by no means perfect – Robin’s missing presence looms large over the set, especially since the Batmobile has space for the Boy Wonder riding shotgun, but this only makes me think we’ll get another similar-sized set with Robin, and hopefully a Batcopter with the return of the Shark Spray.
While it’s nice that the heads are slightly different, I really would’ve liked some updated minifigure designs, and Batman’s shoddily painted head is quite disappointing.
The biggest question is – should you buy it if you already happily own the Classic Batcave? I think the answer here is no. While there are substantial upgrades to how the car looks, the minor updates to the minifigures aren’t that big of a drawcard, especially since there’s so many other awesome sets coming out this year.
That said, if you have the spare change, it wouldn’t hurt to get this, especially since it works well as a display piece.
But if you are new to LEGO or missed out on the Batcave, this set is a no-brainer to add to your Batman collection, and I for one, would love to see LEGO release more compact-sized display pieces like this that won’t exactly hurt the bank.
Rating and score: 3/5 ★★★✰✰
Build  – The build was quick for a small set, but I enjoyed putting the Batmobile together. Not so much applying stickers.
Real Value  – For the price, you can’t complain, although it would’ve been nice to get more printed elements or Robin.
Innovation  – The designers definitely steered close to the original Batmobile design from 2016, and only introduced a few cosmetic changes here and there.
Coolness  – It’s Adam West and a 1960s Batmobile. It’s hard to beat, especially how display-worthy it is.
Keepability  – As a display piece that doesn’t take up much space, this one could stay on your desk/shelf for quite some time.
Thanks so much for reading my early review of 76188 Classic TV Series Batmobile! I hope you enjoyed having a look at the updated 2021 retro Batmobile, and the inclusion.
76188 Classic TV Series Batmobile will be released on LEGO.com on 26 April 2021 and will retail for US$29.99 / AU$49.99.
What do you think of the updated Classic TV Series Batmobile? Do you think it’s worth getting if you already own the Classic Batcave?
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Special thanks to the LEGO Group for providing this set for review.
Adam Rehorn says
Just got this.
I have the Classic Batcave (great set, despite the un-love it gets) and this is going to be a great upgrade for it. The Batmobile in the older set was fine as it was the only game in town, but this is just so much better looking that I say those with the Classic Batcave set should DEFINITELY get this one.
I do wish the drag, uh… Bat Chute packs had been black, not tan, as I believe they’re shown in that startup clip you linked. Minor detail, though.
Then, you’ll also have a Robin for it!
Thanks for sharing your thoughts! I think the Classic Batcave will age well, especially since it’s such a nostalgic set, and we don’t get many from that era.
Karen Creighton says
It looks great fun. Just a pity there is no Robin…..what were they thinking.
When does this go on sale?
There’s nothing on LEGO website.
It’s up now!
Paul Castle says
Actually, I’ve decided not to get this after all. I read Jay’s review of the Batcave set from 2016 and bought a sealed box of it on eBay instead…
Paul Castle says
I think this is a must buy for me. I love Batman 1966, it being a massive part of my childhood’s TV viewing, and I’ve been revisiting it on DVD over the last couple of years, watching a couple of episodes here, and a couple there. I think I would have preferred a Robin figure to the Joker, but I hope you’re right and there’ll be an opportunity to pick him up with another low priced set before too long – or even if we’re lucky one of the website incentive freebies like Robin on the bat-bike and sidecar? One can hope 🙂
Will this be available with double VIP points?
Sadly not – it’ll be released AFTER the Double VIP window.
Ian Hazlehurst says
Love it & Want it !
You won’t be disappointed, especially if you don’t own the older version!