The return of Legomagedon!!! In a bizarre twist of unfortunality (for us, but not for the greatest construction block company/system out there) there were virtually no sets clearanced out this January after the holidays unlike last year! That hasn't prevented me from hoarding up a selection of Legos over the past few months which I have finally gotten around to opening and enjoying. Please, please, my beloved peruse-ists, imbibe of my imagery and engorge upon my myriad opines.
Lego - Chima: Eagle
You know, I was pretty skeptical when Chima was first revealed, but having seen some of the sets my friends have built and now having a few, it's definitely grown on me. This guy was an exclusive to the Lego Store and was free with a minimum purchase. This is a nice little set and probably my favorite of the three herein reviewed. The really exciting thing is the addition of wings to the playing field and while pretty detailed sculpturaly they terminate in a standard peg which means they're articulatable. We also get a new style of gem brick, this time a 1x1x1 cylinder with four gems growing off at the "four poles." It's a great idea but in practice just doesn't look like a gem or jewel much at all, alas.
Lego - Chima: Lion
This dude was an exclusive, I believe, to Toys R Us. He is, like his brothers, pretty neat. He gets a "car" that, like the full sets, vaguely looks like a lion's head. It's a neat effect but unfortunately this build is quite conspicuously simple so the effect isn't as strong as it could (or should) be. He gets a nice "totally not Lion-O" mask/head, which likewise has two alternate faces printed on the head underneath. This is my least favorite of all of the Chima animal masks I've seen because it's just too cute-ified for my tastes. So, all in all, you're really not missing much if you lack this set.
Lego - Chima: Wolf
A big gimmick of Chima is that each species rides or flies vehicles that look like their own species, and while it's obvious in the previous two sets I am shamed to confess it's taken until just this moment to realize this "ski sled" is meant to resemble a Wolf's head. This is the highest part count and most "elaborate" build of the these three Chima polybags but I'm the least enamored of the final product. That's fine though because it comes with the coolest Mini-figure of three. The ultimate and easiest way to make anyone or thing a badass - eye scars!
Lego - Friends: Birthday Party
Friends has proved to be the "little theme that could," as it appears to be just as successful as any other major Lego line (indeed so much so MegaBloks has ripped it off too by licensing Barbie). I haven't bought any, really, of the proper sets but I'll buy virtually any polybag so I'm happy to acquire the uniquely colored bricks and such. This, though, is a fairly hokey set with little to get excited about. Apparently this chick just likes balloons and mayonnaise & jelly sandwiches. As I say, I'm pleased for the bricks, plus it's great to get a new, African American, Mini-doll.
Lego - Friends: Ice Cream Cart
This set was stumbled upon at a Target by myself and a friend (no pun intended, though the irony is ripe) which excited us to no end as there was no entry, image, etc. for this set anywhere online - we had discovered a new, unknown item! It's another neat yet unexciting build that's worth it more for the bricks than for anything else. The only thing really of note is the conspicuous use of a standard 1x1 round for the ice cream on the cone rather than the tri-balled unique ice cream piece. Odd indeed!
Lego - Friends: Sea Turtle
Lego rolled out this weird new pseudo polybag line focusing on pets for the various Friends characters. This turtle gets a pretty cool beach hut that looks fantastic and is also constructed out of nothing but great bricks to have on hand. The only weird thing about the build is that they use translucent pink 1x1 rounds on the front two posts which are the only things that lessen the feel of the hovel. We also get a clamshell which snaps shut, though tends to pop open of its own accord. The turtle's face is on the cute side but the body is realistic enough that this would play fine in the normal Lego universe.
Lego - Friends: Squirrel
There are three sets in this first series, the awesome turtle above, a pretty mediocre kitten and this squirrel. It's another nice little animal sculpt, a bit too cute for proper Lego universe. It too get's a female stud in it's feet and a tiny peg hole for a bow, but fortunately it's on the tail so the over-sized, flat bow looks a bit more natural there. It gets a platter with two nuts (made out of a dark brown 1x1 round on a light brown one) and a pretty great little treehouse. Again, a fun build (which is more complex that it looks, which means it's more entertaining to build). It uses an arched, 2x1 window frame to keep the hinged roof sides at a proper angle.
Lego - The Hobbit: Mirkwood Elf
This guy came out right around the time of The Hobbit at Toys R Us and was gone fast. This is a flawless polybag set. The figure is a cool little archer with a somewhat vague enough torso design he could easily play in the Castle theme. He gets two faces, a quite rare green hood and comes a quiver, a longbow and a green jewel piece. The small build is a barrel with a 2x2 round lid and a translucent green goblet - this set is virtually worth it for the green glass alone! The main build is a small tree. It features a stanchion with a fire piece and even better - a mushroom! There is only one flaw with this set and it is simply how hard it was to find. I really, really hope he makes it back out with Hobbit 2.
