Captain America: Civil War, still shaping up to be Avengers 2.5 because it stars everyone not named Thor (unless perhaps Sharon is found worthy), and the information keeps rolling out. Principle shooting wrapped up a week or two ago, and while this isn’t “official” in the sense that it’s from Marvel, it’s been tweeted about by Jeremy Renner, and if Hawkeye thinks it’s cool, it’s obviously cool. You can see the art after the fold, because it’s slightly spoilery, unless, you know, you go with basic common sense and/or have read the comics. Except in one pretty surprising member of Team Drinks Too Much, that is…
Disney and Lucas Film continue to pretend that the internet only works for advertising, and delivers a very-short little teaser (while continually issuing takedown notices and threats for any other information they haven’t deemed as official). The notable thing here that is only really a spoiler if you haven’t seen the official poster that has Finn holding a lightsaber… and that is that Finn seems to be some sort of Jedi type, or at least Jedi trained. Hard to make out and all, but pretty sure that is a second-hand lightsaber we’ve seen somewhere before…
Also, in much dumber news, StarWars.com has announced that there will be live “unboxing” events for the new Force Awakens products in the 18 hours before Force Friday on September 4th. So, if you have an unusual amount of time to spend watching other people open things you may or may not want, this is the event for you. I have nothing against unboxing videos in general, they’re just not my thing… but that’s when it’s being done by fans on various other sites. Seeing it made up so artificial and staged like this means we’re getting a live stream of advertisements. No word on if the LEGO stuff is being included in it, but who knows.
That or maybe they’re setting up for the greatest Rick-roll of all time…
In all my years following LEGO or writing for FBTB, I’m not sure there’s been a set that just refused to stay in my memory than the Hydra Fortress Smash. I think I probably picked up this box on three different occasions while I was at the LEGO store and thought “huh, I don’t remember this.” I even remember being slightly annoyed when we learned that Quicksilver was going to be in an exclusive set (and more annoyed when that exclusive retailer was revealed to be TRU, because no one likes shopping there).
Yet the set ended up nearly as forgettable as the scene was in the opening for Avengers: Age of Ultron. Lots of flashy things, little substance, and of little impact to the rest of the film. It was a scene I remember enjoying, but I have to go look up what happened in it just to recall it with this set. Unfortunately, this was going to make reviewing 76041 The Hydra Fortress Smash that much more difficult, because it feels like I’m Dori in Finding Nemo while I’m working on it.
We got some explosions, a Code Green, and lots of explosions, and this set tries to encompass all of that. At $49.99 and only 405 pieces, we’re not starting off well. If you are unfortunate to pay the TRU tax for it, that price climbs to at least $54.99 (online, though I’ve seen it for $59.99 in a couple of stores). We get four minifigs and a Hulk bigfig, and three of the four are unique to this set. So there may be some things going for it… wait, what set was I talking about again?
As Force Friday and the eventual release of The Force Awakens in December draws nearer, more and more previews and rumors start flying around. This week, we get a couple of exclusive covers from Empire showing off the First Order and the Resistance. Not a whole lot of new information here, but it sure does look cool (via io9).
There will always be a fond place in my heart for Scooby-Doo. While I was born after it’s initial explosion (it started in 69 and had several seasons in the 70s), I grew up in the 80s, when Saturday Morning Cartoons and afternoon syndication were what dominated our childhood brains. It’s sad that the idea of Saturday morning is no longer a thing, thanks to stuff like Netflix, YouTube, and kids doing too much stuff, because highly unlikely we’ll get another show that can have the broad influence and sweep to a whole generation (or two) like Scooby did.
Of course, when you watch the show, there’s probably nothing more iconic in it than the Mystery Machine that the Scooby gang drove around (often with the Harlem Globetrotters). It was a glorious testament to drugs + art + cars being a wonderfully terrible combination, and as much a part of the show as Shaggy and Scooby were. There’s a part of all of us 80s kids that sees a van and wishes it could be painted one of two ways… A-Team or Mystery Machine, so there was a whole ton of excitement when this set was first revealed. Given this love, I jumped at the chance to review 75902 The Mystery Machine, mostly because I always need another vehicle from my childhood in the collection.
