Thursday, May 9, 2013

Review: Lego Man of Steel: Superman Metropolis Showdown!

Okay, Hollywood, listen up and listen good. If you’re making films that AREN’T made into Lego sets then I don’t want to hear about them. And let’s agree to stop giving awards (looking at you, Oscars) to films that don’t have a single Lego set, and yet are absolutely ripe with potential. Lego Life of Pi complete with tiger and boat? Lego Les Miserables Prostitute Docks with an Anne Hathaway minifigure who has removable hair and a miserable face printed on the other side? LIFT YOUR GAME, HOLLYWOOD.

Luckily plucky director Zack Snyder knows where it’s at, and refuse to let his Superman reboot Man of Steel go by without some well-timed Lego tie-ins. Zack Snyder wants Lego and he will defend this right with his fists! Probably. The smallest set: 76002 Superman Metropolis Showdown has just landed on my desk (because I put it there). And clearly this set represents the scene where Superman and General Zod argue about who’s going to pay to park their car.

I’m going to talk more bullshit... after the jump!

So that was the front of the box, I guess it’s only fair that I give equal time to the back as well...

Lego is certainly determined to make everything look super exciting, but these action vignettes fail to highlight the one thing that separates Lego from everything else - the rebuildability. In golden days of yore the back of the box would illustrate other imaginative things that could be made from your freshly purchased construction set. Not so much anymore. They are treated like action figures as opposed to a building set with multiple possibilities.

It’s a change in the culture, although Lego has recently made some positive moves forward. They issued online instructions for professional alternate builds for their TMNT sets, thereby doubling what you could make with the pieces you already bought. I’d love to seem them eventually do this for EVERY set, although I imagine it would consume a lot of time and resources on their part. It’s a great value add though, especially considering the expense of Lego, particularly in countries other than America where Lego still seems determined to grossly inflate the comparative cost. (And still won’t talk about it with us. Or make any contact for that matter. You’ve got some attitude, Lego!)

So this is what you get...

It’s actually quite a lot and I was surprised to see that the instructions were even split into separate books. But don’t worry, I’ve got this. I can do it. I am an imagineer.

Let’s look at the dullest stuff first and then steadily build to a glorious climax.

So it’s a radio tower? Antenna? Haven’t you always wanted one of these? I’m personally thrilled that all of my minifigures are about to get better reception. No doubt this tower is a big star of the film and once we see it I will regret my sarcasm and we’ll all be talking about it. “Oh you, guys! What about that scene where Superman ripped out the radio tower and shoved it up Zod’s ass! That was phenomenal!” If that happens then remember that I called it.

It has a goofy catapult action figure in its base which I think is designed to launch the car into the air. Because an infinite building set is not enough on its own. Kids need catapults. Apparently. Lego loves adding features like this right now.

So let’s talk about that car...

First the obvious question. WHO’S CAR IS THIS? Is it Bumblebee? It looks a little effeminate to me. And it strangely, despite its massive bulk, it only seats one person. Is this Lois Lane’s car? If so, where’s Lois? Are these guys fighting over that car? Is Superman also going to pick it up and put it inside Zod’s body? Who are you, mystery car? What is your hidden purpose?

It’s nice enough? But a weird mix. You get the god-like alien Superman, tyrannical General Zod, and... a yellow car? The bigger sets have spacecraft and alien tech. This one is a little more pedestrian.

OK, so I’m really only in this for the minifigures so let’s take a look at those. Credit to Lego for at least giving the kids both the hero and the villain is a single cheaper set. They’ve done the same thing with a small Iron Man 3 set that features Iron Man and the Mandarin, so bless them for that at least. Here’s Superman...

He’s got the busy, armour-like torso and the missing underpants that silenced a nation. But does the Cavill Superman have the hair curl in the film? I didn’t think so, but it’s present here, most likely so they could reuse the hair piece from their comic style Superman release.

Ironically Zod has been given a hair piece more like the one Superman should have, and Zod’s hair in the film is completely different. What’s going on, Lego? Are you all sleeping on the job over there in Denmark? This is a pared down version of Zod that lacks his helmet and shoulder armour. You have to buy the bigger sets if you want those too. At least we get a closer look at his malformed “S”.

And here they both are together, looking surprisingly chilled...

But don’t worry, you can swivel both their heads around for angry, grimace-like-you’re-shitting heat vision action! RAAAAAAARRRRGGGGGH!!!!!



That’s my review.

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