Friday, May 25, 2012

Let's Look at the Monster Fighters Lego!

If you thought that the ingenious Danish masterminds at Lego would stop for a breath after pumping out the huge Avengers and Lord of the Rings lines then you don't know them at all! The Danes are driven by an insatiable drive to create, churning out new ideas and product and cramming studs into holes with reckless abandon.

Their latest in-house brand is the self-explanatory Monster Fighters which riffs on some classic creatures and the brave souls who want to turn them into dust. We've got some wonderful pictures of this line courtesy of our good friends at Sideshow Collectibles where they are available for pre-order, but if you're lucky, these are also popping up in stores.

This first one should get your blood-pumping (and then possibly suddenly and violently drained):

To see a lot more and find out what I think of these... join me after the jump!

So that of course was The Vampyre Hearse 9464.

I have to say that this one is definitely a favourite - I love the sixties hotrod flair they've mixed in with the hearse. It looks like there's some glow-in-the-dark sticker work on the flaming skull on the top and I love the face that the coffin appears to pop out the top.

The plucky fellow in the bowler hat is apparently Dr. Rodney Rathbone. You'd think he'd have a lot of monster fighting experience  to be devil-may-care enough to tackle Drac's hotrod with his motorcycle, but then again he could be just crazy. I'm guessing you've skipped your basic Vampyre lore if you're going to ride a motorbike with one hand while ditching dynamite at Count Dracula. Troublesome.

Still, there's no denying that this is a killer set. Sideshow have listed it for $11.99 but that has to be an error, right? With three minifigs and a large vehicle it would be a steal at that price.
LEGO - Monster Fighters The Vampyre Hearse (LEGO) - 7+ Years

Next up: The Swamp Creature 9461

This is a must-have at $6.99 and should be a no-brainer just for the minifigs alone. I've always liked that the in-house lines have an entry level, all-inclusive price point and kind of which they were able to do small sets like these for their licensed lines.

The minifigs here are the titular Swamp Creature (I'm curious as to what he looks like underneath that "helmet") and the cheesy looking Frank Rock. Seriously, look at that guy with his bare arms, sunglasses, flat-top and smug grin. I wonder if he's any relation to Barry Steakfries? I get the feeling that Swamp Creature or not, this guy is going to loudly and obnoxiously drive that boat around shooting missiles at anything and everything that catches his wandering eye. I kind of like this guy.

More info and images here: LEGO - Monster Fighters The Swamp Creature (LEGO) - 7+ Years

Onto another smallish set. The Mummy 9462.

If you've ever played Warhammer then this is very reminiscent of a Tomb Kings chariot, complete with skeletal horse, although this one appears to glow-in-the-dark. By the way, did you notice that on the boxes each of the monsters appear to be holding stones? Apparently these are moonstones and if the monsters hand them all over to the Vampyre then the world will be cloaked in eternal darkness. And... well, I guess it would be weird at first but people would adjust. Does the Vampyre have stock in an electricity provider?

If you buy these for your kids I would urge you to discard the moonstone story and focus on our heroes fighting the monsters because they are self-important, bullying blowhards with attention deficit disorder. Plus, to be fair, monsters are pure evil.

Our heroine here is Ann Lee. What?! The guys got names like Rathboner, Rock, and Brick Punchintheface. She just gets saddled with the dull Ann Lee? Although she did style her hair by firing her crossbow into it. Mad props for her flying contraption too, we should at least give her that.

I think this one's great value at $11.99. 
LEGO - Monster Fighters The Mummy (LEGO) - 7+ Years

Let's work our way up to the bigger sets, starting with The Werewolf 9463.

Now here's a bit of trivia for you! Conceptually at least, this set is very reminiscent of the Lego Studios werewolf set from 2002:

Both consisted of a werewolf, a car, and a spooky tree although the old one also had an extra female minifig. Those guys were victims, not fighters.

As we can see, this time around everything has improved, but I'm a little mixed on giving the werewolf Wolverine's claws. I guess that once you've molded them you need to keep using them but it looks like overkill here. And why doesn't this tree have eyes?

