X-Men is probably my favorite comic series. Not that the originals were very good, since they weren't, but where a lot of the characters went later has been quite inventive. Like so many other LEGO things, X-Men was one that I never expected to see happen, but now we're blessed with…
Set Title: Wolverine's Chopper Showdown
Set #: 6866
Year of Release: 2012
Price at Release: US 20, GBP 20, CAD 25, kr 250, AUD 50, EU varied
Buy it? Inventory? Bricklink LEGO (US Link)
Just browse the pictures? Flickr set
Well, I already gave a little bit of an intro. Anyway, X-Men. Neat stuff. Unlike other Superhero properties, there's no one, main, obvious character for a set. You know, Batman's got Batman, Superman's got Superman, Red Sonja's got Red Sonja… but X-Men is and always has been a whole lot of characters with basically equal levels of prominence. While I personally would have liked to see Northstar vs. Mastermind and Unus, I understand that Wolverine and Magneto make a lot of sense for an introductory X-Men set, so I'm happy. But it's not all about minifigures, you know. If it was, LEGO would just sell blind packs of superheroes and call it a superhero theme. What we need (sometimes) is nice cohesive sets. Let's check out if this one fits the bill…
The box, to my surprise, is kind of rectangular. I thought that the curvalicious Friends box invasion was supposed to start, but I guess it was averted. The background is nice, though a bit nondescript, and everyone has been ooing and ahing over the dark red Marvel colors. Really I quite liked the dark blue, so I'd just call it a draw. LEGO did a superb triple pun on this box in relation to the set title, which I find hilarious: one chopper is the helicopter, one chopper is the motorcycle, and one chopper is Wolverine, chopping a flick-fire! Brilliant! On the other hand, the box is too cluttered. With all of the regular American-box text, the figure line-up, and the 'comic adventure included,' it's not very pleasing on the eyes. (Sidenote: try as I might, I can't find any other source of that exact X-Men logo. It's reminiscent of some others, but not exactly the same. Strange.)
The back isn't terribly exciting. It has panes from the included comic adventure in the background, which is nice. Apart from that, it shows everything fine, but the front is far more exciting.
I love on the 1:1 minifigure shot how it's Wolverine with another shot faded into the background… of himself. Did someone say boss?
On another side is the same picture of Wolverine from the back of the box. I'm sorry, but I'm so glad LEGO didn't bother to make his mask. Wolverine in that mask looks so idiotic. The X-Men filmmakers were so smart to lose it.
The front shows off the nice Canadian backdrop, minus all the annoying text and other pictures. It's pleasant. The instructions booklet is pleasantly thick for a set of this size. The copter itself has 40 steps plus sub-builds, so the build is neither too short nor too tedious.
Some of the pages have this nice fade of the minifigures. It's like in the Harry Potter line, except waaaaaaay less creepy.
The Club page features this adorable picture of Wolverine cutting Max's hair into his (now) signature vampire style. I hope we see more customized Club pages in the future (but it mixes fleshies and yellows, ahhh!).
I actually took pictures of it this time! Well, just the front and back. Magneto looks creepy as heck on the front. I don't know what is possibly going on with his face. Otherwise the artwork is good.
The back features all of the boring minifigs from the Avengers sets, plus the awesome Spider-Man and Iron Fist and the seriously messed up Doc Ock. I like how all of the Avengers look stoically posed and then Wolverine shows up in the front and says 'hey look at me!' *waves claw*
Noticed the Deadpool in those last couple of pictures, did you? Don't worry, I'm getting there! I already commented on the figure selection in the intro, so I'll dedicate this section to the minifigures and designs themselves. There is plenty to say.
Here we have our figure friends from the front (if that isn't a lot of alliteration, then maybe mister mango mashed melons at Mindy's mellow massage parlor). Overall these figures are wonderful. They get down the looks of the characters perfectly, and the colors all work well. I've been wanting a Magneto helmet for who knows how long, and LEGO delivers. The one thing that's a little strange is the use of black for Wolvs's musculature. They use that lighter color for all of the other figures, so the black is a little strange. But maybe his suit is just THAT TIGHT. (Do note that the colors didn't work out perfectly in this pic, since Wolvs's suit looks almost regular yellow. It's neon-yellow-orangish, like the hazmat guy apparently. BL's bright light orange. Aanchir's something official)
Great backprints all around. Deadpool's got more belt and black patterning. Magneto's got more purple bling bling. Wolvs has his mask hanging down, more belt, more dark blue, and more black muscles. Now about the mask; I was under the impression it wasn't attached, in which case, how could it hang down? Oh well, at least it appeases the 'where's the mask'ers. Also, Wolvs's double head always shows, which is kind of annoying, but I prefer it over a more scrunched-up face print (like Hawkeye).
