Thursday, February 21, 2013

LEGO Super Heroes Spider-Cycle Chase

 In the past, I've brought you more than a few Lego creations of my own design, but I today I thought I'd break tradition and show you an actual set on shelves right this moment, the Spider-Cycle Chase from the Super Heroes sub-line. Since Lego now has the licenses to do both DC and Marvel based sets, Super Heroes is a bit of a catch-all banner they can be released under instead of having distinct packaging designs and whatnot for each company. The Marvel half of the line started out with mainly Avengers themed sets to coincide with the movie, but has branched out a bit into other heroes, like Spidey and friends here.

 I admit, half the reason I bought this set was for the Nick Fury mini figure. The thought of a tiny, Samuel L. Jackson-voiced Fury amused me to no end. Then I saw the mention on the box that this set is based off of the Ultimate Spider-Man comic and was not a quasi-movie set, d'oh. Oh well, seeing as Ultimate Fury is what inspired the movie in the first place, I guess I'll live. We'll start the review off with Fury and his wheels.

The first of three mini figures in the set, Nick Fury looks...well, exactly like you'd picture a Lego version of him to look. Like if you had no idea this figure existed and someone just asked you to draw what your ideal Lego Fury would look like, this would be it. Unless you drew a Lego David Hasselhoff chomping a cigar. If that was the case, you have still awhile to wait I'm afraid. Lego Fury has a determined expression, the requisite eye patch and bad-ass facial hair. He has a shoulder holster and belt lined with pouches slung over what looks like a tactical turtleneck printed on his torso, some black slacks to complete the international secret agent look and a pistol for firing wildly while yelling (Sam Jackson does that a lot.) I think the only thing that could make this figure better is if he had a little cloth trenchcoat piece and black sleeves on his shirt to match it. That might not be very Ultimate, but it would look cool and Lego has done a few cloth pieces as capes and such in the past.

Fury gets a vehicle in the form of a slick green two-door job from S.H.I.E.L.D. I don't know enough about cars to even guess if this one is based off of a real life model, but it has the chunky, tough-looking build a spy agency would look for in their field vehicles.

While Lego seems to be phasing stickers out in favor of tampographed detailing in their newest lines, this set has a small sticker sheet for details like this S.H.I.E.L.D. logo on the hood and license plates on the front and rear bumpers.

I thought that "MB 19 89" must be some Marvel related in-joke, but all I can find on the internet is a rumor that it's just the initials of the designer of this set. That's not nearly as interesting as the Stan Lee-infused tale of mystery and intrigue I had in my head before.

A look in the car reveals that no matter how cool his car is, Nick Fury isn't bringing any dates home in it as there's only room for the driver. Hell, the doors don't even really open, Fury has to hop over the side every time he wants in or out. Admittedly, that's an awesome way to enter or exit a vehicle, but it does seem a bit impractical. Besides the steering wheel, the car from S.H.I.E.L.D. has two banks of controls (these details are tampographed) because did I mention it was a spy car?

Because it totally is a spy car
S.H.I.E.L.D. being S.H.I.E.L.D., the Furymobile has a few tricks up it's sleeve, the first providing proof that Doc Brown used to work for S.H.I.E.L.D. The car's wheels flip down on pivots to turn it into a hover car in a simple but effective gimmick. The jointed black bit beneath the car is just my impromptu hover stand, pay it no heed.

If hover part alone didn't wow you, the S.H.I.E.L.D. car has one more surprise in the form of a missile launcher that rises up from the rear section. The missile is of the "flick" type where a small tube piece is snugged within a slightly larger "launcher" socket hole and putting pressure on the rear section of the missile (such as by flicking it with your fingertip) causes it to "fire."

Next up is the Spider-Man himself and his titular Spider-Cycle. I know what you're thinking, I thought it too.  Let's just say it together and get it out of our systems; Why does Spider-Man need a motorcycle? Much like the question of why Superman would need a clumsy robot walking machine when he could fly, one can't help but wonder how this really helps Spidey's overall performance. 

"Don't hate."
Not that it isn't a sweet little bike, but wouldn't an earth-bound vehicle just slow down a super hero noted for his speed, agility and disregard for gravity? He'd have to abandon it the first time a villain took out a grappling hook or fired up a convenient jet pack, it's not like it can fly...

Oh right, it absolutely flies. Much like Fury's car, Spidey's wild ride can flip it's tires sideways and call them turbofans to take the fight to the skies! Well, probably not much higher than Spidey would be swinging on his webs anyways and with the possibility of mechanical failure or a bird getting sucked into a turbine or... Look! Flying motorcycle! Cool!

You can't really fault Lego for the Spider-Cycle though, super heroes are hard to accessorize and sets with just a few mini figures and nothing else would be boring. Plus, I'm not really up on the Ultimate universe, but I'm pretty sure Spidey works directly for S.H.I.E.L.D. in that continuity, so maybe the motorcycle comes with the badge.

Spidey himself doesn't have quite all of the detailing present on the comic version of the suit, but much like Fury, he's close enough that you're not going to mistake him for anyone else. Also included in the set is a piece composed of a white string with short bars spaced along its length and a cap that can fit over a mini figure's hand or a single stud on brick pieces, meant to simulate Spidey's webline. This is a fun piece that works pretty well for having a figure "swing" from things or for "tying" villains up.

"We HATE you!"   "Yeah, yeah..."
Unfortunately, due to the slack nature of the string, the webline looks less impressive in any sort of pose requiring Spidey to shoot it forward in a classic "slinging" pose. And if you have him holding it while riding the Spider-Cycle like on the packaging, he starts to resemble a different Marvel hero.

"NONE ESCAPE THE SPIRIT OF VENGE- I mean, Spider-Sense tingling!"
Though he's already popped his head in a couple times now, I saved the best mini figure for last, VENOM!

Growing up, I loved Venom. He was an honestly terrifying villain with a very personal connection to Peter Parker and later was my first exposure to an anti-hero before I even knew that word existed when he turned "good." It's a really weird feeling to finally hold in your hand a figure like this after spending so long as a kid thinking about how cool it would be to have Spider-Man Legos. Lego Venom's deco is perfect with the giant white spider logo on his chest and back, huge white eyes, rows of sharp teeth and even lines showing muscle definition on his torso and super-thin lines of pink for gums!

Though he lacks a vehicle like his enemies, Venom has a few accessory pieces to give him a fighting edge. The first is a backpack with a free-spinning hub piece attached that has four clips spread around its edge. Black, spiny tentacle pieces attach to these clips to give Venom array of extended pseudopods for thrashing the heroes with. This rig gives Venom a stretched neck unfortunately, so I prefer to just leave it off.

Venom also has a couple of bricks covered in tentacle and spine pieces that I assume is to represent him throwing globs of his suit as weapons. Not a terrible idea as they would most likely be smart enough to further harm or at least hinder their target once they hit and the main symbiote could probably regenerate the lost mass fast enough. You can also peg or entangle them on and around Fury's car or the Spider-Cycle to muck up the systems.

And while there is only one webline included, Venom can still steal Spidey's and go swinging through the city.

"Well, at least it's not a giant shark..."
To me, the Spider-Cycle Chase is a solid hit. For twenty bucks, you get a large-ish vehicle, a small vehicle and three mini figures with accessories, a good deal for a good set and one that won't break the bank if the kids (or you) really want Spider-Man Legos. The mini figure selection alone is almost worth the asking price, the vehicles are just icing.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the morotcycle idea! My son is going to try to make his own, whew! He stopped bugging me to buy him one. LOL