Name: Superman vs. Power Armour Lex
Theme: Super Heroes
Price: $19.99 | £19.99
Links: Brickset | Bricklink | Peeron (not yet inventoried)
The box has the unconventional vertical upright orientation that appropriately suits the robot-mech material of the set. It sports the bluish black DC Universe Super Heroes motif, and the cartoon version of the Superman minifig at the upper right corner is quite a nice detail that gives the cover a comic book feel. The boxart depicts Superman striking a pose to the camera as he attempts to save his fellow Justice Leaguer Wonder Woman, who was curiously and questionably caught by the main antagaonist of this set - Lex Luthor in his Power Armor. I also like the ravaged Metropolis city backdrop, particularly the struck down Daily Planet globe. The rest of the front cover shows the usual set details (age bracket, number, and set name), the minifig line-up at the bottom with a "Comic book included" phrase, and the iconic Superman logo in the bottom right corner.
As expected the back shows the playability features of the set - the opening cockpit where Lex controls his power armor, the blaster weapon, and the main playability offered by the set - pitting the Superheroes Superman and Wonder Woman vs. the Villain Lex Luthor. At first glance it might look like that the set has only these few play features for its piece count/set size, but we'll see later that this set has probably more potential playability when "fully explored". Some additional noteworthy details at the back include the faint comics background, the comic-style "CLICK!" sound text and a LEGO Batman 2 advertisement in the bottom.
Top and Bottom Sides
The Superman minifigure is shown in the 1:1 inset at the top. Note the extra detailing of the yellow background with a faint close-up of the cartoon Superman minifig. One thing that I'm curious about is the SUPERMAN™ text below the set number - I don't know if it's a shortened name of the set or simply to indicate that Superman is included in this set. This is also repeated at the bottom of the box, (along with all the standard additional box info). Not really a big deal, I just found it as 'unusual' to say the least.
Right and Left Sides
The most prominent feature of the right side of the box are the cartoon images of three of the LEGO DC characters - Batman, Superman, and the Joker. Again, this is an obvious conscious effort to give the box an overall comic feel, which I think was effectively met. The right side shows the various translations of the set name and the "Comic Book Included" phrase, which also has a comic flavor with its comic-style font.
The Instruction Booklet + "Comic Book Included"
The instruction booklet and the included comic book are roughly the same size. While the instruction booklet features the usual same artwork as the box, the comic has the 'cartoonized' renditions of the DC Character figs, with the trio of Bats, Supes, and WW overlooked by the face shots of their villainous enemies at the right side. The "3" stamped at the bottom corner states that this particular comic is the third in the series of comics included in all the LEGO DC Super Heroes sets.
Sample Page of the Instruction Booklet
Here's a sample page showing some nice details of the renders of the Supes, Bats, and Joker - who seem to be the top three representative characters of the whole DC character line-up. The instructions are easy to read and colors are readily identified in the light blue background, though the instructions that I got seem to be on the lower end of printing quality as some pages are blurred and not as clear as usual.
Sample Page of the Comic
I just wanted to show the minifig line-up of all DC characters appearing in this wave as shown inside the bonus comic. Do also note that even if this is a Superman set, there is still a Batman comic shown (Batman vs. Catwoman). Weird.
The Bagged Contents
There are three plastic bags of LEGO in this set - two unnumbered large bags and a small one containing the smaller pieces. The flex tube part is loose (for reasons I don't know and still curious about).
It's quite interesting to see a separate plastic packaging for Wonder Woman's hairpiece, legs, and lasso, as well as Superman's hair. This has been the case for the majority of sets whose 'specialized parts' are produced on a separate facility from Billund.
Here are the more colorful pieces of the set, dominated by the signature dark purple and green parts of Lex's Power Armour. I don't have much dark purple in my parts collection, so these are mostly welcome, as well as those trans-lime pieces.
And here we have the boring set of black and bleys. As a non-Bionicle/Hero Factory buyer, the ball joint and socket pieces are quite new to me. The rest are meh.
Pieces of Interest
The most interesting part for me is the new canopy bubble piece due to its perfect use for my Delta-7B Starfighters (which TLG will also be using in the upcoming Saesee Tiin's JSF). The flex tube with a lime coloring inside and the dark tan technic tubing also caught my attention, mostly for being unique (at least for me).
The Good: The Wonder Woman fig is absolutely gorgeous. From the hair, detailed torso and leg prints, as well as those metallic gold prints - I couldn't have asked for a better minifig representation of our Goddess Heroine (well, except maybe a new cuff-bracelet-thingy piece like one of the custom BF/BA piece which will surely complete her look - but I guess that is asking too much)
The Average: As one of the most highly anticipated characters to be realized in minifig form, I think TLG did a pretty decent job with Superman. Not bad but not overwhelmingly good either. My main beef against it is the cheekbone print in the face - which IMO unnecessarily makes Supes look older than what he should look like. Superman is supposed to be as dashingly handsome as Christopher Reeve, Dean Cain, Tom Welling, Brandon Routh, but that face print messes the look and could've been left out if you ask me. Besides, said cheekbone prints remind me of the monstrosity of the CW clone faces (sorry my SW fellows )
The Meh: The Lex fig is kinda boring, but gotta blame the source material for it. Admittedly this is the best way to represent Lex - a black suit, bald head, and serious face- nothing more, noting less. But still meh for me.
