Review: Lego Ultra Agents 70163 Toxikita’s Toxic Meltdown

Pieces: 429  Minifigures: 4  Retail Price: $39.99  Price I Paid: $26.76 (incl. tax)

70163 box f

70163 box b

This is my first Ultra Agent’s set and I got it because it was such a good deal and seemed to have pretty unique and interesting parts.

70163 minifigures

Four minifigures including Toxikita who has the most hard to spell name I’ve come across in the Lego Universe. I prefer the guy on the right, who is called Agent Curtis Bolt apparently. I think that shield that connects to his back is pretty clever and his printed face has him wearing something akin to Google Glass.

70163 set

The set comes with two main parts, a helicopter (what else) and a hazmat lab complete with arms that can be manipulated from the other side of the glass. The only problem is we don’t seem to have an enclosed space because Lego can’t make a three dimensional set for less then $150.

70163 chopper

The helicopter isn’t bad. It’s not your standard helicopter and it has a giant saw blade on the back. It’s also bright yellow with some toxic green color here and there. Still, I’m going to have more fun disassembling it and building something else with all the unique parts.

70163 cu

The lab has a toxic green crystal and a rotating door so the guy in the hazmat suit can get in there and defuse or do whatever needs to be done with toxic Lego pieces. Oddly if Lego’s quality control for their Chinese plants were to ever become substandard, you could literally have toxic Lego pieces. Thankfully, it hasn’t happened yet.

So a quick review and a quick build, but for the price I can’t argue. I’ll give this set a 5 – buy it if you find it in the $25 range, which you should, as it has been jumping back and forth on Amazon.

UCS Helicarrier and Lego Ideas?

It was in this video in November that Lego stated the next Ideas review would be in January. Unless they intend to do it on the weekend that leaves today and tomorrow. Where is it Lego? I want my Lego Doctor Who!

Complicating the guessing game behind the Lego Ideas review is the official announcement of the UCS Marvel Avengers Helicarrier, a set that is currently under consideration supposedly for Lego Ideas.

So this could mean that Lego Doctor Who will just be announced as it’s own set and they will dispense with the Ideas theory behind it, although the two licensed sets in the past have been Ideas branded. And in case you were beginning to wonder if there was any rhyme or reason to what Lego does, there probably isn’t because the Lego Helicarrier set was leaked via an image of the March Lego Store calendar and it was less than an hour ago that Lego tweeted an official coming soon picture.

I’m hoping they get it together and make the Ideas announcement today or tomorrow but I feel like it’s less likely than not. Meanwhile, where is the already announced and Lego Ideas approved Big Bang Theory set?

And a few notes about the Helicarrier set – I assume Lego was working on this for awhile, but the Ideas version of the set was posted as early as June of last year. Is there going to be any official acknowledgement about this? The Ideas set creators are supposed to get a royalty of sets that get produced. I don’t see much difference in the two sets above, although the Ideas set was supposed to use 10 times the number of pieces the official one does. As for the set itself, I’m not interested in it, Lego is using mini-minifigures to make the scale seem more correct. I guess if they’d made it really big, they could have included Duplo figures.

Review: Lego 10246 Detective’s Office

Pieces: 2262  Minifigures: 6  Retail Price: $159.99  Price I Paid: Retail

10246 box f

This is both the first modular and largest set I have owned and/or built. It’s a great set.

10246 box b

Starting with the minifigures, you get 6 and they all have the classic Lego smile face. That’s a part of the modulars now and I’m glad because I’ve been missing that face. Something about it sums up the beautiful simplicity of Lego all at once. I’m also glad that both the female minifigures in this set come with legs instead of the awkward dress slope piece.

10246 minifigures

The police officer has her own hair. She looks at first glance if she could be either gender but she has the curved in body that is used for females. This doesn’t really seem necessary – no Lego figures are supposed to have curves really are they? The Detective – Ace Brickman – comes with a fedora as well that hangs in his office when he’s not doing his best Sam Spade impersonation.

