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REVIEW: 7314 Recon Mech RP

Rate this set!   27 members have voted

  1. 1. Vote your opinion!

    • Poor
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    • Below average
      4
    • Average
      7
    • Above average
      11
    • Outstanding
      3
  2. 2. What do you think of the Life on Mars theme?

    • Died for a reason
      6
    • Meh
      3
    • Interesting concept, but...
      9
    • Great series
      9

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9 posts in this topic

I almost never venture into the sci-fi section, but I dusted off an old set, so hopefully this is of interest to people here! And I have another, older set to review later.

title.jpg

As I'd gotten myself some Star Wars sets at the turn of the century, my interest was piqued by the Life on Mars series. Besides having the good taste to be named after a great David Bowie song, 2001 was also the year of NASA's Mars rover. The red planet was of interest. But the sets were quite bizarre overall. I picked up five of the smallest sets, this being the biggest, and of all of them, this was the one that showcased the series best, in my opinion. Let's take a look, shall we?

Set#: 7314

Name: Recon Mech RP

Theme: Life on Mars

Year: 2001

Pieces: 194

Minifigs: 1, LoM Martian - Antares

MSP: $20.00, £17.99

Peeron

Brickset

Bricklink

The recon mech is made for the protection of mars. Its owner, Antares, uses it to help his fellow martians gain more knowledge of mars. Its left hand, with two claws, is used to collect samples of rocks and asteroids all over the planet. The recon mech can also be used to defend mars from any invaders from other planets, turning itself into a super fast flying machine. It uses its right hand, which can make fires as hot as 1000 degrees, to melt the metal of enemy aircraft. With so many benefits, this machine is surely a good one to be friends with.

The booklet

The cover is <surprise!> the same as the box I don't have.

7314_-_01.jpg

A full rundown of the series is shown. I got the top four, and they have their good points and bad points. I really like the look of the bottom two sets, particularly the bottom right one, though I don't know if I ever would have picked it up. I still haven't got Blackbeard's pirate ship or the troll castle, and I'm pretty sure I like them. An interesting, unique line overall though.

7314_-_02.jpg

Random page of the guide, for those who like that sort of thing.

7314_-_03.jpg

I recall this from sets of the time, the word balloon that says click! Charming, but a bit childish, and poor for the international market since click is English onomatopoeia.

7314_-_04.jpg

An absolutely amazing feature of these sets is that we're invited to mix and match the modular parts. This feature gets a 10/10 from me. I realize the deluxe city sets are meant to be connected, but I'd like to see this feature used in other series too.

7314_-_05.jpg

The Pieces

A reasonable amount of parts. The red seems a little duller or darker than the red used now. But the really strange colour is the dull pink, like a red mixed with grey. It's not beautiful. It's kind of dreary, but it grounds the whole set in a more realistic vibe, despite the utter campiness of it.

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A couple unique printed pieces and dayglo transparent pieces.

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The single figure, Antares. He's 80% battle droid, so I wasn't thrilled about that, but looking at him now, I find him kind of charming, with that stoned look on his face. What do they smoke on Mars? Yeah, digging this up out of my parent's basement after near ten years had passed was quite nostalgic. I like him.

7314_-_07.jpg

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The Finished Product

The set is modular, as mentioned in the Booklet section.

7314_-_10.jpg

The top is the cockpit and arms, which consist of a claw and a flamethrower.

7314_-_11.jpg

The tubing is a nice detail. The set really feels like the missing link between the blocky sets of my youth, and the highly greebled sets they produce today.

7314_-_12.jpg

The back has two prongs to attach to other parts, and the underside has a single hole to attach as well (not shown)

7314_-_13.jpg

The legs are simple, mechanical builds.

7314_-_14.jpg

Both the front and the back have two holes to join up to other pronged parts.

7314_-_16.jpg

What I'll assume is a fuel tank for the flame thrower. It pops in the back of the first section.

7314_-_17.jpg

And here it is, assembled. It's not too big, about 2/3 the height of the recent-ish Robo Attack set. Though it wasn't the first Lego mech, I think it really got the vibe right. The proportions and positioning of it are really nice.

7314_-_18.jpg

It pivots naturally on the center, natural for a mecha that is.

7314_-_19.jpg

The joints are excellent. Current mechas tend to use more ball joints, which are more posable, but using multiple bending joints gets a slightly more mechanical feel. And the machine stands up on its own without any problem.

7314_-_20.jpg

Lastly, the cockpit opens so Antares can get out.

7314_-_21.jpg

Not so much an alternate build as an alternate assembly. I can't say I find this all that intriguing. I suppose you can pretend it can fly, but I like the walking motion of the main design more. As did Lego, which is why it's the main build.

