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I mentioned in my review of 6866 that it was always DC I was exposed to during formative periods. That isn't entirely true. There was a time when I was more of a Marvel fan than DC. I never really cared for the X-Men or Avengers, but Spidey and the Fantastic Four were my childhood favorites. Then I saw the Fantastic Four movie and that blasted me out of the water. Later, I watched Spider-Man 3 and that made me a landlubber.
I hate to reference another review, because I know you people don't actually read them, but when I reviewed 9464 I mentioned that I was actually looking to get this set, but decided on that instead (and this wasn't available). Well, Santa brought me this.
With 295 pieces and three minifigures based on a cartoon which is heavily criticized, is the set also worthy of all the criticism it is getting? Read on (you know, if you do that.)
The red and blue of the Marvel boxes already looks better than DC's blue and yellow, but it looks even better with Spider-Man. The scene isn't much to comment on, it doesn't make me feel anything, I can't take it seriously with Iron Fist's expression. The box-art is nice and I like it more than the Avengers sets, but it is not as nice as 6866's.
I apologize that my photos aren't so great, but I tried to capture this neat little comic book graphic they have on the side which I hadn't noticed on any other SH set (if it is there at all).
The back of the box shows some play features and close-ups. Nothing exciting, again.
The instructions are really dull in color. The background is a light gray and just boring. There is a graphic of the three minifigures included in the set up in the corner.
I find it kind of funny how on the last "building" page, Spidey is holding his web like a jump rope.
The very last page (ignoring the "WIN!" ad) is a little mocking, showing a Spidey figure with boots and arm printing. More on that later though, in the minifigure section.
The comic book included isn't much, it is small in size, but the art is pretty nice.
The selection of parts is for the most part (pun not intended), very useful. The only think I can think of that is a lousy piece is the smokey TIE windshield used for the prison cell. I don't want to go into specifics, but though $30 is, in my opinion, a large price tag for a parts pack, it might be worth it.
Even though these minifigures are supposed to be based on The Ultimate Spider-Man TV series, that doesn't seem to be the case with Spider-Man, at least not entirely. in the show (see the picture) he has a darker shade of blue than the minifigure. Speaking of blue, there is too much of it on this figure. Though I don't like to ask for boots and arm printing, that picture was really teasing because the blue/red felt more balanced. Just printing the blue on a red torso, rather than the other way around, would look much better. Other than that, the figure is pretty good. Maybe not quite as good as the ones released ten or so years ago (see below), but still pretty good. My only other problem is that now that LEGO is capable of printing all the way around the head, they don't with anybody but one minor Star Wars character who appears in one, cheap set. Surely they could have printed a few lines.
When I say good, of course I mean by LEGO's standards. To be honest, the Super Heroes, Monster Fighters, Ninjago, Chima, etc. figures have all disappointed me after seeing what the bootleggers have done with Spidey.
Admittedly, I had absolutely no idea who Iron Fist was before images of this figure were revealed. There are several other characters I would rather have, Power Man, Nick Fury, or White Tiger who are all from the USM would all be more preferable for their racial diversity (why do they give us Iron Fist and Nova when we could have a woman of color like White Tiger?). The figure is really just okay. The large eyes look odd and the expression is quite awful. Looking at the Batman CORE Gallery, I can see where they got it from with Robin, but did they really have to use it on Iron Fist and Hawkeye too? Looking at images from the USM (and you can too, see below) Iron Fist should also have printing all around his head for his hair and hat-tails. Honestly though, the USM design isn't that good. It looks enough like the mainstream Iron Fist, but the mainstream one looks much cooler (see below). Face aside, the torso is quite good with printing on both sides and a dragon insignia.
Doc Ock is...an okay representation of what he looks like on the show. I can't find myself liking the minifigure though. The parts are all quite useful (rare for an SH minifigure), the head will work well for a (clean-shaven) Hugo Strange, but the design is pretty bad in the first place. I just don't get it. He is paralyzed, or something, and needs to use the tentacles as his arms and legs. I don't see the point. Why not just reinforce the appendages so you don't need the tentacles? Images (of the LEGO figure) show him walking on the tentacles. I have been able to make him do this, but not accurately to the show. But, bad design in the first place aside, one of my only problem with the figure itself is that the mechanical stuff on his torso needs to be more bulky. Using that Agents armor piece would work perfectly and also solve my next problem. The piece used to connect the tentacles does not have enough friction and they wobble. They theoretically stay on better than using the back connection with just a stud, but still. Images of minifigure, USM version, and mainstream are below.
