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REVIEW: 8970 Robo Attack


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#1 Dark Wanderer

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Posted 07 July 2009 - 10:29 PM

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Every archvillain's dream: a giant robot. Dr. Inferno seems to have fulfilled his personal vision with a agent-mashing machine of doom, but how does it compare to the rest of the giant robots out there? Does it stand true and tall, torching harmless civilians and secret agents alike, or does it fall in an ungainly heap, allowing its controller to be captured? That, dear reader, is up to you... which is it?

Name: Robo Attack
Theme: Agents 2.0
Year: 2009 (summer)
Pieces: 414
Minifigures: 6
Price: USD 49.99, GBP 31.29, EUR 44.99


I'm quite delighted with this set; the premise of a giant robot itself is enough for me, but when the parts are laid out one discovers that the set is worth it for them alone. Add to that the set itself, and it becomes an Outstanding from me. A plane-thing, a four-wheeler, a giant robot (or mecha in this situation? Human-controlled?)...what more could one want from a set?

The Box

Front
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An atypical box is found with this set: it's square. Which means that it's a pain to photograph. However, the shape does indeed work, so I must truly forgive TLC. The normal set number, name, piece count, etc. may be found, along with the Agents comic (pictured below) and a nice silhouette of the robot in a green disk instead of a mission number. The box's dimensions are quite impressive, a massive 15"x14". The sides of the box have the normal minifigure lineup and Lego Club advertisement, while the back of the box shows the summer 2009 Agents 2.0 lineup and the features of the set: flick-fire missiles, closing claws, light-up fire and escape pods.

Comic
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Back
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The Instructions

Front
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A standard instruction booklet with the same picture as the box...

Ad in the back
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...but with an ad for 8971 and its comic?

Parts Manifest
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Of course, the (quite long) parts manifest is present, and the book has the standard "Win Lego Products!" advertisement on the back.

Instruction Page (random)
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The instructions are quite easy-to-follow, and the colors are easy to tell apart- even more so than some recent sets, it would seem.

The Sticker Sheet

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My sticker sheet was bent and so two Duplos were required to hold it flat for me, but one may still see the plethora of stickers that adorn the set. I have applied them all, and it looks a fair sight better than a blank robot. And now let me digress: the terror of sticker sheets is no more for me, as I have created a method by which stickers may be applied easily: all that is required is the tweezers from a standard Victorinox knife and some sort of clean cloth. Wipe the part on which the sticker is to be applied with the cloth, and then pick up and apply the sticker using the tweezers; I have found that this makes my stickers straighter and much faster to apply. They even stay on for longer!

The Parts

Overall
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This set has some delightful parts, so I'll go through bag by bag to show you just what you get for your money. Pictures of what I consider 'interesting' parts may be found in the Brickshelf gallery.

Bag One
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Bag One: special parts include various hair pieces, torsos (expanded upon in the minfigures section) and the orange jet-engine, and two yellow cheese-graters.

Bag Two
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Bag Two: special parts here are the new arch-things, the large saucers, and the black piece commonly used to hold the wings on a TIE fighter.

Bag Three
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Bag Three: interesting parts are the black octagonal thing (used originally in a Johnny Thunder set in tan), the delightful clear dome, two black-with-silver grille pieces, two printed 1x4 plate tiles, and four trans-orange smooth disk-things.

Bag Four
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Bag Four: fun bits are the trans-orange SNOT brick, the flame piece, two trans-orange 2x2 round pieces, a bunch of odd 1x2  pieces with flarey things on them, the light brick, and the black hollow cone-piece.

Enough about the parts. What about the set?

The Build

The build was quite fun for me, and held quite a few surprises- I wasn't expecting it to be that complex. Which is probably a good thing. A few WIP pictures, then:

WIPs
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Overall, a very nice build.

The Minifigures

The minifigures in this set are quite nice, with a two faces and three torsos that I, for one, have never seen.

Civilians Front
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All three torsos are quite nice; the Classic Spaceman especially is a wonderful touch. That dark red hair is a delightful sight as well, and the heads on both men are rather nice.

Frightened Civilians Front
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As one may observe, all three heads are double-sided.

