With what just might be the scariest LEGO Joker I’ve ever seen (and as a mech, no less), this model by oLaF appears to be only one part of a multi-stage diorama collaboration between several builders. I can’t wait to see the whole thing, but in the meantime, this segment is worth taking a look at by itself.
Jonas (Legopard) is rapidly becoming one of my favorite builders, not least because he demonstrates talent in multiple themes. His latest build is this excellent conversion of the Batcave into the quintessential look of the steampunk aesthetic — complete with Batman in a top hat and what appears to be a wood and brass Tumbler.
And since we’re featuring one of Jonas’ mashups, here’s another. Behold the Classic Space DeLorean:
C’mon! How awesome is that?!
The week of San Diego Comic-Con is full of news, and we’re hardly getting started! The next item LEGO has revealed is an upcoming new LEGO Batman set, Riddler Chase. Most notably, this set includes the Flash as a minifigure for the first time.
The set will cost $29.99, includes 304 pieces, and is due out in January 2014.
This is the biggest set in the line of licensed sets from Man of Steel, the new Superman movie due out in June.
The 418-piece set features a military jeep with missile launchers and the “Black Zero” drop ship, a Kryptonian fighter ship. There a 5 minifigs included: Superman, Colonel Hardy, General Zod, Faora and Tor-An. At that price point, the set is fairly reasonable, given the part count.
The set comes with 5 polybags of parts, 2 instruction books, stickers and a comic. The first part of the build is the military jeep. It’s simple but nicely designed, employing clever SNOT (Studs Not On Top) techniques. The jeep comes equipped with a pair of flick-fire missiles for its play action. Flick fires are never that interesting in my opinion. The first set of figures are Superman, sporting torso and leg prints based on the movie, and Colonel Hardy, who sports a military-style torso print that might be of interest to military enthusiasts.
The second part of the build is the Black Zero Drop Ship, not to be confused with the Black Zero, which is a gigantic ship in the movie. The minfigures here are particularly noteworthy as they contain a number of new molds. Zod and Faora each have their own styles of body armor, as well as new helmet pieces. Faora appears to have a new hair mold as well. And finally, there is a new blaster weapon.
One particularly noteworthy element is the dark grey bubble canopy. While it is not a new element, the color is new, and should lend itself to some creative uses. Building the dropship is straightforward enough; it only took about 15 minutes to do it. The finished ship is definitely swooshable, and it comes with two spring-loaded missile launchers for its play action. While I’m sure the set was designed to reflect the movie’s look, the end result is largely colorless — it’s mostly dark grey with a few tiny green accents. I somehow get the sense that the designer’s hands are tied on this one, given the source material.
The set is a fair value. If you are a fan of the movie, or a fan of Superman, then you would probably appreciate the set. The set is not a standout in terms of the color design. The predominantly grey palette is a little dull. But my kids, as I suspect with most kids, don’t care about design details. They’ve been playing with the set non-stop ever since we finished building it.
An iconic scene deserves an iconic photo, and Project Azazel doesn’t disappoint. The approach to this photo with forced perspective gives it a larger feel.
Oh, and it lights up. I was totally sold at the working Batsignal.
76006 Extremis Sea Port Battle is the last of the Iron Man 3 sets I’ll be reviewing. Be sure to also read my reviews of the Malibu Mansion Attack and the Ultimate Showdown sets, if you’ve missed them. The Extremis Sea Port Battle consists of an Extremis speedboat driven by badman Aldrich Killian, and Iron Man and War Machine to fight him. This set is what you’d expect from an MSRP $19.99 USD set: one large vehicle, and three minifigures, for a total of 195 pieces. The box contains two numbered bags, the instructions, a sticker sheet, and the same LEGO-style comic as the other two Iron Man 3 sets. The first bag builds the minifigs, and the bottom half of the boat, and the second finishes the boat and adds the buoy.
