In which we explore the power bursts which can be found in the 2018 Super Heroes sets, put together the Kryptonite Prison and Lobo’s Spacehog and, finally, consider the nature of just who is teaming up with whom…
When we first saw images of some of this year’s LEGO Superheroes sets, they were declared to be coming with ‘Power bursts’ – an intriguing concept which was never quite fully explained in the accompanying text. But now we know: Appearing as a pack of 10 assorted elements, Power Bursts are available in a number of transparent colours, and are appearing across the DC Super Heroes and Marvel Superheroes Ranges.
Zap, Pow, Crunch! If you hit your enemy hard enough, words will spontaneously form in the air above them. But while this may be true in several Batman Incarnations, it does not always appear to be the case. Sometimes, you need some form of artistic device to allow the transfer of energy, or the danger posed by that ray beam, the roar of the engines, or the Thwack of that punch! The comic book artist might convey such impacts with speed lines, or spiky star shapes or streaks of flame. In this year’s super hero sets, we have Power Bursts!
These elements of impact are currently available in transparent bright green; transparent light blue and transparent bright orange. Made of a softer plastic than the majority of other transparent elements, we have a variety of interesting shapes: for fists as well areas of dynamic impact, we have 6 different elements (including 4 which are duplicated.) This appears to be a complicated way of saying that there are 10 assorted power bursts included in the pack. They come in their own perforated bag, inside one of the bags of pieces. Like the friends cutlery set, all of the power bursts make up Design ID 35032. with a different element ID for each color that they are available in.
Of the six ‘power burst’ designs, four are designed to make connections on both ends, via a 3.8mm bar connection. The other designs include an ‘energy boxing glove’ and a single sided ‘energy splat’. There are 2 different sized ‘flares’ resembling either a jet flame, or the burst from an old school ray gun. One measures 4 x 1 1/2 studs and the other 5 x2 studs. There is a bar connection at each end of these flares. There are two 5 stud long rods, with a spiral along the shaft. Finally we have the two ‘energy splats’ a smaller one with bars on both sides (3×3), and a larger one with only one bar attached (4×4).
At this stage, I find a new application for these elements every time I look at them. In the DC Sets, we see them used as flame from jet or rocket engines, ‘punch enhancers’, jets of ice, Kryptonite control rods and ray bursts from Firestorm. In the Marvel sets we see them acting as repulser beams from Iron Man, the power supply to a space station and as markers of magical forces at work. Given the variety of shapes available, I can see them adding huge variety to MOCs, especially if trying to build a fight scene in the best comic book tradition. Pow, Bam, Kazowee!
While the shapes are fantastic, I was initially intrigued by the choice to not use fluorescing colours. The colours do not glow in response to ultraviolet light, but I was quite surprised at the brightness they exhibited in daylight Below is a comparison of the power bursts in conjunction with some trans fluoro green studs (thank goodness we got some spare in this set!). There is no response to UV, but they seem to be almost as bright as fluorescing transparent elements when under white lights.
That said, they are great fun. In this set, they are used to enhance powerful punches, the Kryptonite prison and also to provide the jet thruster appearance of Lobo’s Spacehog! But more of them shortly. The power bursts are used in other sets to provide details throughout both Marvel and DC Superhero sets in 2018. Some elements get incorporated into the build and others are there for you to have a bit of fun with.
So… let’s look at the rest of the set…
76096 Superman and Krypto Team-up
There is so much more to this set thought than than the arrival of the power bursts: Let’s take a look at 76096 Superman and Krypto Team up. But I will have to admit, for me, neither of these characters held the primary appeal for me. And neither did their team up. I was excited to see the first appearance of the intergalactic bounty hunter Lobo in minifigure form. A character originally created for the purpose of satirising the gratuitous violence portrayed in comics in the early 1990s, he was not someone I expected to see portrayed in minifigure form.
Most of the parts are generally available, however there are two teal plates that were tucked away in the build…
The set comes with two mini figures, and a dog:
Superman, appearing in a similar form to many previous outings, although on this occasion his hair is tousled, without the cowlick curl that has been seen in his forehead with great frequency in recent years. This hair piece is the same that was seen with the LEGO sets released in conjunction with Dawn of Justice. The torso and legs are bright blue. There is front and rear printing on the torso, but the legs lack any printing. His cape has 2 holes for the neck (unlike those in the juniors set reviewed last week) and is make of a soft spongy fabric.
Lobo appears appropriately menacing: White skinned, with red eyes, long moustache and black patterns on his face, he also has long, greasy looking hair, an intimidating belt buckle and leather jacket. Lobo’s black trousers are also devoid of printing. The one other thing missing is Lobo’s traditional weapon, a large hook on a chain. Perhaps not the best for the purposes of role modelling here, so its exclusion can be understood. I loved taking photos of this figure: his face prints are intriguing, and the torso details are great.
