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    Brickpicker blog articles on LEGO investing, news, reviews, evaluations, discounts and more...

    • LEGO opened its largest store to date on Wednesday May 11, 2016 at the Shanghai Disney Resort in China.
      Lego said in a statement the Chinese market was "one of the best performing markets in 2015".
      Lego is also setting up a factory in China which should be operational in 2017 in Jiaxing, 100 kilometers from Shanghai.
      Links to Reuter and Baidu for video and pictures from the opening day.


    • Today, we are going back in time to almost three years ago (time flies!) and taking a look at one set that had the forums and the entire LEGO community talking almost non-stop: the LEGO Technic 4x4 Crawler Exclusive Edition.
      Unlike the majority of LEGO sets released throughout the years, the Limited Edition Crawler was designed through a fan base contest, with one of the conditions being that the creators utilized the chassis of the 9398 Crawler. The winner model was to be selected and produced as a limited edition of only 20,000 copies.

      Even since the winner was announced, investors and collectors were excited about the possibility of getting their hands in what many saw as a highly collectible set. Whether it was for resale, long term holding or just for personal collection reasons, the expectation was that such a unique set was bound to be extremely hard to acquire at retail price ($199.99).
      Months after the announcement, on August 1st 2013, the set was finally released to the public on LEGO Shop at Home and brick and mortar locations. As many expected, and worried about, 41999 sold out online the very same day, forcing customers to either hunt the set at retail location or source it from the secondary market.
      As one would expect, the hype surrounding the set meant that most brick and mortar locations sold out as soon as they put the set on the shelves. In turn, prices on eBay and other online platforms rose to close to $450, with sets selling within minutes of being listed as collectors worried about it becoming even more expensive, investors hoped for the next $1,000 set and, as some of you might remember, some even attempted to corner the market by acquiring dozens of copies a day.

      While I will not get into it, it is also worth mentioning that the circumstances surrounding the set generated a lot of controversy, and ethical/moral discussions popped up almost daily on some of the forum threads.
      In theory, it all made sense; LEGO released a set that was not designed by your traditional LEGO design team, limited it to 20,000 copies worldwide and, to top it off, included a number of rare and unique elements that increased collectability (first Technic set to use dark blue, chrome elements and a uniquely numbered license plate).  Furthermore, the box and instruction manuals were both higher quality than average and added a little bit of value to the set.
      It had all the potential in the world to become an extremely sought after and expensive set in the long term, but as you can see from the chart below, in the end that was not the case.

      The set has almost completely stagnated at around $360, the price it finally settled at a couple months after the hype died down at the end of 2013. That’s a close to 0% gain for anyone who has been holding the set for the last 2 or so years!
      Clearly, the weeks after release were the most profitable times to sell the Limited Edition 41999. I sold some of these within this timeframe and took advantage of the hype surrounding it, but at the same time thought that the set had a lot of long term potential (as many others did!). Looking back though, the performance of the set has not been anything but a disappointment.
      While it is always hard to pinpoint the exact reasons a set is not as popular as expected, I think that there are some generally accepted factors that contributed to the Crawler not doing as well as expected.
      Technic has always been a niche market. While there is definitely a following to the theme, its popularity is nowhere near as close to some of the licensed themes, reducing the customer base.
      The set on which 41999 was based on, 9398 Crawler, was readily available until 2015. Given the similarities between the two sets, having a much cheaper version in the market could have definitely impacted the performance of the Limited Edition.
      The set simply grew too fast, reaching maturity shortly after its release. All the circumstances surrounding the set allowed it to reach its ceiling way faster than the average LEGO set, explaining the lack of growth since.
      So, knowing its past, what should we look forward to? Honestly, I don’t see how the trend can be reversed. I would not expect to see any significant growth out of this set, as I believe that if its unique characteristics have not generated any more interest in the past couple of years, there is no reason to believe they will in the future.
      Don’t get me wrong, this is still a cool model and a very interesting piece of LEGO history, so there is definitely a value in owning it. But if you are still holding it with the expectation of above average result, I would definitely take a few moments to reconsider and compare it with some of the better options currently available.
      Thanks for reading!
       

    • More often than not, the main question LEGO investors are trying to answer is “When is this set retiring?”. As we all know, once a set is retired is when it really has the potential to start growing in value, so it is not surprising that the EOL question is as common as it is in the forums. However, focusing entirely on currently available sets may be causing investors to miss on a potentially lucrative market: sets that have already been retired for quite some time.
      It is not the first time I write about this, and I know some of other members like fellow Mod Grolim used to bring up quite often in the earlier years of Brickpicker, but taking a look at my last article pushed me to write about a set that I see as a potential money maker even at its current market value. Before getting into that though, let’s take a look at some of the arguments in favor of investing in retired sets.
      Removes the uncertainty of retirement date and, in some cases, performance. Investing in retired sets allows you to reap the benefits of growth as soon as you acquire a set, removing the need to park your money waiting for a set to go EOL.
      Most of the already retired exclusives that are performing great are way more scarce than any of the newer exclusives will be once retired. It is pretty clear that the LEGO investing market has seen an influx of buyer over the past couple years, prompting LEGO to produce more and more of the popular sets and keeping them around longer; the older sets were not as massively produced or hoarded.
      Of course, there are also a couple of arguments against this practice, and it would not be responsible of me to simply omit them. The ones that come to mind are:
      Risk of remakes. We have seen the two sides of the coin related to this point, as the remake of the UCS X-Wing failed to completely depress the prices of the older version but the new Winter Village Toy shop completely destroyed 10199. Acquiring an already retired set increases the likelihood that investors will be holding a set at the time a remake is announced.
      High amounts of capital are usually required. While practically anyone can invest on sets that are currently available, it becomes harder when you are targeting sets that are worth upwards of $500.
      Also, it is important to mention that this article assumes readers are Buy and Hold type of investors. Flipping and selling other sets in the short term can more than likely generate the same or more returns by moving sets quicker.
      The case for investing in the UCS Super Star Destroyer
      Some of you may remember the good old times when we saw the Super Star Destroyer selling for $319 on Amazon. Clearly, those days are over, but that does not mean that it is too late to put some money into this impressive set with the idea of making some good money in a couple of years.
      Why do I even bring this up? Well, just take a look at the following chart showcasing the performance of some of the UCS sets in the past two years1:
        
      1Actual values for December 2013 and 2015. 2014 Data is just an interpolation.
      Clearly, the performance of these sets has been outstanding over the past couple of years, and some of them were already extremely expensive back in December, 2013. We are talking about an average return of close to 93% in just 2 years over an average price of $750! (90% if we do a weighted average).
      Even more impressive, most of the sets shown in the graph above have been retired for more than 5 years at this point. Seeing these levels of growth over just two years indicates how solid most of the UCS models are in the long term.
      The UCS Super Star Destroyer is already selling for almost $1,000 based on the latest Brickpicker data. As mentioned before, investing in these expensive sets requires a certain amount of capital and a moderately high risk tolerance, but looking at how similarly valued sets have performed in the 2 years we have data for, it is a strategy with high reward potential.

