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Review: 7627 Indiana Jones - Temple of the Crystal Skull

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7627title.jpg

Set: 7627 - Indiana Jones - Temple of the Crystal Skull

Pieces: 929

Price: $AUD149.99

Out of all the Indy 4 sets, this one seems to cop the most flak - which may account for the fact that the other 3 were reviewed weeks ago and this one has sat, unloved and alone, waiting for someone to turn their eye upon it (or, y'know, buy it). Luckily I'm a sucker for spooky old temples, filled with devilish traps and hidden treasures, hissing fountains and overgrown foliage, creepy skeletons and crumbling stonework, so here it is: Indiana Jones 7627, Temple of the Crystal Skull.

Part 1: The Figs

First off, the figs - 6 humans and 4 skellies (or should that be skullies? :classic: )

Indy, Mutt, Irina, and that sneery Russian guy that's in the 2 smaller sets. Nothing new here.

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Aha! What have we here - two natives. I wonder if hair is a sign of power in this culture, since one guy is completely bald and the other one has the most extraordinarily luxurious black mullet. Somehow I doubt the movie will answer this question.

figsnativesfront.jpg

Back view - as you can see, the scalp tattoos are also popular in this tribe. Fashion conscious! (Note in the background the paws of the fearsome black jungle panther, ie my cat, curious as to see what the tribe was up to.) Also, don't ask me why these guys are carrying axes rather than, say, spears.

figsnativesback.jpg

And what everyone's been waiting for, the skullies - three of 'em and a conquistador skellie - very cute. Note the backs of the crystal head have a plume-sized hole - or maybe that's just where they injected the blue brain-plastic. Spooky! I love these skulls, I wasn't sold from the initial pics but they have a very creepy smile and the head shape is just... weird. With the large eyes, it's kind of Homer Simpson-esque.

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figsskullsback.jpg

And here we have the token vehicle in the set - a weird little tank thing with treads. Kind of looks like a cross between the amphibious boat and a mini-tank. I'm sure there's a military expert around here who can tell us exactly what it is supposed to be. The treads are nice, but the rest of it is a bit thrown together. You can tell they wanted to keep the dark green colour scheme but the budget only allowed them 5 parts to do so :tongue: .

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All in all, a mixed bag with the figs. 4 repeats from the cheaper sets which means we have one new native figure and the crystal skullies. There are heaps of the old-skool skele heads scattered around the sets so those that prefer can replace the skullies with ordinary skellies. Bizarrely, the top of the box which has the line of 1:1 figs pic (you know what I mean) doesn't have names for any of the characters, whereas all the smaller sets do.

Part 2: Box, Parts

Front of box:

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Back of box:

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Two instruction books:

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Parts. This set has come under criticism for being overpriced - myself included - but the official piece count is 900 plus, which is pretty good considering it also contains the baseplate. 6 big bags and 2 of those 12x12 bricks in dark tan. (Note: set does not contain live Black Jungle Panther)

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The DSS, helpfully comes pre-scrunched thanks to TLC. Even in a $AUD150 set they can't get that right... sigh.

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The dark tan baseplate. Say what you like, I'm in love. I know some people don't like these, but they were such a staple of Castle/ Pirates for so many years that I don't consider them a <insert that tiresome argument> piece at all. This one, recycled from the 05 Police HQ and 06 Hospital, is much better in design than the King Leo's Castle one as the different heights and asymmetry make it look much more like a natural piece of ground. Perfect for MOCs. And it's dark tan - how could anyone not love such a huge slab of dark tan? :wub: Note this love doesn't extend to applying the stonework stickers which are, frankly, crap.

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Random instructions page:

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Part 3: Temple of Doom - or just a doomed temple?

The complete set, front view.

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Isometricish view:

frontangledview.jpg

Back view:

backview.jpg

Top view:

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First impressions? It's very dark tan, isn't it? And green. And bright green. And dark green. And dark red. And normal tan. And dark bley. And pearl gold! In fact, it's a bit of a mish-mash of colours. I'm of two minds about this. I kind of prefer the palette to be a bit subtler, but I can see that a playset designed for kids isn't going to sell bucketloads all tastefully done in shades of tan with lashings of dark-green foliage. There's a huge amount of dark red in this set, which is always a welcome colour, but I'm not convinced it quite works with the 2 shades of tan on offer here. On the plus side, there's also a huge amount of dark tan in ordinary 2x2 bricks, tiles, plates and 1x1 and 1x2x3 slopes, which is great for anyone wanting to stock up.

