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PHOTO REVIEW - Vladek's Dark Fortress!


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#1 Bloody Jay

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Posted 28 May 2005 - 03:03 AM

Well well well... thank you, Amazon!
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Do note the new (to me) 'tope' color on all those plates in the back.  I like it - it's reminiscient of wet sand.]
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The finished product!  Impressive, isn't it?
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Yeah, the vehicles suck.  That's not even a real 'launcher' thing, there.
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See what I mean?
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Careful - this thing is SIDE-HEAVY!
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Best vehicle of the lot by far.  I LOVE those shields.
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The entryway next...

#2 Bloody Jay

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Posted 28 May 2005 - 03:04 AM

Dum dum dum...
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Drawbridge lifted by turning the thingy - spinning FORWARD works best, actually, but either way works.
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The ugly underside.  Ah well.
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Doors open... (the entryway is empty)
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Side view...
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A hot tar dumping barrel.  Turning the axel (it extends past the back) dumps the lava onto the drawbridge.
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That's it for this building!

#3 Mr. Lego-builder

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Posted 28 May 2005 - 03:08 AM

WOW!! I'm speechless! I can see what you meant by impressive! :o  :oo  :oD

The entranceway looks really nice. I liked the re-introduction of the raisable drawbridge and I love the dumping "hot tub of tar" as you call it. Really nice functions!

#4 Bloody Jay

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Posted 28 May 2005 - 03:09 AM

The left building.  Better than the right.
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The back.
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Yes... an unexciting room with an overlarge table and a weird crystal ball!  WOO!
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Another unexciting room, this time with spears poking out the gaps.  They like those, you'll see.
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This room is the best.  A staircase!  Nice step forward, after that Castle of Morcia.  The fire pieces down there are actually placed on one of those 2x2 circular discs that are always put on the underside of ships, which gives it a nice wobbly effect.  Wobble... wobble wobble.  I like that word.  Anyway.
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The catapult.  Has a distance of about 1.5-2 feet.
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On to the next!

#5 Mr. Lego-builder

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Posted 28 May 2005 - 03:11 AM

You just keep adding more, don't you?! Keep it coming!

#6 Mr. Lego-builder

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Posted 28 May 2005 - 03:15 AM

At least this time the sides are rearrangeable. This adds to the real meaning of a castle. This way it looks much more closed that the other castle (Castle of Morcia).

I can see what you mean by lack of detail. The inside is plain and boring. Ah, well, just more room for customization! That's what LEGO's all about isn't it?

#7 Bloody Jay

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Posted 28 May 2005 - 03:17 AM

The right building.  It thinks it is better than the left, but is sadly mistaken.
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That window spins around to reveal...
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A wall.  Yes, a wall.
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BUT WAIT!  There's more.  I can only assume this is for people to break through with their fifty million catapults.
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The back.
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Scorpions milling around a fireplace.
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Spears and a pillar.  Seeing as the pillar is prominent, I'd like to take this time to say that there are NINE of those dark-stone pillars and THREE of those HUGE black pillars in this set, not to mention the tons of other prominently displayed castle pieces in black and stone gray.
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Spears!  There were spears in the last picture, too.  That spiderweb is weird.  Must be a 1337 spider to build a web in midair.
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And finally, the montage of figs.  The shields are much better for everyone.  I like the triangular ones better, and the designs are more castle-ish.  I foresee armies wielding these shields.  THE DARK KNIGHTS' ARMOR IS INCREDIBLE.  I CANNOT WAIT FOR THE VIKINGS WITH THIS MOTTLED METAL COLOR.  IT'S JUST AWESOME.  *cough*  All three dark knights have Vladek faces.  I think that's about it.
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FINAL VERDICT: 9.7/10.
Huge step forward for LEGO Castle!  Largest castle set ever in terms of pieces!  Great figures, introducing a new armor color!  New shield patterns!  INCREDIBLE PIECE SELECTION!  GREAT CONSTRUCTION!  Absolutely horrible vehicles (-.3 points ;)).

Until next time! :-D

#8 Mr. Lego-builder

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Posted 28 May 2005 - 03:19 AM

One more question. On the laucher thing (the vehicle) which part do you use to launch it? By pushing the Technic piece, or by turning the Technic gear above?

#9 Bloody Jay

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Posted 28 May 2005 - 03:20 AM

mr. lego_bildur, on May 27 2005, 10:19 PM, said:

One more question. On the laucher thing (the vehicle) which part do you use to launch it? By pushing the Technic piece, or by turning the Technic gear above?
Either way, although the gear is easier, and I think they meant you to use it.

#10 Mr. Lego-builder

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Posted 28 May 2005 - 03:26 AM

I thought so.

And are the sheilds printed? I hope so.