The boat is fairly large at almost 27 studs long, and looks pretty snazzy with its dark green and yellow color-scheme. It’s one of the cooler LEGO speedboats I’ve seen in a while, and I really appreciated the little touches the designer added like the swept-back windshield. I do always find it odd when a LEGO model calls for numerous plates where a single larger one would do. In this case, the bottom deck of the boat is held together with a row of four tan 1×10 plates. Perhaps that’s to make it look more like planking, or perhaps a 4×10 plate would have put the set over-budget. Either way, there are no complaints from me; I’d rather have the smaller plates. There are two flick-fire missiles in the aft compartment of the boat. Unlike most flick-fire missiles which I find cumbersome to flick with your finger and ineffective for range, these fire via a small lever mechanism which works remarkably well, and blends in well with the design of the boat. The foredeck also pops off, allowing for a minifig to hide in there. Really, though, a sleek speedboat is its own play-feature in my book, and you don’t need too many gizmos added to it to make it fun. The bottom of the boat is, of course, covered in boat-tiles to make carpet-sailing an easy adventure. Next up is the buoy, which explodes when you press one side. It’s built sort of like a minifig-flinger, but I’m not certain it’s meant to be used like that. Spare parts were slightly nicer than usual, with an extra light-grey lightsabre handle, and some other typical pieces.
The Iron Man minifig here is in the same Mark 42 Armor that’s in the Malibu Mansion Attack set. War Machine is definitely the coolest of the minifigs in this lot, especially since we haven’t yet had a version of him, despite his role in Iron Man 2. Naturally, the helmet is the same as Iron Man’s, just with a different color scheme, and the shoulder cannon looks nice, even if a little simple. Despite being covered by the neck-bracket for the shoulder cannon most of the time, War Machine does have a detailed printing on the back of the torso. The two-tone silver printing on this minifig really looks gorgeous. Aldrich Killian is sporting a simple tan suit with front and rear prints, and the two-sided glow-in-the-dark head is almost, but not quite, identical to that of the Extremis Soldier in the Malibu Mansion Attack set.
All in all, this is a solid set. There’s nothing outstanding here, except for the exclusive War Machine minifig, but the speedboat is a satisfying build and looks good when it’s done. For those not wild about keeping the set built, here’s a look at the inventory pages. I’d say the set is a pretty fair source of pieces, with lots of easily useable pieces, and an abundance of slopes of all sizes.
Finally, since some of you seemed particularly interested in what’s happening with Iron Man on the box art of the Malibu Mansion Attack set, I’ve scanned part of the comic that’s included in all three sets, which expounds on that scene a little more. Here there be spoilers.
76008 Iron Man vs. The Mandarin: Ultimate Showdown is the smallest set of the trio of LEGO sets for the upcoming Iron Man 3 film. With only a vehicle and two minifigs, it’s clearly an action-based set. The box includes two un-numbered bags, the instructions, and the same 10-page comic as the other Iron Man 3 sets. The comic includes scenes from all three sets, and is really quite nice.
The vehicle seems to be some sort of flame-thrower armored car, and it’s driven by the big-bearded Mandarin, aka Iron Man’s new nemesis. The vehicle is pretty standard, with the flame-thrower stand holding two flick-fire missiles (where would we be without flick-fire missiles? Here’s a challenge: build a creation using only flick-fire missiles!) and being mounted on a 4×4 turntable. The rear of the vehicle does incorporate one of those multifaceted train slopes, which is a nifty under-utilized piece, so that’s cool. Beyond the missiles, though, there are no play-features in this set, so you’ll have to use your imagination. There are a few left-over pieces of the regular sort, and as usual, I’ve included a shot of the inventory page. I suspect the real reason that most people will buy this set, though, is for the minifigs. Both are exclusive to this set. Although a minifigure of the Mandarin appears in the Malibu Mansion Attack set, and naturally Iron Man is in all the sets, both are unique versions here. This Mandarin has a bedraggled look, with a kerchief covering whatever-that-is on his chest (here’s a picture comparing the versions). In fact, this torso looks terrific for making your own generic guerrilla fighter, since it doesn’t really have anything in the print that specifically ties it to the Mandarin or this theme. The Iron Man minifigure here is the star, though. This is my favorite of all the LEGO versions of Iron Man we’ve seen so far. This Iron Man features awesome blue eyes and a blue power circle on his chest (here’s a comparison photo between the two armor types).
