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    Brickpicker blog articles on LEGO investing, news, reviews, evaluations, discounts and more...
    • thoroakenfelder
      LEGO has released a version of the Droid Escape Pod twice previously. In 2001 and 2012, they released sets called Droid Escape (7106 and 9490.) Each time the set has been visited, it has gotten more expensive. Accordingly, the number of separate pieces has increased in each set. This set should be the most detailed and complex of the sets released to represent this scene. In 2001 the set only had the droids. In 2012, the Escape Pod came with the droids, 2 Sand Troopers and a speeder. This time, we get 2 droids, 2 Jawas and no speeders.
      Most people were content with the fairly recent version. Most collectors would have preferred something else take this slot. I have never actually bought an Escape Pod, so this is my first time building it. Upon cursory examination, I thought it looked good for a $19.99 set. Then I recalled that it was a $24.99 set. After a huge sigh, I decided to go ahead and look again.

      Set #: 76050
      Name: Droid Escape Pod
      Theme: Star Wars
      Parts: 197
      Price: $24.99
      I want to talk value for a second. Instead of concentrating on the price per piece, I'll look at the actual item that we get. It's a small box, smaller than all of the other $24.99 sets released at the same time. (Why did they have to all be $24.99 anyway?) You get 4 minifigures, which is more than any of the other sets released in this wave and price point. The number of pieces are small, but some of those pieces are big.
      Some people may wind up picking up a set that is open box or, want to verify the box contents before beginning a build. For this set, there are 2 numbered baggies, a sticker sheet, and an instruction book. Boy, there's a bunch of big stickers here.

      BAG 1: You start almost immediately with the stickers. 2 of them are trying to add depth to the curved panels.

      The next thing that you make is a little platform with a rounded base that will snap into the base of the Escape pod.

      Here you can see the platform with all of the side studs slotted in between the existing bottom and the new top.

      Turn it over and start creating some new shapes for the bottom. Also, please note the swinging panel.

      Hinged rounded panels complete the cylinder of the Escape Pod. 2 large stickers go on the inside. I hate these stickers. I'm not sure I got them anywhere near straight.

      Lots of slopes go on the bottom. I was trying to remember the shape of the escape pod. Were these the thrusters? It really wasn't coming to me. I guess I could look at the box, but that's not me.

      You can't really see it here, but there's a platform that snaps onto the slopes. It has tiles to facilitate the opening and closing.

      BAG 2: The stickers on the outside actually look good and go all the way around. These stickers are really big.

      Thankfully, they created "seating" for the droids with a steering column. I liked how they shaped it to try to follow the curves of the ship.

      There's a window that you can't really see through. I'm actually liking the shaping and the way that they added a few small thrusters on here.

      You add some various thrusters onto the bottom platform. There's main thrusters and directional thrusters. All in all, the design is satisfactory.

      It is a bigger, more complex craft than any previous version. It is satisfying to look at.

      I forgot to show it before, there's some Death Star plans that slot into the front of the craft. While I think that this ship looks fine, It really doesn't do a lot for me. It feels expensive for what you get. If you're not a fan of stickers or have a problem applying them straight, this is not going to be a fun set for you.

      There's 4 figures in this set. The more recent R2-D2 is dying for some back printing. They've updated nearly everything else on him. It must be difficult to print on curves if they're not willing to update that.
      The 2 Jawas are the same as the ones in the UCS Sandcrawler and the 2015 Advent Calendar. Way to devalue the Jawas on the aftermarket there LEGO.
      This C-3PO is unique. He's better than most of the regularly released C-3POs, but not as good as the Sandcrawler version or even the Force Awakens C-3PO polybag.

      Amazon will probably discount this set for most of its life. I can't imagine it staying at $24.99 if they want to sell any. People will want to army build the Jawas, and this is the cheapest way to do it. R2-D2 and C-3PO aren't major draws. If you want a hero set for investment, this probably isn't it. The 2 previous versions of this set hover in the mid to high $30's. I would expect this one to be the same.
      There's not a lot of extra pieces. I feel like the cone isn't supposed to be extra. I think it's supposed to go somewhere, but I can't tell where I missed it. 

    • thoroakenfelder
      The Avenjet Space Mission is yet another Super Heroes set, where some random vehicle is thrown in to give the LEGO Group something to hang a bunch of minifigures on. That doesn't necessarily mean that it's a bad set, just that it may not be something that fans really care nothing about. I really badly wanted some of the minifigures with this set, so I went ahead and got it. I figured there would be some out there who wondered if this set was worth getting. Let's review.

      Set #: 76049
      Name: Avenjet Space Mission
      Theme: Marvel Super Heroes
      Parts: 523
      Price: $59.99
      Some people may wind up picking up a set that is open box or, want to verify the box contents before beginning a build. For this set, there are 4 numbered baggies, a sticker sheet, a comic book, a baggie containing pieces for Thanos and an instruction book.

      BAG 1: Technically most of Thanos is like bag 0. You pull the pins from Bag 1. Construction of big figs is pretty consistent.
      Thanos: Captain America, I have a new plan for conquering the universe.
      Cap: I wonder why you would tell me instead of just doing it.

      I honestly have a hard time figuring out why we are building something for Thanos to stand on. The end result is kind of goofy looking. It's too small to be useful.
      Thanos: Behold my new weapon of universal domination!
      Cap: Is it a hoverboard? You have to be careful with those, they catch fire.

      Yeah, they look like roller skates. In my opinion, Thanos needed either nothing, or something much more impressive. These are forgettable, except for the fact that they are there and they are ridiculous.
      Thanos: Quake in fear as I don the Infinity Skates! Forged in times most ancient from the remnants of the first of mighty Galactus skateboards, I can skate the cosmos with power cosmic.
      Cap: Be sure to wear knee and elbow pads. I grew up with a kid that fell down a lot when trying to roller skate.
      Thanos: Insignificant insect, I will find someone worthy of my attentions.

      So, we move onto basic LEGO ship building. It's not exactly the same as every other plane, but it kind of is. Notice the 1X4 pieces in back, the slots are to make this whole smaller build ingrate into the larger one later. Also please note the single pink brick that will be buried in the build. I have no reason to point it out except that it's there.
      Cap: Tony said this thing was really going to knock my socks off. So far, my socks have stayed on.

      The interesting thing here is the use of those hinge pieces attached to the tiles. I guess it's supposed to be armrests.
      Cap: Well, I sure am glad that these very thin tiles are between me and the dangers of space. I'd hate to have a solidly built wall there.

      Add some slope pieces to give the thing a slightly space-y shape and cover up that pink brick. Hinges for the eventual canopy. Note the hinges from the previous step. I think the slot is a cup holder. Why not? Super Heroes get thirsty.
      Cap: You know, I think Tony is messing with me. Building space ships is nowhere near as much fun as he kept saying.

