In case the last post wasn't a blinding give-away, I'm in a Star Wars mood. I don't know if it's the smell of promise in the air with the retirement of the old king, or Darth Maul's mug plastered on every soda can imaginable (and let me just say that's some form of bizzaaro nostalgia time travel- it's like I'm nine again but the toys are way better), but I finally started reading Heir to the Empire, I'm getting caught up on The Clone Wars, and the gateway drug that is Ninjago has got me a little... block-curious.
Wal-mart post Christmas crop-rotation to the rescue! They had a ton of the Snowtrooper battle packs (and by a ton I mean at least 250. Seriously.) marked down to about five bucks. That'll do, multi-billion dollar company. That'll do.
Funny thing, I was all excited to buy an arctic pack, not just because I'm a big stupid cow for arctic variants, but because it was January. Say it with me: SNOW PICTURES! It's now February, and feels like summer. Sunova...
In this particular battle pack, you get two snowtroopers, an AT-AT pilot and Imperial commander. Oh man, dem sexy helmets. And actual blasters! Gone are the days of megaphones with red blocks stuck in the end! The AT-AT driver is a little out of place outside of his vehicle, but when your helmet looks that damn cool, you do whatever you want. Just ask Vader or Boba Fett. I can see where guys who are gonna' buy fifty billion of these to make an accurate population of the entire Original Trilogy universe would be annoyed, but I'm probably only buying this one so I care not. My compassion is a fickle thing.
No, my main point of contention is Mr. fleshy head. Why Lego? Why did you render many years worth of product incompatible with these new flesh colored figures? You changed...you just changed. Honestly I don't care that much since I plan on getting other licensed stuff anyway, so Batman will look fine and dandy straddling an AT-ST. naye my finger of blame is pointed squarely at star wars for this one. Why do the imperial soldiers look so stupid? I mean, it's hard for anybody to look cool standing next 'troopers and Vader, but that big dumb bucket hat isn't doing him any favors. And without it he's quite bald, he doesn't even get the nifty double-sided heads Lego has been doing recently.
You also get a nifty arctic version of the classic speeder, and man is thing ten times better than the one I had as a kid. I know lego obsessives (or Afols or ufos or naacps or whatever acronym they like to be called) aren't fans of specialized elements, but c'mon. This new speeder body is just to damn perfect, and minifigures actually look good riding it. You also get some dinky little com-station and a little missile firing thing I didn't bother to build. A pattern I've noticed: Clone wars battle packs get really damn cool extras, Original trilogy tends to get a speeder and some forgettable bollocks. You'll see what I mean soon enough.
Overall, these battle packs are a great way to get some awesome minifigures and a couple nice extras. Lego has really stepped up their Star Wars product, and I've already bought way more of it than is healthy this month. Expect to see plenty of reviews. I've got a feeling my Mega-bloks Halo soldiers are going to be forced to co-exist peacefully with clone troopers and mandalorians for the foreseeable future.
Now about that Imperial comman-douche: LEGO POWERS ACTIVATE!
Ta-dah! From incompetent bald bucket-head to grizzled veteran commanding her loyal soldiers in the thick of battle! And that's why I enjoy Lego.
Also my auto-correct just tried to convince me I wanted to type "Mandingo". For shame, Microsoft.