Here's a shot showing the alternate facial expressions of Wonder Woman and Superman, while Lex has none. WW has a "raging aggressive" expression, while Superman has a confident cocky smirk.
This shot shows the back of the minifigs, but Superman's cape and WW's hair get in the way...
...so let's fix that and here is the full view of the back prints. Wonder Woman is half-backless, Superman has a muscular back, and even Lex's little suit pleats are quite nice subtle back prints.
The whole build is essentially all about Lex's Power Armour/Mech Robot. The build is systematically divided into the "robot parts":
The first combination of green and purple colors. The ball joints are strategically placed right at the center, and coupled with the relatively wide and flat base of the feet, these are crucial in giving the robot mech its much needed stability.
The use of the large 6x4 green wedges give the legs a juniorized look, but the lime green pieces are good accents nevertheless. The main criticism about these legs is the lack of knee joints, and as Tereglith have proven in his Mod of this set, including such additional point of movement will greatly enhance the posability and playability of this robot mech (though it would understandably lead to a relatively larger model and hence higher price).
A simple set-up that will accommodate three points of movement - left and right legs and waist/torso. The green part is supposed to be the crotch, and I can't help but imagine that even a robot mech like this need a, uhm, "technic hole" in its rear part.
The arms are of different lengths, with the right arm longer than the left to accommodate the blaster. There are two major points of movement for the arms - the elbow and shoulder joints. Both arms also have three mechanical fingers which are cleverly designed with the use of Exo-force mechanical arms.
The cockpit is simple but effective. The transparent canopy bubble piece gives Lex the full view it needs to maneuver his robot mech even if his only controls are two measly joysticks. The neat detail of this part are the two Kryptonite fuel gas tanks at the back, which really work for me in the overall design of this mech.
A bit on the basic side in terms of design but the glass-enclosed green Kryptonite crystal detail makes up for it. This blaster is attached to the arm using that red technic pin as the light bley handle bar cannot be really held by the mech's hand. The blaster is also connected through the flex tube to the main fuel tanks at the back of the cockpit, which we'll see in the full view later.
"Let's Volt In!"
Here are the different separately built parts ready to be connected together. I purposely deviated a bit from the instructions as the parts were supposed to be connected to each other as the build progressed, but I just wanted to show you a "Sum of all the parts" shot. As you can see, the separate robot parts are conveniently attached through ball-and-socket and technic pins-and-holes connections.
The Completed Build
The completed robot mech/power armor with Lex plus our two superheroes. The relative height of the robot gives it a formidable look despite the bright green-purple color scheme.
Three parts for future use!
Different Views of the Power Armour
Front and Back Views
Left and Right Views
Comparison with Reference Material
I'm not much really of a comic book fan so I'm not much familiar with the reference material of this Lex's Power Armour, but after a quick google search I found this to be the closest match to this LEGO's rendition. The green-purple color combo really seems to be Lex's signature motif, and even if the reference material is much smaller and more bulkier in size, this brick-built version is a pretty decent attempt in capturing the essence of Lex's need for a machine to combat his arch nemesis Superman.
Design: 8/10 - The design of the power armour/robot mech is quite good for its piece count. If my count is correct this mech has 17 points of movement which enables a vast amount of posing playability. That feature alone garners a good score in the design aspect. The only thing I wish this mech would've had is the inclusion of knee joints which will increase even further the movement possibilities. Even at a higher price point I'd still be willing to get this if that would've been the case. But as it is, this mech is pretty decent and it serves its purpose in giving a Lex a much-needed power armor to combat Superman.
Parts: 7/10 - Aside from the bubble canopy piece that I personally liked, the rest of the parts didn't catch my interest that much. The purple and green piece selection might become useful in MOCing for me later, but the large selection of grey and black are nothing new to me.
Minifigures: 10/10 - Three new characters - Check! / Superman - Check! / Wonder Woman - Check! Extremely satisfied customer in this aspect.
Build: 7/10 - There are no complications in the build, no advanced techniques nor challenging aspects. Just your ordinary straightforward small-sized set building.
Playability: 9/10 - As stated before, the robot mech is highly playable with its high degree of posing. And can I say that the absence of flick-fire missiles is an added point for this set in my view?
Price: 9/10 - $20 for three new figs - the first and probably the only Superman and Wonder Woman minifigs we'll ever get - thrown in a decently-designed mech which can be used as it is or parts pack = I say it's definitely a real bargain!
Credits: (1) Background used in the Title Image from "Post-apocalyptic Derry Street" by DookieeAdz from devianART
(2) Phonebooth image used in the comic by Carlos from My Sims 3 blog
Continuation of the Comics...