Excuse the somewhat lame pun. This is my review of the first Super Heroes set that doesn't revolve around Batman and his rogues gallery. I know KielDaMan just posted a review of this set too, and I don't mean to steal his thunder, but I wanted to share my opinion about it today as well, so consider this a tandem review. Is this set as super as the DC hero it is based on? Read on to find out. I'll try not to be too nerdy about it as I don't know much about Superman and his mythos anyway.
Set Number: 6862
Name: Superman vs. Power Armor Lex
Theme: Super Heroes
Subtheme: DC Universe
Year of Release: 2012
Price: $19.99 USD
Superman’s™ arch enemy Lex Luthor has built a kryptonite-powered robot and has captured Wonder Woman. Can Superman™ dodge the strength-sapping power of Luthor’s kryptonite gun and make light work of his evil nemesis! Includes 3 minifigures: Superman™, Wonder Woman and Lex Luthor.
Brickset BrickLink Brickshelf
Looking at the S@H description of the set, I think Lego needs to get their terminology right. A robot is different from a power armor. Seeing as Luthor is sitting inside the cockpit of a humanoid vehicle, it's actually something between the two. The correct term would be "mech". But I guess the kids and parents reading the S@H description wont care. Oh well, let's get started with the review.
The box has the same design as the Batman themed Super Heroes sets, except that it has an illustration of Superman in the upper right corner and his "S" logo in the lower right instead of Batman and his logo. It's a bit disappointing that there is no other distinction from the Batman sets, but at least it's more than the distinction of subthemes on Star Wars boxes, which equals to zero. The box art is pretty nice. It shows Luthor rampaging through a destroyed city while Superman tries to stop him. If you look closely, you can make out the remainders of the Daily Planet globe in the background which is a nice touch as it proves that this is Metropolis and not just some random city. What's a bit disappointing, though, is that Wonder Woman seems to merely play the role of a damsel in distress. This is just degrading as Wonder Woman should be able to hold her own against Luthor, even more so than Superman given her immunity towards kryptonite, and by the look on her face, she's not too happy about it herself. If they just needed somebody for Superman to save, why didn't they choose Lois Lane?
And oh look! It says there is a comic book included! Oh boy! I wonder what it is about!
The box art is very reminiscent of the epic cinematic trailer for DC Univers Online. "Call him! Bring him to me!"
The back shows an alternate scene with Wonder Woman fighting back by aiming Luthor's kryptonite gun away from Superman using her lasso so that he can hit him. Go Wonder Woman! It also shows some play features and a small ad for the upcoming Lego Batman 2 game which will feature the characters from this set as well. I like the comic-like "click" sound effect. In the background, there is a tinted picture of the comic book.
On top of the box there is an "actual size" picture of Superman. Who else!
And on the side, there is the same illustration of Batman, Superman, and the Joker as on all the first wave Super Heroes boxes. I think the Joker looks kind of out of place, especially here since he hardly has anything to do with Superman. It would have been much more fitting to have Wonder Woman there so that it would show the leaders of the Justice League, but I guess TLG just wanted to show the most popular characters from this wave in order to draw in the kids.
Inside the box you'll find an instruction booklet, the promised comic book, three unnumbered bags, and a loose tube. Note that this is currently the only Super Heroes set without any stickers!
I didn't really expect much from the comic, but what I found was much worse than what I was prepared for. The whole story is only four pages long, and the rest of the book is filled with the Catwoman comic (which is included in every one of these comic books for some reason), the minifigure checklist, and the same last two pages that are also in every comic book and show Batman in random heroics around Gotham city. The story is about Lex Luthor standing in the street and doing nothing but shooting at Superman while using Wonder Woman as a human shield. The story ends with Superman knocking the kryptonite gun out of Luthor's hand and using it against him. It makes no sense!! It's a kryptonite gun with a huge exposed chunk of kryptonite on it! Superman shouldn't have the strength to fly, much less to lift a giant gun and fire it! Besides, if the kryptonite in the gun is the main power source for the mech, wouldn't shooting Luthor with the gun after taking it away from him be unnecessary? The busy background of the comic doesn't exactly make it easy to read either, and the mech depicted in the comic is not the one included in the set; it's the prototype from the preliminary pictures! I guess the artist who made this only had that as a reference. I'll stop ranting now before I get off topic.
The only good thing about the comic is that Wonder Woman gets to be the one to catch Luthor in the end - or at least it's implied anyway. Also, it has the classic dialog-less humor of the Lego games. Wonder Woman's face after being accidentally barbecued by Superman's heat vision is priceless! It's also a nice touch that the scenery matches that of the box art, except that it seems to be night time here whereas the box art shows daylight.
