Hello all Eurobricks members and Castle collectors,
The most anticipated Castle's set in this summer has finally appeared. I was glad to get it on the second day of its arrival. Over the past few days, I was busy building and writing up this extended detailed review. It shall be my biggest, breathtaking review ever done in Eurobricks. It will be done in 8 parts!
May I introduce the 852293, Castle Giant Chess Set. Indeed, this is one of the biggest LEGO set packaging I had ever seen and is much larger than the 10179: Ultimate Collector's Series Millennium Falcon. In terms of weight, UCS MF is much heavier than the Castle Giant Chess set. However, the Chess set storage box is huge.
Buyers' Warning: Trust me, if you have intentions to buy this set, please clear your car boot. Make use of retail shops' delivery service if any. Avoid buying at peak hours and used public transport after you bought it. It will be one tiring experience for you to carry it alone. The above scenario is tested by me on its opposite results
Name: Castle Giant Chess set
Theme: LEGO System / Castle/ Chess Set
Price: SGD$299.90 / USD$199.90 / GBP£139.99
This is the largest Chess set ever released with
Part 1: Product Showcase
Boxart of 852293, Giant Chess set
The storage box plus the content, is a huge giant which weighs almost 8kg. The dimension of the box is 61cm (height), 50cm (width) and 17cm (depth). Can you imagine how big this box is? LEGO Shops need to fork out much larger shelf space to showcase to the consumers. In fact, I believe most shops had problems storing it in the shop due to limited space. Below are some pictures displaying its different angle.
Depth: 17cm thick
Storage case's interior
This image is behind the chess board
Taking a look of the Minifigs from the outside
Part 2: Taking the box apart
Base of the box
This seemed to be the easiest step but the most important step to solve the mystery of using such a giant storage case. At the base of the box, it reveals another 48x48 gray baseplate and a thick instruction manual.
Two gray baseplate of 48x48
Take a look at the left baseplate which is featuring the chessboard. Unlike previous chessboards in the past which is glued. This board actually allows us to take the black and white 2x2 flat tiles apart. One square has 9 same color tiles which are 6x6 studs. Just imagine and count how many such tiles are there? It's incredible.
Packets of 8
These are the 8 labeled packets full of bricks and accessories. That is the answer to your mystery of the 2000+ bricks/parts source.
Opening up Pack number 1
When I opened pack number 1 to begin building, I had noticed something different. There are many more small packets which are labeled as well in this order 1A, 1B, 1C and 1D. I find it surprising. I am not sure if this is something new but I had not built any of my recent sets for quite sometimes.
A quick peep into the insturction manual
Take a careful look at the building illustration. I believed you had a rough idea of what these bricks actually do. They are supposed to be part of the fun to build up a chess set. At the moment, I do not know how big it will be. You will find out in the later parts.
Some nice pictures for viewing from the instruction manual
In case, you can't view the wordings well on the third picture. It is describing the four different relams from top left to right as followed, Troll Camp, Skeleton Jail, King's Castle and Dwarf Mine.
Part 3: Characters' Introduction
Dwarf warriors and miners
These are the dwarf warriors and miners that defend the kingdom. You will get instant 8 dwarves in this chess set. Fortunately, none of the dwarves is wearing the silver winged helmet. I had many of these due to multiple Dwarves' Mine Defender. Through this set, I will be able to get more various types of helmet which is very hard to come by as it only available in Dwarves' Mine. You can take a clear look of the chess standing piece of the Dwarves.
The archers came with quiver at the back and equipped with wooden bow instead of crossbow. The tower construction is pretty nice. You could easily use this in your Castle Tower MOCs by adding a watch tower on it.
Both knights' attire is of a different kinds. Their barding is different as well. I preferred the left barding as it is uncommon and only available in the King's Castle Siege and Skeleton Tower. The chess standing piece enable the knights to show a fearsome looks, by allowing the steeds to lift their legs.
The wizards, whom protect the royal family. Nothing special about it. These are the usual characters which appeared in the previous Castle Chess set and the Good Wizard impulse set. It seemed the wizards had mastered the lighting bolts.
The King and Queen each hold a golden goblet. I am not very happy that the King and Queen do not have a cape at the back unlike the previous edition. I believed its due to the thrones that they are sitting. It might obstruct them from standing and damage the cape. However, the thrones are nicely design. I like it very much.
