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Big Cam

Review: 79001 Escape from Mirkwood Spiders

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78 posts in this topic

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Christmas came early this year for me as I was selected to review a few upcoming Hobbit set. According to my latest LEGO magazine these are available for purchase Nov. 27th, so here is an early preview.

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BASIC INFORMATION:

Set Name: Escape from Mirkwood Spiders

Set Number: 79001

Pieces: 298

Minifigs: 4

Price: $29.99 USD, $34.99 CAD

Theme: The Hobbit

Year Released: 2012

RESOURCES:

3966535017_39b869c30d_o.jpg (high res pics available here)

THE REVIEW:

The Box

Front:

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In typical LEGO form the box is fun. It shows all the aspects of the set and it is exciting. The surroundings are similar to The Lord of the Rings boxes as you'd expect. One special thing to note is the red label indicating that this is a Special Preview Set. This is not a sticker, it is actually part of the print on the box.

Back:

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There is a lot going on the back of the box, which is great because that means you get a lot for your money in this set. The box pictures do a better job than I could of showing how to free the dwarfs from the webs, and how the mini spiders can jump out via a flick fire type lever. There is also a section for the weapons, a picture showcasing the glow in the dark pieces on the spiders and mushrooms.

Side:

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The side of the box features one of the figures in actual size, which is common among LEGO sets with minifigures in them. The writing is the title of the movie in many different languages. There is also a phrase that says "Kili the Dwarf" in a multiple of languages.

Instructions

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The instructions display the same image as the box which is standard LEGO procedure, but again being that this is a special preview set, it has the phrase "Special The Hobbit Trilogy Preview Set!" This was also printed on the instructions like the box. Very interesting, plus I think this is a good hint to the fact that we will get sets from all 3 films.

All Pieces

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I am one of those who bypasses the numbered bags for the good old pile of bricks approach. I think this is because this is how it was when I was a kid. I like how dark these sets in terms of pieces. The dark red is something I have practically none of, so it's a welcoming color to my collection.

Weapons Pieces

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I chose to show the weapons separately because I was pleasantly surprised with how many weapons you get for the size of the set. The dagger might look familiar as it's the same piece found in the Prince of Persia sets.

Extra Pieces

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As always we jump forward in time to show the extra pieces in this set. I was quite surprised to see one of the printed daggers coming in as an extra piece. Besides the dagger we get a few nice dark red pieces and some teeth and a bone. All pieces i welcome as they are not the most usual of pieces.

Minifigures

Front:

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From left to right we have Legolas Greenleaf, Tauriel, Fili the Dwarf, and Kili the Dwarf. I am pleased with the quality and amount of printing on these figures. I've never been a fan of the small legs since they don't bend but they really do position the dwarfs at the right height so it's hard to complain.

Alternate faces:

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I applaud TLG for giving every figure in this set a two sided face, I love the emotion they are putting into minifigures these days.

Back:

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I really like the hairpiece on the dwarfs , it's long yet it doesn't fall straight down, it's almost like it's waiving in the wind a little bit. Conveniently this allows for the arrow quiver to fit under the hair if you so choose.

Build Process

Spider Build:

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It starts off with a small 4x2 base. Nice dark brown with 4 legs spots open, wait don't spiders have 8?

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They certainly do, the tooth piece works very well as a skinny spider leg.

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A few steps later and we are done. The two white studs glow in the dark. I like how the abdomen was not forgotten and this really looks like a spider. LEGO has come a long way and the newer sets just keep getting better and better.

Rinse and Repeat

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The set comes with two Mirkwood spiders which are identical. Two is always better than one though.

Building the set, structure 1

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The first few steps yield us a black and red rock like structure that houses one of the bows and some bones from a previous kill. The dark red really goes well with the black. The skull is the regular skeleton skull.

Building the Set, Structure 2

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We are starting to build the second larger structure and the technic piece with the red piece on it will later be used to eject the spider onto any passers by. I apologize for my horrible fingerprint on the 2x1 cheese slope. I feel so embarrassed. :blush:

Building the Set, Structure 2.1

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More dark red, black and some dark browns. The technic pic is so this piece can combine with the main structure soon. Is the leaf in dark red new? If not I don't have any and I love them!

