Get ready for something different this time, right here on SilentMode.tv: we’re going to be taking a look at an Ultra Agents set, which is a new theme for 2014, released for the summer. Ultra Agents appears to be a follow-up to the original Agents theme, which was around in 2008-9 (just before the end of my “dark age”).
I didn’t really pay any attention to the theme until a recent visit to a LEGO store, during which I picked up the Ghostbusters set.
I didn’t have any intention of getting anything other than the Ghostbusters set on my store visit, but look at this box. Doesn’t that look like a sweet ride? Solely based on the box art (I hadn’t seen any of the set photos online), I wanted to see how good this set was.
A fairly thorough overview of the set’s play features is on the back of the box, along with some brief information about some online/tablet activities related to the theme.
Right next to the two figures in this set, a new blaster – first seen in this year’s round of Star Wars sets – serves as the scale reference. This is my first exposure to this new blaster part.
We get a transparent DSS in this set, which we won’t use in the review, that survived rather well in transit. You can probably use these in your own Ultra Agents MOCs.
It appears that Ultra Agents makes use of Medium/Dark Stone Grey and Trans Light Blue as its main colours, which is a nice combination. Parts to look forward to in Trans Light Blue are 1×2 plates, a very small selection of cheese slopes and some of those gorgeous 1×1 round tiles. We also have a few parts in Pearl Light Grey, as well as some Technic love, if you like that sort of thing.
As you’ve already seen, the set comes with two minifigures. On the left is the aptly named Ultra Agent Solomon Blaze: a veteran agent (assumed from his grey hair) that, while set in his ways, is able to keep up with the latest crimestopping developments. On the right is the villain du jour, Infearno: one mean-looking redhead.
Solomon Blaze’s weapon of choice is a standard issue pistol, but since they don’t make those any more he’s had to learn to use a non-lethal blaster. Meanwhile Infearno dons his special fire armour, designed to harness the power of his fiery rage, with an unusual flame-shaped helmet.
Rise of Infearno
Infearno has crafted a special harness with which to store two vials of an unknown serum – not even mentioned in the description of the set on S@H – and prepares for a quick getaway with the help of twin thrusters, that attach to the bottom of the armour introduced by the S7 Galaxy Patrol. (I thought they were thrusters, but they’re actually meant to be flamethrowers.)
Infearno’s weapon of choice are an unlimited supply of dynamite bundles, which he likes to drop on unsuspecting targets. He also has the ability to detonate them in mid-air, which helps him evade airborne assailants.
Just in case this isn’t enough, Infearno has constructed (or has had constructed, before sending the inventors to a fiery bliss) a special craft for a blisteringly fast getaway. The craft makes use of a classic “camera” brick as the base, with a plain Dark Red surfboard on top. (Anyone collect surfboards?)
So as you can see, despite what the critics may say, Infearno is in no way inspired by the Green Goblin or Ghost Rider from Marvel. I don’t understand how anyone could come to that conclusion.
The Interceptor (part one)
So what do you do when you’re a veteran agent, faced with bringing down one of Astor City’s fastest, most ruthless and lethal criminals singlehandedly? It’s time to whip out some agency equipment.
No, not that equipment!
No vehicle bases here; we’re going for a custom-made chassis made of plates.
Early into the build, as we might expect, some Technic bricks and parts come into play.
The first bit of functionality arrives with this Technic construction, which is carefully placed inside the chassis. Connecting the Blue connector to a long axle through the Technic bricks is a little tricky, but is made easier by keeping the Yellow arms flat inside.
The mechanism is kept in place with some Dark Stone Grey plates, while the onboard computer is installed. Besides the minifigures, the computer is the only printed part in the set.
That mechanism is for the Interceptor’s ejector seat: a staple of spy movies and the last thing you’ll ever use. A push on the axle – marked with a Red Technic ball part – ejects a very flat seat out of the vehicle.
Stephanie reminds us all to be very careful where we aim things. It should be said that the seat doesn’t fly very far, though.
While Stephanie is treated for a concussion, the vehicle continues to take shape, with the seating area clearly defined. The familiar technique of using opposite brackets for SNOT is shown here.
These panels are a basic example of what’s called “greebling”: using small and specific pieces to create machinery detail on models. I’m not good at it myself, but many of the best MOCers around have this down pat.