      You build the wings onto a section that you made with tabs on it. 
      Cap: Did you know that LEGO instructions inspired those amazing IKEA instructions? I bet you always sort of assumed it.

      Oh look, there's one of those awful stud shooters, right on top of the wing. It's a good thing the Avengers use nonlethal laser bolts. Or do the Avengers kill? I forget.
      Cap: We only kill aliens, because they can't sue us.

      Make a mirror image wing for the other side and add a canopy, and you're done with the spaceship. Glad we got that out of the way. Let's see what other vehicle they have us build.
      Cap: I'm not sure that this thing has enough space for me and several friends to go to the other side of space and kill green guys.

      Here's the end of bag 1, a small plane, a goofy looking Captain America and Roller Derby Thanos.
      Thanos: Puny Mortal I have returned, because you offer the greatest challenge in the galaxy.
      Cap: So, no one else would talk to you?

      Bag 2: Start by making Iron Man.
      Tony: Hey buddy, I see you finished the smaller spaceship. Didn't think you could handle the big one?
      Cap: On my army salary, you're lucky I was able to make that one.

      A part of me likes when we use Technic bricks (not technique by the way.) It makes me hope for some advanced techniques (not technics by the way.)
      Tony: Look Cap, this stuff is really easy, especially if you've got a super genius brain and a fancy robot suit.

      The ratcheting hinges in front told me that we'd soon see something to make this a super space plane, not a run of the mill space plane.
      Tony: Starktech practically builds itself.

      I don't really know, is this supposed to be a crew compartment or some kind of cargo bay? Definitely some place to clip some wings into.

      Bag 3: We start on the wings. Wing construction is pretty much the same no matter what theme you buy.
      Tony: Wings are my things. Ha, I'm a genius at being a poet too. Hey wait, where's Cap? He's supposed to be building this thing.

      Wings are wings,you've built one, well you've probably built 2 since every plane has 2. Anyway, they're all pretty much the same. I know I said that already, but since I've already built 2 other wings in this set, it bears repeating now.
      Cap: Did I ever tell you about how I joined the Air Force and flew fighters during the war?
      Iron Man: No, you didn't. I thought you did all of your fighting on the ground.
      Cap: That's because I never did. I don't know anything about planes. It's probably not a great idea for me to be building one.
      Iron Man: Hey, that's nothing. I had a dozen martinis before I started.

      Now you add a giant rotor to make it look fancy.
      Cap: Hey Tony, does this big fan help make the Avenjet go in space.
      Iron Man: Don't be simple. There's no air in space for that thing to push against.
      Cap: So this is entirely decorative?
      Iron Man: Stark engineering at its finest.

      I know I didn't mention him before, but you also build Hyperion in this bag.
      Hyperion: Hey guys, whatcha doing?
      Cap: I don't know if you can tell, but this wing is incredibly heavy, and Iron Man's not really lifting.
      Iron Man: It's called supervising.

      Make a mirror image of that wing
      Hyperion: Look what I made super fast. I thought you said this thing is heavy.
      Cap: Who is this guy?
      Iron Man: I think he's Hyper-Lame-One or something like that.

      Now you need to add some decorative paneling with a lot of slopes to give it the air of Aerodynamics.
      Cap: Hey Tony, don't you have some kind of factory to make these things? I mean I like these little projects, but I'm not sure I'm qualified.\
      Hyperion: Anything you can do, I can do better. I can do anything better than you.
      Iron Man: That dingbat sings show tunes? I hate show tunes.

      End bag 3, you've added a couple of smaller wings on hinges to the larger wings. Plus, flick missiles.
      Hyperion: Oooooooooooo-klahoma, where the wind goes sweeping down the . . . hey guys? Where'd you go?

      Bag 4: Ok, I'm going to admit this now. Captain Marvel is pretty much the biggest reason I bought this set. If She and Thanos had been in bag one, I might not have ever made the Avenjet.
      Thanos: Child of Earth, I have come with my Infinity Roller Skates to destroy your planet and subjugate your population.
      Captain Marvel: Yeah, I'm pretty busy here. Do you mind pestering someone else?

      Look, we're building a cockpit. I feel like we already did that.
      Thanos: Bow down and tremble at my feet. Behold the might of my Infinity Skates!
      Marvel: Look, I respect that you rock the purple unitard, but I'm just not interested. Plus, I'm busy.

      It looks more like a sled at this point. but, I assume it will pull together the rest of the build once it's complete. Plus, here we find our requisite fire extinguisher. No Super Heroes set is complete without one.
      Marvel: 6 years in the Air Force, I thought I had seen my fill of pushy guys.

      More tiles to fill out the body of this ship, no arm rests or cup holders this time.
      Thanos: Cower before me. I am the mightiest being in the cosmos.
      Marvel: Look bozo. I tried to be nice about it, but no means no. Not interested.

      And now we're adding a canopy. It's like Deja VU all over again.
      Thanos: If you become my disciple, I will allow you to conquer beside me.
      Marvel: When did I become a magnet for jerks like him?

      Now you just peg the cockpit onto the hinge posts I mentioned earlier.
      Iron Man: Hey look, Marvel brought the cockpit, We're almost done.
      Marvel: Yeah. I was getting harassed by some jerk named Thanos. He wouldn't leave me alone.
      Cap: Yeah that guy was pestering me for a while too.

      Now, just slide the small jet onto a brand new hinge piece and you can make a really big Avenjet.

      Many many steps after you initially make Captain America, you make his backpack. I'm not sure if it is a jet pack, some kind of star spangled rockets, or an external air supply, but it doesn't really matter. It looks dumb. Sorry, I love Captain America, I hate this fully loaded Minifigure. Even Captain America can't get his shield to work right in space.
      Captain Marvel: There we go, looking good.
      Captain America: Are you sure? I don't want to look ridiculous.
      Marvel: Nope, completely understated.

      Below the smaller craft is a pivoting platform that ostensibly you can attach Iron Man to. I don't think I assembled it incorrectly, but Iron Man doesn't really pivot down or up correctly since there's a plate in the way. If I assembled it incorrectly, I apologize, but I can't see where I made the mistake.

