Shining a light on the Dark Knight’s Batcave Shadow Box.

Fans have long been asking for a large ‘Adults Welcome’ LEGO DC set for some time. And The LEGO Batcave Shawdow Box is just that. Since the success of the Daily Bugle set and the incoming influx of Spider-Man, people have been asking what is up with DC. Well, say no more, for the Shadow Box Batcave is here. But is it the answer to the prayers of fans? Or is this a complete miss? Read on!


The Batmobile

The Batmobile in this set is by far one of the biggest highlights of the set, and such a large focus too. The Batmobile is approximately 30 studs long. It’s able to seat Batman inside (new helmet mould version). The overall build experience of the car was simplistic but rewarding; watching each element come together as I was building it was reeling in nostaligia, but there wasn’t anything here that I haven’t seen before.

Spin the cog and reveal two hidden launchers in the build! Although the cog, it does add an unwanted feature on the side of the car.

The car does a really good job of working with the source material, and it can’t have done much better.

The Shadow Box

LEGO have marketed the Batcave as a shadow box, a 3D composition inside a box. The most obvious detail that LEGO have done with this is the use of the Bat logo to help frame the interior of the cave design.

The Shadow Box simply opens up on one side to reveal the inside of the Batcave. As well as spinning out the aforementioned Batmobile on it’s own signature plinth. The fluidity of this motion is very nice, and all of the hinges/clips used in this motion are very well disguised in the build.

However, just because it’s cool doesn’t mean it isn’t without its faults. The Shadow Box is hindered by the playability features of the Batcave itself.

The Batcave interior has a number of different features that can be interacted with by a number of yellow 2×2 round elements around the build, but most are hidden on the back. That means that, unfortunately, this build cannot be hard pressed up against a wall for display. Which is a real shame, as the open version of the build would have made this look quite nice.

The Batcave

The inside of the Batcave highlights a number of features signature to the original film this is based on. The classic computer with multiple screens highlight Penguin and Catwoman, a suiting-up space, and a Bat-armoury.

The computer has a play feature, interacted with from the back, that allows the computer screens to be quickly changed between Penguin and Catwoman. This feature does work pretty well, but at the high cost of parts to allow it to do so. You can also make Bruce’s chair spin around too, for whatever reason we needed a mechanism for this I will never know.

The middle section of the Batcave focuses on a suiting-up space, and with the spin of a dial on the back, you can raise and lower a platform reveal an alternate Batsuit. It’s essentially a closet.

On the far right of the cave, we have the Bat-armoury. This is actually one of the nicer play features of the set, and feels well and truly like it belongs in the set.

In the lower levels of the cave, we have a number of different tools, and the plinth for Batman’s Batmobile. Although I would have loved to see a rotating platform for the Batmobile, it would not be possibly at this scale. The tools in this spot definitely feel like they could be more congregated, but instead they are weirdly spaced out to fill the void. You can also push a button on the outside of the box to drop the door down behind the Batmobile.

There are a few details of the build I do like that are easily overlooked. The rock-work around the inside of the Batman logo, the smaller Batman logo above the Batmobile, and the steel frames with lights on it that adorn the top of the build. These are nice little highlights, but you never see them when the build is closed in the Shadow Box. It’s a real shame.

There is one thing I haven’t mentioned; this set is just too dark. The little details end up lost in the model by how black and grey it is, plus the Shadow Box certainly doesn’t help. The light brick in the set is nowhere near enough to bring this set out of the dark. It was enough a struggle to highlight the light brick with photos in a dark environment.

I also really wish there was more platforms or places for characters to stand. There is less platforms here than LEGO playsets half the price. The open part of the Shadow Box looks like it would be a nice spot to hide some extra Easter eggs or more platforms for the characters, but instead it’s just barren.

There is also 1 hidden compartment around the back. Its purpose? To store the Batmobile’s flame. Hot.

The Minifigures

The Minifigures included in this set are Bruce Wayne, two versions of Batman, Max Shreck, Penguin, Catwoman and Alfred Pennyworth.

First, I’ll cover the good ones. Penguin, Catwoman and Alfred are perfect encapsulations of their on-screen personas.

This is our first Danny Devito penguin. I’m really happy with the printing they used for the figure. Alfred looks spot on for the character, and Catwoman, similarly unique in appearance, has great stitch printing on her head and body. But it’s surprisingly absent on her legs.

For an exclusive figure of Max Shreck, LEGO have done well to encapsulate Christopher Walken. The face printing on the character does really well, but it is surprisingly not a unique print. This face is actually also used for the Old Man in the Home Alone set. He’s on par for what he should be.

But here’s a hot take.

Why is Bruce Wayne’s figures, the highlight character, the worst in the whole set?

Batman appears in this set, twice. Although it looks like two different figures, these are exactly the same, except for the headpieces.

The Batman that comes with the cowl/cape combo isn’t actually exclusive to this set, but instead available in a cheap and current polybag. The other Batman may be sporting the new headpeice, but LEGO wouldn’t invest in a mould like this for one set alone, and will be easy enough to replicate in time. Throw in to the mix that these Batman characters are supposed to be the same, just one being able to get into a car and the other not, and it feels like a HUGE cop-out. One of the figures of this set is literally a band-aid solution for the Batmobile.

And they aren’t even supposed to have white eyes! This live action batman never had white eyes, and would have benefited from a head mould that had the minifigure eyes pop through.

‘So what’s the issue with the Bruce Wayne figure then?’ I hear you ask. Well, only his torso printing is exclusive in this set. Everything else can be found elsewhere. ‘But what about his face printing?’ Yup, that too. IN THE EXACT SAME SET. The fancier Batman figure uses the EXACT SAME HEADPIECE as Bruce Wayne. Which means that on the back of that slight smile face print is a faceprint with dorky goggles on top in white. These figures have one expression each, and cannot be any different.

Oh, and that’s also available in that super cheap polybag too. Ooof.


So my thoughts overall? Well, if you haven’t got the memo yet; I am not a fan.

There are some big oversights here. The dark colour palette washes any sense of character away from the build. It may have been the source material, but a Shadow Box was not the way to execute this idea. If the classic 1960’s Batcave was done in this manner, I could understand it. The colour differences would have made more character, but this just all blends in.

Play features, such as a spinning chair, might be a simple addition, but it’s a waste of parts compared to a normal chair element on a 2×2 turntable element. These can be found in classic ‘playset’ Batcaves, and even they have more platforms for characters to walk on. It’s just more price and less parts where it is needed.

Figures? The titular character of the set isn’t even a middle-ground figure. He’s actually the WORST. All three of him! For a large $$$ set, he feels like a backhanded solution to collectors.

At least the Batmobile is fantastic. I really like this part of the set – but there’s even rumour of that being a set on its own.

This is a large ‘collectors’ item set that doesn’t carry that collectors feel. Somebody really missed the mark here.



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