LEGO’s BATMAN RETURNS Batcave Shadow Box Set Delivers on the Details

Being a superhero isn’t easy—especially not in a city like Gotham. Batman manages the task—some days more successfully than others—and one aspect that has to help is his secret hideout. He stocks his Batcave with technology, weapons, and extra Bat-supplies. Plus Alfred shows up from time to time with tea. LEGO has captured the coolness of the Batcave in its new set from Batman Returns. The LEGO Batcave Shadow Box features a cut-out of the Batman symbol in front of the Batcave. You can open up the Shadow Box to peek inside the Batcave and see the Batmobile, bats, batarangs, and many more details, as Nerdist discovered when LEGO sent us a Batcave Shadow Box for review.

The front of the LEGO Batcave Shadow Box set

This LEGO set is massive. With 3981 pieces, the box has some heft. It comes with 29 bags, sticker sheets, and four thick manuals. You need room for this build. I’ve put together several LEGO sets, but I wasn’t prepared for this one’s in-construction footprint. Unless you plan to assemble the LEGO Batcave in one marathon session, you’ll need a place to store it when you’re not building and plenty of room as you build—the set needs to swing open at various points during construction.

In addition to this requiring the most physical space of any LEGO sets I have constructed, it also took the most time. Watching Batman Returns during the first build session prolonged the time spent snapping pieces together. I didn’t put on anymore Batman movies as I continued and actually paid full attention to the LEGO Batcave. Assembly took around 10-11 hours total, split between 12 sessions.

When I first glanced at all the bags of seemingly endless gray and black bricks, I didn’t feel confident about how it would come together. Yes, that is Batman’s color palette. No, Gotham isn’t known for being a place of jewel tones or pastels. Still, I wasn’t sure if so much sameness would lend itself to showing off details. I was wrong.

Those gray and black LEGO bricks brought together a dimensional Batcave layered with stalactites and stalagmites and formations in the cave’s walls. Scaffolding, tools, and various Bat-gadgets break up the space. Moving parts such as a door that lowers to reveal an extra Batsuit, a garage door for the Batmobile, and sliding doors and screens add toyetic components to the Shadow Box. You can roll out the Batmobile and move it around on its own, too.

As far as minifigs, the set pulls from characters in Batman Returns. It comes with seven figures, including two versions of Batman, Bruce Wayne, Alfred Pennyworth, the Penguin, Catwoman, and Max Shreck. I didn’t know I needed a Christopher Walken minifig in my life until this set. As is often the case with LEGO, the accessories for the minifgs are excellent finishing touches.

The LEGO Batcave Shadow Box design is such that it blends the organic shapes of the cave, the flowing lines of the Bat-symbol, and Batman’s vast array of technology perfectly. The variety of pieces makes for dynamic visuals. It’s the kind of LEGO set that demands more lighting to illuminate the background (the set comes with a single light brick). We can see this Shadow Box concept translating to other properties, particularly Star Wars. But until then, I’ll be over here playing with the Batmobile and posing Alfred with his pot of tea.

The LEGO Batcave Shadow Box set is widely available from LEGO’s site or LEGO stores on June 8 for $399.99.

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