SDCC BrickHeadz Batman & Joker Review (41491)
Must get for the SDCC completist. Good unboxing experience for the curious. For the budget conscious - stay far, far, far away. For the regular LEGO builders, this is a very simple build, but extremely great packaging experience.
First and foremost, I swore I’d never lay my hands on one of these BrickHeadz when I saw the SDCC releases. To be honest, when I first saw these, I was totally turned off and deemed them fugly (pardon my French). As you can clearly see… I failed to keep to my promise - however, to your benefit as you’ll get an in-depth review of this Exclusive SDCC set.
These were released at SDCC at $39.99 USD and for the 4 straight days LEGO released a different BrickHeadz set. The Batman & Joker exclusive was released on Day 1. I got mine over eBay at close to $150 SGD after shipping. I’m not sure how many are out there, but each box has a unique serial number, this one that I happen to acquire have is labelled 1203
Before I get into the review, I had a purpose of obtaining this set. While we all understand the various LEGO sets that’s been released - the bricks remain the same, but the overall packaging and delivery can be quite different. There are sets that are released for internal staff only, and then there’s the IDEAS range which has a different experience altogether. My intention is always to ‘try’ every bit of LEGO experience, and this is just another one of them - am I disappointed? The answer is… Not really!
The Box, Packaging, and Instruction Manuals (6 out of 5 stars)
What? Say that again? How is that possible? Amongst all the LEGO sets that I’ve unboxed and observed, this takes the cake. The art on the box is printed on high quality glossy material and the box material is of a different material (sturdy) and the revelation almost feels like… if I dare say an Apple-esque iProduct unboxing! The top cover slides out together revealing the two bags of elements and two instruction sets. The pages of the instructions are printed on thicker paper as opposed to the thin ones we usually get with the regular sets. You will notice that each character is packed into a separate bag, and not the typical seals. These seems to be hand packed and manually sealed.
The Parts (4 out of 5 stars)
As with all SDCC releases thus far, there always has to be something unique within the elements just to make sure that none of the released sets are fully bricklink-able. (Them Bas***ds!!!). Several of the tiles are printed, these includes Batman’s Insignia and Jokers Bow and Playing Card. Of course then there’s the SDCC Tile that just there to top it all off. I’m not quite sure, but I’ll let the smarter AFOLs out there point it out whether Jokers eyes are a unique print, or they’re something that already exists within the inventory.
At 212 pieces and costing $40 USD, this is double the normal price of a similar sized Super Hero Set. In comparison, a 76053: Gotham City Cycle Chase at at 224 pieces retails for USD $20. While I'm not complaining, the effort to manually pack these with the unique box and print used, there has to be some costs associated to this, and this being SDCC, to me, this is probably a non-money making marketing activity to keep the LEGO love alive amongst fans.
As with every set, LEGO never fails to impress me with parts that I’ve never encountered before. For this little build, its the “Brick 1x2x1 2/3 with 4 Knobs”. Let’s call them "Brick with Knobs" for easier reference. There are tons of these included in this set for a specific purpose. These are the elements that make BrickHeadz “happen” if you ask me. It’s basically giving you studs at the sides to mount or rather “skin” your BrickHeadz.
This is also my first time encountering the Nexo Knights ‘Shields’, also used for the Brick Bank and Disney Castle flooring tiles - in this build however, both Batman and Joker sports these ‘Shields’ in a unique way, we’ll come to that shortly.
Ah, before I forget, there are no spare elements provided in this set. Lose a piece and you weep.
The Build (2 out of 5 stars)
Ok, first things first - the builds are very simple and probably take you 5 minutes to build each character.
Let’s treat both Batman and The Joker separately. Batman build is pretty straightforward - there’s very little creativity or complexity in these builds. And remember the “Brick with Knobs” we talked about earlier? I felt a little cheated because these elements basically make the foundation of these Brick Heads. The various tiles are simply and easily layered on these “Bricks with Knobs”, extremely convenient, at the expense of making things a little too easy. What I did like is how the Nexo Shields were used to complete Batman’s pointy ears.
The Joker had a similar approach in general, but had a more interesting build for his hairpiece. It’s basically a sculpt of his hair that made it wee tad more complexity as opposed to Batty’s straight up smooth surfaces. Once again, I quite liked how the Nexo Shield was used as his coat-tail.
Dislikes - the part that doesn’t suit my tastes are the hands of these Brickheads. Simple 1x2 element with clip just don’t cut it for me. I can’t offer any better suggestions - but it needs to be improved somehow.
With the tiny legs of the BrickHeads, the base provides a sturdy stand. But I found that most it being place at the edge and with the centre of gravity messed up, the BrickHeads topple over with a small push.
There’s very little else to say about the 10 minute experience except that for these small builds, the finished product is what you’re after in terms of the visual value.
Overall (3 out of 5 stars)
I have to say that I’m not totally a convert, but it has certainly tipped the scale - now half hearted about these with that OCD factor of “I need it to be complete".
They are certainly unique, but with very little build value (of which I crave for) and their end result is a letdown or just somewhat acceptable. This will certainly appeal to the collector who must have all things SDCC, and again I have to say I’m very impressed with the packaging quality which is… I dare not say… makes me a Box-lover cum collector. Well, I do keep all my LEGO Ideas Boxes intact or folded, and I guess that’s part of the fun and pain with LEGO collecting.
BrickHeadz are slated to be a series next year based on the preview page within the Instruction Manual. Love it or hate it, it’s coming your way in March 2017!