      I actually liked the build. It was fun, it doesn't look terrible, the play features aren't intrusive. The ship however is somewhat fragile. Certain parts easily  fall off if nudged slightly. 2 ships in one build is good play value for a kid. Especially for kids that might not have a clue who some of the characters are. The white and red might be a subtle visual tag for a parent that collected action figures in the 80's. It kind of reminds me of the Transformer Jetfire, or a Macross/Robotech Valkyrie If you squint a little and tilt your head, you might see a hint of an X-Wing that just gives you a subtle good feeling that you'd like to pass on to your kids. I am not saying that this vehicle is as iconic as those three, far from it. I'm just saying that I think the designer took a little inspiration. I assume that the Avenjet is just a poorly named space Quinjet. They had to call it something different so that consumers would be fooled into picking it up when there's still the Quinjet City chase and the Super Hero Airport battle that both have Quinjets in them on the shelves at the same time.
      So, let's talk about the minifigures, the main reason anyone would pick up this set. Let's get the duds out of the way. Space Captain America has the body of comic Captain America and a head with goggles and a thing on the back of his head. I don't know what the thing on his head is, I guess it has something to do with his breathing apparatus. You build a backpack/jetpack or whatever. I love Captain America, but I am totally over Space/Scuba/whatever Captain America. Speaking of Space/Scuba/Whatever, let's talk about Space Iron Man. At least it's possible, even likely that Tony Stark would have a spacegoing suit. The best thing about this suit is that you can just throw it into your Hall of Armor display and forget it.
      Ok, so let's talk about the new characters. I'm going to start with the one that I am least excited for, Hyperion! First thing's first, many people have no idea who Hyperion is. He's a bad guy and member of Squadron Supreme. Squadron Supreme is a reality hopping team that is the analogue of the Justice League. Hyperion is Superman basically. They have the same abilities and to make things even more similar, Hyperion has the same head as the most recent Superman figures. The figure has 2-tone molded arms, but not legs which is weird to me. His cape is an interestingly odd shape. He's an interesting enough figure, but really not an important enough character to move this set.
      It's a coin toss which of the other 2 characters is a better figure. Maybe it's just my own prejudice, but I'm going with Captain/Ms. Marvel. This figure looks great. I do sort of wish that the colors would pop better on the dark blue parts. I also wish there was a soft goods scarf, but that's just wishful thinking. What we did get was some good detailing and a pair of heads with a spiky hairpiece. I love the fact that you can swap her head so that she has 3 different faces. 3 faces? That's crazy! No, I love the character. So maybe it's just me, but I was lukewarm on the set until I saw that she was included. With Marvel announcing a Captain Marvel MCU casting, we are sure to see the character again.
      So, maybe the reason most people would want this set is for Thanos. You remember Thanos from that end credit scene in Avengers or those small glimpses in Guardians of the Galaxy. Obviously he's important in the Marvel Universe, but he didn't always used to be. In the 90's there was a weird confluence of events that made Silver Surfer important, and in so doing made Thanos one of the most powerful and evil villains in the Marvel universe. Thanos had to be a bigfig. It seems like he's 2-tone molded legs, and his decoration pops on his dark body. The LEGO styling of the face is hilarious. Is he happy? Is he grimacing? It doesn't matter, he could totally be evil with either expression. I am slightly disappointed that he doesn't come with an extra Infinity Gauntlet fist. This figure is the obvious lynchpin of the set. We're going to get another Thanos. There's no question of that, but if he's not notably different from this figure, Thanos will not rule the Galaxy.

      I like the 3 new figures for this set. I'm okay with Iron Man. The selling point of this set will always be Thanos. If this is the only comic Thanos, it should do well. If the eventual MCU Thanos is fairly similar, forget this set. The Avengers Space Plane is not really interesting enough to draw eyes to this set. The biggest threat to this set though is the Chinese Bootleggers. Chinese knockoffs are the death knell of pretty much every Super Heroes set. 
      With a Captain Marvel movie on the horizon, we'll be getting an MCU Captain Marvel too. She should be different enough from this version to keep this one relevant. That doesn't mean that they won't reissue this one though at some point.
      Should we pin future growth hopes on Hyperion, the poor lonely nobody that is unlikely to ever be remade? No. The rest of the Squadron Supreme will see the light of day half past never. I would expect low to moderate gains eventually. There's enough unique stuff in this set that people may not be able to get them another way within a year or two.
      2 extra flag pieces. Initially, I thought that I had made a mistake, but in the following bag when I had another extra, I couldn't believe that I had made the same mistake again. Look, a white lightsaber handle, oxygen mask and an extra star round tile.

    • thoroakenfelder
      For me, one of the LEGO sets that I most want in my collection, but am least likely to get is the 10123 Cloud City. In Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, a lot of the action takes place in Bespin's Cloud City. Strangely LEGO has been reticent to release sets that correspond to this location. (Maybe we'll talk about the similar lack of Dagobah sets sometime later.) When LEGO announced the Carbon Freezing Chamber 75137, many thought that it would replace this set. In the minds and hearts of many, 75137 is just a pale comparison to a small part of 10123 Cloud City. LEGO Star Wars fans groaned, and owners of the original rejoiced.
      Cloud City is 698 pieces and originally retailed for $99.99, which at the time was pretty pricy for that number of pieces. A complete used set sells in the $600-$700 range. If you want an unused, unopened set, you're looking at $1000 or more. Brickpicker price guide Why would a used set be worth 7X the original cost of the set as it was when new? What makes this a set that I can't build on my own?
      698 pieces is a lot, but it doesn't sound insurmountable. There are 189 different elements in this set, meaning unique types of part/color combinations. Of those elements 39 are dark gray, consisting of 203 total pieces, and 50 are light gray consisting of 133 pieces. I specify those colors, because these are the pre-2004 Grays, not the newer blue grays that you find in all modern sets. These colors have not been produced for over a decade now. Almost half of the set is made from out of print colors.
      The first thing that I want to take a look at here is the pieces that you need the most of. Thankfully, in a set with less than 700 pieces (even less when you take out the piece count of the 7 minifigures) none of the required elements is incredibly unwieldy. For this list, I am going to take a look at the parts that you need 10 or more of.
      (Apologies for the images not matching the color. We are using the basic element picture to represent the item from the set. Please pay attention to the color listed in your inventory)
      You need 36 Dark Gray 2x2 Plates Element 3022 that averages about $.04 each

      22 Trans Neon Green 1x1 round Plate with straight side Element 4073 average out to about $.02 each

      Element 30136 Tan 1x2 Brick modified (Log) is next with a piece count of 21 for close to $.05 each

      Dark Gray Brick 1x2x5 Element 2454 occurs 17 times in this set and the average cost is close to $.15 each

      There are 14 Black  2x8 Bricks Element 3007 

      12 Tan 1x6 Tile Element 6636 average almost $.20 each

      You also need 12 Trans Neon Orange 1x1 round Plate with straight side Element 4073 average out to about $.02 each

      Dark Gray element 3005 Brick 1x1 appears 12 times as well, you can get them for $.03 or $.04 in the quantity that you need, but the average is closer to $.10

      11 Light Gray 1x1 round Plate with straight side Element 4073 can be easily found for about $.02 each

      You also will need 11 Round 1x1 Brick with Open Stud in Tan element 3062b for $.03 each