Civilians Backs
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Two torsos are back-printed, and as you can see, the traditional male hairpiece is too short to cover both sides of the face, a slight disappointment. Apologies for the slight blurriness; my camera wouldn't focus on them.

Agents
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The Agents: both their typical figs except for Chase's new vest.

Vest (Back)
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The back of Chase's vest, with its stud connection.

Sorry about the lack of an Inferno picture- he was busy in his robot at the time. I sent him a few memos, but you know, these supervillains nowadays just don't have time for photo shoots when they've got brand-new giant robots to toast people with.

Extra Parts/Accessories

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As one may see, the set comes with two guns, a camera, and a bunch of extra parts. Accessories on the left, extras on the right.  

The Mini-Vehicles

The Four-Wheeler
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Chase's four-wheeler thing. Not too complex, but it provides a mean of tripping the robot with its grappling hook/line:

Four-Wheeler Back
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Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back's AT-AT disposal method, anyone?

A fun little vehicle: it serves its purpose, not really lacking anything.

The Plane Thing
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Trace's plane-thing. Those are flick-fire missiles on its wings. I don't quite get how the it would take off, though, having no landing gear- if the turbines were pointed straight up, wouldn't it just flip right over?

Plane Thing Angle
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One may see the turbines better from this angle. If anyone's wondering, that sticker on the slope of the plane says 'eject', but apparently has no purpose whatsoever in ejecting.

Plane Thing Front
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And just a quick frontal view.

And now onto the meat of the set: the robot.

The Robot

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The whole business. I'll start with the head and move on from there. It may look stiff and ungainly in this picture, but it's actually quite poseable, with great balance.

Top (Closed Dome)
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The dome closed. If one looks closely, one may be able to discern my distorted reflection in it- that thing's quite shiny.

Top (Open Dome)
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Now you can see all of the controls necessary to pilot a giant robot. Those are all printed, by the way, and you get two extra of the 1x1s. That platform in the middle for Inferno to sit on is actually an escape pod, the second of two. I'll get to the first in a minute.

Escape Pod Front
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The escape pod. You can see the screen better from the next picture; the wing-things are really supposed to be level with the seat, but they need to be down for balance.

Escape Pod Back
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Here you can see the screen better. Looks like the plane-thing is Inferno's #1 target!

Now, onto the flame arm.

Entire Flame Arm
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The entire arm.

Flame Arm Emitter
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Just the flame-emitter portion. You can see the three settings, but what about 'broil'? Or 'bake'?

Flame Lit-Up
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The flame lit up. As one may see, the entire flame can light up, and the light-brick even still projects a bit farther past it.

Claw Arm
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The claw-arm. Those are silver triangular pieces, not light bley. The claw can rotate freely, almost a little too freely for serious posing, but that can be easily remedied- I already have.

Damsel-Snatching
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It's quite good at snatching up damsels, as you can see, which is accomplished by the gap in the 'teeth' of the claw.

Robot Body
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The main body of the robot. But what are those thrusters there for...?

Robot Body Separation
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Yes, the other escape pod.

Robot Body Separated
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Both pieces together. I would suppose that this feature could be used to rocket up to duel the plane, or to wreak havoc in with skyscrapers, or just to run away.

Upper Torso Thrusters
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The thrusters on the upper torso.

Hips
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And the base of the torso. Nothing really too interesting there, but that axle goes into a hole on the bottom of the large black octagonal piece.

Legs
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More of the legs....

Feet
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And the feet. These are quite stable, enabling posing.

Robot Back, Full
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And a back view, which refuses to rotate properly- I have no idea why.

The Whole Business

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So, there we are- 8970 Robo Attack.

Final Thoughts & Ratings

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The Ratings

Playability/Swooshability: 10/10 (The plane-thing is very swooshable, the whole set has so many features to fiddle with: very nice.)

Design: 9.9/10 (There's one place where I modified it, and that wasn't strictly necessary: a quite nice design overall.)

Price: 9/10 (It could have been $40, as the 10-cents-per-piece rule is what I like to see, but with something this nice $50 is okay. Of course, I'm required to complain about price, so who am I to say?)

