Marvel Super Heroes: Doctor Strange’s Sanctum Sanctorum (#76060) by LEGO

I know, last week I promised to finish off the Doctor Strange Wave of Marvel Legends today, but then I realized that I’ve had this LEGO set built for a couple of weeks now and decided to take a detour. Sorry! Rest assured, Marvel Monday will return to its regularly scheduled Legends content next week! 

After a whole year of not building any LEGO sets, I’m happy to be jumping back into the saddle again. LEGO used to be my consolation prize when I went toy hunting for figures and didn’t find anything new. But, now I seldom go out toy hunting anymore… it’s almost all done online, hence there has not been a lot of LEGO coming into the house. I’ll confess, I miss it, but when I’m shopping online there’s almost always a dozen other things on my Want List that take precedent over brick sets. This set, however, was sent to me from a buddy of mine a few weeks before Christmas and I had a great time building it, but it’s time to break it down soon, so let’s check it out! But before we do, I should forewarn you that my cat was all up in my business the whole time I was building this thing, so apologies for the higher than usual amount of cat hair in the snaps!

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The set comes in a long, narrow box with the Marvel Super Heroes branding. It contains three numbered bags, containing 358 pieces, including a loose base plate. You also get a sticker sheet, two instruction manuals, and a small box containing Strange’s Cloak of Levitation. When you’re all done with the build, you get three Minifigs and the Sanctum Sanctorum playset. Let’s start with the Minifigs!

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The set includes three Minifigs, which include Doctor Strange himself, Karl Mordo, and The Ancient One. It’s a decent selection of characters, and I’m still shocked that we got a Minifig of The Ancient One, but as far as play value goes, you’re limited to having these figs sparring with each other, because there’s really no villain here. At least not yet!

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With that having been said, Steven Strange is a fantastic little figure and he will proudly take up residence among my other Marvel Minifigs. The Cloak of Levitation is comprised of both a collar and cape, and was an absolute bitch to get on. Strange features two printed faces and a couple of very cool magic effect parts.

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Mordo also features two printed faces and he comes with his staff.

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And finally, The Ancient One. She features just one printed face, which is to be expected since she doesn’t have a hair piece. She comes with a pair of mystical fan weapons, which are damn cool.  Moving on to the Sanctum Sanctorum…

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So, there’s good and there’s bad here. The good is that this is a wonderfully detailed set with some interesting play features. It’s also a pretty fun set to build, and apart from the bookcases, there isn’t a lot of redundancy here. I do feel, however, that those instruction manuals are spread pretty damn thin just to make the build seem more substantial. Let’s take a tour…

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To the extreme left of the Sanctum there’s a treasure chest and a bookcase. The bookcase features some books on the bottom shelf, a top hat on the second shelf, and a mystical crystal on the third. The top features a lamp and a chain. That black lever thing is supposed to be used to levitate the Cloak of Levitation. Honestly, it was such a pain in the ass to get the Cloak on the Minifig, I’m not going to bother taking it off to try this out. It’s kind of an eyesore for what is a pretty mediocre gimmick, and it requires you to display your Strange Minifig without his Cloak, and who wants to do that?

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The chest opens up to reveal a couple of large keys and a gemstone. You also get a pile of letters on the floor. Most of the scattered ephemera in this set feature stickers.

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Moving on to the center of the Sanctum, there’s a large circular window and two transparent lever platforms to simulate the Minifigs dueling while levitating, which is pretty nifty.

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The table in the middle has a pair of lit candles and some more letters stacked up. One contains the WiFi code and the other is a mysterious letter from Stark Industries!

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A little further to the right and we have another bookcase, this time with two shelves of books and a skull on the center shelf. There’s a bottle beside it and another on the top. You also get a pile of ancient books and maps. A couple of these are printed and are re-used from other sets. I’m pretty sure I have a few of those pirate maps already. The two books use stickers and one is The Codex Imperium!

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And then we get to the Cthulhu-inspired Portal Beast and it undoubtedly the star of this set. It’s a great looking construct and thanks to some gears, you can rotate a wheel in the back and make the four big tentacles squirm all over the place! The ramp leading up to The Portal features a large sticker with some runes and magical markings.