Let's take a closer look. I'll do this roughly in order of the build itself:

a) The big scary face.

This is a simple, fun build and very effective at projecting menace at the temple entrance. It actually detaches very easily from the temple (as pictured on the box art) to allow easier access to the inside. The eyes are flick-fire missiles, with Scary Face's hair conveniently providing ammo refills should you run out. All in all, :thumbup: from me.

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(b) The Back

Spin the skelly head and stone steps appear - we haven't seen this feature in a while. Nice to get these pieces in dark bley.

A conquistador hides under the stairs - this is a bit useless as the stairs can't fully extend while he's there :sceptic:.

conquistadorunderstairs.jpg

Moving right... a trapdoor - what could possibly be behind it??!!??!!?

trapdoorclosed.jpg

Answer: not much, really. A little red stair. I really like these 2 stickers though - very intricate.

trapdoor.jpg

The staircase leads to what I like to think of as the Crystal Skull Transmogrification Chamber. Now, I know nothing about the movie except that it's supposed to be have a kind of 50s B-movie plot rumoured to feature (look away, spoiler-haters)..... aliens. These weird, creepy gold chairs look made from the bones of aliens if you ask me, with their strange vertebrae and silver claws. It wouldn't surprise me if bringing these aliens back to life was part of the plot of the movie... hence the crystal skull? I guess we'll find out May 22. In any case, transforming aliens clearly like a disco whirl as when you pull the handle, the whole of this assembly spins giddily around. A very clever and simple trick - it's basically just a wheel under the platform but the effect is great. Also under here is a bottomless pit (stickered)... I would very much expect a villian to be thrown down it at some point.

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"So, do you come here often?"

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"I don't know who designed this club. These chairs are REALLY uncomfortable."

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NB. I am really, really over those pearl gold 1x2 roof corner slopes which started popping up in the 2006 Castle range, infected Exo-Force and have now spread here. Can we please have these in a different colour? Or a different pearl gold piece? Pretty please?

( c) Left tower (looking from the front)

A small tower with a trans clear gem.

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(d) Right tower

Waterfall with booby trap. I like the sticker, it's very cartoony, which fits with the set somehow. When you turn the wheel, flick fire missiles spray out and hit whoever is on the stairs.

backleft.jpg

Both towers have a trap where if you move the skull, another one pops out from the dragon mouth.

backleftskullrelease.jpg

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(e) Central turret thing

This thing is kind of annoying and doesn't really sit or work well. It's kind of like a laser beam sending messages to space, I guess. As the central dome rises, the two plates peel away. I find it is a little bit tight to work smoothly and the two plates doesn't really sit well together at the top. Maybe I just need to rebuild it. I'm sure this will also be explained in the movie.

centralturretclosed.jpg

centralturretopen.jpg

(f) Final trap - the stair that isn't there

The final trap is at the front - as Indy goes down the staircase, you can push the red heads and all the 1x8 bley bricks come tumbling down. Simple and works well.

staircase.jpg

(g) Alternate view

Here's how it looks as pictured on the box with the head removed. As you can see, this allows better access to the centre of the temple. As you can see, sadly there is nothing actually interesting there except a staircase to the turret and 2 dark tan slopes which are just stuck there and look a little out of place. I mean, come on, everything else has a splash of dark red and gold!

bigheadremovedfront.jpg

Your Destination: Nowhere!

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Part 4: In Conclusion

So after all those endless pics, what about the set itself?

CONS:As a playset, 7627 doesn't quite make sense. Admittedly, the traps that are there are well-designed and unobtrusive. On the other hand, there's a great big whopping entrance at the front - but I wasn't sure if the figs are supposed to sneak in through the backdoor and go up the spiral staircase and past the waterfall (as shown in the box art) or if they were meant to end up in the golden skull room. The middle area doesn't really connect with anything, nor does the giant space turret. It may be that some of these questions are answered in the film, but whereas with 7624, 7625 and 7626 I could at least picture a story myself (eg with River Chase is fairly obvious what's happening - a chase down a river with a croc and a communist staking them out)!, the Temple set is a little all over the place. The design feels a little off to me - not really bad but not really great either.

