Ratings and Reviews for Blackjack

30282-1: Super Secret Police Enforcer
30282-1: Super Secret Police Enforcer
Reviewed on: Mar 22, 2014
View All Reviews

Overall Personal Score

7.80

DIRECT LINK TO REVIEW:
View Review

MEMBER OWNS SET: YES     MEMBER HAS BUILT SET: NO


FIRST IMPRESSION | Score: 9

I like the look of this set for a small display or play piece.  I picked four of them up to re-sell when I saw them at my TRU.  I think that because of its short shelf life and affiliation with the LEGO movie, it will generate a nice return by Christmas 2014.

UNIQUE PARTS | Score: 6

This set doesn't really have unique parts, just a modified Robo-Swat minifigure.

PLAYABILITY/BUILD EXPERIENCE | Score: 6

This set doesn't have great playability as it's only a small little speeder.  It's really more of a collectors item.

VALUE FOR MONEY | Score: 10

For $5, this set has great value.  Combining multiples of this would make a great battle with the other LEGO Movie sets, and it will certainly make a good payoff in a year.

THEME POPULARITY | Score: 10

I think the LEGO Movie is a really cool theme, with a large following.  These sets are winners.

EXCLUSIVITY | Score: 9

I believe this set was a Toys R Us exclusive, which greatly adds to its rarity.  Also, it has a short shelf life.  Both of these factors spell money to me!

PACKAGING | Score: 6

The Super Secret Police Enforcer comes in a regular ol' polybag.

GROWTH POTENTIAL | Score: 8

I am very hopeful for this set's growth.  The LEGO Movie is already a huge hit, and if it can maintain its popularity, all of the sets will do well in the secondary market.  This set will easily hit $10, and maybe even $15 in the future.

DISPLAY QUALITY | Score: 6

Since it is small, I wouldn't say this set has good displayability.  Only if is is set up with other LEGO Movie sets will it make a good impression.

CONCLUSION & FINAL ANALYSIS | Score: 8

This is a cool little set which well supports the other, larger LEGO Movie sets.  I have high expectations for this sets performance in the secondary market.


30166-1: Robin and Redbird Cycle
30166-1: Robin and Redbird Cycle
Reviewed on: Nov 18, 2013
View All Reviews

Overall Personal Score

8.60

DIRECT LINK TO REVIEW:
View Review

MEMBER OWNS SET: YES     MEMBER HAS BUILT SET: YES


FIRST IMPRESSION | Score: 9

I was at Toys R Us and saw this polybag for $5, so I had to buy a few.  I see this set as both a good investment and a cheap way to get the awesome Robin minifigure for your collection. 

UNIQUE PARTS | Score: 6

This set doesn't really have exclusive pieces, but Robin is a great minifigure which sells for $7.

PLAYABILITY/BUILD EXPERIENCE | Score: 8

For a small set, this one has good play value. The motorcycle is fun to push around, and has a sturdy construction.

VALUE FOR MONEY | Score: 10

Amazing value here. Robin alone is worth $2 more than the whole set, and the motorcycle just sweetens the pot.

THEME POPULARITY | Score: 10

Batman is an incredibly popular theme, and a solid investment theme. These polybags won't be on the shelves for long!

EXCLUSIVITY | Score: 9

Originally, I think these sets were only available in the UK. However, they were later released at Toys R Us, where I got mine. This exclusivity should keep the set from depreciating much while it is still in stores.

PACKAGING | Score: 8

Just a regular Lego polybag here.

GROWTH POTENTIAL | Score: 8

Batman is a historically good performer, so I expect the set to do well in the aftermarket. Obviously, it would have done much better if it hadn't been put in TRU, but then I wouldn't have gotten mine! Buy this set if you can find it!

DISPLAY QUALITY | Score: 9

Great display set for the size. Robin is a great standalone minifigure.

CONCLUSION & FINAL ANALYSIS | Score: 9

Robin and Redbird cycle is one of the best polybags I've seen. it has a great, fairly rare minifigure, and a cool little motorcycle with good playability. I think that this set will be a good, if not breakaway investment option, and would certainly buy a few of these if you have a chance to buy any.


6493-1: Flying Time Vessel
6493-1: Flying Time Vessel
Reviewed on: Jul 4, 2013
View All Reviews

Overall Personal Score

1.60

DIRECT LINK TO REVIEW:
View Review

MEMBER OWNS SET: NO     MEMBER HAS BUILT SET: NO


FIRST IMPRESSION | Score: 1

Neadless to say, I do not own this set, but I thought that it would be fun to do it as my last review.  (I really hope that it counts for something!)

The Flying Time Vessel comes from the Time Cruisers Lego theme, which is one of the most depressing and pathetic themes ever released.  This is an incredably chaotic set which has no applicable play uses that I can think of.  It is basically a ship.  with a cockpit.  and a mast.  and wheels.  covered in random crap.  The minifigures are just a bad and boring, with the only cool part being the monkey.  This is probably the reason that the set has only appreciated to THREE DOLLARS above retail...  This is one of the worst sets I have ever seen, and can be viewed by the Lego group as the best way NOT to make a set.

UNIQUE PARTS | Score: 2

This is a piece of crap set with only two lame minifigures and a bunch of random junk.  (This phrase will be repeated many times throughout this review!)  We obviously get Timmy, who sells for a hefty some of $0.80 on Bricklink, and some lame professor dude.  The best part of the set is their pet monkey, which is not exclusive, but still fairly rare.  The other pieces may be rare in some way, but the way that they are used in the set renders this fact irrelevent.

PLAYABILITY/BUILD EXPERIENCE | Score: 2

Unless you are like two, you would not find this set enjoyable.  It is extremely poorly put together, and this makes it hard to play with just because your eyes may very well start bleeding when you look at it up close.  I guess you could roll is with the wheels or throw Timmy in the crow's nest, but if you want to do this, than just get a good old pirate ship!

VALUE FOR MONEY | Score: 1

Nothing going on here!  I can't think of a WORSE way to spend ones money, other than Pay-Per-View and Hot-Pockets.  It cost $43.99 and had only 237 pieces.  There are only about 1,000,000 other Lego sets which are more desrving of your money than this!

