Review: Lego 76012 Batman: The Riddler Chase

Pieces: 304  Minifigures: 3  Retail Price: $29.99  Price I Paid: $24.66+tax

Here we have another of the most recent wave of Batman sets, The Riddler Chase, the highlights being most likely the first Flash minifigure, a new Riddler, and a new mostly gray Batman, though he looks a lot like all the other Batman figures.

Other than the figures though, the Riddler’s dragster is quite flimsy and unless you are really into the nondescript black Bat vehicles – which Lego thinks you really should be – the Bat car won’t do much for you either.

I’m not going to call this a Batmobile, I don’t think it has enough features to be worthy of that name. The canopy/windshield/cockpit does not raise up, it has to be taken all the way off to put Batman behind the steering wheel. Like many Bat vehicles, Batman cannot sit upright or his cowl will prevent the cockpit from closing all the way. Behind him is a tail/back of the car and it does rise up to reveal some missiles. The wheels and tires that come with the vehicles are pretty different, but other than that, neither one is much to look at.

Overall, I can’t rate this set very highly. I think I’ll give it a 6 because Batman sets get an automatic plus 2 on BrickKnight, but this is probably the least worthy set. It’s really a 4, which is the “buy only if it’s on a big clearance sale price” rating.

Lego Photography – Upgrades?

I added a new flash to my set-up for taking photos. Previously I just had one flash that was off camera by means of a cord. That is the set-up that has been used to take all the photos for the site so far, including this one:

These aren’t the droids you’re looking for.

Compare it to the newest photo below, where there are two flashes, wirelessly, though close enough to the camera that using cords would have been possible – note that these were taken days apart, so the set up and framing is different:

These still aren’t the droids you’re looking for.

I’m frankly surprised at the lack of difference, I had thought I’d be able to get rid of more of the shadows with the second flash. The only real difference I discern is the shadow under the engine of the speeder and the two flash reflections on the dome of the cantina compared to the one in the first photo. Both photos had flashes shooting through umbrellas. I’ll have to continue to experiment with the placement to see if I can eliminate the shadows more.
For those interested, this is the new flash, which has finally dropped in price after being out for two years – and it’s got so many features: Canon 600EX-RT Speedlite Flash (Black)

Lego Throwback Thursday – Time Cruisers – the closest we’ll get to Lego Doctor Who?

The Professor – “Dr. Cyber” and “Tim”

Let me first apologize for using the phrase “throwback Thursday” – it was an attempt to get the youth interested – I will from now on try to refer to it as “Lego Classic Thursday.” I realized a few weeks ago on a Thursday I posted pictures of the old Landspeeder set and thought as long as the old sets last I’d continue posting photos on Thursdays. The image above is not a set, just the minifigures from set 6493 Flying Time Vessel circa 1996. With the Lego Ideas Tardis set review soon to be revealed it would appear that the possibility of more Lego time travelers is close. If the project does not get “green-lit” as Lego say then we’ll always have good old Professor and Tim to fall back on. I’m not sure if the Professor forgot Tim’s name a lot and that’s why he has to wear a shirt with a big T on it, or maybe the T stands for Time. Either way I always thought the Tim character was a little silly but I like the Professor guy. Notice his bow tie? Bow ties are cool.

Identifying Lego Minifigures Series 12 a.k.a. the feel method

If you’re like me and have no shame, you’ll want to collect the new Series 12 collectable minifigures without getting a bunch of doubles. That means standing in the aisle of your local store like a crazy person feeling all the packets. Here’s a quick guide of what to feel for. It usually takes me a bit of time to get it right, the first time they have figures in the store I’m excited and end up making one mistake and getting a double I don’t want, but that only strengthens my focus for the next trip. It really helps to visualize the figure as you feel the packs. Ok, here goes-

 

Gamer – Find a 2×1 tile, but make sure there is only one, the Jester has 2, the tile is the only accessory the Gamer has.

Prospector – The pickaxe should be easy to find, once you have a pickaxe, you know you’ve got a prospector.

Rock Star – The guitar is easy here, there is a big V (oblique angle) on one end and staff/rod feel at the other end.

Swashbuckler – His sword is the smallest in the set, his hat may be similar to the prospector. If you can feel the 3 pointed feather that goes in his cap you’re all set.

Wizard – The Wizard and the Princess are the only two with “dress” legs but they also have pointy hats – look for a small rod, that is the bottom of the Wizard’s staff – this could be a tough one, but if you have dress legs and a staff it has to be the wizard.