This is the end of the first half of the build (thankfully the set comes with numbered bags), and the core of the vehicle is finished with some boat studs and a few spots for more connections.
All small parts, all good. The new blaster comes in two parts (the body and the trigger), and while they make a fairly stable connection, you never know when or if that spare will come in handy.
Lots of big pieces come into play with this bag, including these interesting parts. Some parts, such as the Black Technic connector pins (middle right) are new for 2014. Take notes, and pick whatever you like.
The Interceptor (part two)
These two strange parts on top of the relatively new Technic hinge plates are spring-loaded launchers. They kinda look like those light bricks in the Winter Village sets, but more accurately those sound bricks (like in the Alien Conquest Alien Mothership set).
Anyhow, this construction fits at the back of the vehicle, and serves as the hidden rocket launcher feature.
Let’s give it some rear wheels, using the Trans Light Blue 4×4 dishes as hub caps. That’s not all, however: these wheels are attached using Technic connectors, which allow them to rotate at an angle under the vehicle.
Turning the vehicle around, a connector is fitted to the front to hold the large windscreen.
The front wheels aren’t actually constructed using wheels, but using the build shown in the top left. The large Black and Trans Light Blue dishes provide the aesthetics, and do a good job of rotating just like regular wheels.
Now it’s time to strap this up! The front wheels get a pair of laser cannons, although I prefer to think of them as machine guns. Whichever!
Let’s not forget about that hidden rocket launcher: we load up a couple of heat-seeking rockets, by pushing them into the spring-loaded bricks until they click into place. They can be fired very effectively by pushing down on the thin end of the rocket.
Lastly, the laser cannons are specifically connected to the rest of the vehicle using ribbed hoses. These are easy enough to connect, although I had a small issue with covering the Blue Technic pins entirely.
Roughly the same number of leftover parts in this bag, including one in the chamber (okay, it’s not actually in the chamber) for the rocket launcher.
Not you too, Lloyd
I can’t even begin to describe what happened to Gewinne!son at the hands of Lloyd.
Become an Ultra Agent
There’s an Android and iOS app for the Ultra Agents game, which you can use to immerse yourself in Ultra Agents goodness (and make a whole bunch of things explode).
The Complete Set
If you would have been happier with a generic shot of everything included in the set, you might be dead inside.
Like the minidolls said, the Interceptor (I’m calling it the Interceptor) is one sweet ride. There aren’t many sets I’ve bought purely based on the box art – as a matter of fact, apart from the Friends waves, I make a point of seeing actual photos of a set before deciding whether or not to buy them, because the box art often takes away from a set’s appeal – but when I saw this in the store, I had to have it… even if it meant going above budget.
I have no regrets about buying the set, and it was interesting to see how it was built. The Interceptor has a very obvious Tron influence, not least because of the Trans Light Blue and Stone Grey colour scheme (Black would have been too obvious) – in fact, there’s a Tron-esque bike in Hurricane Heist. Given the building style, I can make an educated guess as to who designed this set.
If we want to talk about swooshability… Let’s put it this way: I bought the set last Saturday, finished taking the photos of it on that Saturday, and have spent considerable on and off time playing with both the Interceptor and Infearno’s craft. The Interceptor is a kick-ass road vehicle, but really comes into its own as a flying machine. It clearly isn’t a vehicle for anybody but the most skilled and experienced Agents, especially if we’re going to keep up with the blazingly fast Infearno.
With regard to the minifigures, Infearno is the star of the set, looking the part of one seriously bad dude. Solomon’s pistol clearly isn’t going to be able to take him out, so we’d have to be rather creative to figure out how to capture him. Solomon Blaze is definitely a different character to what I’d imagine this set would come with, which is by no means a bad thing: you can always switch him out for someone younger and more feisty if you like.
I can’t even bring myself to talk about parts in this set, because I can’t imagine buying another one just to part out. However, for those who would, there are many parts you can use to build your own spy vehicles – though where to start can be tricky to figure out, as this is a rather specialised vehicle.
I’m really having to nitpick to find something I don’t like about this set, and the only thing I can think of is the loose connection between the surfboard and “camera” modified brick on Infearno’s craft, which comes apart a bit too easily and can ruin the fun.
Bearing everything in mind, and being as subjective as possible, I’m going to give this set 9.0/10. Let me know if you’d be interested in more Ultra Agents set reviews!