      Back when the SSD was available for retail it already sold for $400 most of the time, making it one of those sets that are somewhat more difficult to hoard for most investors, reducing supply in the secondary market. Besides this, the set is probably one of the most impressive in both size and detail LEGO has ever released, and one that we are more than likely won’t be re-released for quite some time.  LEGO has so many other sets to re-release before we ever see another SSD in stores (Imperial Star Destroyer, Millennium Falcon, Snowspeeder, etc.).
      Honestly, I see this set with the potential to reach $2,000 in a few years, much like its older sibling the Imperial Star Destroyer. This is only an opinion, but I figured I would bring the topic up for discussion and let each investors make up their own mind about it.
      Thanks for reading!
       

    • LEGO hasn't released much for one of the flagship titles of the Marvel comics universe. Marvel Super Heroes X-Men vs. Sentinel is only the second set featuring those popular mutants. 4 Popular characters, an iconic vehicle, and the most notorious instruments of government sponsored mass murder in the Marvel Universe should lead to one of the best sets that LEGO has produced for this theme. Let's take a look and see how well they accomplished  what should be an amazing set. Let's review.

      REVIEW: SET DETAILS
      Set #: 76022
      Name: X-Men Vs. The Sentinel
      Theme: Marvel Super Heroes
      Parts: 336
      Price: $49.99
      The general consensus is that this set is overpriced. The number of pieces is really low for the cost, but you get a lot of big pieces. That may not mean much against typical evaluation though.
      BOX CONTENTS
      Some people may wind up picking up a set that is open box or, want to verify the box contents before beginning a build. For this set, there are 3 numbered baggies, a sticker sheet, a comic book, 2 Hull pieces and 2 instruction books.

      BUILD AND EXECUTION:
      BAG 1: Along with all the parts to make the Sentinel, you get Wolverine and Magneto. Magneto has a platform that you create for him to fly on. I guess 80's Magneto couldn't just lift himself? I forget.
      Magneto: You fool, attacking me when you have bones laced with metal.
      Wolverine: This is the80's bub, your powers are magnetic and Adamantium is non-ferrous so I can cut you into sushi.

      The first stage of the Sentinel has to be the torso. When I started, I thought for some reason that this was the shoulders.
      Magneto: Maybe we should team up. I've heard of these mutant hunting super robots.

      The fully printed slope for the torso is pretty great looking. It's too bad that they used up all of the printing money for the Sentinel.
      Magneto: Curses, this robot is also made from non-ferrous metal. It seems like in the 80's I was much easier to defeat.
      Wolverine: Don't worry about it bub, I've got claws. SNIKT

      The head also looks pretty good. I could have stood for the printed area to be larger, but it really does recall the classic sentinel.
      Magneto: Did you just say SNIKT?
      Wolverine: I'm the best there is at what I do and what I do is say SNIKT.

      I actually like the legs. He's got big stompy boots,just like the classic sentinel.
      Wolverine: Let's see, where can I go berserk on this thing, bub.
      Magneto: You fool, you're supposed to destroy it, not have a piggyback ride.

      The shoulders are slightly bulky, but I think that's just so it can look like it has biceps. I have no idea why a robot has to have muscular biceps, but that's the way it's been shown for a long time.
      Magneto: I'll use my metal hovery disk to pick up this monster.
      Wolverine: Hey I just thought of something, if my bones are all covered in adamantium, are my teeth metal too? I can chew through this guy, bub.
      Sentinel: ALERT! ALERT! MUTANTS DETECTED!

      The hands are actually somewhat clever. His hand blast is an interesting use of the spring missile. The flick missiles on his back look somewhat awkward.
      Sentinel: PRIORITY ONE! DESTROY MUTANT KNOWN AS WOLVERINE!
      Wolverine: UGH Bub!
      Magneto: Curse these magnetic powers that only work on magnetic metals.

      Sentinel: MORE MUTANT LIFEFORMS DETECTED!

      BAG 2 & 3:
      You start building the bluebird sorry I mean blackbird. Cyclops comes in bag 2 and Storm in bag 3. I find it interesting that the missiles are almost the first thing you build. I kind of expected them to be last.

      As with most LEGO planes, this set kind of looks like a boat when half completed. It certainly looks more like a boat than a plane. Also, here you see the first sticker from the set.
      Cyclops: Hmmmm, this sticker says that there's a Sentinel around.

      There's 4 seats in the bluebird, not terrible considering that technically there's only 3 X-Men.
      Cyclops: I love to sing while I work. "You put the boom boom into my heart . . ."

      I always assumed the blackbird would be sleek and ths build just makes it seem tubby and squat. You'd assume that with the seat being so low, the canopy would just go right there, but this big chunk  with a handle goes right there, effectively blocking line of site for the person steering the ship.
      Cyclops: "Wake me up before you go go, don't leave me hanging on like a yo yo,"

      Cyclops: Looking pretty good if I do say so myself
      (no, no it's not.)

      In bag 2, we come to one of the most consistent things in Super Hero sets, whether it's marvel or DC, there's usually a fire extinguisher. To paraphrase Tony Stark "We might not save the world, but you can be darn sure that we'll extinguish small fires."
      Cyclops: Hey Storm, can you help me finish building this thing? I think Professor X was way out of line thinking I could design, build and fly a jet all by myself.
      Storm: Where does he get enough money to build his own armed stealth jet?

      The cockpit canopy attaches with a pair of stickers and the blue whale is really taking shape. Check out the flick missile That doesn't look lame or anything just tacked on the outside. (Now that I called it out specifically, you're going to notice it in every picture from now on.)
      Wolverine: Oof bub, SNIKT.
      Cyclops: What the? where did he come from?
      Storm: It sounded like a distant explosion and he just came flying from somewhere else like he had been blasted here. (Tell don't show, I learned that from George Lucas.)

      There's another hatch for the back compartment. I was pleasantly surprised with how much I liked the fact that they designed it so that you could actually play with your characters back there. Not that it's innovative or any better looking than any of the rest of this thing.
      Magneto: Quickly X-Fools, the Sentinel is coming, get your flying whale thing ready.
      Wolverine: Yeah, he's on our side for now.
      Cyclops: it's not a whale, it's a sleek blackbird.

