The Lego Movie 2 Review (Hello Again)

Hello again LEGO verse! I saw The Lego Movie 2 last night and here are my thoughts:

Just like the first one, the sequel is a near barrage of pop-culture and Lego jokes. Even though it’s a kid’s movie many of the jokes come flying at you and are aimed squarely at adults, e.g. a joke about Radiohead! The movie starts right where the first one left off, the Duplo have just landed and begin attacking the Lego world. Instead of the reveal at the end that this is human directed play manifesting in the Lego world, we see more frequent live action shots throughout. The whole allegory is that the younger sister, formerly the Duplo user is trying to play with/alongside her brother and it asks the question – can two siblings play nice? It gets a little too heavy handed in this aspect at times but I respect it for going for an overall theme with some emotional heft instead of just being all silliness. They pretty much wrap this up at the end of this movie, it gets a bit Toy Story 3 there for a minute, so any sequels may have to just go for the silliness or not use the human control component. I assume there will continue to be sequels, Lego Movie 2 made $34 million in it’s first weekend and I’d think even if the movies just break even the merchandise sales are enough to keep it going. Hopefully any sequels will continue to be creative and not keep following the “everybody teams up to fight the threat to the universe” formula.

But anyway, plot wise, right after Duplo attacks we’re taken to five years later where they live in Apocalypseburg and it’s gritty and dusty, basically Mad Max has come to the Lego universe and it leads to some pretty funny moments. They could have spent more time here as far as I was concerned.

But then they’re attacked by a minidoll (I’m still not buying any minidolls) and they’re on the run then the main crew aside from Emmett is abducted and taken upstairs. They meet the villain for most of the film a Duplo face that seems to have LEGO pieces surrounding it, and likes to sing and rap. I really didn’t care for the character, there really wasn’t anything funny about it the way there was the first movie’s Lord/President Business by Will Ferrell.

So Emmett goes to save everyone despite worrying he’s not tough enough. He meets another Chris Pratt voiced character who is tough and has a spaceship crewed by velociraptors. From there it’s just all saving the universe and jokes sprinkled in with a somewhat satisfying resolution.

Overall, it was entertaining and not a bad thing to see in the theater, the sound of kids guffawing is probably the main reason to pay $15 vs waiting for dvd/streaming. Lots of good pop culture humor and a lot of Lego specific humor, a great scene where two minifigures fight in stop motion by banging together just like they do when you’re a kid and make them fight in real life. So I’d recommend seeing it at some point and maybe watching the first Lego movie beforehand to remind yourself of the characters if you’ve only seen once or a long time ago.

Review (Finally): 21304 Lego Doctor Who

Pieces: 623  Minifigures: 4 + 2 Daleks  Retail Price: $59.99  Price I Paid: Retail

Well I finally got around to posting in 2016 and reviewing a set I had been waiting for for a long time, Lego Ideas Doctor Who. It’s great. It’s expensive. But it’s great.

21304 box front

It comes in the usual nice Lego Ideas box.

21304 box back

And has 4 or 6 minifigures depending on if you count Daleks…

21304 11th Doctor

Bowties are cool.

21304 11 w fez

Fezzes are cool.

21304 Doctor and Clara

Clara thankfully doesn’t have short legs. She should – but short legs are not as playable and don’t lend themselves to all the running that is done on Doctor Who since the reboot.

21304 figures back

They are printed on the back, if you are someone into that sort of thing.

21304 baddies

Weeping Angel and 2 Daleks. Lego Minifigure Weeping Angel. Insane. If any minifigure is going to give you nightmares, it’s this one.

21304 Police Box

The Tardis – Police Box is well proportioned and dark blue. No stickers involved! I do wish they could have printed that all on one long flat piece but they sort of couldn’t have…

21304 Run

If the David Tenant minifigure were here, he’d say, “Allons-y!”

21304 Weeping Angel

Don’t Blink.

21304 Box Opening

And there you see, the pieces lift up and…

21304 Set

Voila! We’re in the Tardis!

21304 Tardis full

21304 Set reverse

As you can see, 3 of the 4 Police Box flats have to be two pieces.

21304 Doctor in the Tardis

You can close the Tardis with one minifigure in it. Handy for travelling through time and space.

And there you have it. This set gets a 9.5. It’s a shame it isn’t cheaper so you can stock up on weeping angels and Daleks. Here’s hoping that it sells well enough to warrant more Doctor Who sets and iterations of the Doctor and his companions in Lego minifigure form. As you probably know you can get a Cyberman with the Lego Dimensions pack and the current Doctor in a different coat as well. The Cyberman is only $7.49 currently and tempting me even though I won’t be playing Lego Dimensions.

Well there you have it – the review you’ve hopefully not been waiting for – hopefully you’ve bought it for yourself already.

And I made it through the whole review without saying “wibbly-wobbly, time-y wime-y stuff.” Oh.