I absolutely agree with you in terms of parts, pieces, and selection. GREAT SET! (minus the bad-ish vehicles). I really like the abundance of the pillars, the castle window-wall pieces, and the wide selection of minifigs! This set might bring me back into the Castle theme, even though I'm more of a Town person. I remember the good old* days

*=It depends on how old you call "old." For me, still being a teenager, old is not really that "old." :D  :P

#11 Bloody Jay

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Posted 28 May 2005 - 03:28 AM

mr. lego_bildur, on May 27 2005, 10:26 PM, said:

I thought so.

And are the sheilds printed? I hope so.

I absolutely agree with you in terms of parts, pieces, and selection. GREAT SET! (minus the bad-ish vehicles).
Of course they're printed!  On the topic of printing, I'm pretty sure that the shields, horses, flags, and figures are the ONLY printed pieces in the set, and there are NO stickers whatsoever.

#12 Mr. Lego-builder

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Posted 28 May 2005 - 03:31 AM

Bloody Jay, on May 27 2005, 10:28 PM, said:

mr. lego_bildur, on May 27 2005, 10:26 PM, said:

I thought so.

And are the sheilds printed? I hope so.

I absolutely agree with you in terms of parts, pieces, and selection. GREAT SET! (minus the bad-ish vehicles).
Of course they're printed!  On the topic of printing, I'm pretty sure that the shields, horses, flags, and figures are the ONLY printed pieces in the set, and there are NO stickers whatsoever.
Great news! I hope there's less printing from now on! ;)

#13 TheBrickster

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Posted 28 May 2005 - 05:39 AM

Thanks for sharing all the pictures Bloody Jay.  Makes me want to get one.  I love all the standard black pieces.  Can build a lot of variations with a set like this.

#14 xwingyoda

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Posted 28 May 2005 - 10:57 AM

Thanks Jay for sharing these cool pics !!!!!!!!!!!!

This set really looks awsome !!!!!!!!!! Its a great pieces set !!!!!!!

I really love those black pieces and the weapons really look sweet !!!!

#15 Mr. Lego-builder

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Posted 28 May 2005 - 04:41 PM

We don't actually know what the interior looks like, so I guess that's why the designers didn't put much in. Also, put alot of interior details would bring up the price. Even so, the room with the crystal ball makes sense, because as seen in this commericial on the homepage, at the very end, it shows Valdek looking into the crystal ball, when the voice over says "Evil is watching." So I guess some thought was put into the interior, but not much.

#16 Jipay

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Posted 28 May 2005 - 08:42 PM

Just to say i can't wait to buy it. This set is awesome. But viking first  :)

#17 Norro

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Posted 28 May 2005 - 10:11 PM

Thanks for going to all that bother... it looks better than I thought...

                Thanks again and God Bless,

                            Nathan
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#18 Mister Phes

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Posted 29 May 2005 - 12:28 PM

What a comprehensive review this is!  You'd done well laddie.

LEGO should be very pleased with you.  I didn't like the look of Vladek's Castle from their pictures, but you've shown it from a whole new perspective and like Norro said it looks better than what we thought.  Well me and him anyway.


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#19 Bloody Jay

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Posted 29 May 2005 - 04:25 PM

Well, I'm glad everyone is enjoying the review.  The BIONICLE pieces used didn't ruin it at all, in my opinion.  I hope the Viking sets are up to this standard of quality (at least for the fortress and ship - I could care less about the rest!).  Even if the sets are crap, we'll have that AWE-INSPIRING mottled steel armor to look forward to.  It really is awesome.  (keep an eye out for it on display in my Clue mansion!)

#20 Mr. Lego-builder

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Posted 29 May 2005 - 05:42 PM

Here's the close-up of the mottled steel Bloody Jay is talking about:

Example: Valdek's Shadow Knight

IMO, it really has a nice effect when put on the minifigs. It adds a bit of realism.

#21 Bloody Jay

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Posted 29 May 2005 - 07:55 PM

It's unfortunate that the mottled steel is nowhere else in this line.

P.S. - I picked up Scorpion Prison Cage today.  Look out for another photo review later on tonight.

#22 Mister Phes

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Posted 29 May 2005 - 08:01 PM

How are you affording all these Bloody Jay?  Who have you pillaged now?


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#23 Bloody Jay

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Posted 29 May 2005 - 08:04 PM

mister_phes, on May 29 2005, 03:01 PM, said:

How are you affording all these Bloody Jay?  Who have you pillaged now?
I just got my final report card, and I did rather well. ;)  I'm going to have to budget my money from this point forward, though... no more random set purchases!  I'm alotting a good $350 to Vikings, of course... ;)

(keep in mind I buy DVDs, LEGO, and just about nothing else - so my LEGO budget is pretty high in general)

#24 Mr. Lego-builder

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Posted 29 May 2005 - 08:13 PM

Like the evel side more, eh Bloody Jay?

First the Valdek's Fortress and now his reinforcements in the Scorpion Prision Cage?

Well, one way or another, I look forward to your reveiw. I was blown away by your last one.

#25 Mister Phes

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Posted 29 May 2005 - 08:14 PM

Financial report card?  Errrr...  What's that?  Do they pay you to go to school or something?


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