Wednesday, August 13th, 2014 at 8:51pm by Jason, BZPower Reporter
If there was any Marvel franchise that needed more LEGO love, it was the X-Men. And finally they've delivered, with this summer's 76022: X-Men vs The Sentinel! It features some of our favorite characters, as well as the evil Sentinel and the Blackbird jet! And BZPower Reporter Xccj is going to review it. Is this a set worth sinking your claws into, or should you just storm off and forget about it? Read on to find out.
From the design of the box to the instruction manual, these are the first things you see before building the set.
It's a decent sized box, and crams a lot of action into onto the front. Cyclops is piloting the Blackbird to take down the Sentinel, which already has Wolverine and is shooting back. Meanwhile, Magneto and Storm battle in the corner. There some nice details, like what characters are included, the various logos, and a rendering of the X-Men characters in the upper right corner. The back of the box shows off some of the play features, as well as a battle scene over the downed Blackbird. If you aren't excited for this set now, then I don't know what's wrong with you!
Also included inside is a comic book. This one is a little odd. It's the same comic that comes with all the summer's Marvel sets, so the first half actually covers the Guardians of the Galaxy sets. The X-Men comic is in the second half of the booklet, but it's strange that it seems to be backwards, so it makes more sense to read the pages Japanese style from right to left. (But then each page reads left to right. . . it makes me think that there was some sort of layout error when this was printed.) Still, once you figure out how to read it, it's a fun little comic.
Half the fun is had building the set. How fun is it to build and how easy or challenging is it?
The build is nothing spectacular, to be honest. The Sentinel is kind of fun to put together, which feels like a constraction figure design as you build the body and limbs. The Blackbird is rather straightforward, and besides some technic bits on the back, it's mostly stacking bricks on top of each other.
Now that the set is complete, we can critique how it looks from every angle. New or interesting pieces can also be examined here.
This set does not have an exceptional piece value to it; only 336 for $49.99 USD. Only a few elements appear to be exclusive to this set, including some of the dark blue wedges and fins and the purple 1x2 curved slope. Some of the other less-common elements here are the other dark blue pieces, the dark pink and magenta parts, the curved ship body section, the spring loaded shooters, and the Mixel joints. Not a lot here that demands you buy this set; rather, the minifigures cover that need.
The minifigures included in this set are superb. Or you say amazing, astonishing, ultimate, or even uncanny! (Or just stick with awesome, that's always a good adjective for describing LEGO.) Unfortunately, although this is only the second X-Men set, it still includes two repeats. Given that there is such a huge cast for them to pick from, this is slightly disappointing.
Of course, it should've been a given that Wolverine would show up; he shows up everywhere. His design is fairly similar to his previous version, but still different enough to be worth it, such as utilizing brown as a secondary torso color instead of dark blue. The coolest bit here, however, is his helmet, which is a new mold and clearly depicts his character. His face also includes a second side that includes goggles for underneath his helmet. Finally, he comes with his standard claws, as well as backup hair when he takes off his helmet.
Our next repeat is Magneto. His inclusion here makes the least sense, because we've already had him before and there are plenty of other villains who could've made an appearance instead. Or he could've been a different X-Men, since we already have the Sentinel playing the villain role. Oh well, I guess they're keeping the basics for this one. Anyway, I've read that there's no real significance to his outfit change, but I don't know enough about the lore to notice it myself. His new form now has a purple body with a red cape, which is the inverse of his first version. The helmet and, I believe, the head are the same, but now he also comes with white hair, as well as a clear 1x1 round brick to hold his helmet when he's not wearing it. Oh, and a little metal platform for him to float around on, which looks a bit better this time. He looks good, but not quite good enough to be worthy of a repeat.
Our first new fig is Cyclops. He's got a basic printing on a dark blue body, with yellow and red highlights. His visor is printed directly on his head, which goes the same route as Spider-Man and Captain America in coloring the whole head to match his suit. A little basic, but it clearly gives us the character.
And then there's the one figure that is almost worth the set all on her own. Storm! And they didn't go half-way with her either, as she's decked out with a new white hair piece, a new cape, and two blasts of electricity. Her cape is interesting because, in addition to attaching to her neck, it also attaches to her wrists, which I suppose gives her a classic character look. Her head has two sides: regular smiling, and angry with big white eyes! Also, one of only a few non-flesh colored female heads. What's not to like?
The Sentinel uses the new Mixel joints to become a medium-sized constraction figure, with a similar design to Groot. It's about as tall as an Avi-Matoran, or for those who don't judge set sizes with 2008 Bionicle sets, about 5 inches tall. It has two points of articulation for each limb, which gives it decent posability, although it would've been nice to somehow see knees and elbows. Still, the Mixel joints work to get it into a bunch of different poses, so while there's room for improvement, it's still a decent design. There's also some nice SNOT techniques used on the upper legs and torso.
