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Review: 8961 Power Miners ~ Crystal Sweeper


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Poll: How do you like this set? (89 member(s) have cast votes)

On a scale from 1 to 5

  1. Poor (2 votes [2.25%])

    Percentage of vote: 2.25%

  2. Below Average (4 votes [4.49%])

    Percentage of vote: 4.49%

  3. Average (10 votes [11.24%])

    Percentage of vote: 11.24%

  4. Above Average (34 votes [38.20%])

    Percentage of vote: 38.20%

  5. Outstanding (39 votes [43.82%])

    Percentage of vote: 43.82%

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#1 Erdbeereis

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Posted 19 December 2008 - 08:35 PM

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Deep inside of the tunnels and caves underneath LEGO city, the Power Miners search for crystals in their largest mining craft, the "Crystal Sweeper."
However, they do not realize that they are being watched by the rock monsters... Although they appear to be the cutest monsters known to man, they can be quite dangerous when launched from a catapult.....

8691 Crystal Sweeper
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Set Info:

Set Name: 8961 Crystal Sweeper

Theme: Power Miners

Released: 2009

Price: USD $69.99 - EUR Unknown - GBP Unknown

Pieces: 474

Minifigs: 2 miners and 2 rock monsters

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On to the main review!

The Box


The box is quite shocking to the eye. Bright lime green and sort of a dirty, mining look to it, I find that it looks superb and matches the set really well.

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On the back are some features of the set, such as the collecting function, plus a picture of the accessories, the accessories picture seems to be a new thing, as the same sort of picture is found on some of the back of the new pirates set boxes. It also has a small inset picture of how you can combine this set with another Power Miners set. I think this is an interesting feature, which is quite uncommon.

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Instructions and DSS


Here are the instruction manuals, and the sticker sheet. The set comes with 2 manuals, both of which are relatively small. As for the stickers, unfortunately there are quite a few in this set, but most of them are bearable, and generally add detail. The ones with black and white stripes have a really interesting rough feel to them, which I've never encountered.

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Also inside the manual, is a set of 4 pages with various info about the sets. The first is a scene showing the sets in action, the second has images of the different rock monsters and which sets they come in, the third lists all of the sets and some of their features, and the fourth show how you can combine the sets to make new models.

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Random Instruction page

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Inventory

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The bags

The bags are numbered, which I always like.

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Minifigs and Rock Monsters

I absolutely love the Power Miners minifigs and rock monsters. The minifigs's torsos are extremely detailed and have back printing, the legs have lovely details as well, and I love the blue helmets and the minifig heads, which have dual-sided printing. As for the rock monsters, they are well.... cute! :grin:  What I really like about them is the fact that their mouths have lots of room, so many pieces can fit inside, such as crystals and dynamite. The mouth can open all the way, and the arms function the same way as regular minifig arms do, so they are interchangeable. Unfortunately the legs are not moveable.

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Some of the great accessories


This set comes with a great amount of accessories, such as 2 lovely new dynamite pieces, a laptop (which is one of my favorite new pieces), a total of 8 crystals in new colors and a beautiful orange motorbike. The orange motorbike for the moment, only comes in this set and 5626 Coast Guard Bike, which makes this a pretty rare piece. This is a real strong point of the set.

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After Bag 1

The first bag builds the minifigs, and the rock monster's catapult. This is a bizzare little thing, but it works quite well and shoots about 1 meter.

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After bag 2

Sorry about these semi-dark pictures, they were taken at night. You can see the shape start to form, and the giant orange container.

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Some Interesting Pieces In Bag 3

Here are some pieces that I found interesting. The new drill piece and roll cage are lovely. The cage attaches via bars, which fit in to regular clips.
As you can see, the set also comes with a very large amount of lime green pieces, including many of these smooth curved ones.

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After Bag 3

Now the set is really starting to come together. The drill and engines are fully built, and so is the little motorbike holding area.

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Extra Pieces

Nothing too special here, but it's nice to get an extra pair of goggles.

