Cheezzzz !!!

The first series of the LEGO Batman Movie minifigures was a mix of much-loved characters coupled with freaks, geeks, and oddities from the DC universe. Series 2 continues along the same line introducing us to even more lesser known characters and super heroes. I had to utilise google on more than one occasion to find out exactly who they were. But that being said, I think folks at LEGO have excelled themselves with this series.

Before I look at each minifigure in a bit more detail I just want to explain my idea behind this review. I wanted to give the review some focus and so came up with the idea that the Joker himself would be the photographer. I would still shoot some of the minifigures in my planned portraiture style, but also shoot some behind the scenes shots of the ‘Joker’s photoshoot’. By doing this I felt it would give me scope for some comedic setups and nice composition.

Tropical Joker

The first minifigure I shot was the Joker himself. I’m a really big fan of the LEGO Batman Movie version of the Joker. I think this minifigure, clearly inspired by The Killing Joke graphic novel, is a fantastic variant.

His summer holiday outfit has some quality printing, I especially love his sandals and card suit tattoos. He also comes with some great accessories. His rubber ducky in Joker colours even has a small puncture repair patch printed on. Seeing as he comes bundled with a camera I couldn’t resist recreating The Killing Joke cover.

Mermaid Batman

You can’t have the Joker without having Batman for him to fight and what’s the perfect batsuit to wear into battle against a tropical joker? Mermaid Batman of course! Ok, I have to admit this is one of the strangest iterations of Batman I think I have ever seen!

Luckily he’s wearing a shell bra or we might have seen a return of the infamous bat nipples! Less said about that the better

Swimming Pool Batman

Nah nah nah nah nah nah Bat Pants!

There is so much to love about this version of Batman. The dolphin accessory is such a bonus and I’m sure the printed torso will come in very handy for future shoots (although I’m sure Batman had nine abs not eight!) Continue reading “Cheezzzz !!!”

Batman Rings Twice

Batman Rings Twice. Euh, Twenty Times.

When the doorbell rang twice and the postman handed me a carefully packed box with a SiP sticker on the front, I couldn’t believe my luck. I’ve followed SiP for some time but never entered a competition or a request for collaboration, so to open the box and find an entire set of minifigures, for me to photograph and review, was almost overwhelming. I was so excited I almost didn’t know where to begin; literally in this case- receiving TWENTY minifigures to review is an incredible honor but also a big responsibility.

In undertaking this task I wanted to take photos that showed the interaction between some of the key characters; I think with toy photography it’s so important for the picture to instantly tell a story and make you feel like you’re spying in. Due to weather/time of year, most of these photos are studio based, but as the year goes on and holidays take me to more exotic locations, I plan on retaking many of these pics and hope to share them with you here and on my IG feed.

Is it worth it?

So, let us begin discussing this eclectic new mix of figures. Before we look at them on an individual basis, it’s worth considering: did Batman need a second set of figures? Well, of course, it makes commercial sense with this being one of their most lucrative cash cows, but thankfully this wasn’t just a cheap cash in. Not only do they do justice to the core nucleus of Batman characters with fun and considered new personas, but they also provide a nod to some of the lesser known/appreciated members of the DC universe (I must admit, some of these figures have led me to do some research myself). This mix of new and old make this a fantastic set of minifigures and a worthy successor to the much-loved series 1.

The Beach.

Let’s dive in by joining our favourite heroes (and villain) at the beach…

Beach Time with the Family

1: Swimming Pool Batman

Arguably one of the coolest new figures builds upon one of the first series very best by putting Batman in his branded swimmers (showing off obligatory six pack) and giving him one of the most desirable accessories to date: a dolphin! This is going to make a highly desirable accessory for future LEGO photography at the beach and I’m looking forward to using it in other shots. Batman’s facial expression is one of pure joy/mischief which only adds to this minifigures appeal.

2: Tropical Joker

Did anyone say Joke(r)?