Overall: 9.63/10 (I'd say to go for it.)
Links

Shop@Home
Brickset
Peeron

Brickshelf with gobs of pictures


I love this set. Great pieces, great design, great figs, great everything. A highly-poseable wacky giant robot piloted by everyone's favorite Lego archvillain who is pursued by two secret agents with three innocent civilians in the way? Sounds fun. If I were you, I'd be glad to get this set, but of course, that's your decision. So, does this robot compare or despair? Once again, it's up to you; with that, I bid you adieu.


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"So you see, we've got a limited-time deal- two escape methods for the price of one. You want it?"
"Hmm.... Let me see.... Yes. One can never be too safe from those accursed Agents with their smug grins and funny vests!"

Edited by WhiteFang, 08 July 2009 - 06:43 AM.
Indexed

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6966 Mini Jedi Starfighter~8970 Robo Attack~8967 Gold Tooth's Getaway~8038 The Battle of Endor
5969 Squidman Escape
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#2 LegoFranks

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Posted 07 July 2009 - 10:52 PM

I agree, this was a fantastic addition to my collection! Poseable, lots of rare pieces, fantastic mini-figs and a couple of good vehicles to boot!

M.

#3 Peppermint_M

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Posted 07 July 2009 - 10:56 PM

I love that plane. I am now torn between buying more parts to make more of the planes, or making different ones (for my big project  :wink: ) Do you have dimensions for the Robot (stud or inches or mm or cm or whatever)? I need to find it out for my one project to progress and I can't buy the set for a while yet.

Great Review  :thumbup:

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#4 Cyclone Titan

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Posted 07 July 2009 - 11:36 PM

 Peppermint_M, on Jul 7 2009, 04:56 PM, said:

I love that plane. I am now torn between buying more parts to make more of the planes, or making different ones (for my big project  :wink: ) Do you have dimensions for the Robot (stud or inches or mm or cm or whatever)? I need to find it out for my one project to progress and I can't buy the set for a while yet.

Great Review  :thumbup:

According to Lego.com it's 22.9 cm, or 9 inches.

Great review! I just ordered this thing yesterday and put in overnight shipping, so it should arrive shortly. Had I not ordered it, your review would definetly have convinced me to.

Wreaking havoc in a giant robot with the ability to 'Flambe' ON!

CT
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#5 UsernameMDM

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Posted 08 July 2009 - 12:22 AM

Great review to a great set!  I don't have any of the Agents sets, but if I did get one, this would be it.

#6 Luke McAwesome

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Posted 08 July 2009 - 02:48 AM

Nice review, Dark Wanderer!

The set overall is nice; I wonder whther I should have saved my money for this instead of getting Turbocar Chase! :grin:

Thanks for the review!

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#7 BlueBard

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Posted 08 July 2009 - 12:49 PM

That's a nice and accurated review!  :thumbup:

This set is without doubt my favourite in the whole Agents line, specially with that wonderful civilian MFs and the great designed robot. A pity that it won't be available in Spain until the end of the year, or maybe next one...  :sadnew:

#8 Dark Wanderer

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Posted 08 July 2009 - 02:35 PM

 Peppermint_M, on Jul 7 2009, 04:56 PM, said:

I love that plane. I am now torn between buying more parts to make more of the planes, or making different ones (for my big project  :wink: ) Do you have dimensions for the Robot (stud or inches or mm or cm or whatever)? I need to find it out for my one project to progress and I can't buy the set for a while yet.

Great Review  :thumbup:

With its arms at its sides, it's 24cm tall and 19cm wide. With its arms straight out, it's 38cm wide.

Oh, and just one thing I forgot- if you give Inferno that dark red Trace hair, he (she?) looks fantastic.

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6966 Mini Jedi Starfighter~8970 Robo Attack~8967 Gold Tooth's Getaway~8038 The Battle of Endor
5969 Squidman Escape
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#9 JCC1004

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Posted 09 July 2009 - 04:18 AM

Nice review. I just wish it was a bit cheaper. This will be my first Agents and the figs are wonderful. I love the citizens! :wub:
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When I first saw this it looked like one of Dr.Robotnik's pods! :laugh:
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#10 Cyclone Titan

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Posted 09 July 2009 - 04:34 AM

 JCC1004, on Jul 8 2009, 11:18 PM, said:

Nice review. I just wish it was a bit cheaper. This will be my first Agents and the figs are wonderful. I love the citizens! :wub:
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When I first saw this it looked like one of Dr.Robotnik's pods! :laugh:
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Darn it! You beat me to that!