Hun Warrior – Look for the sword and the shield with the dimple in it, the Female Spartan has a curved smooth shield – the sword is the longsword, the only one in the collection.

Fairy Princess – Find the dress legs and the pointy hat then confirm with the frog – there will be several pieces less than in the Wizard packet.

Goth Girl – Feel for the Teddy Bear and confirm with the long hair.

Female Spartan – The long staff/spear should be quite easy to find, it is the longest piece of any of the figures.

Space Miner – His armor is the same as the Space Marine from before, it is a big bulky piece which will make the packet bigger quite possibly.

Lifeguard – This could be a tough one, he’s only got binoculars and a safety float – I’ve never encountered a safety float before so I’m not sure what it will feel like.

Court Jester – Find the two 2×1 tiles and a big Jester (Harley Quinn) headpiece.

Dinosaur Hunter – The Bow and arrow will feel like a little webbed thingy – she also has the only ponytail. Finding the nob on the syringe handle will confirm.

Pizza Delivery Man – He has a flat 2×2 tile and a round one for the pizza. He also has a baseball hat on.

Female Genie – This should be easy, she has a genie bottom – the legs will start to feel like a snake.

Pig Suit Guy – The apple is the only accessory, I’d feel for the ears and the snout of the headpiece.

And that should be that – good luck as there are definitely a few that I don’t need doubles of in this series.

Review: Lego 7965 Millennium Falcon

Pieces: 1254  Minifigures: 6  Retail Price: $139.99  Price I Paid: $69.99+tax

This is a set I wanted for quite some time but at the same time I didn’t want at all. It is pricey, comes in on the wrong side of the 10 cents per piece ratio and is basically all grey pieces. It’s also kinda of a so-so model, the bottom is unfinished and the way the top pieces fold in and out, while an interesting way of making the model more “playable” isn’t very streamlined, even for Lego. It takes me further down the rabbit hole of Lego Star Wars, an unending collection of sets and minifigures. After deciding against it, it had a cameo in The Lego Movie and I started to want it again. Then Target did their summer clearance and I walked into my local Target and there was one on the shelf for only $70 and it was a no brainer.

The set is interesting to build but the criticism that’s been written elsewhere is true – the cockpit is wrong. Han and Chewie can’t sit side by side. And there’s no way you’re getting anyone else in the cockpit. These are the compromises of getting a “full size” but not full size ship.

The little details on the inside are what make the set more than just a collection of grey Lego.

The holotable is present (it’s a sticker).

Compartments for smuggling – in case you ever get boarded by Imperial thugs.

The remote for Luke to fight is an approximation – apparently they can’t make Lego hover yet. The blast shield is the back printing on his head.

This set includes Darth Vader, the first one I own even though I have several other Lego Star Wars sets.

What a piece of junk!

The details on the back are nice as is the blue tubing to mimic the appearance of the engines.

In the end, I’d give this set a 5. A good set to buy if it’s on sale. I think it’s days of existence are coming to an end, it was released in 2011 and isn’t on the shelves at my Lego store anymore, but still available online. It used to be decently discounted on Amazon, not so much anymore. (See below). It’s a good collection of figures, and screams out Star Wars, these are all of the characters as they first appear in the films, but I don’t see why they couldn’t include R2-D2 and C-3PO, they did the same thing in the new 75052 Mos Eisley Cantina, luckily I bought 9490 Droid Escape while it was available, sadly it isn’t any more.
Acutally Amazon has it for $119.97 right now, which is probably the best you’ll do at this late stage: LEGO Star Wars Millennium Falcon 7965

Lego Talk Like A Pirate Day

As you may know – today is International Talk Like A Pirate Day – so what better than a trip down memory lane to the good old “classic” Lego Pirates sets of yore.

The origin story of Lego Pirates apparently.

As you can see the Legend of the Lego System Pirates was written on the inside flap (weren’t the sets with flaps so cool?) of set 6267 Lagoon Lock-Up. It reads as follows:

The Adventures of the Lego System™ Pirates of the Sea
Lagoon Lock-Up

During the 18th century, a peaceful colony of settlers enjoying the island treasures they discovered, suddenly had their serenity interrupted. The invaders were those who called themselves the LEGO SYSTEM™ Pirates of the Sea! For years, the Pirates had been searching for the same buried treasures that the settlers were now claiming as their own. This, of course, disturbed the Pirates, as they knew the doubloons (Spanish gold coins) the settlers found had belonged to their ancestors.

