Bursting with Power, Superman & Krypto Team-Up [76096]…with Lobo

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.

Power Bursts

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!

IMG_0259.jpgThese elements of impact are currently available in transparent bright green; transparent light blue and transparent bright orange. Continue reading

Looking Forward to the rest of the year at the 2018 Melbourne Toy, Hobby and Licensing Fair

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The Rambling Brick, and Friends at the Melbourne Toy, Hobby and Licensing Fair.

The toy fair season is now starting to wind up for now: We have had Nuremberg. We have had New York. Now we have had Melbourne…

The Melbourne Toy, Hobby and Licensing Fair is a bit of a mouthful. Predominantly a trade show, taking place in Melbourne in early March each year, LEGO Australia have a strong presence. There has traditionally been little ‘big news’ coming out of the show, as visitors have not been able to take photographs at the LEGO® booth, a trend that was reinforced at Nuremberg this year.
 I had the chance to visit the Fair last weekend, and visit the booth displaying our favourite Danish Plastic Brick. Once I got past the big displays outside the booth, I had to put the camera away, and make do with words and memories.
After the recent New York and Nuremberg Toy shows, there is little to be seen in left field, unexpected presentations.  Unlike New York, there are no Direct to Consumer sets on display (for example: Hogwarts Great Hall; Ultron Hulkbuster).  There were also no Brickheadz or 40th Birthday Minifigure sets on display.  There were no sets associated with unreleased movies ( such as Jurassic World; Solo; Incredibles 2) , unless they were already on sale (Avengers: Infinity War went on sale the week before the toy fair).
There were plenty of sets on display that are already on the shop shelves, readily available to purchase in real life shops, or on line. And everything else that I saw already has an entry in Brickset’s 2018 database. However, there were some sets from the second half year on display, of which few details have previously been available, or for which some additional clarity was able to be gained. If you wish to avoid spoilers, look away now.  If you have read everything coming out of Nuremberg and New York, there may not be a lot that sounds new… but certainly a few points of clarification.

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The LEGO® Batman Collectable Minifigures Series 2: In order of appearance.

Just as we thought the LEGO® Batman Movie had been merchandised within an inch of its life, we bear witness to another wave of sets and a second series of collectible mini figures. On the whole, I was a little sceptical of the viability of a third wave, but seeing such sets as the Justice League Anniversary Party (70919) and Egghead’s Mech Food Fight(70920) my spirits have been lifted.  I have also been tempted to extend past my original vow to purchase only the sets that resonated with my youth.  But now the gloves have come off. The Justice League 57th Annual Reunion Party brings back so many recollections of Super Friends (the prevailing non-Batman DC superhero cartoon series in my childhood), and the sheer lunacy of the Condiment King (introduced in the Batman Animated Episode ‘Make ‘Em Laugh’ in 1994, and appearing in the comics continuity as recently as 2017). While I applaud the inclusion of Wonder Dog (Superfriends S1, 1973), I miss his human teen friends, Wendy and Marvin, and likewise, while they were retired for the second season ( The All-New Superfriends Hour, 1977 – I guess they had gone to college), we haven’t yet seen LEGO Glick, the space monkey companion of the Wonder Twins.

As I looked at the second series of CMFs I became sceptical as to how many of these characters actually existed prior to this series being announced. I think I have tracked down original appearances for most of them, with only a few having a fraction of a second time on screen in the closing credits. And not the one I was expecting!

For the record, all figures (20 in the set) have a 4×3 plate, this time printed with a Bat Logo…

So, I would like to present the Series 2 LEGO Batman Movie CMFs’ in order of their original appearance across various media… You are welcome to disagree with some of my more…creative choices.

Professor Hugo Strange.jpg

 

Professor Hugo Strange

Detective Comics #36, February 1940

Appearing early in Batman’s Career, this brilliant scientist/psychiatrist was later to appear in Batman #1.

 

holiday alfredVacation Alfred

Detective Comics #83, January 1944.

Alfred’s initial appearances in comics depicted him as a bumbling, overweight, clean shaven man (April 1943). However, he was portrayed as as a trim, moustachioed gentleman in a movie serial at the same time.  In an attempt to bring the comics in line with this figure, he was sent of to vacation at a health resort.  Since then, he has barely been seen vacationing at all!

Jor ElJor-El

More Fun Comics #101, January 1945.

Superman’s father appeared relatively early on in Superman’s Story.  The design depicted in the CMF is most closely based on that portrayed by Marlon Brando in the 1978 Richard Donner movie.

mermaid batman

Mermaid Batman

Batman #53, June 1949

I did not think this one could have possibly existed in ‘real life’ but in the story ‘Batman Under the Sea’ Batman appears to be transformed, albeit temporarily into a Mermaid.

 

Killer mothKiller Moth

Batman#63, February 1951

In his origin story, Killer Moth aims to adopt many of the facets of Batman’s life fighting crime, but swearing to help criminals rather than stop them. He fails!

 

clock kingThe Clock King

World’s Finest #111, August 1960.

Initially a villain plaguing Green Arrow and Speedy, in time Clock King came to torment Batman with his time piece related crimes.

 

zodGeneral Zod

Adventure Comics#283, April 1961

Superman’s nemesis was imprisoned in the Phantom Zone in the 1960’s and has spent the last 57 years trying to escape!

holiday robinHoliday Robin

Surf’s Up, Joker’s Under. Batman TV Series, Season 3, November 16, 1967.  When Batman takes on Joker in a surfing contest, in one of the more bizarre episodes of the classic TV series, Dick Grayson is there.  Perhaps his shirt is more green, and his trunks more orange, and no Robin Specific livery is worn, but he is there is spirit as Robin.  The same cannot really be said for Batgirl.  While Barbara Gordon is seen at the beach, with a surfboard, she does not take part in the confrontation with the Joker on the waves, in costume.

dr phosophorousDoctor Phosphorous

Detective Comics #469, May 1977.

Around the time that a little film called Star Wars was first released, Doctor Phosphorous also first appeared in the pages of Detective Comics. This is possibly the most brilliant use of the colour ‘Spring Yellowish Green’.  Ever!

jaynaJayna

‘The JoyRide’
The All-New Superfriends Hour, September 10, 1977
When sh activates her wonder-twins power with her brother Zan, Jayna can adopt the form of animals.

ZanZan

‘The JoyRide’
The All-New Superfriends Hour, September 10, 1977
When Zan and Jayna arrived in the Hall of Justice, Wendy, Marvin and Wonder Dog had left.  Their monkey Glick is a glaring omission in the current wave of sets and miniseries. Zan can adopt the worm of water…water, ice, waves, waterspout

black vulcanBlack Vulcan

‘The Whirlpool’
The All-New Superfriends Hour, September 10, 1977
With this season of Superfriends, steps were taken to increase the diversity of the Super Hero Roster, resulting in the introduction of Black Vulcan, El Dorado and Samaurai, as well as Apache Chief.  In his debut story, Black Vulcan teams up with Aquaman.

apache ChiefApache Chief

‘The Antidote’
The All-New Superfriends Hour, September 17 1977.
Appearing the week after the Black Vulcan, Apache Chief is thought to be the first Superhero to be drawn from the American First Nations.  The first adventure sees him team up with Wonder Woman.

Black canaryBlack Canary – Dinah Lance

Justice League of America #220,November 1983.

Dinah Lance is the daughter of Dinah Laurel who was the original Black Canary, part of the Justice Society of America. She Debuted in Fresh Comics #86 (August 1947).

tropical jokerTropical Joker

The Killing Joke, 1988

I’m sure this was not the intended reference for this figure, but the similarities between the Joker, as portrayed here, and in the opening pages of Alan Moore’s 1988 Graphic Novel, The Killing Joke, are uncanny.  Especially once you lose the inflatable ring and the icy pole/ice lolly/popcicle.

surfing batgirlVacation BatGirl

Batman and Robin, (Movie)1997?

While technically, this incarnation of Batgirl did not wear purple, go on vacation or surfing, it is the first version of Batgirl wearing a rubber suit that I could locate ( if you wish to be pedantic, perhaps she, along with the other vacation characters appear in the closing credits for approximately 0.75 seconds.

harleyHarley Quinn: Friends Are Family

Debut: Batman (Animated Series) ‘Joker’s Favor’  September 11, 1992)

In this costume: Closing Credits The LEGO Batman Movie, 2017.

There is not much to say about the psychiatrist who became infatuated with the Joker, and ultimately adopted a costumed identity.  Created by Paul Dini  and Bruce Timm, Harley Quinn is one of the great characters to come out of the Animated series of the early 1990’s

swimming poool batmanSwimming Pool Batman

The LEGO Batman Movie, 2017

Dolphins in the swimming pool below Wayne Manor? if nothing else, this figure (along with mermaid batman) provide another two facial expressions. (and a man’s torso!) The 9th ‘ab’ is not obviously visible however!

soccer momSoccer Mom Barbara Gordon

The LEGO Batman Movie 1997

A transient costume, viewed with derision by Barbara. Barely worth a mention. But there are figures whose costumes have less screen time!

Family alfred

Alfred: Friends are Family

Closing Credits, The LEGO Batman Movie 2017

What can we say? Looking dashing in his mirrored sunglasses, and gold waistcoat, Alfred can really play guitar.  This is probably not canon…

 

 

There you have it!

I quite enjoyed this collection of figures, especially the more obscure members of the super friends, and cartoonish villains, which the movie dealt with well. Who would have thought Mermaid Batman was a thing almost 70 years before the movie?

Who is your favourite? who would you put in series three? Apart from ‘Everyone’ in friends are family costumes?  Why not share your thoughts in the comments below.

Until next time,

Play well!

 

 

Minifigure Gender distribution: 2017 update

A little over a year ago, I wrote up an analysis of gender distribution in LEGO® Minigures in the post friends era.  In the years since LEGO Friends had been released, there had been some positive trends towards an equal balance, after starting from a pretty low base line (around 11% in 2012) up to 30% in the Volcano Sub-theme of LEGO City in 2016.

