Is the LEGO 76161 1989 Batwing a Good Investment Set?
9th January 2022
Over the past couple of years LEGO has created what I like to call UCS Batman sets. Bigger, more detailed and ultimately more expensive sets aimed at adult collectors, similar to what they have done for Star Wars.
The first set in this sub theme was set 76139, the 1989 Batmobile released in November 2019. The second is the aforementioned 1989 Batwing (76161) and in November last year we got the Batmobile Tumbler (76240).
In this article I will go into the set in more detail and hopefully answer the question of "Is this a good investment set"?
LEGO has produced several sets over the years depicting the Batwing but none to this scale. This version of the Batwing is modelled on the 1989 film starring Michael Keaton as Batman.
It has 2,363 pieces which at a retail price of £174.99 ($199.99) means the price per piece is 7.4p (8.5c). This is decent for a licensed set although the 1989 Batmobile beats it with a PPP of 6.7p (7.6c)
Something that is not in the Batwing's favour is that aside from the minifigure parts it has a lack of unique and rare pieces. This is not the be all and end all but it can help a sets price post retirement.
The Batwing comes with 3 minifigures, two of which are exclusive (The Joker and Lawrence The Boombox Goon). This version of Batman with the one piece mask and cape has appeared in one other set, the 1989 Batmobile which retired at the end of last year.
Lawrence and The Joker are very likely to remain exclusive (e.g LEGO won't release another set in the future that has one of them in) so their value should go up over time. Out of the two The Joker will definitely do better just because he is a much more widely known character. The same can probably be said of Batman even though he has featured in other sets, in fact he's already number 10 on The Top 10 Most Expensive LEGO Batman Minifigures!
What's the cheapest I can buy this set for?
As with any LEGO set I would never advise paying the full RRP as you can usually pick it up for considerably cheaper elsewhere. With the Batwing, however, it's been pretty hard to find anywhere selling it under the RRP of £174.99. In the UK, the only retailer selling it other than LEGO themselves is Smyths who rarely have discounts on large sets.
£149.99 is the cheapest I've seen it and I don't think it will go lower, so if you see it at this price it's probably a good buy.
Looking to the future
Something I like to consider when investing in a set is the popularity of its theme and is it one that LEGO is going to continue producing sets for? I say this because often the early sets of successful themes do extremely well as investment items. Take Market Street and Café Corner in the Modular Building Series as an example, as the popularity of the theme has soared over recent years so has price of those sets
Of course LEGO has been churning out licensed Batman products for years so we're not exactly early to the party with this Batwing but the sub theme of "UCS" Batman sets is relatively new. However they may be short lived as unlike modular building there's only a limited number of Batman vehicles you can base a LEGO set on.
We've had the Batmobile (1989 and Tumbler) and the Batplane (Batwing), the only ones left are the Batboat, Batcopter and Batcycle. Having said that though there are many different variants of each of them, but I don't see this sub theme being able to continue on for too much longer
Investment opportunity: FAIR
Set 76161 gets a fair investment rating from Brick Ranker. The fact that it's Batman themed will always make it desirable but you might be better off purchasing the minifigures separately.
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