I was just in my room playing with Breez Flea Machine, a set that I got at the LEGO store last week. It's been on my wish list since before it came out, because I really love its design. The LEGO Group really showed great creativity with this year's Invasion from Below sets and I think it totally paid off. Generally the set meets all of my expectations.
Non-traditional design? Check. Its tripod build and heavy use of Technic really help it stand out from previous Hero Factory sets. It's also helped by its bulky leg armor and tiny feet, which give it a very nimble look (though with only three legs and such a tiny footprint, it can't hold TOO many different poses).
Great parts? Check. The Bright Yellowish Green square shell detail pieces are great. It DOES have a lovely printed shell like the other machines, though it's a different size and color than usual. The mini-heroes in general have great designs, and Breez is no exception. I'd be amiss if I didn't also mention the cool new cocoon petals!
Awesome functions? Check! At first I was a little bit disappointed with the claw, because it snagged every time I tried to flick it so I thought I'd be forced to extend it manually with the "Hand of God". Laaaaame. But then I realized that it was just the winch that was getting caught. If you unwind the winch before firing, it works like a charm! Then you can use it as a grappling hook, and the set even includes a zip-line piece that came out during my childhood, so Breez can slide down the cable to traverse a gap! It also works nicely for grabbing and retrieving the cocoon.
Plus, she even comes with a click-shooter — the first one I've gotten in a set, though I bought some from a vendor at Brickfair back in August. For those who aren't aware, these are tiny handheld shooters that fire a 1x1 round plate with surprising distance and power when you press the trigger. Considering how bulky, obtrusive, and difficult to integrate many previous LEGO shooters have been, this thing feels like a dream come true! The variations on the concept coming out next year will hopefully have similar efficacy.
But then there's something else. A regular flick missile launcher. And when I was playing with the set earlier, I couldn't help thinking this was probably one of the set's least impressive functions. Don't get me wrong, I love flick missiles! Or I did, back when they were one of the most compact, least obtrusive, and most versatile launcher designs. This year the LEGO Group introduced lots of amazing new launchers, including the click shooter. With a basic click shooter already in the set, I thought a pair of flick missiles would be kind of pointless and superfluous. It's not like they'd even work that well just slapped on the side of the set like that, right?
Well, it turns out I was wrong. Maybe I've been wrong for the past five or six years of my life, in fact. Maybe everything I know is a lie. Because just on a whim, I flicked that missile, expecting it to fly maybe eight or ten inches. And instead, like some kind of miracle, it sailed three or four meters, over my twin brother's bed, and landed in the far corner of the room. I actually thought it had misfired and gone straight into the ground before I heard it land on the other side of the room.
I was flabbergasted. Flick missiles aren't supposed to work that well. Not from my experience. Probably not from MOST people's experience, judging from all the hate I see for them in reviews. Surely this had to be some kind of fluke, right? After I found the missile, I returned it to the launcher and decided to try again. This time, I kind of screwed up. Instead of launching one missile, my finger accidentally hit both. Great, another misfire, I thought, before I heard yet another click of a tiny plastic missile hitting something hard on the far side of the room.
I found the first of the two missiles in the closet, about as far away from where I launched it as the previous launch had taken it. I still haven't found the second. Maybe I could get a blacklight to help look for it, since it does have a convenient fluorescent green tip. It didn't land in either of the trash cans over there, so it will have to turn up eventually.
But wherever it ended up, today I learned something amazing. Discounting the possibility of witchcraft, or the possibility that the last hour and a half of my life has all been some crazy dream... my flick game is surprisingly strong.