The Lego Batman Movie opens this week, bringing with it a horde of Lego sets based on that wonderfully goofy version of the Dark Knight. Crawling to the top of the pile as only a nocturnal winged mammal could is The Scuttler.
The Scuttler is the vehicle that comic book Batman would be tooling around in if he were 100 per cent committed to his motif. The Bat-Plane, Bat-Copter, Bat-Jet, Bat-Glider — these all make sense. Bats fly. It's one of their selling points.
As much as I love a good Batmobile, the nitpicky part of my brain (i.e., most of my brain) is bothered by the separation between bats and cars. The two don't mix very often, and when they do it's generally pretty messy for the bat. Plus cars aren't very scary. Christine, maybe, or the truck with the face from Maximum Overdrive, but most cars won't strike fear into the heart of criminals unless they have a "fear" hood ornament.
You know what is scary?
Walking or running bats are creepy as hell. Imagine a giant mechanical one of those coming for you in a dark alley, and you'll get The Scuttler.
Several of the characters on this box are running in the wrong direction.
It's just so beautiful.
Lego set 70908, The Scuttler, is an $US80 ($105), 775 piece set consisting of one giant scary crawling bat vehicle and six characters to either pilot it or run screaming. The set comes with a thick instruction booklet and seven bags' worth of parts. Let me walk you through the build, bag-by-bag.
Oddly blurry, these two.
The first bag features two of the set's six minifigures, Will Arnett's Batman and Michael Cera's Robin. Before you go thinking that Robin outclasses Robin completely with that powder blue suit jacket and fetching bow tie, check this out:
Love that smirk.
Batman has a jet pack. Why? He's a billionaire. If I were a billionaire, I would have one too.
There's also quite a bit to build on bag one, getting the core of The Scuttler up and running.
No one is scared of Plant Woman.
The Scuttler's second plastic sack wields another crazy pair, the oddly-orange James Gordon and Plant Woman, mistress of plants.
She's so touchy about the name thing.
Fine! Poison Ivy rolls into the set with her own vine-y ride, sporting some incredibly cool hair complete with flower and scattered leaf deco. I love what Lego is doing with hair lately.
CAUTION. HOT CONTENTS. Oh yeah.
The building portion of bag two builds on The Scuttler base, adding a hot exhaust section I initially confused with a cockpit, as well as a spiffy net launcher that really works, at least until you lose the net.
Toy companies really need to stop packaging The Joker and Barbara Gordon together. One of them always ends up broken.
The personalisation really brings the whole thing together.
By the time bag three is empty, The Scuttler will have half of one front leg. It's pretty much all legs from here on out.
Did not miss leg day.
The smallish bag four finishes off the front upper legs, which you will swear are the rear legs until much later in the build. Note the gear there. It's important.
Technically the exhaust port is The Scuttler's butt.
Ah, here are those hind legs we were looking for. Small, stunted and pistoned, ready to provide a little extra push to the creeping and crawling.
They go all the way up.
Those front legs we built earlier were only half the battle, the other being a pair of long, extendable clawed appendages. Just like real bats, they feature dual missile launchers.
Bag six completes one leg, with the last coming together in . . .
HE IS SO CUTE.
With all the legs in place, it's time for the most adorable bat cockpit ever. It has moving ears. Why? Because this is Lego Batman, and they are completely necessary.
What a magnificent beast.
The end result is a powerful tool for Lego superhero justice, ready to skitter out of the shadows and sink its slender fangs (it does not have fangs) into crime.
Check out the video atop the post for a closer look at The Scuttler and The Lego Batman Movie characters who should fear it.
Now that I have assembled the best of the best, I'm ready to go see The Lego Batman Movie this weekend, after which I will doubtlessly find myself at a toy store picking up the rest. I am weak, but happy.