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As you can see, a lot of the brick count in this set falls more into placed accessories than a meaningful build and that may disappoint some. The treasure chest and its contents, the various books and papers, all of these are just pieces that are placed around to add to the room’s clutter. Granted, it does mean you can easily customize the hell out of this set, but in the end I felt all the extra accessories made the build feel a little insubstantial. It also felt like this set should have been bigger. As far as I know, this is the only set we’re getting from Doctor Strange, and as a solitary set piece, I wish there was more to it. As it is, it feels way too narrow and confining.

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I like this set well enough. It was pretty fun to build and the Minifigs are excellent, although I would have liked at least one bad guy, like Kaecilius to be included. The set retails for around $30, which seems OK as far as LEGO pricing is concerned. But with that having been said, I would have been happier paying a lot more for a bigger set. As it is, this one feels a little too confining and it doesn’t live up to the very name Sanctum Sanctorum. I can only imagine what LEGO could have done with this set in the $50-60 range.

Marvel Super Heroes: Spider-Man’s Spider-Cycle Chase (#76004) by Lego

I seriously set out today to buy another DC Lego set, but before I could decide which Batman set would interest me the most, I saw this “Spider-Cycle Chase” and all bets were off. The name of the set is so misleading. “Spider-Cycle Chase” sounds like something I would never buy because: A) I already have a Spider-Man minifig and I don’t need another, and B) I hate the idea of Spider-Man using gimmicky vehicles. What they should have called this set is “OH MY GOD, IT’S NICK FURY’S FLYING CAR AND OH YEAH, YOU ALSO GET A VENOM MINIFIG SO BUY THIS SET RIGHT NOW!!!” First Deadpool, than J. Jonah Jameson, and now Nick Fury and his flying car. Lego, you know how to push my Marvel buttons.

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The front of the box illustrates everything that is awesome about this set. Venom is standing on the hood of Fury’s flying roadster while Fury shoots a missile at his head. Meanwhile, Spider-Man is coming from the other direction in a FLYING F’ING MOTORCYCLE and shooting webs at him. All the while, Venom looks like he’s about to jump away at the last minute and let the two crash in classic Looney Toons fashion. All this craziness translates into: “buy this set for it contains fun within.” I should point out that like the last Spider-Man set, this one appears to be based on the Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon. It’s a show I’ve never seen, but there’s no reason why this set can’t fit in with my other Marvel Lego.

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The set contains instructions, a comic book, a small sticker sheet, a loose strand of webbing, and three baggies containing a total of 237 pieces. It builds three minifigs, two Venom tendril mines, Spidey’s motorcycle, and Nick Fury’s car. Where should we start? Minifigs, assemble!

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Spider-Man is no doubt the disappointment in this set, only because I had to get him again. I know this is bound to happen, but it’s still annoying. He’s still a great minifig, but the paint on his eyes is a little rubbed, so I’m glad I have another one. On the other hand, he comes with the same web strand as my other Spidey, so it’s nice to have two of those. Venom is awesome. Lego really nailed the printed face and he has a bunch of tendrils coming off of his back. Nick Fury is an animated style Nick Fury, but there’s no reason he can’t hang with the minifigs in my Avengers themed Lego sets, and since I don’t have a Fury minifig yet, he was a welcome addition to my collection. He comes with a little gun. You also get these two little Venom tendril pieces. I have no real use for them, so I’ll just mention them here with the minifigs.

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I envisioned Spidey’s motorcycle as being something to toss into a bin and forgot about. Like I said earlier, I don’t like the idea of Spider-Man having gimmicky vehicles. On the other hand, it is an amazingly cool little design and the way it converts from motorcycle to hover cycle really is brilliant. It’s probably one of my favorite little Lego vehicles to date. Lego Deadpool will certainly have to steal it for when his Vesper is in the shop.

