I haven't anticipated a CMF release since... I don't know when but The LEGO Batman Movie Collectible Minifigure Series had me giddy like it was 1999.
So let's get some non-character specific notes of interest out of the way. First off, there are 20 different figures in the assortment, the most out of any line so far edging out the Disney's line of 18 by two. And since there are 60 figures a in box, you get a nice even distribution of three of each figures to make three complete sets. Thank God. When I was halfway going through the box I was afraid that LEGO might have done something dumb and included 4 of one and 2 of another for some illogical reason. So one 60-count box will net you three full sets for easy splitting and sharing.
Now, I went into this review completely blind, no pun intended. I don't know what the official names are for some of these characters so I just made it up as I went along. I think it was more fun this way. I'm sure there's a list out there that has the names and whatnot but maybe I was just lazy 'cause other than asking the gents in our chat room, I didn't really have time to google. So you'll have to forgive me for any inaccuracies that may arise.
Out of the 20 figures, there are a total of just 6 Batman figures, which seems criminally low. And I'll just say this now to get it out of the way: I still don't like how they did the Batman cowl with the weird bandana print over forehead. The minifig head is pretty useless with that bandana, especially now that they are starting to print eye patterns over a colored background. There are very few hair pieces that can cover it up making it's utility strictly limited to just Batman minifigs. They should have done a double-sided printed head so that the cowl-friendly face is on one side and a regular minifig expression on the other thereby doubling its usefulness. I've griped about it before and I suppose in someone's mind it's too late to make any changes to an already established design pattern but they've done it multiple times before with Star Wars figures. People cry and whine about the change but life goes on. Anyway, they probably could have filled a whole set of just batsuits but I understand the need to get certain characters out there without sticking everyone into every set. If The LEGO Movie series was any indication though, there will be a couple that probably could have been skipped without anyone really noticing.
This is an exhaustive review. So you might need to get a coffee, schedule a bio break, or take a nap in the middle of it. I'm not saying I did any of those things while writing it. Nope, no sirree Bob. And with that, let's get right to it.
This totally isn't a Wolverine-inspired Batman outfit but it totally is. Like I said at the top, I have no idea what happens in the movie, so whether or not there is a nod to one of Marvel's most popular characters by one of DC's most popular characters is unbeknownst to me but that would definitely be a moment to remember and that's saying something considering the potential for such moments in the movie is through the roof. Batman's outfit is decked out in the orange and brown color scheme made famous by Wolverine. He comes with a brown utility belt and utilizes the chin-strapless cowl from the Dawn of Justice sets. Like the other caped figures, there is no printing on the back.
The head element is the only element that has exposed skin, and the color is noticeably darker. It's quite possible that Wolverine Batman isn't Bruce Wayne and is actually a different character. Either that or Bruce had a mishap at the spray tan booth and ended up getting four 2's. There is no alternate face printing.
5 out of 5 stars. I really like the Wolverine/Batman mashup.
How to identify: the claws.
Inflatable Duck Batman
In all the technology at Batman's disposal, it's hilarious he wears swimming goggles over his cowl. Like, he couldn't just use make a special swimming mask with built in goggles? But that really is part of the charm I suppose. Throw in an inflatable duck floaty that is wearing a mask and you have a figure that is just funny and fun to look at. There is only a single Batman logo on his swim shorts whereas the shirt is peppered with them.
He also wears some flippers which are good and bad. Good in that it completes the relaxing-at-the-swimming-pool ensemble but bad in that they make it problematic in having him use the 3x4 minifigure base plate. He can't stand on the and lock down on top of the studs; the flippers aren't hollow on the bottom. The best solution I found was to have him in a sitting position:
Even though he sits at an angle he is securely attached to the plate. I wish the flippers could be held in one hand the way that skis could be held when placed back to back but alas they are not. And you can't even have one hand hold one flipper; there isn't a proper grip along any of the edges for that sort of thing. I suppose it's possible to jam the pair into one hand but you risk bending or, worse yet, breaking the hand in the process. My only other complaint would be that because of the duck floaty, the connection between the legs and the torso easily comes loose with just the slightest handling.
Despite the humor and cuteness of it all, I can only give it a 3 out of 5 stars.