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The finished Crystal Sweeper!

As you can see, this thing is very large. The huge orange blades on the front are very intimidating, and the whole vehicle has a powerful and sturdy look to it.
The cockpit area is quite nice, with a piece of dynamite on either side. You can also see the drill, which is a nice addition to this set.

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Close-Up Pictures

First we have the drill, which is quite simple but looks excellent with the new roll cage and drill piece. It has good articulation and can rotate and hinge all up and down. I think the chain is a nice small detail piece, which goes along with the rest of the rough feel of this set. The inside has two little levers.

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Here is the cockpit area, which I think has a beautiful look. The two large floodlights are very well-made and I think the angled windows are a perfect fit.
Lastly, the front has some great SNOT detailing in the way of lime green 1 x 2 grilled slopes, and some white square flags.

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The interior of the cockpit is unfortunately quite cramped, but at least it has 2 levers and a nice steering wheel.

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A back view of the sweeper shows the gigantic orange container piece, which serves as the crystal and rock monster collection center. Here you can also see the motorbike holding area, which is a nice little touch. What I really like about this set is the platform feel to it. It has lots of deck space, and almost feels like a base.

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Now for the motorbike. I absolutely love this orange bike, and the addition of an area on the mining vehicle to hold it was a welcome addition. It would have been frustrating to have this just lieing around.

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These engines are brilliant. They utilize the new telescope piece beautifully and the grilled slopes add nice detail.

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Here is the giant orange monstrosity, which is the device that sweeps up the crystals. It actually looks very nice, and I think it gives the set a fun feel.
It also has a cool function. When you push the vehicle along, the wheel turns around and around and pushes the crystals up a ramp inside the sweeper and then into the orange container. It doesn't work perfectly, but very well and is quite fun to do.

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If you were a crystal....

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I thought this was a beautiful little tread cover.

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It's hard to make out, but here you can sort of see the ramp inside of the machine, which the crytals travel up before reaching the container.

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Like I said before, the set has some nice little platforms, which make it feel almost like a base.

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This set is full of nice little details, like these crates with a banana in one and jewels in the other

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Now everything together

You'd better watch out Power Miners, the rock monsters are coming for you!

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Here's a video of the sweeping feature, starring my brother.


The Ratings:

Price: 3/10 (Although this is a grea set, it's massively overpriced at $70. $60 would have been just barely decent.)

Pieces: 9/10 (If you need lime green, this set is your hero. It also has a lot of nice accesories and new pieces.)

Design: 9/10 (It really captures the feel if the theme well, and it really doesn't have many technic pieces as was feared.)

Playability: 9/10 (The sweeping mechanism is very fun, this would have been a 10, but it doesn't work every time.)

Build: 10/10 (A very fun, albeit fast build. Some nice SNOT used, and the giant wheel is very well-designed.)

OVERALL: 40/50


So, how'd they capture you?

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I must say, when I first saw pictures of Power Miners, I thought they looked downright bad. But, now that I've seen more pictures and actually own a set myself, I can safely say that I have changed my mind. This reminds me of when I saw pictures of Agents, I thought they were some of the worst sets, but now they have become some of my favorites. The Power Miners sets have great minifigs, for the most part great parts for MOCs, and they are just fun.

Thanks, and happy building! :classic:

Edited by WhiteFang, 23 May 2009 - 06:54 PM.
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#2 VBBN

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Posted 19 December 2008 - 08:36 PM

This set turned out better than I had anticipated!

The set as a whole is wonderful. I am still not sure what I will be able to do with this large Mining machine just yet, but we shall see!

Thanks for the review, Erdbeeries. :thumbup:

#3 Skinny Boy

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Posted 19 December 2008 - 08:41 PM

Great review Erdbeeries  :thumbup: This looks great! I wish I was at that age where I bought things just because they looked good, but I am not. I may have to look to BL for the great pieces. Though, theres hope... :cry_happy:
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#4 LEGOMAN132

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Posted 19 December 2008 - 08:50 PM

Very nice :thumbup:

This set looks very nice I like the drivers seat very much :thumbup:

Edited by LEGOMAN132, 27 December 2008 - 09:45 PM.