      Attach the engines and a couple of stubby wings
      Magneto: Hurry fools it is coming!
      Storm: You know, it would go a lot faster if you helped Magnet man.
      Magneto: Unfortunately you designed this ship out of non magnetic metals so that I couldn't stop you in flight.
      Wolverine: too bad your arms are broken then bub.
      Magneto: But they're not.
      Wolverine: They will be unless you help, bub.

      The final stretch where you attach the wings provides an optical illusion. You almost think that it's sleek with those long canted wings. They're just sort of tacked on the back though. The rest of the ship is still an ungainly blob. I really wish they had made the wings more a part of the ship. The blackbird was based on the SR-71 blackbird, one of the most interesting planes of the 70's/80's. 

      If you throw enough stuff around it, you might not notice how disappointing the plane is.
      Wolverine: Grrrrr, the Sentinel's here bubs. SNIKT
      Cyclops: Oops, why did I design this where I have to stand to fly it?
      Magneto: I'm out of here, you guys have a handle on it.
      Storm: Come back here you coward.

      REACTION:
      The Sentinel looks fine. It's not great, but it serves its purpose. I almost think that it works better than Groot. I wish it were bigger and solider looking, but what we got isn't terrible. The blue blackbird is not good though. I think it looks terrible. It's more like a blue whale than a black bird. Building this set and the Avenjet within a day of each other really makes me realize how disappointingly bulbous and goofy this set is.I was happy with the wings until I looked at the complete vehicle and realized how much more satisfying almost every other Super Hero  plane that I made is.
      The minifigures are all unique. Magneto and Wolverine were both released previously in other costumes. The Brown and yellow costume is kind of classic for Wolverine. Magneto's Purple costume was a mistake from the 80's and should have been forgotten. I would have 1000x have preferred a straight repack of the previous Magneto. Cyclops hasn't worn this costume in like 30 years. I distinctly remember the last issue of X-Men that he wore it in (I think) X-Men 201 when Mohawk Storm beat him for leadership of the X-Men. Frankly, this entire set reminds me of the 80's, except that stupid plane.
      Wolverine and Storm are the highlights of this set. Cyclops is sadly a little too plain to really stand out, and Magneto is just lame.

      There are a lot of accessories for these guys.

      The only figure in the set without a dual sided head is Cyclops. The detailing on Storm is fantastic including the painted legs. Wolverine's goggles can be used with the mask or even the hairpiece.


      FINAL THOUGHTS:
      There's a part of me that looks at this set and sees the disappointing Sentinel and Blackbird and the lame looking Magneto and thinks it's a loser. The larger part of me looks at the fact that LEGO is not releasing X-Men sets consistently. So far there have been only 2 X-Men sets and the previous one blew up. I feel like this set is a slow burner. In a year, people will realize there's not another X-Men set coming and go after this one. This set has lingered a long time, but I think it's just because no one has confidence. They feel like this one is overpriced, so aren't putting money into it. When X-Men Apocalypse comes out, featuring most of these characters, it will disappear from retail.
      Plus, how inaccurate can it be? it looks like this toy from the 90's (gag)

      EXTRA PIECES:
      You get an extra missile and claws plus the standard small pieces


    • Here is the list of current and upcoming polybags in the LEGO world.  If you've found a polybag that's not on this list, or have any update to give us, please note it in the comments below.  This information is put together from a number of different sources on the Internet, including real world reports. Availability in your area may vary.  This information is US-based.  These are from within the last 12 months.
      Polybags Currently Available

      Set # Theme Set Name Locations 30347 City Fire Car TRU 30349 City Sports Car Legoland, Target 30311 City Swamp Police Helicopter TRU 30471 Creator Helicopter Legoland 30285 Creator Tiger TRU 30397 Disney Princess Olaf's Summertime Fun Legoland, Target 30259 Elves Azari's Magic Fire Legoland, TRU 30375 Elves Sira's Adventurous Airglider Lego.com 30396 Friends Cupcake Stall Legoland 30204 Friends Wish Fountain TRU 30320 Jurassic World Gallimimus Trap Gamestop 30371 Nexo Knights Knight's Cycle Legoland, TRU 30373 Nexo Knights Knighton Hyper Cannon Legoland 30374 Nexo Knights Lava Slinger Legoland 30291 Ninjago Anacondrai Battle Mech Legoland, TRU 5002144 Ninjago Dareth vs. Nindroid TRU 30421 Ninjago Skybound Plane Legoland 30277 Star Wars First Order Star Destroyer Legoland 30602 Star Wars First Order Stormtrooper Lego.com 30279 Star Wars Kylo Ren's Command Shuttle Legoland 5002122 Star Wars TC-4 Legoland 30603 Super-Heroes Batman Classic TV Series - Mr. Freeze Lego.com 30447 Super-Heroes Captain America's Motorcycle TRU 30604 Super-Heroes Cosmic Boy DVD/Blu Ray 30168 Super-Heroes Gun mounting system (Iron Patriot) Gamestop 5002946 Super-Heroes Silver Centurion Gamestop 30448 Super-Heroes Spider-Man vs The Venom Symbiote Legoland 30446 Super-Heroes The Batmobile TRU 30601 Scooby Doo Scooby-Doo DVD/Blu Ray (Preorder May 2016) 30605 Star Wars Finn (FN-2187) Gamestop (Preorder June 2016) 30606 Super-Heroes Nightwing DVD/Blu Ray (Preorder June 2016)  
      Polybags Coming Soon

      Set # Theme Set Name Locations Status Date 5004409 Bionicle Accessory pack   Unknown 2016 5002942 Bionicle Bionicle Villain Pack Non-US release only? Unknown Dec 2015 30350 City Drilling Machine   Unknown 2016 30348 City Mini Dumper EU release No Recent Sightings Feb 2016 5004404 City Police Chase Non-US release only? Unknown Jan 2016 30346 City Prison Island Helicopter TRU Unknown 2016 30474 Creator Reindeer   Unknown 2016 30217 Duplo Duplo Forest Random Bag Non-US release only? Unknown Dec 2015 40167 Duplo Promotional polybag   Unknown 2016 30322 Duplo Wildlife   Unknown 2016 5004401 Duplo Wildlife Puzzle   Unknown 2016 30399 Friends Bowling Alley   Unknown 2016 5002931 Friends Disco Dance Floor Non-US release only? Unknown Oct 2015 5004395 Friends Jewellery and Sticker Pack   Unknown 2016 30473 Juniors Racer   Unknown 2016 5004390 Nexo Knights (Exclusive Minifigure) Lego Store Unknown Jul 2016 30292 Ninjago Jay Nano Mech Aus/NZ release No Recent Sightings Oct 2015 5002920 Ninjago Ninjago Accessory Pack Non-US release only? Unknown Nov 2015 5002922 Ninjago Ninjago Role Play Non-US release only? Unknown Oct 2015 5002919 Ninjago Scenery and Dagger Trap Non-US release only? Unknown Nov 2015 30423 Ninjago Sky Pirate   Unknown 2016 5004391 Ninjago Sky Pirates Battle Non-US release only? Unknown 2016 30424 Ninjago Wu Cru Training   Unknown 2016 5004406 Star Wars First Order General   Unknown 2016  
      Polybags That Appear to be Unavailable