The sets starts off with building that hideous little car thing, which, as I am sure you could imagine, was uninspired and forgettable.
The lab though was better and progressed quickly and though it still wasn't very unique, was much more enjoyable.
The Completed Model
That little car thing is quite bad. Though it has good pieces, it makes no sense. Really, it is a defenseless turret with a pathetic windshield and no controls mounted on a chassis. The seat rotates about just as much as Ock's tentacles when his body doesn't get in the way (so a lot). There is a place on the back to store Ock's tentacles when he is driving, but if he needs them to survive...well, they actually fit better on his back while in the turret anyway. I think that is how he controls it. He sits on the disk, extends his lower two tentacles down between the wheels, shimmies with the turntable, and his legs move with him to pull the chassis along. (See the slideshow below.) Very threatening.
Though it is just a facade, I think the lab is better. The prison cell opens oddly, and I am already not so fond of the piece used for the door, but it works. The tower doesn't add much either, other than looking nice, but it is just a place for Spidey to attach his web and swing. His web is too long though. I would say that it is a pretty accurate length to what I normally see him swing from, but he swings from skyscrapers and is still two or three stories above the street. With this, he is hardly a centimeter above the base of the tower at his lowest point. The main segment looks really good I think, with its sinister lamp and computer consoles with a minifigure's anatomy. The only thing I don't like about this part is Iron Fist. That doesn't make much sense, but that expression is really wrong. He has been kidnapped by a gnarly man, and he is smirking. Maybe he likes Ock hanging over him though, the long, greasy hair rubbing against his face as he tries to extract the dragon power (or whatever, I only read the Wikipedia article once)....
Back to the set, though just a facade, I do like the lab. The colors look nice, as do the dynamic baseplates. It also translates to DC easily, as Mr. Freeze's lab with Nora in the tank, Batgirl on the table (SubZero reference, it isn't just for the sake of Batgirl), and Batman on the tower.
I don't normally do this, but I have prepared a comic to give a view of the set. Most of the general photos I took of the lab have been mucked up with speech bubbles and captions and been posted here.
I was going to put some ads in there, but if you enlarge the photos and then click through them, I bet Wikia did for me.
- Nice lab with an application outside of Marvel
- Though I don't like the figure, I like the inclusion of a lesser known hero like Iron Fist. It gives me some hope for future DC sets.
- Good parts selection
- Ultimate Spider-Man based
- Average figures
- What is up with that car?
Building Experience:Not much to say. The car wasn't very good, and the lab wasn't bad, but not memorable or innovative in anyway.
Parts: The selection is pretty good, again. Some rare pieces and everything has reuse, except for the TIE windshield and stickers with that odd Doc Ock logo.
Playability: The play features are not anything to get excited about, Iron Fist doesn't have anything to represent his "chi," Spidey has too much to represent his web, Ock's tentacles rotate too much, and his car makes no sense.
Minifigures: Spider-Man is pretty good, but Iron Fist and Ock don't feel any better than your average City figure. It does get some points back by including Iron Fist, though.
Value for Money: With American pricing, I do think that this set is priced very well. That car screams filler though.
Design: Aside from the cell's opening, the lab is designed pretty well. That car though....
Quality: No breaks, bends, or cracks. Actually, Iron Fist has a smear on his mouth, so it isn't quite perfect.
Overall: Though the set isn't all that great, I still like it more than a lot of what I have seen from other Marvel sets (the exceptions being the Quinjet and Chopper Showdown) from the first year. However, I do love it for its comic/cartoon vibe, like what the DC sets had, which suits the superhero theme much better than live action, in my opinion. However, both USM sets recently released look loads better and have more desireable figures (that S.H.I.E.L.D. car, especially). Not recommended unless you absolutely need Iron Fist. There are better opportunities to get Spidey and the lab just isn't worth it.