Here are Wolvs and Mags with their alternate face prints and headgear still on. Magneto's angry face isn't in step with the Magneto of the recent films, but I do recall him getting this angry in the comics, so it's nice to have. What I really like is that LEGO didn't force happy faces onto these guys. They really aren't happy people, ever. Wolverine's hair also is perfect, and I remember thinking of him as soon as I got the Vampire Studios set way back when. I even made a custom figure using the Monsters Doctor's non-glasses face. I guess LEGO thought of Wolverine with this hair too!
I felt like taking a glory shot of Magneto to show off his helmet/him in general. And now I can say, while he's a great figure, who the heck thought of this design for a bad guy? Red spandex with purple undies, cape, glove, and super big bling bling reminiscent of Pharaohs? Plus a horned helmet? Seriously wacked out, but also awesome. By the way, I think this is the first ever dark purple cape, and certainly the first purple cape of any shade in quite a while (since Dumbledore wore purple). I love capes (despite what Edna Mode has to say about them)!
Let's see them sans headgear now. Magneto has some crazy eyebrows, but they fit with a comic style. I can see the Wolverine face having a lot of applications for pissed figures in various settings.
I think the only difference between the calm and angry Magneto faces are the mouth. It shows, since the mouth looks out of place with the rest of the facial expressions, and it's too symmetrical anyway. It's not the greatest. Wolverine looks much better, since he's really growling and angry. It's quite fierce; I love all the furrows in his face.
Like the Funhouse, this set isn't exactly brimming with accessories, but it certainly has a better amount than that set and it doesn't feel lacking. Wolverine has his two claws (plus another as an extra piece) and Deadpool has two swords, a PoP carrier for them, and an Alien Conquest gun. The gun isn't so accurate I suppose, but it looks nice and modern nonetheless. Like others have said, black would've been better for the holder, but it's alright. Magneto just gets a disc, but that's all he needs. Magneto doesn't use weapons. Besides, he has the power of purple!
CHOPPER #1 - Motorcycle
The first Chopper is Wolverine's bike. It's plain, but it does the trick and looks nice. I've found that with one claw out, Wolverine doesn't look too silly. He of all people would be able to ride a bike with one hand.
The back has no place a for a red taillight, but that doesn't bother me. It's just the mold, which is the same one that appeared in the Indy Cemetery Battle and a PQ set, though both of those times it had printing. In grey it doesn't need it.
This side of the bike has an exhaust pipe, a detail missing from the dirt bike but present in the awful big cycle mold. Even with this small mold, the cycle is starting to look large.
This side does not have a pipe. Hooray for non-symmetry!
There are plenty of places on the bike to put the claws if you want to keep them nearby but have Wolvs drive with both hands. With this setup, you barely notice that they're there.
But look how huge this bike is. I still love the classic cycle. It felt like the right size. This one rolls well and looks great on it's own, but next to a figure it's a bit too ginormous. Wolvs is grumbly about it too, see?
CHOPPER #2 - Helicopter
We've now come to the bulk of the set: Deadpool's heli. As far as I can tell from the internet, Deadpool isn't exactly known for having a helicopter, but he's a kick-ass merc so it's not unreasonable. The color-scheme is certainly fitting, and I'm glad LEGO went with the purty dark red.
The best views of the copter are from above, like this. The chunky-ness just works better from this angle. I've read comments online that this model is too chunky and thus horrible, but I don't get it. People are too obsessed with slim slim slim these days. A little weight looks healthier, says I.
A front angled-down view also looks quite nice. The colors are nicely cohesive, and the cockpit has a nice shape overall thanks to the big dark grey train piece.
Straight-on from the front looks pretty good too. I love the down-facing red lights; landing lights perhaps? It's nice to see LEGO doesn't only care about the top (like in SW). Basically, the front is great. Really no complaints.
It's around the side that things start to get weird, whether from straight-on or from a bit above. The cockpit is great, but the huge open hole is pretty unsightly. The long tail, too, is fairly basic. It's a shame, since the front is awesome, that the rest is just 'eh.'