Structure 2

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When you snap the two pieces together you get a rock structure similar to the first one but larger and with a few more features. I think a growing theme in the Hobbit line will be mushrooms, the white stud at the base glows in the dark. Right under the mushrooms is where the small spider is able to be launched out with a flick fire motion.

Structure 2 alternate view

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On the back side of this structure we have the brown release lever which breaks the structure down to release the dwarfs from the spiders web.

Spider launch feature

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The red pin can be flicked like a flick fire missile and the spider under the mushrooms will fly at any un-suspecting passer by.

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The spider isn't all that hidden, but it has a nice little home to live in until it's time to attack.

Complete Set

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Here we have the whole set together. This set layout reminds me of the Ewok Attack Set from the Star Wars line this year. It has a small structure and the focus is on the minifigures.

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Here the dwarfs have been spun into webs by the Mirkwood Spiders. The netting is very thing and I think does a good job of resembling webbing. next I'll show you how to get those poor dwarfs down.

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By pulling the brown pin out the majority of the structure will fall down, giving access to the trapped dwarfs.

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The top portion swings down on the technic pin and the dwarfs are now accessible. Hooray!

Final:

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The set overall is a great addition to any Lord of the Rings set, or future Hobbit set. I think the pieces that come in this set are in some unique colors and I like the generous offerings of minifigures. Lets hit the totals.

Design: 8/10 I like how it looks. The darker colors really fit the theme. I obviously have not seen the movie yet, but being that it's the same theme as Lord of the Rings, I think they did a good job with the figures, weapons and creatures. It really has that Lord of the Rings feel. As much as these types of sets would be good in numbers or to compliment a larger scene, I sometimes find myself looking for more. I know we are within a certain price point here, but a base plate would be fantastic.

Parts: 8/10 I give this an 8 because I feel like it has some not so normal parts and some really nice dark red pieces. This is the kind of set that when broken down, is still a good set. This is because of the pieces. Sets like this that don't have a lot of mass but have a lot of details are usually good parts sets.

Build: 8/10 I'm sticking with the 8 ranking because this is a little fragile when building. It's not like it falls apart in your hands, but there isn't a main study piece or structure to build off of. You definitely need a flat sturdy surface for this build. The instructions were great as are most of TLG's offerings, I did however find myself having to backtrack a few times because I had misplaced a piece, or forgotten it all together. This may be because I'm getting old, but when I went back, I was surprised where the piece was. I wouldn't put too much weight on this since it very well could have just been my error.

Minifigs: 9/10 I love the details on these minifigures. The printing on the legs really gives their outfits hat extra needed flare. The hair pieces are great, although the elf ones cannot really be re-used, unless you are creating an elf character. With that said, since TLG was going for an elf character, they nailed it. The ears line up just right, although you can't turn their heads otherwise their ears will not line up. Also a 10 escaped this category because short minifigures still have stationary legs. This has to be one of my biggest complaints about LEGO period. It bothers some more than others, but I would love to see legs that are short but can still move like regular fig's legs. Granted the height of the legs for the dwarfs is pretty spot on.

Playability: 8/10 Even though this set has some great features, it feels like it's lacking overall structure. I know it's a stretch especially in the $20 range, but some sort of base plate would have helped this set out a lot. The spider webs are a nice touch, but to me these seem like more of a display option that a play one. The flick fire spider and the pin to drop the structure down are the kinds of features that LEGO has been incorporating into sets for years now. It's these small details that make the set what it is and in my eyes a play set.

Price: 8/10 At $30 I think this worth buying. It seams a little expensive but when you get down to the nitty gritty, it's not. You get 4 very nicely detailed minifigures, some great weapons, some cool pieces in dark red as well as other nice parts that can be used for MOC'ing, almost 300 pieces in total. It's a stretch but I would have loved a base plate in this set to tie the two structures together.

Total: 49/60 82% is not bad, not at all. My overall view on this set is positive. If you liked the Lord of the Rings line, you'll like this set as well. It has a good balance of minifigures, parts, and features. I'm sure some of my minor complaints will be null if you collect the entire line and build a big scene out of them. I try to judge sets by themselves but sometimes it helps to look at the bigger picture. Whether you only buy this set, or collect all of the Hobbit line, this is a good buy. The set is priced accordingly with other LEGO licensed sets. So again if you get nothing else from this review than the last sentence, I say this is a BUY!! :thumbup:

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This is my favorite set from the wave. Can't wait to get my hands on more elves! :grin:

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Thanks for the review. Flickr must be down currently because none of the pictures are working for me. So I will just check back to view them. But I am excited for this set. More elves are always welcome. The spider bags are a neat idea. I doubt I will use them for much since I don't play with my sets. I normally just collect the figures and use the pieces for MOCs. Dark red leaves are going to be awesome. Finally some new colors for other seasons. I will probably wait for a sale since I've been trying to budget more, but for a Licensed set, I think it is a fair price.

