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Today we quickly go around a set that has at least the merit of leaving almost no one indifferent since its announcement: the LEGO Marvel reference 76215 Black Panther with its 2961 pieces and its retail price set at €349.99 which will be available from October 1, 2022 on the official online store and in LEGO Stores.
I'm not making a drawing for you, this is about assembling a 1:1 scale bust of the character and this format is a first at LEGO (we forget the Darth Maul from 2001) which was content so far to offer us more compact versions of helmets and masks of various and varied superheroes or characters from the Star Wars universe. I make it clear for all intents and purposes, this is not a disguise and you will not be able to put on the mask or buildable gloves here for Halloween.
One wonders what justifies the marketing of a model of this scale knowing that LEGO is generally confined to a more compact and less ambitious format when it comes to reproducing the head or the gloves of certain emblematic characters. The November release of the film Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, the tribute to actor Chadwick Boseman, who died in 2020, who until now embodied the character and the opportunity to stage the movement of the hands crossed on the torso are arguments that can justify the debauchery of parts and the somewhat grandiloquent side of this model.
Difficult at this stage to know if LEGO intends to decline a whole range of busts in this new format or if it is an isolated product, only the future will tell us. In the meantime, you will have to make room on a shelf to be able to display this Black Panther, 46 cm high, 52 cm long and 29 cm deep. The advantage of the format is that the designer had plenty of room to refine the silhouette of the character, include details that generally pass by the wayside on masks and other helmets at 60 € and comfortably work the angles to achieve something faithful thing.
It was also necessary to fill all that with stacks of pieces and I must admit that I had at times the impression of assembling a large BrickHeadz figurine based on DUPLO bricks. This feeling is to be tempered, I went from the LEGO Ideas set 21336 The Office with its micro-furniture to this model and the sudden transition between these two very different products has something to do with it.
The character's costume being black with some metallic edging, the designer decided to bring a little (a lot) of color inside the model. The designer explains in the first pages of the instruction booklet that it was a question of referring to the material that makes up the costume, Vibranium. Why not.
Do not expect a series of amazing or revolutionary techniques under the mask and gloves, it just feels like everything has been done to limit expenses with very large elements that allow you to quickly gain volume and a lot of empty space. The stability of the model is not affected by these many perforated areas but we cannot say that the experience is of a very high level. Things get a bit more interesting when it comes to building the various sub-assemblies that make up the model's shell. I do not voluntarily spoil these steps for you, only that will remain really interesting and the pleasure of discovery should be left to those who will spend 350 € in this box.
If you follow the chronology of the photos that I propose to you here, you will have understood that we assemble this model from the bottom up, alternating between the sequences of stacking colored pieces and the application of black pieces which allow the costume to take shape. Even with over 2900 parts, it all comes together very quickly and the progression is quite entertaining. You don't get bored and the placement of the different assemblies around the face is interesting with sections that are, for example, only fixed on one ball joint and which easily find their final location on the model by simply leaning on another section already installed.
The few purple pieces slipped between the different layers of black perfectly embody the usual "glow" of the costume which stores kinetic energy to then release it. This effect is very interesting, beyond bringing a little color into the interstices, it also creates purple reflections on the rest of the model depending on the lighting. The designer has obviously worked on his file and we feel that he tried to find the best compromise possible to offer a sufficient level of detail without penalizing the solidity of the whole too much. It will still remember to grab the object by the base to move it to avoid any incident.
One could debate the interest of integrating the two hands of the character in "Wakanda Forever" mode in front of the construction, but thanks to a relative modularity of the model, LEGO leaves the possibility of exposing the bust alone if these attributes seem to you too bulky for your shelves or if the gimmick does not convince you visually.
The base that allows the hands to hold in position is indeed removable and it can be removed to then place the section with the sticker directly on the base at the foot of the character's torso. It should be noted that the two hands are only fixed to their support via a simple ball joint, gravity then allows them to fall perfectly into place between the curved elements placed at the four corners of the support.
I prefer this last option even if the shoulders with a slightly abrupt finish are then uncovered. I find the hands a little too messy and cumbersome, but that's a matter of taste. The fingers with their metallic claws are however well made with realistic knuckles and but I find the outer surface of the hands much too flat to be credible.
The first metallic parts used are those of the Black Panther collar and we cannot say that the uniformity of these soft parts is perfect, at least not as much as on the very optimistic official visuals of the product. In other clubs, this type of imperfection often goes unnoticed, but on a product like this with a necklace that stands out against the black background of the costume, it is immediately more visible. And this is only the beginning of a series of aesthetic flaws that spoil the pleasure a little.
The outer texture of the mockup is made up of an assortment of black elements some of which are smooth and glossy and some of which are matte and lightly textured. The intention is commendable, this contrast is interesting by favoring reflections in certain places more than in others, but the rendering is marred by the usual scratches and other traces of injection that abound on the black parts of this box.
We are also entitled to parts whose corners are slightly deformed or damaged, a technical detail which generally goes unnoticed on more colorful constructions but which really stands out on this almost monochrome model. The metallic parts which form the border which circulates on the mask are not free from defects: we can distinguish the inside of the tenons of some of them by transparency and it is ugly.
For those who are wondering, there is only one sticker in this box and it is the one that tells us that it is indeed Black Panther. The character's eyes are therefore stamped but we are not going to cry genius, it is quite simply a minimum on a model at 350 €.
It will now be up to everyone to form an opinion about this imposing model sold for €350. The subject is correctly treated and the object has a certain exposure potential. However, there is no point in comparing this achievement with the many much more realistic busts already on sale everywhere, such as that of the company Queen Studios, the purpose of the product is the same but the purpose is significantly different with an assembly experience here. rather entertaining which will perhaps compensate for the inevitable aesthetic approximations even on this scale.
On the other hand, the technical defects encountered are inexcusable for a product presented as high-end and intended for an adult clientele. It is not enough to offer ever more voluminous and spectacular creations to justify the price, the finish must be at the level of what can be expected from the world's leading manufacturer of construction toys. That's not the case here. And Wakanda doesn't exist.
Note: The set presented here, provided by LEGO, is as usual involved. Deadline fixed at September 27, 2022 next at 23:59 p.m. Just post a comment under the article to participate.
- Logan : Incredible set! Just a little criticism, I find the interior...
- Brick01 : It's quite... how to say... expensive, even if it's nice...
- Brick01 : Really nice...
- Alexander U. : I would have preferred just a shuttle, the sum of the figurines and...
- nico90 : Very realistic and original. Thank you for the test...
- Luca : I'm disappointed, they could have made a blurrg mold for the...
- Alexander U. : Not a fan of this kind of set but I admit that this one is true...
- Sh2m : The idea is good with a dynamic presentation of a beautiful effect...
- nenya : I really have trouble with minifigs :P...
- Joey182 : Hi! Nice set. It smells like the resale of figs at 80 bucks each...