The back view isn't terrible exactly. The designer didn't completely drop the ball, as some people appear to think about this model.
Well, saying the designer didn't completely drop the ball isn't quite correct. As you can see, there are two tail rotors. I'm no helicopter expert, but I've done a little internet research and I'm fairly certain such a thing does not exist. Correct me if I'm wrong, but two tail rotors would not correct for the torque of the main rotor and effectively do nothing. So, as is, if this copter were real it wouldn't fly. I don't mind the asymmetrical tail fin at all, but the dual rotors are a problem.
Thanks to those newish big curved pieces, the main rotor is quite large without too many pieces. The model looks great from straight above.
The bottom looks fine too. It's got the red lights, and it at least doesn't look unfinished like basically every Star Wars ship nowadays. Nice!
The swords clipping onto the sides of the ship is a little weird, but at least they aren't lightsabers. They sort of look like fins? Eh, I guess not really, but it could be worse (worse=lightsabers).
Ok it's done, let's play! So much to do, woohoo! Well, not really, but if you've read my reviews before, you'll know I'm crafty when it comes to playing.
First of all, the rotor spins. Since it's so big, it's not the easiest to get spinning fast, but it can be done. One thing to note is that it sometimes hits the back rotors if they're in the wrong position. Seriously, stay far away from this thing if you happen to come across a real-life one. You will crash and burn.
Play idea numero dos: take Magneto for a ride. He certainly looks excited about it, doesn't he? And this is where that big gap because even dumber. That's no compartment (…it's a space station!). It's just an uncomfortable looking hole, and what passenger (especially a classy passenger like Erik) would want to sit or stand in an open-air compartment?
I've come to the conclusion that the hole is really there for swooshability. You can quite easily lock your fingers through it and carry the chopper around that way. Observe:
You've got great minifigures, so do a little bit of roleplaying and sit there bonking those little guys together. Fight fight fight! If you were to do that, you would not end up with a carefully staged photograph like this, but that's an idea! You could photograph the set!
And now, if you hadn't realized, I've been saving the best for last. Everyone's, from little kid to old person, favorite, flick fires! This set packs a great payload of four beautiful, shiny silver tipped missiles! You can rotate the missile silos for maximum accuracy! Here, I line up the shot…
…and miss dismally. I promise, I photographed it as it was. Better luck next time.
WHOLE SET and CONCLUSION
So, what do I think of LEGO's first journey into X-Men territory? Sure, of course I want a whole cast of my favorite X-Men characters and their stealth ship and the mansion and all of that, but I'm pleased overall. The minifigures are great, the bike looks cool, and the helicopter is fine. This set is certainly the most exciting set out of the three similarly priced Superheroes sets, although the Avengers SHIELD jeep is a nice-looking jeep. Really, if you care for the minifigures or like dark red or both, this is a great set. If you throw a fit every time you follow LEGO instructions and end up with a helicopter and don't like one of the best comic properties out there, stay away.
Still, I find the Batman sets to be a little more fun (especially the Funhouse; it even has Fun in the title). I don't like Batman the comic, but as LEGO the Batman sets are more shlock and zany and fun. These figures are lovely, and the helicopter is pretty good, but they're not as fun as some of the Batman stuff. Still, it's not much of a critique. X-Men doesn't lend itself so much to zaniness (despite Magneto's wacked-out costume; none of the characters seem to mind that for some reason). This is still a great set!
Parts: 10/10 - 201 for $20, lots of sexy dark red, flat silver cones, cheese, a motorcycle. Need I say more? Sure I do; I never shut up.
Build: 10/10 - Not too tedious, but not too quick. So that's good.
Design: 6/10 - Overall the copter is fine, but the gap is poor and the dual tail rotors are a failure. I don't even understand why anyone thought that was a thing.
Minifigures: 10/10 - Superb, really. Yes you can see Wolverine's headprint under his hair, but I don't mind. These are great.
Price: 10/10 - As the TV show goes, the price is right.
Playability: 8/10 - It's mostly just flick-fires, though it's a ship so by nature you can swoosh it. Not the most playable set, but it does the job.
Overall: 9/10 - That's quite accurate. The copter has it's flaws, but overall there's no denying that this set is a great deal and one to certainly pick up. Do it! You'll probably be more satisfied than if it was just a dark-orange cannon (I'm looking at you, Geonosian Cannon set).
Until next time! Shrakkk!