THEME POPULARITY | Score: 1

EVERY set from the Time Cruisers theme looks just as bad as the Flying Time Vessel.  They all look like they are slapped together in about two seconds by a blind gorilla, and are the worst Lego sets ever made.  They have all been poor performers, so don't buy them if you ever do see them.

EXCLUSIVITY | Score: 3

I am unsure if this set was an exclusive or not, but I highly doubt it.

PACKAGING | Score: 1

The box displayed this set in all of its hideous glory.

GROWTH POTENTIAL | Score: 3

What really surprises me about this set is that is hasn't lost money!  Considering what a complete piece of crap it is, one would think that it would be worth about $15 these days.  I think that the market for Time Cruisers will always be very small, as many sets are sold to people who had the thing as a kid, and I doubt that many people remember Time Cruisers and the Flying Time Vessel Fondly.  I would like to buy the entire collection of sets MISB and just ERADICATE them with a 12 gauge shotgun...

DISPLAY QUALITY | Score: 1

Need I even say anything?  The Flying Time Cruiser is a complete visual mess, with no cohesion whatsoever.  This is one of the worst possible display sets ever created in my opinion.

CONCLUSION & FINAL ANALYSIS | Score: 1

The Flying Time Cruiser is an iconic set from the Time Cruisers line.  It has few exclusive pieces, no cool minifigures, and very poor playability.  The thing looked like the Pick-A-Brick wall just took a dump on a ship frame.  This is one of the worst sets that I have ever seen, and doesn't even deserve the name of Lego in my opinion.  Surprisingly, it has not actually lost value, and has actually gained $3.  I do not epect continued growth though, just because the market for the set is so small.

This review was so fun and easy to write that I may just do more like it!

Blackjack out.


8805-13: Boxer
8805-13: Boxer
Reviewed on: Jul 4, 2013
View All Reviews

Overall Personal Score

6.10

DIRECT LINK TO REVIEW:
View Review

MEMBER OWNS SET: NO     MEMBER HAS BUILT SET: YES


FIRST IMPRESSION | Score: 7

The Boxer is a minifigure which I no longer own (something that happens a lot with my reviews) but it was a good set that I had for a long time. 

The Boxer is a fun minifigure which I traded for from a friend.  This is a good set which came from Series 5 of the Collectible Minifigure Series.  There are a number of unique pieces on this set which were only ever seen on one other set: the Team GB Brawny Boxer, but in a different color.  The set is too small to be a good play set on its own, because it is very small.  It is however, a good display set, because who doesn't love a boxer!?!  It is now worth $4, so it has seen a little bit of appreciation.  I do not expect it to be a worthwhile investment though, because of the time involved to process and hold the set until a good profit can be gleaned. 

 

UNIQUE PARTS | Score: 8

All of the Boxer's elements are exclusive, which makes him a pretty cool minifigure.

  • Helmet:  The helmet is a very noticable piece which was very well executed by Lego.  It looks like a legitimate sparing helmet, and even has holes around the top.  This helmet was seen in only one other set, which is the Brawny Boxer from team GB.  It was blue in that set, leaving this the only red one.
  • Head:  The head is pretty cool, with a smiling expression showing the mouth-guard on one side, and a quivering mouth and black eyes on the other.
  • Torso:  This piece has abs printed on it, with a championship belt high up the waist.  I think that this is better than if they would have just given the Boxer regular abs.
  • Legs:  The Boxer's legs are also printed, yellow knees breaking up the otherwise entirely red legs.
  • Hands:  This is an unusual area to talk about, but it cannot go unexplored when picking apart the set.  The Boxer has very unique boxing glove piece in place of the standard Lego hand pieces.  These are very cool, and I was super excited when I first saw them.  Again, they are on the Team GB Brawny Boxer, but in blue instead of red.

PLAYABILITY/BUILD EXPERIENCE | Score: 6

I don't think that the Boxer - or any Collectible Minifigure for that matter - has great playability, just because they are so small.  The most playing I do with my Collectible Minifigures is to just hold them and contemplate the designs of the minifigures.  (I know that sounds very creepy but you know you all do it!)  The hands on the Boxer are fun to mess with, and the coolest part of the set.  I guess that you could get a fight between the Boxer and Brawny Boxer going, but I have never had the Brawny Boxer, so this was impossible for me.

VALUE FOR MONEY | Score: 7

The Boxer retailed for $2.99, which is an acceptable price in my opinion.  You get a really nice minifigure, and the only downside is that it is almost only good for display and nothing else. 

THEME POPULARITY | Score: 9

I always say that I like the theme, which is a little strange considering I only have about ten of the minifigures!  I did at one pint have thirty or forty, but I traded them off for Star Wars for the most part.  I love all of the cool designs seen throughout the ten series released so far, as they add lots of colorful charcters to the Lego world.  I do not howver, see these sets as valid individual investment choices, as they are so cheap to begin with that they aren't worth you while.

EXCLUSIVITY | Score: 2

The Boxer was not an exclusive, but I doubt that so many people were buying these sets without the Mr. Gold hype.

PACKAGING | Score: 2

I hate with all of my heart the mystery packaging used for Collectible Minifigures.  It contributes not at all to the appeal of the set, and actually makes it a whole lot worse in my opinion.

GROWTH POTENTIAL | Score: 4

Thankfully, the Boxer has appreciated $1 tiny dollar over retail, so at least it hasn't lost money...  I'm sure you'd agree that this is still depressing though and not worth an investors time.  Even in a best case scenario, what are you going to make in profits?  Maybe $5, and that is stretching it?  These things just retailed to cheaply to be taken seriously by me, and I would keep them on the display shelf, not in the investment closet.  Collecting a whole series may not be a bad idea, but this is an expensive ordeal, and money can be better spent elsewhere.

DISPLAY QUALITY | Score: 9

Since the Boxer is meant to be a collectible item and a display set, this is obviously where it performs best.  It has a very classic look to it, and all of the little details are equaly important.  The belt, hemet, faces, and especially gloves are all very cool pieces which the Boxer would be nothing without. 

