Batman Be-leaguered on Cartoon Network tonight at 6PM ET

I’m probably not going to watch it, but it is Lego Batman news and you might be interested. This show is basically an infomercial for the new Lego Batman 3 video game that comes out soon. You can watch a clip of the show here. Probably the most interesting things about these cartoons/video games is that they do provide some insight into the characters that will make it into real sets that come out in the future. A good example is the Space Batman that is coming out next year.

Batman (not mini) Figures

My love of Batman goes back to my childhood. I didn’t read the comic books – I watched reruns of Batman on tv. Adam West, of course. I loved it. And I always wanted action figures from the tv show to play with. They had more modern Batman action figures but none of the real Batman. Well, it only took a couple decades but last year I finally got my wish. They released what they now call “Batman ’66” action figures. Despite some not so great reviews on Amazon, I bought the Batman and Robin set – the only way to get Robin.

Batman and Robin

The set comes with a wall to climb with windows in case you’ve got a Jerry Lewis action figure you want to lean out the window. The “rope” is pretty flimsy and hard to get them to hold onto, but you can mount the plate sideways and actually have them climbing up the wall. I’d post a picture, but I don’t have four hours to spend posing them just right so they stand up correctly.

Boy Wonder

As I said this set was the only way to get a Robin figure, which seems pretty cruel, it’s not like he was only occasionally in the show.

Dynamic Duo

I’m not going to say these are the greatest quality. They have seemingly endless points of articulation, which isn’t really necessary and seems to detract a little from the quality. They also don’t have any accessories – aside from one bendy plastic Batarang. But after waiting a lifetime, I still think they’re great. And the Adam West figure looks just like the real Batman.

He’s Batman. Not quite “The Dark Knight.”

You can only get this set from 3rd party sellers on Amazon.
But you can get Batman by himself still.

Lego Classic Thursday – 5928 Bi-Wing Baron

Here’s another set from the Adventurers line – with the Baron, who I think was the villain or at least rival to Johnny Thunder. I’m pretty sure with that monocle and hook for a hand, he’s not one of the good guys. It’s another basic set, sold originally for $6 in 1998.

What a great figure!

I discovered I was missing a black sloped brick when building it – the piece is supposed to go right in front of the tail. I just replaced it with a new grey piece, now you can see the difference between new and old grey.

No rear wheels for landing?

The propeller and engine look is pretty neat, as are obviously the flames on the sides. Interesting the way they put rifles and mounted them on the plane. I think this is about as “offensive” (in the weapons outfitting sense) as a Lego set would get since this is kind of a modern era set.

This plane has a lot of guns.

Book Review: The Art and Making of the Dark Knight Trilogy

If I haven’t mentioned it before, I’m a huge fan of the Christopher Nolan Batman trilogy of films. (The sad part is, I wasn’t a Lego collector when they released the sets to go with The Dark Knight.) All Christopher Nolan movies are special (which means excitement for Interstellar in the coming weeks) but he did a wonderful job with Batman. I even like Christian Bale’s Batman voice. So you’re probably not going to be too surprised when I tell you that this book is spectacular. It came out a few years ago when The Dark Knight Rises was released, but I finally got a copy of it this year. Great photography as you would expect from what is basically a coffee table book, but also a great read. It starts with an introduction by Michael Caine – read it in your Michael Caine voice to enhance the experience. Then we get the backstory on where the ideas for the script came from – including specific instances in the comic books – and read about how Christopher Nolan was working on this in his garage. Remember, when Batman Begins came out he wasn’t the huge name he is now. He Inception or The Dark Knight (obviously), two of the biggest movies of the last 10 years. Before I continue rambling, let me just recommend this book if you’re a lover of the films like me. More so than a great book about the Batman movies, it’s a very interesting look at the process of movie making – and when it comes to the latter films, movie making on a grand scale. You can see some excerpts from the book (and obviously buy it) on Amazon: The Art and Making of The Dark Knight Trilogy
Oh and in the interest of sticking to the review number system, this gets a 10.

Review: Lego 79015 Witch-king Battle – The Hobbit Battle of the Five Armies

Pieces: 101  Minifigures: 3  Retail Price: $14.99  Price I Paid: Retail (Double VIP Points)

I haven’t seen any of The Hobbit films yet, I figure I enjoy Lord of the Rings enough, if I’m hankering for a 3 hour Peter Jackson fantasy film, I’ll just watch one of the “originals.” But I didn’t have a Galadriel. So this set was all about the minifigures.