There are four different locations in the one set, the pool hall, the barber shop, the apartment, which is two levels, and of course the detective’s office. The level of detail added is incredible with distinct items such as a mirror in the barber shop, the POOL sign and the printed windows for the businesses. One feature I like the most is the water tower on top of the roof – this gives the set a real busy, tightly packed city feel which is what you want from a Noir inspired Lego set.

10246 darts trophy

Have a go at darts and you could win an incredibly large trophy. Not quite as big as the one given to race car drivers though.

10246 office 1

As I said before, the Detective’s Office is filled with detail.

10246 office 2

In the upstairs apartment we have one of the most rare things in the Lego universe – a bathroom!!

10246 wc

Here they went for a period toilet with the tank up above. Fans of the Godfather will especially appreciate this.

10246 kitchen

On the top floor is the kitchen for baking the cookies. If you haven’t heard there is a whole “cookie smuggling ring” theme to go along with this set with a barrel and a secret back opening to the barber shop. But if you’re an adult you know what they’re really keeping in those barrels. All kids reading this – close your eyes. (It’s alcohol!) Ok, you can open them again. Never let it be said that BrickKnight is not family friendly.

10246 back

The opening is behind that fern right there.

10246 front

And there you have it. Quite the set. I can’t wait to get my next modular. Which will probably be quite a long time from now. I’m giving it a 9 but if you want it can have a 10. Either way I recommend buying it – it’s never going to go on sale so what are you waiting for?!






A Trip to the Lego Store

I made a quick trip to the Lego Store yesterday to find the Hot Dog Guy Series 13 minifigure. It was pretty easy to find him quickly given his large “exoskeleton” – anyway there wasn’t much else of interest since the last time I went on Jan 1. They have all the new sets obviously but nothing too exciting on the Pick-a-Brick wall. They did have one copy of 10223 Kingdom’s Joust on the shelf for the sale price. The box was a little dinged up so maybe they’d give extra VIP points if you buy it. This is the Northshore Mall, Peabody, MA store I’m referring to if anyone is looking for Kingdom’s Joust. Ok, that’s all for now. Look for the final review of the Detective’s Office tomorrow or Monday.

The Exo-Suit and Mech -ification of Lego sets

Is it just me or has the helicopter inclusion spread to Exo-Suits and Mechs in Lego sets lately?
As you’re well aware if you buy a City set it has about a 1 in 5 chance of having a Helicopter in it. And now we seem to have a new must have in Lego sets – the Mech or Power Armor Suit or Exo-Suit. Let me run down the list of the last few years.
I think it all started with 6862 Power Armor Lex

Then of course you have the wonderful 21109 Exo-Suit

70707 CLS-89 Eradicator Mech


31007 Power Mech


70165 Ultra Agents Mission HQ


70813 Rescue Reinforcements


70814 Emmet’s Construct-o-Mech

We have two Lego Movie Sets with Mechs! Isn’t that a little much? Or are Mechs just really hot right now? I’m not even going into Chima or Ninjago where variations seem to be in every other set.

This year it has even spread to our beloved Batman:

76026 Gorilla Grodd Goes Bananas

I don’t have a problem with Mechs, just like I don’t have a problem with helicopters, but it starts to seem pretty lazy after awhile. Ok, just wanted to get that off my chest.

New Batman Sets this Summer

via BrickFanatics

Two new DC Superheroes Batman sets are coming this summer – and they sound/read very impressive (which would be a change from the latest ones for the most part)

76034 Batboat Harbor Pursuit – it’s about time we got a Bat Boat
76035 Jokerland – a big set with a new Batmobile

Sorry, but I can’t help it…

10246 Lego Detective’s Office – Part 1 / Level 1

I’m having a great time building this, here are some photos so far:

10246 Highlander

“The Highlander” the bar downstairs from the Detective’s Office.

10246 Highlander window

I absolutely love how the name is printed on the front windows.

10246 Highlander interior

It took me awhile, but I finally figured out that the quill pen is a dart in this instance.

