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Ace Kim | January 17th, 2017 | LEGO Disney, Reviews

Review: 41149 Moana’s Island Adventure

41149 Moana's Island Adventure 1

Did you guys see Moana? Did you like it? As an adult male, I have to admit that I LOVED that movie. My wife thinks it’s strange that I liked it so much. I think I liked it better than my daughter. Clearly, I am not in the target demographic for that movie, and there’s some gigantic plot holes that are too big to ignore, but I rather enjoyed it. The LEGO sets based on the movie, however, not so much. If I had reached a certain emotional high from my enjoyment of the movie, then 41149 Moana’s Island Adventure is the exact opposite and had me crashing down into a state of utter disappointment.

Now, see, when I approached this set to review, I try and take the scope of what it is trying to accomplish and then see how it was actually executed. And given the source material, there aren’t a lot of options of what would be viable as a set. 41149 Moana’s Island Adventure attempts to recreate Moana’s island life before she set sail on the open water and just fails miserably.

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Nick Martin | January 16th, 2017 | DC Universe, LEGO Super Heroes, Reviews, The Batman Movie

Review: 70900 The Joker Balloon Escape

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You know, every so often LEGO makes a part you just can’t help but love. Things like the original lightsaber, the batarang, and jester caps are among my favorites. I’m pretty sure that the joker smile face is going to end up on that list, even if it’s a pretty specialized head. There is something wonderful in how it seems to wrap the Joker up in LEGO just perfectly, and it’s hard not to look at the sinister smile and not smile in kind.

I knew I wanted to review 70900 The Joker Balloon Escape before any of the other Batman sets. It was fantastically goofy and simple, the cheapest set to get purple-suit Joker in (this head also appears in Arkham, while the rest of the torso and the coattails show up in the Scuttler), and the set part built into different builds with 70901 Mr Freeze Ice Attack and 70910 Scarecrow Special Delivery to make the energy works. I’m sure it all ties together for some plot point in the movie (which is only a month away as I write this review), but even by itself, it works as a good little set.

This 124 piece set, featuring two minifigures, is the cheapest non-CMF set at $14.99. I miss the era of inexpensive sets that you could just use for simple builds, so it’s always nice to see something small pop up. I’m not sure there’s much else you can build out of it at first glance, but I always need balloons for city and park setups, and I’m sure builders more talented than I am can come up with some nifty stuff here. Except with yet another Batman figure… not sure how many of them you can use at this point.

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Nick Martin | January 11th, 2017 | DC Universe, LEGO Super Heroes, Reviews, The Batman Movie, The LEGO Movie

Review: 70911 The Penguin Arctic Roller

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I’m pretty sure that The Batman Movie sets include seventeen different villain vehicles. Okay, the actual number is… four? Five if you count that pizza delivery cart, but themed vehicles, we get four: Joker’s Lowrider, Riddler’s Riddle Racer, Killer Croc’s Tail-Gator, and our review subject, 70911 The Penguin Arctic Roller. It was one of the last ones we got an official look at, but certainly seemed to be one of the most striking once the reveal was done.

Of course, after building it, I realized that 70911 was both the set number and the zip code that the set number apparently was sized to represent. Of course, that’s not an actual zip code, unlike the regular Super Heroes sets that are mostly made up of Texas Zip Codes (it makes googling fun when you’re an AFOL that lives in Texas). The bad joke I’m trying to make is that this thing is insanely huge, even by LEGO minifigure scale standards. It lines up against the Batmobile, a set that costs twice as much but was designed to be big and over the top. This one… I’m wondering if it was a design that got out of control because they wanted a certain style for the hubs and wheels.

Anyway, this $29.99, 306 piece set only includes two minifigures. If they were different varieties of the character in any substantial way, that wouldn’t stick out… but we got Penguin in the Batcave set and Batman in every single set that LEGO has released in the last thirty-four years (or all but two of them… I’ve got a lot of Batman minifigs is what I’m saying). Still, it’s obvious that there’s a very specific style they’re going for on the build, and you have to love the look even if you’re not that into cars. In the US, this looks to be a Target Exclusive set, so you get that or [email protected] for your purchasing choices.

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Review: 70903 The Riddler Riddle Racer

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It was pretty clear with the very first LEGO Batman movie trailer exactly what direction they were going to go with the movie… that delightful mix of reverence and absurdity that made the The LEGO Movie work so well. The early sets gave us a taste of that, the Collectible Minifigure Line turned it up to 11… but I think seeing this set was when I knew the CMF was only just starting to scratch the surface.