Buy it on Amazon.

Review: Lego Scooby Doo 75092 The Mystery Machine

Pieces: 301  Minifigures: 4  Retail Price: $29.99  Price I Paid: Retail

Well you asked for it (or maybe you didn’t and had no idea it was even a possibility) so here it is: Scooby Doo in Lego form.

75092 boxf

Do you like bright colors?

75092 boxb

75092 set

You get the namesake van, the Mystery Machine, and Fred, Shaggy and Scooby plus a villain.

75092 mf

The hairpieces are pretty incredible for Fred and Shaggy and I think Shaggy has too much volume and not enough shag, but I understand what they were going for. Unfortunately the villain in this set doesn’t have a reverse with a un-masked face.

75092 mystery machine

The Mystery Machine is pretty true to it’s cartoonish original. Though as we expect with most Lego licensed vehicles, it seats fewer figures than the one in the movie/show/cartoon.

75092 mystery machine back

Once you put Scooby in the back there’s no room for anyone else, i.e. Daphne and Velma (who don’t come with this set anyway).

75092 mystery machine back

There’s a sink and a stove in the back, although they’re on opposite sides of the van, unlike in real life. But since this is based on a cartoon, I’m not bothered. There are also computer devices – which we didn’t have in the 60s but maybe this is based on the more modern cartoon Scooby Doo that I’ve never seen?

75092 badguy

Finally we get the villain and his computer behind a scary tree with a crystal. There are crystals in all the sets I believe, again maybe this is something specific to the new show? Oh well, the scary tree is pretty cool.

All in all I’d give this set a 5 of 10. It’s not stunning or anything but it’s fun and if you like Scooby Doo (who doesn’t?)

The set sold out of the Lego store quickly but it’s available on Amazon shortly:

LEGO Scooby-Doo 75902 the Mystery Machine Building Kit

Review: Lego 70164 Ultra Agents Hurricane Heist

Pieces: 589  Minifigures: 4  Retail Price: $69.99  Price I Paid: 50% off Target Clearance

70164 box f

70164 box b

Agent Jack Fury

70164 figure 1

Agent Caila Phoenix

70164 figure 2

Astor City Guard

70164 figure 3

Psyclone

70164 figure 4

With cool face and red beady eye

70164 figure 5

This is another set I bought on a whim since it was on clearance and seemed to have some cool colors and pieces. Turns out, the main model is HUGE.

70164 big thing

70164 big thing back

But what is it? Apparently some big machine for creating a hurricane. If you turn the black nob at the top both of the ferocious blades turn, so that’s cool.

70164 set

I like the set, it’s just kind of random. It’s a big model and the Agents figures are cool but all of the sets seem pretty random generally – it makes it easy to buy one here or there if you’re so inclined. This set in particular I’d give a 4. It’s still available from Amazon at a discount, not 50% off sadly.

And no matter how many times I look at this big “thing” I’m always reminded of this video (sorry for the poor quality):

Review: Lego 76016 Spider-Helicopter Rescue

Pieces: 299  Minifigures: 3 + 1 Big Fig  Retail Price: $44.99  Price I Paid: 50% off Target Clearance

76016 box f

76016 box b

I bought this set because it was 50% off and comes with a big Green Goblin figure. You also get Mary Jane, Spiderman and a futuristic Geordi LaForge Power Man.

76016 minifigures

76016 green goblin

Of course, you can’t have a Lego set these days without a helicopter. This helicopter has big wheels on the side with extra rotors. But also some cool missiles and a net launcher.

76016 copter

76016 cockpits

I guess Power Man flies the helicopter and Spider Man swings out of it. His cockpit doesn’t have a floor so you can “launch” him out.

76016 launchers

76016 set

Overall, not a bad set, but definitely wouldn’t have been worth the original retail price of nearly $50 for 299 pieces. I’d rate it a 4 because of the high retail price. You can get it at a reasonable price on Amazon. And now I can’t get this song out of my head:

Review: Lego Pirates 70411 Treasure Island

Pieces: 181  Minifigures: 3  Retail Price: $19.99  Price I Paid: Retail plus Double VIP

70411 box f

It’s called Treasure Island but as you can see from the box, Lego aren’t giving us the whole island.

70411 box b

70411 box top

It’s only a $20 set so of course you’re not getting a whole island. You’re getting 3 minifigures though, including a female Pirate which wouldn’t have been around in the classic Pirates line.

70411 minifigs

I wonder how many other female minifigure heads with eyepatches there are in the Lego universe?

The island is reminiscent of Peter Pan with a large skull…

70411 island

And behind the skull, a hidden treasure chest!

70411 set

And equally as impressive as a female pirate with an eyepatch is the included alligator – also a bit reminiscent of Peter Pan although that was a crocodile and here we appear to have an alligator.
Overall, it’s a decent set, mostly because of the clever use of the tree to raise and lower the skull, but it still feels like these recent Pirates sets were designed and built and then half the pieces were taken away. I’ll give it a 5. If it goes to $15 or less it would be a good value. Check the price on Amazon.