You get Elrond, Galadriel and the Witch-king, who’s body painting is pretty nice and who has a steel crown atop his glow in the dark head. And after I opened it and started building it, I realized it was all about the minifigure capes. Specifically, Galadriel’s once again resplendent cape.

Just look at that. I was quite excited about the Wizard’s cape from S12 of the collectible minifigures, but this brings it to another level. Galadriel is officially the pop star of the forest with that thing on. I do have one problem with it however…

Once again, and most frequently with a Lego Lord of the Rings derived set, Lego has given us a minifigure with a cape AND a big headpiece or hairpiece that scrunches the cape up. It is especially disheartening to see this beautiful cape scrunched up. They really don’t seem to care about this and somehow render it as a non-issue in the box image.

Back to the set at large, it’s a small set and should really be selling for $11.99 or $12.99 but it’s licensed and the glittery cape probably costs a few extra cents to produce. I’ll give the set a 6, it’s really not a bad value proposition for the figures you get. These sets were just released on Wednesday so I bought this one at the Lego Store over the weekend. If it hadn’t been for the double VIP points in Oct, I might have waited, although the low end sets can never really go that much on sale. Plus it’s always fun to have one of the brand new sets around the time they come out. It’s still full retail on Amazon and they haven’t gotten the item description perfect yet: LEGO Hobbit Hobbit5 79015 Playset

Review: Lego 76015 Doc Ock Truck Heist

Pieces: 237  Minifigures: 3  Retail Price: $19.99  Price I Paid: Retail

Looking at the images of this set, I realize now that I kind of need to put the stickers on, the truck looks pretty bare without them. I bought this set soon after it came out, because the truck in it looked pretty neat. After building it I can say it is pretty neat but it’s nothing super spectacular. I’m not especially a fan of Spider-Man but they seem to always be pretty good sets that come out for him so I’ve bought a few.

This set has three minifigures, Spider-Man of course, Doc Ock (sadly not Alfred Molina) and your standard flesh colored policeman. I’m not sure if the policeman is supposed to be the truck driver or not, but he’s obviously the most qualified of the three.

As you can see, the Truck is interesting with all of it’s little compartments and what especially drew me to it is the armored look of the front grille. I’m pretty lukewarm on this set, more so than when I bought it, so I think I’ll give it a 4. If you’re a Spider-Man fan you won’t be disappointed though. As a play set for a younger Lego fan, I’m sure it would be hours of fun.
It is pretty nicely discounted on Amazon, less than $15 currently: LEGO Superheroes 76015 Doc Ock Truck Heist

Lego 21109 Exo Suit available at the (my) Lego Store

I went to the North Shore Peabody, MA Lego store today and they had the Exo Suit in stock. There were more than 15 when I was there in the early afternoon. An employee told me they had had the 21110 Research Institute this morning but sold out – they only had 10 copies. Hopefully this means that Lego stores throughout the country have stock of the Exo Suit.

Review: Lego 21109 Exo Suit

Pieces: 321  Minifigures: 2  Retail Price: $34.99  Price I Paid: $34.95+tax

This is the first Lego Ideas set I’ve gotten.

The minifigures are named Pete and Yve.

The box opens in a special way and has a nice bound instruction booklet.

The set also comes with a platform and “barrels” and a robotic guard turtle.

The “claws” are perfect for picking up the barrels… or Pete.

The back of the suit is nicely detailed as well.

Yve and Pete.

And their robotic turtle.

Close up: front and right arm.

Close up: left side.

Close up: back.

Close up: front right, left arm extended.

Close up: claw holding barrel.

Well as you might be able to tell from the large number of pictures I took, I love this set. I was always looking forward to it and now I’m very glad I managed to get one when they cmae back in stock last week on Amazon. They are out of stock once again right now, hopefully back in stock soon.

This has got to be one of the most creative Lego sets to come out recently and it’s popularity should inform Lego of how important the Space theme is but more importantly how much people enjoy complex and creative sets. I love the green space suits as well. The only thing I wish it possessed was one more articulation in the arms so that they could fold out away from the body. This likely would have made the set too unwieldly though. The price is decent given that it comes with a fancy box and manual. Obviously it hasn’t prevented anyone from buying one so far. I’ll give this set a 9. As I’ve said before a 10 is going to be hard to get, but this is close. Maybe if it was $30 and actually in stock on a regular basis it would get there. Don’t take it from me, buy one now! LEGO Ideas Exo Suit 21109
Er, now as in, when they’re back in stock.