Behold - a mighty return of Lego in: LEGOMAGEDDON IV. This jaunty trip around the bricks we take a look at a hearty stockpile of polybags and a few large sets from the past six months. Please, sit forward and tense up - Legos are afoot!
Lego - Chima: Razcal's Double-Crosser
This is sadly a pretty boring polybag. Just another ho-hum mini-car which only pretty vaguely resembles a raven's head. Other than completism the only reason to get this is the pretty cool mini-figure. Razcal gets a host of facial piercings and a metal beak making him one of the more intimidating villains. Like the other Chima figures he gets two faces, one with big psycho eyes and one with evil squinty eyes and a beak painted on both, should you prefer that look.
Lego - City: Firemen's Boat
This is a cool little polybag I stumbled across at Toys R Us. I tend to be bored with the Firemen and Police polys but this boat is actually really cool. I like the color choices and particularly the the two-pronged bow. The articulated water cannon on the front is just novel fun while the motor at the back is a great build, using two gray studs to create the illusion of a propeller hanging down into the water making this my favorite outboard engine to date! The firemen is also a cool figure and he gets the new style of life vest and the cooler-than-it-should-be maroon helmet. This is absolutely textbook for a good polybag set and I highly recommend it.
Lego - City: "Garbage" Truck
I have a strong penchant for recycling so I've been eyeing this release even since it was first revealed, but when a local Target marked it down 50% I could no longer say no. Despite the international symbol for recycling being all over this thing it is labeled a "garbage truck" - thanks, Lego... mix your messages a bit harder, please. To further confuse matters it comes with a gray trash can and a green one, presumably one for garbage and one for recyclables. We also get two bland municipal employees, a man and a woman. This thing is hinged and can "dump" its contents (with the entire back portion flipping up to unleash the recyclables), plus the back has a lever for emptying cans into the body which you can do by simply turning a wheel on the side. It's really the simple play features like that which make Lego a heck of a lot of fun to play with.
Lego - Galaxy Squad: "Team Green" Space Insectoid
I can't say that the new Galaxy Squad theme does much for me, but I do dig the rainbow coloring of the various teams, and of course will get any polybag. This a fun little set with a Green Space Dude and a little bug build. It could be a pretty fun army-builder if you're of the mind - a nice platoon of GSDs advancing on a swarm of these space bugs. It's a simple set all the way around but a nice one all the same. I believe this is a Walmart exclusive, so you'll want to check there if you find your boat afloat.
Lego - Galaxy Squad: "Team Orange" Mini-Mech
The best polys tend to be vehicle oriented, and while this one is such a set, it doesn't do a whole lot for me. The walker seems to fit in fine with the aesthetic style of "Galaxy Squad," but... I don't know, it's just not for me. I am pleased to get one of the Orange Space Dudes, so here's hoping they'll do a Red and a Blue polybag in the future so that I might amass all of the colors of Space Dudes. The neatest thing about this set is the inclusion of a clear 2x2 round brick meant to support the Walker, but it stands fine without it so that rare brick can be dedicated to a build more needing of it's support.
Lego - Lord of the Rings: The Mines of Moria
This was a Christmas present I just never had the time to build until recently. It's a fantastic set, as can be seen by my use of stickers. If I apply stickers it is because I like the set well enough to keep it permanently together, if I leave stickers off that's because the bricks are more valuable to me as potential pieces. This does a great job of recreating the famous scene as well as possible (short of making a massive build of the full room) with all the major elements are present! The only "bummer," if one could even call it that, is that the axe used as a door jam is so thin the doors easily push open. But again that's just a minor gripe - the rest of the set is fantastic, as are the mini-figures. We get a Gimli (also available in Helm's Deep) plus the exclusive Legolas, Pippin, Boromir, two Moria Orcs and, of course, the Cave Troll. The Troll's mace is so big it's not easily wielded but that's fine as the rest of him is so darn cool! This is really a great set, and here's hoping for a battle pack with more Moria Orcs to pad it out, not to mention the inevitable Balrog!