      Dark Gray element 3700 Technic brick 1x2 with hole only needs 10 For an Average of $.04 each

      10 Dark Gray 2x2 Tiles with Groove (Element 3068b) are next. They run about $.25 each for a total of $2.50

      You will also need 10 very common black 1x2 bricks for about $.03 each (Element 3004)

      Element 2412b Modified Tile with Grill and Bottom Lip in Trans Neon Orange is only available in 12 sets but, will only run you an average of .05 each for 10.
      Thankfully there are no stickers in this set. So, an old sticker sheet or peeling stickers are not going to impact your overall  price.
      We've already looked at the more common elements that you need the most of for this set, now let's take a look at the unique, rare, and specialty pieces that make up this set. Some of these pieces are not terribly expensive when compared to others, but I would think that anything over a certain average is notable.
      First and foremost, let's look at the most expensive (non-minifigure) pieces in the set. Element 33230 16X16 round corner brick in Light Gray is unique to this set. Each one averages about $24 and you need 4 of them. Even in other colors, this is not a common part, appearing in 8 sets over 9 years.

      Element 75c20 is a 16.0 mm (20 long) rigid 3 mm hole in light gray. You need 1 and it's going to average almost $12 each. This hose is unique to the set. Although, right now on Bricklink, there is only one available for $19.99

      There is a single Dark Gray plate modified 3x2 with hole that is over $4. It is unique to this set. Element 3176. You may be in luck, 2 Bricklink sellers have this piece for significantly below average prices.

      For another $4 You'll get a Light Gray Support 2x2x8 with side grooves and peg on top, also unique Element 30646b (Be careful of the light bluish gray one which is more common and cheaper.) Although at this time, there are none available on Bricklink, so if you want one, you wind up forking over more.

      There are 4 1x4 Trans Neon Orange Element 3066 Brick 1x4 without bottom tubes for more than $2.50 each. None of the cheaper sellers on Bricklink have the 4 required, so you will need to make multiple orders.

      You're going to need 2 Light Gray Element 75c09 Hose, Rigid 3mm 7.2 mm (9 long) which are more common, appearing in 2 other sets. It averages more than $2 each. If you can find other stuff though, several shops have this element for less than half of the average.

      7 Light Gray 4x6 bricks Element 2356 run about $2 each. This part appears in 5 other sets including 10030 UCS Star Destroyer.

      While not a minifigure, the next part represents a character. Element 2454ps5 is brick 1x2x5 black with Han Solo in Carbonite Pattern. It appears in 3 other sets and is a bit less than $2.

      Unique to this set is Element 3741 Plant Flower Stem in brown. Usually this piece is found in green or bright green with a couple of other outliers. You need 2 and Bricklink doesn't show any currently for less than $5. The average looks like it's usually a bit closer to $2

      Dark Gray Brick 8x16 (element 4204) looks like a staple in older Harry Potter sets (appearing in 8), but none of them use as many as the 5 required for this set. It can be found pretty readily for less than $1 each.

      Tan Plate 6x12 is only found in 3 other sets including the Landspeeder. It's available pretty handily for less than $1 (element 3028)

      There are some pieces where I look at the naming conventions and I understand why it's called that, but it's a lot of words,and I wish there was a better shorthand. Element 30516c01 White Turntable 4 x 4 Locking Grooved Base with (Same Color) Top, Complete Assembly is one such. It is available in one other set. Despite the rarity, you can get it for less than $1.

      I am going to group these together, elements 41767 and 41768 4x2 Wedge (Right and Left) in Dark Gray are each available in only 2 other sets. They average less than $.50 each.

      Appearing in only one other set, White Technic, Gear Worm Screw (element 4716) can be easily obtained for less than $.50. You need 4.

      You need 2 2x2 black round tile with gray machinery pattern also known as element 4150px17 for this set. It was also available in set 7190 Millennium Falcon. It's also less than $.50

      4 other sets contain element 2577 4x4 Brick round corner, full brick in light gray. It's very easily found for less than $.50 and you need 2.

      You need a single black brick 1x6x5 element 3754 available in only 2 other sets. It can also be easily obtained for less than $.50

      If you have a fleet of crashed TIE FIghters, you may have element 30366pb02 Trans-Black Windscreen 3 x 6 x 5 Bubble with SW 8 Spoke Radial Light Gray Thin Lines Pattern that was available in 4 (5 if you count the reissue) other sets. You only need 1 and I doubt that you will need to spend over $.25 to get it.

      The final piece on my list, (but by no means the last piece in the inventory) is element 3307 Dark Gray Brick, Arch 1 x 6 x 2 - Thick Top with Reinforced Underside that was also available in a single other set. Prices on this piece average less than $.25

      When I look at the minifigure selection, I cannot understand why the LEGO Group has never updated the major players in this set. To me these look so outdated, almost primitive, and the yellow heads and hands just do not fit with the modern aesthetics. This particular collection of minifigures consists of some of the most expensive minifigures produced.
      First we have the somewhat common Darth Vader SW004 who has appeared in 5 sets. Be sure that your has the original gray head and not the newer gray.

      The Stormtrooper with plain yellow has appeared in 4 sets, and is the least expensive mini in this set. SW036

      This version of Han Solo was also released in a Minifigure Multipack with a Boba Fett and Jedi Luke. SW045

      This version of Luke Skywalker in Bespin gear has never been released in another set. His Torso, head and hair are exceptionally common. Be sure that the hips and legs have the proper decoration. Make sure that someone doesn't swap in these legs or these legs for your $70+ SW103

      Bespin Princess Leia is unique to this set and has also never been made again in a modern version. She can be found for around $40 SW104

      Lando Calrissian, that sly scoundrel is going to cost you close to $100. Be very careful of his double sided cape. (Why has he never been made again? #Where'sLando?) SW105

      Here's the one that I don't fully understand. This Boba Fett is one of the earliest figures with arm printing, and the arms probably get broken or worn more than most, but he'll run you $200 or more. Frankly, you can get the UCS Slave 1 for that and get a much nicer looking Boba Fett that also has arm printing. SW107

      The Instruction book for this set can be found online, but if you wanted to have one, or felt like the set was incomplete without it, Bricklink shows sales data from $37.50 to $53.27 while Ebay has an auction that closed for $21.75 (including shipping) and several Best offer accepted Buy it Now listings. Of note is that most of the listings on ebay have sold, and Bricklink only shows 5 available.