The instructions are fairly simple as they are easy to read and only call for one or two unique pieces at a time. Some of the pages have an image of Batman, the Joker, and Superman in the upper right corner. Again, the Joker looks out of place in the instructions for a Superman set. Why not have the other two figs from this set, Lex and WW, there instead of Bats and his nemesis?
There are some interesting pieces in purple and the new trans light green in this set. There's also the kryptonite shard (which is a regular trans green crystal), one of those new curved pieces in gray, the new bubble windscreen in trans-black, and the brand-new golden Lasso of Truth! Isn't it beautiful?
Superman's hairpiece as well as all of Wonder Woman's parts except for her torso and head are in one separate bag, and Superman's cape comes in a carton like all minifig capes.
One of the main reasons for getting this set is the minifigures. All three are brand new and exclusive to this set, not to mention that they all look great. The first one is the least interesting of them: Lex Luthor, Superman's arch nemesis. Considering that he is basically just a bald guy in a suit, TLG did a pretty good job on him. His head and torso prints are unique and fit his character well. They could have easily just reused one of the already existing black suits and angry heads, but fortunately they decided not to.
Next, we have Superman, the last son of Krypton and one of the most highly demanded minifigs of the DC line! He has a new hairpiece with his signature spit-curl at the front. Something about it seems off to me, but it sure is by far more accurate than any preexisting hairpiece would have been. His face shows us that saving the day is serious business. His torso uses the usual six-pack print along with his yellow belt and famous S-logo on the chest. Overall, he looks pretty good, but his legs seem a bit too plain. Preliminary images showed him with printed red boots, and I think it would have really benefited the figure if they would have kept them, but I guess I can live without them.
The real star of the set, however, is Diana of Themyscira, the warrior princess of the Amazons, a.k.a. Wonder Woman! For being a character that was shoehorned into the set to fill the role of damsel in distress and wasn't really necessary, she sure is one beautiful fig! She has highly detailed leg printing and is sporting her Golden Tiara and Lasso of Truth. Everything about her is very accurate! All she is missing is her bulletproof bracelets, but as far as I know Lego is not able to produce minifig arm accessories or all-around arm printing, so I guess that's excusable.
Here are some reference images for comparison. All three are pretty spot-on.
Wonder Woman's leg printing even wraps around the side! You don't see that too often in regular sets!
All three have back printing. Yes, even Luthor! It's nice to see that TLG went that extra step to print those four lines on a minifig that didn't necessarily need back printing. Supes and Wonder Woman's backs feature shoulder blades and the continuation of their belts. They look quite lovely, and just look at the detail on Wonder Woman's hair! Unfortunately, she doesn't have any printing on the back of her legs, so it looks like she is wearing a reverse color scheme of superman's pants, but that's OK since the printing would wear off quickly there, and it would have looked weird if they would have used flesh colored legs for her.
Superman and Wonder Woman also have a happy face on the other side of their heads. Superman has a cocky grin while Diana just has a confident smile. This face doesn't quite suit Superman in my opinion. I would have much rather seen an angry face or one with glowing red eyes (for when he is shooting lasers out of them) or perhaps even a Clark Kent version of his face with glasses.
Lex doesn't have a second face since he doesn't have any hair to cover it up. Poor guy. I wonder if that's the reason why he is so mad? Maybe his evil plan is it to steal Wonder Woman's luscious hair.
Since Wonder Woman's tiara isn't detachable, she can't really use it as a boomerang as she usually does.
Her lasso has just the right shape for catching a minifigure in it. And of course, anyone who touches it is forced to tell the truth.
Luthor's mech is built from bottom to top. First you build the left leg (shown below), then the right. Nothing exciting here, except for maybe some SNOT.
Once you have completed the legs, you build the hip to join them together.
The next thing you build, as you might have guessed, is the cockpit. Again, nothing complicated, except for the way the windscreen is attached perhaps.
Add the arms, and the mech is complete! However, it is still missing the most important component...
... which is the kryptonite gun, the power source of the mech and Luthor's only weapon against the Man of Steel! Its design is pretty simple, but it looks pretty good. It has a nice retro look to it. Note the red Technic pin which is used to easily attach (and detach) the gun to the mech's hand. I like the way the kryptonite shard is placed tightly in a glass case, but it would have been nice if you could take it out without dismantling the gun.
Once you connect the gun to the mech using the tube, the build is complete! Superman is doomed! MUAHAHAHA!
The Complete Set
Here is the completed set with all the minifigures, just like on the box art, except with Superman in a more realistic pose.
