The BrickHeadz range was introduced at San Diego Comic-Con last year and returned at the 2017 event with two more exclusive sets, each of which contains a pair of figures. 41496 Supergirl & Martian Manhunter depicts the DC characters as they appear in the Supergirl television series so represents the first acknowledgement of the 'Arrowverse' within the BrickHeadz theme.
This set includes 234 pieces, surpassing all four of the twin packs released at the 2016 convention, so I am hoping to see some unusual building techniques and a high level of detail in these figures. However, characters featuring vivid colours are often better suited to BrickHeadz models than those who wear darker attire, leaving me a little sceptical about the suitability of these heroes from the Supergirl series.
The Completed Model
Each BrickHeadz figure stands on a black base so they appear uniform when displayed together. Most of these were constructed around a 4x6 plate in the first wave but the San Diego Comic-Con sets released this year use 6x6 plates. I welcome the change as these figures do not suffer from the stability issues which affected some of the earlier models and I like the 2x4 printed tile at the front of the base which features the BrickHeadz branding.
Supergirl is instantly recognisable, not only due to the symbol emblazoned on her chest but also the hair which has been cleverly constructed to replicate Melissa Benoist's style from the series. Her hair is swept over the left shoulder and a section is built facing forwards to form an appropriate shape. The style looks very distinctive and the dark blue and dark red suit is unique among the BrickHeadz models released so far.
This figure includes just three printed elements, a 1x4 brick featuring the Supergirl symbol and two BrickHeadz eyes. I like the golden shine around the edge of the insignia and a row of pearl gold 1x1 plates form a matching hemline at the top of Supergirl's skirt. The dark red skirt is fairly short to match the source material and it looks great in conjunction with the dark blue tunic, although a brighter colour scheme might be more striking on display.
The skirt covers the top of Supergirl's legs but there is still room for a pair of dark red boots and she also wears a dark red cape on her back. This is fastened over the shoulders in the series and two dark red plates are accordingly visible on the front of this figure while a couple of angled plates and some tiles form the cape at the back. Similar designs appear throughout the BrickHeadz range but I particularly like how the hair has been integrated with the cape on this model so it seems to hang naturally.
I love the texturing in the hair which is unlike that seen on any of the previous BrickHeadz figures. That seen on 41591 Black Widow remains the most advanced in its construction but this combination of curved slopes and exposed studs is perfect for Supergirl, as is the dark tan colour. Supergirl's hair includes blonde and brown streaks in the show and I think dark tan is a reasonable match given the range of colours available.
While Supergirl's suit was darkened a little for the television series, Martian Manhunter's attire was entirely redesigned so does not feature the traditional purple cape and exposed green skin of his comic book counterpart. Instead he sports a black uniform and the green shade of his skin has been softened. Sand green is an appropriate colour in my opinion and the clear contrast between the head and the body is pleasing.
Martian Manhunter is a Green Martian so features prominent cheek bones and an elongated cranium. This must have presented a difficult challenge for the designer but I think the use of sand green 1x2 slopes to form the cheek bones is effective and the ridge on top of the head looks superb. 1x1 dark bluish grey plates create some depth around the eyes and I love the bright red elements which are only currently available in this set.
The black suit seems to take some inspiration from the character's appearance in a few recent animated projects including Young Justice and Justice League: Doom. It looks quite distinctive but maintains a couple of familiar features such as the red bands crossing the chest and golden clasps at the shoulders. These are represented by a printed brick and match with two red plates which continue the stripes onto the sides of the figure.
Pyramidal slopes form the shoulder armour and a black cape is fitted to the back of the figure but it still looks rather plain due to the uniform colour scheme. Some textured printing would have been very useful here and might have better represented the armour he wears in the series, although plain black is definitely the best alternative and I think the figure looks perfectly detailed from the front.
I continue to enjoy the BrickHeadz range. Supergirl and Martian Manhunter are both nicely detailed and look great in relation to their onscreen counterparts. However, the television series has received some criticism for its character design and I think the comparatively drab colour scheme of the costumes detracts from these figures to some degree. They are definitely overshadowed by brighter models such as 41588 The Joker, although their faithfulness to the source material compensates for this in my view.
This set was priced at $40 at the convention but is naturally more expensive on the secondary market. It is currently changing hands for an average of around $100 or £75 on eBay and BrickLink and if you are intending to make a purchase then I would suggest not waiting too long as prices tend to decrease in the weeks after the convention before gradually increasing again. If you are a Supergirl fan and can find a good deal then this set might be worth purchasing but the figures do not particularly stand out among the other BrickHeadz.
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