The LEGO Batman Movie Maker (853650) contains 152pcs and comes in a trapezoid box which is not the usual packaging that most extended line products are packed in. The Movie Maker belongs to the LEGO extended line which includes the LEGO watches, keychains and other merchandise that is not part of the regular line of products for LEGO.
There are some notable differences right off the bat (ha!) as the all the parts are sealed in a single unnumbered plastic bag as opposed to the usual tearaway ones. LEGO Batman’s cape is not kept in the usual protective white box but packed like a loose element in the sea of bricks.
The “backdrops” are printed back-to-back on cardboard with holes at the bottom for the technic pins to poke through when attaching them to the base. I do hope that LEGO releases more backdrops, even if it is digitally so that we can print them to create more scenes for our stop-motion movies.
The build experience was still fun albeit a little tricky as this is not a “conventional” LEGO set that you’re building. It is essentially a brick-built handphone holder with a backdrop prop that is more akin to a basic LEGO Technic set.
There are some technic elements involved but nothing too difficult for an intermediate builder although I will advise parents to build this along with their younger kids as they may encounter some difficulty with the positioning mechanism or attaching the backdrop to the base.
The set comes with a single LEGO Batman minifigure and the new utility belt accessory. As with any LEGO Batman minifigure, there is usually a white “headband” across the top of the minifigure’s head which will be the ‘eyes’ when donning the cowl.
This time LEGO has actually added white ‘eyes’ on the top instead of a continuous white bar which gives a bit more expression to the Batman minifigure when he is in full crime fighting mode.
I really like the fact that the cape is more cloth-like than the previous hardier “paper” type.
The set is going for SGD$34.90 before the 10% member’s discount applied which would bring it down to SGD$31 (USD$21) which translates to about 20¢ per piece. A little on the high side but then again, this is not a set that you’d buy for the parts.
I would actually say that this is quite a decently priced set for what it does which is an introductory LEGO set for kids to try their hand at movie making and unlocking their imaginations. That kind of value is priceless.
The handphone holder is designed to tilt up and down and slide left to right along the rails for dolly shots. The only thing that this is unable to do is to swivel left and right for pans. I believe it is possible to add a turntable and I’ll try modding it once I’m done with this review.
The idea for this “movie-maker” is not particularly new as AFOLs have been using LEGO to create their equipment and scenes for ages. There was even a LEGO theme of movie maker sets with Steven Spielberg’s endorsement that even had their own camera that hooked up to your personal computer.
I personally would recommend this set to anyone who would like to dabble a bit with stop-motion photography. The stand can be adapted to fit any of the LEGO Batman movie playsets which would make excellent scenes and backdrops.
I remember there used to be a LEGO Movie Maker app available last year but I cannot seem to find it on our local iTunes store now. I hope that LEGO releases a version of the mobile phone app for our region (Asia) as it would be a perfect companion to the LEGO Batman Movie Maker set.