Review: 41238 Lena Luthor Kryptomite Factory

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Today's review has been written by guest reviewer Jeremy Williams:

41238 Lena Luthor Kryptomite Factory is one of the flagship sets in the new DC Super Hero Girls playtheme, running to 432 pieces and two figures. The backstory is that Lena Luthor has kidnapped Krypto, Supergirl’s faithful hound, and taken him to her evil laboratory to drain him of his powers and create ‘kryptomites’, tiny jagged malevolent rascals that create havoc. Supergirl needs to swoop in and rescue the caged canine before it’s too late.


Box contents

Inside the box are the parts in four numbered bags, a couple of 8x16 baseplates, a lime green flexible hose and a sticker sheet.

View image at flickr

View image at flickr


Figures

Let’s start by looking at the figures that come with the set. There are two Super Hero Girl figures (Supergirl herself and of course Lena Luthor, her nemesis). The figures are based on Friends proportions and are represented nicely, although the lack of accessories is a little disappointing (no snazzy utility belt or other personal gadgets). There’s also Krypto, sporting the famous ’S’ on his chest (is that a tattoo, then?). Supergirl is only found in this set (with this print, though she also appears with a red skirt in the 41232 Super Hero High School set from the same theme) while Lena appears in one other set and Krypto in two others.

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There are also three tiny kryptomites (each created using a white 1x1 ’davros’ element (stud on all sides) with four transparent wedges (either cheeses or the Nexo Knight pyramids) and a single 1x1 ‘face’ tile.

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According to the Super Hero Girls webpage, the purple mite uses hypnosis to control the minds of innocent Kryptonians, while the green mite weakens them and the blue mite simply creates confusion - which seems a bit lacklustre compared to the other two, I must say, although I’m beginning to suspect that a blue mite appears whenever I try to reprogram my boiler at home. In other sets the kryptomites also get 1x1 plates with clips to enable them to grasp tools and weapons, but since these are freshly formed from the Kryptomite factory I assume that they’re juveniles who still need to progress to this next phase.

View image at flickr


The build

On with the build. The set is not complex to construct, and there were no challenging build stages although I nonetheless forgot to add an element here or there through failing to read the instructions carefully (I should have learned my lesson by now). Along with the single instruction book, the box contains four numbered bags, plus the large plates that serve as the watery base for the laboratory and the flexible pipe that will convey Krypto’s powers to create the mites.

Bag one contains the elements to build the two speedboats - Lena’s being somewhat outclassed by Supergirl’s bigger craft which is armed by rotating stud-shooters. These are OK, although they both look slightly unfinished - there are two 1x2 plates under Lena’s hands that would have looked much better as tiles, and there are two orange jumper plates behind Supergirl that could have used further decoration - even a grill tile would look better. The underside of Lena’s boat is nicely smooth, using inverted tiles, for a good reason - as we’ll see shortly.

View image at flickr

View image at flickr

Bags two to four build the laboratory. The lower floor consists of a jail cell (never a promising facility to find on a visit to a laboratory, I find) and a dock for Lena’s speedboat behind a seemingly impenetrable wall. When Lena’s boat is docked behind the wall, a sharp press of a plunger (a 2x2 tile attached via plates to a Technic axle terminating in a ball joint) shoves the boat through the wall and out into the bay. The wall is attached at its base to jumper plates, and topped with cheese slopes, which allow it to be levered into place. It’s a neat bit of building and clearly gives Lena the element of surprise, though I’d imagine it’s a one-off escape solution and is going to ruin the décor.

View image at flickr

The first-storey floor contains an office (sporting a nice ‘no entry’ sign on the door via a sticker) with an armchair and analysis machine, both built very attractively. A 2x3 tile contains a display screen (again via a sticker; there are no printed parts other than the figures and the action tiles - see below) showing the extraction in progress. A nice decorative touch is the window, which is a harlequin pattern of clear and pink, and twin arches and a chain guardrail add further sophistication.

View image at flickr

The upper storey is the business end of the lab - a containment tube holding the hapless Krypto (which opens on hinge plates) and a receptacle for the kryptomites above which lightning crackles on a transparent sticker. The showpiece feature of the lab is the purple chute which conveys the mites into a crate on the dock, ready to be towed away by Lena’s speedboat. The receptacle on the top floor hinges upwards (in the photo, I’ve wedged it with a spare Technic pin to show this) to send the mite hurtling down the chute through a hatchway. It’s a fun touch and I’m sure that either Lena or Supergirl would also end up sliding down the chute to make a quick exit.

View image at flickr

The roof sports the aforementioned pipe and a large LexCorp billboard, which looks great but again would look still better with a couple of tiles along each side. Finally, there’s a side dock (attached by a clip) from which one of the mites can man a rotating double-shooter cannon.


