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REVIEW: GIANT Castle Chess Set (2008)


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Poll: On a scale of 1 to 5 (123 member(s) have cast votes)

How do you rate this set?

  1. 1 - Poor (1 votes [0.81%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.81%

  2. 2 - Below Average (1 votes [0.81%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.81%

  3. 3 - Average (5 votes [4.07%])

    Percentage of vote: 4.07%

  4. 4 - Above Average (23 votes [18.70%])

    Percentage of vote: 18.70%

  5. 5 - Outstanding (93 votes [75.61%])

    Percentage of vote: 75.61%

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#1 WhiteFang

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Posted 10 August 2008 - 11:04 AM

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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 :wink:


Name: Castle Giant Chess set
Theme: LEGO System / Castle/ Chess Set
Year: 2008
Pieces: 2475
Minifigs: 32
Price: SGD$299.90 / USD$199.90 / GBP£139.99

This is the largest Chess set ever released with 32 33 minifigs ranging from humans, dwarves, trolls, orcs and skeletons. Castle Giant Chess set is one single set which offer so many Minifigs. It offers great playability, fun, collection, army building, display and many other possibilities. Previous chess sets which are the Knights Kingdom, Viking and the recent Castle chess set do not have minifigs to represent the rooks and the knights. This is the first chess set ever, to use minifigs to represent all chess pieces.


Part 1: Product Showcase

Boxart of 852293, Giant Chess set
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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.


Rear view.
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Depth: 17cm thick
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Storage case's interior
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This image is behind the chess board
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Taking a look of the Minifigs from the outside
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Part 2: Taking the box apart

Base of the box
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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.


Castle Defenders
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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.


Castle Knights
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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.


Royal Wizards
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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.


Royal Family
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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.


Orcs Warriors
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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.


Dark Siege
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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.


Dark Knights
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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.


Trolls Rock
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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
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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
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Packet 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8
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Part 5: Four Corners of the realms

Dwarf Mine
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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.


King's Castle
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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.


Troll Camp
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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.


Skeleton Jail
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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
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Some close-up views
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Part 7: Giant Chess Set is complete

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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
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Leftovers
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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
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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
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Fleshie Minifigs formation
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Who said it will be a chess competition?
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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! :wub:


Summary review
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. :wink: What about yours?

Hope everyone of you enjoyed reading this simple review of mine. Comments and Critics are strongly welcomed.

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#2 THE-FORCE

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Posted 10 August 2008 - 11:13 AM

Whoa....
What a nice review :thumbup: !!
I like this set very much but I don't have the money.
Now I can still enjoy this set.
Thanks a lot WhiteFang!
Also good pictures, without blurry pics.
I voted outstanding.
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Edited by THE-FORCE, 10 August 2008 - 11:44 AM.

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#3 Shoc

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Posted 10 August 2008 - 11:17 AM

Yay! Thank you for the review!  :laugh:
Unfortunately this set will be an impossiblity for me to buy, but thanks for the detailed pictures!  :sweet:  I guess I can only admire it...  :cry_sad:  :cry_happy:

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#4 Inertia

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Posted 10 August 2008 - 11:48 AM

Great review, that is truely an awesome set.

By the way, the witches' head appears in the Volcano base in the Claw-dette figure, so that's probably a cheaper set to buy.

I'll take note of the size too  :wink:

Thanks so much, and it looks like an awesome build as well!
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#5 Svelte

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Posted 10 August 2008 - 12:14 PM

Thanks for the great review, WhiteFang. This certainly is an impressive set! All the mini-realms are nicely done and wonderfully detailed and there's a myriad of great pieces. It's nice to see all four kingdoms intersect, even if it is on a chessboard rather than a UCS Castle! I'm a little disappointed that the minifigs are pre-built as I like to put them together - are they glued as well like the other chess sets? Once again, great review - you have certainly pointed out lots of little details I hadn't noticed!

#6 KimT

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Posted 10 August 2008 - 12:47 PM

It is a great set. But I'd rather buy me 20 Dwarves' Mine Defenders and get 40 Orcs and 20 Dwarves.
Still I'd love to own this - it's a stunning set. But I know I'll never use it for anything as more minifigs and a pair of baseplates. Still I gave it a 4- Above Average. Lots of great bricks there.
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#7 Lt. Col. Thok

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Posted 10 August 2008 - 12:59 PM

An excellent set - it definitely gets a 5 - the little extras make it awesome.
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#8 brickzone

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Posted 10 August 2008 - 01:15 PM

Hmmm... this is absolutely awesome. I really enjoyed the review, and it is nice to see closeups of some of the features like those at the corners, and the siege towers. I also had not realised the board was elevated, using two boards - one for the base and one for the playing board. However, I am now wondering if I can get a couple 48x48 boards, some 2x2 black and while tiles, and actually build this set (probably with substitutions) given that I own the entire Castle '07 + '08 line up (plus extras) and a huge collection of Lego already. Of course this is dependant on getting hold of the instructions somehow (maybe they will be on the Lego site?).