One thing that's kind of odd about the Sentinel is the color usage. Of course, it's awesome to see more purple, but the limbs also utilize dark pink plates and magenta curved slopes and tiles. I'm not quite sure why they went with the two pink shades and didn't just use one; it kind of gives a shading element to the design, but it seems a little too varied. Luckily, the torso and head are printed, so we don't have to bother with stickers here. One bit about the design that I'm not a big fan of is the hands. It's designed to have three Exo-Force hands as fingers and a click hinge element for the immobile thumb, but the proportions seem a little odd and clunky, and it doesn't even function as a hand very well. For example, the fingers have no way to grip a minifig, so instead you have to attach the fig's leg to the technic stud that is also used to hold the laser. Oh, and the feet have jets in them too, which is a nice touch.
The Blackbird comes across as a very smooth ship, even more so than some other LEGO ships. This is mostly achieved by some large, curved elements, so I suppose you could say it's cheating, but I still think it looks cool. The bottom does use the round plane-base style pieces that have been previously used in airplanes and Benny's spaceship. While it does make it kind of featureless, it also gives the bottom a consistency and is easy to grip. The interior is accessible by two canopies, and it is very spacious inside. There's enough room to seat four minifigures and a crate of supplies. However, since the interior is pretty deep, it can be tricky to place said figs inside, and especially troublesome if you want Cyclops to grab onto the handlebars in the front.
The wings are connected on the very back, and feature some large rudder pieces, some of which are also angled using clip-on hinges. It is kind of cheap that the bulk of the wing is made up using a single piece, which otherwise could've been brick-built. Additionally, the smaller fins do have a tendency of falling off due to their hinged connections. Finally, in the middle of the back is a Technic contraption that raises and lowers the new spring-loaded shooters.
The ship has a fairly decent color scheme of dark blue, dark gray, and black. It doesn't really stand out that much, but I suppose the Blackbird is more of a stealth ship anyway. It is a bit confusing to see the use of regular blue along the top, which does stand out as the brightest color here. The set also includes some X-Men stickers for the windscreen, but I elected not to use them, so sorry!
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?
The Sentinel has the main playability factors of most constraction sets. It has eight points of articulation, plus the fingers which I still don't think are that great. While it does have a new shooter element that attaches to its hand, it doesn't actually have any spring loaded shooters built into it. Instead, it relies on two shoulder mounted flick fire missiles. So the mutants better be careful that they don't stand… directly underneath the Sentinel, cause that's the only way those flick fire missiles will hit them. But for what it lacks in action features, the Sentinel makes up for with posability.
The Blackbird does have the spring loaded shooters built into it. As I mentioned before, there's a Technic contraption that raises them up over the top of the ship to fire them. From above, this does a decent job of hiding the missiles within the body of the jet, although it's a little more obvious from behind. The spring loaded shooters do have some distance to them, so that Sentinel better watch out! The Blackbird also has dual flick fire missiles on the sides, but besides not working very well, they also interrupt the overall flow of the ship. Luckily, they can easily be removed.
The Blackbird has enough space to hold all four minifigures that come with the set... even if one of those figs is supposed to be a bad guy! But I suppose this extra seating could be utilized by X-Men who'll appear in future sets, right LEGO? *hint hint wink wink* And when everybody's inside, the ship is very swoosh-able, with plenty of space to get a good grip on it as you fly it around your room. Just make sure you don't launch those spring loaded shooters into your roommate's eyes!
Once it's all said and done, how does the set stack up? Should I get it?
What's to like?
- Great Minifigures
- Again, Storm is awesome!
- Sentinel is a decent design
- A very sleek, curved ship
- Spring loaded shooters work well
- Very swooshable
What's not to like?
- Price per part ratio is not good
- Why are we seeing Wolverine and Magneto again??
- Obligatory dislike of flick fire missiles
- Fins have a tendency to fall off of Blackbird
- I don't like the Sentinel's hands personally, although don't know how they could be made better
If you're just a casual super hero fan, you might want to look at some of the other sets that LEGO has to offer. But if you are even a modest fan of X-Men, get this set. It does a great job of capturing the characters, the Sentinel, and the Blackbird. And although the wings and fins of the Blackbird are lackluster, I found the ship to be one of the smoother and more swooshable LEGO ships to come out recently. There are some faults, especially the price factor, but even so I think this set is worthy of depicting the X-Men, and offers both good playability options and works as a display piece!
Thanks again for reading this BZPower set review! Please leave any comments in the talkback topic. Stay tuned to BZPower for more LEGO news, including set reviews!
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