With an MSRP of $12.99 USD, and 91 pieces, I would pass on this set, unless you want the minifigs. It’s not a great parts pack for those of you who aren’t enamored by the minifigs. On the other hand, a great many of you will thoroughly enjoy the minifigs in this set, and with the set price being so low, it’s probably cheaper to buy the whole set than attempt to buy just the minifigs on the secondary market.
Read my review of the Iron Man 3 Malibu Mansion Attack set here.
76007 Malibu Mansion Attack is the largest of the current round of sets for the upcoming Iron Man 3 movie, which releases May 3rd. Since this set is based on a movie that’s not out yet, this review may contain mild spoilers for the film. The set consists of a piece of Tony Stark’s seaside palace, and the Mandarin’s attack helicopter. With only 364 pieces and a US price of $39.99, I suspect we’ll see a larger set down the road.
The box art matches the other Marvel Super Heroes sets we’ve already seen, including last year’s Avengers sets, this time simply using the Iron Man 3 logo. Inside are 3 numbered bags, a large and a small instruction booklet, a sticker sheet, and an Iron Man 3 mini-comic in LEGO style. The first numbered baggie and small instruction book builds the Mandarin’s helicopter, as well as Mandarin and his accomplice. The helicopter is a pretty fantastic build, and I enjoyed it a lot more than most of the LEGO helicopters of similar size I’ve built. For several years now, LEGO has been getting increasingly more bold with their use of studs-out building, which is a terrific thing. This helicopter is a great example, being pretty much ringed-about with slopes pointing out. Of course, no set is complete without flick-fire missiles, and this heli should be able to take on even Iron Man, since it’s equipped with four. I did find it odd that both of the black lightsabre handles in the rotors point the same fixed direction, so that when they’re spun, one is always pointed “backwards.” Both minifigs here are pretty cool. The Mandarin has dark green robes with olive pants. Oddly, he has a double-sided face with two mouth expressions, but neither are visible underneath the bushy black beard. The accomplice has a glow in the dark head, and one side has blood vessels prominently outlined. I’m not sure exactly what’s that’s supposed to represent, but I have no doubt it will be clear once I’ve seen the movie.
Bag two isn’t terribly interesting on its own. It builds a piece of the mansion, as well as Tony Stark, Iron Man, Pepper Potts, and that robot. Now, if you’re wondering why there’s both a Tony Stark and an Iron Man, since they’re ostensibly one and the same, well, I think there are two answers. First, Tony’s mansion needs to include a non-suited-up Stark, but you also can’t have an Iron Man set without Iron Man. And secondly, according to the box art and the comic, that’s not Tony Stark in the Iron Man suit, that’s Pepper Potts. She’s apparently piloting the suit in that scene from the trailer where Mandarin blows Stark’s place sky-high. The suit also includes a plain-white head for use in it’s “off” mode, so you can have all your other minifigs complete to play with too. Also, it’s worth noting that this is a different Iron Man minifig than has been in any of the previous sets. This is presumably the upgraded armor, with a lot more gold, including pearly gold hands.
Bag three of course merely finishes out the mansion. The mansion is really quite nice. The designers have done a great job of capturing the look of the mansion without needing to get terribly large. The mansion includes a little kitchen area, and then some techy-goodness for Tony Stark to dabble with. There’s a little flinger bit, but I can’t figure out exactly what it’s suppose to do. I guess it’s just part of the mansion falling to pieces as Mandarin blows holes in it. Then there’s a window that pops out, which works quite nicely. And finally there’s a turn-table with cool displays on it for Stark to stand on and pretend he’s Tom Cruise in Minority Report. Sadly, all the displays are stickers, which I didn’t apply. In fact, the only printed pieces in the entire set are minifigs. I didn’t notice any new parts, and the only piece that was new to me was the 6×6 round plate, though Bricklink shows that’s been in a few other sets already. I’ve included a shot of the inventory pages, for those who are curious.
Overall, I think this is a very nice set. The part selection is a good mix between larger structural elements and small bits, and the five minifigs are a big draw. The helicopter is cool, and the mansion looks nice, and incorporates a lot of playability. The one thing I’d have liked is perhaps a little more of a roof to the mansion, or maybe a very small piece of cliff underneath it, to give the building more context. This is a good set for the price.