I wish I had a digital camera some 20-25 years ago when I played soccer with Lego minifigs from the then-only available themes (Castle, City, Space) on a green tablecloth (green as a soccer field). I wish I had copyrighted the whole thing too. Well, a few years later TLC made it.
Subtheme: Soccer / Football
Pieces: 27 (including extras)
Price: 5 USD / ?? EUR / ?? UKP
Building time: less than 10 minutes
MISB on review: Yes
More info: Brickset - Peeron
Box front: plain European version
Box back: overview on Soccer sets: 6 vs. 6 field, stands, lights, TV coverage...
Box content: one bag, two green 6x8 plates, 1 white 1x16 plate, 1 loose "goalie stick", 3 rubber bands (Peeron lists 4 of them), instructions
Pieces: goal and goal line are made of white. A complete black turntable 4x4 and some grey Technic bricks.
Minifig: front and rear. I really appreciate the details on the shirt. For those unfamiliar with football: back then, starting goalies wore # 1. According to Peeron, there are 6 different minifig-sized footballs.
Instructions: building doesn't even take two full sides of an A4 paper, so here's a larger overview on the Soccer theme. Click pics for larger versions.
Building: I found it odd at first that Lego chose those "Support stanchion inclined" as goal posts. There's obviously no such thing as that red tile in real life either.
Building: Next on are the turntable and the Technic bricks. What's that "tile with pin" for? We'll find out soon.
Building: After we place the goalie stick, we need to use a rubber band that after a save will bring goalie back into vertical position.
Building: Get ready, we're about to see how the whole thing works!
Goalie saves!!! So far, it looks like the set has been well designed. Goalkeeper has a good rotation, no shot can be "unsaveable".
Goalie saves!!! But if you want your goalkeeper to dive (that's the verb we use in Italy, don't know about the rest of the world), you have to get rid of the rubber band.
The final shot: With them small extras.
A friend of mine told me about a shop, maybe the best toy shop of our early grade days. After some dark years it came back into business, and had most new sets (for even a 5-10% off). When I got there, I found some boxes on the floor, with some old sets (Creator, Clickits, HP pens...), and after digging a while I spotted this one. For 2 Euros. Woo-hoo!
I have to say this set is not so outstanding. Yet, for 5 bucks today you can (only?) get a Coast guard quad bike. Goalie has a baseball cap, and that's ok. I wonder if a new set would feature a Cech helmet or a Buffon earband... His shirt has an interesting printing on front and #1 on the back, while legs are plain black. This is an "expansion" set, which could work in a training camp, since bigger sets with a full field obviously had their own goals. There is no net, and that's obviously a down point. The "minifig sized" football is nearly as big as standard minifig legs: that's really different from real life. "Soccer stand" has no "spring and pin", that's why you need that kind of screwdriver to use it.
Overall, this set makes some sense (unlike, to me, a 6 vs. 6 challenge. As far as I know, real football teams consist of 5, 7 or -mainly- 11 players. Oh, well, whatever...), but I found it less appealing than 3418 Point shooting or 3419 Precision shooting. On the other hand, 3413 could work in a soccer training field or a Wakabayashi Genzo villa park!. Or just part of a "I want to own at least one set per theme" collection.
Color scheme: 5/5. Grass is green, goal posts and crossbar are white, toy pieces are black and grey. So far, so good.
Minifigs and accessories: 4/5. Goalie minifig looks ok, but he has nobody to train/play with. Football is really simple, not one of those Adidas replicas.
Pieces: 2,5/5. This is obviously not the kind of set one would buy for its pieces. Stick and stand are kind of useless outside of a soccer set, and goal has no net.
Playability: 2,5/5. Goalkeeper can cover any corner and make saves, but that's all. This set can become boring without some other minifigs to challenge our hero.
Design: 3/5. In my early Lego soccer days, posts were made of 2x4 bricks, not space pieces. But I can't say this thing has a bad design.
Overall rating: 3/5. It took all of my love for this game and role (I kind of was a goalie myself) to rate it somewhat good. Yet I'd always pick this one over juniorized sets from 1997~2004 (or SPIII).
The final words: I wish you to find one of these for 2 bucks just like it happened to me!
Edited by Rick, 03 November 2011 - 08:52 PM.