Playsets are always seen as a risky choice in the development of Lego stuff. They often underperform, because they’re not swooshable, and apparently kids only like buildings that can also turn into a robot (even if Tom Hanks doesn’t think so). I’m pretty far removed from doing anything as a kid, so I know that my opinions are colored by being an adult, and worse, an AFOL, but I’d hazard a guess that kids just don’t like playing with bad toys. Playsets, especially Lego playsets, are often just bad toys.
Sure, everyone likes vehicles, and they are rightfully the core of toys about doing stuff. My favorite toy as a kid was G.I. Joe, which has a whole mess of vehicles (including some spectacularly terribad ones), vehicles that were buildings (often with jets for some reason), and just straight up buildings (The Command Center was awesome). What was important with the stuff that was successful is that it made sense with the other stuff. I could put figures in the command center or park vehicles, things like that.
Lego has a tougher time with stuff like that, because sets aren’t really designed to “work” together most of the time. This is especially true for the Super Heroes line… where a lot of the stuff is thematically similar, but mostly just sits there. The Quinjet isn’t going to pick up the SHIELD truck, and no one wants to put Spider-man in any of those terrible vehicles. So how does Hulk Lab Smash, the Avengers Assemble set in the Marvel Super Heroes lineup measure up to the whole mix like that? At $50, four (or five) minifigs and only 398 pieces, there probably needs to be a whole lot of playset to make it work…
Take a read through Ken’s review of Thor: The Dark World, and his biggest beef with that movie and it’s lack of tie-ins to Lego sets, and you’ll get one of the big problems with the Marvel lineup this year. There are some sets coming out for Guardians of the Galaxy, but that’s pretty much it for movie tie-ins. Which means that Lego has ignored two big releases, Thor and Captain America: The Winter Soldier, opting instead for Avengers Assemble, the Disney Channel cartoon.
From the point-of-view for Marvel and Lego, that makes sense… Avengers Assemble is one of their popular shows and it has a bigger exposure over time than the movies do. But it really looks out of place in toy aisles full of figures from the movies (and the cartoon) to keep ignoring the big releases. That’s not to say that this set (and it’s cousin, Hulk Lab Smash), are bad sets. Far from it… this is an interesting set that gives us a new Captain America and his greatest nemesis, Red Skull (along with a Marvel henchmen that’s not Chitauri). It’s also a chance to put captain on a proper motorcycle at last, and give us some nice Hydra stickers to decorate our MOCs with. That and I bet there’s more than a few classic army type builders that will get this set just for those number stickers on the side.
At $20, the set seems like a great value, but at only 172 parts, you’re left wondering if it comes up being a little bit short. It’s price point is replacing two stand-out sets as well, Wolverine’s Chopper Showdown and Loki’s Cosmic Cube Escape, which means that the bar is set up pretty high for this little set right out of the gate. Given that there are only two sets in the early Marvel Lineup that don’t feature the same Spider-man figure (and that trike set is just absolutely awful), is this one worth some of that hard-earned money?
It’s been a while since I’ve done a movie review. Part of that reason is that I didn’t feel the movies I considered reviewing warranted wasting any more of my time beyond the two plus hours lost watching them. Sure Iron Man 3 had it’s moments and we all like the flashy suits, but my patience for Tony Stark’s growth as a character has worn thin. Man of Steel had a lot of potential, but just fell too short of the characters core for me to care. Then the god of thunder came crashing onto the big screen for the third time, mixing in the more mythologically “magical” side of Marvel’s canon and the response was generally positive if a bit mixed. Thor has long been a character that has straddled the concept in comics of magic in an ever increasing world of technology and so, the magical aspect has in many ways been peeled back to a reveal character more in line with science fiction then fantasy. This is exactly the type of peanut butter I like in my chocolate. Even though I’ve been reading Thor in comics for over 30+ years, I still prefer sci-fi over fantasy.
Now, a few critics were hard on the film and in some cases with good reason. Thor suffers from the same drawbacks of trying to put Superman on screen and give him a challenge worthy of a god, but I felt the story was entertaining and it was easily the best sequel in the MCU up until this point. The score on Rotten Tomatoes is a decent (if not uncommon) indicator of the divide between the critics at 65% and the general audience who scored it at an average of 82%. It solidified the character as a Marvel tentpole, locking in a third outing outside of the Avengers franchise and even spun off two episodes of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. with the second bringing Sif back to Midgard for the first time since Thor. I’m not really going to review the movie here in full, as most who were interested have probably already seen it. I was going to do this when the film first came out, but I didn’t get to see it until it had been out for a couple weeks and then with the holiday season approaching, things got very busy, on site and off. It seemed to make sense to do it with the DVD release, which just happens to be today. I want to take the opportunity to address my one true disappointment with the film, which actually doesn’t really have to do with the film at all. (more…)
Sometimes, your first impressions are very wrong on a set. Like when I built the most recent Republic Gunship and was very impressed with the updates and overall feel of the ship. Or how nice The Lego Movie sets turned out, despite me not being impressed on the initial scenes. Just saying, sometimes a set can surprise you. Then again, sometimes your first impressions are spot on. I still think the most recent Sail Barge was a let-down that was only made worse by play features that made no sense (it was like buying a Superman action figure that comes with special battle armor and a sword… why does he need any of those things?).