Surely this series’ most desirable figure has to be Tropical Joker. His beach wear alone makes him one of the coolest figures, but when you throw in two of LEGO’s finest accessories (the rubber ring and camera) and an ice lolly to top it all off, you’ve simply got one of the best value figures going. This is one figure and set of accessories I’ll be using again and again; definitely my favorite and with so many distinct accessories, it should reduce the amount of time needed for everyone’s favorite toy shop activity- “packet fumbling” Continue reading “Batman Rings Twice”

Miniature Adventures – Hands up if this idea has gotten drastically and financially out of control

Batman Returns

Hi Folks,

Batman here.
I have been saving the world, shipping crates to Paris and driving all the way to Hamburg for our awesome exhibitions old and new. Time for Batman to return to the blog and pic up (pun intended) where I left off.
Batman Returns.

The Epic Batman Flu

The first dip of the year. With Bat’h Duck of course and an epic Batman Flu.

Fighting the epic flu at the same time (don’t take a dip in the ice-cold arctic without proper gear, even if Albert or the Joker tells you it is all honkiedonkie OK) and be super busy in what normal muggles call life.
From teaching numbers to saving squirrels.
Normally this would just have been yet another day in the life of Batman, was it not for Albert visiting Miss Pepper Potts, and leaving me to do all the hard work and chores altogether.
Having no-one to keep track of all my ducks.
Ouch.  #lookingforabutlerwithfrenchreferences

Awesome Batman Photographers.

We have shipped our two full sets to two amazing photographers in January and we already received their amazing work back.
The delay is all mine (or should I say, Albert?).
Our little press pigeons are getting the reviews ready as we speak and we are about to hit publish in the next few hours, so keep an eye on the blog as we are posting the amazing work of Adam and Dimitri here for you to enjoy.

Here is already a sneak peak of all the awesomeness coming to a theatre near you in the next 48 hours (yes, do expect a Batman overload here on the blog).

Is Dimitri throwing a Batman Party?
Are we running out of Adam Time?

And it just not stops there.
We got some awesome great news from TLG in the meantime (geez guys, times flies when having the epic Batman flu) and we will be shipping some epic new Minifigs to some of our other CCRM reviewers in the next few days for more epic toy photography.

Batman is back.

But first, it is Batman time.
With Adam and Dimitri.
Here on the blog.

And remember.
Always be Batman.
Except when battling the epic Batman flu, then always be yourself.

Happy to be back.

Hugs and Kisses,

Always be yourself. Unless you can be me. Then always be Batman.

Happy Birthday, Batman !

Looking at ourselves through another person’s eyes is a great way to find out who we really are.

And sometimes: we’re Batman.

I got rid of my document scanner long ago and instead use my camera when I need to digitize something off paper. Just rig it facing down from a tripod and photograph the document. I did that a few nights ago and having that setup plus I recently got a new Batman minifigure, I was inspired to recreate one of my favorite shots from the first Tim Burton Batman movie— Continue reading “Happy Birthday, Batman !”

The Fab 5

Mike Stimpson’s five was a fun and interesting piece a while ago, we decided to steal the idea from him and post our own. Shelly did hers just yesterday and that was a swell group of pretty items. I’m not going to shy away from this challenge and took a moment to think this through too. Here’s my fab 5 not in any particular order.

#1 Indiana Jones
The man with the hat. Indiana Jones is a nice figure to shoot from time to time, I like it a lot. But, as it happens, my favourite Indy is not necessarily any of the official Indys, my favourite is a custom one. Mark Holden, a.k.a. Smokebelch, once posted a very nice photograph of his Well of Souls Indy custom and I loved it. I bought the necessary bits from Bricklink and made my own.

This indy should have had a set of it’s own in the Indiana Jones LEGO line. Imagine, the tent with Marion Ravenwood and René Belloq (maybe even Toht to boot), or a Well of Souls set with Sallah and the miniature of Tanis. Classic stuff! Perhaps there is still hope if the Indiana Jones franchise gets a reboot under Disney’s regime.

I haven’t photographed this one much but I think it’s very cool.

The Well of Souls Indiana Jones custom minifigure on the left. I think it’s pretty marvelous. I like to keep these two Indys with me on travels just in case. I usually don’t even shoot them but I know I’ll regret if I leave them at home.

#2 Snowtrooper
When thinking about my favourites, there is no way around the snowtrooper, probably the most common minifigure in my photostream. The snowtrooper has no spinning head, only arms and legs move, I like the challenge the limited range of movement brings to photographing it. There is also no expression on it’s face, the featureless helmet just has black eye slits with no pupils in sight. To me that is very amusing, there is something that reminds me of Buster Keaton’s comedic quality.