CONCLUSION & FINAL ANALYSIS | Score: 7

The Boxer is a very solid Collectible minifigure from Series 5.  When I saw that my friend had it, I knew that I needed to trade for it!  The minifigure has all exclusive pieces, the best of which are the boxing gloves and sparing helmet.  The head has dual printing, which is perfect for display.  Although this is a great set for display purposes, it is limited as a play set for the obvious reason that it is so small.  I do not think that it will be a good investment set, even though it has appreciated a whopping one dollar... I really wouldn't waste my time with tiny little Collectible Minifigures, and would stick to the big sets that will yield a greater overall return. 


8833-2: Conquistador
8833-2: Conquistador
Reviewed on: Jul 3, 2013
View All Reviews

Overall Personal Score

6.30

DIRECT LINK TO REVIEW:
View Review

MEMBER OWNS SET: NO     MEMBER HAS BUILT SET: YES


FIRST IMPRESSION | Score: 8

I no longer have the Conquistador having traded him off, but I really did like the set when I did have it. 

The Conquistador is a great minifigure who was released in Series 8 of the Collectible Minifigure Series.  The minifigure has great playability, and lots of exclusive pieces which also make it nice for display.  Since it is just one minifigure, it is a limited set, but the cheapness makes the Conquistador worth the $2.99 retail price in my opinion.  I do not think that it will be a great investment just because so many were produced and they were so cheap, but the set is a nice one to have and a cool little collectible.

UNIQUE PARTS | Score: 7

The Conquistador has some unique pieces, but they are all just repainted items, with no exclusive or new molds being utilized in the set. The helmet is an old curved piece which was first seen on the old Spanish minifigures back in the 90’s I believe. It is produced in gold for this set, and has a hole on top where a Lego feather can be inserted. The set comes with a small red feather, which adds color and character to the set. The head has only one face, which is a smiling face surrounded by a brown beard. This isn’t a super cool head, but it is a nice addition to the plethora of minifigure heads. The breastplate is not an exclusive piece either, but it has lots of unique printing not seen in any other set. It is gold and silver, silver and gold! ;) Anyway, I like this piece very much, and it contributes hugely to the appearance of the Conquistador. The torso is an unadorned burgundy affair, which I feel should have gotten at least some printing. It is not seen when covered by the breastplate, but it is always better to have a printed piece rather than unprinted. The legs are thankfully well painted, with gold armor on the upper thighs, and red pantaloons on the knees. The foot area is simply light gray. Possibly the best part of the set is the rapier, which was previously seen on the Musketeer. This sword has a rounded basket hilt, with a short handgrip. This facilitates the complete covering of the hand by the guard. The blade is relatively short as far as Lego swords go, with a thin, circular blade with a small ball at the end. This sword is great for play and spices up the realm of Lego weapons immensely. The Collectible Minifigure display stand is the staple item seen in every one of the sets. It is four studs long and three wide, with a row of studs running along the center lengthways. This is a perfectly designed display stand, and is a great feature of the sets.

PLAYABILITY/BUILD EXPERIENCE | Score: 6

I hold Collectible Minifigures in low esteem with regards to playability, because there really isn’t much that you can do with one fig. Sure, you can combine it with other sets or displays, but there isn’t anything you can do with the actual minifigure. I do like to take mine apart and recombine them my own way, and I suppose this constitutes playing, but as far as leaving the set as is and trying to play with it, there are very few things to do with it.

VALUE FOR MONEY | Score: 8

$2.99 is a decent price for a minifigure, but I still buy very few of them. Four Collectible Minifigures adds up to the price of one of those $13 Superheroes sets, so it is hard to spend that money on four minifigures. Also, the fact that you can buy these things online for about a dollar makes $3 look pretty steep. Still, as long as Lego doesn’t hike the Collectible Minifigure price up any higher, I will consider them a justifiable buy.

THEME POPULARITY | Score: 9

I am a big fan of Collectible Minifigures, but I never go out and buy the things. If I had more money I might go out and smoosh a few, but the time and cost involved are kind of high and I would prefer to spend my money on Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, or Superheroes. I also think that the Collectible Minifigures are generally poor investments, with sets such as the Zombie which reach $20 and more being rare exceptions.

EXCLUSIVITY | Score: 2

The Conquistador was not an exclusive set, as Collectible Minifigures are available at nearly all major retailers and many smaller stores as well.

PACKAGING | Score: 2

The Conquistador came in a black bag, which looks very cool. However, I really hate the mystery packaging of Collectible Minifigures, because it makes it much harder to find the set that you want. I suppose that some people like the suspense and surprise of not knowing what they are getting, but we all know that it is just a ploy by Lego to sell more sets as people blindly buy them hoping to get that one. If they would just written in fine print the name on the bottom or something, people could easily choose to ignore it, while us others would get what we came for. We need to get petition going to send to Lego with 10,000 signatures denouncing mystery packaging! :)

GROWTH POTENTIAL | Score: 4

As great as the other aspects of the Conquistador are, I do not see the set performing well as an investment. My reasons are simple: The low retail cost of the minifigure means that the market was flooded; even more so than with regular cheap sets. In fact, Brickpicker doesn’t get data for the performance of Collectible Minifigures until months after they were discontinued. Secondly, the demand is probably low for the set, meaning that there will be thousands left over after everyone who wants one has gotten it. It will most likely appreciate slowly, but I would never consider it a viable investment because of the time involved.

DISPLAY QUALITY | Score: 9

The Conquistador is an exceptional display set, largely in part because of all of the gold pieces. The set has a classic look, and it one of those historical minifigures which strikes a chord with everyone. It is small and can fit nearly anywhere, making it an economical and space friendly display set. My favorite way to display the Conquistador is a bit unconventional. I have him hold the sword handle at the very bottom, so that it sticks out straight in front of him. This gives the minifigure a great fencing posture, and is much cooler looking than holding the sword the normal way. (I really hope that made sense guys!)

