Price: £19.99 / $19.99 / €24.99 Pieces: 229 Available: Now
With comic book movies continuing to be a major draw at the box office, super hero sets remain a staple of the LEGO Group’s annual lineup. For me, Black Panther was the best part of Captain America: Civil War, so it’s exciting that his solo movie will be hitting cinemas soon. Let’s take a look at one of the first two sets from the new movie, and see how the film translates to LEGO form.
Though rather clumsily named, 76099 Rhino Face-Off by the Mine is a perfect description for the set. At just £19.99, it’s at the smaller end of the spectrum, which is actually really nice to see, especially since the last few years have seen a glut of massive sets, with price tags to match. Don’t let the wallet friendly price tag fool you, 76099 has a lot to offer.
First off, the set includes a nice collection of minifigs. The printing on each is ornate and the details in both T’Challa and Killmonger’s faces is terrific. For fans whose purchase of the set may hinge on the minifigures, this T’Challa fig is indeed a new version, different to the one included in 2016’s 76047 Black Panther Pursuit.
The only downside to the figures presented here is the lack of leg printing on any of them. This is particularly a shame as far as Okoye is concerned, as her armour in the movie flows down her legs from her torso. It is always difficult to know how much information the designers had when working on the set, so who knows if this was a missed opportunity, or an unfortunate lack of resources from Marvel. Still, one amazing things about this group of figures is that even if you can’t see all their faces, they are all black. This is a first for a set, save perhaps for some of the old NBA sets, and it’s really nice to see.
The rhino is clearly the star of 76099 Rhino Face-Off by the Mine, but let’s put that aside for a moment and talk about the mine cart. This part of the build is notable for making use of the new roller coaster rail pieces. Granted, there are only two sections included, but it’s clear to see how much fun builders can have with new rail option. The cart also makes use of, and introduces a new colour for the chest pieces seen in last year’s NEXO KNIGHTS battle suit sets. The cart is loaded with what is presumably intended to be vibranium ore, represented by trans-light blue 1×2 plates, which are always a welcome element. The end of the track houses a lever meant to be used to flip over the mine car, though in all honesty, it doesn’t work very well.
Now with that out of the way, let’s get back to that rhino. Brick built animals have had a bit of a shaky history over the years. The combination of a few specialised organic parts with traditional square-edged blocks leaves many creatures looking somewhere between passable and laughable. 76099’s rhino seems to have hit a sweet spot. It appears formidable, visually interesting, and perhaps most importantly, purposefully angular. Again, without having seen the creature in the actual film it’s difficult to say how accurate the design is, though I can say it’s still cool. There’s a lot of good parts usage in the set as well. The legs from Star Wars: The Force Awaken’s Luggabeast set make a return, and the hoods from the Cars sets are used to create a curved underbelly. Perhaps my favourite use of a more recent part is in the implementation of the 1×1 quarter circle tile for the ears, as they add both charm and detail.
All in all, you get a lot of bang for your buck with this set. While the mine cart section might not be the most interesting build in the world, the rhino more than makes up for it. You also get a nice group of minifigures, as well as a pretty great selection of parts for those looking for something with life beyond its initial build.