White also looks great on white.

The snowtrooper in my very first snow photograph (that didn’t even work).

#3 Batman
This is a new contender in my selection of items to shoot. I have had the Bats with me on a trip abroad a couple of times now, first was the trip to Seattle earlier this year, and I’ve grown to like it a lot. Especially the one with the Keaton batsuit. I have not photographed it with a DSLR once, only with point-and-shooters that are easy to carry around in pockets, but still, it works for me.

Batman checking the sights in Rome, Italy.

#4 Ewok
I like minifigures with sculpted heads, Greedo, Leia as Boushh and Max Rebo for example, they are very interesting to photograph, but my favourite of this lot is the ewok. Even though the ewok minifigure has only four points of movement, the face sculpt makes all the difference, there is as much soul in the ewok minifigure as a plastic figure can possibly have.

I originally struggled with photographing these but I really like them now.

An ewok minifigure closeup. Took me a while to figure out how to shoot these guys.

One more, huh? This was not that easy after all. I find I do not have favourites that much. I like minifigures in general, I photograph them according to my ideas, not necessarily because of I like any of them in particular. So, as a final favourite I include one simply because it surprised me when I photographed it.

#5 The Teddy
The little teddy bear from collectible series 6 sleepyhead minifigure. Granted, this is technically not a minifigure at all, but I don’t care, I’ll choose it as my #5.  I have used the little teddy as an extra in some photographs (one with Indiana Jones) and I think it’s the cutest thing. I shot a portrait of it a while ago and I was very happy with how it turned out.

Teddy bear LEGO minifigure accessory, is that cute or what?


Full time illustrator, part time photographer. As such, I created blizzards with Star Wars Lego and had an influence on how The Lego Movie looks like.

Confessions of an AFOL – Part 2

Now that I have confessed my feelings about the new licensed Lego themes, let’s take a look at the old ones, shall we?

Let’s start with Star Wars. Now we all know how great the films are and how revolutionary they were, especially the first three. I watched them for the first time in 2003 and I liked them but never had the opportunity or the desire to watch them again. But that doesn’t mean I don’t know everything about the films including memorizing the music and all the characters; I just played the Lego Star Wars video games instead. I played them on multiple platforms: PC, PSP, Mac or whatever I had whenever I could. Now I am the proud owner of four Yodas, three Han Solos and three Luke Skywalkers!

Other licensed themes I have enjoyed more through video games rather than the original movies include: Indiana Jones, Batman, and Harry Potter. I love the backgrounds and how they recreate the entire film using Lego. I am often sad when the game ends and can’t wait until the next one comes out.

If it is a movie I thought was ok, like Harry Potter, the games give me a chance to rediscover the movie in a different way. If it is a movie I already love it gives me such a joy to see all my favorite characters come to life once again in Lego form. The best examples of this are the Pirates of the Caribbean and the Lord of the Rings video games. I had enjoyed the movies and seen them several times, but when characters actually talked in the game, rather than gibberish, this made it possible to make jokes as well as re-live those films over and over again!

Now the newer games (Batman 2, Marvel, the Hobbit) have all gotten better and funnier because of all the speech included. So I have enjoyed the games for the games they are, even though the sole reason I played them originally was because of Lego.

So where does this lead us?

Lego video games helped me be interested in the films and I watched them again. As I watched, I thought about how certain scenes were integrated into the films. As I played, I learned more about the characters and liked them even more, which resulted in me wanting to get the mini figures (or the sets). If anyone told me that I would get an AT-AT set, the first thing I’d say (before playing the game) would have been “What’s an AT-AT?” Now it’s a bit different, to say the least.

Maybe this is marketing at its best: watch, play, get the set, play more, watch more, like more. It seems to be working well for the producers and the fans alike. After all, who wouldn’t want a Jack Sparrow she can carry with her all the time?

Maybe Lego needs to take a page from it’s own book and think about how they can cross promote these new licensed sets so I will become as big of a fan of Scooby Doo and The Simpsons as I am of Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings and Pirates of the Caribbean. Although I can’t promise this about Simpsons… oh well, we’ll see!


jack sparrow