Krypto the Superdog, like Scooby Doo, has a 3.8mm neck bar, to attach the head to. A single hole cape, made of the same fabric as Superman’s makes getting dressed pretty easy, and he has a collar, complete with the accompanying ‘S’ symbol present on the collar.
There appears to be a relative scarcity of printed leg pieces through both Marvel and DC Superhero universes this year. They are common amongst the current wave of The LEGO Batman Movie sets, and on isolated figures in the Avengers: Infinity War Sets, with many of those printed legs already existing. However in the ‘regular, non movie tie-in’ DC Superhero sets this year, only Wonder Woman sports any form of printing on her legs.
The Kryptonite Prison
As our story opens, Superman appears to be imprisoned in a cage of pure Kryptonite. Trans Fluoro Green is always a dead giveaway here.
The base is predominantly medium lilac in colour, however as a sign of resistance against this purple collar’s previous survival, there are two 1×2 teal plates, hidden away in the base of the unit.
The prison itself consists of two of the Nexo Knight hexagonal cockpit elements, debuting this year in a colour other than Earth Blue. Some power burst elements are present as a sign of the prison’s current functionality (I guess that is what they are there for). There are clips present which allow it to clip onto the back of Lex Luthor’s Mech, seen in 76097 – Lex Luthor Mech Takedown. A number of green 2×2 slope elements are converted into Lexcrop computers through the addition of a couple of stickers.
The bulk of the build taken up assembling Lobo’s Spacehog, his space going motor bike. How can you get a reputation for being one nasty bastitch if you a pottering around the galaxy in the equivalent of a Vespa?
We start with the main engine, as well as two slightly smaller engines suspended on the side. Next, we build on the front forks, which look suitably menacing with the addition of horn and tusk elements around a 2×3 pentagonal (NEXO Shield) tile. There are not many stickers to apply in this set, but I feel this one does enhance the nature of the build.
Handlebars, and a ludicrously oversized seat back see the vehicle completed. Sit Lobo down, and it is ripe for the swooshing through the air! Part spaceship, part motor bike: it just begs to be waved around the room.
The final part of the build is a small box, which fits inside the engine intake of the Hawg. It can be pushed out, and enters the cavity in the kryptonite prison. A little pressure and the prison falls apart. Perhaps it is a bomb…
The Elephant in the Room
I am unsure just how Krypto falls into the story here. He has the same vulnerability to Kryptonite as Superman. So he cannot release Superman from the prison. Even if he can, they would not necessarily team up against Lobo, as he has just released Superman…unless he was collecting a bounty to capture Superman.
Perhaps it is more likes that the exchange goes something like this:
Ext, night. Space.
KRYPTO (to Lobo): WOOF, WOOF, WOOF WOOF WOOF!
LOBO: WHAT’S THAT KRYPTO? SUPERMAN’S TRAPPED IN A KRYPTONITE PRISON, AND NO ONE ELSE CAN HELP HIM?
KRYPTO: WOOF! WOOF!
LOBO: OK, I WILL COME AND HELP, BUT ONLY BECAUSE NOBODY CAN BEAT UP ON SUPERMAN EXCEPT ME. AND BESIDES, WITH KRYPTONITE, IT IS NOT A FAIR FIGHT
KRYPTO: WOOOF, GROWL!
LOBO: SURE, I DON’T ALWAYS BELIEVE IN A FAIR FIGHT, BUT THE BIG BLUE BOY SCOUT DOES, AND THAT’S IMPORTANT HERE! LEAD ON!
Indeed I am baffled by every one’s motivations here. Lobo is not specifically an enemy of Superman, and has been an ally on occasion. If there is a buck to be made, he is likely to exploit the opportunity. Not really evil, but certainly chaotic! He is apparently the sole surviving member of his race, because he happened to kill the rest of them in a school science assignment. As the last Czarnian, he allegedly gave himself an ‘A’ for that one! Perhaps they now all team up against Lex Luthor? Time will tell.
This set is an unexpected highlight in the LEGO Superheroes lineup: I would never have expected Lobo to be represented in as a minifigure, and it is a beauty. Superman and Krypto’s team ups difficult to discern, but they are both neat figures. The rest of the build is quite swooshable and playable, and the power burst elements are great fun. I give this set 4 out of 5 arbitrary praised units.
What I liked:
- The minifigures- Lobo is a standout, and Krypto is also pretty nifty.
- The Power Bursts – just the tool for adding some dynamic comic book effects to your models and photos
- Lobo’s SpaceHog
I was less enarmored with:
- My ever increasing Superman collection
- The apparent plot holes in the story telling vs the set title.
What do you think of this set, and the Power Bursts? Can you see yourself taking advantage of these new elements? Why not leave your thoughts in the comments below and subscribe for further updates and news from the Rambling Brick.
This set was provided for review by the LEGO Community Engagement Team. The opinions on all aspects of the set, however, are my own.
Until next time,