Lego - Lord of the Rings: Elrond
This little S.O.B. ended up being a Gamestop exclusive for those who pre-ordered the game. He gets a beautiful, complex chest and leg paint-app that duplicates Elrond's prologue armor quite well. A dark green cape is included to complete the costume and he gets one of the all-new elvish swords. I'm right excited that Lego decided to make this as a new piece since it is my favorite sword of all time! I really, really would like them to do a full Prologue set, but putting Elrond out in this fashion makes doing such a set a bit problematic since he's a signature element from it.
Lego - Lord of the Rings: Gandalf
There's nothing distinctive about this Gandalf versus the ones in the full sets, but that's not a problem because it's always nice to have a few extra Gandies. He comes with the new-ish long sword and a rod for his staff. His build is a fun bit of rock. What's really great, though, are the extras it comes with: a dark green vine, a brown telescope and flame making it a torch, a spear, a spider, a skull and a map! The only bummer is that the map is the general Castle deco, I had hoped they'd make a new one for Middle Earth/the Misty Mountain, but alas. This is a fun set to plus out your collection and/or to gift out to your LotR-loving friends.
Lego - Monster Fighters: Gravestone
It has a nice build featuring a headstone with some vines growing off of it and the Monster Fighter style envelope on a gray 2x1 flat for the "name." You also get a traditional tree and three seaweed pieces. Then there is a a red snake, a bat, a rat, a frog and a spider. The Witch is identical to the one from the Collectible Mini-Figure line, comes with a hat and broom, and while a great figure she's not really one we need another of. Then we get the stellar new Ghost. The real star, though, is the Zombie, which is identical or very close to the impossible-to-find one from the first series of the Collectible Mini-Figures! He's still, easily, the best zombie they've done and in this iteration comes with a briefcase and a radio.
Lego - Seasonal: Valentine's Day Heart Box
I love polybags so indeed I like this, but in all honesty it's nothing too special nor does it even feel that unique since we had a box last year as well. I like that it's heart shaped but frankly the volume of red is a bit overwhelming; it could have been cool if the "mini heart" on the front was done in pink or something. It's also neat that it's a swivel-top box, but since the hinge in on the bottom and the design is top heavy the box doesn't stay closed too well. Plus, it's only one stud deep so you really can't put that much inside of it (it won't even fit a Mini-Figure). The idea is certainly novel, so maybe if you bought and combined two of these you could make something a bit more functional.
Lego - Star Wars: TIE Interceptor with Death Star
The "planet" is obviously the Death Star and like the other planets the two halves are identically patterned however, but unlike the other sets, the pattern is sculpted on and only one half has the Death Ray dish, so that's pretty cool. We get a TIE Fighter Pilot, which is neat but nothing special. The Interceptor itself is much cooler than I expected and a pretty fun build, the wings are done in four sections and each attaches via a ratchet joint so there is come customizing inherent in picking the angles you like the best. The coolest thing, though, is that there is a fully unique brick to this set - a clear dish with the "web" style window grill painted on!
Lego - Star Wars: Desert Skiff
The Sarlaac beak is built up a bit, presumably to create some sense of a pit, though it uses light gray bricks to do it. I'm sure it's a cost issue but not having those done in any of the "sand" colors is a very conspicuous thing and really lessens the aesthetic. The Skiff itself is pretty on-model and features fully pivot-able wings, a retractable gangplank, and the bench in the middle conceals a couple extra guns. Skiff Guard Lando is a great figure with a unique helmet and a clever spear+axe blade force pike, Kithaba is a nice inclusion and features the proper red bandana. Fett gets the new stlye helmet and a pivoting eyepiece, his backpack, half-cape and his blaster, which is a great design - black lightsaber on the barrel of a black small blaster. Then you also get 9 clear 2x2x1 rounds to allow the Skiff to "hover."
Lego - Superheroes: Batman vs. Mr Freeze
My two favorite DC characters (at least visually) are Mr. Freeze and Aquaman so there was never a doubt that I would be getting this set (nor did it occur to me how perfectly matched they were before this, either). I'm not the biggest fan of Aquaman's Bieber-hair and I think I would have preferred a fully clear dome over Freeze's head rather than the half-one as done. Despite owning not one but two different arctic Batman figures I have to say that this all-white (with light gray bodysuit) Batman is just terrible. We get a pretty nice ice prison with break-apart feature, it's eye-catching and nice to be sure but my favorite thing here is Freeze's gun. The core of the set is some sort of ice-skating variation on the Batwing. It's a far, far better design in person than it looks like in photos, but my WORD all of the bright yellow is garish and a major turn-off.