Both of the companies in this review have been flying under the radar and I am very happy to highlight them here.
First up is Brick Fortress. They are a new customs maker and currently only have one item on the market. It is a rather exciting one that fills a significant gap in the LEGO product line. They are selling articulated mini-legs! I recently bought some of their offerings and I was impressed. They fit very nicely and are constructed quite well. The clutch power is good and the legs move well. They are currently available in 5 colors: Light Gray, Tan, Black, Brown and Dark Blue. They are slightly taller than the official short legs by LEGO, but the color match is good. The legs are also interchangeable with official LEGO legs, so you can use your normal hip pieces for color changes. My only complaint is a minor one. The plastic feels very similar to the plastic we have been seeing in the collectible minifigs. But that is an issue with many of the custom makers and isn’t a deal-breaker for me. I am really liking these articulated mini-legs and will be buying more.
The second company, Cape Madness, has been around for a few years now but has mostly sold their products at BrickCon. They started small but have consistently expanded their product line. Currently they only sell online at the CapeMadness Bricklink store, but a new website is under construction. I have kept an eye on their quality from the beginning and it is spot on! I can’t tell the difference between their plain capes and my official LEGO ones. However the real draw of Cape Madness is the patterns, colors and special shapes they offer. At BrickCon this year, Dave (the owner of Cape Madness) let me dig through his products and it was hard to decide what to review. There are so many different items!
The fabric and treatment feels just like official LEGO capes. The capes and flags with heavy printing, such as the Blacktron cape, feel stiffer but it wasn’t an issue when putting it on a minifig. They also stand up to use quite well. I have some flags that are a couple of years old and they show no signs of fraying.
The capes come in four sizes, with the second-to-the-smallest being the same as the official LEGO cape. The two larger styles wrap around the fig for a cloak effect. The largest size also is available with a pointed collar variation. There are also trench coats, ponchos, togas, paldrons, and three styles of flags currently in production. The printing on the capes is very crisp and there is a wide range of available patterns and styles. There is everything from various camo patterns to the insignia of your favorite sci-fi regiments to medieval heraldry. Dave also offers a service where he will print your own logo or pattern onto a cape or flag (an additional fee applies). I highly recommend Cape Madness. The items are high quality, they stand up to wear, there is a wide range of products and Dave is a great guy to work with. You can see more pictures in my Cape Madness set on Flickr.