      Set # Theme Set Name Locations Status Date 30256 Chima Ice Bear Mech Target No Recent Sightings Jan 2016 30312 City Demolition Driller TRU No Recent Sightings Dec 2015 30314 City Go-Kart Racer Target No Recent Sightings Jan 2016 30315 City Space Utility Vehicle Legoland, Target No Recent Sightings Jan 2016 30228 City Police ATV Kmart No Recent Sightings Oct 2015 30188 Creator Cute Kitten TRU No Recent Sightings Oct 2015 40146 Creator Lufthansa Plane Lufthansa No Recent Sightings Oct 2015 30472 Creator Parrot Lego Store No Recent Sightings Mar 2016 30284 Creator Tractor Lego.com No Recent Sightings Oct 2015 30321 Duplo Duck Lego.com No Recent Sightings 3/1/2016 2000447 Education Mini Milo CES 2016 Giveaway No Recent Sightings Feb 2016 30398 Friends Adventure Camp Bridge Lego.com No Recent Sightings Jan 2016 30112 Friends Emma's Flower Stand TRU No Recent Sightings Jan 2016 30203 Friends Mini Golf TRU No Recent Sightings Dec 2015 30205 Friends Pop Star Legoland No Recent Sightings Dec 2015 30202 Friends Smoothie Stand TRU No Recent Sightings Dec 2015 5004388 Nexo Knights Nexo Knights Intro Pack Lego.com No Recent Sightings Jan 2016 30372 Nexo Knights Robin's Mini Fortrex Lego.com No Recent Sightings Jan 2016 30422 Ninjago Kai's Mini Dragon Lego.com, Target No Recent Sightings Mar 2016 30294 Ninjago The Cowler Dragon Target No Recent Sightings Jan 2016 30286 Seasonal Christmas Tree Target, TRU No Recent Sightings Jan 2016 40055 Seasonal Halloween Pumpkin TRU No Recent Sightings Oct 2015 5002947 Star Wars Admiral Yularen Legoland No Recent Sightings Nov 2015 30272 Star Wars A-Wing Starfighter Legoland No Recent Sightings Mar 2016 30274 Star Wars AT-DP Legoland No Recent Sightings Mar 2016 5002948 Star Wars C-3P0 TRU No Recent Sightings Jan 2016 30276 Star Wars First Order Special Forces TIE Fighter Target No Recent Sightings Mar 2016 30246 Star Wars Imperial Shuttle Target No Recent Sightings Jan 2016 30278 Star Wars Poe's X-Wing Fighter Target No Recent Sightings Mar 2016 5002938 Star Wars Stormtrooper Sergeant TRU No Recent Sightings Jan 2016 30275 Star Wars TIE Advanced Prototype Target, TRU No Recent Sightings Jan 2016 30304 Super-Heroes Avengers Quinjet TRU No Recent Sightings Jan 2016 5002125 Super-Heroes Electro TRU No Recent Sightings Feb 2016 5003084 Super-Heroes Hulk TRU No Recent Sightings Feb 2016 30303 Super-Heroes Joker Bumper Car Legoland, Target, Walmart No Recent Sightings Jan 2016 30305 Super-Heroes Spider-Man Super Jumper Walmart No Recent Sightings Dec 2015 5002943 Super-Heroes Winter Soldier Lego.com No Recent Sightings Oct 2015  


       

    • Tonight starts the LEGO May the 4th Star Wars Event.  To start with, you at least get 20% off most Star Wars items.  On top of that you get your Double VIP points on all Lego Star Wars products which ends up being a decent discount.  Based on discussions in the forum, it appears that many are starting to eye up the 75094 Imperial Shuttle Tydirium. 
      Free shipping on all orders with no minimum. Free 30602 First Order Stormtrooper (pictured above) with your order of $50 or more of LEGO Star Wars products. Double VIP points on all LEGO Star Wars products. Free LEGO-fied Star Wars The Force Awakens poster with all LEGO Star Wars purchases. All offers are good from April 30th through May 4th while supplies last at all LEGO Brand Retail Stores and online at LEGO Shop@Home.
      If you were lucky enough to get one of these invites below, you can get early access to a LEGO retail shop and hopefully get yourself one of those Limited run Space Slugs


