Modeling characters with realistic textures and movements was a difficult task for the animators at Pixar back in the nineties. While making their first short film in 8 years, Geri’s Game, the company utilized a method to make more lifelike skin and even developed a dynamic cloth simulator to emulate clothing better. Not only did it push Pixar technologically, but it also started a tradition of shorts before feature films that continues today. Builder Deo embraced a more blocky form and used their LEGO to create his own Geri, a version with a life all its own. This wonderful idea includes the chairs, table, chess set, and (not pictured) the prized dentures.
As if The LEGO Movie wasn’t already enough cinematic excitement for LEGO fans in one year, watch out, because here comes Beyond the Brick: A LEGO Brickumentary, a feature-length documentary about LEGO from award winning directors Daniel Junge and Kief Davidson. The documentary covers a lot of ground, from the history of the LEGO company, to the current LEGO fan phenomenon – with a bunch of fan builders and conventions getting the spotlight.
The documentary premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York this April, and today it was announced that there will also be screenings at the Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF) in May. Times and locations as follows:
- Friday May 16 4:00 PM – Lincoln Square Cinema, Bellevue
- Saturday May 17 3:30 PM – SIFF Cinema Uptown Theater, Seattle
- Sunday May 18 2:30 PM – SIFF Cinema Uptown Theater, Seattle
Each screening will also be accompanied by a Q&A on stage with the film’s makers and some of the people featured in it. So if you’re a Seattle area LEGO fan, get your tickets now and come see it!
I couldn’t decide which I liked better. I really couldn’t. The heat is on between Andrew Lee and Simon Liu with this most recent Iron Builder. I (along with many other girls my age) really find Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine easy on the eyes, so there’s a point there. But the GRID is just so stunning.
I don’t envy the judges.
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.
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.