      Many hope (and pray) that the LEGO Group releases a large playset of Cloud City, much like Ewok Village, Death Star, and the rumored Forthcoming Hoth set. Any large Cloud City set would have a detrimental effect upon the overall value of this set. However, this set has a certain cache about it. Anyone who collects LEGO Star Wars has probably wondered why there's not been a Bespin Luke, Leia or Lando in over a decade. The perceived rarity probably matches the actual rarity.
      Based on Bricklink sales data for the past 6 months, If you wanted to put this set together yourself, you'd be looking at an average price of just over $728 for the bricks and pieces (which is actually $40 more than the average in January when I started this particular article.) A huge chunk of that cost is in the minifigure selection. If you wanted to add the box or the Instruction book, your total continues to climb. This is all before considering the multiple orders needed to accumulate all the pieces. The shipping costs of those orders could push your costs up by an extra $100 or so. 
      Please check out Jaisonline's build and review
      *NOTE: not every element of the set is listed. This article is meant to highlight the most common elements and the most unique elements from the set. It is not an inventory of the entire set.
      All images are the property of Rebrickable.com, Bricklink.com, and the LEGO Group.

    • thoroakenfelder
      An image has been found online of a new, upcoming Star Wars polybag of Rebel A-Wing pilot. There's no news yet of where or how to get it.Astute fans may notice that the figure more closely resembles a B-Wing pilot, but this character is based upon the design for Star Wars Rebels.The original report was available on hothbricks.com. More news when it is available.

    • thoroakenfelder
      I couldn't really get behind the Mighty Micros sets. Something about the short legs and the goofy expressions didn't click with me. At least the Microfighters have normal sized minifigures. But I kept looking at those goofy expressions and I could sort of dig them. I like Captain America, and the idea of a Unique, goofy Captain America half appealed to me. I kept picking up Captain America Vs. Red Skull and putting it back because I didn't relish the thought of spending money on something soooo goofy and juvenile. Eventually I felt like I had to, just so I could give it a real shot and not let my prejudices take over. This review will take a look and see what I actually think of this set.

      Set #: 76065
      Name: Mighty Micros: Captain America Vs. Red Skull
      Theme: Marvel Super Heroes
      Parts: 95
      Price: $9.99
      Some people may wind up picking up a set that is open box or, want to verify the box contents before beginning a build. For this set, there are 2 unnumbered baggies, a sticker sheet, an ad for Civil War sets and a pair of instruction books.

      There are 2 builds in this set and each build has its own instructions. The parts for the 2 builds are mixed between the 2 bags. To help me sort and build, I asked Li'l Captain America to help me.
      Li'l Captain America: Call me Cappy.

      Well, Cappy's assembling the base of the mighty micro.
      Cappy: Made with pride in America.

      I'm beginning to notice more of these car pieces with the molded headlights. I'm not entirely sure what these megaphones are supposed to represent. I'll call them exhaust pipes.
      Cappy: If I talk through one of these, it sounds like I am taking your drive thru order. Would you like fries with that?

      The jumper plates are sort of interesting, It's so you can offset the 2x3 plate in the next step
      Cappy: This car is automatic, it's systematic, it's hydromatic . . .

      I think that the turret for this tank is pretty interesting. You put a pail on to represent the barrel of the tank. It doesn't look too bad. Sure, it's stubby, but so is the whole aesthetic. The whole turret slots onto the pin. It barely has any room for rotation, so not much of a turret.
      Cappy: Who needs guns when you have fists of righteousness. And a shield,don't forget my shield.

      The wheels are small and wide. You also attach a light to the front of this go-kart.
      Cappy: Easier than changing the tires of my old bicycle when I was a wimp.

      I'm not entirely sure, but I think this is the first time LEGO has made a tank. They've made Star Wars tanks, but I think this is the first time that they made one that looks like it belongs here on earth, well sort of.
      Cappy: Well, tanks for the memories.

      Here's the Li'l Red Skull with his Cosmic Cube or Tesseract as the case may be. Let's call him Skully.
      Skully: You vill call me Ze Red Skull!

      The body of Skully's Hydra-mobile is even more simplistic than Cappy's tank. Plus, he's got a steering wheel. It should be easier to drive with a steering wheel.
      SKully: Insolent worm! Ze Hydra-mobile is hydramatic!

      I really have no idea why you attach a steering wheel to the back of this thing.  It's interesting, but totally pointless.
      Skully: Ze best of German engineering to provide a smooth ride.

      This mighty micro is a representation of the hydra tank that retired at the end of last year. You can see the sloped body shape coming together here.
      Skully: I zink zat ze people at ze automotive store were messing with me when zey said zat I needed headlight fluid.

      I'm not sure if this part is intended to just be a structure to support the additional floodlights and missiles, or if Skully just needs a super plush headrest.
      Skully: German engineering is both functional and comfortable, SHWEINHUND!

      Hey Skully, I'm not sure we really need rockets.
      Skully: ZE RED SKULL ALWAYS NEEDS ROCKETS! Zey call me rocket man!

      As a chibi representation of that Hydra tankish thing that LEGO released previously, it works. It fully represents what it is supposed to.
      Skully: Born to be WIIIIIIIIIIIIIILD!

      Together the vehicles don't look so ludicrously out of place as they do when you photograph them one at a time. Just havingthem inthe same shot, they look like a part of something. Something crazy.
      Cappy: You know, I just realized how hard it is to steer this thing when I am sideways and have a shield in front of my face.
      Skully: DUMBKOPF! Watch where you are going, or you will hit me!

      These sets are not really for me. While I find the simplistic, cutesy builds appealing on one hand, they just don't fit my desire for more comic accurate figures. I think that the minifigures are hilarious, but they don't meet my wants/needs. I found it hard to talk about the build process because there just wasn't anything to talk about, and I couldn't even make any smart-alec remarks. That being said, these guys may photobomb future reviews if I am not overly interested in those builds. These sets are like the microfighters in that they are smaller, cuter, simpler sets at a lower price point that will appeal to younger kids. Unlike Microfighters, for the same piece count you are building 2 small vehicles instead of one. That means that your simple build is super simple.
      The shorter stature and simplified decoration with comedic expressions will likely turn off a lot of "serious" collectors. That having been said, a truly serious collector might want to grab these unique figures. Like Pokemon, they have to catch them all. Captain America reminds me of a sketch that the original artist of Walking Dead did for me years ago. He insisted that if he was going to draw Captain America it would be the 70's TV version with the motorcycle helmet and the see through plastic shield. I told him that in that case, he should have a big dumb grin and a thumbs up. I love that picture.

      There's a part of me that says that serious collectors are never going to go for these things. Serious collectors sometimes like to go outside of their particular box. Once you've bought the regular stuff for your chosen theme, these lower cost sets might appeal to fill in the gaps. Remember what happened with the microfighters series 1. A lot of people discounted them, but fans were willing to pay 2-3X MSRP a year or less after retirement. The chances of Chinese bootleggers wanting to make these figures seems slim, so maybe their initial unappealing nature makes them perfect for later large gains.

