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10192 Space Skulls Review


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#1 dunamis

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Posted 28 March 2008 - 08:50 AM

Space Skulls Reviewed by Dunamis
Set 10192
956 Pieces
$99.95 from The LEGO Store (Glendale, CA)
Build time 3.0 hours


If there is one thing that really chaps the hide of the Star Justice (set 10191, reviewed here ->10191 Review ) commanders it is those rotten, down and dirty scoundrels, the Space Skulls!  Nothing strikes fear in the average Classic Space citizen like seeing one of the 3vil Skullships bearing down on the family picnic to cause havoc and general mayhem.  

For my second review in three days I’m quite excited to review the 3vil Space Skulls creator set designed by Mark Sandlin.  I think LEGO has done a great job in letting some of the best and brightest from the community add to the lineup of great sets we have for this year.  So, let’s see what those baddies have been up to lately…

The Box:

Again, a standard creator type compact box with the familiar style.  I was incorrect in my earlier review of 10191 when I said the back of the box was the same as the 10192 set.  In fact, they are different (but very similar).

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Inside, we have 11 bags, two manuals and one sticker sheet.

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The Manuals:

The manuals are slightly shorter than the 10191 set, checking in at 28 and 48 long.  Strangely absent are inspiration photos for other Space Skull vehicles that could be made from this set.  However, from discussions on this board it sounds like these will be coming in the future.

Nothing new to report on the manuals as they provide the LEGO standard of high quality and features we expect.
- Piece callouts
- Models divided into sections
- Large images
- Page numbers

Parts inventory:
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Random manual image:
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The Pieces:
I love the color scheme Mark chose for the 3vil faction.  You will immediately notice a lot of red, black and white pieces of all types.  Of particular interest is all of the black articulating arm segments (I might have just made up that term) that make up the tentacles on the skullships.  There must be over 100 of them.  Also, you will notice quite a few trans-red pieces and lots of little pieces in general.

Yes, we have already beat to death the fact that we do get a sticker sheet.  The stickers have a clear background so that you can apply them to (almost) any color tile or torso.  To me, they feel different than the usual LEGO sticker so maybe these will be better quality.  

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These stickers are applied to tiles and minifig torsos.  Here are a couple of examples of a control panel tiles:

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Here is a 2x1 sized control panel sticker that gets applied on a 4x1 tile.  It might be interesting to know the decision process on why a 4x1 sized sticker could not be made (since it goes on a 4x1 sized tile).  Just curious.

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Here is a Space Skull logo on a modified slope tile (I think that is what this piece is):

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And some skull stickers on 2x2 tiles:

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It is worth noting that we do get some printed pieces (actually a lot of the 2x2 round tiles) as seen below:

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The Minifigs:

In this set, we get four 3vil Space Skull baddies:

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And when we apply the ever-so-simple stickers we get these dudes:

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Doh!  Son of a #$^@, I screwed up the second guy on the left!  Don’t try to pull it back off and re-align it because it’s on there!  Oh well.  Notice that we get a commander-type guy and three minions.  Perhaps that is 3vil Grand Admiral Sandlin?  Or perhaps it is this guy:

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Another burning question is why do undead 3vil skeleton guys need helmets with visors?  These things keep me up at night…

Bottom line is we get four minifigs (with helmets and visors) but you need to be careful applying the stickers.  There were no additional minions (like the robots in 10191).

The Build:

The build is nicely paced and with the helpful instructions, feel free to jump to whichever vehicle you want to build first.  There were no issues or gotchas.

Building the large skull is quite a treat.  There are some fantastic SNOT techniques in there that you have to experience to appreciate.  The photos won’t really do it justice:

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Here are more SNOT techniques:
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Some parts of the build were a bit odd in that there were steps where you take three 2x1 trans-red plates and stack them together to essentially make a brick.  I can only assume this is LEGO telling Mark it is cheaper to include three plates than one brick.  See below:

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Then, you get to stack the just-made bricks to make a larger ‘window’:

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Not sure about that one…

Here is what is left over:

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The Design:

This well-designed theme is fun and has lots of detail.  Here are some examples:

Laser cannon:
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Rockets and beam weapons:
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Adjustable thrusters:
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Here are the four ships:

Tentacle Skull Drone (I’m making up these names by the way…)

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Skull Interceptor

I love the landing gear on this ship and that the bottom set of teeth act as front landing gear.  These teeth also fold up to bite (see photo).