This set continued a few LEGO trends, both awesome and unfortunate. At 301 parts and $29.99, it’s awesome to see the iconic vehicle in the line at a low price point. We’ve seen more of LEGO trying to get the recognizable vehicles into lower-priced sets, so I really like seeing the Mystery Machine at this price. The unfortunate part is that this line continues the whole “can’t get the female characters in those low-priced sets” trend. Velma and Daphne are just as important as Fred is, so I would have loved to see them all show up along with this. That being said, there’s hopefully a lot else to like in this set, and some real Scooby-Doo features for the fans in us all.
Brent Waller has hit the trifecta with his third Ghostbusters themed set concept to hit 10,000 votes on LEGO Ideas. This time around it’s the completely harmless (unless you’re a church or a pencil-necked EPA stooge) Mr Stay Puft.
I loved both Waller’s original Ecto-1 submission and the huge firehouse build, but if I’m being totally honest I’ve never really felt this one. It’s just seems off to me and that is mostly the usual issue of trying to fit a round build into a square brick. I’d love to see Marcos Bessa’s take on Brent’s design, but I also think the overall size, even if the parts count was cut nearly in half would be too prohibitive.
I’ll admit though, amongst Brent’s other builds he does look right at home. If this does see the flickering florescent light of store shelves, I would absolutely love a Louis Telly minifgure. We miss you Rick.
One way or another, we won’t have long to wait for a Stay Puft minifigure and I wish all the luck possible to Brent on trying to catch lightning in a bottle for a second time.
In the sake of full disclosure, let me be up front about one basic fact: I do not like The Big Bang Theory. I’ve watched it… in fact, I used to watch it all the time, but it’s a show that gets cheap laughs by making fun of nerd culture in a terribly way. Nerd culture is easy to make fun of, and there are a lot of funny things about it… but this show relies instead on absurdity and stereotypes to get the laughs. Basically, it’s a show that needs to “punch down” to get laughs, and those types of shows only survive as long as it’s acceptable to make fun of those groups (shows that do things like this to a religious view, a minority, or an orientation get criticized into oblivion quickly).
That’s kind of a shame, honestly, because there are some legitimately funny moments and writing in the show, things that get honest laughs without stupid (and wrong) stereotypes. Rock-Paper-Scissors-Lizard-Spock comes to mind (and I own that on a shirt)… that is still probably one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen on TV. The show has also done a lot to grow and change characters, and it has a far more balanced cast after adding Amy and Bernadette in later seasons.
And, like the show or not, there are a whole ton of people that do. It’s consistently in the top for TV comedies (it’s been #2 the past couple of years), so the market makes sense. Given that it’s a Warner Brothers show, it’s another set that points to a pretty cozy relationship between LEGO and WB (who also owns DC Comics). Since LEGO also has an equally close relationship to Disney/Marvel, I’m starting to wonder if they are our best bet for negotiating world peace. At $60, this is the most expensive ideas set we’ve gotten thus far. It also comes in at 484 parts, but that is one of the most deceitful part counts ever… maybe in a good way. It carries a whopping seven minifigures, though, so there may be some value here after all…
I hope there’s a line where Batman says he’s worked with these kids before, but either way we now have a good look at the expansion for Scooby-Doo in the upcoming Dimensions game. I’m already sold, but every little bit helps and the animated trailer showing them building their portal is a really nice touch.
September 27th needs to hurry up and get here…
After some wildly impractical camouflage in the Commando Troopers battle pack, there’s something oddly refreshing to see Geonosis troopers in what seemingly makes a lot more sense in a world made primarily of dust and what the easter egg dye looks like after the first couple of eggs. Geonosis popped up a few times during the Clone Wars cartoon, even though we saw the seperatist armies trying to evacuate the planet at the end of the movie.
The set also gives us a walker, which I’ve been known to love, and revisists the rather classic clone walker design from other battle packs. The twist is obviously giving us the new gattling-style barrel on the front to go with our troopers, along with flick-fire blasters for our troops.
This is the last battle pack to review for the 2015 releases, and it’s been a pretty good year for army builders. While we’re still lacking just a plain clone pack, we’ve gotten Shadow Troopers, Smurf Commandos, and Death Star troopers. Next year we’re likely going to see more of a focus on new stuff, so here’s to First Order troopers and rebels from Rebels showing up in our packs. At $13 and 105 parts, it’s got a few more parts than your average pack, but otherwise… it’s mostly just orange.