This hero is Major Quinton Steele. No comment.

Suggested price is $19.99.
LEGO - Monster Fighters The Werewolf (LEGO) - 7+ Years

Now it's time for The Crazy Scientist and His Monster 9466, or as I like to call it The Crazy Non-Trademark-Infringing Scientist and His Monster Who May or May Not Be the Same One From Frankenstein. Tread lightly Lego!

Trademark dodging aside, this is a pretty great set! The laboratory has plenty of interesting contraptions and curiosities and I'm a big fan of that monster hunting car. This is great design:

Rodney Rathbone and Quinton Steele both return to raise a ruckus in this one, although the Crazy Scientist and The Monster aren't given names. So I'll name them for you, Lego! How about Dr. Frank Frankenfrankenface and Eric the Perpetually Misunderstood.

This one is $49.99. LEGO - Monster Fighters The Crazy Scientist and His Monster (LEGO) - 7+ Years

Now this one is pretty special. Oh yeah I'm talkin' 'bout The Ghost Train 9467.

That's a thing of beauty, right? Glow-in-the-dark pieces, kooky gothic/carnivale design, and minifig ghosts in sculpted sheets. And if that's not enough, they've thrown in a steampunk plane which is powered by a barrel of whiskey:

Ann Lee and Frank Rock return in this one. Would you guys trust Ann alone with Frank? I certainly wouldn't. Is anyone surprised that Frank Rock is flying a whiskey powered plane while shooting a pistol into the air? That's par for the course, right? And who are those ghosts anyway? Frank Rock's ex-wives?

This is a favourite and will set you back $79.99 in the US of A and probably about $1,000 at my local Target. LEGO - Monster Fighters The Ghost Train (LEGO) - 7+ Years

And the last one is the biggest one. It's Vampyre Castle 9468.

Another superb vehicle design, and some fantastic man-bat minifigs but I'm often left a little cold by the castle designs. Sure, they look amazing on the box art, and look amazing from certain angles but I'm always disappointed that they're an incomplete shell. My vintage yellow castle back in the day was at least a full building with front, back and sides. This one is really just a facade...

Rodney Rathbone makes his third appearance, along with the sleazy Jack McHammer (I think I've seen a few of his movies), two man-bats, the Vampyre (let's call him Clive) and the Vampyre's Bride (let's not call her anything at all). "This is my bride. You don't need to know her name. Just be satisfied that's she's my bride. Now move along."

This terrifying half-castle will cost you $99.99. LEGO - Monster Fighters Vampyre Castle (LEGO) - 7+ Years

And that's your introduction to Monster Fighters! Not something I will collect myself, but I would snag a couple of minifigs if I saw them online. And I would definitely buy them for a child. Regardless, I'm always excited to keep an eye on how Lego continue to innovate and experiment. I imagine being one of their ideas people would be one of the most fun jobs in the world. Hey Lego, can I be in your character naming department? Jack McHammer! My word!


  1. I have been a pretty big Lego customer since the beginning of Star Wars Lego. It helps to be drawn to a licensed theme, encourages setting aside the money and space needed to cultivate a proper Lego collection.

    But I don't think I've swooned so hard for an unlicensed theme before. I'll work out my first problem issues later but these are really going to tempt me. In any event, fingers crossed for a wave 2, cryptozoology perhaps?

    Also, have you seen this set?

    1. That zombie set is really cool. Always looking for more zombies!

      They really went all out on these designs. The cars and train are all AWESOME. I'll pick up a few for sure.

  2. The Vampire-Hotrod made me lol. The flame decal and his furious face makes the whole thing hilarious. Lego are just one of those companies that get things right. I think it's a Scandinavian thing (I'm looking at you, Ikea)

  3. I really like these sets, I especially like the hotrod style cars.

    It's basically a licensed line, without having to pay any licensing fees. I mean, we're all super familiar with the stories they're referencing.

    I'd love to see lego do a similar thing to the Pengiun Classics line where they released little mini sets based on classic works of literature that are out of copyright. I can't imagine a Dorian Gray set selling well in target, but it would go gang busters online with the right audience.