I’ve been a fan of Lego all my life, as a sci-fi and fantasy nut who likes customization, creativity, and epic battles, and, having gotten a few Lego ornaments for last Christmas, I’ve been receiving the company catalogue in the mail. One particular section in the last edition caught my eye: The pages on an apparent new line of sets called Ultra Agents, which looks like a sci-fi/superhero-themed world where highly skilled but otherwise mundane secret agents battle loony supervillains with incredible powers and an overarching theme of natural disasters. In other words, it’s all a fusion of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. from the current film universe and TV series and Batman’s Arkham rogues gallery (people like Mr. Freeze and Poison Ivy). Any original property that plays around with superhero and comic book tropes is cool, so I decided to give the individual sets a closer look.
70160 – Riverside Raid
This is the smallest and least expensive set in this line. There’s not a whole lot to it – not very many accessories to use beyond the vehicle and two minifigures it entails – but the basic action you get from it can play out in quite a few different scenarios. The heroic Ultra Agent on the case is Max Burns (who looks for all the world like Conan O’Brien – and you will notice a pattern with the heroes’ names) and his antagonist is scarred, poison-themed super-goon Adam Acid (there is also a pattern with the villains’ names in that they are all awesome). The main action gimmick with these sets appears to be a kind of plastic projectile launcher that fires a standard kind of Lego piece (the round studs), and Max’s ATV-winch-thing has two of them that he and Adam can duel with. Adam himself has a regular, nonfiring Lego pistol and two crates of “toxins,” and the vehicle’s cockpit can detach and become a jet ski that it can drag behind it on its winch. While the said vehicle is pretty bland looking, I do like the various points of movement and play features it has.
70161 – Tremor Track Infiltration
I hesitate to describe anything about this set’s scenario as an “infiltration,” considering the villain of the piece is the sweet-looking silver armored cyborg Tremor, who has huge steel hands, and he rides his Tremor Tank, which… also has huge hands. It’s a punchtank rather than a shoottank and I think that’s the best thing ever. Seriously, the gimmick for the tank – the crank-operated rotating punching fists – hits my childlike awe button so hard. The flick missiles it also comes with are just gravy. The hero here is Jack Fury, who comes equipped with a stud shooter as well as an inexplicable shield, and who is trying to protect yet another MacGuffin (a computer mainframe) from being stolen. By the guy in the punchtank. Seriously, this vehicle has so much personality, it might be one of my favorite Lego sets of my lifetime.
70162 – Infearno Interception
Gray-haired Ultra veteran Solomon Blaze faces off against the best-designed and best-named minifigure of all time: INFEARNO. The fire supervillain has a flying skateboard and flamethrower arms and throws dynamite and just looks like he’s having the time of his life. Meanwhile, Solomon comes in his Batmobile-esque transforming car, whose enormous front wheels give it a more unique look than the Riverside Raid ATV. Honestly, I like the villains much, much better than the heroes at this point. The car-with-folding-chassis gimmick is at least cool on paper, and I’m sure the hovercraft mode is fun to play with, but even the James Bond-esque superspies are looking bland next to these crazy charismatic bad guys.