CONCLUSION & FINAL ANALYSIS | Score: 8

The Conquistador was released in the early fall of 2012 along with the rest of the Series 8 minifigures. The set has lots of cool pieces, which can be used to make sweet custom figures in addition to being left as is. The Set is an engaging display set for its size, and I often placed it in combat with other minifigures. I do not expect it to be a good investment set, but I honestly don’t care as I have never seen these sets as being profitable sets when sold individually. These sets are meant to be displayed, and I would treat them as such. Do yourself a favor and buy the Conquistador for display, it is a great set and you will not regret it! I'm really sorry that the set recieves such a bad score because of the packaging, exclusivity and growth potential, because it deserves at least an eight.


8561-1: Nuhvok
8561-1: Nuhvok
Reviewed on: Jul 2, 2013
View All Reviews

Overall Personal Score

6.80

DIRECT LINK TO REVIEW:
View Review

MEMBER OWNS SET: YES     MEMBER HAS BUILT SET: YES


FIRST IMPRESSION | Score: 8

Nuhvok is an amazing set which was released in 2002.  It retailed for $7.99 and has 41 pieces.  Needless to say, I consider this a very good deal and think that the set was totally worth it at the time.  it has great plkay attributes, such as the ability to roll up, and the way the head can spring forward with the push of a lever.  I would recommend the Bohrok over any other Bionicle sets in terms of play quality and durability.  When paired with the other Bohrok or the original Toa Mata, the set additionally looks great on display.  The set does tie with Gahlok for my least favorite Bohrok, but this is just because it is kind of bland next to the other ones.  Unfortunately, Nuhvok has only appreciated to $16, so I consider it a failure as an investment.  Still, this is a solid set which has many good traits and makes a nice addition to any collection.

UNIQUE PARTS | Score: 4

There aren o exclusive pieces in this set besides the element shieds and lime green Kraana.  The shields look kind of like drills or jack-hammers, but aren't all that cool.  The Kraana is a bright green color, and is made of soft rubber.  This is a nice piece which can be attached to a Toa's mask to infect them and pull them into the hive mind.  A set doesn't need exclusive pieces tobe great though, so I do not think that Nuhvok is negatively effected because of the exclusion of exclusives.

PLAYABILITY/BUILD EXPERIENCE | Score: 10

The build time for Nuhvok is obviously very short, but this is an insignificant trifle when dealing with Bionicle sets.  Since they are designed almost exclusively to be played with, this is the only really important part.  The set is small, but packed with fun.  The head is held under light tension by a rubber band, and can be flipped forward when a lever is pushed.  The limbs can be rolled up next to the body, and make a very good sphere.  The set is very sturdily built, with high quality pieces, which goes a long way in making a good set.

VALUE FOR MONEY | Score: 10

This set had great value whan it was released, which is something I say about almost every single Bionicle set.  I can't really go into the details of value because it is such a small set, but it was great in all areas of use.  It was not a good use of investment money however.

THEME POPULARITY | Score: 7

Bionicle began in 2001, and ran until 2010.  I love the sets, and have many of them on display.  Some of my favorites are the Bohrok, which are probably my favorite villains.  They may be small, but they have great play attributes and were very cheap.

EXCLUSIVITY | Score: 3

Nuhvok was not an exclusive.

PACKAGING | Score: 8

Nuhvok came in a neat little plastic canister, which was the signiture storage method for Bionicles.

GROWTH POTENTIAL | Score: 4

It may seem odd to rate a set which has doubled in value to $16, but I have my reasons.  First of all, Nuhvok has had ample time to grow, and has not done so very well over the eleven years since its release.  Secondly, the market is probably small for the set, which keeps prices down.  I expect no more growth for the set, and I sadly doconsider it a failed investment set.

DISPLAY QUALITY | Score: 7

Along with the other Bohrok, Buhvok makes a great display set, despite its small size.  The legs are very stubby so that there aare a limited number of poses, but the arms can be angled in many aggresive configurations.  This was my first Bohrok set, and I remember putting it on a shelf years ago.  It has now been dwarfed by its cooler counterparts though.

CONCLUSION & FINAL ANALYSIS | Score: 7

Nuhvok is a fun set which retailed very cheaply.  It is great for kids to play with, and also looks good on display.  I am a big fan of the Bohrok so I naturally like this set, but it does happen to be one of my least favorite of the villains.  Unfortunately for anyone who invested in it all those years ago, the set has not made large gains, and now sits at $16.  Because of low demand, I do not expect I rise in the value of the set.  Even with this depressing investment forcast, one must still remember to look atthe bright side, which is a fun and detailed set, even today.


8531-1: Pohatu
8531-1: Pohatu
Reviewed on: Jun 30, 2013
View All Reviews

Overall Personal Score

6.80

DIRECT LINK TO REVIEW:
View Review

MEMBER OWNS SET: YES     MEMBER HAS BUILT SET: YES


FIRST IMPRESSION | Score: 7

I have reviewed nearly all of my Bionicles (except for the Rahkshi) so just bare with me as a mop up the last ones!  :)

Pohatu is my least favorite of the original Toa Mata, but still a great set.  Like all of the Toa Mata, it retailed for $7.99; a good deal by any standards.  It is very sturdy and has those priginal pieces and design found only in the first wave of sets.  The design is odd, with the torso being upside down.  This is so that Pohatu can kick the rock that comes in the set with his mechanical workings.  This makes him look very out of shape, with a fat butt and skinny limbs.  (I know it doesn't make sense, just go with it!)  Pohatu is only worth $24 at the moment, which is a markup of 3x retail, but certainly not huge after twleve years of waiting.  Since I believe that the Bionicle theme as a whole has ceased growing, (take this as a generalization) this review will focus more on the play, display, and value for money attributes of Pohatu.

UNIQUE PARTS | Score: 6

As is the case with most Bionicle sets, Pohatu has only a very few exclusive pieces, and the rest are standard Bionicle elements seen in most of the sets. 