How to identify: inflatable ducky floaty
Heavy Metal Batman
We all know how great of a singer Batman is given his awesome song The LEGO Movie. But did you know he's a talented guitarist as well? Yeah, me neither. I was tempted to call this one KISS Batman since the get up is clearly inspired by the outfits that KISS members wear. The cowl with the printed logo is really nice. There is no printing on the back and no alternate face printing either.
I'm 99% sure we haven't seen a black electric guitar with silver printing on it, so it should make a nice addition to a collection of musical instruments, or to hang on a wall in a music store MOC.
I'm not into Heavy Metal but I can see the influence of the genre on this figure. Still only get 2 out of 5 stars.
How to identify: guitar
Tooth Fairy Batman
I could have just left it at Fairy Batman but Tooth Fairy Batman sounds funnier. And this is probably one of the best figures in the line. Why you may ask? You just have to appreciate the fact that there now exists a Batman figure where he is wearing a pink leotard:
I mean, this is the guy who sang "Darkness". And not only is he wearing a pink leotard, he is wearing a full-body black bodysuit underneath. Throw in a matching pink tutu, fairy wings, hot pink shoes and pink cowl, and you have the best Batman figure ever made.
Easily a 5 out of 5 and if there's only figure you should pick up from this line, this is the one.
How to identify: fairy wings, wand, tutu
Caveman Batman is pretty much what it sounds like. He is sporting a leopard-skin ... caveman outfit. I'm not sure what that particular piece of clothing is called; I'm sure it has a name but I don't know what it is. The mask is brown and has some printing on it. Also comes with a brown cape that I wish was tattered or cut in some uneven way to go along with the caveman theme. No printing on the back and no alternate face either. Not too exciting but not terrible either. It deserves a 2, but it is another Batman costume so it gets bumped to a 3. Final score: 3 out of 5 stars.
How to identify: club
Leisure Suit Batman
Leisure Suit Batman was almost named The Hef Cosplaying as Batman. Batman in his bathrobe (do you think he pronounces it "bath-robe" or "Bat-throbe"?) was one of the first images of The LEGO Batman Movie that was burned into our collective memories when the first trailer hit. Even in the comfort and safety of his own home he will wear his cowl with his lounge wear which just goes to show that he sees himself moreso as Batman instead of Bruce, that Batman is his secret identity, and that Bruce Wayne is just a character he plays, the alter ego. Or maybe it's late and I'm reading too much into it. Comes with a giant dish and a lobster that has printed eyes. There are no Batman logos on the torso or legs so those elements have some flexibility and can be used in any custom minifigure. Easily earns a 4 out of 5 stars.
How to idenfity: dish, lobster
I could have gone with Sharkman, but Sharkmouth sounded better because of that third picture. The printed part of the head is a big, gaping mouth. Seeing it alone on a minifig head is kind of terrifying but it works perfectly well with the shark head element first found in CMF Series 15. Sharkmouth is in a black and white color scheme that is reminscent of a killer whale. It's an okay looking figure and without any context, it's hard to place any sort of significance on it so it gets 2 out of 5 stars.
How to identify: shark head
I simply adore Pink Batgirl. It's just a super cute looking figure. It's very feminine with a pink top, cape, skirt, and boots. The cape is made from a different material than what we've gotten in the past from the Star Wars line and other Batman figures; it's shinier and feels smoother. One side is indeed shinier than the other but you'd be hard-pressed to tell the difference. The dark red hair is in a pony tail and is textured making it look thick and full-bodied. Nougat skin tone contrasts well off all the pink and both facial expressions on the double-sided head look fantastic. This is one of the few figures in the entire set that has alternate face printing. A pink batarang completes the figure. I already know that this is the one minifigure my daughter will want to take from me. Pfft. She can try.
I can't help but give it a 5 out of 5 stars. It is my favorite figure from the line, and no I am not secretly an 8-year-old girl.
How to identify: batarang, hair
He is awesome. His torso has tons of detail without being overwhelming. The level of detail on the face is the same if not bordering on having too much but it's fine. The wrinkles on his face and gray hair features really ages him. There is printing on the back, waist, and legs. There is even printing on his short sleeves on his arms. He comes with two accessories in the form of a walkie-talkie and a wanted poster for the Joker.