    • thoroakenfelder
      Hello, I'd like to tell you about an idea that I had. I'd like to make June 25th Give a Sick Kid a Brick (Break) Day. This would be a day where we can give to a little served cause. It might not even cost you a dime.
      I don't know how many of you have had a sick kid. My child's been to the emergency room more times than I can remember and admitted to the hospital for observation 3 times. The children's hospital is just as dreary, just as stark and joyless as an adult hospital. Somehow it seems worse because the child doesn't have the same acceptance as an adult in the same position. What an adult endures, a child fights. Shots, procedures, nurses, doctors and specialists poking, prodding, checking and waking them up at all hours becomes like torture. Enduring being cooped in a place that is not their home with few comforts and little to occupy them while they are sick grates upon them.
      Some children endure better than others, but eventually they all rebel. They fight against another shot or collecting urine, or enduring another hour of therapy. It's hard for them to understand that the discomfort is to help them get better. So, how does the nursing staff deal with the recalcitrant patient? How do they cheer up a child that is trapped in the hospital on their birthday or an important holiday? Bribes of course. Most children's hospitals have some form of room/closet/cart that holds toys. They promise the patient a trip to the closet if it will help them to do a particularly aggravating procedure, or when they're well enough to go home. The promise of a toy keeps their spirits buoyed over several days as they look forward to choosing something special. Sometimes the staff wrap the toys or make a gift bag or package to present to a child that is down because they can't celebrate birthdays, Christmas, Hannukkah or whatever holiday with friends and extended family.
      I can tell you that it doesn't matter what is available, the kids are just happy to have something to look forward to. Sometimes the promise of a toy is enough to strengthen them as a needle is imminent, or placate them as they contemplate the third hour long breathing treatment in a row. They look forward to getting a toy as part of their release. It's a graduation of sorts.
      The toys in these closets are provided through donations. Some people donate money to a foundation that purchase toys, some sponsor a toy closet and run toy drives to collect stuff to fill it, and some private citizens donate toys. All of that prelude was to get to this last point. I have asked @Ed Mack for permission to address this community and ask you to mobilize for a cause.
      I would like to ask you to commit to donating some toys to your local children's hospital. I would love it if people would publically say that they will help out. I'm not offering any rewards, no chances at winning something good. I really couldn't afford to make it worth your while. It has to be something that you would want to do. I'd like to address some concerns that people may have.
      There are children's hospitals in most communities. I am not asking that you send me money or toys, because we should all act locally. Plus, you'll have no fear of having someone take your money or items and not do what they said they would.
      Many of us as collectors, parents or investors probably have new toys that have no place. As a collector, perhaps you have something that you bought that doesn't fit or that you were never really happy with. Parents will sometimes stockpile toys for future gift giving, or stash extra presents that their children received because there's just too much. Investors may have some dud that they picked up that they have no real hope of making anything off of. As long as the toys are unopened, they should be acceptable, so you might not even need to spend money.
      Some people won't donate to a specific organization because it's associated with a  certain religion or political group. There's a fear that the goods or money will be spent on administrative costs or misappropriated. In this case, you won't donate to a foundation or to a charity. You would donate to a hospital for sick kids, the hospital of your choice.
      Some people point to the adult community that collects toys and say that we are taking these things out of children's hands. Here's our chance to give back. I know that many of us have given, sometimes extravagantly. I ask that we give again.
      Most people are charitable at certain times of the year. There's a greater push for charitable contributions in November and December. I chose June 25th to ask people to donate because it is half a year from the time of year that many people would end their holiday charitable donations. I think that this time of year is harder on the groups that rely upon people's generosity. June 25th is just a guideline.
      I can't make anyone do anything. All I can do is ask, please help. Lift the heart of a child that is hurting.
      Now, obviously, you will never meet the child that receives your toy, and they will never know you. Child safety laws and patient confidentiality being so important. That doesn't mean you shouldn't do it. Post a picture to this thread of what you're donating, maybe it will encourage others.
      Check Google for your local children's hospital. Most of their sites will list what sort of toys/books or other items they need. They will also tell you how to collect your receipt for the tax deductible donation if you want it.
      If you have the inclination, pass it along and try to get others to donate too.
      Please remember that all toys must be new, unused, unopened. There's serious concerns about exposing children to germs and if you want to  donate used toys, there are other places like group homes that would love to have them. New doesn't necessarily mean fresh from a store, just unused and unopened.

    • Darth_Raichu
      LEGO opened its largest store to date on Wednesday May 11, 2016 at the Shanghai Disney Resort in China.
      Lego said in a statement the Chinese market was "one of the best performing markets in 2015".
      Lego is also setting up a factory in China which should be operational in 2017 in Jiaxing, 100 kilometers from Shanghai.
      Links to Reuter and Baidu for video and pictures from the opening day.

    • Fcbarcelona101
      Today, we are going back in time to almost three years ago (time flies!) and taking a look at one set that had the forums and the entire LEGO community talking almost non-stop: the LEGO Technic 4x4 Crawler Exclusive Edition.
      Unlike the majority of LEGO sets released throughout the years, the Limited Edition Crawler was designed through a fan base contest, with one of the conditions being that the creators utilized the chassis of the 9398 Crawler. The winner model was to be selected and produced as a limited edition of only 20,000 copies.

      Even since the winner was announced, investors and collectors were excited about the possibility of getting their hands in what many saw as a highly collectible set. Whether it was for resale, long term holding or just for personal collection reasons, the expectation was that such a unique set was bound to be extremely hard to acquire at retail price ($199.99).
      Months after the announcement, on August 1st 2013, the set was finally released to the public on LEGO Shop at Home and brick and mortar locations. As many expected, and worried about, 41999 sold out online the very same day, forcing customers to either hunt the set at retail location or source it from the secondary market.
      As one would expect, the hype surrounding the set meant that most brick and mortar locations sold out as soon as they put the set on the shelves. In turn, prices on eBay and other online platforms rose to close to $450, with sets selling within minutes of being listed as collectors worried about it becoming even more expensive, investors hoped for the next $1,000 set and, as some of you might remember, some even attempted to corner the market by acquiring dozens of copies a day.

      While I will not get into it, it is also worth mentioning that the circumstances surrounding the set generated a lot of controversy, and ethical/moral discussions popped up almost daily on some of the forum threads.
      In theory, it all made sense; LEGO released a set that was not designed by your traditional LEGO design team, limited it to 20,000 copies worldwide and, to top it off, included a number of rare and unique elements that increased collectability (first Technic set to use dark blue, chrome elements and a uniquely numbered license plate).  Furthermore, the box and instruction manuals were both higher quality than average and added a little bit of value to the set.
      It had all the potential in the world to become an extremely sought after and expensive set in the long term, but as you can see from the chart below, in the end that was not the case.