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Thanks for the review. Flickr must be down currently because none of the pictures are working for me. So I will just check back to view them. But I am excited for this set. More elves are always welcome. The spider bags are a neat idea. I doubt I will use them for much since I don't play with my sets. I normally just collect the figures and use the pieces for MOCs. Dark red leaves are going to be awesome. Finally some new colors for other seasons. I will probably wait for a sale since I've been trying to budget more, but for a Licensed set, I think it is a fair price.

Flickr did have a little server hiccup. I freaked out because they didn't show up on my phone but they do now.

Sadly I can't do anything about that. Hopefully this doesn't last too long.

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Wow! This looks like a must buy to me, my favorite from the line! And I really like the lne... :sweet:

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Giii... that's some problem... :sceptic: but nice of them that they've written this notice in 8 languages... :look:

Edited by Mazin

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I cant see the pics either, but nonetheless thanks for this review Big Cam, for me this is going to be the set to get on first place.

Tomorrow I will check out the pics just to confirm my priority on this wave.

Greetings. :classic:

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Thanks for the review! These figures look amazing, particularly Fili and Kili. Is it just me, or does Legolas's bow look like it's dark brown? It could be the lighting in the photo, and I doubt LEGO would randomly put dark brown bows in one set and normal brown ones in the Warg set for the orcs. Also, that hair is one of my favourite hairpieces now! Just a beautiful piece!

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The pictures in the review don't seem to appear (but they did in the Warg review), but I was able to view them on flickr directly. Thanks for the pictures. It was nice seeing everything at different angles. I can't wait for some of the pieces and the figures, of course.

I was liking how almost all of the figures could go either yellow or licensed skin tone. The new hair molds are awesome too. I'm surprised how well the pants interchange between Legolas and Tauriel. And a ginger elf :wub: especially one modeled after Evangeline.

I do agree that the last weapon picture looks dark brown, but in the other action shots the bow looks reddish-brown, so it is probably just lighting.

Thanks again for the review. I can't wait to pick this up.

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Saw your pictures on Flickr, the colour scheme of the trees would fit nicely as eerie surroundings for my Skeleton tower. Great set to get my hands on. Really looking towards to getting it.

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Thank you for the review!

I too saw the pictures on your account, and I really like this set!

It's nice to get an extra Dagger :sweet:

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OK, Really sorry guys, I believe I go the issue fixed.

Let me know if the deeplinks still don't work.

All the nice comments really show what a great community we have even when things don't work to their most convenient level.

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When I first saw this set in the advertising I did not see anything that would make me get it... But your review pushed me over the edge.

LEGO is really trying to put a strain on my credit card these days.

Thanks again for a great review!

Adndy D

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Nice review, Big Cam. I especially like your razor-sharp pictures - it really helps to judge if I want a set or not. In this case, yes.

(Minor note, I'm pretty sure the side of the box says "Kili the Dwarf", not "KILL the Dwarf". I'm sure TLG would not have approved such blatant encouragement of hate crimes against little people on their boxes.)

I like this set more and more. Great parts, decent minifigs. Not my favorite Dwarves - I like their faces, but that hairpiece is not great. The Elves, however, are great. I especially like Tauriel.

I notice that it is very much a set of twos:

2 Dwarves with the same hairpiece in 2 colors.

2 Elves with the same hairpiece in 2 colors.

2 spiders.

2 trees.

2 spiny vegetation pieces.

2 foliage pieces.

2 mushrooms.

2 skulls (I just noticed there are 3...)

2 short bows.

2 quivers.

2 Daggers of Time (plus one extra!).

Edited by Gryphon Ink

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I'm assuming you picked this set up in the US. I find it curious that the piece count is not included on the front of the box. Is this expected for all of the new sets? If this is a well-worn subject, I apologize, but I wonder if this will be included on all new US-released sets. At any rate, thank you for a fine review.

