This is our final review for the LEGO DC Super Hero Girls preview sets, 41232 Super Hero High School. After coming off the disappointing 41231 Harley Quinn to the rescue review, I was bracing myself for something just as disappointing since it was also a location-based set instead of a vehicle-based set like 41230 Batgirl Batjet Chase was. The set also looked heavily juniorized judging by the intial pictures of the set, especially how Poison Ivy’s motorcycle was built. But after building this with my daughter and seeing all the features they packed into it, my opinion changed. This, now this is what a playset should be.
Let’s start with the minidolls and with our first bad girl to make an appearance, Lena Luthor. Lena is in a traditional Luthor-esque full body suit from neck down to hands and feet and is actually a nice looking figure. Since she is a bad girl she has a less-than-happy expression on her face. Once the rest of the sets come out in January, she’ll be joined by Lashina to wreak havoc on the Super Hero Girls.
Supergirl is as supergirly as Supergirl can get. Her outfit doesn’t stray far from the traditional costume that anyone familiar with the mythos would come to expect. The only notable stylistic change is that her shirt is collared.
Poison Ivy is pretty covered up compared to how she is normally thought of or portrayed. Donning a floral print wrap dress with leggings and matching shoes, she completes her look with an ivy print on her hair piece.
In case anyone’s wondering, all of the girls’ hair elements are rubber.
The Kryptomites are purple and I think are the biggest ones you can build out of all the sets; not only that, they are sporting blasters which make them the most menaching out of all the Kryptomites we’ve seen so far.
The school is split up into three distinct structures connected together by some clips and bars. There’s the Home Economics room, the entry way tower, and the Chemistry Lab.
The Home Ec room has a ton of details that I’ve come to appreciate from the Friends line. There are bolts of cloth, a sewing machine, and a stickered panel that shows books, which I can only assume are swatch books with fabric patterns, and color swatches stuck to the wall. This is supposed to be Supergirl’s domain as she is shown to be working on a blue version of her cape.
The Chemistry Lab is denoted by the presence of a single flask. More would have been better. If Supergirl belonged in the Home Ec room, then this would be Poison Ivy’s area of expertise as it has a potted plant that turns into a ambulating plant creature. It looks like a classroom for the digital age as there are desks with computer screens as the surface and a digital instructor on a screen hanging off the ceiling.
The ceiling of this room has some added functionality in that a panel flips up to reveal a disc launcher when the school is on red alert status. The disc launcher is awesome! It shoots 2×2 round tiles by pushing it through the back. It works really well and the tiles shoot really far. You get two tiles, one with a Supergirl “S” pattern andthe other of a poison ivy leaf. I have no doubt the tile-shooting element will make it’s way into more sets and unlike the other projectile weapons, this one is way fun to use. Now all I can think about is building a TMNT van that shoots pizza tiles.
The main tower is where most of the action is at. Starting on the bottom there are six lockers, one for each of the DC Super Hero Girls denoted by their signature logos where they can store their individual accessories like cell phones and perfume bottles. The second level is where Poison Ivy parks her motorcycle. More on that in a bit. And the third floor acts as a sitting area where one can sit, relax, and have a beverage with a snack. There’s a giant wanted poster with Lena Luthor’s mugshot on it. There is also a giant crystal ornament at the very top of the tower that Lena is trying to steal. You have to wonder how smart it is put something that is clearly sought after by the bad girls out in plain sight.
On the third floor, there’s a dial marked by the familiar “BAM!” tile that once you turn, moves the very top of the tower up and back, automatically lowering the front facade down to act as a ramp, and this is where Poison Ivy pops out. She and her motorcycle roll out once the ramp is down. And that is why the bike looks the way it does. When I first saw it in the early pictures, I thought they had heavily juniorized it to be a simpler build but that’s not the case. Wide tires are used so that it can stand up without tipping over. It couldn’t have been built very tall or wide because it had to fit through the narrow opening. Given those restrictions I can understand why the bike looks the way it does.
But with that being said, there is a distinct lack of controls. No handlebars, no control sticks, nothing. Not even a stickered or printed control panel tile in sight so I have to knock off a few imaginary points off the set for that. The only thing it does come with is a stud shooter. I suppose that could be a building challenge: build a better bike using the same tires that a Friends-style minidoll can actually steer and drive.
Another neat little feature that is revealed when the dial is spun is that a gunner’s station is revealed with twin stud shooters that launch a chain. You press down on the 2×2 tile to activate the trigger; it, too, works really well and is the only defense against Lena Luthor’s little jet. And speaking of which…
Lena’s jet is a simple two-engine hovering contraption with a giant claw on the front designed to snatch the giant crystal that’s located on top of Super Hero High. The Luthor family colors of green and purple are all over this thing. It may not be Batwing big, but it’s leagues better than Harley’s dinky scooter jet.
Despite the hover jet’s good looks, it’s a pain in the ass to deal with. Lena barely fits inside the cockpit. She has to be seated so that her head is below the click joint finger plate and getting her in and out of the seat isn’t as easy as it could be. And even if you manage to position her just right, her head is pushing up against the finger plate causing it to come loose. You can put her head in front of the finger plate but you just end up hitting her in the head with the windscreen. It is annoying to say the least.
As much as I like this set, there is still a lot of room for improvement. My biggest complaint is that it’s not very deep is Poison Ivy’s parking space for her motorcycle. That part of the tower is shallow and so half the bike is sticking out the back making it look half-finished and perched precariously over the foyer. The foyer also could have used a bit more love; it is a bit plain and could use a sticker or two to add some details. I do wish this set was bigger and perhaps built with modularity in mind for possible future add-on sets. Though, I should clarify that the upcoming Wonder Woman set is shown to be attached to Super Hero High based on this picture found in the back of the instruction manual:
That’s right. You connect the set on the inside clip of the Home Ec room. There’s a bar in the mirrored position on the Chem Lab so it may be an additional room in a future set. I can appreciate the attempt at modularity between the two sets but the execution is just terrible. I wish it connected to the high school set as a room on the second floor above the Home Ec room or the Chem Lab, or at least connect on the end of the one of those rooms making the set become wider and not deeper and more difficult to play with. I will reserve final judgement for when I actually get the set. My opinion may change once I put the two together, much like how my overall opinion changed on this set after putting it all together.
Despite a few niggling issues, and taking into consideration that this is the anchor set for the entire line, it gets a well-deserved 4 out of 5 stars. The bad points are easily overshadowed by the many play features. Ignoring its poor execution, the set is somewhat expandable with the upcoming Wonder Woman set and includes lockers for all of the Super Hero Girls found in other sets. The set’s MSRP is $79.99 which isn’t as high as it could be for a flagship set, so it won’t hurt the wallet too badly but if you can wait for sale, then do that. On sale or not, it would make a great gift for this holiday season for the super hero fan in your life.