      The set has almost completely stagnated at around $360, the price it finally settled at a couple months after the hype died down at the end of 2013. That’s a close to 0% gain for anyone who has been holding the set for the last 2 or so years!
      Clearly, the weeks after release were the most profitable times to sell the Limited Edition 41999. I sold some of these within this timeframe and took advantage of the hype surrounding it, but at the same time thought that the set had a lot of long term potential (as many others did!). Looking back though, the performance of the set has not been anything but a disappointment.
      While it is always hard to pinpoint the exact reasons a set is not as popular as expected, I think that there are some generally accepted factors that contributed to the Crawler not doing as well as expected.
      Technic has always been a niche market. While there is definitely a following to the theme, its popularity is nowhere near as close to some of the licensed themes, reducing the customer base.
      The set on which 41999 was based on, 9398 Crawler, was readily available until 2015. Given the similarities between the two sets, having a much cheaper version in the market could have definitely impacted the performance of the Limited Edition.
      The set simply grew too fast, reaching maturity shortly after its release. All the circumstances surrounding the set allowed it to reach its ceiling way faster than the average LEGO set, explaining the lack of growth since.
      So, knowing its past, what should we look forward to? Honestly, I don’t see how the trend can be reversed. I would not expect to see any significant growth out of this set, as I believe that if its unique characteristics have not generated any more interest in the past couple of years, there is no reason to believe they will in the future.
      Don’t get me wrong, this is still a cool model and a very interesting piece of LEGO history, so there is definitely a value in owning it. But if you are still holding it with the expectation of above average result, I would definitely take a few moments to reconsider and compare it with some of the better options currently available.
      Thanks for reading!

    • Fcbarcelona101
      More often than not, the main question LEGO investors are trying to answer is “When is this set retiring?”. As we all know, once a set is retired is when it really has the potential to start growing in value, so it is not surprising that the EOL question is as common as it is in the forums. However, focusing entirely on currently available sets may be causing investors to miss on a potentially lucrative market: sets that have already been retired for quite some time.
      It is not the first time I write about this, and I know some of other members like fellow Mod Grolim used to bring up quite often in the earlier years of Brickpicker, but taking a look at my last article pushed me to write about a set that I see as a potential money maker even at its current market value. Before getting into that though, let’s take a look at some of the arguments in favor of investing in retired sets.
      Removes the uncertainty of retirement date and, in some cases, performance. Investing in retired sets allows you to reap the benefits of growth as soon as you acquire a set, removing the need to park your money waiting for a set to go EOL.
      Most of the already retired exclusives that are performing great are way more scarce than any of the newer exclusives will be once retired. It is pretty clear that the LEGO investing market has seen an influx of buyer over the past couple years, prompting LEGO to produce more and more of the popular sets and keeping them around longer; the older sets were not as massively produced or hoarded.
      Of course, there are also a couple of arguments against this practice, and it would not be responsible of me to simply omit them. The ones that come to mind are:
      Risk of remakes. We have seen the two sides of the coin related to this point, as the remake of the UCS X-Wing failed to completely depress the prices of the older version but the new Winter Village Toy shop completely destroyed 10199. Acquiring an already retired set increases the likelihood that investors will be holding a set at the time a remake is announced.
      High amounts of capital are usually required. While practically anyone can invest on sets that are currently available, it becomes harder when you are targeting sets that are worth upwards of $500.
      Also, it is important to mention that this article assumes readers are Buy and Hold type of investors. Flipping and selling other sets in the short term can more than likely generate the same or more returns by moving sets quicker.
      The case for investing in the UCS Super Star Destroyer
      Some of you may remember the good old times when we saw the Super Star Destroyer selling for $319 on Amazon. Clearly, those days are over, but that does not mean that it is too late to put some money into this impressive set with the idea of making some good money in a couple of years.
      Why do I even bring this up? Well, just take a look at the following chart showcasing the performance of some of the UCS sets in the past two years1:
      1Actual values for December 2013 and 2015. 2014 Data is just an interpolation.
      Clearly, the performance of these sets has been outstanding over the past couple of years, and some of them were already extremely expensive back in December, 2013. We are talking about an average return of close to 93% in just 2 years over an average price of $750! (90% if we do a weighted average).
      Even more impressive, most of the sets shown in the graph above have been retired for more than 5 years at this point. Seeing these levels of growth over just two years indicates how solid most of the UCS models are in the long term.
      The UCS Super Star Destroyer is already selling for almost $1,000 based on the latest Brickpicker data. As mentioned before, investing in these expensive sets requires a certain amount of capital and a moderately high risk tolerance, but looking at how similarly valued sets have performed in the 2 years we have data for, it is a strategy with high reward potential.

      Back when the SSD was available for retail it already sold for $400 most of the time, making it one of those sets that are somewhat more difficult to hoard for most investors, reducing supply in the secondary market. Besides this, the set is probably one of the most impressive in both size and detail LEGO has ever released, and one that we are more than likely won’t be re-released for quite some time.  LEGO has so many other sets to re-release before we ever see another SSD in stores (Imperial Star Destroyer, Millennium Falcon, Snowspeeder, etc.).
      Honestly, I see this set with the potential to reach $2,000 in a few years, much like its older sibling the Imperial Star Destroyer. This is only an opinion, but I figured I would bring the topic up for discussion and let each investors make up their own mind about it.
      Thanks for reading!

    • thoroakenfelder
      LEGO hasn't released much for one of the flagship titles of the Marvel comics universe. Marvel Super Heroes X-Men vs. Sentinel is only the second set featuring those popular mutants. 4 Popular characters, an iconic vehicle, and the most notorious instruments of government sponsored mass murder in the Marvel Universe should lead to one of the best sets that LEGO has produced for this theme. Let's take a look and see how well they accomplished  what should be an amazing set. Let's review.

      Set #: 76022
      Name: X-Men Vs. The Sentinel
      Theme: Marvel Super Heroes
      Parts: 336
      Price: $49.99
      The general consensus is that this set is overpriced. The number of pieces is really low for the cost, but you get a lot of big pieces. That may not mean much against typical evaluation though.
      Some people may wind up picking up a set that is open box or, want to verify the box contents before beginning a build. For this set, there are 3 numbered baggies, a sticker sheet, a comic book, 2 Hull pieces and 2 instruction books.

      BAG 1: Along with all the parts to make the Sentinel, you get Wolverine and Magneto. Magneto has a platform that you create for him to fly on. I guess 80's Magneto couldn't just lift himself? I forget.
      Magneto: You fool, attacking me when you have bones laced with metal.
      Wolverine: This is the80's bub, your powers are magnetic and Adamantium is non-ferrous so I can cut you into sushi.

      The first stage of the Sentinel has to be the torso. When I started, I thought for some reason that this was the shoulders.
      Magneto: Maybe we should team up. I've heard of these mutant hunting super robots.