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But make no mistake, the reason I bought this set was for Nick Fury’s car and I must say, Lego did a wonderful job on it. It’s a green one-seat, convertible roadster. I love the use of the tan bricks for the interior, because we all know Fury would demand rich Corinthian leather in his ride. The printed instrument panels look great, and I love the hinged spoiler on the back. Obviously, the car has two surprises. Wait… can surprises be obvious? Probably not…

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First, the wheels fold in Back To The Future style to convert the car into hover mode. Secondly, there’s a concealed missile launcher that folds up out of the back. The only complaint I have is that it’s almost impossible to flick-fire the missile because you can barely get at the back of it. Still cool, though.

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This set was $20, which definitely seems right when you consider the piece count. I will say that the build seemed to go a lot faster than usual, but maybe that’s because I was particularly anxious to get the car completed. The engineering of the build is definitely clever and even with the duplicate Spider-Man, it was still a good value. Keep the Marvel sets coming Lego, and I’ll keep buying them!

Marvel Super Heroes: Spider-Man’s Bugle Showdown (#76005) by Lego

Yes, I had planned on doing two days of Toy Closet Finds this week, but this weekend a box showed up at my door containing Marvel Lego goodness. I didn’t think I’d find the time to put this thing together until the end of the week, but Saturday proved to be a great morning to sit at my desk, sip my coffee, follow Toy Fair coverage and build me a big honkin Lego set. As such, I’ll be pre-empting today’s TCF feature in favor of this wonderful acquisition. Because new Lego beats old shit that I found in my closet.

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Holding the box of a giant, unbuilt Lego set usually puts a huge smile on my face, but that smile was even bigger as I held this beauty. I mean look at this thing. It’s got Doctor Doom attacking the Daily Bugle building with an f’ing gunship! And while you digest the awesomeness of that sentence, I’ll toss out there that I haven’t even mentioned the real reason I couldn’t resist this set, but we’ll get to that in a minute. I should note that the set appears to be based on the current Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon. I’ve never seen it, so I’m just taking this on as a straight Spidey set.

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I’ve had big Lego boxes like this with a lot of air in them, but this one is stuffed with content. You get three instruction booklets, a sticker sheet, a loose base piece and a loose piece of spider webbing, and five large numbered baggies containing 476 pieces. I haven’t built a 400+ set in a long time! When all is said and done, you get to build The Daily Bugle building, Dr. Doom’s gunship, and five minifigs. My spider senses tell me that we’re going to start with the minifigs!

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First off, there’s Spidey and Doctor Doom. Spidey’s a colorful figure with attractive printing, but there aren’t any other real surprises here. I like the printed webbing on the back of his head. Doctor Doom features a cape and hood and looks every bit the character. He should have come with a gun, but I’m sure I have one I can loan him.

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Next up, you’ve got Nova and Beetle. I can’t say as I’ve ever been jonesing for a Nova minifig, I’d much rather have him in Legends or Marvel Universe,  but he’s still plenty cool. Having the character in the cartoon is will hopefully make that happen someday. The dark blue contrasts nicely with the bright red and yellow. He has a helmet and two printed faces. Beetle is a cool enough figure too. His printing is simple, but he does have a pair of translucent wings and a gun. Both of these guys are solid efforts and good additions to the set, I’m just not the right target audience for the characters.

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Yep, these are some cool minifigs, but I’m sure I’m forgetting something… Oh yeah, HOLY SHIT, I OWN A LEGO MINIFIG OF J. JONAH MOTHER F’ING JAMESON!!! I’m pretty sure that Lego could have just dropped him alone into this huge box, sealed it up and charged me $50 and I would have bought it. Look at him! He’s so adorable and angry and while he does have two printed faces, in my mind he’s constantly screaming, so I’ll always be displaying him with the super angry face. He comes with a little camera and he can also hold the photo or newspaper that comes with the set.

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The bulk of this set is the Daily Bugle building, which has evolved with the times to become the Daily Bugle Media Conglomerate. This thing was a lot of fun to build, and threw me for a couple loops in terms of which windows got stickers, but I only had to go back a couple of steps to fix it. The front of the building is epic. It’s got a huge cluster of digital screens making up a massive picture of Jameson’s angry face shaking a rolled up newspaper at the city. There are double doors on the front, a fire escape running up one side. The top of the building is adorned with satellite dish and two antenna all used to spew Jameson’s glorious filth at the world. You also get a street light and a dumpster.

