It may seem that LEGO have somewhat forgotten about DC Super Heroes this year, with the onslaught of Avengers and Marvel-themed sets, but LEGO are looking to redeem themselves for all you DC Super Heroes fans with a twin set of Tumblers, and Matt Reeves’ The Batman sets, all of which are due to be released before the end of 2021.
One of the more interesting decisions by LEGO is this re-issue of the Tumbler Batmobile, from Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Trilogy. I remember the day the original 76023 Tumbler suddenly retired – only a short 6 years ago.
It’s quite unusual for LEGO to re-issue sets that have only just retired, but thankfully, this isn’t an exact carbon copy of 76023 Tumbler, but it still feels very much like the old Tumbler in many ways.
The new 2021 LEGO Tumbler will be released globally on 1 November exclusively on LEGO.com or Amazon (if you’re in the US) and your local LEGO Brand Retail Store, and can be pre-ordered now if you’re in the United States.
Special thanks to LEGO for sending this early review set!
Name: Batmobile Tumbler
Set Number: 76240
Price: $229.99 [US] | £ 209.99 GBP [UK] | AU$ 399.99 [AU]
Exclusive to: LEGO.com / Amazon US
Theme: DC Super Heroes
Release Date: 1 November 2021
Buy from: LEGO.com [US] [AU] [UK] [Amazon US]
Here’s a look at the sticker sheet, which mostly contains a plethora of panels, and computer screen displays housed within The Tumbler, as well as the typical Tumbler UCS sticker.
The instruction manual is pretty standard for Creator Expert/UCS-type sets, with plenty of features about the design team, including LEGO Creative Lead Jesper Nielsen, as well as Graphic Designer Adam Corbally who interestingly worked on both Tumblers, and recalled his experience breathing new life into the minifigures and stickers.
Just like the 2014 version, The Tumbler comes with a Batman and Joker minifigures, the two iconic comic book adversaries that have come to define Nolan’s Batman era.
Here’s a better look at the two minifigures. Batman has had a much-needed update, with really sharp levels of detail on his armour, and a gold utility belt. Batman’s armour printing extends all the way down to his legs, and looks great, however his arms lack any sort of printing, making them look very bare.
The new Heath Ledger Joker minifigure features the Clown Prince of Crime in his green vest, and blue shirt combo (best known from the Joker clapping scene and when he’s interrogated by Bats), a refreshing new variant from the full-purple suit Joker from the 2014 Tumbler.
Like that set, The Joker is the star minifigure, and this variant has some slight improvements such as the sleeve prints, and the slightly different (but more expressive!) face print.
Here’s a look at the back printing for both minifigures. Batman still has his classic headband look, which is a little tired by now, and I would’ve much rather have a more movie-accurate Christian Bale Batman, with improved face printing, as well as blacked out eyes, instead of the white eyes.
Also, the lack of side leg printing on the Joker, and arm printing on Batman feel like a wasted opportunity to truly make these minifigures the most definitive Nolan-era minifigures yet.
Like the 1989 Batmobile and Batwing the set comes with a display stand for the minifigures, flanked with 2 Gargoyles. It’s puzzling that there aren’t any improvements made to the design, especially since this set is from a different era than Tim Burton’s Batman, and I feel more could be done to differentiate the stands.
Also, with just 2 minifigures, two of which are the same as the 2014 Batmobile, it feels like yet another miss here by the LEGO team to not include a third minifigure – this set would’ve been the perfect opportunity to introduce a Harvey Dent/Two-Face minifigure, or at the very least, Talia al Ghul, Ra’s al Ghul, Commissioner Gordon, or heck even Catwoman/Selina Kyle to the mix.
Here’s the completed Tumbler build, which was actually quite pleasant to build. I own, but have not opened and built the 2014 Tumbler, so I can’t quite compare the experience, but the in principle, they almost look alike.