PROS:

On the plus side, the natives and crystal skulls themselves are great. At 900+ pieces, this is also a great parts pack for dark tan, dark red, plant pieces, gold oddments etc. I especially love the baseplate in that shade. I like the overall shape of the temple - a big staircase with secret nooks and crannies. The build is reasonably interesting and there are some clever tricks with the traps.

But upon reflection I shouldn't have to sell this set - it should be able to sell itself! As I said before, I'm a huge fan of dark, mysterious old temples so for that I have to give it some love. It reminds me of the big old Adventurers sets and the whiff of nostalgia is itself a powerful intoxicant. However, for the price Lego is selling it in Australia/ Europe/ Canada I couldn't recommend it as a must-buy for full price when the smaller sets in this series are themselves so good.

Review done - woo!

Edited by imperialshadows

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And what everyone's been waiting for, the skullies - three of 'em and a conquistador skellie - very cute. Note the backs of the crystal head have a plume-sized hole - or maybe that's just where they injected the blue brain-plastic. Spooky! I love these skulls, I wasn't sold from the initial pics but they have a very creepy smile and the head shape is just... weird. With the large eyes, it's kind of Homer Simpson-esque.

They reminded me more of the movie "Coneheads", but I think your description is more accurate. :laugh:

Looking forward to the rest of the review! :classic:

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The figs look great! The natives and the skeleton conquistador are my favorite figures in the set. The set itself is very good. The interior sort of reminds me of an older style lego set for some reason. It could be just me, but it has a classic feel. This will a great set to add to my list! Great review! (So far, anyway. i only saw the back of the box!) :laugh:

Edited by General Zen

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Thanks, svelte_corps. :sweet:

I was really hoping that the conquistador helmet would end up being silver in the final set, but I suppose it's good to know that the helmet is being porduced again anyway. And is the armour the skellie is wearing pearl gold? :sceptic:

Thanks again, I look forward to the rest of the review :classic:

EDIT: The dark tan baseplate is in fact very nice :wub: Although the fact that you have to put stickers on it is a real downer. :sceptic: But I suppose it is good for those who want it plain.

Edited by TinyPiesRUs

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I was really hoping that the conquistador helmet would end up being silver in the final set, but I suppose it's good to know that the helmet is being porduced again anyway. And is the armour the skellie is wearing pearl gold? :sceptic:

Hi TinyPiesRUs - I love that helmet too! If only we had plumes again... soon hopefully! The armour is pearl silver, not gold.

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Looks great! :laugh:

I cant't wait until I can get my hands on this and the other new IJ sets. This is turning out to be a really good theme!

I'm really liking the crystal skulls and I also think the baseplate looks very nice. Those natives look fantastic in my opinion.

Thanks for the great review! :sweet:

Edited by Erdbeereis1

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Hi TinyPiesRUs - I love that helmet too! If only we had plumes again... soon hopefully! The armour is pearl silver, not gold.

Oh sorry, my mistake. So is it pearl silver, as opposed to metallic silver?

That sure is an odd little vehicle :laugh: The engine looks nice enough and the rubber treads are always good to have, but other than that, it really just looks thrown together.

Thanks again, svelte! :classic:

Edited by TinyPiesRUs

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Oh sorry, my mistake. So is it pearl silver, as opposed to metallic silver?

Definitely pearl :classic:

EDIT: BTW, the sets are now appearing on Shop at Home!

Edited by svelte_corps

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Brilliant review, and great pics.

Thanks.

Hmmmmm I would actually like one of these now, where before I was unsure.

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Thanks for the great review, svelte_corps. :thumbup:

I've been wanting to see this set in detail since it debuted at the conventions. I have to say that, on the one hand, I agree that the minifigures, the crystal skulls, and the colors are great (I even like the waterfall), but, on the other, I kind of think that the set itself is a disappointment. It looks like they tried to accommodate design and playability needs, but really didn't come through on either. So, as you pointed out, the mid section doesn't really fit in with the other parts, and the trap sequence doesn't really flow, either. But, perhaps your right, and all will be answered in the film.

I was surprised at just how empty the temple looked in the photo taken from above. They really should have gone the extra mile and made the temple look more like a temple, and not worry so much about the action features. Eh, but so it goes.

But, I, too, am a sucker for tombs and temples, so I won't be able to pass it up. Archaeology on!