      If you are located in the USA: CLICK HERE
      If you are located in Canada: CLICK HERE
      If you are located in the UK: CLICK HERE
      LEGO Star Wars May The Fourth 2016 Sale List
      Item name – US MSRP / US Sale Price / CA MSRP / CA Sale Price
      75074 Snowspeeder™ – $9.99 / $7.99 / $12.99 / $10.39 75075 AT-AT™ – $9.99 / $7.99 / $12.99 / $10.39 75091 Flash Speeder™ – $29.99 / $23.99 / $39.99 / $31.99 75092 Naboo Starfighter™ – $49.99 / $39.99 / $59.99 / $47.99 75094 Imperial Shuttle Tydirium – $99.99 / $79.99 / $119.99 / $95.99 75096 Sith Infiltrator™ – $89.99 / $71.99 / $119.99 / $95.99 75106 Imperial Assault Carrier – $130 / $103.99 / $149.99 / $119.99 75107 Jango Fett™ – $19.99 / $15.99 / $24.99 / $19.99 75108 Clone Commander Cody – $19.99 / $15.99 / $24.99 / $19.99 75109 Obi-Wan Kenobi™ – $24.99 / $19.99 / $29.99 / $23.99 75110 Luke Skywalker™ – $19.99 / $15.99 / $24.99 / $19.99 75112 General Grievous™ – $34.99 / $27.99 / $44.99 / $35.99 75113 Rey – $19.99 / $15.99 / $24.99 / $19.99 75115 Poe Dameron™ – $24.99 / $19.99 / $29.99 / $23.99 75116 Finn – $24.99 / $19.99 / $29.99 / $23.99 75117 Kylo Ren™ – $24.99 / $19.99 / $29.99 / $23.99 75118 Captain Phasma™ – $24.99 / $19.99 / $29.99 / $23.99 75126 First Order Snowspeeder – $9.99 / $7.99 / $12.99 / $10.39 75131 Resistance Trooper Battle Pack – $12.99 / $10.39 / $15.99 / $12.79 75132 First Order Battle Pack – $12.99 / $10.39 / $15.99 / $12.79 75139 Battle on Takodana™ – $59.99 / $47.99 / $74.99 / $59.99 75140 Resistance Troop Transporter – $69.99 / $55.99 / $89.99 / $71.99 75141 Kanan’s Speeder Bike™ – $19.99 / $19.99 / $24.99 / $19.99 75142 Homing Spider Droid™ – $29.99 / $29.99 / $39.99 / $31.99 853471 Keychain C-3PO – $5.99 / $4.79 / $6.99 / $5.59 853449 Keychain Yoda – $5.99 / $4.79 / $6.99 / $5.59 853451 Keychain Chewbacca – $5.99 / $4.79 / $6.99 / $5.59 853469 Keychain Wicket – $5.99 / $4.79 / $6.99 / $5.59 853470 Keychain R2-D2 – $5.99 / $4.79 / $6.99 / $5.59 850996 Darth Vader Keychain – $5.99 / $4.79 / $6.99 / $5.59 850997 Princess Leia Keychain – $5.99 / $4.79 / $6.99 / $5.59 850998 Boba Fett Keychain – $5.99 / $4.79 / $6.99 / $5.59 850635 Magnet Darth Vader – $6.99 / $5.59 / $8.49 / $6.79 850446 Keychain Darth Maul – $5.99 / $4.79 / $6.99 / $5.59 5005008 LEGO® Star Wars™: Small Scenes from a Big Galaxy Book – $24.99 / $19.99 / $28.99 /$23.19 5004853 LEGO® Star Wars™: Character Encyclopedia: Updated and Expanded Book – $18.99 / $15.19 / $Not Carried / $N/A 5004854 LEGO® Star Wars™ in 100 Scenes Book – $18.99 / $15.19 / $Not Carried / $N/A 5004605 Boba Fett Watch – $24.99 / $19.99 / $24.99 / $19.99 5004606 Darth Maul™ Watch – $24.99 / $19.99 / $24.99 / $19.99 5004608 Luke Skywalker™ Watch – $24.99 / $19.99 / $24.99 / $19.99 5004609 Stormtrooper™ Minifigure Watch – $24.99 / $19.99 / $24.99 / $19.99 5004195 LEGO® Star Wars™: The Visual Dictionary (Updated and Expanded) Book – $21.99 / $17.59 / $Not Carried / $N/A 5000249 Boba Fett™ Minifigure Clock – $29.99 / $23.99 / $29.99 / $23.99 2856203 Yoda Minifigure Clock – $29.99 / $23.99 / $29.99 / $23.99 2856080 Stormtrooper Minifigure Clock – $29.99 / $23.99 / $29.99 / $23.99 2856081 Darth Vader Minifigure Clock – $29.99 / $23.99 / $29.99 / $23.99 Other Sale Items
      If you’ve made it this far you should also know that there are additional non-Star Wars items going on sale during the same sale period, from April 30th through May 4th. The items on list, too, will see the same 20% discount applied and free shipping with no minimum, but unfortunately there are no other perks to this list. Here are the items on sale:
      Item name – US MSRP / US Sale Price / CA MSRP / CA Sale Price
      60131 Crooks Island – $29.99 / $23.99 / $39.99 / $31.99 70730 Chain Cycle Ambush – $29.99 / $23.99 / $39.99 / $31.99 70731 Jay Walker One – $39.99 / $31.99 / $49.99 / $39.99 70744 Airjitzu Wrayth Flye – $9.99 / $7.99 / $12.99 / $10.39 70324 Merlok’s Library 2.0 – $24.99 / $19.99 / $29.99 / $23.99 21124 The End Portal – $59.99 / $47.99 / $74.99 / $59.99 70335 ULTIMATE Lavaria – $9.99 / $7.99 / $12.99 / $10.39 70325 Infernox captures the Queen – $24.99 / $19.99 / $29.99 / $23.99 70334 Ultimate Beast Master – $9.99 / $7.99 / $12.99 / $10.39 41068 Arendelle Castle Celebration – $59.99 / $47.99 / $74.99 / $59.99 41066 Anna & Kristoff’s Sleigh Adventure – $29.99 / $23.99 / $39.99 / $31.99 21126 The Wither – $39.99 / $31.99 / $49.99 / $39.99 41554 Kuffs – $4.99 / $3.98 / $5.99 / $4.48 41555 Busto – $4.99 / $3.98 / $5.99 / $4.48 41556 Tiketz – $4.99 / $3.98 / $5.99 / $4.48 41557 Camillot – $4.99 / $3.98 / $5.99 / $4.48 41558 Mixadel – $4.99 / $3.98 / $5.99 / $4.48 41559 Paladum – $4.99 / $3.98 / $5.99 / $4.48 41560 Jamzy – $4.99 / $3.98 / $5.99 / $4.48 41562 Trumpsy – $4.99 / $3.98 / $5.99 / $4.48 60071 Hovercraft Arrest – $44.99 / $35.99 / $59.99 / $47.99 60096 Deep Sea Operation Base – $99.99 / $79.99 / $129.99 / $103.99 75900 Mummy Museum Mystery – $14.99 / $11.99 / $17.99 / $14.39 75903 Haunted Lighthouse – $49.99 / $39.99 / $59.99 / $47.99

    • After a somewhat long absence from writing articles, I decided that a good way to try and get back into the rhythm was to revisit one of my 2013 articles, The LEGO December Effect.
      For those of you who have not had the time to read the previous article, back in 2013 I noticed an interesting price trend for the most expensive sets: they seemed to take a big deep in value in the month of December. Back then, I decided to compile some data for a few of the most expensive sets at the time and do a comparison between their November and December value. The table below is the one I originally used.

      It is pretty apparent that a majority of the sets in the list dipped quite significantly in the month of December, with the Eiffel Tower dropping a whopping 33% alone. However, it is important to remember that these expensive sets also tend to have the lowest sales in terms of quantity, a factor that result in one out of the norm sale to affect the set’s value in the Price Guide.
      Back then some theorized that one of the possible reasons for this deep in price could be that AFOLs, by far the most likely group to spend hundreds of dollars in these sets, put a temporary stop in their set spending in order to prepare for the holiday season.
      I also noticed that there seemed to be an increase in supply for these sets in the months leading up to and including December. This coupled with the above theory about collector spending gave a pretty decent explanation for the “December Effect” at the time.
      A couple of years have passed and I honestly regret not keeping track of this and analyzing it on a yearly basis, as the more data we had the easier it would be to determine if it was a fluke or an actual recurrent event. But, no point in worrying about what could have been while there is still time to show what happened in the last holiday season.
      The table below includes the same sets I researched back in 2013 and some others that have since retired or significantly increased in value. They are sorted from Largest to Smallest set value.