Commissioner Gordon is a mainstay in the Batman mythos, so it's nice to see him get another minifigure form in the CMF Series. I'm unsure if he'll appear in any regular sets for The LEGO Batman Movie. It would be strange if he didn't have an alternate form but even if he does, the more the merrier I say. 5 out of 5 stars.
How to identify: walkie-talkie
I'm, like, 99% sure this is Barbara Gordon. She is sporting the same nougat skin color as her Batgirl figure so I'm going to go way out on a limb and say they are the same. Her origin story is probably re-written for this movie. I seem to recall that in other Batman story lines, Barbara was a scientist, but here an officer of the law. In the end, no matter the background, she ends up being Batgirl.
She is decked out in her officer dress uniform complete with white gloved hands. The torso is plain enough that it could be reused for a male minifigure. She comes with a pair of handcuffs. Two little extra bits were in the bag: a black 1x1 square plate and a 1x1 yellow round tile with the Batman logo printed on it. There wasn't any indication on the packaging or the folded up insert on what to do with those two elements so I just stuck them together and put it on her hand. That's really the only thing you can do with them.
She gets a 4 out of 5 stars for being a semi-important character dressed in a formal uniform that can easily be recycled.
How to identify: 1x1 square plate
Machine Gun Bunny
This minifig is definitely NOT Barbara Gordon if the skin tone is any indication. I'm sure she has some significant role in the movie, or at least a couple of lines, enough to warrant being made into a figure, but as it right now, it's just your regular old, run-of-the-mill girl in a bunny costume, wielding a machine gun. Nothing new to see here.
I have a spot for bunnies, so I give it 2 out of 5 stars instead of the 1 star I was originally intending on giving.
How to identify: bunny helmet
Hello Man uses the Galaxy Patrol armor in white and it's the first time that element comes in that color. I get a really strong astronaut vibe from this guy. Could be the armor. Could be the space helmet. Could be the moon boots. But let's be honest, tt's probably the purple bodysuit. It's outfitted with a printed helmet and a visor that has "07734" printed on the front. Upside down it reads as "HELLO" so I'm dying to know if 5318008 will be in the movie. There is a printed tile of a numeric keypad which seems like a ridiculously useful part.
Hello Man wears a lavender bodysuit under all that armor printed with some panels along the legs, arms, and back. It's an okay figure overall but I'll give it a 3 out of 5 stars based on the new elements alone.
How to identify: giant armor element, 1x1 square tile
Ah rooster, you and your Coke-bottle glasses, looking so dapper in your red robin sweater and blue jeans, are you enjoying repelling sharks with your Shark Repellent? You must be if that grin is any indication.
This figure is pretty nice as all of the elements can be recycled to other figures. I may not have gotten minifigures from other non-licensed themes, so I don't know if those jeans are unique to rooster or not but they are pretty nice. The robin print on the sweater continues on the back. There is no alternate facial expression. It would have been hilarious if the face print had squinting eyes since he's so blind without his glasses.
rooster gets a 3 out of 5 stars. The can of Shark Repellent helped bumped up his score.
How to identify: tap, hair/glasses combo piece
He may just be known as Zodiac without the Man moniker. His sea creature accessories are, I can only assume, representations of Pisces and Cancer. His two-tone pale blue outfit has gold symbols of the various zodiac signs all over his body. I'm not a DC guy by any means so I don't know his back story or connection to Batman. He seems important enough to get a minifig made out of him, so this could be one of those throwaway characters that no one cares about or there could be a legion of diehard Zodiac and DC fans that are thrilled that he's being made into a fig. Without any connection to the character, he gets the so-so score of 2 out of 5 stars.
How to identify: crab, fish
I'm pretty sure she's dating Frozone with a name like that. And yes, that name is totally made up. She could be one of those kabuki twins and I'm only basing that on the white facepaint and the need to make some sort of connection to something, anything. I realized four or five figures ago, that without any knowledge on who these characters are, they're just noise to me. They could be background characters like Calamity Drone from The LEGO Movie CMF line that no one would give a flying hoot about, or could be like Western Wyldstyle from the same series who was a core character but in an alternate costume.
Lack of history aside, her punk outfit is pretty nice. I can't think of any other opportunity we would ever get what looks to be a leather corset on a minifig. A pink bodysuit complets the outfit; should have been fishnet but whatever. I still give her a 3 out of 4 stars.