In addition, the head opens up for the pilot (this is where the crooked sticker guy goes.)

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Skull Gunship

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Skull Commander

This thing is much bigger than it looks.  It is also very sturdy and the tentacles articulate well.  It is solidly built and my favorite of the four.

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Here is the fleet:

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And both sets together:

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Overall Thoughts:

A really cool set that compliments the Star Justice set nicely.  Both themes fit well together and offer a lot of playability.  These vehicles are very well designed and are very swooshable.  Doesn’t have as many accessories as 10191 (air tanks, etc.) and is lacking additional sub-minifigs (i.e. the robots from 10191).  Leaves you feeling like there should be a little more for the price.

The detail is outstanding and really brings out the feel of the 3vil Skull theme.  You have to appreciate what Mark has done to get four great vehicles with this amount of detail while staying inside the constraints of LEGO Digital Designer.  I get the feeling we will never know the number of changes he had to make to cut costs here and there.  I’d love to see what his original plans were.

Given the price would I buy it again?  Of course!  Not only for the unique vehicles (I have nothing else like them on my shelf) but also to support the AFOL community and the LDD plan.  I hope to see more of Mark’s designs and hopefully some alternate models.

Final Rating: 82%
Build 10/10 (Excellent – Very well done, sturdy, playable.  Several SNOT techniques used.)
Minifigs 7/10 (Only four minifigs, no sub-minifig theme)
Design 10/10 (Excellent – really brings you into the 3vil skull theme.  Nice functionality.)
Parts 7/10 (Lots of trans-red and tentacle arms.  Small parts galore.)
Price 7/10 (OK parts-price ratio.  Lots and lots of small or the same parts.  Still feels overpriced.)

I did catch myself comparing this set to 10191.  I kind of felt like I had two as they are somewhat complimentary.  Keep in mind they both stand on their own very well, but are even better together.

As usual, please provide your input, comments, complaints, etc.
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#2 WhiteFang

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Posted 28 March 2008 - 09:17 AM

Wow, great review! Thanks for the effort u had done for us in these 3 days! Now, i will have a clearer picture on this set too. The skull spaceship really looks nice and unqiue. The cons is just the stickers, other than that, it's really very cool to have!  *sweet*

Edited by whitefang_sg, 28 March 2008 - 09:18 AM.

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#3 Matn

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Posted 28 March 2008 - 10:13 AM

Thank you very much, nice review and pictures. Personally, I think this set is better without the skull stickers on the spaceskullships.

#4 CopMike

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Posted 28 March 2008 - 10:30 AM

Thanks dunamis for yet another heavy review *sweet* !

The set looks well constructed with a lot of nice technices used. But this is not my cup of RB.
I don´t fancy the tentacle look on the ships. But the stickered skulls are cool!

*skull*´s On  

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#5 Batbrick

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Posted 28 March 2008 - 10:56 AM

Thankyou a heap for this review Dunamis, i simply love this set, and hope I can get it! It has better parts than the Star Justice I think, though they are both excellent. anyone know the price in AU?  I hope not too much, I'd hate to miss out on this fantastic set.

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#6 phoinix

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Posted 28 March 2008 - 11:12 AM

thanx for a great review!

i love the solid design in this set.
nothing looks fragile thow there are a lot of small pieces.
lots and lots of smart techniques!

i hope someday to be able and afford this set along with star justice.
this line is the first space line i consider in years (since i am mostly into city)


i also would like to see more of the preliminary design for both these sets.

#7 PaulC

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Posted 28 March 2008 - 11:30 AM

View PostMatn, on Mar 28 2008, 10:13 AM, said:

Thank you very much, nice review and pictures. Personally, I think this set is better without the skull stickers on the spaceskullships.
I think you're right. When your whole ship is the shape of a skull, a skull sticker seems a little redundant!

