By Antonio Malara
I will never forget that long line along the buildings, I was a ten year old kid and I couldn’t understand why those people were standing still there. My mom explained to me what was going on; those people were waiting their turn to get inside the cinema and watch the last Batman movie. That explanation didn’t satisfy me, especially when I saw a guy who was in line wearing a strange Batman costume even if it wasn’t carnival. I was with my family in Paris and the scene was on the Champs-Élysées, that scene was “too much” for me, it was weird and it remained stuck in my mind. I was a fan of Batman and till then I only watched the tv series with Adam West but the young me understood that this movie version was something “big”.
The movie took my attention, once at home I started to watch all the trailers and looking on papers for Batman news and pictures. I said to my mother that I really wanted to watch the movie once it was in the theaters in Italy. I don’t remember who brought me to the cinema months later, probably I went with my sister and one of my older cousins. Compared to the tv series everything in the movie was hyped: the Batman costume, the gadgets, the batmobile, the bat-cave and the character of Joker played by Jack Nicholson was beautiful. But at that time who really made me fall in love was Vicki Vale played by Kim Basinger. Yes Kim was my first crush ever, I remember I bought the Batman Album and I used to collect the images of Vicki and pasting them on all my notebooks and school books. Some years later I saw the Batmobile on an expo in my city, at that time I couldn’t understand the value of that visit so I didn’t even documented with a pic.
Later in years when it started my passion for cinema and I watched again Batman I saw the movie under others perspectives. In the meanwhile, a sequel has also been released, still with Tim Burton as a director. For me the sequel wasn’t cool as the first one, probably because I never liked Penguin as the bad guy. Years after years when many new movies of Batman went out I realized that everything in the Tim Burton movie was better especially the Batmobile which becomes for me a unique piece of design. The long hood in cars always fascinated me and this car alongside the 1979 Chevrolet Corvette better represents my favorite design for a car.
I never looked for some kind of replica of that Batmobile but it happened that months ago I was in Palermo visiting my sister. While I was walking with her, she wanted to show me the LEGO Store and when we arrived in front of the shop window I saw something unexpected! On the left side there was a big replica of the 1989 Batmobile, plus the characters of Batman, Joker and Vicki Vale. I was like a pilgrim in the holy land! The awesome LEGO version of the Batmobile was priced at 249€ and I knew I would buy it even if it was expensive. We went in the store looking all the cool things they had there but just because the Batmobile was super cool I decided to give to the car a special moment and I didn’t buy on that day. Sometimes you need to wait to do things because in this way you enjoy them better. In the moment I saw the Batmobile I decided to buy it but I waited, being happy that I was going to buy that car. When I left home the next morning, I said to my mom; “I’m going to buy the car!”
Inside the box
The total pieces of bricks, which made up the car, are 3306 packed in a big box. Inside it there are 24 transparent numbered envelopes, ten of them are inside another small box (which also contains a 400 pages book instructions), other two envelopes which are unnumbered, the four tires and the stickers. The instructions guide you through 24 steps to assemble the car, you can choose to assemble as you want, personally I decided to assemble the contents of each envelope a day, just to make the process more enjoyable. To assemble the pieces of a single envelope it take from 30 to 45 minutes so if you have hurry to see the car assembled, you can even do it in 10 days.
The Assembly Process
My assembly process started badly from day one, even though I didn't know it yet. It happened that I made a mistake while assembling the car axle; two vertical blue bricks were mounted in an outermost hole while I mounted them in an innermost one. However this error did not compromise the assembly until the eleventh day. The second mistake (which for me was the first) occurred on the third day. I don't remember exactly what I mounted the wrong way but to rearrange everything I had to disassemble a small part of the front axle, an easy error to correct. So technically the assembly went well until day 11. At this point, as a consequence of that error of the first day it was impossible to assemble a piece, precisely a yellow brick did not match, therefore it was impossible to continue. As a result of this, I had to disassemble 80% of the assembly on the eleventh day plus part of the first day once again. I forced the central axis by widening and I managed to put the bricks in the right hole. Luckily everything went well but I risked breaking the long side bricks. On the 12th day I realized that reassembling the passenger compartment I put the side walls backwards, so before starting with the assembly of the twelfth day I had to dismantle the part of the passenger compartment that I had already remounted twice on the eleventh day. I don't like to blame others for my mistakes but I wanted to point out one thing about the instructions. These are 3D drawings, although very accurate, they can lead you to make mistakes. Plan instructions would have been much more functional to better explain some assembly steps. Despite this, which was the last mistake I made, from then on everything went perfectly. Step by step I also understood that there’s a logic in how to assemble the bricks. More precisely some kind of bricks are used in the same way all the time while others are multifunctional. Once you’re inside the logic of the instructions and the bricks, the process is really pleasant. Even when I became more confident assembling the car, I liked to take it easy and enjoy it. I can say that this LEGO can be a “relaxing” addiction and while I was assembling the Batmobile I was already thinking about the next one. The main problem about owning such a LEGO is that most of the ones that I like, are big but I realized that I have space for other two like this. In other word I already decided which LEGO will be next, so stay tuned if you’re interesting in this type of things.
Pictures: Antonio Malara