The mech looks pretty good. I have never seen Luthor in any power armor that looks quite like this (usually he is seen wearing one that is only slightly larger than his own body), but with the green-purple color scheme, it looks like something he would wear. The proportions on it are a bit odd, almost goofy. The hands and feet are very large, while the upper body and upper arms are very short, and the right forearm is longer than the left. It actually reminds me of Hellboy a bit (Is it OK to mention him in a DC universe review?). I guess they did this to save on parts, but it would have cost them only 3 pieces to make the left arm the same length as the right, so I don't see why they couldn't go that extra step. If it really bothers you, it's an easy fix though. The real issue of the mech is that it has no knees! Other Lego mechs of this size don't have posable knees either, but at least they hint at the existence of them. As it is, Luthor is only capable of a Frankenstein-like stride, which is probably not gonna help him in a fight against a guy who is faster than a speeding bullet, but I guess the emphasis here is on the firepower and armor, not speed.
This is what Luthor's power armor usually looks like. Again, aside from the color scheme, it's pretty far from TLG's interpretation, but I don't think they were going for a recreation anyway, more for a large mech adaption of it. It would have been nice if they could have incorporated the LexCorp logo on it somewhere, for example on that black hinge piece that holds the windscreen, in order to affiliate the mech to Luthor. Heck, if it weren't powered by kryptonite and piloted by Lex, it could very well be the Joker's mech (which would explain his presence on the box art and instructions actually).
Looking at it from the side, it doesn't look too bad. The only thing that bothers me a bit is that there is a huge gap between the windscreen and the body of the mech. Considering that this is supposed to be a power armor, it doesn't seem to provide a whole lot of protection.
From the back, it looks pretty good too. Much better than most ExoForce mechs anyway. Here you can see two power cells, which I guess are meant to store the kryptonite energy. I kinda preferred the preliminary design where it had rocket boosters instead, as that provided it with flight capability, but these are neat too. I'm sure it wont keep kids and playful AFOLs from swooshing it around the room anyway.
Here's a close up of how the kryptonite gun is connected to the mech. The tube is pretty long, so it doesn't compromise the freedom of movement of the arm in any way. I like how you can see the kryptonite energy going through it.
Here are some action shots with it. Despite its lack of knees, it is quite posable. It can turn its hips 360 degrees.
"Say hello to my little green friend, Superman!"
"Any last words?"
Overall, the mech is pretty neat for its price, but it can never stand up to some of the truly great evil mechs TLG has produced, such as Dr. Inferno's, which is superior thanks to its many joints and utilization of a light brick. It would have been great if Power Armor Lex came with a green light-up brick for the kryptonite gun, but oh well.
I was very surprised to find that this set also includes Wonder Woman's invisible jet! It has some of the most advanced and challenging building techniques I've ever seen and is made completely out of invisible bricks! It's the most amazing Lego model EVER! Just see for yourself! Isn't it awesome?
Sorry, I couldn't resist!
There are only three extra parts included in this set: a lever, a purple stud, and a Technic pin. Nothing exciting, although any extra purple parts are always welcome.
Design: 4/5 - Power Armor Lex looks pretty good all around, although his proportions are a bit funky. The color scheme is spot-on though.
Build: 2/5 - The mech is built from bottom to top and from left to right. Pretty straight forward. At least there is no repetitiveness thanks to the mirrored feet and the differently sized arms.
Minifigs: 5/5 - The minifigs in this set are fantastic! You get three brand new characters from the DC Universe in one small set, and all of them have been done great justice (no pun intended). There's something off about Superman, and printed boots would have been nice for him, but he is still as good as one could hope for. It would have been nice if it included Lois Lane, but I'll take Wonder Woman over her any day!
Playability: 3/5 - There aren't really any play features in this set. The playability value is pretty much the same as with all mechs or action figures. But hey, at least TLG resisted their urge to load this thing up with kryptonite flick-fire missiles!
Parts: 4.5/5 - There are lots of useful parts in rare colors in this set, so if anything, it's a good parts pack!
Price: 5/5 - At 207 pieces for $20, the price-per-piece ratio is lower than 10c, which is great considering this is a licensed set with lots of exclusive parts!
Overall: 4.5/5 - I am not a Superman fan, but I had to have this set for the great new minifigs and parts alone. The build may not be very challenging, and the comic book that is included is absolute garbage, but it's still a decent set. It's small and has a good price, so there is no reason not to get this set if you want to have a Super Heroes set that doesn't revolve around Batman! And did I mention it comes with Wonder Woman?
You can find all images in this Brickshelf folder. I hope you enjoyed this geektastic review and that you didn't get bored from my rants and lame jokes.
Up, up, and away!