  • Mask:  Pohatu's mask is ok, with big vents on the sidesand small, slanted eyes.  The mask has been used on a few other sets over the years, but in different colors.
  • Shoes:  Here we havea Bionicle who likes to accessorize!  Pohatu has tan 'shoes' that go over his feet and are secured by technic pins.  These are to supposedly reinforce the feet when kicking large rocks.  They are uniqueto Pohatu, and were used in silver on Pohatu Nuva the next year.
  • Rock:  This piece was inclusded in those old Rock Raiders sets from way back when, but since it has only been used in one Bionicle set, I decided to include it here.  The rock is made up of two piece which fit together and can be broken apart.  I think that it was included in this set to serve as an offensive weapon for the weaponless Pohatu. 

PLAYABILITY/BUILD EXPERIENCE | Score: 8

Pohatu has gears inside which allows his limbs to move just like the other Toa Mata.  The only difference is that his torso is flipped upside down, so the legs move instead of the arms.  This is a nice feature to use when kicking the rock, and the big 'shoes' help with this as well.  Otherwise, the set has good but average Bionicle playability, with high quality pieces and a body sorely lacking in armor.

VALUE FOR MONEY | Score: 8

For only $7.99, Pohatu was a great deal when released back in 2001.  The set has 49 pieces, which is a very high count for a Bionicle set of its price.  Albeit, the other Toa Nuva had better play and investment value, but Pohatu is still a solid set in this field.

THEME POPULARITY | Score: 7

I love Bionicle sets firstly because of their play potential.  I got hooked on them when I was about thirteen and started trading for all of my friends Bionicles.  I quickly built up a large collection of pieces which I used for custom builds.  Tis has always been that magic of Bionicle for me: to take spare pieces and make amazing figures of your own.  I know that the same argument can be made for standard Lego bricks, but there is something special about building Bionicle that cannot be captured by anything else.  I also love to display the sets, and they are exceptionally suited to this role because of their small size and stability.  The theme has a good CAGR of about 11%,and I have usually found the sets to double in value at least.

EXCLUSIVITY | Score: 3

Pohatu was not an exclusive.

PACKAGING | Score: 8

I really love the cylindrical plastic container that Pohatu comes in, and consider it one of the better Lego packaging forms throughout the whole of the brand.

GROWTH POTENTIAL | Score: 6

I think that Pohatu has basically reached its growth ceiling by this point.  It was released in 2001, and so it has had ample time to reach its full potential.  It does not have the fan base of sets like Tahu or Kopaka, and will therefore nevver reach that level of stardom and value.  SInce it is such a good set i wish that it performed better, but $24 is still very good for sucha small and unexclusive set.

DISPLAY QUALITY | Score: 8

This is an awekward looking set, and looks best when displayed slightly behind the other Toa Mata.  It is definately better for play than display.

CONCLUSION & FINAL ANALYSIS | Score: 7

Pohatu is a fun display set with good value and decent displayability, but it frankly a little bland for my tastes.  It was released in 2001 and had no exclusivity, which has undoubtably gotten in the way of its appreciation.  The set has reached $24, which is a nice figure for such a low retailing set.  I doubt that any of you have a sealed Pohatu or have the opportunity to get one, but I wouldn't recommend buying it for investment because I don't see any more room for growth.  Better stick with this set as a play item only.  :)


8535-1: Lewa
8535-1: Lewa
Reviewed on: Jun 29, 2013
View All Reviews

Overall Personal Score

7.50

DIRECT LINK TO REVIEW:
View Review

MEMBER OWNS SET: YES     MEMBER HAS BUILT SET: YES


FIRST IMPRESSION | Score: 7

Lewa is one of the original Bionicle sets released in 2001 and retailed for $7.99.  The set has 36 pieces, all but one of which are high quality plastic which has lasted beautifully over the twelve years since the sets release.  Lewa has good playability, and is also a great display set by virtue of being a classic.  The set is now worth $30 and and has a CAGR of 12.68%.  This is really good growth for such a small set, but very much deserved.  Because it has been so long since the set was retired, I do not see it making any more significant gains, and expect it to stay at about $30 for the forseable future.

UNIQUE PARTS | Score: 9

There are only two exclusive pieces in this set, and the rest are all standard Bionicle pieces which are used in most of the sets.

  • Mask:  Lewa has a really creepy looking mask that fails to cover his face effectively.  The eyes are slanted, and the mouth has a huge, hideous grin molded into it.  This is one of my least favorite Bionicle masks, and I greatly prefer the one seen on Lewa Nuva the next year.
  • Axe:  Lewa's only weapon is a bright green axe, which is the piece I refered to earlier as having sub-par quality.  This is because it is made of a soft plastic, and as such, is easy to scratch and bend.  Other than this, the axe is a cool and fun piece, with a heavy duty blade on one end and a bludgeon on the other.

PLAYABILITY/BUILD EXPERIENCE | Score: 8

This set has good playabilty, but again, not as good as the Lewa Nuva set the following year.  The shoulders are skinny looking and have a limited range of mobility.  Also, the limbs are only jointed at the shoulder/hip and wrist/ankle.  I sound kind of negative now, so I will move on to the positives.  Because of a mechanical system inside the torso, the axe arm can swing up and down in an attack feature when a wheel is turned on the back.  The figure is very sturdy and has lasted twelve yeasr of use almost without a scratch, which is a very important consideration for me.

VALUE FOR MONEY | Score: 9

I think that $7.99 was a very low price for such a good set.  Perhaps Lego was just testing the waters and wanted to make sure the sets sold.  Of course, later on, Bionicle price went up considerably.   

THEME POPULARITY | Score: 7

I have been a Bionicle fan for about three or four years, which is a little strange, as it is more of a little kids toy. The sets are very fun to play with, which has always been their greatest strength. However, they also make great display sets, and the fact that they come in groups of six means that when you have all of a team, the display is quite impressive.

EXCLUSIVITY | Score: 3

I don't think that Lewa was in any way an exclusive set.

PACKAGING | Score: 9

Lewa came in a cylindrical canister, which has always been one of my favorite types of Lego packaging.  It leaves the beaten trail of cardboard boxes and ventures into a 'brave new world' of recognizably Bionicle storage.

