If you haven’t already, you need to go watch Black Panther. It more than reigns supreme as one of the best Marvel movies ever made, which is quite the feat given that there’s a whole decade of films to choose from.
Ryan Coogler (who also directed Creed, another favourite of mine) has done what most directors fail to do, craft a rich, character-driven narrative that doesn’t rely on huge CGI-laden set pieces to deliver a poignant cinematic experience.
The star-studded ensemble cast also acted out of their minds, making their mark on the movie that actually succeeds in making you care for the characters.
Go watch it, it’s arguably one of the best blockbusters released in recent history. And yes, we get a great villain in Killmonger, something that’s a bit of a kryptonite for Marvel movies.
To accompany Black Panther, LEGO has released 2 small sets featuring scenes and characters from the movie and I’ve opted to review the smaller set from the movie, 76099 Rhino Face-off by The Mine.
Slight spoilers in the review as I’ll compare the accuracy of the set to what was actually depicted in the movie.
Name: Rhino Face-off By The Mine
Set Number: 76099
Price: AU$39.99 | US$19.99 | £44.99 (Buy from LEGO.com [AUS] [USA] [UK] [Amazon])
Exclusive to: N/A
Theme: Marvel – Black Panther
Firstly, the name of this set is so incredibly clunky and literal. It’s literally a straightforward description of what the set contains as it has a Rhino (check) and parts of a Mine (check) and there’s some sort of Face-Off between Black Panther and Killmonger. Check.
Like all small to mid-sized Marvel sets, the minifigures are often the star attractions. 76099 Rhino Face-off by the Mine includes 3 major characters from the movie, Okoye, Black Panther and Killmonger.
Great line-up, no fluff and 3 exclusive minifigures, which is I like to see from a fairly expensive small licensed set.
First up, we have Okoye, T’Challa’s personal bodyguard and general of the Dora Milaje, an elite force of female warriors that was one of the surprising highlights of the movie. Okoye was all sorts of bad-ass in the movie, and her presence commanded the screen in every scene she was in.
The minifigure however, is fairly disappointing. She has her trademark silver vibranium spear, but the design of the minifigure leaves much to be desired.
She has orange armour, with leather straps and a gold necklace, but after watching the movie, I was let down that the minifigure doesn’t quite look like her on-screen counterpart.
For starters, there’s not enough gold accessories, such as her bracers and shoulderpads, which feature prominently as part of her costume.
The leather flap which runs down her chest ends abruptly when it hits her (blank) legs, but the most glaring design flaw are her arms, which should’ve been red.
One of my favourite things about Black Panther was the mesmerising costume design, most notably with the Dora Milaje and Okoye. When compared to the on-screen version, the Okoyo minifigure just feels lazy and unfinished.
It could’ve been dramatically improved with red arms, complete with arm printing and printed legs. Nitpicking here, but I’d also have loved some print on her face/head.
I didn’t expect to be so disappointed by the Okoye minifigure, but that just illustrates how great her character was in the movie.
On to the protagonist and antagonist of the movie, we have T’Challa, the Black Panther and his adversary and usurper of the Wakandan throne, Killmonger. Both are decked out in Black Panther suits, with some slight colour differences. .
T’Challa is outfitted in his new suit, which gives off heavy Tron vibes thanks to the reflective blue highlights across his body and face. In the movie, we learn that his sister Shuri upgrades his suit to absorb (and reflect) kinetic energy – visually, it gets charged up and lights up before the energy is discharged like a sonic boom.
Killmonger, who arrives in Wakanda to seek out revenge and to challenge for the throne also has a similar suit with the same abilities, but his has a gold colour scheme which looks wicked regal.
Both minifigures look great, with plenty of sharp prints across their faces and torsos.
Like Okoye, I was equally disappointed with the Black Panther minifigure after watching the movie as his suit glows purple, and not blue!
I’m not sure if LEGO were supplied really old concept art prior to production, but this seems like a MASSIVE oversight by both LEGO and Marvel.
Don’t get me wrong, the suit with reflective blue highlights look dope, but it’s just not the purple that was such a prominent visual cue in the movie.