The build reminded me a lot of large Technic vehicles – the frame is largely made of Technic bars and beams, giving the Tumbler an incredibly sturdy chassis, of which the armoured plates are then layered on.
The build was a lot quicker than expected, owing to the large plates and elements as well as the set’s 2,049 piece count – quite a “small” amount considering its huge size.
How large is the 2021 LEGO Tumbler? The vehicle measures over 6 in. (16 cm) high, 17 in. (45 cm) long and 9 in. (25 cm) wide.
The model rests nicely on this large, oval-shaped stand, which props the Tumbler up, as well as function as a “turntable”, allowing you to swivel the Tumble around for optimal display placement.
The Tumbler comfortable docks into the base via a white rectangle slot on the bottom, allowing you to lift it on and off with ease.
Here’s how the Tumbler looks like on the base, displayed and from the side. I actually prefer to display it without the stand as I think it looks more aesthetically pleasing with its wheels on the ground, and I don’t like that most of the plaque is obscured at certain angles.
Just be careful so it doesn’t roll off your shelf and take a tumble… which mine did, thankfully, after I finished most of my photography.
LEGO have done a great job with the overall shape, and dimensions of the Tumbler. The rugged, tank-like Batmobile has armour plating aplenty, and gives off a seriously tough look that’s immediately recognizable.
The front tyres have a much slimmer profile, and here, you can also see the section out the front which bears a printed glass element, where Batman slides in a prone position to fire off the guns.
It’s a small, but nice touch – removing the panel reveals this small space with a targeting display, which is sadly, too small for a minifigure to fit in, but I appreciate that it’s there.
As you can notice throughout the armour-plated body, LEGO have opted to keep the stud-heavy armour panelling throughout the Tumbler, which comes down to personal preference.
The heavy presence of studs does ensure that it’s unmistakably LEGO, but at the same time, I would like to imagine what a mostly smooth LEGO Tumbler would look like, which again, would make it much closer to the movie version.
A nice little surprise is the presence of the printed bronze fuel caps on each side, and the use of pearl gold lightsabers for the antenna, and grey ski poles for the hydraulic actuators help break up all the black with pops of colour.
I really liked how these air intake valves are constructed, which sit right above the engine – really nice se of parts here.
Here’s the view of the Tumbler’s back, showcasing the enormous set of quad tires, with massive treads, and the jet nozzle out the back, that’s just begging to filled with some large flame pieces.
The tyres have undergone a huge upgrade here, and are the most eye-catching features of the 2021 Tumbler.
Look at how large they are compared to the minifigures!
And here’s a different view of the back, which focuses on the most annoying and clunky part of the design – the set of 4x flaps are incredibly flimsy, so they wobble and get into weird angles, and also snap off quite easily, especially when moving the Tumbler around due to the weak clip connection.
On to the interiors – you can lift up the roof to reveal the cavernous interiors, which are full of great details – such as screens showcasing “Loiter” mode – from Batman Begins. I only wish there was an alternate screen with “Intimidate” as well!
You can tell that a lot of attention was paid here, to get these screens as movie-accurate as possible – something that should please hardcore Nolanverse Batman fans.
I like that there’s plenty of space on the inside, so that it doesn’t feel cramped and squished together, helping you really appreciate some of details such as the seats, and throttle.
What I liked:
- Remakes/set updates of retired sets are always welcome for those that missed out
- Tumbler is an enormous, chunky and awesome looking display model
- Updated Batman and Joker minifigures are a boon for collectors
- Build was interesting and engaging
What I didn’t like:
- Set is a little pricey, especially in non-US countries
- Both minifigures could do with arm/leg printing
- Could’ve really used a third minifigure
- Floppy flaps at the back
- Not that much of a substantial upgrade to the 2014 Tumbler
Reviewing sets that are essentially remakes of retired models is always going to be a tricky affair, as you have to both consider those that own the original 76023 Tumbler, and those that missed out, or are new to the hobby.
