It's week five in the land that brought us ice hotels (don't forget to bring your Lovikkavantar!). With the weather bucketing down, it's a perfect excuse for me to settle in with a coffee (fika) and catch up on the latest round of LEGO Masters from Sweden! This week it's the Supervillain's Lair challenge. This appeared back in Season 1 of the Aussie series and finally makes its international debut. The premise is simple, you get picked from an oddball rouge's gallery of villains and have to create a lair for them. These lairs must have hidden secrets, traps, checkpoints and an escape route featuring a vehicle which is tested for its swoosh-ability. This is a big test for the builder's storytelling abilities as well as requiring strong technical skills. The competition is pretty fierce as nearly everyone has a win under their belt. David and Rickhard have a small advantage in that they can override their choice of villain by swapping it out.
Daniel & Joakim - Strong Adolf. A classic vintage strongman with a dumbbell. They struggled for a good hour trying to work out a concept based around the circus before shifting it into an art-deco cinema theatre. Their story featured Adolf getting his strength by using a laser beam to drain his audience's power. Some awesome gimbal mechanisms and lighting effects along with a retractable section holding his vehicle, a hot-rodded car. They lost points for ignoring Magnus's tips by keeping their build inside a big box, this made for a very limited stage in which to view the story.
Peter & Emil - Foxy Lady (Foxy Lady is Mauri's phrase of the day.) Playing strongly into the theme of a fox stealing things they had an awesome underground base where minions pop up out of the ground to send things below into a giant sprawling factory complete with conveyors converting stolen goods into venom that gets shipped out in crates. It's open-plan also clearly demonstrated the story and the setting. With a nice use of brick separators to create wings on the swooshable vehicle.
David & Rickhard - Corn Bride. Right from the start, they started building an incredible swooshable rocket using minifig heads as corn kernels as well as an elaborate microwave. But as the clock ticks down it's become clear they have sort of forgotten the story which is rushed together at the last minute. It seems to involve the Corn Bride trying to stop people eating popcorn, so she creates popcorn minions in the microwave who are then coated in chilli to become unappetizing. There is a bit of a payoff as the microwave is revealed to transform the Corn bride into a final boss by a very clever rotating platform that's activated by turning a knob as well as the door opening when the button is pressed. It's a technically incredible build that's sadly let down by uneven storytelling.
Sarah & Leonard - Sea King Underwater builds have been commented by past brickmasters as being a big risk in LEGO Masters, as it's VERY hard to convey under the sea on an above-ground model. Their story is that the Sea King is angry that his kingdom is being overfished and he seeks revenge on the fishermen. They do a decent job pulling off an underwater effect by using transparent blue panels to quickly cover the surface area. This also creates a bit of a nice water ripple effect. The King's Kingdom is nicely represented in an Atlantis style, complete with a rotating wall that hides weapons and a guitar. There is a cool action feature where a platform springs up to burst through the ocean to send a spray of water over the fishermen. The vehicle is well themed, being a giant squid, but it sort of fails the swoosh ability test as chunks break off.
Emma & Eva - Mad Scientist. He gets called Dr. Z He runs a surgery where patients are kidnapped to be sent through the machines to become an army of minions. Their vehicle is a flask. Despite a simple story, the build is noted by Magnus for being incredibly over-complicated with features that don't seem to tie into the story, like a catapult.
This was quite a challenge for the teams as the stronger emphasis on the story by using a character that had to have a backstory created and displayed really taxed their skills. It also was interesting seeing some of the more technically brilliant teams struggle with getting a story up as they burnt loads of time building remarkable models. The winning team was Sarah & Leonard taking a win with their awesome underwater build. It had a very clear story with some great technical building and excellent art direction. The bottom two were Eva and Emma and Daniel and Joakim, with the latter going home. Up next week: The Bridge Challenge returns as we enter the semi-final of LEGO Masters Sweden!
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