Like Okoye, it also felt like the designers were lazy with this version of Black Panther. If you compare 2018’s version to the debut minifigure from 2016, you’ll notice that the headpiece with ears doesn’t even have printing, making it look a bit more like a hat than a seamless part of the mask.
Not having arm and leg printing in this run is also a massive wasted opportunity. I don’t know, but having his own movie more than makes the case for a Black Panther minifigure done right.
The fact that a 2018 minifigure comes across as being less detailed than a 2016 one just reeks of corners being cut. The lack of purple highlights also doesn’t exactly help things.
Thankfully, Killmonger looks more or less accurate and isn’t too shabby.
The main build of the set is the Vibranium armoured Rhino, which were pretty bad-ass in the movie. These hulking beasts with vibranium armour plating participated in the climactic final battle and it was great seeing the Rhinos pummel and bulldoze everything in their path.
The LEGO build is fairly faithful and captures the shape of the Rhino well, which is a big achievement as it’s almost entirely brick-built except for the legs.
Sporting grey and dark grey plates with stickers, the Rhino really does look chunky and intimidating.
Here’s a look at the Rhino from the side. For once, the stickers actually don’t look too bad and fit the overall design well.
There’s a seat on the Rhino’s back with handlebars for the minifigure to grab ahold of. Oh and what’s with the stud shooters? Those were definitely not in the movie at all, and just look bizarre on the Rhino.
LEGO, you do not need to shoe-horn stud-shooters into every set. Please, stop.
From behind, you can see that the Rhino has a cute little vibranium tail-guard.
The head is highly detailed and is masterfully designed. Building the rhino was also interesting with some pretty cool techniques thrown in for good measure, although the build got a little repetitive halfway.
The Rhinos legs are fully articulated, which allows you to pose him in a variety of positions.
Here’s a photo of the Rhino charging down the field.
Last but not least is a small section of the mine, which includes a track, and a small futuristic mining cart.
The mining cart travels on the track fairly well, but it’s not as smooth and frictionless as I’d like. As you approach the right end, you can tip down the lever, to throw the mining cart off-balance and send it tumbling. It’s not the most exciting play feature.
I do like the mix of transparent and dark blue elements, which represent vibranium nodes. The mining cart also contains 3x trans-blue 2×1 plates which are meant to be mined vibranium.
While it may not be the most ground-breaking model, the scene is a fairly accurate representation of the mines in the movie, where the final battle between T’Challa and Killmonger takes place – I really appreciate it when I can closely re-enact scenes from the movie in LEGO form.
What I liked:
- No filler minifigures
- The Rhino is a fun build and looks awesome while being very playable
What I didn’t like:
- Poor minifigures with lazy, unfinished designs.
- Black Panther’s suit not being purple
Final thoughts: I really didn’t enjoy this set, and expected a bit more from an AU$39.99/US$19.99 set that’s meant to be a tie-in with one of the biggest movies this year.
The builds are fairly average and there’s nothing really outstanding here. The Rhino is decent, but it’s not the kind of model that makes you rush out to the shops to get it and the mine portion is limited at best.
Which brings us to the minifigures, which feel extremely lazy. They don’t feel like contemporary minifigures due to the sore lack of arm and leg prints, but the nail in the coffin is all the small details that visually set them apart from their on-screen counterparts. And not in a good way.
For a licensed LEGO set, that’s a huge, huge misstep and I can’t help but feel disappointed with this entire set.
This is a set that’s definitely aimed at younger builders, who will appreciate all the small little play features and the posable Rhino, which is plenty of fun, but for adult LEGO fans, it leaves a lot more to be desired.
Apart from the Rhino, it has almost zero display value and in scenarios like these, you can usually rely on the minifigures to make up for the models, but Okoye and Black Panther are a let-down for fans who yearn for movie-accurate minifigures and LEGO sets.
I can tolerate small differences, but a huge dealbreaker for me is when minifigures lack some of the major visual and design cues that make the on-screen versions stand out.
The costume design and art department did such an amazing job on Black Panther, and it’s just sad that they didn’t translate the aesthetics well enough to the LEGO minifigs.
I cannot recommend this set at all, unless you’re a massive hardcore LEGO Marvel fan, and even then you’re probably better off waiting for a massive discount or buying the minifigs off Bricklink.
