LEGO Star Wars General Grievous

LEGO Star Wars General Grievous 75112

I was worried when I first saw the New York Toy Fair reveal of LEGO’s buildable Star Wars figures. The overall appearance was too rigid for something that was supposed to be modeled after a person. Things started looking up once they showed the Jango Fett and Vader. It fits to have a non-humanoid character for a product rooted literally rooted in blocks. Then LEGO revealed General Grievous and… eureka!

General Grievous is, in my opinion, one of the highlights of the prequel entries to the Star Wars Saga. Say what you will about the prequels, you can’t deny that Obi-Wan’s light saber battle with the asthmatic General was great. Not to mention, a character that actually is a robot is a perfect fit for this type of building component. General Grievous easily bumped to the top of my priority list for all these reasons – even ahead of Lord Vader.

I immediately noticed a few great qualities. Firstly, the key characteristic pieces did not have to be applied by the builder with decals. No one wants an evil robot general with lazy eyes – this almost certainly would have been the case if I had to apply those decals!

Note – his eyes are NOT lazy. Thanks for that, LEGO.

Next, I was blown away by how enormous this set really is! The build itself is very similar to the recently retired LEGO Ideas Exo Suit 21109. Each leg is like a mini-build contributing to a menacing final product. During the initial build it’s hard to grasp the full size of the set until the legs are mostly complete. When it comes time to place the legs onto the main body, you start to see the full scale of what you’re creating. Here’s the one I built along with an awestruck Comic Book Guy Minifigure for size comparison:

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LEGO could have priced this set in the $49.99 range but kept it at a very reasonable $34.99. It is absolutely worth every penny! The end product is true to the character, incredibly poseable for long term display, and worthy of being shown right along with my other favorite Star Wars collectibles.

My rating of LEGO Star Wars General Grievous 75112 is 10 out of 10. If my rating scale went higher than 10, the General would still be at the top!

10 out of 10

LEGO The Joker Bumper Car

LEGO The Joker Bumper Car (30303)

LEGO polybag sets are often hit or miss. Usually at $3.99 a piece, they are at the same price point as standalone LEGO Minifigures so they can often be a great value. Sometimes they are uninteresting themes (Ninjago) or you get a fairly generic minifigure with some ordinary pieces. Other times you buy it exclusively for the figure and see the 40-something pieces as a bonus. Regardless, when the theme is right, polybags are a must own.

The Joker Bumper Car (30303) is the best of both worlds. It includes a spectacular minifigure with a display-worthy build. Minifigures like this particular Joker could easily go for $10 on its own in the secondary market. His sculpted hair is different from the hat-wearing Joker Steamroller minifig and the pie is unlike any other piece in my vast array of bricks. The bumper car itself is both fun and easy. When I picked mine up I also grabbed one for each of my kids. Even my daughter (at age 5) had little difficulty putting everything in place.

I was quite pleased with the end result! It only takes up the equivalent of two-ish regular minifigures so it can be displayed along with other figures without eating up too much shelf space. Many LEGO polybag sets have the minifigure sitting alongside the build rather than as an integral part – I’m very happy this wasn’t the case here. Joker sits snugly inside making for a compact build that will remain intact on my ongoing display.

My review of LEGO The Joker Bumper Car (30303) is a perfect 10 out of 10.

10 out of 10

This set is finally showing up in Target Stores after almost a year of rumors over its placement. If you see it, don’t wait! Grab one for yourself because they’ll be sold out in no time at all.

LEGO Minifigures Series 14

*Disclaimer: I’m a functional adult, husband and father in his 30’s…. keep that in mind during the following total nerd-out and try not to judge.*

Now before I get into the review, allow me to give some background on what led to finding all of this Minifigure series….

Minifigures are one of my favorite collectibles. No one can pack as much charm and character into a 1 1/2 inch package like LEGO. My favorite LEGO site, The Brick Fan, first reported the rumors of the monster-themed Series 14 way back in January and from then on I eagerly awaited their arrival. I’m a lifelong fan of LEGO and horror/monster nut…. how could I not be excited?! My sprawling collection of 120+ unique LEGO minifigures was ready to grow.