The craziness of the Eraser and the Calculator are matched by Calendar Man and Kite Man, and we get one of the classic villains in Riddler and one of the more contemporary ones to see some love (in Beware the Batman) in Magpie. I’ve built all but four of the LEGO Batman movie sets at this point, and the thing that seems to differentiate between good sets and bad sets is the amount of style and flavor that goes into the build. In reviewing 70903 The Riddler Riddle Racer, I think it’s safe to say that it has style in spades.

The base vehicles have had a great amount of style, like the Lowrider and Batmobile, and when you take and mix a bunch of interesting characters, you tuck in a whole lot of value. This is one of two $29.99 sets, along with 70911 The Penguin Arctic Roller, and comes in a seemingly low 254 parts, which is offset by the four figures I mentioned above. I built both sets at the same time, and, spoiler alert… this might just be my favorite of all of the vehicles I’ve built so far.

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Nick Martin | January 2nd, 2017 | LEGO Super Heroes, Marvel Comics, Reviews

Review: 76057 Spider-Man – Web Warriors Ultimate Bridge Battle

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When I started to review 76057 Spider-Man: Web Warriors Ultimate Bridge Battle, I was left wondering if this was the longest set name ever. That wonder was not strong enough to actually go look, so I’m going to do a very 2016 thing and just assume my opinion is right. If it’s not, I’ll set up a fake news post later that says it is.

I’m not exactly sure what the source for this set is. It’s not branded as an Ultimate Spider-Man set, even though that cartoon had their own version of the Web-Warriors… dimension hopping versions of spiders from alternate dimensions. The comics have had a version of the Web Warriors in a solo title, which was born out of a similar-titled Secret Wars II title, and that came out of a crossover event called Spider-Verse. None of those comic series, by themselves, were particularly all that good… but they gave us Spider-Gwen (awesome), Silk (not as awesome, but still cool), and a whole bunch of different variations of Spider-Man/Spider-Woman.

What’s even weirder in this 1092 part, $99.99 set that is frequently marked down, is that it ties into some Clone Conspiracy stuff. That’s the whole thing with the Scarlet Spider and a figure LEGO calls Spider-Girl, though the costume and look is Ultimate Spider-Woman (also called Black Widow). Both of those make sense in the clone spin, though connecting them in a story I know about is beyond me. Still, there was something to be said for a Super Heroes set that’s not a mech, a jet, or a car… and one that looks on its face to make a great battle / display piece.

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Ace Kim | December 31st, 2016 | LEGO, Sales News, The Batman Movie

January 2017 Assortment Now Available

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Officially, this may be known as the spring wave. I’m not sure where I saw or heard that so that may or may not be true. In any case, the January 2017 assortment is now available* up at LEGO [email protected] Give it another day and Amazon will follow through with their live links.

* – The clock struck midnight a few minutes ago, and as of this writing, not all of the January sets are available. Most are in a state of transition, i.e. have a status of “Backorder”. Things should resolve over the next few hours. All items marked as “Backorder” can still be ordered and will be processed in the order they are placed.

Some notes:

– There is one promo going on right now that may be of interest to you Batman fans. Right now, you can get a free The LEGO Batman Movie mini Batwing polybag set with all orders $35 or more from now through 11:59pm January 15th, 2017 while supplies last. If you hit that threshold you’ll also get free standard shipping.

And speaking of The LEGO Batman Movie, all sets are live except for 70912 Arkham Asylum. That one is strangely absent from [email protected]’s website as of this writing. It is a Toys’R’Us retailer exclusive so that may have something to do with it but it’s strange that [email protected] doesn’t even list it since they’ve always sold retailer exclusives in the past. Looks like it showed up earlier in the morning, along with 70910 Scarecrow Special Delivery

– The Juniors line, which features simpler builds to bridge the gap between DUPLO and classic System, has had a few licensed sets before and continues this year with Frozen and Batman (and Friends but that one’s not licensed).

– New Frozen castle set!

– No new Star Wars sets as of this writing. They may come in a few months. I honestly don’t have a clue on that one.

All the new stuff is in the monstrous list below. Every theme except Star Wars is covered. No need to browse their site. And is it glitchy for anyone else where if you click on a new theme nothing happens? Anyways, just click on through directly to the item you want.

View the list.

New Polybags Showing Up at TRU and Target in US

2017

It’s (finally) almost 2017, and that means that new sets and the like are starting to show up. While we’re going to get a sales roundup going for some of the new sets popping up January 1st, there are a few things out there that you need to visit a store to pick up.