#5 Nirdian

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Posted 19 December 2008 - 09:29 PM

Good review of an EPIC set! You made me really want this, and so I can safley blame you for being angry (since it's not in Norway yet)...

(Also: LOL! You put the wheel wrong! :tongue: )

Anyway, I'm greatly anticipating these buggers, BRING 'EM ON! (Still, RR was better, but at least this is WAY better redone that Mars Mission)
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#6 Erdbeereis

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Posted 19 December 2008 - 09:38 PM

View PostNirdian, on Dec 19 2008, 03:29 PM, said:

(Also: LOL! You put the wheel wrong! :tongue: )
:sceptic: Which wheel?

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#7 Nirdian

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Posted 19 December 2008 - 09:50 PM

View PostErdbeereis1, on Dec 19 2008, 10:38 PM, said:

:sceptic: Which wheel?

The big orange one, the blades are supposed to scoop the other way, check with the box.
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#8 Zarkan

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Posted 19 December 2008 - 09:53 PM

Thanks for the wonderful review, Erdbeereis.  :thumbup:

Honestly, my thoughts on this line are turning around very quickly. When I first saw the preliminary pictures, I thought the entire line looked horible. Now... not so much. Sure, a couple of the small sets aren't very good, and the color scheme is still fairly bizare, but the line is making up for those shortcomings with awesome parts and acessories, wonderful figures, high playability and great functions, and some very nice vehicle designs.  :thumbup:  I personally will probably be getting some of these for sure, and I can't wait until they hit stores.  :wink:  

Only thing I'm really upset about is the price? 70 dollars?! That doesn't seem right, considering that the second largest set is only 30, and since I seem to remember hearing that this set would be 50. Erdbeereis, where exactly did you get this kit, anyway?  :look:

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#9 Erdbeereis

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Posted 19 December 2008 - 10:03 PM

Nirdian, thanks for pointing that out to me. I think that will make the sweeping function work even better. :classic:

Grevious, I got the set at Target in the U.S.. I was also shocked at the price, but I couldn't resist having the chance to review it first, and it was well worth it.
I asked a few other people, and they also saw it at TRU for $70, so I assume that's the correct price. I could certainly understand $60, as it has a lot of larger pieces, but $70 is very steep. I love this set anyway though. :cry_happy:

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#10 Nirdian

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Posted 20 December 2008 - 12:42 AM

View PostErdbeereis1, on Dec 19 2008, 11:03 PM, said:

Nirdian, thanks for pointing that out to me. I think that will make the sweeping function work even better. :classic:

You're welcome! :classic:

Also: I just noticed the harpoon has an orange brick around it, simple, yet SO awesome!

BTW: Where are the drills? Like the most common tool from the old RR series...
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#11 MightyMegs

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Posted 20 December 2008 - 01:47 AM

GREAT review! Thanks!

#12 Gunnar

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Posted 20 December 2008 - 04:49 AM

I think I'll have to buy this once the price goes down. This is great.

#13 Corvus

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Posted 20 December 2008 - 05:06 AM

View PostGunnar, on Dec 19 2008, 08:49 PM, said:

I think I'll have to buy this once the price goes down. This is great.

Exactly. This is a great set and the best of the theme so far, but it's just way too expensive. :sceptic:
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#14 Algernon

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Posted 20 December 2008 - 05:27 AM

I'm glad to see that at least one of the sets were good upon great. I voted "above average" because it looks a little small to me and I can't justify $70.