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Turn the building around and you get four levels to play in. The lobby doesn’t have much going on, just a potted plant. The second storey has a safe a graphic arts desk and a chair. The third storey is Jameson’s office with a desk, computer and desk light. The roof just offers some extra space for perilous battles to ensue.

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The set is also crammed with well-designed play gimmicks. The dumpster can flip a figure into the air. There’s a button that blows one of the windows out to expose the safe. There’s another one that opens a trap door on the roof. A third lever can be used to launch Spidey off the roof and have him swing on his web. Ok, that last one doesn’t work all that well, but it’s still fun.

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But wait! You also get Doctor Doom’s gunship, which is no doubt the slickest piece of military hardware Latverian tax dollars could buy. It’s a single-seater, fixed wing VTOL aircraft with two flick fire missiles, pivoting engines, and a winch with a claw on it for grabbing the safe, other minifigs, or just ripping the damn building apart.

This set was $50, which seems like a solid value considering how long it took me to build and the potential for fun here. The Bugle building really makes me wish I had more Lego City buildings so that I could have it dominating all of them. In the past year or so of Lego building I’ve built everything from star fighters to attack subs, and this building is still one of my favorite pieces in my collection. Go figure! Sure, everything that comes in this set is awesome, but just the ability to have my Daily Bugle Media Empire building and a Jameson figure is plenty for me. I can see myself treating this thing like a doll house and just playing with Jameson in it as he goes about his daily routines. I’m going to have to get some generic Lego office workers for him to constantly scream at, and I need to steal a coffee pot from one of my Lego City police sets, because Jonah needs plenty of caffeine to fuel his endless rage until he has a heart attack and a Lego City ambulance comes to get him. But Lego Jameson will survive to have a ton of adventures, not least of which will be covering the Lego Alien Conquest Wars, which will unfold outside his building. He’ll also hire Lego Deadpool as a bodyguard so he will be a permanent resident. Shenanigans will ensue. This is one of the best Lego sets EVER!

Marvel Super Heroes: Loki’s Cosmic Cube Escape (#6867) by Lego

[Yep, it’s another bonus update. I’m still working may through the backlog of plastic tat. I should be close to caught up by the end of this week, but I’m still expecting a few things to turn up in the mail any day now. –FF]

Aw, yeah… time for another venture into Lego’s world of Marvel Super Heroes. This time we’re checking out another one of the sets branded after The Avengers movie. This set is loosely based on the beginning sequence where Loki is escaping with the Cosmic Cube with Maria Hill leading Shield in the pursuit. I say loosely based because Maria Hill isn’t one of the minifigs in the set. Instead it is Iron Man doing the pursuit. On the other hand, it does come with a possessed Hawkeye and Loki and a SHIELD truck.

And there’s the box showing you what you get. Rip it open and you find two unnumbered baggies containing a total of 181 pieces. You also get an instruction booklet and a comic. To the minifigs!

As mentioned, the set includes Iron Man, Hawkeye, and Loki and they’re all pretty solid figures. Iron Man is comprised of simple, printed body, but his helmet is separate from his little Tony Stark head and the visor actually lifts open, which goes above and beyond. The mix of red and cold coloring is really nice too. The Hawkeye is also a pretty simple figure with a printed outfit, hair piece, two printed faces, one with shades and one without. He also comes with his bow. The quiver is printed on, which I thought was a bit of a cop out since Lego has plenty of quiver pieces that they could have repurposed for this set. Loki has a printed outfit, a single printed face, a cloth cape, his trademark horned helmet, and his Chitauri staff. You also get a Cosmic Cube piece. Iron Man is easily my favorite of the bunch, but they are all pretty solid efforts. No complaints here.

The rest of the pieces in the set all go to building the Shield 4×4 truck. I wouldn’t say it’s terribly movie accurate, but it is very nicely detailed and includes a light bar on the top of the cab, a ramming bar in the front, a removable fire extinguisher on the driver side, a clip for Hawkeye’s bow on the passenger side, two flick fire missiles on the sides, and a catapult gimmick in the bed of the truck that can launch a figure in the air. It’s a relatively small vehicle, with only one seat in the cab, but it looks great, particularly with the well-designed stickers all applied. Honestly, I don’t have a lot more to say about it.