Gold seeking Pirates had become such a problem for Governor Broadside and the other settlers that they were forced to strengthen many of their existing settlements. One such fortified settlement was the Lagoon Lock-Up. Prior to the invading Pirates, this peaceful establishment was an inn of sorts for the settlers to grab a bite to eat and relax. It has now been fortified to protect the lagoon and to hold captured Pirates for questioning.

Governor Broadside is determined to protect the gold which he and the settlers have hidden at the Eldorado Fortress and Sabre Island. The Pirates, however, have their own plans for the gold and they don’t include sharing it with the settlers!

Use your imagination to continue the adventures of the LEGO SYSTEM Pirates of the Sea!

Now if only I could get Rob Brydon or the guy from Warcraft II to read that. I find it most impressive that even in the 18th century, the Pirates were very careful to use Trademark symbol.

Smuggler’s Shanty – Lego Set 6258

Notice that both of the Pirates in Smuggler’s Shanty have unfortunately lost the use of their left eyes, which probably explains the lack of intimidation of the Imperial officer even though he’s got a revolver trained upon him. He seems much more concerned with the shark. If you want to view the images in all their glory or read from the box yourself, head over to Flickr – the link is always on the sidebar as well.

Comic Book Wednesday: Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader?

As you’re probably aware, Wednesday is the day new comic books come out – so I thought I’d occasionally review or “write-up” a comic book or graphic novel, but in most cases it won’t be one coming out that day. I didn’t grow up reading comic books but they are everywhere these days and since there isn’t another Christopher Nolan Batman film coming out, we have to get our Batman stories from somewhere. I’m not quite a connoisseur but I like good artwork and I like a good story. It seems like a good thing to support these days, the idea that even a few people can make a living drawing or writing stories about superheroes should continue. But there are a lot of so-so comic books that I pick up and put right back down – the artwork in the New 52 Batman has never appealed to me. If the artwork isn’t great then the story had better be, and vice-versa.
This book – which is indeed in book form is the last issue of the original Batman and Detective Comics before they were rebooted into the “New 52” by DC. The story is written by Neil Gaiman who is what you could call a big name in comics and geek culture I guess – recently he’s also written a few episodes of the new Doctor Who. Obviously there is a lot of pressure writing the “last” issue of Batman but I found it well done, with some good artwork here and there, but by no means stand-out artwork. The story is good enough to overcome that in places, Batman is dead and at the same time watching his funeral or wake, all the villains are there to say a few words. I won’t give away more than that but it’s well done and not disappointing in the end. As a bonus, the book in this form contains other Batman stories written by Neil Gaiman including a good one that came from the Batman: Black and White series. I’d recommend it and as the story is only two issues long, it’s fast reading either way.

Check the price on Amazon: Batman: Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader?

Review: Lego 60002 Fire Truck

Pieces: 208  Minifigures: 2  Retail Price: $19.99  Price I Paid: $9.99

I collect City sets at great discounts.

Here’s another set I got at Stop’n’Shop for 50% off and I’m really glad I did. I don’t have any other City Fire sets and this set has several things that are new to me and I find “pretty neat.” This set has 208 pieces so even at its retail price it hits the magical 10 cents per piece target. For much of the build, everything is very symmetrical which is very satisfying. The cool features, which I now realize are probably in all Fire sets are the ladder which is made up of two pieces and extends and rotates and allows a minifigure to stand on the rungs with ease. The best photo to illustrate this is located on the back of the box.

Lego ladders – quite the innovation, if only so many minifigures weren’t afraid of heights.

And there’s a very clever minifigure oxygen mask/tanks combination that fits perfectly to the fire hat:

3 pieces that fit together make up the mask and oxygen tanks.

And probably my favorite thing and the reason I decided to buy the set in the first place:

One of the toughest looking guys around. A scratch on his face and an uneven five o’clock shadow. If Jack Reacher was a minifig…

And after I completed building it, I discovered the symmetry continued and the fire truck is a very boxy rectangular shape, as they generally are in real life.

I’m not sure about the flame logo, that would be like putting a picture of a criminal on police cars.

Also I discovered that the numbers on the stickers for the license plate and side stickers are the set number. I’m not sure how long Lego has been doing this, but I’ve never realized it until now – so I actually put on all of the stickers for once.

This is a pretty good set and I think a great buy for the price I got it at, if only for spare parts. I’m going to give it a 7. Even at retail it’s worth it if you are serious about collecting City – but if not, it’s by no means a must have, just a little set with a lot of cool features and did I mention one of the toughest minifigures around town? Check the price on Amazon: LEGO City Fire Truck 60002

It even comes with a fire hydrant – perfect for the kids on those hot summer days.