Thanks for the reviews Dunamis. I love these sets and I can't wait to get hold of them!  *skull*

#8 Grand Admiral

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Posted 28 March 2008 - 01:18 PM

Thanks for the review!

View Postdunamis, on Mar 28 2008, 03:50 AM, said:

Some parts of the build were a bit odd in that there were steps where you take three 2x1 trans-red plates and stack them together to essentially make a brick.  I can only assume this is LEGO telling Mark it is cheaper to include three plates than one brick.

Well, unfortunately in this instance, it was the only trans-red element I could use. I really didn't want to have to put solid red brick in there or try to SNOT the 1x2 plates on somehow and lose the transparent effect. I wanted to preserve as much of the trans-red look as possible, so this is what I decided to go with. I would much rather have had some 1x2 brick or even some trans red thin walls.

Just as an FYI, these trans neon green 2x2 rounds are not necessary to the design of the fighter. LEGO added them so the model would pass the heat test. Personally, I suggest removing them since the model stands up just fine on the landing gear. Just don't put it in the oven.  ;-)

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Edited by Grand Admiral, 28 March 2008 - 01:28 PM.

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#9 Matn

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Posted 28 March 2008 - 01:26 PM

View PostPaulC, on Mar 28 2008, 12:30 PM, said:

I think you're right. When your whole ship is the shape of a skull, a skull sticker seems a little redundant!

Thanks for the reviews Dunamis. I love these sets and I can't wait to get hold of them!  *skull*
Yeah, the design of those skullships are awesome! But it's a bit silly and unnecesary to put a skull sticker on a skull. I like the stickers for MOCs. But the skullships without them look just fine. Me wantz them.

#10 Serengeti

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Posted 28 March 2008 - 02:13 PM

Great review dunamis.  Some interesting pieces in this set :)
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#11 ZoL

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Posted 28 March 2008 - 02:21 PM

No, too many good sets coming out at the same time, I can't decide! Thanks for the review, very informative and interesting.
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#12 Deinonychus

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Posted 28 March 2008 - 02:24 PM

All reservations I previously had about this set are gone. I guess I just needed to see some "real world" pictures. It looks fun as hell Posted Image

Although, the coloring and the design of the commander's sticker kind of makes him look like an old firefighter Minifig to me  :-P

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#13 Dadster

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Posted 28 March 2008 - 04:28 PM

Thanks for the (nicely done) review!!  I'm definitely getting this set!!  That opening jaw on the ship was the clincher for me...


#14 dunamis

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Posted 28 March 2008 - 04:47 PM

View PostGrand Admiral, on Mar 28 2008, 01:18 PM, said:

Thanks for the review!

Well, unfortunately in this instance, it was the only trans-red element I could use. I really didn't want to have to put solid red brick in there or try to SNOT the 1x2 plates on somehow and lose the transparent effect. I wanted to preserve as much of the trans-red look as possible, so this is what I decided to go with. I would much rather have had some 1x2 brick or even some trans red thin walls.

Thanks for the reply.  This makes a lot of sense and thanks for sharing the design decision with us.  I'm fascinated with the whole design to making it a retail set process.  Although I suspect that once you go through that process (especially with your own creations) the process becomes somewhat less fascinating...


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Just as an FYI, these trans neon green 2x2 rounds are not necessary to the design of the fighter. LEGO added them so the model would pass the heat test. Personally, I suggest removing them since the model stands up just fine on the landing gear. Just don't put it in the oven.  ;-)
  

Noted!  Thanks for sharing that as well.  I was wondering what those were for and you are right, they are not needed.
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#15 VBBN

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Posted 28 March 2008 - 06:35 PM

Thanks again! I don't think I will get this set, as it is costly, and I would rather have the classic space set.

