Again, I’ll start off with the theme I’m most excited for: Ninjago. It’s rebooted with robots and new vehicles and everything. And a fair amount of purple elements, although so far 3 or the 4 villain groups that the Ninjas have faced have included purple highlights. And Ninjas with hair! Finally. Their hair in the show helped give them personalities, and although I was able to recreate Zane, Jay, and Cole’s hairs (granted, Cole’s was expensive to find at the time) Kai and Lloyd were more difficult, so it’s cool to see new molds for each of them. The vehicles don’t necessarily look revolutionary, but they look good enough and have a plethora of interesting new pieces within them. I’ll probably try to get them all, except for maybe the MechDragon (due to cost) just as a way to make sure I complete my 2014 Ninja collection. And the new techno-blade weapons are cool too. (Because I may have picked one of the sets up at a Fred Meyers who released them a couple of weeks early… maaaaaaaybe.)
I’m much more torn on Hero Factory. On one hand, I love the idea of more mechs using the ball-joint system they have going, and some of the designs look pretty good. But on the other hand… the whole idea of constraction sets is to build your own larger hero, like a Toa or whatever, and by reducing the protagonists to minifigs again feels like you’re losing some of that feel that made Bionicle so great. Yeah, there’s still the constraction monster figures, and then the mech, but I’m worried about the direction this is going, like build-you-own-figure will soon be a thing of the past. (Not to mention that the strange look of the Hero figs seems to feel more like an off-brand set compared to traditional Lego sets… but I guess that’s a complaint that Exo Force probably got with it’s robots, and it’s the complaint that certain AFOLs have been giving about Bionicle this whole time.) All the same, I’m interested in some of the new parts and colors they’re coming out with, so I’ll probably grab one or two.
Legends of Chima looks interesting. It seems like the former warring tribes now have to unite to face the spiders and scorpions and bats? I dunno the story, but some of the newer figs look okay. Most of the vehicle sets aren’t exactly appealing to me; they have okay designs but nothing that’s a must buy. However, the Rhino one looks really cool (is that sand blue??) so I’ll try and save up for that one. The Legend Beasts seem to be very hit-or-miss types. The eagle and wolf are good, but the lion and gorilla are laughable, and the crocodile gets a middle slot. Still, lots of cool curved pieces and new ball joints in good colors, not to mention some classic figs. (Also, Eris comes in like 3 cheap sets this year?? Why’d I go out of my way to buy her at BrickCon??) Anyway, I think I’ll pick up a few.
The Lego Movie is also promising to release some really awesome sets. A few seem to focus on Emmet and friends on their adventures, while others have classic city vehicles being transformed into jets or mechs to fight cube-shaped bad guys. I, for one, absolutely love the idea of things like the Fire Truck mech. There’s like no other theme this would fit into, and it’s too wacky for a standard city theme, so I think it’s awesome that they’re fitting this in with the movie. Plus, lots of great City minifigs that look cool, in addition to seemingly having a higher percentage of females in there. (Although a fair amount seem to be the damsels-in-distress with the vehicle transformation sets.) Realistically, I’d want most all of them, but to start out with I’ll probably just aim for the Cycle Chase and the Ice Cream Truck.
Also related to the Lego Movie is the 12th wave of Collectible Minifigures. And I WANT THEM ALL!! Very few duds in here. Maybe dynamite-robot guy is a little unappealing, and the Cop and President Business and Emmet are just slight alterations from their in-set counterparts. But I don’t care, I’d still want em! However, if wave 13 is really just the Simpsons… well it might be the first wave I skip entirely. I have no real desire to buy the Simpsons, even if I’m not opposed to the theme as much as some people are. I’ll just show my opinion based on my purchases. Of course, I may change my mind if they come with some exceptionally good elements or designs that would be good for customization.
The upcoming Hobbit sets are also not quite up my alley. The Dol Guldur do not appeal to me in the slightest, although the figs are decent. Really, they look kind of like the Moria set from last year, where a bunch of detail was put into lackluster walls. Maybe it’ll make more sense once I’ve seen the movie. The Lake Town one does look good, and the Elf Army seems like a pricey army-builder with a mild build included, but neither really call out to me either. I’ll instead hold out for some hopeful LotR ones next year… if some of those do come out.
The Batman Super Hero sets are intriguing, with a nice expanded cast including Robin II, Nightwing, Batgirl, and the Flash! In particular, I’m eyeing the Joker Steam Roller with Batgirl. The Steam Roller looks okay, albeit relying on a few larger pieces, but the Bat Plane or whatever looks awful. I can’t tell if it has a function or not, but I’m torn on if the minifigures and parts there are worth it. (And I guess they'll have Spider Man ones comming out too? Not that interested, but I'll wait and see. Although future X-Men or Captain America models for a summer release would be really great!)
I’m really no longer interested in Star Wars now that I’ve acquired the original trilogy figs that I wanted. So most of the sets are bleh as far as I’m concerned. Except the Micro Fighters. I’ve heard a lot of criticism for them, but I love the chibi look and can’t wait to get a smallish Millennium Falcon to be on display! I wish they had continued the planet sets, but I suppose they’ll continue to make micro ships in polybag form, and these new models are a great new size. And hey, the scale was applauded when it was the NYCC Slave II promotional set, so I’m happy that they’re expanding this and making them affordable too! (I assume they’ll be affordable at $10-$12)
Some of the upcoming Friends sets have some decent colors in them, and I’m particularly interested in the ones that include the penguin and a dolphin… sure, they’re just large molds BUT IT’S A CUTE PENGUIN AND DOLPHIN!! Related to that are the new Disney Princess sets, which have some good usages of colors I want like purple, lavender, and azure. None of the Princess ones really seem like must-buys for me, even though they’re nice designs, but gosh if they had made one with Jasmine and Aladdin, I would’ve bought that one up in a hurry. (I would say Aladdin is one of my favorite Disney movies ever.) I’ll be curious to see if the Princess line is as successful as Friends.
And then there’s Technic. Um, I don’t really buy a lot of Technic, even if I build in it quite often, but mostly I BrickLink the specific parts I need. I guess I like it better when I’m building Rahi out of it.
And then there’s the Mixels. The previews we saw of them make me think they’ll be affordable and have some good pieces in nice colors, not to mention a good amount of the new mini ball joint that intermingle with standard System elements. I’m excited for them, but I really haven’t seen what all the sets will be like. If they are impulse priced, I’ll probably pick em all up.
So, for now, if I had to pick a few themes to focus on, it would be Ninjago and The Lego Movie (including the full wave of Series 12 minifigs), along with the Chima Rhino truck, Star Wars Millennium Falcon and X Wing Micro Fighter, the Friends sets with the penguin and dolphin, and one or two Hero Factory mechs.
So which ones are you interested in?