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Review: 8160 Speed Racer - Cruncher Block and Racer X


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#1 Batbrick

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Posted 10 May 2008 - 10:05 AM

Hello all, I don't believe there has been a review of this set yet, so I wanted to take this opportunity. Up for review today is 8160 Cruncher Block and Racer X as part of Batbrick and iamded reviews:
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Here is the box, I have to say I love the art on it. It's very colourful and makes the truck look a lot less crap than it does on the box. Plus, you have to love the "Missile launching action" bit right, am I right?  Why are you all staring at me?
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And here is the back. Pretty generic, but shows some nice details and so forth.
Oh dear! In turning around the box have I killed myself AND iamded!?
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Okey dokey, up first is the best part of the entire set: the minifigs! Racer X is wonderful, though coming with a boring Bruce Wayne face. But it is Cruncher Block, his lady Driver Taejo that really shine. Look at those awesome suits! The cool faces! Taejo has a ripped shirt!  :oh3:
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Now up is the first building part of the set, with me and iamded looking rather slick in X's car. While I'm not a big fan of yellow, it is very nice, and slopes in an underused colour is better than no slopes at all:
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Front view, the new windshields are fantastic:
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While a very cool car, it is rather silly of TLC to give us the exact same one we got in the smaller set. I didn't get the smaller set with this car, so I'm still happy, but it is a bad marketing move:
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Sorry iamded, I know it's your birthday, but......VROOM!  :grin:
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Now for the second part of the build and my favourite, the front of the truck:
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Annoyingly enough, this part opens up to shoot a pointless rubber projectile:
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To do this, you open the roof (a nice detail btw) and pull back the mechanism, here:
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Thus blowing the front part open and launching it.....well, not far really  :wacko:
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The wheels and covers are pretty cool, and the front is nicely designed, the red looks good and the rear vision mirrors are a great touch.
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And now for the most disappointing part - step three, the trailer:
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(Note - Clicky joint piece not part of set, just used to hold it up!)
That's right, almost the entire thing is open, even the "filled in" side has holes!  I'd certainly be cared to be back there, one bumpy hill and back you go!
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I didn't put the lame computer stickers on, and the control area is pretty lame in general. Not to mention Taejo (who is depicted on the boxart as standing at the desk, would most likely just be sucked out the back at those speeds!  :laugh:
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There are some pluses too though, like the ridiculously awesome minifig paintings I'll be using for Wayne Manor. Also note the "control" on Cruncher's desk that when turned, turns the gun at the bottom. It's an alright feature:
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Here is an example, I've shot iamded on his birthday. What? It's a love ray! Haven't you seen the Care Bears?  :grin:
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And though I'm not a massive fan of stickers, this is just too cool. The little aquarium is very simple but very clever, using a printed piece between two clear windows to create the illusion of a tank:
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It looks much better in real life, trust me, and here is a side view to better explain:
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Now, to connect the two is a good thing, I like the way a simple technic piece assumes the job.
Oh, and behold my hand!  :skull:
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The completed truck, which, while a mixed bag, still doesn't look too bad (I guess):
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Now the completed set, which, despite its unbelievable large flaws, still looks cool. (Warning, the kickass iamded and Batbrick figures do not come with this set):
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More pics here:
http://www.brickshel...y.cgi?i=3147324

All in all:
Minifigs: 5/5 - Racer X is beautiful, Cruncher Block and the Driver too, and Taejo has a ripped shirt, damn!
Design: 2/5 - Pretty poor considering the best part is available in a cheaper set, and only the front part of the truck looks cool, but still not truly awful.
Build: 3/5 - Despite having a bad trailer, it was a fun build and sometimes you need something that doesn't take ages to make.
Price: 2/5 - Overpriced easily, but Rogue Shadow is worse!
Fun: 3/5 - The mere concept of such an open truck kept me playing with this baby for hours!

Total: 15/25, not as bad as it would seem.

Overall I'm really glad I bought it as the minifigs are fantastic and the paintings and fish tank are cool. It's fun, stupid and downright ridiculous, but while not a great set by any means, certainly isn't as bad in the brick as it looks in photos.

Until next time, Batbrick Away!  :devil:

Edited by Batbrick, 13 June 2008 - 12:20 PM.