The set took me about an hour to build, on and off and I had lots of fun doing it. If I were to have any gripes it would just be that there’s nothing really iconic about a SHIELD truck to me, although it does have the emblems and the SHIELD name on it, which helps. If you’re into Lego vehicles, this set should make you pretty happy, if you’re more into it for the Marvel stuff, then the minifigs may be the major draw of this set. At $20, it’s certainly a decent value for a Lego product, and a satisfying build.

Marvel Super Heroes: Captain America’s Avenging Cycle (#6865) by Lego

[Whoa! What happened to Star Trek Saturday?  I’m putting it to rest for a week or two and I’m going to use this slot to try to get caught up on all the stuff that’s piling up around here these last couple weeks. –FF]

Woe is me, I have contracted the Marvel Lego bug, and just when I was dedicating myself to completing the Lord of the Rings Lego collection. Frankly, I blame Deadpool, because I may never have started down this expensive path had Lego not included him in a set. Anyway, while I was stocking up on provisions the other day at Target I couldn’t help myself but pick up another set. This time it’s Captain America’s Avenging Cycle, and it’s considerably smaller than the first one I looked at.

There you go, it’s a pretty exciting little box. This set comes with an instruction book, a loose motorcycle frame, a small sticker sheet, and two un-numbered baggies, with a grand total of 72 pieces. Those pieces build three minifigs, a missile launcher emplacement, a Chitauri Air Chariot and Cap’s motorcycle. It didn’t take me long to throw this thing together, so let’s see what we’ve got. And as always, we’ll start with the minifigs.

First up, we have Captain America, and he is without a doubt the reason I bought this set. He’s a pretty simple minifig composed of just the head, legs, and torso, but the colors and printed details really mesh well to make him a cool little guy. Naturally, he comes with his trusty shield too.

The other two minifigs are Chitauri troops. I’m pretty ambivalent toward these guys. Like Cap, they’re pretty simple and each made up of just the three basic pieces. The printing is very detailed, but it kind of just looks like a jumbled mess of patterns. I blame the crazy Chitauri design, which was really the only thing I didn’t like about the Avengers movie. Either way, I’m sure Lego did their best with what they had to work with, but these guys just weren’t designed with the Lego treatment in mind. At least one of them does come with a pretty cool gun. And since they’re faces are just a jumbled mess, I’ve put one head on back-to-front just to mix them up a bit.

 

Cap’s motorcycle is absolutely killer for such a small and simple build. The colors match his own and it comes with stickers with his star emblem and a SHIELD sticker for the front. There’s a clip on the back so you can attach his shield to it. Part of me kind of wishes there was a clip on the front to attach it to the front of the bike in the more iconic way, but then the bike looks so good, I’d be hesitant to change anything. And most importantly, Cap looks awesome riding it. This will be a big win for my new Marvel Lego display.

Chitauri pieces are a mixed bag. I like the Air Chariot. It was a little more complex of a build than I thought it would be, which is very cool. It has some great looking jagged blade pieces and some gorgeous stickers to give it extra detail. There’s also a flick-fire missile mounted under it. The side wings can move up and down and the front shield-slash-control column can pivot forward and back. A set of handlebars for the front column would have been cool, but I can probably rob one of those pieces from one of my Atlantis sets. Either way, it still looks fine without it.

The other Chitauri piece, the missile launcher feels like just something Lego threw in to beef up the brick count. It reminds me of the kind of thing they tossed into at least a couple of the Alien Invasion sets, only they made a little more sense in those. Still, I could probably cannibalize the parts for one of my Pharaoh’s Quest sets since the brick colors are totally Egyptian.

This set was $12.99 and it seems pretty fair. While I’m overall satisfied with the set, I would have really preferred Lego broke with the movie and included Skrulls in this set instead of the Chitauri. Skrulls would have worked better as minifigs and I would have had a lot more use for them in my collection. There’s nothing particularly bad in here, and I’m sure kids will appreciate being able to get a little battle in a box like this, but ultimately, I would have been happier just getting Cap and his motorcycle in a tiny impulse set for about five bucks cheaper.

