Update: Pictures cannot be posted at this time. Leaked photos of the Summer sets are confidential property of The Lego Group and distributing them is a criminal offense.
- The new sets should be out in August 2011, or possibly as early as July
- The new unifying theme, replacing fire & fire-fighting, is the jungle, and possibly some "black magic"
- Front-line villains are all animal-like or insectoid, with a semi-humanoid leader behind all of them
- The ball & socket construction method has been continued
- Heroes have already lost their controversial 3-piece generic 2.0 head design, and unique masks are back. Likely the newer main head piece remains, but the visor insert part is left out and the masks cover the faces.
- The "x.0" naming convention is being extended forward and the new heroes are [name] 3.0
- Each hero has a single green armor piece. Presumably these will be able to be used to form an upgraded combiner model, Stars Tahu-style.
- 2143 Rocka 3.0 - This appears to be the new star of the show, replacing Furno in the limelight. His mask is huge and he gains a titan version, which I'll talk about in a second. In the grainy pictures he looks like he almost has a squid-shaped head, shades of Mon Calamari. He appears to have a melee weapon with two large blades and one small one for cutting through the underbrush of the jungle.
Update 1/8/2011: Rocka's mask is in the form of a giant lion head.
- 2282 Rocka XL - Could this be the first titan-sized hero in the Hero Factory series, Takanuva-style? Or does he turn to the side of evil in the storyline? In the background on his box you see hero heads on stakes! The head sure does look mean, too! The legs appear to use a modified form of the basic design used on Fire Lord (booooo).
- 2144 Nex 3.0 - Nex's head has progressed into a more swoopy design with a bit of a Bionicle Stars Gresh flavor, minus straight extensions off the back of the head. His weapon appears to be very similar to Rocka's.
Update 1/8/2011: The inspiration appears to be from a saber-toothed tiger.
- 2145 Stormer 3.0 - The Alpha Team leader is back again with a face shaped a bit like that of Vastus, inspired by the same basic shape that classic Lego medieval knight minifigures have used since the 80's. There is some articulation available in the weapon, but it's difficult to see how the weapon will work.
Update 1/8/2011: Stormer 3.0's mask appears to be a cross between a rhino and an Aztec warrior helmet.
- 2182 Bulk 3.0 - Rumors of Bulk's demise have evidently been greatly exaggerated! He's back and has an alien-looking face in the mask. He's thinner & lighter than before, contrary to his name. He uses dual weapons that are attached to his forearms.
Update 1/8/2011: Bulk's new helmet seems to mimick a stylized jackal head.
- 2183 Stringer 3.0 - Another surprising return! Stringer is back with a fairly recognizable face, but he now has more orange than ever, using a bright orange main armor piece, right arm armor spike, and weapon tines/blades.
Update 1/8/2011: His mask seems to be inspired by a black bear.
- 2191 Furno 3.0 - Presumably no longer a rookie, Furno is on the team with a single blade weapon, a new upper arm armor piece that appears to have very small wings (or are they blades?). His mask may be inspired by a falcon's head.
- 2283 Witch Doctor - This is the new main villain, who likely remotely controls & powers the others with his spikey staff. Looks like a few Ben 10 tail pieces have made it into this set.
- 2231 Waspix - Okay, I thought Jetbug looked a lot like Bitil. This guy is closer still, by far. His four hands are from the Ben 10 series.
- 2232 Raw-Jaw - A stout four-legged creature I'm really looking forward to seeing more of. I see four of the Exo-Force robot arms (same as the Maxilos fingers) used as articulated upper teeth in what looks to be an extended right front leg that doubles as a jaw. He also appears to use hero armor pieces on each of those front legs. I may be looking at the picture wrongly, but I think the head is relatively small and in the center of the image with two red upper teeth. You can see a new armor six-scaled add-on piece used here, in black, on the front legs and also the tail.
- 2233 Fangz - Another four-legged creature, this one with three spines on his back, likely poison-tipped. Three-toed large claws make a return in the silver-toed variety again, and we appear to be getting a silver-tipped version of the two-toe Zesk claw.
- 2236 Scorpio - Not Skopio, this is Scorpio, like the zodiac sign. This is quite a large set with what looks like four main legs, two shorter front legs/arms with Ben 10 claw hands, and a long articulated stinger tail with a Zamor sphere launcher that shoots what they'll probably call a "poison sphere." I hate to keep talking about Bitil, but the head on this guy looks a lot like Bitil's, at least in the design of the mandibles. This set also makes use of a handful of the six-scale armor add-on pieces, this time in bright green.
The series grows this Summer, expanding from 10 figures to 12. That's always good thing, as more unique sets means more parts choices! From the preliminary pictures I like all of the soldier-class villains, but then again, I've always been a big rahi fan. The Witch Doctor concept doesn't amuse me. It can be considered borderline offensive with connotations of negative stereotypes of pre-modern cultures. As a set, though, he looks pretty cool, a bit better thought-out and more cohesive than Fire Lord before him.
The new heroes are a bit of a mixed bag for me. I welcome the return to full masks, though I don't like those of Rocka or Furno. Bulk is my favorite so far. The overall hero bodies appear to remain the same in general design from the 2.0 series, but the use of green for the unique armor piece really bugs me. I get the general idea -- green, for jungle. However, the color clashes violently with every single character's theme.
I'm anxious to learn the story of Rocka XL. I would really be happy if he becomes a bad guy. For one thing, it's good to put twists into storylines. Secondly, he looks absolutely ugly, and I would like to see his head get crushed.
Hopefully we'll get some higher-resolution photos soon!
Thanks again to Blaziken1110 for the scoop!