And see and comment on KDog's hilarious Space Comic here:
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#2 iamded

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Posted 10 May 2008 - 10:22 AM

Awesome review Batbrick! I don't see any appeal at all really in this set, but that's okay, as I want to stick to Castle anyway. :grin: The car is the best part IMO, which you can get in a different set with another cool car and for a cheaper price. But the main downfall to this set is the fact that the truck's trailer is half blown up and the survivors are magically staying inside and not being sucked right out of there, as you have mentioned. I would have thought TLC would at least included some sort of cover that you could take on and off easily (kind of like the modular buildings). Having said all that though, the front of the truck does look incredibly cool, and those minifigs are sweet. Too bad they all have flesh tone printed on them. :sceptic:
So, while this may not be my set of choice, I can see the appeal... well, really I can't, but it's just my opinion! I'm sure there are plenty others who would love to scoop this set up. :sweet:
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#3 simonjedi

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Posted 10 May 2008 - 03:59 PM

I'll be passing on this set, thanks for the review anyway,

is everyone supposed to be bald in the film? it looks weird

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#4 Kingboy

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Posted 10 May 2008 - 05:03 PM

WARNING! This reply may contain several minor movie spoilers. If you haven't yet seen the movie and want it to be a complete surprise, do not read.

View PostBatbrick, on May 10 2008, 06:05 AM, said:

But it is Cruncher Block, his lady Driver Taejo that really shine. Look at those awesome suits! The cool faces! Taejo has a ripped shirt!

I was originally skepitcal about the driver figure—I like the head, but I was trying to figure out why they put in a female minifig with no hairpiece. After having seen the movie, I now understand why; Cruncher's driver is a fairly manly looking woman, and most of the LEGO hairpeices would make the minifig look too girly for the character. :)

Now that I know why Taejo's shirt is ripped up I don't mind the bits of fleshie color that are printed on it, but I do wish they would make some of the new torsos a little more head-colour agnostic...there's no real reason why Cruncher and his driver couldn't have had ties that came all the way up to their necks instead of having those little wedges of flesh showing through loose collars. Yeah, they are low-level mafioso type scum, but they aren't complete slobs.


View PostBatbrick, on May 10 2008, 06:05 AM, said:

Front view, the new windshields are fantastic:

They are indeed very nice, it's the main reason I started looking at the Speed Racer sets in the first place.


View PostBatbrick, on May 10 2008, 06:05 AM, said:

While a very cool car, it is rather silly of TLC to give us the exact same one we got in the smaller set. I didn't get the smaller set with this car, so I'm still happy, but it is a bad marketing move:

I think the error they made was in the smaller set though. In the movie, the only time we see Cruncher's semi is when he's being chased by Racer X. Racer X and Taejo do end up on the same team for a cross country rally race (along with Speed of course), so I guess that's where they were going by putting those two together in the smaller set, but it would have been much more interesting for them to have made up a set with Taejo and one of the cars from the very goofy, comic book-gimmicky teams they are racing against. Especially since one of the teams (that is chasing Taejo specifically) is a bunch of Army-wannabee loonies—I'm sure more people would have loved some sort of dark/sand green racer with one of the IJ Soviets at the wheel than another Racer X.

To summarize: Two Racer X's is bad, but it is the smaller set that should have been changed (imho).


View PostBatbrick, on May 10 2008, 06:05 AM, said:

Annoyingly enough, this part opens up to shoot a pointless rubber projectile:
Thus blowing the front part open and launching it.....well, not far really  :wacko:

As much as I normally don't like the stupid techic launcher thing, and would rather not see it in a set ever again (although one of these days I will make a giant multi-launcer rig out of them just for fun), at least there is a reason for it to be in this set, as Cruncher's semi has a missile launcher in the front end of it in the movie. I think you're supposed to lift the panel that hides the missile before launching it, similar to the way that panels slide out of the way on the semi cab to allow for firing in the movie.


View PostBatbrick, on May 10 2008, 06:05 AM, said:

And now for the most disappointing part - step three, the trailer:
That's right, almost the entire thing is open, even the "filled in" side has holes!  I'd certainly be cared to be back there, one bumpy hill and back you go

I'm gonna chock this up to the standard LEGO philosophy of "playset" rather than "model" design for a lot of things. The semi rig and Raver X's car are the models, the trailer is the playset. Seeing as how the trailer is Cruncher's mobile office (rather finely appointed with lots of paintings and his pirahna "babies" in their tank behind his desk), and the intent seems more or less to have a playest bit in order for kids to re-enact the scene from the movie, I'm not going to give them too much grief over this. They tried to capture the basic bits of the movie set (which we see mostly from the inside during the movie) and translate it into a playset type environment.

That being said, I do wish the back walls were more solid, as I see no reason for there to be gaps in the back wall when the front wall (or the "fourth wall" as the case may be here) is already conspicously absent.


View PostBatbrick, on May 10 2008, 06:05 AM, said:

There are some pluses too though, like the ridiculously awesome minifig paintings I'll be using for Wayne Manor. Also note the "control" on Cruncher's desk that when turned, turns the gun at the bottom. It's an alright feature:

Could have been a little better, but it's such a minor bit of this scene in the movie that I can see why they didn't spend too much time and effort on it. It would have been nice to have more paintings though, had the back wall been more complete (and I like your idea of how to use them :) ).