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Damn, you've convinced me to get it now, thanks for the review, tan is my favourite colour in Lego! :cry_happy:

Batbrick Away! :devil:

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Thanks svelte_corps for the great review, if it's out in Aussie then it should hopefully be reaching NZ soon. :sweet: I can't wait!

This looks like a great set, for me at least. I too am a great fan of spooky old temples, they are such fun. :grin: I love the look of the base plate, but the stickers don't look all that great. :sceptic: I wish they printed it like they always used too. :cry_sad:

I have to get this set. And the other ones too. Thanks again, you have brightened this sad day. :classic:

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Outstanding review! Your efforts have totally convinced me to get this set no matter what! :blush: It really looks very great and funz reading that review. I will be looking forward to the new addition of those mini-figs.

Just love the layout of this temple. A great addition indeed :blush:

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Thanks for the reveiw it was a enjoyable and good one! :thumbup: I really like this set!!! too bad it's beyond my price range, I guess i'll just get the smaler set. What suprised me is that there is no giant ants :wacko: I'm guessing you live in Aus.? where did you get this set from???

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I was going to review this on Monday but my camera ran out of batteries! :tongue:

Anyways, great review! As I have the set built, it's a really fantastic set. The waterfall is a reall cool sticker, and the flick fire missiles are quite interesting.

Another point of interest: There are seven of the new flick fire missiles overall, if anyone cares. :wink:

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Nice review, and your cat looks exactly like ours!

Shame yoda ain't around to review anymore, though...

*M'aiq runs off to the nearest tavern to drink* away all thoughts of parson yoda yoda*

*"I don't know how to get drunk off soda, but it's possible!" -Me

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Nice big set ! Thanks for the review. The skellies seem to me as the only really big plus of the whole lot. I agree on the Homer Simpsons' paternity to them... :tongue:

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Thank you for the nice review.

Off-topic: I heard something on Lowlug that Tlc cancelled 2624 (Little set with Indy, Mutt, Irina and tent). Have anybody heard something about that?

That would be not so nice.

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Thank you for the nice review.

Off-topic: I heard something on Lowlug that Tlc cancelled 2624 (Little set with Indy, Mutt, Irina and tent). Have anybody heard something about that?

That would be not so nice.

Absolute hogwash. I wouldn't trust anyone on a forum I've never heard of. I don't believe they'd cancel it. It's still on S@H, right? :sceptic:

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(e) Central turret thing

This thing is kind of annoying and doesn't really sit or work well. It's kind of like a laser beam sending messages to space, I guess. As the central dome rises, the two plates peel away. I find it is a little bit tight to work smoothly and the two plates doesn't really sit well together at the top. Maybe I just need to rebuild it. I'm sure this will also be explained in the movie.

centralturretclosed.jpg

centralturretopen.jpg

Great review! Now I'm really truly convinced that I'm gonna buy this set. My faith was a little wobbly, but its benn restored :grin:

Anyway, I just wanted to point out that the temple's entrance might actually be the turret thing. If you watch the teaser, there are some very similair stone pillars surrounded by sand (there are 4 not 2 though :sceptic: ) and when they close up it looks like all our characters are sucked into the sand and magically appear underground going through some stone plates(which act like steps to go down) that dissapear. So, in theory those steps beneath the turret are actualy the entrance, and I'm asumming from this picture

MV5BMTcxMjg1MDc0OF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMDYwNDc1MQ@@._V1._SY400_SX600_.jpg

That the steps with 1x8 bricks with the dragon heads at the end lead us of somewhere else.

All in all this temple looks like a mixed up version of the real temple, which is fine by me :classic:

(SIDENOTE: I'm not sure but based on minifig inclusion, either Lego was cheap or Colonel Dovchenko is dead by the time Irina and her goons reach the temple, I'll wait till I see the movie. :thumbup: )

Edited by Belloq

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Absolute hogwash. I wouldn't trust anyone on a forum I've never heard of. I don't believe they'd cancel it. It's still on S@H, right? :sceptic:

Well, The people there are quite trustfull. But I looked now on Shop@home and 7624 (I posted the wrong number, sorry) is only available in Canada and the United states, so I hope it's not an exclusive.

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The architecture/aesthetic design looks like a twelve year old's modification of the real set.

The parts look good though.

Steve

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