Spider-Man 2 Train Rescue
Welcome to a new column from RTM, one that takes a closer look at building toys. While they are toys and do deserve to be in the RTM Spotlight, we felt it would be best to give them their own category. And so, the RTM Block Party is joining the columns section.
What you can expect here is a look at the various building sets with a frequency of about once a week, as a nice addition to the mix of other product coverage on RTM. We're kicking things off with a set from LEGO Systems from the new Spider-Man 2 movie, and next time we'll be looking deep into a realm of magic with Hogwart's Castle, also from LEGO.
Don't fear, this won't just be a spot for one company as we will take a look as some other products from other companies, so stick around to see what shows up from week to week. The sets covered will not always be brand new sets, but with a dash of imagination any building set is a great addition for younger minds, or the rest of us who just think young! Now, on with the show!
It's a law in Hollywood that one good turn deserves another, or simply that when you have a movie that makes money you need a sequel. Not every movie deserves a sequel (Leprechaun 3 anybody?), or is likely to have one (though here's a working title for Mel Gibson - '3 Days Later' - it could work). But if the movie is Spider-Man, with forty years of sequel comics and a box office gross north of $400 million, you'd better believe they will be back.
Wisely, the powers that be have decided to foot the bill and keep the talent that made Spidey such a great hit, most notably Tobey MacGuire. Also, they have wisely kept some of the same partners for merchandising the movie, meaning action figures from Toy Biz and a range of new building sets from LEGO.
LEGO Systems is picking up where they left off from Spider-Man with some sets to showcase the characters and scenes from Spider-man 2. The big differences in the two movies as far as products will be the addition of a new villain - Doctor Octopus, and now the mini-figures are using flesh tones rather than the basic yellow.
The changeover to realistic flesh tones is something new for LEGO, and it has been driven by a few things. Part of it is due to licensing the NBA players to show the diversity of the league, and like many things it goes back to Star Wars. People have wanted a figure of Lando Calrissian from Star Wars, and to be true to the character he would need to have a darker tone.
The solution is to use realistic and accurate skin tones for the movie licenses (like Star Wars, Harry Potter and Spider-Man) and to keep the yellow tones on the figures from the core playsets. Obviously, some of the older sets from movies won't match entirely so now you have a great excuse to get some new sets! Bravo to LEGO for handling the issue so professionally.
For Spider-Man 2, there is plenty of variety to whet your appetite for homo arachnid. There are three sets for Doc Ock - The Fusion Lab, Bank Robbery and his Hideout (see Lando da Pimp's review of the Hideout). For Spider-Man we have a pair, with the Street Chase and the set we're looking at here - the Train Rescue.
The first important thing to make clear about LEGO sets is that they are all compatible with each other. This doesn't just include the sets you bought last year, but the sets you bought 30 years ago (and yes, we have 30 year old sets). The second thing is that there is no wrong way to build a set. You can build it like the one pictured on the box, but that is just the starting point. When you go from there is completely up to you, so don't be afraid to experiment.
What you get in this set are 4 mini-figures, covering Spider-Man, Doctor Octopus, J Jonah Jameson and the train conductor. Doc Ock has a special harness adding in four tentacles with lots of poseability built-in, and with 8 limbs you know why they call him Doc Octopus even if he does look just like Elton John. These are the players for your stage, and the stage is a train and a train track with a heaping helping of peril thrown in. The train is big enough to seat a few mini-figure commuters heading out to Forest Hills (in Queens where Peter's Aunt lives), and has a few controls for the conductor.
The track is ridged so the car will roll right along it, and you get almost one and a half feet of track to go with the set. The bad part is that one end of the track is open, but luckily our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man has taken the time to spin some webbing on the end to stop the train from running off the tracks. And you can guess who's behind that scheme - Doc Ock, the multi-armed fiend.
The set is designed with a lever on one end that can be used to push the car down the tracks where it is caught by the webbing. It uses elastic bands and some engineering and basically it'll go faster if you slam down on the lever harder. If you slam too hard, don't worry. It's LEGO! It'll go back together!
There are some other cool things in this set. Spidey has a webline that can be attached to other sets and pieces so he can swing around town. The top of the train rests on top of the train, so it's very easy to open up to look inside (or put mini-figs in). The two plastic spiders included won't bite you - and that's a big plus.
The build time of this set was roughly an hour, with some distractions along the way. There isn't any rush, so take your time and make sure you have fun while building as well as playing with the set!
Click to see more pictures of this set
|Where to buy Spider-Man's Train Rescue: This LEGO set (set 4855) retails for about $29.99 USD and is available wherever LEGO sets are sold, such as Toys'R'Us, Target, and Wal-Mart, as well as at the official LEGO online store and various online toy retailers.|