First up, a LEGO Batman Movie polybag that I grabbed at Target week-ish back while on the prowl for new LEGO Batman sets.

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It’s an easy way to get the new Batman with the utility belt and some lightsaber bars. There are a bunch of Batman figures hopping around thanks to all the sets, but at $3.99 and 59 parts, there’s a bunch of value here regardless.

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If you want to look for it, here’s the Item # and UPC. I’ve seen it in multiple Targets around Dallas, so it should be relatively easy to find.

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The more exciting one for me, honestly, is this polybag that I ran across at TRU. While hiding my shame at being in the store (which was mitigated when I made them price-match to [email protected] prices for 70900 The Joker Balloon Escape set and negate the TRU tax), I was surprised to see this fantastic little Krypto polybag, also coming in at $3.99.

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I doubt if you have a soul if you do not fall in love with that little dog. The rest is gravy. Interesting side-note… all of the logo parts in the polybag, including the Superman logo and the series logo on the tail, are printed.

Nick Martin | December 28th, 2016 | LEGO Star Wars, Rebels, Reviews, Star Wars

Review: 75152 Imperial Assault Hovertank

 

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Before the release of Rogue One, I went into total information blackout regarding the movie. I was specifically trying to avoid information and spoilers outside of the trailers that I’d seen, so it was a bit awkward when LEGO sent us 75152 Imperial Assault Hovertank for review and I had to look up some information on it.

I didn’t really mean to delay this review until after the release of Rogue One, life is just a jerk and my time in November (when they sent the set) was eaten up a black hole of work stuff, a funeral, and just family stuff in general. I actually got the pictures taken for this a few weeks ago, but then we got the LEGO Batman stuff and sparkly gold Batman wins out over land transport tank.

This is an interesting set, a $29.99 wonder with three minifigures and a whopping 385 parts… unheard of compared to a lot of the other licensed sets. Since I’m writing this after the release of Rogue One, this is your obligatory spoiler warning. I won’t go deeply into the movie, but will talk about how this vehicle fits into the movie (and it is featured in one specific spot), as well as how the characters mix into it. So, if you haven’t seen it… stop now and get to the theater.

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Nick Martin | December 27th, 2016 | News, Star Wars

Carrie Fisher is One with the Force, 1956-2016

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We don’t normally cover things like this here, but this one feels too big, and too painful, to just let go un-commented on. Carrie Fisher was, for a whole bunch of us, that first crush, the woman we admired, and the character that we loved. She was more than Princess and General Leia… she embodied Star Wars. But more than that, she was a fantastic person who spoke frankly of her struggles with depression, anxiety, sexism, and life in general. She was a role model, not just for her character but for who she was as a person.

RIP, Carrie Fisher. No matter it went, remember how she wanted her death to be known: “She was drown in moonlight, strangled by her own bra.”

Nick Martin | December 26th, 2016 | DC Universe, LEGO Super Heroes, Reviews, The Batman Movie, The LEGO Movie

Review: 70901 Mr. Freeze Ice Attack

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The last of the reviews, 70901 Mr. Freeze Ice Attack, of the initial release of the Batman sets is coming with the least fanfare. Unlike the other three, this one wasn’t sent to us by LEGO, but purchased from one of my local LEGO Stores (along with the latest Holiday Train, for all none of you who are curious). It stands out from the rest in a few ways… it’s the one that’s obviously not intended to be a set by itself (previews have shown that the various small sets coming out this year and next year fit together to make a larger build), it includes Yet Another Mech™ for us to build and forget, and it also includes Mr. Freeze.

Mr. Freeze is a major villain in the Batman lexicon, but has only shown up once in the resurrected Super Heroes line set (the ’66 classic one was a polybag and should have been in that Batcave set). In terms of the LEGO movie, we know nothing at all about his role in the movie; the only villain we’ve heard talk is the Joker. Head-canon wise, I’m going to hope they go full McBain in making and make give him a brand new weakness in only being able to speak in cold-related puns. It’s the villain we need right now.

This set is the cheapest in the line thus far, at just $19.99 USD, and comes with three minifigures and 201 parts. Also, pipes, so there is that. I’m curious about the choice of a generic security guard in the set, since none of the other sets featured an unnamed character, and one of the things that’s been made clear is that there are a plethora of possible figures for them to release. Another villain that matches Mr. Freeze here (Poison Ivy, perhaps) might make this set look a bit more attractive from the outset, but let’s dig into the set itself and see how it builds.

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