It all probably happened in cold late autumn days. A mighty king and his brave horsemen. A master of evil and his sneak henchman. All of them marched in the mist to reach a blacksmith, the one that could forge a shield so strong that no weapon could possibly harm the one who holds it. Prepare to enter Mistlands tower!
8823: Mistlands tower
Theme: Knight's Kingdom II
Pieces: 431 (including extras)
Price: 50 USD / EUR / UKP
Building time: about 90 minutes
MISB on review: No
Notes: extra pieces include a Steven Spielberg head!
More info: Brickset - Peeron
Box / Instructions front (stock photo): two notes. 1) Anti-violent policy? What about that falling henchman? 2) The front walls and gates are detached from where they should lie; quite odd.
Box back (stock photo): an alternate model, some of "secrets" of this set, some more KKII kits and a classic in latest years' Castle set: bottom left corner shot of weapons and shields
Random instructions page: building a trap with Technic and Bionicle pieces.
Pieces inventory: first half of the last of the three pages.
Full inventory: click on thumbnails.
Minifigs: 1) King Jayko. Armor and sword, crown and shield.
Minifigs: 2) The good soldier. His shield is an exclusive to this set and the 8822 Gargoyle bridge.
Minifigs: 3) the Blacksmith. Both this shield and the King's are exclusives to this set.
Minifigs: 4) The evil henchman. Featuring another semi-exclusive shield and an odd mace (skellies' maces are much cooler!)
Minifigs: 5) Lord Vladek. As cool as ever.
Minifigs: all 5 of them. With 4 different armors, 4 different rare shields, 2 capes. That's an assortment!
The catapult: snakes on flags are stickers. No "fireball" but a steel (?) blade!
The catapult: top view. It must be a hard life for the henchman, since this thing only has two wheels, and I don't think the boss is gonna dirty his hands!
The catapult: front view. Push the Technic beam to fire!
The catapult: bottom view.
Ground floor: left-front corner view. A door on the left side, some jail bars (?) and a defense catapult ready to shoot fire rocks!
Ground floor: right-front corner view. Plenty of room here. Oh, and a rat!
Ground floor: rear view. If that's prison, it's a minimum security one!
Ground floor: behind close doors...
Ground floor: ...something's waiting for you!
Ground floor: catapult close-up.
Ground floor: top view.
Ground floor: lift the bars for a quicker prison escape!
Walls and gates: side view from the outside. The other wall is a mirror image to this one.
Walls and gates: front corner view, featuring some sticker bricks.
Walls and gates: a view from the inside. Realistic and 3D!
Walls and gates: they add a modular touch thanks to the technic pins. Those crossing teeth are definitely a plus!
First floor: look on the left, maybe there's something worst than sharing a prison cell with a rat.
First floor: the anvil and the furnace.
First floor: a view from the top shows the trap ready to strike.
First floor: is that hanged skeleton a way to remind the Blacksmith of what could be his fate?
First floor: view from the rear.
First floor: did the trap make another victim?
First floor: the barrel and the weapons.
Second floor: a stickered BUWP (Big Ugly Wall Piece?). The building is now going vertical.
Second floor: someone likes the open air more than a ground cell.
Second floor: the Tower protects a treasure too.
Second floor: the treasure consists of two sets of golden coins.
Third floor: up we go. A three-sided panel wall and two columns, plus some warning crossbows.
Third floor: this time, there's nothing inside.
Third floor: side view.
Top floor: two flaming dragon heads guard a Light hemisphere.
Top floor: both the two dragon heads and the hemisphere are hinged.
Top floor: on the rear, some steps will lead the brave to the light.
Building the tower: adding the front walls and gates
Building the tower: adding furnace floor
Building the tower: adding the treasure floor
Building the tower: adding crossbow floor
Building the tower: adding the Hemisphere of Light
More building views: click on thumbnails.
Behold the tower: building is complete
Review: Back in 1997, Lego went vertical with 6097: Night Lord's Castle. A decade later, they did it again, and to me the second coming was much better.
This has been a challenging review, being the set so tall and usually lying in a closed space. The opening pic is the tower's shadow! That light resembling the sun is actually a bulb light against a white wooden library. Mist effect self-came by shooting without a flash.
This set is full of weapons, both in minifigs hands and in some tower floors. That's a must-have for a large castle set. The only lame weapon is that sort of mace made of a stick and a Technic piece. Lord Vladek looks as bada** as he could be, and his' and the king's presence tell you how important this place is for the destiny of KKII! All 5 torsos are plain, but four figs wear armour and the blacksmith has a long ZZtop-like beard, tso there was no need for printing.
The building itself: as a tower, it's tall and thin, with slightly different pieces and play options at each stage. There are some walls and rock pieces, and a door leading to the prison cell. Some people don't like those prebuilt BURPs or MURPs, while I think it wasn't a bad choice to use them (and if I was into MOCing I'd like them even more).
With a RRP of 50$, you can compare this set to 7093 Skeleton Tower, which has a lower piece count but includes a big dragon (and a a female princess). I wuold pick Mistlands tower anytime.
If you have the chance, the money, and a place to put it, add 8823 to your wish-list, maybe along with 8813 Battle at the pass.
Colour scheme: 4.5/5. We have some dark green (baseplates and the lower part of the panels, which have some icy white on top), two tones of gray (the "rocks" the tower is built of), some black (mostly baseplates) and some brown (for "wood" pieces like the big doors).
Floors: 4/5. The fourth floor is only there to add some height, while on every other stage you have some accessories and plenty of space for minifigs and game play.
Minifigs: 4.5/5. I think having 5 figs (+1 skeleton) in this set is ok, we have a balance between the good and the bad and there's a good choice of armors, shields and other weapons. Only one horse included, two would have obviously been better. Pieces also include a "standing" rat and a spider (with web)
Overall design: 4.5/5. This is something original and daring, you can't obviously have too many sets so thin and tall.
Pieces: 4.5/5. 431 vs. 50 bucks price, so we're under the 10/1 ratio. But the choice is good and I don't think there's so much missing. Rare pieces: two of the shields are exclusive, two are only available in one other set. The hemisphere in Chrome blue is another exclusive (of course there are lots of other colours elsewhere)
Overall rating: 4,5 / 5. The only con is in the set design; being the tower so tall, a few people could overlook it because they can't find a place to store it.
The last words: I highly recommend this set, and if you can find it for half price (see bonus story) I higherly recommend it! Of course, KKII had some other interesting large sets, including 8877 Vladek's dark fortress and 8813 Battle at the pass. But if you look for something different, Mistlands tower could be it.
Bonus story: back in October 2007, a local shopping mall had a few medium/large sets for sale (50% off): ExoForce Striking Venom, and KKII Gargoyle bridge and Mistlands tower. I thought this set was a steal at 25 Euros. BUT: where could I have put this thing once I built it? That's when I "officially" decided I needed a new bookshelf, with glass shutters. In late December I custom-designed it and by mid-February it was there. See my Lego collection page for some shots.
Edited by The Cobra, 12 August 2009 - 08:17 AM.
Review added to index