First official sighting of a gorilla

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Whirling Vines

Whilst I was away over the weekend LEGO has pushed images of many forthcoming sets onto their server. I've downloaded them and you'll see them in the 'What's new' list above. Most have been revealed by other sites but the next batch of Legends of Chima Speedors and the LoC 'ultrabuilds' haven't.

70109 gives us the first official glimpse of a member of the gorilla clan, presumably Gorzan, and 70107 contains the skunk character.

I'll let you make up your own minds about the ultrabuilds. I was criticised for commenting on them after seeing them at the Toy Fair :-)

43 comments on this article

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By in United Kingdom,

I like the title :P

Anyway, I have picked up one of each tribe so far just for interest's sake and will doubtless also be getting a Gorilla and Skunk too. They look very interesting, but I am amazed to see that the 'helmet' piece used is not the same as the one from the Gorilla Suit Guy in Series 3 of the Collectable Minifigures! I love the banana afterburners on his Speedor vehicle...

The ultrabuilds are not my cup of tea at all, but I am sure they will be popular as action figures for some younger Legends of Chima fans (and perhaps some older ones here on Brickset too?)

I still await release of these Superman: Man of Steel sets, which now have all images too and all look quite nice to me.

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By in United States,

60026 Town Square actually looks pretty good. Besides the 9 figs, the lime green pizza shop looks pretty good as does the corner bike shop. I don't even want to know what the price is :o! Probably in the range of $129.99 USD. The ultra builds sure look weird though... The characters aren't instantly recognizable, so they seen a little odd. Can't wait for those summer CITY sets though.

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By in United States,

The fig in 70109 is named Gorzan, not Gorzaw. Probably just a typo but making the correction anyway.

Anyway, very excited about the Chima constraction sets. They're very detailed and cohesive-looking. Well-armored, well-armed, and creative in their builds. Hero Factory sets have often either had fingers or a weapon when they use those paw pieces, but not both — the Chima figures avoid this. And at least three of the Chima figures have back armor. Obviously because of this you have to pay a bit more for them than you would for a typical Hero Factory set of around the same size, but I think that's probably a sacrifice a lot of collectors will be willing to make.

Like the Super Heroes constraction sets last year, the Chima sets use specialized head pieces, which are somewhat angular for consistency with the armor shells and other details, and only Cragger's has an articulated jaw. But fewer detour into the uncanny valley than the Super Heroes ones did, and their color quality seems superb.

I can't help but notice that you don't seem to have put alternate images in the database. Any particular reason for that? Cache.LEGO.com has lots of great alternate images. All of the sets have packaging images, of course, but in addition the Friends sets often have three or four additional images per set.

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By in United Kingdom,

I've only just stepped in the door, I haven't had a chance to do everything yet :-)

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By in United Kingdom,

Eris looks um... A bit masculine

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By in United Kingdom,

Liking the new Chima Speedorz, especially the Royal Roost and Whirling Vines, the one with Skinnet looks pretty good too. The constraction figures look quite great for what they are, though Eris looks a bit odd.
I wish the Whirling Vines came with those Gorilla gauntlets/fists of fury that come with the Gorilla Striker though.
The MoS Black Zero Escape set is good for the minifigures, but the build itself is severely lacking (though the escape pod is pretty nifty), I'm assuming it's meant to represent a hangar(?) from Zod's Black Zero spacecraft.

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By in United States,

You could make a pretty good Balrog out of a couple of those Chima Ultrabuilds! But that's probably all they're good for... Generally, I don't really like models of this type (Hero Factory and Bionicle), they look too much like action figures.

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By in United Kingdom,

I don't know why but I am terribly excited about the skunks.

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By in United States,

New Speedorz are immediate must-haves. Ultra Builds are infinite must-avoids.

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By in United States,

@Telcontar: That's the point: they're buildable action figures. That's like saying "I don't really like models of this type (Galaxy Squad and Space Police), they look too much like spaceships". I get your point, though. They're obviously not for everyone.

