Last time, I considered a new sci-fi/secret agent themed Lego line that appeared in the company’s latest catalogue. The first wave of Ultra Agents consists of six sets pitting spies against supervillains, and in the final three, the stakes get higher and the builds get bigger. So here we go:
70163 – Toxikita’s Toxic Meltdown
So in this one, the heroes and villains each get a midsize thing to build, instead of one side or the other getting the biggest part of the set. That’s pretty fair. The Ultra Agents get a “secret lab” setpiece decked out in clinical black, white, and gray, plus translucent sciencey-looking pieces. The one action feature (besides flick missiles that feel like an afterthought) is “safety claws” that a hapless scientist is using to handle a radioactive isotope represented by the ubiquitous crystal-shaped piece. Because, uh, proper lab precautions are exciting sci-fi stuff, I guess? Still, it’s nice to see at least a nod to real science. On the villainous side, our supervillain is Toxikita, a scary green-haired lady with poison powers. She actually has a clear motive for wanting to steal the nuclear material: Doomsday weapon power source. I like a woman with goals! Her vehicle is a yellow biohazard-themed helicopter with some nice details – sickly green windows and some particularly vicious-looking rotors. There are actually four minifigures here – the Ultra Agents have a backpacked and helmeted Curtis Bolt and Toxikita brings her gruesome-looking ‘20s-gangster themed minion Retox – but despite all the characters there’s not a heck of a lot to do with the vehicle and structure.
70164 – Hurricane Heist
This is the first time you really feel the Ultra Agents are really, really out of their depth. The Tremor Track Infiltration set had the balance tipped in the villain’s favor, sure; but even Tremor’s vehicle isn’t as intimidating as bad dude du jour and probable contender against Infearno for best name ever Psyclone’s demonic transforming VTOL plane. The Ultra Agents have sent Caila Phoenix on a woefully tiny motorbike and Jack Fury on a way too optimistic jetpack, and a police officer is also there to probably not do much more than lend moral support. Meanwhile, Psyclone’s outfit alone has two spinning helicopter rotors (which are actually a completely different piece than were on Toxikita’s helicopter) and his plane not only has missile launchers, articulated wing and cockpit details, and two much, much bigger rotors, it can turn into a vaguely humanoid mech walker by dropping legs from its cockpit and folding its fuselage up. So what’s Psyclone’s evil plan, you ask? He’s trying to perform a bank heist by… sucking up… all the money. Fly on, you brave, lunatic soul.
70165 – Ultra Agents HQ
On the protagonists’ side: Agents Bolt, Blaze, and Phoenix as well as resident scientist Prof. Christina Hydron, plus their mobile base in the back of a cunningly disguised tractor-trailer, a miniature ATV and a single-person miniplane, jetpacks, and a satellite. On the villains’: One, suicidally awesome, guy, a hacker named Terabyte, who has sufficient self-confidence to enter into single combat with an entire team of his enemies all while dressed like an enormous nerd. He does have a relatively small mech suit (which looks like the coolest thing about this set) which has one grabbing claw and one launcher for, uh, “hacking bombs,” which seems to indicate no one at Lego’s creative team has any idea what hacking is. Basically he is awesome and you will like him much better than the bland heroes. If I wasn’t already siding with the supervillains in this storyline I would be now.
Great sets – Tremor Track Infiltration, Hurricane Heist
Good sets – Infearno Interception, Ultra Agents HQ
Okay sets – Toxikita’s Toxic Meltdown, Riverside Raid
Poor sets – None of ‘em!