Marvel Super Heroes: Wolverine’s Chopper Showdown (#6866) by Lego

Until now I’ve been mum regarding Lego’s coup of simultaneously securing both the DC and Marvel licenses for their building sets. I can’t imagine how much money was involved to work out this deal, and while it’s true no DC and Marvel characters actually coexist in a single set, the fact that they’re both on the shelf at the same time is mind blowing, as is the fact that if you happen to buy a Batman and an Avengers set, no lawyers will show up at your house to keep you from playing with them together as part of what is essentially the same cohesive toyline. That all having been said, I question Lego’s understanding of the Marvel Universe when they release a set called “Wolverine’s Chopper Showdown” and QUIETLY SLIP A FREAKING DEADPOOL MINIFIGURE INTO IT!!!

Seriously. Look at that box art. It’s Deadpool attacking Wolverine in a fucking gunship, while Magneto impotently fiddles about in the background. Calling it “Wolverine’s Chopper Showdown” not only fails to recognize that it isn’t Wolverine’s chopper, but also fails to communicate to the potential buyer that Deadpool is anywhere involved with or included in this set. I must have walked past this thing a hundred times in different stores, never bothering to notice that a Lego Deadpool minifigure was within my reach. No, for my money, Lego should have just named this set “Deadpool Minifigure In A Box With A Bunch of Other Stuff That I would have purchased straightaway!

Of course, I’m joking… but not really. The box consists of an instruction booklet, a “comic adventure” booklet and three unnumbered baggies of 201 bricks that make up three minifigures, a motorcycle, and an attack helicopter. The “comic” is just a fun little booklet featuring Marvel characters as Lego minifigures, but it ultimately fails in that it is a comic featuring Deadpool, in which Deadpool says absolutely nothing. As always, let’s start with the minifigure… er, minifigures.

 

 

You get Deadpool, Wolverine and Magneto and as much as I adore my new little Deadpool minifig, I have to concede that all of the minifigs in this set are nothing short of excellent. The bright comic-y colors are gorgeous and the combination of printing and unique bits really bring out the personality of each character in adorable minifigure form. Deadpool actually gets by with the least amount of unique parts, although he does have a set of scabbards on his back, which can store his katana swords in a criss-cross fashion. He also comes with a gun. Wolverine features a special hairpiece that meshes perfectly with his printed sideburns. He also has his two sets of adamantium claws, which he actually holds in each hand, but they still look pretty good. Lastly, Magneto features a new helmet sculpt, a cape, and a little disc for him to fly around on. Both Wolverine and Magneto have double printed faces, whereas Deadpool just has his standard Deadpool mask.

 

The helicopter is a lot nicer than I expected. It sits on three sets of landing gear consisting of six wheels, and it’s powered by one main rotor and two smaller rotors on the tail boom. The roof over the cabin lifts off to seat a figure in the cockpit and the sides are open and you can put additional figures in the back. You can also use it as a cargo area for Deadpool’s precious cargo of Hot Pockets and chimichangas. There are two stubby wings coming off the sides, each one holds two flick-fire missiles, can pivot up and down, and they have clips to attach Deadpool’s katana swords to the ends. That’s right, because Deadpool can kill you with swords attached to his helicopter! Wow!

You also get a little motorcycle for Wolverine. It isn’t really a lot like the chopper we usually see Wolverine riding. Truth be told, it’s more like a dirt bike. Still, it’s only made up of seven of the 201 pieces, so I’m not complaining.

This set is $19.99 at Walmart and Target and I think that’s a pretty good value for 201 pieces. It didn’t take me a lot of time to build, but it was fun and there weren’t many redundant steps and that helps keep things interesting. Honestly, I would have almost been happy enough with these three minifigs alone. I really do love them all that much. But the helicopter and bike are nice vehicles and versatile enough to be used in a lot of other Lego series. But most important… I got me a Deadpool minifigure!!!