I for sure can't fork out the €200 (too much Lego spending already, probably well over €2000 in the last year), which is a pity. It's well worth it by the looks of it. However I don't play chess much, and couldn't bear to get this just for parts, or to keep as a gigantic ornament.

I had already surmised from a recent photo of the Lego Castle Advent calendar coming out this September that the witch has the Claw-dette head (I recently got the Volcano base, and the head is one of the coolest recent heads).

#9 Shadows

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Posted 10 August 2008 - 02:05 PM

Wow. Just wow. :oh3:

A massive set and an incredibly detailed review.

I'd give the review a 5. Lots of pics and details.

I give the set a 4. It's too expensive to use as an army builder, but it's the greatest, most distracting chess set in LEGO history. I really do like the Dwarves corner a lot. I need to get the instructions to this.

I don't think I'll manage to pick this one up. No space, no money. :cry_sad:

Great job, WhiteFang! :thumbup:

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#10 SirNadroj

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Posted 10 August 2008 - 02:11 PM

Way to go, Whitefang!

Really fantastic review for an interesting set. I'd buy this if I knew how to play chess... they need to make a detailed checkers set next!  :tongue:

Love the witch minifigure....

#11 WhiteFang

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Posted 10 August 2008 - 02:39 PM

Leftovers
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Correct Leftovers (I think)
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(Used with permission, from MoNd2)

I will like to highlight something in my review. Based on my leftovers, it seemed a friend of mine, MoNd2 (Raymond) had just spotted and pointed some of my mistakes while I was building it, and managed to place some of the extra bricks back to where it belongs.

The affected pieces, are the Witch, King, Queen, Good Wizards and Knights pieces. It does not really affect the overall look. Somehow, I just want to make this set complete.  :tongue:

Glad everyone of you loved this review. Hope I had gave everyone some great insight to this set.

View Postsvelte_corps, on Aug 10 2008, 08:14 PM, said:

I'm a little disappointed that the minifigs are pre-built as I like to put them together - are they glued as well like the other chess sets? Once again, great review - you have certainly pointed out lots of little details I hadn't noticed!
No worries! This set is 100% unglued for all pieces! The minifigs and parts can be taken out!  :wub:

View PostKimT, on Aug 10 2008, 08:47 PM, said:

It is a great set. But I'd rather buy me 20 Dwarves' Mine Defenders and get 40 Orcs and 20 Dwarves.
Still I'd love to own this - it's a stunning set. But I know I'll never use it for anything as more minifigs and a pair of baseplates. Still I gave it a 4- Above Average. Lots of great bricks there.
This is not an army builder. It's too expensive for it. However, it's an excellent great display set. Honestly, I love it very very much. Glad to see something decent coming out for Castle theme.  :blush:

In addition, this is a great source of grey and black bricks. The supply is at a very healthy level.

View PostImperialShadows, on Aug 10 2008, 10:05 PM, said:

I give the set a 4. It's too expensive to use as an army builder, but it's the greatest, most distracting chess set in LEGO history. I really do like the Dwarves corner a lot. I need to get the instructions to this.
Shadows, indeed, it's the greatest and the most distracting chess set ever. Do you need me to take photos for its instructions (Dwarves realm) and email it to you?

View PostInertia, on Aug 10 2008, 07:48 PM, said:

By the way, the witches' head appears in the Volcano base in the Claw-dette figure, so that's probably a cheaper set to buy.

View Postbrickzone, on Aug 10 2008, 09:15 PM, said:

I had already surmised from a recent photo of the Lego Castle Advent calendar coming out this September that the witch has the Claw-dette head (I recently got the Volcano base, and the head is one of the coolest recent heads).
Thanks!! I did not notice that. Geez, I love that new torso and the new face very much.  :sweet:

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#12 hewkii9

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Posted 10 August 2008 - 02:54 PM

Wow...amazing review, amazing set. I love the dwarf part, and how some of the crystals are poking out of the walls. I wish I could get it...

