SLIDING LOCK MAN REVIEWS:
LEGO DC UNIVERSE SUPERHEROES
BATMAN – JOKER – GREEN LANTERN
Let me say right at the beginning that I love these toys! I was never a giant fan of the early Lego Bionicle line, but over the years Lego has really gone out of their way to keep the designs fresh and the storylines on which the toys are based interesting to their target audience of boys age 6-12 or so. Over time they have grown on me. For the first time Lego has taken the Bionicle design principles and applied them to a licensed property, namely the DC heroes and villains.
First up we have the Joker. It’s a different interpretation of the character, to say the least. The design is very, very stylized, right down to the purple “dinosaur tails” that serve as the tails of the Joker’s purple tuxedo jacket. That’s really all they are: two purple curlicues that attach to the standard Bionicle T-bar torso. But they work. Joker comes with the parts to make some kind of gas gun and he’s shown next to the Batman Legacy Golden Age Joker for size comparison.
Next up is Green Lantern. Once again, a GL figure does not come with a lantern battery. But he does come with a big honkin’ ring blast that kids can spin for additional effect. GL has a second Bionicle torso piece attached to the main body of the figure and it makes him really bulky. Not sure why the design team decided they needed this extra part and the bulk it brings, but again, somehow, it all works. I especially like the design of GL’s face and head. He is shown with the TRU exclusive metallic green GL figure for size comparison.
Finally, we have the B-Man himself, Batman, the Dark Knight Detective and Grim Avenger of the Night! When I was a kid I would have gone nuts for this guy, in spite of his obvious flaws. Batman’s “cape” is even flimsier than Joker’s coattails – this time there are four blue curled pieces instead of two. They are also attached to a second torso piece but the design of this piece doesn’t add the bulk to Batman that it does to Green Lantern. Batman winds up with what looks more like very skeletal wings rather than a proper bat-cape…but again, it works. The overall design is so angular and stylized that the not-quite-a-cape somehow still manages to add the right sense of weight to the character. The only thing that really doesn’t work at all is the re-purposed Bionicle swords that come with Batman. I would have loved to have seen a grapple gun or a real genuine Batarang instead of the samurai swords they have butted together. It just doesn’t look like a Batman accessory to me. But that’s a small complaint compared to the overall figure. For size, Lego Batman is shown next to the TRU 1970’s Batman “Arkham City” figure.
In true Lego marketing fashion, the packages and instructions all have pictures of the giant versions of the characters that you can make if you purchase two of them and combine them, but none of them are particularly exciting and in fact, they seem kind of forced to me. Sometimes I used to be concerned about Lego not encouraging creativity enough, with their detailed instructions and providing only the parts you need to make their design, but I don’t worry about this any more. The kids I’ve seen play with these will build them according to Lego’s instructions, and play with them for a while…and then they will rip them apart and begin cannibalizing their own characters. You really don’t need to worry about kids’ imaginations with these little beauties. Also, they are easy to assemble – you can see that the number of parts is not overwhelming enough to discourage younger kids, but complex enough to keep the interest of the older ones. Each figure went together in about 15 relaxed minutes. The instructions are, as always with Lego, wordless and crystal clear. And at $15 each, these are a steal. They are extremely poseable and look equally good in the toybox or on the collector’s shelf. I can’t wait to see which characters Lego comes out with for the second wave!