This set, Spider-Trike vs. Electro, manages to do both. My first impression of the set was that it looked dumb and a bit too small, but wow, that transparent head on Electro looks slick. After purchasing it, and building it, I can say that I was wrong. It is way too small, exceedingly dumb, and perhaps one of the worst sets for the value that I’ve ever built. Somehow, I managed to overestimate a set that I already had low expectations before.
I’ll just warn you now, this set will be rough on this glorified polybag. I’m going to scrounge for some good things that don’t involve Electro or getting 5 force lightning bolts… but it won’t be easy.
Update: The first poster is online now too. You’re welcome.
Chris “The Special” Pratt as Peter Jason Quill aka “Star Lord”
Did you watch the Guardians Of The Galaxy trailer and have the same reaction as the guard when Star Lord told him who he was? Well these videos won’t answer all of your questions (or many at all likely), but they do give you a quick inside look at the characters and a little bit of behind the scenes footage. Oh and you get to hear Rocket speak, if you’re interested in that kind of thing.
Zoe Saldana as Gamora
Dave Batista as Drax aka “The Destroyer”
Vin Diesel as Groot
Bradley Cooper as Rocket Raccoon
I always heard Rocket’s voice in my head as sorta Brittish, but I still can’t wait.
There is going to be A LOT of marketing around this movie. It may seem difficult to believe now, but Tony Stark was a second string hero in Marvel’s roster before he blew up on screen in 2008′s Iron Man. Prepare to be bombarded folks. These videos come within 48 hours of the first trailer and the movie is more then five months away.
Okay, let’s go down the list. Rocket Raccoon? Check. Zoe Saldana in head-to-toe green paint? Check. Absolutely nailing Peter Quill as Star Lord? Check. It’s been an en vogue thing on the nerd-verse blogs to call out Guardians of the Galaxy as the first potential “bomb” in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, given that it’s a relatively obscure title in the overall mix and set well outside what the other ones have covered. I respond to that with four simple words: Hooked on a Feeling.
Between this trailer and the new set teases, I am absolutely ready for this movie, and all the glory that is Rocket.
I sat on this one for a couple of days to let Ace’s Toy Fair coverage soak up some much deserved attention, but I can’t stands no more! Xenomurphy is at it again with this gigantic Spider-man themed vig of a battle on the rooftop of the Daily Bugle. The attention to detail and scale is exactly what I’ve come to expect from this builder and as much as I love the custom figs he’s created, the real crown jewel here is his excellent font work.
He may not have made the custom Scarlet Spider fig himself, but his addition of the painted Wyldstyle hoodie is what sets it apart. The fact that Ben Reilly’s outcast outfit is a favourite of mine goes a long way to me ignoring the custom aspect. Xenomurphy has quickly become one of the builders I anxiously await the next build from.
Fellow chat troll murphquake found this picture of a new Green Lantern keychain light on Entertainment Earth. Could this be a sign of a new fig on the horizon? A set we haven’t yet seen or an upcoming exclusive poly to accompany the remainder of The LEGO Movie releases in June? Who knows, but first Martian Manhunter and now this glimmer of hope for a new GL.
In brightest day, indeed.
We purposefully forewent covering any sets that were scheduled for March, this includes Super Heroes, and Star Wars, simply because they should already be hitting store shelves right now. This was the only Super Heroes set revealed at the show that wasn’t slated for March, 76022 X-Men 1, which is probably a working title. Not even a new Batman set was shown. Some observations: The Sentinel makes great use of the new micro ball joints found prominently in the Mixels line. Storm’s cape was made of a fabric material that was different than the normal material used for previously seen capes. Also, her cape actually attaches at her wrists. This is a great minifigure of Ororo Munroe of her original costume. Now that being said since it is not mohawk Storm, I am still disappointed. Cyclops looks good, but feels a little lazy. A custom headpiece with an actual visor would have been nice. Wolverine looks fantastic with a new headprint that is doublesided. One side looks like he is wearing shades or a visor, which may look a little funny, but makes total sense once you put his mask on. THIS IS WHAT THEY SHOULD HAVE DONE WITH BATMAN. The jet is a good size and can fit all of the minifigs. It has a nice heft with a high swoosh factor. Anyways, on to the pictures: