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

Rediscovering play with The Joker Batcave Attack 10753

IMG_0481Sometimes, I forget about the importance of Play. And the way that it can be a fun thing to do with your LEGO® Bricks.  I don’t just mean take a couple of bricks and roll them around until they click together in a novel way. I mean, let my imagination kick in, and have stories unfold in front of me, with no idea where they might be going or how they will get there. Some sets set themselves up for rough and tumble storytelling, where kids can assemble them quickly before getting on with all the serious zooming and swooshing that comes with putting a vehicle together.

The back of the box…showing just how simple a Batwing can be to build…

These sets are designed to be easily assembled by young builders, and ready for play.  Even if you are only partway through the final construction. That’s right: the Juniors sets: designed for younger builders, these sets span the LEGO themes, from City, to Ninjago and Friends to Disney Princess and Superheroes. Many of the sets feature larger elements to simplify the construction process. Today, I would like to take a look at the Juniors set 10753 The Joker Batcave Attack.

IMG_0098After looking at the box art and instruction booklet, I realise that today I have returned to an world of instant gratification.  A world where a vehicle can be put together in seconds.  From memory. After only a cursory examination of the box art.  And it’s all in the first bag, along with our hero mini figures.  The second bag contains the second vehicle, and the villain. And the third contains a building.  And there are precisely NO stickers.  That’s right: would a sticker slow down the time it takes to produce a playable toy? Leave it out. Include a printed element instead.

The Joker Batcave attack is the third DC Superheroes Juniors Batcave set, previously featuring a blue and grey ‘classic’ batman and robin, looking as if they were coming straight from Super Friends, in 1972. Then we had the same Batman, with Superman and Lex Luthor. Each of these came with a Batmobile. This year, we have something a little different…

Continue reading

Getting started with Mining in the City [Mining Team – 60184]


In which we consider recurring subjects in LEGO Town and City, consider the nature of the LEGO City Starter Sets and realise why they are no longer named as such, investigate a new cohort of mini figures, make a mountain explode and realise that Glow in the Dark Spiders are never going to surprise you by jumping our of the cupboard. Now read on…

It is a year of celebrations and anniversaries: 60 years of the brick, 40 years of the minifigure, 20 years of Mindstorm. Going back a little, we have just celebrated 10 years of modular buildings/ UCS Millennium Falcon and the Taj Mahal, with a tribute, reboot, or reissue for each.

But there are many sets in this year’s city range that call back to sets from the past, 20 and 30 years ago, and we shall look at some of those in greater detail over the next few months.

Today, I was looking at the Mining Team Set 60184, and saw a vehicle that took me back to the early days of LEGO Town:

The front loader, 607 from 1979 was part of the second wave of LEGO Town sets to be released. A simple vehicle, for a simple time, and bears a remarkable resemblance to the dump truck seen into days set for review. Continue reading

Welcome to the Year of the Dog: 40235

IMG_9956As the Lunar New Year approaches, our minds turn to the Year of the Dog.  Set 40235 has been available in Australian Myer Stores as a Gift With Purchase for purchases of over $AUD88  This is the fourth set in this series, including last year’s year of the Rooster (40234), 2016’s Year of the Monkey(40207) and 2015’s Year of the Sheep (40148). The Year of the Snake set from 2013 (10250) is of a completely different aesthetic: more of the creator 4 in one build able creatures type of set.  I would not include it in the current series. As well as the LEGO elements and instructions, the set comes with an envelope in which to place a gift of money for the recipient of the set. Continue reading

Beginning with Boost: Driven to Distraction

In which we look at the steering wheeled base, that is one of the starter platforms with LEGO Boost Creative Toolkit, visit the nomenclature of LEGO Tyres and go out for a spin…Along the way, we go atomic.  Now read on…

IMG_9778The recent announcement of the forthcoming Power functions 2.0 reminded me that it has been a while since we looked at the Boost Creative Toolbox.  I just wanted to briefly touch on one of the starter models from the Creative Canvas today: the Vehicle hub.

All you need is a little patience.

Towards the end of 2017, Boost became supported on new platforms including the iOS smartphones, and Windows 10- no longer limited to tablets (iOS, Android and Kindle fire).  There is also an up to date compatibility list available from the Unofficial LEGO Boost Community Facebook page. Continue reading

Building Better Thinking with Rainbow Unicorns – 10401

Don’t want to spend the minimum purchase required,  just to get the 60th anniversary tile in ‘40290 60 Years of the LEGO® Brick‘ Set? Did you miss the opportunity to get it as a gift with purchase from the LEGO store? (Note: it may well still be available today… but I can’t speak for tomorrow. In Australia it is still available at time of posting). Well, we might well have found the perfect set for filling this gap, at a reasonable price, with a great mixture of elements to boot!

Building Better Thinking

Continue reading

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!


‘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.


‘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!