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Good review! Kinda agree this set sucks. T’challa would have been so much better with purple or printing on his head piece and the set is pretty meh. Wish they had included the light’s on either side of the track that were in that scene.
Glad I don’t want this set!
Saw Black Panther opening weekend (more by coincidence than dying desire to see the film) and I wasn’t that impressed. Yeah, some parts were good, others were way too predictable and some scenes were too long (lexus car chase – hay, that sounds like an idea for a set) but overall my biggest struggle was the whole idea of Wakanda. But it did provide good entertainment so it gets a 3/5
I think LEGO and their team were working on early concept art, hence the missing lights, but yeah, the printing (or lack of) on Black Panther is just disappointing. Can’t believe they even left out printing on the ears.
The Lexus car chase was just an extended product placement scene, haha.
Pablo Gorgonzola says
I think 1/5 is a bit harsh for this set. The mini figures aren’t that terrible and the Rhino build is a nice break from the usual car or plane vehicle. But this set is still really disappointing compared to what LEGO can do with these small sets, like the Ant Man Final Battle set.
In an age where the price of LEGO is going up, that only means more scrutiny on sets. Unless you’ve got a whole lot of disposable income, it’s quite unrealistic to buy every LEGO set out there, hence why I’m a little more critical in my reviews compared to other LEGO blogs/sites that just say that every set is “great”.
As I explained to Vaderfan, here’s my justification for the score:
3/5 if all minifigs are accurate.
2/5 if they got either black panther/okoye right.
1/5 for not getting both right.
The Ant-Man set comparison is good and should set the bar for sets at this price-point instead of being an exception to the rule. Other examples are the Ghost Rider set, and even the Green Lantern Sinestro set.
Hope that clarifies my view!
Wow, what? 1/5 is really really harsh. Yes the minifigures are flawed (especially the lack of leg/cap printing) but they’re still okay, and the rhino build is pretty cool.
3/5 if all minifigs are accurate.
2/5 if they got either black panther/okoye right.
1/5 for not getting both right.
The rhino looks pretty awesome and it’s mainly brick-built? I love it! And a rhino itself is pretty unique – not another car or helicopter..
About the minifigs, I myself would care less of the movie accuracy but l understand the frustration. Hard to imagine that Lego would paint the torso blue when they know it’s purple. It looks to me a timing issue – they get the plans well before and during movie production they make changes of which Lego is not aware of.
My issue with the minifigs that they are pretty boring. No leg painting, no intersting accessories.
Jay: it’s good to see you posting frequently. You write great articles!
Yeah, the Rhino at least a small redeeming factor in the set. That’s probably what happened – LEGO often receives concept art/sketches years before the movie even goes into production. My guess is that BP was originally planned to be blue, but because the effect was entirely CGI, it was changed during post-production to better fit the aesthetics of Wakanda.
It’s unfortunate, but still, a little frustrating as a fan who likes some degree of movie-accuracy.
You’re also right about minifig printing. It seems like LEGO has gone backwards in terms of minifig prints. There’s hardly any arm or leg prints in 2018, which is a little concerning.
Also, thanks! I enjoy what I do, so it’s good to have some extra time back to start writing and reviewing more 🙂
Raspberry Milkshake says
Eh, I though both the movie and this set where OK, but not great.
Fair enough! I do think the movie is oh-so-slightly overrated, but I felt like it was a really solid movie. And I’m a big fan of Coogler’s filmography.
No doubt it’s a good movie as Marvel rarely disappoints, but I really hate the political squabbling by both sides on what’s just a comic book movie.
Welcome to the internet in 2018! Just ignore all the noise. Outrage is the currency of the internet, and drives clicks, and that’s why people are trying to pit two sides against each other.
I just want my INFINITY WAR! Coming April 27th!!
Ian Hazlehurst says
Yes I agree the Okoye mini figure is not very good, so many features missing, the Red arms are a glaring omission!
I swapped with some dark red arms and it was an instant improvement.
Very detailed review Jay, I enjoy how you take pictures from multiple angles 🙂 Can you please do some Ninjago Movie reviews though?