I wish more people who weren't into Hero Factory would buy one or two of these sets, though. The parts are very fun to build with, and I've always felt Hero Factory parts are a lot easier to incorporate into System MOCs than BIONICLE ones just because they're usually fairly smooth and geometric, without a lot of excessive detail like pistons. Kai's Fire Mech is a good example of a set this year that incorporates Hero Factory parts in a very basic way, but there are plenty of other more complex applications to explore.

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By in United Kingdom,

I know this is unrelated, but what happened to the older news articles?

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By in United States,

The summer series of LoC certainly looks better that I expected now that they can be seen in all their HD glory. My feeling on the ultrabuilds are still evolving (although I have a bad feeling about them in the pit of my stomach). The new city set is a must have for me though, it certainly makes me yearn for the time of sets like the LEGO Island ones.

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By in United States,

That Skunk is awesome! I want them now!

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By in United States,

Seems like the skunk guy should have a tail, like the godzilla collectable figure.

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By in United States,

^ He does thankfully :)

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By in United States,

The minifig is AWESOME!!!!!!!

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By in United States,

Yay..... NOT!!!!!!!!!

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By in United States,

Those Ultrabuilds look hilarious. That gorilla just looks weird. I am not impressed by LoC; I think Ninjago is way better and should not have sets and marketing taken away from it.

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By in United States,

Transportation and city corner combined. Not bad... Heck of a bike shop.

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By in United States,

@ Aanchir: Maybe so... Still, I just don't like the whole idea of LEGO making action figures. They make great construction sets and reaching over into the action figure world still just kinda seems strange to me. But that's my personal opinion and I'm sure others will disagree.

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By in United States,

@Gil Galad High King: Ninjago having less sets/marketing this year really has nothing to do with Chima. Its momentum was not expected to last this long, and they expected it to be on its way out by now regardless of what new themes there were.

The notion that Chima was meant to be replacing Ninjago was a confused statement by Kevin Hinkle at LEGO at Bricks Cascade in Oregon. But really the fact that Legends of Chima is coming out and getting a lot of marketing the same year as Ninjago got downplayed so much is more or less a coincidence. Chima is just TLG's "big bang" theme this year, much like Friends was last year, Ninjago was in 2011, Atlantis was in 2010, Power Miners was in 2009, etc, etc, ad infinitum. And since the big bang themes tend to get a bigger marketing push every year it's only natural that Chima has a lot of sets and media supporting it right now.

@Telcontar: Despite being buildable action figures, Hero Factory models and the like are still very definitely construction sets. I get a lot of enjoyment from building with Hero Factory. The sets are really the most versatile and customizable LEGO action figure sets have ever been, unlike, say, Galidor, which was more or less just "action figures with interchangeable limbs". Certainly Hero Factory is very different in its design from System, but then again, so is Technic.

One of my favorite Hero Factory MOCs (which really shows off the potential of the building system) can be seen here: http://www.lekgodt.no/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/www.LekGodt.no-LEGOWorld-099.jpg . This is a LEGO Hero Factory model by Christoffer Raundahl, who's been a set designer for LEGO action figure themes since Throwbots/Slizers back in the late 90s... quite an impressive career, and it's impressive to see just how far his designs have come. He's one of the three inventors credited on the patents for the Hero Factory building system.

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By in United States,

Bionicle is the only action figures that worked for LEGO. I might just be nostalgic but Hero Factory and Chima will never be able to top them. They worked because they were meant to be mechanical and they had some actual challenge in the builds. When Lego tries to make organic characters the end result is unnatural.

Any action figure line will always. be compared to Bionicle, and nothing will ever live up.

That aside, that new man of steel set looks great.

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By in United States,

Ultrabuilds, I have nothing good to say. . . New LoC, same, Eagles and Ravens are the only good thing in LoC, everything else is really weird…

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By in Canada,

Ultrabuilds:

Did Lego not learn anything from Ben10 Alien Force? 'gag'

Gorillas:

Great idea, a little overdone on the paint in my opinion. Set is goofy looking but might yet have some good play value.

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By in United States,

@that guy from the show: I completely agree with you.

Really, the Ultrabuilds weren't as ridiculous as we've seen before. I thought the Superheroes ones looked really bad, but that may have just been me.

I'm starting to think I'll have to buy more CITY sets now, I've been putting it off for too many years now.

