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
Set Name: 8961 Crystal Sweeper
Theme: Power Miners
Price: USD $69.99 - EUR Unknown - GBP Unknown
Minifigs: 2 miners and 2 rock monsters
On to the main review!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Random Instruction page
The bags are numbered, which I always like.
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! 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Nothing too special here, but it's nice to get an extra pair of goggles.
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.
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.
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.
The interior of the cockpit is unfortunately quite cramped, but at least it has 2 levers and a nice steering wheel.
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.
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.
These engines are brilliant. They utilize the new telescope piece beautifully and the grilled slopes add nice detail.
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.
If you were a crystal....
I thought this was a beautiful little tread cover.
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.
Like I said before, the set has some nice little platforms, which make it feel almost like a base.
This set is full of nice little details, like these crates with a banana in one and jewels in the other
Now everything together
You'd better watch out Power Miners, the rock monsters are coming for you!
Here's a video of the sweeping feature, starring my brother.
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.)
So, how'd they capture you?
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!
Edited by WhiteFang, 23 May 2009 - 06:54 PM.