      The fully printed slope for the torso is pretty great looking. It's too bad that they used up all of the printing money for the Sentinel.
      Magneto: Curses, this robot is also made from non-ferrous metal. It seems like in the 80's I was much easier to defeat.
      Wolverine: Don't worry about it bub, I've got claws. SNIKT

      The head also looks pretty good. I could have stood for the printed area to be larger, but it really does recall the classic sentinel.
      Magneto: Did you just say SNIKT?
      Wolverine: I'm the best there is at what I do and what I do is say SNIKT.

      I actually like the legs. He's got big stompy boots,just like the classic sentinel.
      Wolverine: Let's see, where can I go berserk on this thing, bub.
      Magneto: You fool, you're supposed to destroy it, not have a piggyback ride.

      The shoulders are slightly bulky, but I think that's just so it can look like it has biceps. I have no idea why a robot has to have muscular biceps, but that's the way it's been shown for a long time.
      Magneto: I'll use my metal hovery disk to pick up this monster.
      Wolverine: Hey I just thought of something, if my bones are all covered in adamantium, are my teeth metal too? I can chew through this guy, bub.

      The hands are actually somewhat clever. His hand blast is an interesting use of the spring missile. The flick missiles on his back look somewhat awkward.
      Wolverine: UGH Bub!
      Magneto: Curse these magnetic powers that only work on magnetic metals.


      BAG 2 & 3:
      You start building the bluebird sorry I mean blackbird. Cyclops comes in bag 2 and Storm in bag 3. I find it interesting that the missiles are almost the first thing you build. I kind of expected them to be last.

      As with most LEGO planes, this set kind of looks like a boat when half completed. It certainly looks more like a boat than a plane. Also, here you see the first sticker from the set.
      Cyclops: Hmmmm, this sticker says that there's a Sentinel around.

      There's 4 seats in the bluebird, not terrible considering that technically there's only 3 X-Men.
      Cyclops: I love to sing while I work. "You put the boom boom into my heart . . ."

      I always assumed the blackbird would be sleek and ths build just makes it seem tubby and squat. You'd assume that with the seat being so low, the canopy would just go right there, but this big chunk  with a handle goes right there, effectively blocking line of site for the person steering the ship.
      Cyclops: "Wake me up before you go go, don't leave me hanging on like a yo yo,"

      Cyclops: Looking pretty good if I do say so myself
      (no, no it's not.)

      In bag 2, we come to one of the most consistent things in Super Hero sets, whether it's marvel or DC, there's usually a fire extinguisher. To paraphrase Tony Stark "We might not save the world, but you can be darn sure that we'll extinguish small fires."
      Cyclops: Hey Storm, can you help me finish building this thing? I think Professor X was way out of line thinking I could design, build and fly a jet all by myself.
      Storm: Where does he get enough money to build his own armed stealth jet?

      The cockpit canopy attaches with a pair of stickers and the blue whale is really taking shape. Check out the flick missile That doesn't look lame or anything just tacked on the outside. (Now that I called it out specifically, you're going to notice it in every picture from now on.)
      Wolverine: Oof bub, SNIKT.
      Cyclops: What the? where did he come from?
      Storm: It sounded like a distant explosion and he just came flying from somewhere else like he had been blasted here. (Tell don't show, I learned that from George Lucas.)

      There's another hatch for the back compartment. I was pleasantly surprised with how much I liked the fact that they designed it so that you could actually play with your characters back there. Not that it's innovative or any better looking than any of the rest of this thing.
      Magneto: Quickly X-Fools, the Sentinel is coming, get your flying whale thing ready.
      Wolverine: Yeah, he's on our side for now.
      Cyclops: it's not a whale, it's a sleek blackbird.

      Attach the engines and a couple of stubby wings
      Magneto: Hurry fools it is coming!
      Storm: You know, it would go a lot faster if you helped Magnet man.
      Magneto: Unfortunately you designed this ship out of non magnetic metals so that I couldn't stop you in flight.
      Wolverine: too bad your arms are broken then bub.
      Magneto: But they're not.
      Wolverine: They will be unless you help, bub.

      The final stretch where you attach the wings provides an optical illusion. You almost think that it's sleek with those long canted wings. They're just sort of tacked on the back though. The rest of the ship is still an ungainly blob. I really wish they had made the wings more a part of the ship. The blackbird was based on the SR-71 blackbird, one of the most interesting planes of the 70's/80's. 

      If you throw enough stuff around it, you might not notice how disappointing the plane is.
      Wolverine: Grrrrr, the Sentinel's here bubs. SNIKT
      Cyclops: Oops, why did I design this where I have to stand to fly it?
      Magneto: I'm out of here, you guys have a handle on it.
      Storm: Come back here you coward.

      The Sentinel looks fine. It's not great, but it serves its purpose. I almost think that it works better than Groot. I wish it were bigger and solider looking, but what we got isn't terrible. The blue blackbird is not good though. I think it looks terrible. It's more like a blue whale than a black bird. Building this set and the Avenjet within a day of each other really makes me realize how disappointingly bulbous and goofy this set is.I was happy with the wings until I looked at the complete vehicle and realized how much more satisfying almost every other Super Hero  plane that I made is.
      The minifigures are all unique. Magneto and Wolverine were both released previously in other costumes. The Brown and yellow costume is kind of classic for Wolverine. Magneto's Purple costume was a mistake from the 80's and should have been forgotten. I would have 1000x have preferred a straight repack of the previous Magneto. Cyclops hasn't worn this costume in like 30 years. I distinctly remember the last issue of X-Men that he wore it in (I think) X-Men 201 when Mohawk Storm beat him for leadership of the X-Men. Frankly, this entire set reminds me of the 80's, except that stupid plane.
      Wolverine and Storm are the highlights of this set. Cyclops is sadly a little too plain to really stand out, and Magneto is just lame.

      There are a lot of accessories for these guys.

      The only figure in the set without a dual sided head is Cyclops. The detailing on Storm is fantastic including the painted legs. Wolverine's goggles can be used with the mask or even the hairpiece.

      There's a part of me that looks at this set and sees the disappointing Sentinel and Blackbird and the lame looking Magneto and thinks it's a loser. The larger part of me looks at the fact that LEGO is not releasing X-Men sets consistently. So far there have been only 2 X-Men sets and the previous one blew up. I feel like this set is a slow burner. In a year, people will realize there's not another X-Men set coming and go after this one. This set has lingered a long time, but I think it's just because no one has confidence. They feel like this one is overpriced, so aren't putting money into it. When X-Men Apocalypse comes out, featuring most of these characters, it will disappear from retail.
      Plus, how inaccurate can it be? it looks like this toy from the 90's (gag)

      You get an extra missile and claws plus the standard small pieces

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