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By in United Kingdom,

I see every country in europe has the Lone Ranger sets on lego's web site today, apart from the UK :-(

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By in New Zealand,

it says on the packet

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By in United Kingdom,

^^ Par for the course these days, isn't it...

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By in United Kingdom,

^ Why do Lego so often seem to forsake us I wonder?

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By in United Kingdom,

^ I was told August for the UK

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By in Indonesia,

The new Speedorz are looking so much better than the early wave of sets. I love the different molds for the new tribes (the gorillas' speedorz are more rounded), and the afterburners (they aren't as unimaginative as the previous ones). It's nice to see the sets improving, and these are great ways of collecting the minifigures without spending much money (cause what better thing is there to Chima other than its amazing minifigures?).

Ultrabuilds seem like a must-have for new series now...wouldn't be surprised if they release NinjaGo ultrabuilds in the future. The Chima ones do look better than the horrible eyesore-of-a-thing Superheroes ones. At least some of these look displayable, and have interesting parts to pick from. :D

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By in United Kingdom,

Same thing with these Ultrabuilds as I thought for the superheroes ones - I only really want a few of the heads. Looking forward to Gorilla and skunk tribes though!

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By in United States,

My nephews LOVED the big superhero figure sets. And the fact that they were nearly impossible to find after a few months must mean that many other kids did too.

As far as myself, well--you either like Bionicle or you don't. I'd say they've grown on me. The Captain America and Batman were probablly the ones I thought looked the best. I was surprised that they never did a Superman one or any other villians other than the Joker (esp. given how popular Loki has become).

And they don't look anything like Gallidor for Pete's sake! Take a look in the archives--they're almost like Duplo compared to Bionicle!

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By in United States,

@that guy from that show: I feel like the Hero Factory building system is pretty good for making organic characters as long as you're not using parts with obvious mechanical details like vents and pistons. Certainly the characters end up looking blockier and more angular than actual humans or animals, but I feel like that's a perfectly fine stylistic decision, just like how a lot of cartoons might stylize characters to be more geometric. Examples include Samurai Jack, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Teen Titans, etc.

I've found Hero Factory's building system much more rewarding than BIONICLE's, but opinions are bound to differ. For some people, Technic-based building is what comes naturally. I'm sure there are a lot of mecha and action figure builders who think System stud-based connections are the ideal way to make action figure models, and certainly there are a lot of stunning System mecha and figurines on Brickshelf to attest to this. But for me, the Hero Factory building system is more intuitive and versatile without an overreliance on other building styles. And apparently the designers who invented it (including Christoffer Raundahl, the designer I mentioned earlier, who designed the original Tahu and Kopaka sets) feel similarly.

@SI Builder: These sets are like the Ben 10 sets in the same way that LEGO City sets are like Jack Stone sets. The Chima constraction sets are figures made of pieces connected primarily with ball-and-socket connections, including (in most cases) a one-piece head, and that's where the similarities to the Ben 10 sets end. Just a comparison of piece counts should make it more than obvious how much more building potential these sets have (the Chima sets have over three times as many pieces as the Ben 10 sets on average).

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By in United States,

I still don't like LoC.

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By in United States,

@ Aanchir

In my opinion the problem with Hero Factory lies with the bull and socket construction techniques. Everything from the armor to their accessory are connected using that style of building. They are are designed in almost exactly the same way. I'm not denying there are a lot of cool MOCs you can build using this method but Bionicle offers the same opportunities. Hero Factory sets are all constructed in (almost) exactly the same way.

I'm not denying Bionicle had clone sets, Everything from 2005 for example, but if you look at 2007-2009 you're see an incredible variety of designs and techniques in play. In my opinion those years was the pinnacle of Lego action figures.

If you look at Hero factory, the building framework for characters in 2011 and 2012 are near identical. these Chima sets seem to be following the same basic framework.

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By in United States,

@that guy from that show

It's true, most Hero Factory sets are built with a very similar process. But in my opinion, that's perfectly forgivable because it's a process that works. I liked the Inika build for the same reasons. A lot of people felt it was overused; I felt it was versatile enough to justify its existence. You point to 2007-2009 BIONICLE as an example of non-cloned building, but that mostly just applies to the torso builds and the choice of armor pieces. BIONICLE canister sets' legs were built pretty much the exact same way from 2004–2009. Their arms were built the same way as the legs starting in 2006. And four or five out of six sets still had a near-identical torso build throughout that time.

