LEGO Star Wars: Carbon-Freezing Chamber

March 1st was a release date for many of LEGO’s Spring line here in the States. As per usual, Star Wars had a very notable presence in this release wave. I was thrilled to see a renewed focus on recreating some of the most recognizable scenes for Star Wars lore in LEGO form. Moreover, I was even more excited to see that several of these sets were reasonably priced compared to many of the other high-ticket (and high brick count) releases leading up to now.

 

One set in particular caught my eye. I scoured the Richmond, VA area Target stores looking for this prized addition! It felt like I checked or rechecked a new store every other day only to be disappointed at their delayed receive to shelf time frame. Over the weekend I hit the jackpot, finally, and found my prize – the Carbon-Freezing Chamber!!

 

I giggled with geeky delight when I first saw the images of this set! The living room of my house is Star Wars themed (my hot wife’s idea, believe it or not). We have paintings of a zombified Storm Trooper, Vader, and Boba Fett. Our curtains have a stylish yet subtle Death Star print. The crown jewel is definitely our full-sized Han Solo in carbonite rug. My point behind revealing all of this, is that recreating the freezing chamber scene, one of the most famous scenes of the saga, is an opportunity that simply cannot be passed up.

 

LEGO Star Wars: Carbon-Freezing Chamber #75137

 

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I’ll start with the minifigures because they are utterly fantastic! First is a new mold – the Ugnaught. I can’t say this is a character I’d ever sought as a minifigure. These weird little aliens were at the controls when Han Solo was lowered into the steamy chamber. Even though I never thought enough about him to want a minifigure, that doesn’t mean he hasn’t found a place in my collection of obscure characters in the imaginative plethora that is Star Wars.

 

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Next up is one of my obvious top favorites, Boba Fett. This print is very similar to the desert skiff Boba. There is a bit more definition in the coloring giving the bounty hunter a cleaner look and his fabric cloak is cut to better emulate the pose he took in this famous scene. Mandalore’s finest hasn’t appeared in that many sets (even fewer priced below $30) so he’s a perfect component of the Carbon-Freezing Chamber.

 

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Han Solo in his glory days – it doesn’t get much better! I didn’t have Han in this outfit before now so I was thrilled to have him. His facial expressions are particularly well done here. Best of all – A LEGO VERSION OF HIM FROZEN! This piece alone is worth the cost of the entire set. The way it’s designed to allow the normal figure to step into, and securely remain in, the slab is brilliant.

 

 

Minifigures aside, the actual build was equally entertaining. It’s pieced together in an almost modular way that connects into a way that forms appropriately curved platform. My single complaint is that the stairs are two pre-built pieces. Had they made it something you had to build from scratch then there’s a chance the end product wouldn’t have looked as flawless but it still threw me off. They did make up for this a bit by having every orange translucent piece separate (see the previous picture of Boba Fett for a closer look).

 

The playability factor here is tremendously high. Clever mechanisms are built in for an elevator and for the platform Han stands on to be tipped back. Once tipped back it can be rotated using the same mechanism so he returns to the upright position in his famous frozen form. The control panel for the Ugnaught is thankfully printed rather than decal-applied because I despise decals!

 

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Here’s the rotating mechanism mid-turn.

 

Presentation is everything and this set nails it. Maintaining a LEGO collection can be frustrating due to the amount of space fully constructed sets take up. This concern often is the deciding factor in whether or not I buy a set. Minifigures are easy thanks to their low profile but full sets can take up a heck of a lot of space. With that said, I will be keeping this set intact on my shelf. Even fully constructed, the Carbon-Freezing chamber doesn’t occupy an inconvenient area. It’s made like a podium to present its faithful representation of the movie I love.

 

The awesome design and perfect minifigures are made even better by the fact that it’s priced at $24.99 (in most stores). I hope LEGO continues to put out sets at that price point that depict scenes as perfectly as the $100.00 and up sets. My next target is the Escape Pod #75136 which is set at the same level.

 

My rating of LEGO Star Wars: Carbon-Freezing Chamber #75137 is a perfect 10 out of 10.

 

10 out of 10

 

If you’re a collector and having found this one yet then it’s worth searching for. If you’re reading this as a Star Wars fan who hasn’t really dabbled in LEGO, this set could be the one that hooks you!