View PostBatbrick, on May 10 2008, 06:05 AM, said:

And though I'm not a massive fan of stickers, this is just too cool. The little aquarium is very simple but very clever, using a printed piece between two clear windows to create the illusion of a tank:

Definately a feature which is not showcased nearly well enough on the box art. Since it is one of the major features of this set in the movie, it's nice to see it translate rather well into brick.


View PostBatbrick, on May 10 2008, 06:05 AM, said:

Design: 2/5 - Pretty poor considering the best part is available in a cheaper set, and only the front part of the truck looks cool, but still not truly awful.

That may be a bit harsh (but not much) given what I've said further up this post, but it probably only deserves a 3 at best, so I'm not realy going to quibble the point. :)

I still think that Racer X should be exclusive to this set and a different car should be in the smaller set with Taejo, which would have improved the cachet for this set overall.


View PostBatbrick, on May 10 2008, 06:05 AM, said:

Price: 2/5 - Overpriced easily, but Rogue Shadow is worse!

True...this should have ideally been about a $30 set (especially given the general awesomeness of the IJ Race for the Stolen Treasure set), unless they made the trailer a bit more detailed (better back wall, perhaps some drop down gun ports like in the movie) or at put least one (or more) of Cruncher's goons in the set, then maybe I could agree more with the msrp.

On that note: if I remember correctly from my visit to my local TRU yesterday in search of the new IJ sets (since local Targets seem determined not to get them in stock yet), they had this set on sale for around $35 along with an offer for a coupon good for $7.50 towards the purchase of a ticket to the movie with any Speed Racer toy purchase over $25. I may be wrong on the sale price, but I know the ticket offer was there. So, if you haven't seen the movie yet, and are interested in this set, TRU may be the place to go right now to get both at a slightly cheaper price.


View PostBatbrick, on May 10 2008, 06:05 AM, said:

Fun: 4/5 - The mere concept of such an open truck kept me playing with this baby for hours!

So you did enjoy the playest aspect of the trailer, even though you didn't care for the design...looks like they didn't do too badly then on what they wanted out of that bit. :)


View PostBatbrick, on May 10 2008, 06:05 AM, said:

Overall I'm really glad I bought it as the minifigs are fantastic and the paintings and fish tank are cool. It's fun, stupid and downright ridiculous, but while not a great set by any means, certainly isn't as bad in the brick as it looks in photos.

I was actually thinking about going and getting this set now that I've seen the movie and I understand what the heck is going on here more. Your review has definately added an additional impetus to that notion. My pocketbook (does not) thank you!  :tongue:

#5 Asuka

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Posted 10 May 2008 - 05:40 PM

Thanks for that fine review, Batbrick.  :thumbup:
The most interesting part of the set, for me, are the neat MFs.... the trailer looks really pretty skeletal. However.... it´s a nice
little play set and´ll fit its purpose I guess.  :classic:

#6 LegoLyons

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Posted 10 May 2008 - 06:38 PM

Nice review. Good pictures, thanks.

I think I may get a couple of the smaller sets, as I think these will become collectors sets in years too come, Not sure this range will be that popular? Love the minifigs though.

#7 WhiteFang

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Posted 11 May 2008 - 08:54 AM

Batbrick  :sweet:  thanks for the sweet review. You give me great insights into this set. Hehe, I agreed that Racer X is nice, but I believe we can get it in the other set for a much lower price. For me, the trailer which does not have a cover is bugging me alot. That's why, I holding my reservations against this set. At most, I will consider the other 2 smaller sets for collection purpose. Nevertheless, Batbrick great job  :thumbup:

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#8 Sinner

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Posted 11 May 2008 - 03:20 PM

Thanks for the review. My wife wanted me to buy this for the fishtank, and I came close!  :tongue: Untimately this set didn't offer many good part to me so I bought the smaller set with the same car. The trailer is just too insubstantial...





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#9 Wout

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Posted 11 May 2008 - 08:53 PM

Thank you for the nice review :classic:
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#10 Svelte

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Posted 12 May 2008 - 01:12 AM

Thanks for the great review!

It seems like the most awesome part of the set is the sticker sheet, which is a reversal of the usual situation!  :tongue:

#11 The Bricksmith

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Posted 12 May 2008 - 02:03 AM

I bought this set a few days ago and agree with what you have said about it. The trailer is fun to play with but just so plain. Overall great review.
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#12 samthelegoman1

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Posted 26 October 2008 - 10:55 PM

I really like this set:  My favorite parts are the minifigs and X's car.  VROOOM! :laugh:

#13 brickzone

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Posted 26 October 2008 - 11:34 PM

I enjoyed the review. Some cool fleshie heads and parts, but it does seem a bit lamer even than I imagined from the box (the "airy" truck is rather slyly disguised on the box art).

I would like to get it if it is ever on sale, 50% off would be nice :)

Speed Racer Lego doesn't seem to be selling too well in local shops here.



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