I got and built the set today. Very nice, but the sticker sheet (which I thought added a lot of charm) wasn't included! :sadnew:

CT
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#11 YG-49

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Posted 09 July 2009 - 04:35 AM

 JCC1004, on Jul 9 2009, 02:18 PM, said:

Nice review. I just wish it was a bit cheaper. This will be my first Agents and the figs are wonderful. I love the citizens! :wub:
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When I first saw this it looked like one of Dr.Robotnik's pods! :laugh:
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But unlike Inferno Robotnik can actually sit IN it! :cry_sad:  :laugh:
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#12 Asuka

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Posted 10 July 2009 - 02:20 PM

Thank you very much for this excellent review, Dark Wanderer!  :thumbup:

A really exciting and marvelous set this is, simply the best (IMHO) Agents set we got till now.
The including of some civilians (and what beautiful ones too) allows to go for a much more valuable play scenario and is something
that most AFOLs´re longing for since a long time.  :sweet:
The retro Sci-Fi look of that mecha with its superb extremities and this brilliant egg-shaped transparent dome´s fantastic, the included
humor (toast - grille - flambe)´s splendid and the playability with this neat lil´escape vehicle and that decoupling feature of the upper part
looks also very, very fine!
The agent´s crafts look sleek and pretty nice too, and the winch feature of the little buggy adds a lot to the overall already very high playability.

Probably one of the very best 'action theme' orientated LEGO sets ever. A comprehensive and really smart design and
a tremendous work for sure, well done TLC!   :classic:

 Dark Wanderer, on Jul 7 2009, 10:29 PM, said:

the terror of sticker sheets is no more for me, as I have created a method by which stickers may be applied easily: all that is required is the tweezers from a standard Victorinox knife and some sort of clean cloth.
He he... I always take that plastic toothpick from mine for that task...  :laugh:

#13 Spyder

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Posted 10 July 2009 - 04:26 PM

Thank you sooo much for doing this review, It made me add the set to my wishlist! The citizens are spectacular, and Lego included three of them which is a surprise and unusual for Lego. I just love that new glass dome, and the overall robot shape is fantastic. It actually looks like a nice retro robot. I can't wait to add it to my collection, especially all of those printed parts. Great review, keep it up.

Edited by Spyder, 10 July 2009 - 04:27 PM.

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#14 natelite

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Posted 10 July 2009 - 11:52 PM

nice. it's a pretty good set especially the retro mecha. packed with play feature and quite nicely built too. i suppose it is easier to make a villain's mech and a goodguy's mech since you can make it ugly. :classic:  wonder if agents 3.0 will have a smaller agent mech to fight with this bad megablocks.

#15 prateek

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Posted 08 August 2009 - 02:25 AM

Hmm... Very well done review. :thumbup: I'm torn between this and Hyperspeed Pursuit :sceptic:

#16 Loganwan

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Posted 08 August 2009 - 09:02 PM

 prateek, on Aug 7 2009, 07:25 PM, said:

Hmm... Very well done review. :thumbup: I'm torn between this and Hyperspeed Pursuit :sceptic:
Well, that really depends on where your heart lies.  In the future of space or in the future of espionage?  Definitely a hard choice.  Good luck with that one.
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#17 def

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Posted 25 January 2010 - 12:50 PM

I love this set, it's my first and only Agents set, but the mech design, the mini-figs, everything is a class act.

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#18 samuraiturtle

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Posted 26 January 2010 - 06:26 AM

 def, on Jan 25 2010, 07:50 AM, said:

I love this set, it's my first and only Agents set,
Well I got two of them. :tongue: This one and the boat with sharks.   If you see this in the store and you want it, you better get it, might be your last chance to get it as it most likely discontinued.  (I got this set on clearance.)



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