The orcs are very good. It will be even better if all of them are equipped with the armor instead of 2. However, one good point to note that, all orcs are equipped with a shield. I just love these shields very much. Orcs armies are very easy to build up. The shields and the armor are pretty hard to acquire large amount. They came in limited amount in other sets as well. You can take a clear look of the chess standing piece of the Orcs.
The white skeleton crossbow archers are not very appealing.They don't have a quiver at the back and no helmet on its head. I understand that some of us may accept skeletons without headgear. As for me, I can't accept it and will make a point to award a headgear to it. The siege is quite nice. It's mini scale. Kind of reminded me of the mini-models from Star Wars.
The Dark Knights ride on the skeleton black horse with different attire as well. Nothing special or expensive about it. The chess standing piece enable the skeleton knights to show a sinister looks, by allowing their undead horses to lift their legs.
There are 2 trolls of the different colors, protecting them with their cubs. The brown troll is a much better choice as it only appear in the Dwarves' mine. Oh no, it's another whacking!
Dark Wizard and Witch
Without further ado, is the King and Queen of the Dark side. The wizard is the usual typical design. However, the witch which potray as the Queen is the most unique character in the entire set. Although this character will re-appear in the Castle Advent Calender 2008, but it give us a better look of its new face and torso. Personally, I like this new character very much.
Part 4: The building process
The building process took me almost 4 to 5 hours of slow building throughout the few late nights. I was not able to sit still to complete the entire building. This is your answer to one of the reasons why this set is so costly. Look at the amount of bricks being used in the setup. I can't believe it myself, until I experience it.
Packet 2 and 3
Packet 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8
Part 5: Four Corners of the realms
This is my most favourite relams. It has more gold for the dwarves to mine especially on its rock formation where the gold are found. A hot steam stove melting the resources.
This is a very nice castle tower layout which can be used to expand on your castle grounds. Just love these lion bricks on its side.
The troll camp is a defensive structure by placing their spears at the front, to prevent attackers from moving ahead. The larva pieces, from the Agents Volcano base, are really very nice to illustrate some larva or flaming substance that flows at the side.
An evil holding ground for the skeletons to hold their prisoners behind these claws, leaving them to rot over time, changing them into an undead as well.
Part 6: Weapons by the side of the chess
Overall view of the weapons from all sides
Some close-up views
Part 7: Giant Chess Set is complete
The entire chess set is very huge and is indeed deserved the name of the Giant LEGO Castle Chess set. Let's take a look at the chess board without the chess pieces in place.
With the pieces in place
I am quite surprised that I had quite a number of spare parts left. I wonder if I had built everything correctly. For people whom had bought this and built it as well, let me know if you have as much spare bricks left as I do?
The game shall begins
Part 8: Bonus features
A special version chess set shall be created by WhiteFang. You can see that this giant chessboard offers many possibilties. Such as the Yellows Minifigs versus the Fleshies Minifigs.
Disclaimer: All minifigs used by WhiteFang are not injured, damaged or hurt in any forms.
Yellow Minifigs formation
Fleshie Minifigs formation
Who said it will be a chess competition?
To summarise, this is a very impressive, superme chess set ever released by TLG. It's really very beautiful, just by looking at it. I am very happy with the building experience and the entire feature. It's a "must get" if you are able to afford it. The only downpart is its hefty pricetag. Other than that, I love it very much, especially the dwarves. As a castle collector and lover myself, this is indeed one of the most ultimate chess set ever known in entire TLG 50 years history!
Playability: 9/10 (The chess pieces designed and the relams certainly makes the chess set looks lively)
Design: 9/10 (This design has set the new standards for future chess sets. However, I hope that the future sets won't be as costly as this)
Price: 8/10 (The set is very expensive but quite reasonable after taking into considerations of the bricks, parts and minifigs.)
Overall: 8.7/10 (I enjoyed and loved this set very much! A outstanding superb display)
I gave it a "5" based on my Review Score Card. What about yours?
Hope everyone of you enjoyed reading this simple review of mine. Comments and Critics are strongly welcomed.
More and more pictures can be found in My Brickshelf(When moderated)