Lego - Pirates: Coin Bank
My "bestie" got me this relatively rare set for my birthday and I couldn't be more grateful. I'd always written off the now defunct Coin Bank range as a hokey gimmick but I'll be darned if this isn't an awesome set. The build is more fun and complicated than you'd guess with the only downside being the incredibly difficult task of fitting the brick-built Quarter Deck onto the Captain's Quarters. The bank operates by placing a coin on the dubloon graphic at the bow then turning the side-wheel - this forces an octopus to pop up out of the ship, grab the coin and pull it back under-deck. And it's not just any octopus - it's a glow-in-the-dark/translucent blue octopus!!! It was only ever released in two sets (the other is one from the defunct Agents theme) and sadly/oddly it is glued on to a 2x3 flat blue brick here. Regardless, it's an awesome animal and part of a surprisingly fun set with some equally cool, if not beautiful, graphics on the ship!
Lego - Seasonal: Bunny and a Basket
Happy Easter! This gives us a neat bunny and mediocre basket of colored eggs. The eggs are just made from doubling up 1x1 rounds and don't look that good as a result (1x1 cylinders would have been better) and the basket is nice but bulky. The rabbit is a slight redesign of the one from 2011 but the changes are all for the better and as a result I enjoyed the building of and playing with this guy more than expected. He does have printed eyes, by the way, and the ears are pivot-able. A nice but lackluster seasonal polybag to be sure.
Lego - Seasonal: Two Lovers Sat on a Park Bench
with their bodies touching each other, holding hands in the moonlight. There was silence between them. So profound was their love for each other, they needed no words to express it. And so they sat in silence, on a park bench, with their bodies touching, holding hands in the moonlight. Finally she spoke. "Do you love me, John?" she asked. "You know I love you, darling," he replied. "I love you more than tongue can tell. You are the light of my life, my sun, moon and stars. You are my everything. Without you I have no reason for being." Again there was silence as the two lovers sat on a park bench, their bodies touching, holding hands in the moonlight. Once more she spoke. "How much do you love me, John?" she asked. He answered: "How much do I love you? Count the stars in the sky. Measure the waters of the oceans with a teaspoon. Number the grains of sand on the sea shore."
Lego - Star Wars: Jabba's Palace
Lego finished out March by offering both double VIP rewards points and a free Republic Cruiser polybag with SW purchases over $50 so I finally broke down and bought in to the awesome looking Jabba-ery. This set is a pretty great set comprising two builds: the Entry Tower, complete with rising door that houses the "security eye" with a rudimentary locking mechanism for holding the door open (nice!); and the main part is Jabba's Throne Room. The back wall is actually hinged and will swing open for better play access to a little treasure pit behind the throne. That wall section also houses a fire which is on a long, flat brick allowing you to slide the throne-slab forward, but alas offers no way to slide the throne back to allow access to the trap door it covers when forward. Unquestionably though the main reason to get this set are the phenomenal mini-figures! We get Leia as Boushh, Chewie, Han (with awake and sleeping faces), Oola, a Gamorrean Gaurd, Bib Fortuna, a buildable B'Omarr Monk, a micro Salacious Crumb and a big, beautiful Jabba. Indeed, this set is almost worth it for the figures alone! You even get doubles of the printed flat, 1x1 disc bricks for the "security eye" and thermal detonator. It's a pricey set but I am very happy with it.
Lego - Star Wars: Rancor Pit
When this was unveiled at SDCC last summer I knew I had to get it, and indeed it is fully compatible with Jabba's Palace, allowing for a cool two-tier playset. The Entry Tower on the Palace is connected by three Technic pegs so it stays on well as the throne room has four holes in the base that rest on the four pyramids on top of the Pit, though annoyingly the hinged wall of the top does not line up with the hinged gate wall of the bottom. Like the Palace, the Pit is a large space with a hinged wall opening up the play options. The build is pretty complex, with lots of bricks, for such a bare-bones look of the final piece. The gate raises nicely and has it's own locking mechanism to hold it up, plus a side door for Malakili to enter and weep (
sadly the mini-figure has no crying face he does in fact had a cry-face, complete with shed-tear, which I somehow completely missed until reader JayT pointed it out). Undeniably, though, the main reason to get this set is the gorgeous Rancor, and Lego perfection it is! A beautiful sculpt with new fingers for posing fun and an articulated jaw - he is a lot of fun! On the downside, though, I'm having some trouble keeping figures in his grasp and sadly his jaws don't open wide-enough for the long bone Luke wields (though is does fit the smaller one also included). Regardless, the coolness of the Rancor and novelty of the stack-able sets make this a real winner.