GROWTH POTENTIAL | Score: 8

Even though Lewa has performed very well, I do not see any continued growth for the set.  it is not that it is not a good set, but just that the market for it is very small.  I certainly wouldn't pay $30 for a set that I could get in amost as good of condition for $11.  The reason Lewa has appreciated so well is because he is one of the original Bionicle sets, and has a lot of Star Power because of this.  Lewa comes from the golden age of Bionicle sets, and will always have a lot of value because of the classic, original nature of the set.

DISPLAY QUALITY | Score: 8

Lewa, like Kopaka, is a little wimpy looking with his skinny shoulders and lack of armor, but this is partially made up for with the unique mask and awesomaxe that comes in the set.  I have all of the Toa Mata, And Lewa ranks in at about number four on my list.  I do believe that Lewa Nuva is a much better display set than the original Lewa.

CONCLUSION & FINAL ANALYSIS | Score: 7

I consider Lewa to be a very good set, but it has just never captured my attention or admiration like Tahu or Kopaka.  The set is sturdily built and has good play features.  The greatest part of the set may be the axe, which is exclusive to this set.  The sets vibrant green color and the fact that it is in original Bionicle make it a great display piece.  The very fact that it is an original Bionicle makes it highly collectible in my opinion.  Lewa has appreciated well and is now worth $30.  However, because it was retired so long ago I do not expect any more continued growth for this set.  


79005-1: The Wizard Battle
79005-1: The Wizard Battle
Reviewed on: Jun 28, 2013
View All Reviews

Overall Personal Score

8.60

DIRECT LINK TO REVIEW:
View Review

MEMBER OWNS SET: YES     MEMBER HAS BUILT SET: YES


FIRST IMPRESSION | Score: 10

I just bought this set yesterday, so I have a lot to say about it!  (I think...)  

The Wizard Battle is a new set from the summer 2013 Lord of the Rings lineup.  It retails for $12.99 and has 113 pieces.  The set is essentially a snapshot of a portion of the new Tower of Orthanc, made more accessable to poor people like me!  I bought the set at Target and promptly built it.  It actually took me eight or ten minutes, which is surprising fro such a tiny set.  Like anyone buying the set, my primary motivation for purchasing The Wizard Battle was to obtain the Sauruman minifigure, but I was hugely and unexpectedly impressed with the large size, great detail, and good playability of the set as well.  It has Sauruman's throne, which is smaller than it should be but still nicely built, two lampposts on either side, and the centerpiece: the Eye of Sauron.  The set is much larger than I expected and worth every penny of your $12.99.  With all of this said, the best part of the set is the minfiigures; namely Sauruman.  While Gandalf is a nice addition with the gray hair instead of the hat, Sauruman is the center of the action and an incredable minfiigure.  My only qualm with the set is that his hair piece is very soft rubber, and I believe that it could have easily been made in standard ABS plastic, which would prevent scratching.  As far as investing goes, ths set will probably do well, but not exceptionally, my reasoning is that nothing in the set is exclusive, as both minifigures and the whole throne can be seen in the Tower of Orthanc.  However, this set will be the cheapest way to get Sauruman, and will always be less expensive than Orthanc.  The fact that it is Lord of the Rings means that there will always be buyers for the set, just like Star Wars.

UNIQUE PARTS | Score: 9

There are really only three exclusive parts of this set: the Eye of Sauron, Sauruman, and Gandalf.

  • The Eye of Sauron:  When I was first hearing about the set, I heard that the Eye was going to be just a head and was vastly disappointed.  I did not know until later that it would be a head inside a crystal ball.  This makes a slightly distorted effect, which makes the Eye look accurate to the movie.  The Eye is printed on a translucent orange head.  It is printed on both sides of the head, and the overall piece is totally awesome, and one of the best parts of this set.
  • Gandalf the Grey: As I'm sure all of you are aware, the Lego world is oversaturated with Gandalf the Grey.  Here is a chart illustrating my point:
Set Name Retail Price
Gandalf at Dol Guldor  (30213) $4.99
An Unexpected Gathering  (79003) $69.99
The Goblin King Battle  (79010) $99.99
Gandalf Arrives  (9469) $12.99
The Wizard Battle  (79005) $12.99
Tower of Orthanc  (10237) $199.99

(Although Gandalf does make an appearance in Battle at the Black Gate, in this set, he is Gandalf the White, so this does not apply to my example)  Now six sets is a LOT for one minfigure to be in in such a short time.  As a result, he is virtually worthless when sold by himself, and doesn't add any value to sets.  This being said, the actual minfigure is a great one, with lots of accurate details.  Instead of a hat like he wears in all of the other sets, Gandalf has long gray hair in this set.  This is because in the Fellowship of the Ring, when Gandalf and Sauruman battle, Gandalf has no hat on.  The head is double sided, with one side being the same as all of the other Gandalfs, with a smiling visaghe and wrinkles, and the other with raised eyebrows and an angry or pained shouting expression.  The beard fits over the neck stud, and is wavy and gray.  Also, unlike in the other sets with Gandalf, he wears no cape, which I do think shoulod have been included, even if there is no hat.  The torso is printed with a gray robe, with a gray belt running diagonally, and a brown one around the waste. The legs have no printing. 

  • Sauruman:  Now we come to the meat and potatoes of this set; the reason why anyone would buy it.  Sauruman lives up entirely to my expectations and even exceceds them.  First off is the hairpiece, which is a beautifully crafted one.  The basic design is almost identical to that of the Hippie's, going halfway down and cutting off straight in the back.  It is partedon either side and long locks hang down almost to the waist in the front.  The hair is parted in the middle and compliments Sauruman's arched eyebrows.  The beard looks almost exactly like Gandalf's, only shorter, and with gray highlights.  The center of the beard is light gray, and inside this is a dark gray goatee.  the head is double sided and looks a lot like Christopher Lee.  One face is stern and the other has a malicious smile, no doubt because he is smashing Gandalf into walls.  I do not have the new Count Dooku minifigure, but I am fairly certain that the head is the same on both minifigures.  The torso is printed with silver tracery and gold clasps, but much of this is obscured by the beard and hair.  The legs sadly have no printing, which would have been icing on the cake.  Sauruman is only available in one other set: Tower of Orthanc.  This means that he will always be the greatest driving force behind the success of this set, as there will likely be no others with him.