LEGO BvS: Clash of the Heroes Set Review

2016 should be an excellent year for DC Comics fans! A major event in that excellent year hits in less than a month with the release Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. This month I’m planning on focusing my reviews on DC Comics items to celebrate. What better way is there to kick things off than with LEGO?

 

LEGO Batman v Superman: Clash of the Heroes #76044

 

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LEGO nuts everywhere knew that the coming of a new movie meant some long overdue new DC Super Hero sets would be on the way. Set #76044 – ‘Clash of the Heroes’ was the first to catch my eye. With a fairly low price point of $12.99, it is an easy addition to any collection. I’ll split the review into three segments: each minifigure separately then the set itself.

 

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The minifigures alone make this well worth the cost!

 

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Superman is a definite upgrade from the old Man of Steel sets. His cape is made of flexible fabric that is textured in the way it actually looks in the movie. Prior versions had the normal LEGO rigid fabric/paper feeling material that takes away from some of the visual appeal. The only downside to this with Superman is how visible the fabric is between the head piece and torso (which is normal, but bugs me nonetheless). I’d love to see LEGO find a way to cut the fabric in a way that makes it less noticeable in that respect. Supes also has a slightly different hairstyle that may not follow the traditional jerry curl, but does match the mindset of a character evolution between films.

 

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Batman is the real treat in this little set. LEGO did a great job translating his menacing battle armor into tiny minifigure form. The cape is fabric like Superman’s, however, the ends are concealed by his armor making a more streamlined integration to the overall look. I also like how the armor has a spot for a batarang or grappling hook to attach; most other Batman figures are limited to what his little hooked hands can carry. Let’s talk about the coolest feature – his eyes glow! Unfortunately, so does his mouth…. When I took the above picture I had to cover up his mouth with a piece of gum to block the light I used to get the eyes glowing. This is a minor complaint, yet, I can’t help but think LEGO could have easily limited the glow in the dark printing to just the eyes. Nitpicking aside, Batman looks absolutely kick ass.

 

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The set isn’t anything special. That’s unfortunate because there is an obvious attempt to add some playability. I wish LEGO had focused on making the set a more functional base for the figures that would be display worthy. Regardless, it’s awesome having a LEGO version of the bat signal. This piece is pretty much the only redeeming quality of features outside of the minifigs. My plan is to scrap the main set in favor of using the bat signal and figures in a more shelf-worthy arrangement.

 

Even though the rest of the set brings down the total score a couple points, overall Clash of the Heroes is definitely worth picking up. I’d probably pay  $7-$10 for each figure separately. Having the whole thing be $12.99 is a steal.

 

My rating for LEGO Batman v Superman: Clash of the Heroes is 7.5 out of 10.

 

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LEGO Star Wars Kylo Ren

 

Everything is awesome when it comes to LEGO’s brick by brick plot to take over the world. It’s easy to be a vocal supporter of these blocky overlords when they continue to innovate and captivate through releases like the Star Wars Buildable Figure lines. I loved every single piece of the General Grievous set that came out with the first wave. It’s no surprise that Kylo Ren drew my attention when the the second wave arrived!

 

LEGO Star Wars Kylo Ren 75117 (Quick Review)

 

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This was a much quicker build than General Grievous because Kylo Ren is obviously a smaller statured character than the menacing robot. LEGO did a good job compensating for the smaller piece count with some clever added functions for increase playability. My builds don’t get much play time on a display shelf, but that doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate the addition of playtime flexibility. One item that was particularly well executed is the use of fabric cloak/cape sections. If this hadn’t been done correctly (like it was) then it could have come off as too rigid or robotic looking.

 

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Kylo’s head piece is very well molded. It would have been neat to have some sort of removable section instead of one pre-built piece, however, the detail makes it an incredibly accurate depiction of the short-tempered villain. Having it be anything other than the one solid piece probably would have made it look disproportionate so it was a good move. 

 

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The lightsaber is well executed in terms of proportions. My main complaint is that it should have some kind of rough texture to properly allude to the uniquely unstable nature. If they’d added this detail it would have been absolutely perfect.

 

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All in all, this is a hell of a set. I’m more eager now than ever to get the remaining Buildable figures. My daughter has repeatedly asked for the Captain Phasma as a birthday present later this month. Once she builds that, I predict Kylo will have a temper tantrum along with the others in some sorely deserved playtime.

 

My rating of the LEGO Kylo Ren Buildable Figure is 9 out of 10.

 

9 out of 10

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