This week, I have a set and book review all in one! I have never bought one of the LEGO “Build Your Own Adventure” books before. But, when I heard that there was a DC Comics version coming out with an exclusive Green Lantern Minifigure, I decided to see what these books are all about.
The book and set are packaged together in a really nice and thick cardboard sleeve. More than half of the sleeve is filled with a box for the LEGO set, and the rest is the hardcover book. Like with most DK LEGO books, there is a huge waste of space and packaging here. The LEGO pieces are in a clear polybag inside of an overly large box. The box is mostly empty, and holds its shape with more extra cardboard. It is aesthetically pleasing, but wasteful. Once the LEGO has been removed, more than half of the packaging also becomes useless since you can’t put small, loose pieces back into the box. There is just a big, empty window in the nice sleeve where the bricks used to be.
The book is pretty standard format for a DK book, with lots of pictures and little text. The layout of the pages is also pretty standard, but it is nice. The instructions for Green Lantern’s space ship are the only actual step-by-step guide in the book. Otherwise there are a lot of pictures of things you can build if you have the right pieces. The book actually states that instructions are not given specifically because not everyone has the same brick collection, and they want to inspire creativity. There are some little build techniques sprinkled throughout the pages though.
The suggested builds are generally pretty basic, but some of them are actually really cool. I was particularly impressed with the ideas given for Gorilla Grodd’s cage, Flash’s lab equipment, Mr. Freeze’s ice rig base, and the refinery plant. Lex Luthor’s secret lair also showed some interesting uses for parts that I had not considered before. Many of the suggested builds contain pieces that I have never seen in any DC Comics sets before (though I must admit, I do not collect all of them). I think this book might have been more interesting if it focuses on pieces found only in DC Comics sets.
The little story in the book is childish, but then again, it is a kids’ book. It focuses on Green Lantern traveling around the world to find other members of the Justice League. He needs them to help him fend off a threat that is also preventing the Watchtower from calling the League directly.
Next, let’s take a look at the set that comes with this book. It is Green Lantern’s space ship that converts into a submarine (he visits Atlantis in the story).
Name: Green Lantern’s Space Ship
Set #: 11914
Theme: DC Comics Super Heroes
Cost: $31.99 CAD
Brick Count: 84
Of Interest: This set comes with a story book containing building idea.
Release Date: August 1, 2017
Summary Review: 89%
VALUE: 90% (Deducting the cost of the book, this set has a great value.)
BUILD: 90% (The canopy is a little small, and should have been green.)
MINIFIGURES: 90% (Printing is a little sloppy, but great brick-to-fig ratio.)
ENTERTAINMENT: 85% (Fun little set, decent build time value.)
In truth, it is hard to assess the value of this set. It comes with book, which constitutes part of the purchase price. Looking at this as a straight-up LEGO purchase means that you are getting 84 bricks for $31.99. That means $0.38 CAD per brick. That is a terrible value. But, this is not a purely LEGO brick purchase. DK LEGO books that come with Minifigures generally fall into the $20-$27 CAD range. This one has 80 pages, which is a little less than the LEGO DC Comics Awesome Guide (click here to read my review). So, let’s assume for a moment that these books would cost about the same ($21.99). In that case, the LEGO set that comes with this book costs $10.00. That brings this cost per brick down to a much more reasonable $0.12. Based on that, I give this set 90% for value.
I actually like the look of this little ship a lot, it is really sleek. The moveable stabilizers and tail wings look awesome as well. For a small build, this is quite nice and detailed. There are no controls in the cockpit, but the book explains that Green Lantern controls this ship through his ring by just thinking about what he wants it to do. Given how the ring works in the comic books, I am willing to accept that explanation. What I don’t like so much is the canopy over the cockpit. It is a little too small for the space it covers, and it is also clear. I wish they had made it fit better, and provided a transparent green piece. Because of the canopy, I give this set a build score of 90%.
The book comes with one exclusive Green Lantern Minifigure. Unlike previous Green Lantern Minifigs, this one is based on John Stewart from the Comic books, as opposed to Hal Jordan. That was the main reason that I picked up this book. I might not have done so if it came with another Hal Jordan. John Stewart comes with a black hairpiece, double-sided face, front and back printed torso, and front printed legs. The legs are made from green plastic, with black printed onto the front only. The paint job is actually a little sloppy, and not up to the usual LEGO standards in my opinion. The black does not cover all of the space that it should. I also feel like it should have extended all the way around. LEGO has done that with other Minifigures, and this one would have been much better if they had put that extra care into it. I still really like the Minifigure, but because of my issue with the legs, John Stewart gets 80% for design.
With 84 bricks, this set has a brick-to-Minifigure ratio of 84:1. That is excellent, and earns a score of 100%. Combining this with the design score gives this set an overall Minifigure grade of 90%.
Green Lantern’s space ship took me 15 minutes to build. If you do the math using the cost of the book and LEGO together, than puts each minute of build time at $2.13 CAD. But, if you go with the assumption that the LEGO by itself would cost $10.00, then each minute would set you back $0.67. That is an ok value, and would earn this set 4/5 (80%).
I really do like the design of this little ship. I also think that kids will love to play with it, I certainly would have. There isn’t much I would change about it, except for replacing the canopy. That is not a huge change, so I will only take off half a point for that. I give this set 4.5/5 (90%) for enjoyment. If you average out the build-time score and enjoyment score, this set earns 85% for entertainment.
If you look at this book as a LEGO set, it would have a really bad value in terms of both bricks and build-time. The overall score in that case would be 64%. But, it does come with a hardcover book that LEGO sets generally don’t have. Assuming the book costs about $21.99 (the same as other DK books about the same size), then the LEGO by itself would be $10.00. At that price, the value for this set is quite a bit better. I think Green Lantern’s ship is a lot of fun, and you get a John Stewart Green Lantern. Even if his paint is a little flawed, he is still an awesome addition to my DC Minifigure collection.
I also think the book is fun. It comes with some neat ideas to get kids building their own play sets, and using their imaginations a little more. It brings a little more re-usability to that box of bricks in the basement, not that LEGO really needs that in my opinion. Long story short, I think this book is worth the buy for AFOLs and kids alike.
Have you read this book, or other Build Your Own Adventure books? Feel free to leave your comments below!
Until next time,
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6 thoughts on “Review: DC Comics Super Heroes – Build Your Own Adventure Book & Set”
Really detailed review! I got a Friends Build Your Own Adventure Set in Aldi (not sure if you have Aldi in Canada but it’s a supermarket), and it cost less than €10! I was so lucky! Fingers crossed they get them in before Christmas again this year. I’d love to get my 5 year old the one you’ve reviewed here!
We do not have Aldi in Canada, but I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you!
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