Edit: Just read the other review in wich you state that the sets were sent to you. I am now assuming that the set is from Europe. Sorry for the interruption!

Edited by Jahab

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(Minor note, I'm pretty sure the side of the box says "Kili the Dwarf", not "KILL the Dwarf". I'm sure TLG would not have approved such blatant encouragement of hate crimes against little people on their boxes.)

Thank you I've made that correction.

I'm assuming you picked this set up in the US. I find it curious that the piece count is not included on the front of the box. Is this expected for all of the new sets? If this is a well-worn subject, I apologize, but I wonder if this will be included on all new US-released sets. At any rate, thank you for a fine review.

Edit: Just read the other review in wich you state that the sets were sent to you. I am now assuming that the set is from Europe. Sorry for the interruption!

Yes this came straight from Billund.

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Thanks for the review. I voted "poor", in spite of some great minifigures. I like the similarities in the outfit of the two elves and think Fili is really well done. Not a fan of Kili's "beard", though.

The rest of the set does nothing for me. I think it's great for kids to play with 4 minifigures and two big spiders and I suppose there are some good parts. However, as somebody looking for "displayability", this set is hardly worth 50 AUD (52 US$).

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It's excellent to have a preview review of the new LEGO Hobbit sets, and what a detailed review it is! :wink: I think the minifigures look great and the trees are well-designed. The spider webs are a nice touch and makes for a good play feature. The spiders look perfect since specialised pieces were used instead of creating a blocky appearance.

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Thanks for the review. I'm not a fan of Hobbit and LOTR sets, but I'm welcoming these new sets as they're introducing some really nice parts. When I get this set, it will be mostly for the parts, the dark red leaves and mushrooms on top of the list. Is there a picture (or link) of the inventory (it's not on Bricklink yet)? On the plus side, I really like how detailed the minifigs are, they have nice torsos and double-faces, making them great for play.

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Thanks for another great review.

Minifigures

Front:

8187209040_0b2c65e272_c.jpg

From left to right we have Legolas Greenleaf, Tauriel, Fili the Dwarf, and Kili the Dwarf. I am pleased with the quality and amount of printing on these figures. I've never been a fan of the small legs since they don't bend but they really do position the dwarfs at the right height so it's hard to complain.

Alternate faces:

8187209094_103baf14af_c.jpg

I applaud TLG for giving every figure in this set a two sided face, I love the emotion they are putting into minifigures these days.

I will get this set too for the minifigs, that look really great. Those torso are awesome, big con on the elves still is the lack of putting a quiver on their back because of the hair. Lego seems to have made that the dwarfs can use one though, great but I feel that an elf should had needed it more. The small legs, :wall: yeah those get my anger up, I always curse Lego when I have to use them. But it is somewhat understandable that TLG hasnĀ“t made them moveable because that would need an new mold for the hip piece. (But we always have custom, Brickfortress has made articulated minilegs :D)

Thanks for the review. I voted "poor", in spite of some great minifigures. I like the similarities in the outfit of the two elves and think Fili is really well done. Not a fan of Kili's "beard", though.

The rest of the set does nothing for me. I think it's great for kids to play with 4 minifigures and two big spiders and I suppose there are some good parts. However, as somebody looking for "displayability", this set is hardly worth 50 AUD (52 US$).

Totally agree and I will get it when on sale.

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Can't say I think much of this set.

This set is all about the minifigs and I think these are a poor selection. Tauriel's face is no where near feminate enough (just printing long eyelashes isn't enough), the cheek bone lines are far to bold and I can't say I've ever pictured an elf with freckles. Fili has a very goofy expression and Legolas just looks depressed. Kili is the only one with a decent face print, however I thought Fili and Kili were twins with yellow beards? I suppose that is a problem with the movie though so I'll let Lego off. The angry faces are also pretty poor with Tauriel looking more like she just stood in something smelly rather than angry.

The spiders are well made and the torso and leg printing is excellent, but I've got to go with the OP and say that I don't like the non-bendy short legs. They were ok for one off kid characters or Yoda, but for a range like LOTR and the Hobbit which includes a lot of short legged characters you really do need to design a new piece.

Lastly how can you do the scene with the Mirkwood spiders and not include Bilbo? After all this is the scene where he gives Sting its name and the first scene where Bilbo starts being a hero instead of a useless fat hobbit.

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