I've gotten lots and lots of Star Wars LEGO, and have just been branching into other areas. I got a little Pirate set, and two Creator sets. Now I've gotten my first Castle set since I was 7 or 8 years old. The Medieval Market got my appetite whetted, but that's out of reach right now In Japan, sets are really expensive, but for whatever reason, this set was close to the American price, so I decided to take a chance.
Name: Dwarves' Mine
Minifigs: 4 dwarves, 2 orcs, 1 troll
MSP: $50 U.S., £39.15, 10,500 yen
I paid: 6,600 yen
Front of the box has standard action scene.
The back shows the features of the set, which is notably missing from the booklets.
The side of the box shows the scale of the figures, plus the variety inside.
Two books, but as mentioned above, there are no play explanations, just a piece inventory and ads.
The pieces come in numbered bags, a feature I really like, and wish TLG consistently did.
The minifigures in this set are fantastic. The four dwarves all have their own faces, beards, helmets and shirts. On top of that, they're done in a metallic paint. I was really impressed with these.
The orcs are identical except the shield, but I like their paint jobs, and metallic helmets. The big troll, I don't really like. I know LEGO is a toy, but this thing really looks like a toy to me. It doesn't have the class of a minifigure. Maybe it'll grow on me.
The majority of the set is built in 3 segments. Here is the center:
The right side has the "wheel powered bucket"
The bucket's at the bottom.
The left side has the catapult and a living room of sorts.
Those parts all come together, and some track is laid down for the mining carts.
Not so many leftover pieces.
The Finished Product
The front is meant to represent a mountain side, this is a mine after all.
The backside doesn't look nearly as nice, which is unfortunate, because that room in the lower right wants to be played with!
You can see in the side view how the track juts out, so it takes up a bit more room than it needed to.
This is really loaded with features for such a small set.
The aforementioned "wheel powered bucket". It's not the most fun thing, but it works perfectly and smoothly.
There is a faux-conveyor belt up front to take the ore from the mining car, which is then loaded into a bucket on a cable.
This bucket slides around to the back, where it can be dumped into a mining car, which can then be taken to a faux-conveyor belt
And there they are, the cycle continues...
The catapult is weighted well. You could never target anything accurately with it, but it can really fly if you smack it.
I really like this little room. A fireplace, some wine, and chicken in a bucket, because that's how dwarves like it.
The throne above the entrance way. I really love the color of these green pieces, a nice forest green. The blue is alright too. These are also my first flame pieces, so they are very welcome in my collection.
This is also very cool, and I didn't know what it was at first: a blacksmith's work station. Dwarves are fantastic smithies.
Here, a dwarf gets down to dwarf business.
The dwarf king gets drunk while he holds his ruby. If that's how you like, by all means
%#!& orcs and trolls, always invading!
At least one brave soul is willing to protect his home.
The Final Verdict
Design: 8/10 It's very clever and well balanced. A lot of pieces interact with each other well (the bucket, the mine cars, catapult) but, the back is so spare looking, it's not good for much, though there are play features there.
Build: 6/10 Though the play features are nice, it's a pretty simple build. It didn't take long to make (less than an hour) and almost no new techniques.
Playability: 10/10 Loads of stuff.
Minifigures: The dwarves get 10/10, and the orcs are a bonus. Forget the troll.
Price: 9/10 At the set price, you get a good deal. The minifigures, plus lots of unique pieces, goblets, wheels and mountain sides. And some nice colors.
Overall: 8/10 I like my sets for display, and as is, it takes up a bit too much space. I'll rip the back off to make it small enough to show for a while. If I was a kid I'd be all over it though. The first thing I thought when I finished this was that I wanted to buy 7094, the castle set, but then I looked it up on Amazon and it's discontinued And that this set is two years old. Oops. I need to look at other series more. A good set I'm glad I got.