Lego - Star Wars: 2012 Advent Calendar
Just like last year I just waited till January/February and got this at a reasonable price (i.e. half off). This one is both better and worse than the last - the micro-ships are less impressive but the mini-figures are much better. We get not one but two Holiday figures - the goofy Santa Maul and the surprisingly cool R2-Snow2. Beyond that - six armybuilders! There are three weapons/holders for them, a decent Gonk droid and then some 11 ships. There are seemingly two scales at play here, the normal "micro" and then some sort of "literally as small as we can make it" scale, which is cool but ends feeling underwhelming. I'm actually kind of bummed, looking at this now, that I didn't get a second one for the extra figures.
Lego - Star Wars: A-Wing
This set is really cool. The A-Wing is the most "swoosh-able" of the classic Star Wars ships and this model captures that perfectly. It has a pretty nice retractable landing gear and a somewhat confusingly removable part - I guess it's the engine? As if the build wasn't cool enough you also get three Mini-Figures - a RotJ Han, a really cool Admiral Ackbar and a truly fantastic A-Wing Pilot. I really, really dig this set, but at $25 it just feels too expensive. Drop the Han figure and the removable engine, make $20 and it'd be a rockstar!
Lego - Star Wars: Jek-14 Stealth Fighter
This was a give-away at Toys R Us for the groan-worthy "holiday" of "May the Fourth." It's a nice build and a good looking set. Unlike most polybag style ships this one has a 2-stud wide fuselage making it feel a bit more bulky than we're used to but the coloring really helps set it apart. This is essentially just a black and red/maroon version of the "classic" Expanded Universe E-Wing Fighter and it's nice to see it get some play.
Lego - Star Wars: Mandalorian Fighter Polybag
Having never seen Clone Wars (yes, yes, I know - it's not that bad) I'm none too familiar with this ship, but is does very much feel like the cockpit-to-wings ratio is way off. That said it's a fairly clever little build that ends up having a lot of "articulation." I just wish there had been some more blue bricks to add some color/patterning/details to the "underside" of the wings - as is the build seems very top, or side, heavy.
Lego - Star Wars: Republic Cruiser Polybag
This was one of the infamous "free with minimum purchase" polybags available for a set amount of time through Lego Stores. It's a pity because this is one of the best polybag sets this year! It's a wonderful build hitting that sweet spot of elaborate but not complex. It recreates the look quite well, but I would be remiss to not mention the added value of many useful parts for MOC-ing. My only "complaint" would be the green exhaust (I would have preferred blue, much as I would have preferred this in all maroon coloring as in Episode I as opposed the Clone Wars version seen here). It's a great set and I wish it were more readily available.
Lego - Star Wars: Z-95 Headhunter
This one is a bit of a bummer. It's a well done mini version of the ship, but, alas, it's just not that compelling of a design. There is some clever new twists that I like, for instance the flat circle on the front for the engines, the pivot-able exhaust at the back, the flat 2x1 on top extending the canopy and the use of the the little angled bricks as landing gear. Still though, it feels a bit bland due to the dominate white coloring and fairly 2-dimensional proportions. This was a Toys R Us exclusive and rather miss-able (though now that I look at it I may get a second [if I can find another] since it had two of the great mini-figure 1x1 stud backpacks which could be quite useful to have).
Lego - Superheroes: Wolverine's Chopper Showdown
Oh boy... a pre-fab motorcycle and... a helicopter! Yawn. At least it's a neat maroon color but it's certainly nothing exciting or worth getting. The reason to get this is the mini-figures. First up is the titular Wolverine who is pretty disappointing because he is unmasked. His claws are done with ninja "claw" accessories and I really don't care for that approach. Deadpool is next and he is right cool - a perfect costume for the Lego mini-fig aesthetic. He gets a sci-fi gun and a backpack which can hold two katanas. And finally we get the fantastic Magneto mini-fig. Really nice, bright colors and a beautiful rendition of his iconic helmet. He even gets a 2x2 disc to stand on showing he "flies" by levitating metal - pretty hardcore, nerdy detail there! Deadpool and Magneto are great, Wolverine is so-so and the rest of the set is pointless thus making this a very hard sell at $20.