10246 Highlander overhead

See the incredible detail. The ceiling fan spins. One note though, the diameter or bladespan of the fan is taller than a minifigure.

10246 mirror

Next door the Barber’s has a mirror. It’s a Lego mirror!

10246 barber overhead

Barbershop, complete with broom, sink, barber’s chair.

I love this set so far – I’m really glad I finally got a modular. I’m taking my time enjoying building it, doing a little bit every day so I’ll have probably two more posts next week before an all encompassing review. It’s a shame that so many regular Lego sets are lacking in so much detail but it seems the high prices of the Modulars go to creativity as well as parts.

What happened to Lego Doctor Who?

Remember when that was a thing that was like, totally, definitely going to happen? Me too.
Well, where is it? It was November 7th that they announced the most recent Lego Ideas results and deferred a decision on Doctor Who. The Birds set from that has already been released. And we’re still waiting. Since then, we’ve recently learned that there would be a Scooby-Doo theme so they have to be making Doctor Who, right? I’m as big a fan of Scooby-Doo as the next guy but that was a cartoon I watched as a kid not a 50+ year series involving time travel, bigger on the inside-edness and one ridiculously long scarf.
And remember they are making a Big Bang Theory set… no word on that yet.
So Doctor – where are you? The next review is supposed to come out this month. I’m waiting and hoping…
I can’t handle another Christmas without another Lego Tardis under my tree!

Did Peter Capaldi’s Doctor take some of the wind out of the sails? I understand that a lot of the Doctor Who fans saw themselves romantically with David Tenant and Matt Smith and probably not so much with Peter Capaldi. This can’t have led to this big of a drop in Doctor Who social awareness/licenseability. It would be an instance of terrible timing. I sure hope it’s not. Fingers crossed.

I’ll put my possibly (overly optimistic) money on a line of sets in the fall/winter(or 2016).

Some Lego Photography

With Helm’s Deep still hanging around I thought I’d try my hand at a more “theatrical” photo. So I put a CTO filter on one of the flashes I use and voila:

Helm's Deep Toss Me

Have a closer look on Flickr – just click on the image. I’m happy with the result especially since I got it pretty quickly. Someone visiting the site asked for more info on how we take the photos so here goes- BrickKnight Lego photography in a nutshell.

Background: As you can see in the photo above I used a black background, normally I use a white one. When I first started I tried paper but it wasn’t static enough, you had to get it just right and then if you moved the paper the minifigures would fall over and you were back to square one. So, I use Ikea Linnmon table tops. One horizontal as the base the other vertical as the background.

Camera and Lens: I use a Canon 6D with the Canon 100mm f/2.8L Macro lens. Canon stuff is great obviously and the 6D is incredibly cheap at this stage for a full frame camera. It’s nice to have a full frame camera for the extra light you get and with the smaller space I have I can be closer to the Lego I’m photographing. A macro lens is a must have, it lets you get the little details.

Lighting: As I posted previously for lighting I use two Canon 600EX-RT Speedlites and the ST-E3-RT transmitter so I don’t have to have any wires connecting the flashes to the camera. This is nice since I’m cramped for space and have to take down and set up the equipment regularly.

Setup: I shoot through Westcott Optical umbrellas, I have a 32″ and a 43″, the size doesn’t seem to make much difference. I place these at roughly 45 degrees on either side of the camera and angle them downwards, placing them as close to the Lego I’m photographing as I can.

So there it is. As you’ll notice it’s not always the perfect setup, with only two flashes there are still shadows present but I don’t do the amount of Photoshopping that the Lego website does to have pristine (and somewhat fake) looking product photos.

Everything I’ve acquired for equipment was cheaper than it is now with the (big) exception of the Canon 6D. Canon usually has rebates going, the 100mm Macro lens should cost somewhere around $800. Obviously that’s a lot of gear. If you don’t have this much gear just keep in mind that the bigger the light source and the closer to the subject you bring it, the softer the light will be.