How to identify: lightning
I almost went with Eraser Head but Pencil Neck sounds more insulting and funnier. I'll admit, I had no idea this guy was supposed to look like a pencil until I put that pink 1x1 round tile on top of his head and then it all clicked into place. The ferule element is a printed 1x1x1 2/3 round brick, not sure I've ever seen one of that size before. The stripes are all aroudn the suit: front, back, arms, legs, and sides of legs. The toes are printed with a pencil tip pattern to complete the pencil look. Aside from the toes, it's a pretty good looking suit. Pencil Neck is the result of how LEGO would minifigure-ify a pencil, and the resulting mashup hits a home run. 4 out of 5 stars, I mean it's a pencil minifigure!
How to identify: tall round brick, 1x1 round tile, 2x2 square tile
See my comments for Lightning Babe.
In all seriousness, though, I don't know if reviewer's exhaustion is setting in or what, but there is absolutely nothing about this minifig that is moving the needle for me. One really annoying thing about this figure is that the headdress element has this pointy end in the back that ends up folding over the point in the cape that's right behind the neck. It took a little finagling to have it sit right, but did manage to get it 1 out of 5 stars.
How to identify: cobra staff
Alright, this guy, this guy's pretty nice. His red dome top snaps securely into place on top of the shoulder armor. The shoulder armor lies on top of a red cape and has the same sort of problem as Pharaoh Man's cape. It basically gets crushed during assembly of the figure. Underneath the dome is decorated minifig head that looks pretty intimidating. Dome Head is sporting a black tuxedo with a purple bowtie, vest, and gloves. He is dual-wielding a pair of pistols.
The only thing hurting this figure is my complete ignorance of who he is and because of that, he gets a 2 out of 5 stars.
How to identify: dome top
Nurse Harley Quinn
This is the second version of Harley we're getting (the first being available in 70906 The Joker Notorious Lowrider, and there is probably a third version in the upcoming Arkham set). The hair is the same between both figures but that's where the similarities end. She is in her nurse's outfit and fully decked out from top to bottom, front to back. There is printing on the front and back of the torso, on the arms, and the legs from the waist, right down to the toes. And printing on the sides of the legs to boot! I like the facial expression on this version much better than the Lowrider one. A nurses cap fits snugly on top of the still-awesome hair element. She holds a 2x2 printed tile of a clipboard showing a "H+J" enclosed in a heart written on the Joker's chart.
This easily gets 5 out of 5 stars.
How to identify: nurses cap, hair
I'll tell you right now I am not a fan of this figure. There's just something about the facial expressions (yes, plural, it is a double-sided head). They just look dumb, and that single canine tooth doesn't do anything for me either. They might have pushed the "cartoony" filter a little too far since I do not have the same complaints as the Joker from the Lowrider set. Aside from that, the prison outfit is good as a prison outfit can get. Arkham is stamped on the back. I find it interesting that the Joker's head and hands are white but the little patch of skin at the collar is flesh. Interesting? Oversight? Neither? Neither. Just something I noticed.
Eh. 1 out of 5 stars. And it's totally not because I'm tired.
And that's it. Finally, we've reached the end.
So how does the entire set of 20 minfigures rate as a whole? Compiling all of the scores together, it averages out to... let's see.. carry the one.. and we get a median score 3.2 out 5 stars. We don't do no decimal points or half scores around here so I'm going to bump it up to a solid 4. Despite my ignorance on some of the figures, assembling a full set was fun and interesting. Out of all the licensed CMF lines, this one is one of my favorites. 20 different figures, lots of batsuits, and some other core characters making an appearance is what gives this series a 4 out of 5 stars. Having a Collectible Minifigure series based on a license is something I wish we had more of. This is just the fourth licensed property to get a CMF treatment and I can only hope that more will come.
The LEGO Batman Movie Collectible Minifigures will officially be available on January 1, 2017. There is a good chance that you'll be able to find these in stores before then. LEGO tends to evaporate off of the store shelves in the days leading up Christmas. So they'll put whatever product they have out to fill up empty shelf space. And even if you can't find it at a retailer, LEGO for sure will start selling them on January 1. Retail price per pack is $3.99 so a full set should run you 80 bucks plus any taxes.