A few days before the scheduled September 1st release date, I got a call at work from my son. He excitedly told me how the Walgreen’s around the corner from our house was clueless and put the figures out too early. They each grabbed one, unsure whether or not they’d be able to complete the purchase (The Simpsons Series 2 appeared early in Target but the register blocked the sale). Fortunately for us, the Walgreen’s employee couldn’t care less. He displayed a remarkable level of patience for an almost 8 year old and waited for me to get home before cutting the blind bags open. Prior suspicions were confirmed – Series 14 had to be the first of the minifigure series where owning all 16 was a must.

Collecting comics, toys, etc has always been a personal vice. As my son grew old enough to prefer DC over Marvel and LEGO over everything, he turned collecting into a father/son activity. Sure, it would be easy to order everything online… but where’s the fun in that? For us it is about the hunt; looking for some exclusive item then the geeky glee when we succeed. The Series 14 hunt lasted two weeks. Two long weeks of blind package-fondling later and all 16 figures are finally in my possession!

My actual collection as they are displayed on my wall.

My actual collection as they are displayed on my wall.

I planned on ranking all 16 by everything-is-awesome-ness but my wife pointed out how impossible that was. The truth is that they are all great! Never before has a minifigure series been so entirely perfect. So instead I will rank my top 5 favorites starting with fifth and ending with my number one. <drum roll please>

5th Favorite – Zombie Businessman

Photo courtesy of http://www.thebrickfan.com

Perhaps it’s because I’m a corporate drone myself… or because I love zombies. Regardless of the reason, this minifigure is fantastic. It is one of the few in the series that rings true to the classic minifigure design. Many of the 16 have spectacular custom molds so this familiar design stands out in its own way. His appearance embodies the way I feel at my desk on Monday mornings while the “BRAAAINS” headline on his 2×2 newspaper plate acts as the icing on the cake. It’s all so good that the Zombie Businessman will most likely be replacing the Mr. Burns minifigure that currently presides over my cubicle.

4th Favorite – Gargoyle

Photo courtesy of http://www.thebrickfan.com

The Gargoyle is the only ‘short’ figure in the lineup with a non-jointed leg piece. It’s this short stature that sets this figure apart and puts it in my top 5. His hairpiece horns and rigid wings provide plenty of presence to stand with the other monsters in Series 14. The stonelike printing gives him that extra touch that brings back fond memories of watching Gargoyles as a kid. He deserves to have Keith David’s voice!

3rd Favorite – Monster Scientist

Photo courtesy of http://www.thebrickfan.com

This figure is a standout from his extra-tall bald head to his kooky eyes. He’s the only ‘human’ representative in this series of monstrosities yet you can see how he ties them all together. The bald head piece is nicely done as it fits seamlessly enough to appear as one molded piece. His goggles and crazy eyes are perfect for any mad scientist. I also like how his arms have a touch of shiny black to seem like thick rubber protective gloves. This figure is a nice companion to The Fly Monster because of the purple beaker emblazoned with a tiny black fly logo.

2nd Favorite –  Plant Monster

Photo courtesy of http://www.thebrickfan.com

I love the Plant Monster because he’s just plain goofy. The panicked look on his face is the perfect reaction to the absurdity of the minifigure. A bright contrast of colors along with the wild shape make him an eye catching standout on the minifigure shelf. Pictures definitely don’t do this figure justice because I initially put it pretty low on my priority list. In reality, the handheld plant pieces mesh with his hands very well to truly give the appearance of arms mutated into vines. Best of all – the headpiece is very easily identifiable through blind packaging.

1st Favorite – Banshee

Photo courtesy of http://www.thebrickfan.com

The Banshee is perfect. Her design is so unlike any minifigure I’ve personally encountered. Unlike the Spectre, her ghostly leg piece is unencumbered by other components. Coloring and facial expression match the character brilliantly. Even her hair is translucent to give the Banshee a total effect of some tortured brick spirit. Over the years LEGO has persistently raised the bar on quality, variety, and detail of their minifigure designs – the Banshee floats well above that bar! If you’re a collector, it is worth your time to feel this one out when you see Series 14 displays. There are only 3 banshees per box so get one before someone else does!

My rating of LEGO Minifigures Series 14 is 10 out of 10.

10 out of 10

If you’re not into minifigures then this could serve as a gateway drug. Do you agree with my ranking? Vote below for which of the 16 monster minifigures you like best!

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