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#16 Wout

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Posted 28 March 2008 - 07:09 PM

Thank you for the nice review :-)
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#17 Asuka

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Posted 28 March 2008 - 07:13 PM

I really like the unique and cool look of all these skull crafts, a very creative work indeed with very smart and interesting building techniques.
A somehow brave and good decision for TLC to release that 3vil faction, a theme with great originality and full of fantasy, but still very clear
and elegant in form and functionality.  *y*

#18 Icesaber

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Posted 28 March 2008 - 07:15 PM

Great review, and it looks better to me. But how much was it? And the Space Justice?
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#19 General Kannon

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Posted 28 March 2008 - 07:18 PM

This set look great, and the review was awesome, but one thing bothers me. Lego's lack of enthusiasm for this line. Firstly the minifigs don't have printed torsos, and also the price seems to be high, so that people will be discouraged from buying this, because Lego does not want to be up showed by non-Lego designer. Finally, the fact that these sets are not on Shop@Home is odd. If this line is continued with the quality of these two products, then I will definitely be grabbing this whole line.
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#20 Lord Of Pies

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Posted 28 March 2008 - 07:27 PM

Thanks for yet another review!

I like this set, it is starting to get better in my eyes, although the price tag is hefty, I like the designs of the skulls, and the nifty minifigs. A great set for parts, with all that trans red and white parts!
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#21 Grand Admiral

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Posted 28 March 2008 - 07:32 PM

View PostGeneral Kannon, on Mar 28 2008, 02:18 PM, said:

Finally, the fact that these sets are not on Shop@Home is odd. If this line is continued with the quality of these two products, then I will definitely be grabbing this whole line.

The sets will be on S@H April 16th.

Some of the Brand Retail stores put the sets out early.
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#22 dunamis

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Posted 28 March 2008 - 08:17 PM

View PostIcesaber, on Mar 28 2008, 08:15 PM, said:

Great review, and it looks better to me. But how much was it? And the Space Justice?

They are both $99.95 USD as stated in the review.  I have no idea what they sell for outside the US.

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Lego's lack of enthusiasm for this line. Firstly the minifigs don't have printed torsos, and also the price seems to be high, so that people will be discouraged from buying this, because Lego does not want to be up showed by non-Lego designer.

This has more/less been covered on other threads.  I have to respectfully disagree with your statement that LEGO is not enthusiastic with this line.  I believe we should be happy that LEGO has embraced the AFOL community and allowed sets such as Market Street, Hobby Train Set, Star Justice and Space Skulls to hit the retail market.  Especially given the fact that they were designed with LEGO Digital Designer.  I can only think this will encourage more people to use LDD and we will continue to get excellent sets that we ordinarily would not have access to.  One can make an argument that the pricing needs some tweaking, but perhaps this will encourage LEGO to try these sets mainstream which will lower the price (due to volume.)  In addition, it sounds like (from posts on these threads) that we will be getting additional instructions for other vehicles in the themes.  I'm willing to pay a price premium for that flexibility and to learn from great AFOL builders on some new and exciting building techniques.

The sticker issue is what it is.  Maybe we will see a wider variety in LDD printed pieces in the future and in 1-2 years it may be a non-issue.

If LEGO allows non-LEGO designers to make sets that gets the community excited and drives up sales, this can only be good for LEGO and the in-house LEGO designers will not be 'showed up'.  It will likely spur additional healthy competition to make even better sets by all.  I would contend that in general, set design has taken a step forward in the past 3 years.
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#23 General Kannon

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Posted 28 March 2008 - 09:25 PM

/\
Thank you, great response, and now I totally agree.
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#24 DutchRebel

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Posted 28 March 2008 - 10:23 PM

Hey Dunamis, it's always a joy to read your reviews and this time is no exception. Really takes me back to the good old days of my 497 Galaxy explorer, aaah the memories. Once again, terrific review!

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#25 legotrainfan

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Posted 29 March 2008 - 11:06 AM

Thanks for doing that review for us! It's great but I'm also among them who won't buy the Space Skulls set. Space Skulls as a bit too much for me as I've said in another post. And the set has sooo many stickers! That's pretty annoying!

Dunamis, you're asking yourself why the Space Skulls wear helmets with visiors? That's a very good question! Maybe it's to make them look spacier. I can't think of any other reason.  ;-)
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