Lego has a lot to offer kids and grown-ups in the put-stuff-together genre of toys. Kits, models, playsets, and even interchangeable minifig parts have wide appeal. For kids who like playing with things like action figures, however, there is a relatively new toy available: The Lego Hero Recon Team.
The Lego Hero Recon Team is a part of Lego presented by Lego Design byME. It is an interesting toy that you special order, custom designed to your specifications. To get your own Hero, visit the website and design your own. (See Kathy’s son’s GeekTeen review from last May.) Start with the basic skeleton and add body armor, a helmet, tools, cladding, and accessories. There are 35 different elements that can be added, though you can add as many or as few as you like, though a few of the element locations seem to need to be filled to allow you to move to the next design stage. As elements are chosen, they appear on the virtual model of your Hero, so you can see your design progress.
Once you have the final look you are going for, you save your Hero with a secret codename chosen from three drop down boxes. You can then send him to your cart for ordering, or you can change his stats and skills. Then you can purchase your creation, starting at $12.99 depending on accessories.
From the Lego press release:
Help Lego Hero Factory defeat the galaxy’s worst villains and monsters by designing and building your own Hero to join a new secret unit, Hero Recon Team.
You can build a Hero with the Lego online creator choosing between a wide range of armor, weapons and facemasks from the Lego Hero Factory range. Once you are happy with the result you can give it a cool name and use it in an online game, Lego Comic Builder, or upload it to a gallery to show your friends.
But what makes Hero Recon Team really special is that you can buy the Hero you design and join the team as a Hero Recon Agent. Buying your Hero means you can give it Hero stats and skills, and get the exclusive Hero Recon Agents silver and black chest plate. Your Hero will be delivered in a cool box you design and containing a customized building guide, a Hero Recon Agent sticker and a special unlock code for the online game.
More advanced builders can use the Lego Digital Designer to build a Hero and combine it with thousands of other Lego elements.
To check out the Lego Hero Recon product, Lego sent me a basic body skeleton and a selection of random body pieces, including body panels, tools, helmets, feet, and more, in a variety of colors. Some were easy to figure out where they went, such as the helmets and breast plates, but some took some trial and error to properly place. In the end, I handed the set to my ten year old daughter and seven year old son to figure out. Which they did. They made some interesting creations on their own. (Note: If you were to order this yourself, you would have designed and chosen the components yourself, and thus wouldn’t have any trouble knowing where they were supposed to go.)
We discovered a few things playing around with the Hero Recon set. The body skeleton itself can also come apart, so you can remove the arms and legs. They are all ball and socket joints, so you can position your Hero any way you like. (My daughter was partial to ballet poses. Hilarity ensued.) Also, there exist connector pieces to attach things to your Hero that don’t snap on normally.
Both of my kids liked playing with the Lego Hero Recon figure. My daughter thinks the face/helmet combinations look like Iron Man. She also said, “I think if you liked action figures that this would be the best action figure. You can move its body and you can dress it.”
My son didn’t feel required to put the pieces on in the generally accepted way. Upside down, in the wrong place, etc., was how he preferred to do it. More hilarity ensued.
The Lego Hero Recon Team figures are recommended for ages 7 and up. The price starts at $12.99 in the Lego store, depending on how many elements you include in your Hero. Be sure to start at the Lego Hero Recon Team website to create your own figure. They are a great toy for both boys and girls who like to pose, dress, or play with figures. The website also allows kids to play the Hero Factory game with their own hero, as well as create a Hero Factory story in the Hero Comic builder.
Note: I received a basic Lego Hero Recon figure with a collection of accessories for the purpose of this review.