Okay, to tell the truth, leaked images have been on the web for a bit now, but I held off on posting those here since they were clearly marked as confidential. Some of the 2012 City sets are already available, and Warren Elsmore picked up set 4440 at an official LEGO store by Washington DC (I don't know if he meant the Tysons Corner store or the Potomac Mills store). That set is exciting enough, as it has some really interesting new elements, but the relevance to this blog is that the instructions include images advertising the January release of the DC minifig sets. So, with no further delay, let's take a look. 6858 Batman vs. Catwoman and 6863 Batman vs. the Joker at $12 and $30 (US, according to the previously released information on Barnes and Noble). The first is pretty much a rehash of set 7779 from the original Batman theme. It's a cheap way to get the Batman and Catwoman figs, but other than that there's nothing special here. 6863, again, pretty much reprises the older set 7782. There's a better Joker fig, to be sure, but otherwise I'm disappointed that they didn't really improve on the Batwing design.
6862 Superman vs. Lex Luthor at $20. Now THIS is by far the most exciting thing in the line (assuming you already have some of the Batman sets from the previous line). You get three key new figs, including Wonder Woman (I was wondering where she was going to fit in) at a pretty cheap price. Lex Luthor's mecha seems pretty okay, though I'm sure any AFOL worth the bricks could easily improve on the design. I know that this is supposed to be Lex's warsuit, but my kids have been watching Megamind lately, so I just keep thinking of that big mech.
6864 Batman vs. Two Face at $50. Again, pretty much a rehash of 7781, just $20 more expensive. I'll want to see a better picture, but it looks as if the Batmobile is even a pretty similar design, which is fairly lazy of LEGO given how many different versions of the world's coolest car we've seen from different Batman comics, movies and TV shows.
6860 the Batcave at $70. I've previously looked at this. While we had a Batcave, at least this new one is not a complete copy in the way that the Catwoman, Joker and Two-Face sets are. This is more compact (and cheaper), with a couple of different play elements, and different villains (though this raises the question of the absence of the Penguin in this initial run of sets).
So, that's the first run of minifig sets. I have to say I'm underwhelmed. I know, most kids don't already have the full run of sets from 2006, but couldn't LEGO have reimagined them at least a little bit? Yes, I recognize that if you're going to commit to having a Batman-heavy line, you then pretty much have to have many of the same villains and you're pretty much required to have a Batmobile, Batwing and Batcave. That said, though, we've seen so many different iterations of these in different Batman media outlets that they could have come up with very different looking sets, or even mixed up the villains. E.g. why not have Batman chasing the Joker in the car set and Two Face in the plane set, or whatever? As noted above, the most exciting set for me (again, going on the assumption that you already have at least a couple of the Batman sets from before) is the Superman/Luthor/Wonder Woman set, as this has three completely new characters, and the mecha is at least a fun idea. BTW, no Green Lantern? I assume that he's not just a ComicCon giveaway and we'll see him in the next run of sets. I also assume that the next run of sets will again be Batman-centric, as in one of the early articles mentioned that LEGO would release sets in conjunction with the next Batman movie, so at least we'll probably get a different version of the Batmobile. Oh, here's a close-up shot of the mecha in the overall view of the page from the 4440 instructions. So, what do you guys think of the new line?