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#13 Stefan

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Posted 10 August 2008 - 04:09 PM

Thanks for the review!

I've seen this set already in March and I agree, it IS impressive.
My favourite detail is the little Siege Tower, and of course the four corners.
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#14 Algernon

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Posted 10 August 2008 - 04:24 PM

I really want this set... the only thing is, I'm not a castle collector OR a chess player, and I'd only be buying it for the figs... which isn't quite worth $200 for me.

Maybe if it goes on sale?

#15 Dadster

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Posted 10 August 2008 - 04:42 PM

Thanks for the detailed review!! I really want this set, but like others, may take my time in acquiring it...

I'll also have to change things up a bit...


#16 Lockt

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Posted 10 August 2008 - 04:52 PM

Whitefang,

Awesome review... really good job! Thank you for it!

One major downside of this set is keeping it together... so much very nice and good bricks in it!
I definately think its worth the money so I will vote 5

#17 chris_austin

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Posted 10 August 2008 - 05:02 PM

Thanks for the detailed and informative review. I won't be buying this set as i'm not a chess lover or a castle buyer (even though I love it!) but it's amazing to look at.

Most importantly, the set looks more like an elite MOC than an official LEGO set which is very encouraging  :thumbup: especially the 4 corners.

#18 christopher110

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Posted 10 August 2008 - 05:08 PM

Thank you for this great review...

The more i read it, the more I desire to own this chess set...

Thank you for pointing the enormous size of the set but too bad, i'll be taking public transport if i go to buy it....

Buying this set would certainly ruin my financial plan... But who cares, my plan is already ruined... :tongue:  so it doesn't matter if I add some "big" damage on it....

#19 Fatespuppet

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Posted 10 August 2008 - 05:37 PM

Great review. :thumbup:

I was worried that this set would be constructed and partially glued, but it's nice to see that it requires work.  I'm definitely getting one of these and I hope Lego continues the chess set sub-theme.  I really think they are great display pieces and quite functional if you happen to play chess.

I wonder if they'll ever make a Star Wars one?
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#20 KDog

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Posted 10 August 2008 - 05:55 PM

This set is super deluxe! Lego outdid themselves! Thanks, WhiteFang, for the great, detailed review. I'm jealous of you. :-)

As for the Lego Castle Advent set, I saw the pictures of this earlier this year and can't wait for it. But the Lego booth at San Diego Comic Com showed a City Advent set for 2008. Does this mean the Castle set got dropped? I sure hope not, as it has some new minifigs, including a peasant girl and even a jester! The City set looks blah. EDIT: I was mistaken in that the City set was shown as SDCC. It was Toyfare I was thinking of, which was earlier in the year, so maybe it was just a previous set they were showing.

Edited by KDog, 10 August 2008 - 06:02 PM.

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#21 Shoc

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Posted 10 August 2008 - 06:02 PM

View PostKDog, on Aug 10 2008, 06:55 PM, said:

But the Lego booth at San Diego Comic Com showed a City Advent set for 2008. Does this mean the Castle set got dropped? I sure hope not, as it has some new minifigs, including a peasant girl and even a jester! The City set looks blah.
Fortunately they are both being released, which is good. I really want that Castle one!  :thumbup:

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#22 KDog

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Posted 10 August 2008 - 06:05 PM

Ohhh, okay, cool! Any idea when these go on sale? I can't believe Lego never made a jester before and I can't wait to get it and the rest of that set.
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#23 Wout

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Posted 10 August 2008 - 06:23 PM

Thank you for the nice review. :thumbup:  :classic:
This set is great although I don't cannot afford this.
I wish they would make a cheaper set with 8 different dwarves in it. :cry_happy:

Is there a list of used pieces in the back of the instruction manual?
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#24 Commander Red Hat

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Posted 10 August 2008 - 06:42 PM

Thanks for this great review Whitefang! :thumbup:

I love playing chess and this set definitly seems like fun doing so.
You can literally battle of your enemy.
I give this set a 5, nothing's glued, a huge load of weapons and parts and giant trolls! :wub:
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#25 Shoc

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Posted 10 August 2008 - 06:43 PM

View PostWout, on Aug 10 2008, 07:23 PM, said:

This set is great although I don't cannot afford this.
I wish they would make a cheaper set with 8 different dwarves in it. :cry_happy:
Well, two with two Castle Advent calendars you get 4 dwarves in each (8 in all), and two of them would probably cost about a quarter of the price for this Chess Set...  :thumbup:

:skull:

Edited by Shoc, 11 August 2008 - 11:51 AM.





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