PLAYABILITY/BUILD EXPERIENCE | Score: 9

This set has exceptional playability for being so small.  It is quite large for the price, and really impressed me while I was building it.  The throne of Sauruman is about ten bricks high, and decently imposing.  It could have been a lot better, but I understand the restrictions placed on a small set.  This is the same throne from Tower of Orthanc, which is disappionting because they could have done a much better job in a larger set.  The only part about the set that I dislike is how there is a pin in the back of the throne that can be pushed to launch Sauruman at Gandalf.  This is a useless play feature, because he is ejected much to quickly, and you risk scratching the minifigure.  Also, is looks stupid to have a tan pin sitting in the back of an imposing black throne.  The arms of the chair dip down toward the back, whci his a well though out building feature.  it allows Sauruman to sit withough wrinkling his cape, as it goes down the crack between the back and arms.  To either side of the throne are lamps, which have spiked posts and translucent yellow crystal balls on top.  I like the yellow, but would have prefered clear or white.  The platform is reletively large, but doesn't have all that much room for a full out battle.  There are steps on either isde of the platform, which I really like.  The Eye of Sauron is a great play feature and an eyecatching part of the set.  The seeing stone is on a dias, which rotates when a wheel in the back is turned.  I don't know what role this plays in the movie, but it is a nifty little addition to the set.  Both wizads have staffs, with Gandalf's just being the simple brown pipe.  Sauruman's is made up of a telescope mounted on a standard lightsaber blade sized pipe, with a small white domed piece on top.  Lego really should have made a custom staff with a four pronged head, but this is still a very cool looking staff.

VALUE FOR MONEY | Score: 10

I initially thought that $12.99 was a little price for a set like this, but now I believe that it is totally worth it.  There are 113 pieces which translates to exactly $0.10 per piece.  the play value is another great factor, and I cannot think of another set of the same price with the potential of The Wizard Battle.  The exclusive pieces such a the minfigueres and Eye of Sauron are also sure to raise the value of the set.  I think that it will yield a solid return on your investment dollar, because of the success of the Lord of the Rings films in general, and the fact that this is the cheapest way to get an awesome Sauron minifigure.  if you currently have any reservations about buying this set for yourself, DON'T!  it is well worth your $12.99, and you will not regret it!

THEME POPULARITY | Score: 9

Although I have only two Lord of the Rings and two Hobbit sets, I am a huge fan of the theme.  If there were no Star Wars Lego, I would definately be pouring my money into these sets.  The Lord of the Rings was such a popular and successful movie franchise that I am surprised that Lego didn't get the rights until very recently.  I guess that as long as it happened any time though, we're lucky!  Nearly all of the sets are very well done, but it is very hard to make a good Lego set of a Location so it is very hard for the sets, to live up to what people think they should be.  The Wizard Battle is the smallest of the 2013 summer wave of Lord of the Rings sets, which only contains five sets.  I don't know if this is signalling the decline of the theme, but I sure hope not!   I expect positive returns on all of the sets, and am especially optomistic about this one, as I think that it will be a huge hit because of Sauruman.

EXCLUSIVITY | Score: 3

Small sets like The Wiuzard Battle are rarely exclusive.  I am not talking about Polybags, but full sized sets like this one.  This means that it will probably take a while to build up some traction after being retired because of the number of sets available. 

PACKAGING | Score: 8

The Wizard Battle comes in a very small, chubby box.  This seems to be the case with the $13 sets these days, and I kind of like the new look.  The boxes are very flimsy, but this is the fault of the cardboard, not the shape.  these boxes are easier to store, and have a fun look compared to other Lego boxes.

GROWTH POTENTIAL | Score: 8

As I have said numerous times throughout this review, I expect The Wizard Battle to be a solid performer in the secondary market in the future.  This is a pretty iconic part of the Lord of the Rings films, and sure to be a good seller while still on shelves.  Most kids will buy it for Sauruman, but I know many who are excited about the new Gandalf with hair instead of a hat.  The set is a great display piece, and the perfect addition to any Lord of the Rings collection.  Unfortunately, it connot be paired with Tower of Orthanc, because there is already a wizard battle scene built into the tower.  The primary reason why this set will perform well is the inclusion of Sauruman.  He is a wonderful minifigure, and will be the reason people buy this set after it retires.  The Eye of Sauron brick is another possible incentive, as I do not think that it is included in the Tower of Orthanc.  This is a great piece, and is collectible in its own right.  I will probably buy one or two of these for investment once they go on sale.

DISPLAY QUALITY | Score: 10

The Wizard Battle is possibly the best $12.99 display set ever produced, it is very large, with lots of cool features.  the only thing which detracts from the display quality is the minfigure launching function in the chair, but everything else is superb.  The throne is tall and impressive, with three spires at the top.  The lamps also add a lot of presence to the set, making it feel larger.  The steps are great, and can be used to accommidate the two wizards during their conflict.  Around the base of the platform are those little 'log wall' pieces that were seen on that old 'Legorado' or whatever the name was fort.  This is another small detail that helps the set.  The Eye of Sauron is the focal point of the set, and a real eye-catcher when you first see the set.  The crystal ball it is in distorts the head slightly, so that is fills more of the globe and makes look less like a Lego head.  Gandalf and Sauruman are the greatest display attributes of the set, and are exceptionally detailed minifigures.  They can be set up dueling each other, which adds some needed action to the scene.  This set gets a ten out of ten for being such a great set for its size.

CONCLUSION & FINAL ANALYSIS | Score: 10

Since I just purchased this set yesterday, it is still fresh in my mind.  For being only $12.99, this set excels in every area I can think of.  It has 113 pieces, and is physically very large and imposing.  There is a large throne, two lamp-posts and a large raised platform with the seeing stone depicting the Eye of Sauron.  The minfigures are amazing, especially Sauruman, who will be the largest factor in the success of the set after it retires.  This set is great for either playing with or display, and I highly recommend it for both.  I expect The Wizard Battle to perform very well after retirement, as it depicts such a memorable scene from the Lord of the Rings.  I only wish that Tower of Orthanc didn't have the same scene built into it, or the value of this set would go up drastically.  I strongly suggest buying this set in the year or two before it retires!