      Surprised? I certainly am. While a plurality of the sets in the table still decreased in value, the number of sets that didn’t is as close as it could be without being the same (12 vs. 11). More significant is the fact that the magnitude of the dips in value seems to have been smaller in this past year, with none of the sets decreasing by more than 10%.
      Something crossed my mind while I was looking at this table. Could the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens have generated enough buzz that interested for older UCS sets was impacted?
      Looking at the average decrease in price from November to December shows that while all the sets in the table aggregate to around (1.16%), Star Wars sets decreased at a lower rate (0.75%) relative to the (1.70%) of the remaining sets. For reference, the numbers in my last post were pretty much even at (8.3%)
      While there seems to be a small variance between Star Wars and other sets this time around, it is very hard for me to say that this is completely due to the release of the new movie. If the non-SW sets had performed similar to the way they did in 2012, it would be easier to make that point, but that wasn’t the case.
      In conclusion, it seems that the “December Effect” was nowhere near as strong this year as it was the year I originally noticed it. Clearly, we need way more data to determine if it is even a thing, but for that we will have to, once again, wait until next year!
      Thanks for reading! You can revisit one of my 2013 articles, The LEGO December Effect to gain more insight on this topic.

    • LEGO Elves was launched in March 2015. This set was released in a small second wave late that summer. I purchased this set at RRP a few days after release, but it has taken me until now to actually put it together. Below is my finished product:   SET DETAILS: Set #: 41078 Name: Skyra's Mysterious Sky Castle Theme: LEGO Elves Parts: 808 Regular Retail Price: $79.99   BOX CONTENTS For this set, there are 7 numbered bags, one loose 6 X 12 dark sand beige plate, one sticker sheet, one pegasus-style horse and one thick 132 page instruction book.    I liked that the book was a single binding as compared to the multiple inconsistently-sized variety I have seen in other sets.     SET AND BUILD OVERVIEW:   I will start with the figures, as they are assembled in bags 1 and 3. Mini Dolls (Queen Skyra, Naida the water elf, and Emily Jones) and Pegasus:   And their capes:   The smaller capes are the standard coarse material while the full-length cape is of a softer, silkier variety. I would like to point out that I had some difficulty stacking both of Queen Skyra’s capes on her very slender neck and then attaching her head. Once assembled, I enjoy the look of the white embellished “collar” against the dark violet cape. Basic assembly of the other figures was fairly simple. It is always a bit tricky to snap the round tile onto the curved elf hand. The pegasus design is nice, but I found myself trying to figure out how to position the wings while the creature is standing. Fully upright wings look too heavy, but when they are placed in a downward posture, I think the animal looks vaguely wounded.     BUILDING THE STRUCTURE:   Bags 1 through 4 assemble as independent structures. At the end of 4, three of them are connected to provide the base of the finished build while the structure from bag 1 remains separate. (I had a picture of this, but used the box as the background. When putting my review together this image was scrapped because it was hard to see what was box art vs. built pieces in front). Bags 5 and 6 are also assembled independently of the structure, but the resulting piece is attached at the end of the instructions for bag 6. It was a bit tricky to determine the point of attachment for this upper deck. Further scrutiny led me to decide the bottom plate should be flush with the frontmost part of its supporting structure (completed in bag 2). I’m not sure if one could build 5 directly attached to structure 2 because of the portal mechanism. Bag 7 contained all of the finishing touches including the lilac turrets, elemental keys, leaves and jewels.   The elemental keys are pretty great looking:   But they have no mechanical function (with regard to opening the portal) when they are positioned as pictured in the instructions. I cannot explain this, so I guess I need to watch the show...     THE GOOD AND THE BAD:   I love the colors! Despite my distaste for mini dolls, Elves is one of my must buy themes because of the colors, shapes, and unique pieces. I like the design of the Element elements. The lilac fences, use of transparent and jewel accents, and the fact that it’s a castle drew me to this one in particular.  Build was fairly straightforward and simple without becoming boring or tedious. There was a bit of trouble trying to line up the mech and axle beneath the portal, but I was able to work it out with some determination. NOTE: Younger builders may need assistance with this.   The biggest flaw, in my opinion, was the mechanism that opens and closes the portal. It was slightly confusing trying to get it all lined up, and in the end, the portal is activated by turning a large knob. (Again, maybe I need to watch the show). Perhaps Skyra’s sceptre was supposed to turn it, but it doesn’t fit. I think you could use one of the keys, but I believe the idea is that each key needs to be in place to activate the portal. My best guess is that the portal is opened and closed by magic forces, so the actual opening mechanism is not intended to be part of the play function, but I found it disappointing. In my opinion, magic levers should be behind the active play area to maintain the illusion. Queen Skyra: "If you wish to return home, Emily Jones, I must summon the power of the mysterious sky hand to open the portal." Awkward maneuvering as Sky Hand presents itself and completes a quarter-turn of the center pedestal Emily Jones: "Thank you Queen. Your mysterious sky castle is mysterious no more."   My only other gripe is regarding the stickers. Although I don’t particularly enjoy ANY stickers, these were the worst kind. I have yet to figure out how to keep my fingerprints from becoming a permanent addition to the application of transparent stickers. I have trouble with small decals as it is, so tweezers or gloves seem to me that they would only add to the clumsiness. Thankfully, all decorated pieces after bag 5 are all pre-printed.   All said and done, I enjoyed building it. I understand that the build-by-section method is accepted as a good way to break up the build, but I did find myself asking when is this going to turn into one integrated piece. (I’m still not sure where to position the earth doorway or the dining table).    Spare parts:   I found it odd that there were so many duplicate spares. The additional fuchsia (official color name?) flowers give the builder an option to balance the bouquets into three of each color (which I prefer). Each round 1 x 1 element tile also has a backup. I can always use extra cherries and cookies, but it would appear that I may have already misplaced one of those spare cookies.     INVESTMENT POTENTIAL?   My best guess is that this will have little demand as a set. There are some new and unique elements from a parts perspective, but there’s no real way to tell if they will stay rare as more sets are produced. If you can pick one up for yourself or as a gift, great. If plan to buy this as an investment, I think you will be hard-pressed to find a buyer desperate enough for this one to pay above RRP. (As of now, this set is already being reduced at major retail outlets). That's my two cents. Thanks for listening.   Disclaimer: This being my first published review, I recognize that my photography leaves a lot to be desired. I appreciate your patience through my learning stage.