Lego Classic Thursday: 6276 Eldorado Fortress

This is one of my favorite, if not overall favorite Lego set ever. It is also one of the first sets I ever got.

6276 set

As you can see, it’s amazing. And it’s completely three dimensional! This set is why I think so many newer Lego sets are lacking, if you get the front of the building you don’t get the back of it, unless you’re buying a Creator set.

6276 side1

In a modern Lego set the whole back side would be cut off and unenclosed. Of course, we do lack the little issue of ladders, so that the figures could actually get from one level to the next. Maybe they could take the hoist, when it’s not being used to lift treasure chests.

6276 side2

6276 doors

Over the years I lost a few pieces apparently – the I can’t seem to find the correct Governor’s face anywhere.

6276 Gov wrongface

With as few masted ships there were in the Lego Pirates world, there were certainly plenty of rowboats. I’m not sure how the Pirates expect to steal any treasure in a rowboat against a fort. Of course nobody thought an X-Wing could blow up the Death Star either…

6276 Redbeard

6276 main

6276 treasure hold

The “hold” for the treasure is a great play feature – I must have opened thousands of times as a kid.

6276 upside

It looks great from any angle. There you have it. What a great set. Even though they crack, bring back the molded baseplates Lego!

Review: Lego Pirates 70412 Soldiers Fort

Pieces: 473  Minifigures: 5  Retail Price: $29.99  Price I Paid: Retail from Amazon

70412 box f

I’m trying something new with the box images – more 2D than 3D.

70412 box b

70412 box marching

I like the method of showing the minifigues on the top of the box, it’s a little parade!

70412 minifigures

Five minifigures included, the Admiral/Governor, Soldier, Governess (this appears to be an Elizabeth Swann character), two pirates, one with eyepatch. This set does include Lego bricks/pieces Made in China but it does not seem to be any of the figures.

70412 pirates

The pirates get the standard brown rowboat with Pirate flag. The flag is at the front of the boat, though in Classic Pirates it was at the back. Now on the back is one of the new gun-cannons that fire 1×1 rounds. I could do without them, if I wanted to lose 1×1 round pieces I could do it quicker than 1 at a time.

70412 fort

Then there’s the fort. The Soldiers Fort (notice no possessive apostrophe – this is the official spelling) comes with just one soldier. But it’s not really much of a fort so maybe they’ll be ok with a light armament.

70412 fort 1

You’ve got the cannon and some frogs. Tree frogs if I had to guess.

70412 fort 2

The treasure chest (that the Pirates are no doubt interested in stealing) can be hoisted up from the bottom level which could be a boat.

70412 fort 3

70412 fort 4

The prison cell, which coincidentally is the largest room in the “fort” has a false wall so prisoners can escape easily.

70412 set

All in all, it’s an ok set and may sate your appetite for a Lego Pirates set. But there are a lot of problems if you choose to look at it with a critical eye. There are less than 250 pieces in this $30 set. This is the second most expensive set to the Brick Bounty and so it should be the base. But you don’t get much base, it’s more like a fort washed up on some rocks. There’s hardly a place to have a good sword fight. There are quite a few pieces in colors I haven’t seen before. If not for that and the fact that it is a Pirates set, this would be a total dud. I’m not sure what Lego is playing at with the Pirates line, if they will ever release a big base set again is hard to tell. But as soon as the newly released Brick Bounty shows up, this “fort” doesn’t stand a chance. I’ll give this a 5 of 10. I’d wait for it to go on sale before you buy it unless you really want it now.

Review: 70812 The Lego Movie Creative Ambush

Pieces: 473  Minifigures: 4  Retail Price: $39.99  Price I Paid: $23.98 from Lego S@H a true deal!

70812 box f

70812 box b

I wanted this set for a long time for it’s old west pieces and figures and I finally got it for a great price, nearly 50% off.

70812 minifigures

All the minifigures are named, you get from L to R, Rootbeer Belle, Sudds Backwash, Executive Ellen and Kabob Bob.

Since it’s a Lego Movie set, of course you get a Micro Manager, which is ho-hum. Spare black pieces anyone?

70812 micro manager

70812 kabob stand car

Then there’s the kabob stand which is transformed into a plane.

70812 saloon plane 1

The best part of the set is the saloon pieces built into a biplane.

70812 saloon piano

Lot’s of little details, the piano being my favorite. They must use a different notation system in the Lego universe, the staff only has 4 lines.

70812 saloon plane 2

I think this is the first set to come with dartboards and cannons. (The dartboards are stickers though.)

70812 set

I’m really happy with this set and looking forward to attempting to build a saloon and kabob stand out of it. It was a real deal for less than $25 and the western minifigures are excellent.

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.