I’ll try! I haven’t built all my sets :/
seeing Black Panther tomorrow so I hope it really lives up to all those comments people have been posting on social media.
but as of now, Winter Soldier was the best MCU movie to date, followed by Spider-Man Homecoming for me. in terms of well written villain IMO, it’s Vulture.
What did you think of it!
And yes, Winter Soldier is still up there are my favourite Marvel movie. GOTG 1 is next on my list, but Homecoming is definitely top 5, and yes, Vulture is the best villain in the MCU that isn’t Loki.
Hey Jay! Not related to this set at all, but… I remember in an old Ninjago book review you did, there was not really many adult Ninjago fans, and it just appealed to 8 year olds. You should try watching the newest episode of the show (I can’t remember what it’s called, I’ll check later) The show is getting more mature, and even enjoyable for adults.
Oh really? That’s interesting. I have way too many TV shows to watch, and I’ve been struggling to keep up!
Sons of Garmadon is a really strong series. Definitely do check it out! I’ve been following it…
… on YouTube. HEHE!
I am an adult Ninjago fan, but I’ve only watched the first season of the show with my niece.
That’s good to know the show gets more interesting for adults eventually.
The Possession and Skybound themes are what got me to start buying their sets, but the Ninjago Movie sets have really got me collecting almost everything in the theme, apart from the pathetically small Garmadon Mech set.
Anthony Christian says
Apart from the Rhino, this is really a nothing set.
This is a quarter built playset, and has the feel of providing the bare minimum to play with.
Yup. Plus bad minifigures. That’s a “bad LEGO set” bingo right there.
I wont be getting this one. After watching the Harry Potter Great Hall set on youtube at the New York toy fair, this is next on my list.
All other sets can wait.
Thanks for your effort. And Jay, head over to steemit.com, join up and start getting paid in cryptocurrency for your work. Look up #teamaustralia. We have some incredible people involved including Bee Lee (famous singer) who is a follower of mine. He posts exclusive content and has been documenting his work with Josh Radnor as they are in a band together now.
Check out my own Steemit space- http://www.steemit.com/@nickmorphew.
Hope to see you there!
Can’t argue with that. Harry Potter is going to steal 2018 for sure.
Thanks for the tip! Had a brief look, so it’s a bit like Reddit with a dash of blockchain?
I suppose you could say that.
Users get paid for their work which makes the difference. Upvotes are paid to both curators of content and creators themselves.
Watch a few intro videos to the platform. I’d recommend Jerry Banfield to get you off and running.
Can’t hurt to try, right? The more people we have using steemit, the stronger the user base will be and we’ll start seeing a movement away from other social media platforms that don’t reward users and contributors.
great review, as usual. I completely agree with you, very inaccurate set made by Lego.
For sure I won’t purchase it, eventually choosing the Talon set instead (in the hope that it would be pretty much accurate). Speaking of which, do you plan a future review of the other Lego set related to Black Panther movie?
I’m really care about your opinion!
Thanks! I’m waiting to get the Talon set, when it goes on a decent sale and hopefully review it too!
Really appreciate your support, it means a ton to me!
Many thanks for the reply.
I’m looking forward to read your review of Thalon set. Me too I’m going to buy this set when there will be decent sales on Amazon or on the Lego Shop.
About your reviews, they are very objective and accurate, I would say, imho, the best on the web.
I’m very lucky to have discovered your blog some years ago and I hope you will perpetutate your reviewing activity.
Ah dude, your words are too nice. Thank you and that really means a ton to me as I put in a lot of effort into ensuring that my reviews are of a certain quality. I definitely don’t intend to slow down!
Very timely review as I saw the movie yesterday, loved it, and was considering purchasing this set. I was thinking this set over the Talon fighter as I love Lego critters and was intrigued by the buildable rhino. With your review I’ll pass on it. I really like Okoye and agree with your assessment of her minifig. Also, Black Panther should totally be purple! Hopefully they do a better job with his minifig in the Infinity Wars sets.
I’m waiting on a good sale to pounce on the Talon fighter! I’m sure you’ll be able to get this set on clearance, which I think is okay.
Okoye was such a waste, given how good she was in the movie! And the non-purple Black Panther is just inexcusable. The Infinity War minifig is just him in his standard black outfit. I think it might even look the same as the one from the Talon Fighter.