The 2012 Hero Factory sets, though, showed that it was definitely possible to mix up the building considerably, particularly the smaller villain sets. XT4 had long, alien-looking limbs on a small body. Toxic Reapa had his torso armor constructed in a unique way (every bit as unique as Toa Mahri Matoro's torso construction), and had a unique posture. Jawblade was a shark (using the torso beam prone rather than upright, much like Zesk did with the Agori torso) with fins instead of legs. Thornraxx had only two limbs and a tail and didn't use a traditional torso beam at all. Now, I'll admit the larger villains were much more boring humanoids (much like many of this year's villains), but they still found ways to stand out.

Furthermore, Hero Factory's building system allows greater versatility of building without heavily modifying the building process. A shell can be attached to a bone on any of four sides, facing up or down. Thus even though it's the same process to put it on, the results with the same two pieces can still be very different. This is part of why I like everything being based on the ball joint. It truly makes it more of a cohesive building system, much like System where everything is based on the stud and anti-stud or Technic where everything is based on the pin and axle. And it offers about the same amount of versatility on its own, unlike BIONICLE, where more complex builds depended heavily on Technic.

As always, the versatility of the overall building experience improves when you incorporate building elements from one system into another: Technic for rigid or mechanical structure, System for detail, Hero Factory/BIONICLE ball joint for articulation. So it's not like I loathe sets or MOCs that mix the building systems. But it's this potential for a complete and consistent experience that the HF building system offers that really makes me like it so much.

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By in United Kingdom,

i'd already seen them on pics from the new york toy fair.

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By in United Kingdom,

there is a fox speedor called furty coming out in september

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By in United States,

The new Speedor sets look amazing, and I'm definitely excited to see the Skunks and Gorillas represented. I wonder if anyone has the scoop on whether or not Lego is planning to produce sets for the Bears and/or Rhinos, who have been featured in the cartoon.

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By in United States,

HF is the thing that brought out my 8 year old's creativity, because you can turn vision into reality so much faster and the trial and error cycle is so fast. He is capable of building freestyle with system, he once astonished me by building his own steam train from scratch, but with HF he can create a whole cast of heroes and monsters in an hour. I personally find it the most fulfilling way of doing LEGO for me personally right now because I am so time-constrained. Unlike with system, where I am constantly wishing I owned more kinds of pieces, I have pretty much every HF part that exists in multiples, and the fun of working with that small palette, and throwing in various system, technic and bionicle pieces for character, is very addictive. If LEGO is coke, HF is crack... a quicker hit.

Now combine HF with LoC, which made my 8 year old forget Ninjago had ever existed, and you have the ultimate designer drug in ABS form. I won't be able to hold out for the sales on those, it will be TAKE MY MONEY NOW once the kid sees them in the catalog.

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By in United Kingdom,

^^ I think it's a given that they'll appear in sets at some point in the future.

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By in United States,

@ninjagoyo: Great, heartwarming anecdote. I don't have kids, but I sort of experience the same thing myself: especially while at college, I find Hero Factory building much more spontaneous and rewarding than a lot of System building. Last semester I made a Ninjago vignette I was quite proud of for a contest on Eurobricks, and have built some quite nice models from basic bricks for the two LEGO building competitions I've taken part in for the past two semesters. But in contrast, I've spent far more time just goofing around with Hero Factory pieces, putting together quick tablescraps and taking short "MOCing breaks" to make modifications to models I've already got underway.

There's also something very therapeutic about snapping parts together and not quite knowing what you're going to assemble beforehand, versus building with System, Technic, or BIONICLE which may take far more advance knowledge of what you're trying to assemble. This is partly because with Hero Factory, if you want to change something after a model is underway, it's usually just as easy to pull pieces apart as it is to put more pieces on, whereas with other building systems parts may get locked or buried inside a model and become much more difficult to disassemble. All in all the system was designed to be very intuitive and it's always great to hear that I'm not alone in enjoying it.

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