7314_-_23.jpg

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The Final Verdict

Design: 9/10 It's not as slick as the stuff coming out now, but it's still quite interesting looking. The set makes great use of its parts, and I can appreciate it without having to look at it through the eyes of the year 2001. I'm pretty on the fence about the grey-pink pieces though.

Build: 6/10 Nothing special. This set's charm comes from design, not technique.

Playability: 9/10 Solid construction, highly posable, and cool. Of interest is that it's a peaceful machine, despite the flame thrower; it's basically a Martian construction vehicle. Good for the kids in all ways.

Minifigures: 7/10 Just one, and it's interesting, but not stunning. I like Antares though, he's not going back in the box. He's joining my active mini-figs collection.

Price: 8/10 I think $20 is a reasonable price for a set like this.

Overall: 8/10 This is the best of my Life on Mars sets and it's only getting an eight, so you can imagine what the rest of the sets I have are like. (If the space-heads on this board like this review, I'll do some more though) But this set works, as an alien technology set, and as a sci-fi set. And it wasn't too expensive. Very pleasant.

While I don't think the Life on Mars is a great series, conceptually it was very good. I love the idea of humans encountering alien life, rather than fighting it. It might be a bit of hippie nonsense, but I think it fits right in with Lego. Though Lego isn't against violence, it's one of the more peaceful toy lines on the market. Unfortunately this series wasn't particularly successful and was retired in the first year, and Space was put on hiatus for five years. When it returned, the Martians had been turned into enemies. For whatever reason, it strikes me that the good vs bad is indulging the worst in children, and is less appealing to AFOL.

On March 3, 2038, a member of the first human Mars exploration team has humanity's first encounter with a member of an alien species, the martians. And they're peaceful!

final.png

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Excellent review, loved the photos showing construction stages for the legs/hips assembly. Mechs have always been a week area for Lego so far. Exoforce was apalling.

By the way, for anyone seeking more and newer life on mars minifigs, Wit Toys of China has stolen the design for their "Star Wars" series, which use box art from both Lucasfilms and Paramounts Star Trek! Still, its the only way to get brand new current production LoM figures.

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I wish lego still made mechs like this one. :classic: Anyway great review but really I liked the life on mars aliens I don't get why they are so hated. :sadnew:

Edited by computerbug

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I never liked the alien sets of the Life on Mars theme, and the Astronaut sets were a little better. As a kid, the only set I really wanted was the unique hand pump system of the Alien base, but I never got it.

Anyways, great review, as always. I especially enjoy your Photoshopped title and closing pictures. They're just superb. :thumbup:

Thanks for educating me on this set and theme that I've often overlooked!

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Oh bother. I had an assortment of photos stored in my camera for my review of this set, but procrastination got the better of me and you beat me to the punch! And very well at that! Very nice review, excellent photo-shopping too. :thumbup: Nicely done, sir!

~Peace

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I especially enjoy your Photoshopped title and closing pictures. They're just superb. :thumbup:
Very nice review, excellent photo-shopping too. :thumbup: Nicely done, sir!

~Peace

Photoshop? What is this 'photoshop' of which you speak? I was there, I caught it on film :grin:

Oh bother. I had an assortment of photos stored in my camera for my review of this set, but procrastination got the better of me and you beat me to the punch!

That's a major coincidence then, since this is near 10 years old :tongue: If you have any bigger Life on Mars sets, I'd like to see them. It's a lackluster line, but it's the only Space line since childhood that piques my interest.

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I loved this theme- The aliens characters were so adorable! :wub:

I always wated blue mech, IMO he looks better than this, but this one is not bad!

I remember that I wanted the base too!

ohhh Printed pieces! :cry_happy:

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Great review, I always wanted this set but never got around to it. It's an excellent mech for it's time. Life on mars was an ok theme, but the alien minifigs really were quite terrible and most of the sets were pretty bad, with the exception of a few.

The mech actually looks quite good for how old it is, I actually think it looks a lot better than most exo-force mechs.

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I never liked the Life on Mars line very much, and this set is no exception. Even though it looks ok, it just wasn't that interesting to me. I only got a few small sets (including the one pictured top right on the poster), and even though the joints make it posable it isn't that easy to play with (if that's what you're into) since you'll have to be moving the joints all the time. I think the human's trike looks pretty good though, that's the only set of this line that I could still imagine wanting. I hope you'll review that too, def.

As far as space goes, I think though it was majorly different that Space Port in 1999 was a better space them, even if it had no alien life. It was just a more interesting idea, astronauts getting ready in Florida or California.

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