Playability

The set isn’t oozing with playability but its main features are the speedboat launch and the chute. Pleasingly, both come with ‘action tiles’ with cartoon graphics (the speedboat launch tile says ‘POW!’ and the chute launch lever has an exclamation mark), which add to the enjoyment. The opening doors and containment tube allow for some extra interaction, and there are four stud-shooters in all that are always fun to use, although they’re a good way to use up one’s supply of trans 1x1 round tiles…

View image at flickr


For parts

The set has some surprisingly rare elements - for instance, it’s the only set with a Black 2x6 45 degree slope brick and 1x4x4 frame. It also has some useful parts in rare colours, notably the lattice support wall (in Bright Purple) and the newish corrugated 1x6x5 panel in Black - which is otherwise found only in the mammoth Ghostbusters Firehouse HQ. The slide elements were introduced in 2017 and are uniquely here in Medium Lilac.


Conclusion

This is a reasonable set for its theme and the bright colour scheme and zany features add some interest, but you’d have to be either a big fan of the theme or enough of its rarer elements to buy it. The build isn’t particularly ingenious and it’s for a specific event rather than a general backdrop allowing broader play (for which my money would be on the High School set). As for me, I’m saving up my pennies towards a full-size chute to get me out of bed and down into the kitchen, though whether it will be lilac in colour remains to be decided…

View image at flickr

 

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13 comments on this article

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By in United States,

I'm not into DC Super Heros Girls nor is my daughter, although I found this to be a very entertaining review, well written Jeremy! One thought about the set though; who advertises their "secret" lab w/a large billboard?!

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By in United States,

The orange jumpers are on Supergirl’s boat so Krypto can attach.

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By in Germany,

Thumbs up on the great review, thumbs down on the set from me. Looks like a MOC gone wrong, totally uninspired and not like a quality set you expect from Lego. Come to think of it, the whole theme seems so underwhelming. My kids would be the perfect target audience, yet they couldn't care less about this range.

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By in United States,

I agree with AustinPowers. My kids should be really into this theme, but it doesn't seem to appeal to them too much. They both love super heroes and Lego, so what's not to love? So far, my daughter's interest is really only the figures and my son likes the parts, but there's not been much enthusiasm to build these playsets like there have been with other sets (like Elves). They seem aesthetically cluttered to me, but I would think kids could dig that. Apparently not mine though. She prefers for her super hero dolls to hang out in her Friends' town.

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By in United States,

Terrific review! Just a shame that overall it's a bit of a lackluster set.

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By in United States,

My seven year old niece really likes the Super Hero Girls cartoons and has a couple of the dolls. She enjoys the Disney Princess Lego line so I've been trying to get her into this line as well (I always bring her a Lego set we can build together when I visit) but I have to say she just doesn't seem to enjoy this line as much as she enjoys the Disney stuff. I had much better success with the Moana sets and the newer Elsa Ice Palace than I did with the High School, Batgirl Bunker or Wonder Woman's Dorm room.

Have there been any announcements (or leaks) regarding this line that would give an indication that it will be continuing into 2018 yet?

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By in United Kingdom,

Dalek bricks, not Davros. Davros were the ones with just a stud on the side as they were half-Daleks. Although it's a bit confusing now there are bricks with studs on two sides...

Shame this set is already listed as Discontinued on the LEGO Shop.

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By in Poland,

Can you SHOW us a pieces and features you were describing?
The whole rewiev feels a little rushed.

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By in Germany,

We have this set and my kids liked it. Not as much as some others (even from the same line), but they didn't think it was bad.

I personally love the DC Super Hero Girls line and have been following it closely. I'm pretty confident we will not be seeing any more sets because the first wave went on sale fairly quickly in all stores I would visit, and the second wave isn't even available in most stores. I picked up Eclipso's hideout when it was on sale on Amazon, and boy am I glad I did! On shop.lego.de it's already discontinued, and I didn't find it in any physical store, so Amazon seems to be the only option to get this set.

I went on a slight tangent there, sorry. I'm just sad 'cause it seems that the majority of girls really don't like superheroes.

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By in Germany,

Well, to be honest I am not the slightest bit sad. I think the whole Super Hero Girls theme is such a load of crap to begin with, that I am quite happy that my daughters prefer other themes, as seem to do many others, judging by the lack of success of this theme in general.

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By in United Kingdom,

I correct myself - 'Davros' was the brick with studs on two opposite sides - i.e. half a 'Dalek' (you might need to Google who Davros is). Bricks with one stud on the side were half a Davros, and thus a 'Ross' brick. I don't think there was a similar name for the brick with two studs on adjacent sides which could easily be confused with a 'Davros', so it should have a completely different name to ensure there would be no confusion. So, 'Stavros' :-D

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By in United States,

I expect more than 2 figures for a $100 set

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By in United States,

^It’s US $59.99. Eclipso Dark Palace is the $99.99 set in this wave.

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