8536-1: Kopaka
8536-1: Kopaka
Reviewed on: Jun 28, 2013
View All Reviews

Overall Personal Score

8.10

DIRECT LINK TO REVIEW:
View Review

MEMBER OWNS SET: YES     MEMBER HAS BUILT SET: YES


FIRST IMPRESSION | Score: 8

Kopaka is possibly my favorite character in the Bionicle universe.  This deoesn't mean that he has the best sets, but they are all very cool and I like the character in the comics.  This set was released in 2001 for the price of $7.99.  Kopaka is the only Bionicle to carry a round shield, and in this set he uses a small one with slats.  The rest of the model is very well designed, with lots of classic Bionicle elements and building techniques.  There is good playabilty, but since it is an earlier set, not on the same level as Kopaka Nuva.  The set is now worth $27, which is some pretty sweet growth!  However, because it has been twelve years since its release, I see very little future growth for the set.

UNIQUE PARTS | Score: 8

Bionicle sets usually don't have many exclusive pieces because they have no minifigures, but Kopaka does have a few.

  • The Mask:  Here is the big one for Bionicles, as it represents them more than anything else can.  The Mask of  X-ray Vision is a mostly circular, mask which has multiple lenses which give it a very cool look.  Kopaka looks very robotic in this set, but softens up in the Kopaka Nuva set. 
  • The sword:  The sword which comes in the Kopaka set is really a great and simple piece, which isn't a wierd piecelike other Bionicle weapons.  It is a double bladed straight edge sword which is all white. 
  • Shield:  This dish piece has been used in many other Lego sets, but no other Bionicle sets.  It is circular and has lots of slats in it.  i like the later shield used by Kopaka Nuva more, but this one is still nice.

PLAYABILITY/BUILD EXPERIENCE | Score: 9

Although Kopaka is a small $7.99 set, it has good playability.  The pieces fit together very well and retain their gripping power without cracking over the years.  Inside the torso piece are pins and wheels which allow his right arm to swing the sword when the wheel on the back is turned.  The biggest downside is that the head cannot be turned from side to side, and only face forward.  This set is a little skeletal and primitive looking, with skinny shoulders and no armor.  These deficiencies would be fixed the next year with the release of Kopaka Nuva, who has silver shoulder and cheast armor that really bulks out the figure.  Overall though, there are nomakor complaints and the set is a sturdy and versitile play set.  It is hands down better than 90% of the Hero Factory sets.

VALUE FOR MONEY | Score: 9

For only $7.99, there is absolutely nothing to complain about as far as the cost of this set.  There are 33 pieces, which doesn't really mean anything when talking about a Bionicle set because the pieces are so large.  I know that all of my 'value for money' segments are very similar, but that is because the sets are so similar and almost always a great deal!  Another area in which Kopaka has great value is that it has amazing piece quality, as the set has lasted twelve years of use beautifully.

THEME POPULARITY | Score: 7

I kind of wonder what the reception would be like if Lego released the original Toa again for $10 apiece. Would people even want them because of Hero Factory? Would they be too old fashioned? I would buy them because they would still be a good deal, but I'm unsure what the general reception would be. The sets were so cheap when they were released that they were bought in large numbers. I think that this is a reason why the sets have not appreciated ny higher than they have so far, which is generally twice retail.

EXCLUSIVITY | Score: 5

This set was in no way exclusive.

PACKAGING | Score: 9

Kopaka came in a cilindrical canister which is a great storage technique. First off, it is a sweet looking display piece, and it is a unique type of storage. Also, it keeps the set protected when it is sealed or afterit has been opened and put back into the case.

GROWTH POTENTIAL | Score: 8

I was a little surprised when I saw that Kopaka had reached a price of $27.53.  This is a lot higher appreciation than most Bionicle sets, and I very much atttribute it to the fact that it is because Kopaka is one of the original Toa Mata, and a much more iconic and fun set than Pohatu.  The set has a CAGR of 12.10%, which is impressive to me since the set has been round for so long and been able to maintain that number over the years.  But heck growing to more than four times retail is fairly significant!  Since Bionicle was very popular with children back in the day, I expect that some have already bought the set after emerging from their dark ages, and more will follow.  However, I doubt that very many people will buy the set for $27 when they can get it used for $11. This set leveled out years ago, and I do not expect any significant growth in the future.

DISPLAY QUALITY | Score: 9

Even though Kopaka looks like a bit of a dweeb, the pure classic nature of the set renders it a good display set.  The pieces are so nostalgically perfect and original that they alone make the set great.  The mask is great, and adds so much quality to the set's display value.  I have all of the Toa Maa sets, (Pohatu is missing a few pieces in the correct tan color) and Kopaka Tahu and Onua are my favorites.  Since these are the sets that started it all, they are essential to any serious Bionicle Collection.  The fact that the swinging arm cannot be locked into place means that the arm is a hard to position effectively, but this is an easy customization to make, and was remedied with Kopaka Nuva and the other Toa Nuva sets.  Others may disagree with me, but for their size and price, I don't think that there are many Lego sets which can compete with Bionicle as far as display quality.

CONCLUSION & FINAL ANALYSIS | Score: 9

Kopaka is one of the first Bionicles ever made and was released in 2001.  The set has good playability and great piece quality.  There are not many exclusive pieces, but the ice sword and Mask of X-ray Vision are notable parts of the set.  Kopaka is small and wimpy looking next to Kopaka Nuva, but the fact that he is original makes up for this.  The set has appreciated to $27, but I see almost no possible continued growth.  This is because the number of people interested in the set must be relatively small, and not enough to raise the market significantly.  Although it has plateaued as an investment, the set is still a worthy addition to any collection, and beats the pants off later Bionicle sets and Hero Factory models.


  1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11   12   Next Page