    • The LEGOLAND Discovery Center Arizona is set to have their grand opening on April 22, 2016. They are located in the Arizona Mills Mall 5000 S. Arizona Mills Circle. Tempe AZ 85282. Tickets are $22 for a single day admission, and you have to book a time for entrance. An individual annual pass is available for $65, or $60 per person for a family of 4 or more. The incentives for the annual pass holders include a 10% discount in the LEGO retail store and a 20% discount in the cafe as well as skipping the line and going right in to the center. Pass holders do not have to pre-book.
      I was able to get in early as part of a soft opening that they hosted for their annual pass holders. It was nice to see and experience everything without the lines or hordes of people. It was also a little sad to see so many employees waiting quietly for someone to approach them. I don't expect that this experience will be one shared by most after opening day.
      The first thing that we did was wait in line to get our annual pass cards. They took our pictures so that we can't pass off our cards to friends and family. Luckily, we had preregistered and prepaid, so our wait time was minimal. You enter the first chamber and are directed to a photo station. That's just not my bag baby. I endured the multiple suggestions for poses then got in line for the virtual factory tour.

      They warn you that the factory tour may induce vertigo in people who suffer motion sickness. It's a large set of screens with control panels close enough to make the screen size overwhelming. The control panels provide you with the ability to interact with the tour minimally. The virtual tour seems like an idealized robotic factory. I am pretty sure that none of it was filmed in a real LEGO factory. I was hoping that their factory tour would have the machines used in the process like LEGOLAND California, only working. It was an interesting enough video,and as soon as you exit the room, the kids are handed a Duplo brick stamped with LEGOLAND Discovery Center.

      The next stop in the Discovery Center is the Kingdoms Quest ride. You get in a buggy and pull out a LEGO style pistol to shoot various things like bats,spiders, trolls and skeletons. It's fun enough and they take a picture right at the end. Sure, the picture is a cash grab and maybe overpriced, but you get to commemorate your high score. Interestingly, there's a dragon's tail sticking out of the wall above a sign about a missing dragon. The front half of the dragon is on the other side of the.wall, but you might not remember it as part of the joke by the time you see it.
      Miniland is where you come to next. Several local landmarks are represented in LEGO form. From University of Phoenix Stadium, site of Super Bowl XLII, to the Grand Canyon and the cities of Phoenix and Tempe, attendees are treated to a mini marvel. If it was just me, I could have stared at these builds for 3 or 4 times as long as I did. I was delighted by the mini LEGOLAND Discovery Center in the Tempe scene. Each miniland station had button activated features and the room had a day/night cycle that revealed lighting effects throughout. The city scenes at night were spectacular. Vehicles in each area moved and sounds could be heard representing the scenes that you were seeing.

      When you leave Miniland, you enter a large, open room. a fair portion of the open space is taken with tables and seating for the cafe. With so few customers, the room seemed echoing and empty, I can only imagine how noisy it will be on Friday.

      The perimeter of the room is divided into zones. Each zone is devoted to a specific theme and/or activity. Clockwise from where you enter, there are the following zones: Friends/Heartlake City, City/Town Play Zone, Restrooms, Master Model Builder, 4-D Cinema, LEGO Racers Build and Test, Parent's Lounge, Cafe, Birthday party rooms, Creative workshop, Merlin's Apprentice and LEGO Duplo village.
      Heartlake City, Duplo Village, Build and Test, and Creative workshop are all sort of free build areas. Hearltake City has the large statues of the minidolls and a full cityscape for Friends. Duplo has large, life size Duplo cow and other features along with Duplo bricks and a larger rubberized brick. It's great for the little ones. Build and Test and the Creative workshop allow kids to experiment more with what they build.

      The City/Town play zone is just a play area that is themed like a construction site and a police station. It's a large hamster habitrail and has more of the large rubberized bricks. Make sure that your kids have socks. If they don't, the snack bar will conveniently sell you a pair for $1. My kids loved this part of the attraction, but my wife and I were stuck outside waiting until we grew too bored.

      The 4-D cinema has 2 different movies currently. Each movie is about 10 minutes and requires the use of 3D glasses. The room is damp because they mist water at various times throughout the film as well as blowing a fan, blowing bubbles or making mist. Of the 2 films, the Chima one was better. The Kingdoms one seemed aged and confused the kids because no one spoke, they just mumbled nonsense sounds.

      The Parent's lounge looked comfortable enough and probably had some measure of soundproofing. We had no need to go since the place wasn't terribly noisy during this preview weekend.

      The birthday party rooms looked somewhat plain and functional. I can't say that I'd be excited to have a 75 minute birthday party in one.
      Merlin's Apprentice was a nice little ride. It's pretty much like the Dumbo ride at Disneyland. Except, you have to pedal to make the thing raise and lower. My legs are slightly too long to work the pedals properly, but thankfully it still worked if you pedaled in reverse, which was easier for me. The kids enjoyed it.
      I know, I skipped over the Master Model Builder. It seems slightly awkward to watch someone who is trying to work and to pester him to ask questions. I tried not to be too intrusive or let my kids be either. He had to design and build more than a dozen register screens before opening this week. I did find out that 3 of the other finalists from the Master Model Builder contest received some position there as well. I spoke to one briefly who recognized me from the event.

      To reach the exit, you have to go back through Miniland and out an awkwardly nondescript door. I feel like when they get up to capacity, this will create an enormous bottleneck, You have people entering the attraction and exiting in the same area without any clear demarcation. Maybe I'm wrong, but we shall see.
      The exit lets out into the LEGO retail store. It's not exactly the LEGO store because the VIP card doesn't add points to your account and they don't participate in the promotions like polybag giveaways or double VIP. The sets are all retail priced, not increased to account for being in a mall or at an attraction. As far as I could tell, most of the LEGO Shop exclusives were present including hard to find ones like the Ewok Village. They seemed to have more role Play items than the regular LEGO Store and were doing a fairly brisk business.
      There's a good amount of stuff for kids to do, but as an adult, it doesn't seem like it. All of their literature says that it's aimed at kids 3-10, and I would probably cut it off about 3-8. As a parent, you're paying to shepherd the kids from one place to another. You might have some fun on the rides, in the theater, or participating in building, but it is not designed with you in mind. The place is so not designed with adults in mind that adults can't get in without a child (except for a certain night every month.)
      Anyone may participate in minifigure trading. Cynically, I would suggest it is just to sell you build a minifigure or CMFs in the shop, but kids (and adults) can bring their unwanted minifigures from home and trade them with any employee that has a minifigure on their badge, or register. That's an activity that is fun for everyone, but selection is basically limited to what you see and what the kid before you may have left. My kids participated, up until my oldest lost all of hers somewhere.
      The Cafe was disappointing. Everything was prepackaged,and most of it was unsuitable for my child who has a dairy allergy. You can't bring in your own food, so eat first. If you buy a one day ticket, you cannot return to the attraction once you leave without paying again.