#15 ComputerBug

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Posted 20 December 2008 - 05:47 AM

View PostNirdian, on Dec 19 2008, 03:29 PM, said:

(Also: LOL! You put the wheel wrong! :tongue: )
Yeah he is right! You might want to change that it is back wards so it wont be very good at harvesting your lego bricks! :tongue:

#16 Erdbeereis

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Posted 20 December 2008 - 06:05 AM

View Postcomputerbug, on Dec 19 2008, 11:47 PM, said:

Yeah he is right! You might want to change that it is back wards so it wont be very good at harvesting your lego bricks! :tongue:
I changed it. :classic:  But I'm not going to re-take all of the pictures if that's O.K. :grin:

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#17 Brickmaster

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Posted 20 December 2008 - 07:26 AM

Simply an awesome set, just 10 dollars too expensive.  :hmpf_bad:
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#18 hollisbrick

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Posted 20 December 2008 - 07:36 AM

Great review :thumbup:
This set is better than I thought :thumbup: But the price is waayy overpriced :hmpf_bad:
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#19 Batbrick

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Posted 20 December 2008 - 11:07 AM

Fantastic review Edbeereis1!  :cry_happy:
Man I gotta say, all these Power Miners reviews are making me love some of these sets! I still won't get all the sets, but this big one sure is tempting. I think if the colour scheme was red and lime I'd prefer it though, as I wanted a red bike for Robin  :cry_sad:
Still, I love a lot of features of this, and that front wheel looks to work really good.

Batbrick Away!  :devil:
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#20 metalandi

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Posted 20 December 2008 - 11:07 AM

Yay, finally a review of this one, thank you very much. This was my favourite PM set from the beginning, and now is even more.

#21 General Magma

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Posted 20 December 2008 - 01:11 PM

Great review! I thought the same too, before..I thought "These will not get into my house!" but when they came out..it became one of my favorite lines. They are awesome, I own the 8956 and 8957 myself, and I'd like to have all sets next year. Hmm I hope someone posts a topic about the little drawings on the clothes, some kind of ranks I think, also when you look at the back, for example that "Drilling Expert", explaining what they do for the crew I think. They are on the minifigs torso (set 8956 has a drilling icon I think, not sure about the others..which would be the chief?). Luckily they (the sets) are very cheap in my country! The Crystal Sweeper only costs EUR 53,99 here.  :tongue:

Edited by General Magma, 20 December 2008 - 06:08 PM.


#22 Darth Legolas

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Posted 20 December 2008 - 03:51 PM

I love this set, it looks like a cross between a Lego city set and a fantasy set! It has loads of new pieces too, and it looks like you can load allot of stuff on that truck. I really like the new power miners rock monsters and sets, (maybe not the color scheme so much!  :tongue: ), but the sets really look good!  :thumbup:  

Too bad I won't be getting any. I already emptied my pockets completely on Clone Wars sets for the holidays!  :tongue:
...I have a Death Star...

#23 welcomestranger

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Posted 20 December 2008 - 04:05 PM

I would be inclined to say that the big orange scoopers are on backwards, but they appear to be on exactly the same was as per the front of the box and instructions... curious...
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#24 Erdbeereis

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Posted 20 December 2008 - 04:21 PM

View Postwelcomestranger, on Dec 20 2008, 10:05 AM, said:

I would be inclined to say that the big orange scoopers are on backwards, but they appear to be on exactly the same was as per the front of the box and instructions... curious...
They are backwards. I accidentally put them on the opposite direction, compared to the instructions. The manual and box have them scooping forward.

I have since fixed this on my sweeper, but I don't think I want to re-take the pictures if that's O.K. :tongue:

Thanks for all the feedback guys, I've enjoyed hearing your thoughts about the set. Let me know if you have any additional questions. :classic:

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#25 darkrebellion

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Posted 20 December 2008 - 05:56 PM

Thanks for the awesome review Erdbeereis1  :thumbup: . Well I firstly think this set is good when the first pics shown up, then having better pics I think it was the best of the line but still juniorized, but now that I saw your review I think is surely the best of the line but also an amazing set  :cry_happy: . I really like the color scheme of the PM line (Yeah I like it  :tongue: ) and this has tons of that lovely lime green pieces. I think the AAT or RAS will need to wait a bit cause I need to get this set, is too awesome too pass it  :cry_happy:  :thumbup: .



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