If you belong in the latter camp, the re-issued LEGO Tumbler is still a great set to display, especially if you are a fan of Batman, especially Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy.
As a standalone display model, the Tumbler gets the chunky, armour-plated aesthetics of one of the most iconic Batmobiles down pat, with LEGO improving several key features such as the back tyres, and the slimmer front profile among others.
For those of us who use Ikea Kallax shelves as their preferred displays, I can also happily report that the Tumbler fits snugly into one of the cubes.
The minifigure inclusions are also fitting, with a slightly new Batman and Joker minifigure, which is to be expected given the 2014 Tumbler also came with those 2 characters from The Dark Knight.
That said, the 2021 LEGO Batman Tumbler does not exist in isolation, and this set ultimately feels a wasted opportunity on multiple levels.
The minifigures, while gaining some slight cosmetic improvements, just enough to keep them “exclusive’ and different from their 2014 counterparts.
LEGO Minifigure design has undergone somewhat of a renaissance in 2021, and the lack of arm printing on Batman, and leg printing on Joker to extend the pattern of Bruce’s armour, and the Joker’s pinstripes are inexcusable, especially for an expensive set.
It also feels like a wasted opportunity to one-up the 2014 version by introducing a new Nolan-verse character – Harvey Dent/Two-Face would be the obvious one, but I also wouldn’t mind Catwoman, Ra’s al Ghul, or even Talia al Ghul as a third minifigure.
This might be a constraint on the actual design, but I also feel like more could be done to introduce more play features or functionality into the Tumbler.
It’s wishful thinking, but what would’ve made this set an instant-buy and easy recommendation is if they had somehow incorporated the Batpod into the build, which would’ve been an incredible feat of achievement.
This is also compounded by the fact that the 5004590 Batpod set was only ever released as a VIP sweepstake set in very limited quantities.
76240 Batmobile Tumbler overall feels like a rather lazy remake of the 2014 version – just enough changes have been made to set it apart from its predecessor, but not enough upgrades and changes included to convince those that already own the original to stump up the cash for this 2021 version.
You could also make an argument that it would’ve been nice to have the “desert camo” version of the Tumbler, but I think the all-black version is still the definitive one, and LEGO made the right call keeping it black.
That said, it’s not a bad set at all, and looking at the design approach to 76240 Batmobile Tumbler, it ultimately feels like the target audience for this set is LEGO Batman and Nolan fans that missed out on the 2014 version, and LEGO aren’t trying to convince those that own the original to buy this one again.
It is also quite pricey, and without a solid GWP, double VIP points, or best-case scenario, a 20% discount, you’d be better off waiting for this one to drop in price, especially in Australia where the set is priced at AU$400, which is close to half a Titanic at this rate.
In short, a decent buy if you like Batman, and missed out on the 2014 Tumbler, but if you own the original, you can skip this one out without missing too much.
Rating and score: 3/5 ★★★✰✰
Build  – Build was fun, with a good mix of Technic and LEGO building. Felt a lot shorter than expected.
Real Value  – Pricing in the US is great, but in the UK and AUS, this feels terribly expensive, especially with only 2 minifigures.
Innovation  – LEGO haven’t introduced anything new to the table here, outside of a few design updates.
Coolness  – Tumbler is the second best Batmobile (after the 1989), and looks really great on display.
Keepability  – The old Tumbler’s price on the secondary market never really appreciated to astronomical levels, and I doubt this one will as well. Not an investment piece.
Thanks for reading my early review of the 76240 Batmobile Tumbler!
76240 Batmobile Tumbler will be released globally on 1 November exclusively on LEGO.com and your local LEGO Brand Retail Store, and can be pre-ordered now if you’re in the United States.
What do you think of the 2021 LEGO Batmobile Tumbler? Do you own the original, or are you excited to pick this set up?
Special thanks to LEGO for sending this review copy!
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