Monday, December 12th, 2011 at 7:34pm by Andrew, BZPower News Manager
Our streak of 2012 reviews continues! Bfahome must have nothing better to right now, because he's churned out yet another look at one of next year's sets. This time it's from the Superheroes line, but this character is anything but a hero. Read on to see how The Joker stacks up in constraction form and if you should add his creepy head to your collection.
From the design of the box to the instruction manual, these are the first things you see before building the set.
Unlike most of this year's Hero Factory sets, The Joker comes in a box. Size-wise it's as tall and wide as Waspix's box, but slightly thinner. On the front are your standard logos, names and information. In the center there's a large picture of the gangly grinning goon himself, looking extremely sketchy grinning at you from the middle of a dark and foreboding circus.
The back features pictures of both an alternative build and a combiner with the Green Lantern set. There's also a close-up of a ball joint piece and a square informing you of the new high-friction extender piece.
On the top is a 1:1 shot of Joker's grinning mug. Seems accurate, but it's always hard to tell when the pictures are angled like that.
Half the fun is had building the set. How fun is it to build and how easy or challenging is it?
The basic build is essentially the same as it is for the Hero Factory sets. But this time, the first step is to add the head. LEGO seems to want Joker's creepy face leering at you for as long as possible (an idea only cemented by the fact that he appears with Batman and the GL along the right of most pages of the instruction booklet). Then you start adding limbs, armoring them as you go.
Once you've built his main body, you attach some pieces to his back and use them to build up what I can only assume is some kind of coat. It's not very clear. Then you build his weird transparent laser-suction-cup gun, and you're done.
Five spare parts left over.
Now that the set is complete, we can critique how it looks from every angle. New or interesting pieces can also be examined here.
There's a nice collection of pieces in this set. Some useful bone pieces, as well as a surprising number of smaller TECHNIC pieces for a set of this type.
These pieces are the special ones, oh yes they are. Firstly there's all the purple (all of it) and it is glorious. Eight pieces in all, three pairs of shells and two of the Ben 10 tail things. Then there's the new "muscled" torso in green, with a red flower printed on it. There's the motor/shell/whatever piece from Ordeal of Fire in beautiful transparent orange. There's the new wheel-ish piece that's brand new, which will also be in the upcoming Iron Man set I think (but here it's trans-neon-green). Then we have Joker's creepy head piece, which is similar to the Ben 10 heads. It's a special socket piece screwed from the underside to the white printed head piece and topped with rubbery green hair. Unfortunately it also has the socket position problem from the Ben 10 sets, which limit the up and down movement of the head. After that there's the special pin/ball piece, also from OoF, and another of the Waspix ball joints. To the left of those are the two friction joints, which get their added grip from small clear rubber spots on the bottom of the cups. Finally, serving as Joker's tie, there's an orange and purple zigzaggy piece from some older Castle sets, where it was used in trans-colors as part of the wizard's magic staff.
The set itself isn't outstanding, but compared to what I thought of it when I was just looking at the picture, it's actually pretty decent. I thought all the Superhero sets had a cluttered look about them, but really they're not that bad in person. Of course, they still have problems, like when they try to have a coat made of bone pieces. Makes the back look hollow and not very coat-like.
But aside from his cyborg coattails, I think the worst thing about the Joker set is his gun. I understand that there may be a desire to avoid realistic weapons, but it just looks hollow and blah. The fact that it's mostly transparent doesn't help that.
Size-wise, Joker's slightly taller than your average hero set, due to the extensions in his legs.
The other half of the fun is in playing with the set. How well does the set function and is it enjoyable to play with?
I know I'm going to sound repetitive here, but the Joker's got the usual articulation, plus the stuff that makes up his "coat" You can pose him to your heart's content, and there's no launcher function or anything. Mainly I see his purpose as standing there looking unnerving, and boy does he do a good job.
OH GOD RUN
Once it's all said and done, how does the set stack up? Should I get it?
What's to like?
- All that purple
- Once again, useful parts
- That's reason enough
What's not to like?
- Still not really a "great" set
- Weapon and back are somewhat sparse
I can't really recommend this strongly as a set. The design isn't all that innovative, and it still looks a bit odd. But it has some great parts, and is still decent compared to how its picture looks. And it has purple, which can only ever be a good thing.
Be sure to give thanks once again to Bfahome for his prolific reviewing prowess. You can ask questions or leave other comments too, all in the Talkback. And of course, keep checking back for more 2012 set reviews along with the latest Bionicle, Hero Factory, and LEGO news, right here on BZPower!
« Return to News