      All in all, I can't see spending the money for a one day pass. I guess as a once in a long while treat for a kid, it would be fine, but parents might wind up feeling ripped off. The discount in the store for annual pass holders is a nice incentive, but you have to balance the cost against how many sets you're going to buy and how many times you'll visit the attraction. If you plan on visiting more than 3 times in a year, get the annual. If you buy a lot of LEGO exclusives, $65 might be offset very quickly by the discounts that you receive. The store will give an automatic 5% discount for VIP holders, but that discount will not stack with the annual pass. Still, 10% is more than sales tax, so most large exclusives would be slightly cheaper than Amazon or the LEGO shop.
      I'm going to try to swing by on Opening Morning to see if there's any special ceremony.
      https://www.facebook.com/LDCArizona/?fref=nf
      https://www.legolanddiscoverycenter.com/arizona/

    • I picked up this set and put it down in the store so many times, I just can't recall. Nothing about it made me want to build it or own it. Clash of the Heroes was not speaking to me. One day I thought of something that amused me. I decided that if I was going to do it, instead of describing the building process, I would tell a story and put the pictures in reverse order to tell it. You'll still see the build in steps, but I'm not going to give my thoughts about each little chunk. I'll give you my reaction at the end of the review like I normally do. For now, I ask your indulgence as I play with my LEGO a little bit.
      To differentiate this from the more serious reviews this (and any others like it) will have an "OUTSIDE THE BOX" title.

      REVIEW: SET DETAILS
      Set #: 76044
      Name: Clash of the Heroes
      Theme: DC Super Heroes
      Parts: 92
      Price: $12.99
      It's sort of interesting, sort of sad that there's a $3 markup on these licensed sets over the unlicensed counterparts. 92 pieces including 2 minifigures for $12.99 seems a bit on the pricy side to me. 
      BOX CONTENTS
      Some people may wind up picking up a set that is open box or, want to verify the box contents before beginning a build. For this set, there are 2 unnumbered baggies, a plate, a single sticker and an instruction book.

      BUILD AND EXECUTION: (to see the build in order, you kind of have to look at these pictures in reverse)
      "Hey Bruce, just came by to pick up that DVD I loaned you and . . . Hey, is that Kryptonite?"

      "Hey Superjerk, stop taking my stuff apart!"
      "Kryptonite weakens me!"
      "Yeah, I can tell."

      "You're so inconsiderate keeping your Kryptonite out when I come to  visit. I'm taking back the Bat mirror I bought you as a friendship gift."
      "I'm gonna give you one chance to put all that stuff back."

      "I need to fold this stuff around the Kryptonite to protect myself."
      "It's weird how much I hate guns, yet I keep these things everywhere."

      "All I wanted was my Dances with Wolves DVD back."
      "Hang on, I've got something for you. . . Let's see, Tab A into Slot B . . ."

      "Catch!"

      "Your turn jerkwad! I was going to loan you Driving Miss Daisy next."

      "Here hold this for me."

      "Man, all my stuff is messed up. I can never keep nice stuff with you around."

      "Heh heh heh, I just remembered, I loaned that disc to Aquaman. My bad."
      "Superdunce."

      REACTION:
      Even though I started off with no enthusiasm for this set, I still went into it with the intention of being fair and balanced. Spending all of the extra time to think of a story with these 2 gave me a chance to play with the toy in a way that most adult collectors aren't going to, but some kids might. I can appreciate that the kids might like the flick missile bat shield or the shove bar in the back. Those didn't do a lot for me though. So, apart from the play features that I didn't like or want, we've got a small, uninspired platform. I can't tell if the railing in front was a turret or just a railing with cannons. Regardless, it stays on very poorly. I couldn't get Batman to 2 hand his bazooka, which would disappoint kids.
      Since most people are only getting this set for the minifigures, let's look at them. The minifigures look good. Both of them are unique.

      Superman's only slightly different from the version in 76046. In this version he does not have red boots. To me, that makes his plain blue pants stand out. Unique, in this case, is not better. His hair and torso are shared with the other BvS Superman. The hair is molded in a different color for Captain America in the Black Panther Pursuit. The head is shared with Dimensions Superman and Hyperion from the Avenjet set. His cape is the spongey softer fabric being used recently. The torso and head have printing on both sides. All in all, despite the plain legs, a successful figure.
      Batman is entirely new. Every single piece of the figure is new and even most of his accessories are unique in some way. The head is painted to look like a balaclava which is so much better than the previous sweatband version from most older sets. It's got printing on both sides grim and angry-grim (angrim?) It's also cast in glow in the dark plastic so that the eyes will glow. That seems like a lot of plastic for 2 tiny angrim pinholes. The torso has some fantastic printing on both sides that is almost entirely obscured by the armor and the cape. At least when Johnny and his friends lose the accessories, he'll still look like armored Batman. The leg printing is nice and detailed, I guess being a billionaire, he can afford leg printing. The cowl is the older version, which I guess works best for the armored look. It's never been released in this color. The armor seems a little plain. I guess they wanted to have the option to use it for other characters later on, so no bat symbol. It's got 2 attachment points in back. His cape is a simplified version of the Batman cape. Since it doesn't have to wrap around his shoulders, it only has one neck hole. The top 1/3 is covered by the armor. The cape is also the stiffer cloth that I thought they moved away from. His other accessories are a standard stud shooter, a batarang molded in light silver, that cool little grappling hook launcher that's pretty new and a light grey grappling hook. Batman is far and away the star of this set.



      FINAL THOUGHTS:
      This set is common as dirt and it's cheap. Every little Jimmy is going to easily be able to afford this one or get it as a gift from a well meaning (but cheap) friend or relative. It has a lot of kid appeal, 2 major Super Heroes and a neat little Batsignal. Will future collectors respond to it and need to get this set? I feel like it is bound to do better than the disappointing Metropolis Showdown. The exclusive Batman is bound to see to that.
      I don't really feel like this set is going to take any major jumps on the aftermarket. This is definitely the cheapest way to get these 2 iconic heroes, and I fear that it will always be. If you can get a significant discount on this set, it's going to hold value and appeal to people who still want a cheap Bat/Supes set. I'm thinking that the upper limit of this set cannot be above $17.99.
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      EXTRA PIECES:
      You get an extra silver batarang, which is cool. I know I can't be the only one that has no use for an extra stud shooter trigger. I mean I get so many sets with stud shooters, I have more extras than I can count (mostly because I throw them in a big bin full of all the small extra pieces and try to forget them.)


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