As well as supporting the regular themes, 2017 has been a big year for LEGO tying in with cinematic releases, with both inhouse and external IP.  By the end of the year, we will have seen a new Star Wars movie, Wonder Woman and Justice League movies, The LEGO Batman Movie and LEGO Ninjago Movie released.

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The LEGO Ideas set: 21312 Women of NASA.  Real Life STEM role models in LEGO Form.  This set is due to be released this week from LEGO retail stores.

This post was provoked, in part after reading a comment about the relatively low female representation in the Collectable Minifigure sets recently released. I thought it would be interesting to revisit the question of gender distribution in some popular LEGO themes, and see if there were any significant shifts in trends over the last 12 months, when I last reviewed the numbers. The impending release of the Ideas set ‘Women of NASA’ is also of interest, as it certainly demonstrates a desire to see inspirational female role models immortalised in LEGO form.

I would like to look specifically at LEGO City, overall, as well as broken down into its major sub themes; The LEGO Batman Movie; The LEGO Ninjago Movie, and also LEGO Friends. I would also like to look at LEGO Star Wars sets released since the Force Awakens… Continue reading

Retcon Rehash: 76044 – Clash of the Heroes

I’ve been waiting for the LEGO Batman Movie to pass before stepping back 12 months to revisit a set I purchased last year: 76044 Clash of the Heroes.  Born out of the disappointing cinematic experience that was Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice, this set was exciting because for less than $AUD20, you could get both Batman™ and Superman™ minifigures.  And Batman™ had an armoured suit just like in the finale of Frank Miller’s grim epic, the Dark Knight Returns. (*Note: individual definitions of ‘just like the one in…’ may vary!) One of the highlights of the movie, in a movie containing so few, this armoured suit helped Batman™ give Superman™ a run for his money. Softening him up for the fight against Doomsday.  Many know how that ended.  Some don’t.  I won’t state the final outcome here…If you cared enough, however, you would have seen the film at some stage in the last nine months.  Fun Fact: BvS:DoJ opened in Australian the day before the US opening.  I don’t think we deserved this any more than the delayed release of The LEGO® Batman ™ Movie!

While this set is still in shops however, something has changed.

One of this pictures is a little bit different…

Just as any comic story that becomes too complicated, things may get rewritten, to create a retroactive continuity: to change the way things have always been.

This appears to have happened with the contents and art for this set.  When I first picked this set up, Batman looked like this on the box.  He has a cape in his Battle with Superman, and is wearing a cape in the picture of the figures from the side of the box.  And the box had punch out tabs to open it…

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Cafe construction: Superman Versus Bizarro Mighty Micros

Last year, the Mighty Micros were a surprisingly fun addition to the superhero range.  I had a few hours to pass this week, so I  picked up this set for $AUD15, bought a coffee, sat down and got to work.

I especially love the giant fists, waiting for application in a mech, real soon now.   Continue reading

Coming in 2017: The Future…

Over the last couple of weeks, official photos of many of 2017’s sets have come to light: Creator,  Lego® Technic (celebrating 40 Years), Elves, DC Superhero Girls, City, Disney, Marvel Super Heroes, Nexo Knights, Architecture, Star Wars, and LEGO Batman movie.  I have lost count of the number of reveals that have occurred.

If you don’t like spoilers, look away now.

There has been a steady reduction in the number of unknown unknowns, with an increase in the known knowns, and clarification as to the nature of the known unknowns.

Some of the my highlights in the reveals seen to date:

LEGO® City has 40% female minifigures in the sets revealed so far. [Great for girls and their families who are not fans of minidolls]

city

The LEGO® Creator Expert 10255 Modular Assembly Square has so many great new pieces.

new-elements-10255

LEGO® Friends is no longer restricted to the bright pastel palette, and some more traditional colours are coming into play in 41311 Heartlake Pizzeria.  There are 3 male minidolls, and 6 puppies to add to the collection in the sets revealed so far for 2017.friends

LEGO® DC Super Hero Girls will add a some additional heroism, and villianism(?) to our minidoll collections.

dc-shg

This year’s Creator Ocean Explorer 31045 has grown up into next year’s Technic Ocean Explorer 42064

oceran-explorer-creatoroceran-explorer-technic

The Creator Mighty Dinosaurs 31058 looks like a terrific landscape parts pack:

creator-dinosaur

Elves continues with Goblins, and Emily’s little sister Sophie. More great fantasy landscapes and transportation

elves1elves2

LEGO® Ninjago sets seem to be a little darker this year… mainly in palette

ninjago

The LEGO® BATMAN Movie will bankrupt many of us with great looking sets and TWENTY, yes I said 20 Collectable Minifigures to collect…

batman-movie1batman-cmf

 

These are the things that have made ME look up and take notice. Many new sets have been previewed on other LEGO® News Websites lately. What has grabbed your attention?

And what other treats may there be to celebrate to 10th anniversary of ‘the really cool sets catering for AFOLs’ such as the first modular building sets, 10181 Eiffel Tower, 10182 Hobby Trains and of course 10179 Ultimate Collectors Millennium Falcon. I’m sure there is much left for us to see.

What are you looking forward to?

 

Play well