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Review: 7036 Dwarves' Mine


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#1 def

def

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Posted 29 March 2009 - 09:59 PM

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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 :cry_sad: 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.

Set#: 7036
Name: Dwarves' Mine
Theme: Castle
Year: 2007
Pieces: 575
Minifigs: 4 dwarves, 2 orcs, 1 troll
MSP: $50 U.S.,  £39.15, 10,500 yen
I paid: 6,600 yen

Peeron
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From Lego.com

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Adventure in the Dwarves' Mine. The dwarves are working hard mining, transporting and hiding rare diamonds and gems, but can they protect their treasure from the evil troll warriors and the giant troll?

The Box
Front of the box has standard action scene.
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The back shows the features of the set, which is notably missing from the booklets.
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The side of the box shows the scale of the figures, plus the variety inside.
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The Booklet
Two books, but as mentioned above, there are no play explanations, just a piece inventory and ads.
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The Pieces
The pieces come in numbered bags, a feature I really like, and wish TLG consistently did.
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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.
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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.
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The Build

The majority of the set is built in 3 segments.  Here is the center:
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The right side has the "wheel powered bucket"
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The bucket's at the bottom.
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The left side has the catapult and a living room of sorts.
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Those parts all come together, and some track is laid down for the mining carts.

Not so many leftover pieces.
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The Finished Product
The front is meant to represent a mountain side, this is a mine after all.
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The backside doesn't look nearly as nice, which is unfortunate, because that room in the lower right wants to be played with!
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You can see in the side view how the track juts out, so it takes up a bit more room than it needed to.
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Features
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.
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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.
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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 :wacko:
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And there they are, the cycle continues...
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The catapult is weighted well.  You could never target anything accurately with it, but it can really fly if you smack it.
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I really like this little room.  A fireplace, some wine, and chicken in a bucket, because that's how dwarves like it.
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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.
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This is also very cool, and I didn't know what it was at first: a blacksmith's work station.  Dwarves are fantastic smithies.
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Here, a dwarf gets down to dwarf business.
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The dwarf king gets drunk while he holds his ruby.  If that's how you like, by all means :sweet:
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%#!& orcs and trolls, always invading!
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At least one brave soul is willing to protect his home.
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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 :oh3: 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.


Cheers all.

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#2 prateek

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Posted 29 March 2009 - 10:39 PM

this is my favourite castle set but i dont even like it  :wacko:  :wacko:  :wacko: its still above average

#3 Erdbeereis

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Posted 29 March 2009 - 10:57 PM

View Postprateek, on Mar 29 2009, 05:39 PM, said:

this is my favourite castle set but i dont even like it  :wacko:  :wacko:  :wacko: its still above average
And the award for strangest comment ever goes to.... :tongue:

Great review Def, I really love this set, both for playabilty and design, and also for MOCing parts. All of the bley, brown and the barrels make it a lovely parts pack.

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#4 SeaKing61

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Posted 29 March 2009 - 11:09 PM

Great review, I'm really tempted by this set, it looks awesome. I wouldn't mind the kings castle seige either. It's still available at S@H here, not sure why amazon told you it was discontinued

Laurie
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#5 def

def

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 12:00 AM

View PostSeaKing61, on Mar 30 2009, 07:09 AM, said:

Great review, I'm really tempted by this set, it looks awesome. I wouldn't mind the kings castle seige either. It's still available at S@H here, not sure why amazon told you it was discontinued

Laurie

That's Amazon Japan.  Lego doesn't do shipping to here :wink:

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#6 Raven Brickroft

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 12:27 AM

I just received my Dwarves' Mine last month. It's my largest castle set to date (still waiting on my King's Castle Siege to arrive).

You may have missed a few pieces in construction, though. The shovel? It goes under the "slide". There's a brown clip there.

The Tan troll? I love it. Though it really looks more like an action figure. But I love it. I usually have these large trolls carrying a crate as beasts of burden.

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#7 prateek

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 12:56 AM

View PostErdbeereis, on Mar 29 2009, 11:57 PM, said:

And the award for strangest comment ever goes to.... :tongue:

Great review Def, I really love this set, both for playabilty and design, and also for MOCing parts. All of the bley, brown and the barrels make it a lovely parts pack.
I'd like to thank the academy... :tongue:

#8 def

def

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 02:21 AM

View PostRaven Brickroft, on Mar 30 2009, 08:27 AM, said:

You may have missed a few pieces in construction, though. The shovel? It goes under the "slide". There's a brown clip there.

You're right! Shovel added, thanks.

There's one more mistake too, I put one of the dwarves beards on backwards  :wacko:

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#9 Dadster

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 02:28 AM

Thanks for doing the cool review!

This is a great set IMO.  One of my favorites and coincidentaly, the set that kicked off the Dwarves-inclusion (right?) in the world of castle.


#10 soc399

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 05:12 AM

Thanks for such a nice review, def!  I also really like this set.  It helped me get back into Castle in a big way, since it was one of the only sets I had when I was studying in Greece last year.  I also wasn't totally satisfied with the layout of the official build, so I redesigned it.  You can see some pictures in my Brickshelf here.  I keep meaning to build an even better mine for my dwarves, so I'm trying to build up my collection of light and dark bley slopes.

#11 Legoist

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 07:18 AM

Excellent review.

I also agree with the vinal grades and verdict. This set has some great details and minifigs, and truly top playability with its many small moving parts and machines. Where it really lacks is in the build: the structure is really minimal, with some big rock pieces making up the bulk of it with tiny decorative pieces slapped on. I think the pieces in this set are particularly unvaluable: they have a "wow factor" because of the rare colours (dark green, navy blue, gold) but then you notice they are too few and many of them are "cheese-pieces" or top-roof pieces that work only as decorations, so you can't actually build anything with these pieces. The only part of this set which for my taste is really great design is the mine carts.

#12 def

def

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 09:53 AM

View Postsoc399, on Mar 30 2009, 01:12 PM, said:

Thanks for such a nice review, def!  I also really like this set.  It helped me get back into Castle in a big way, since it was one of the only sets I had when I was studying in Greece last year.  I also wasn't totally satisfied with the layout of the official build, so I redesigned it.  You can see some pictures in my Brickshelf here.  I keep meaning to build an even better mine for my dwarves, so I'm trying to build up my collection of light and dark bley slopes.

I saw that yesterday when searching for reviews for this.  Your remake was pretty fantastic :wub:

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#13 Tea Weevil

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Posted 06 April 2009 - 05:17 PM

Seeing that it was no longer available at S@H, and knowing that my Wal-Mart still had a few left, I picked this set up yesterday. I have to say I am impressed. Legoist does have a point; the build wasn't anything too special. But the inclusion of a variety of Dwarves (this is the cheapest set where one can get the non-winged helmets and the braided beards--if I'm not mistaken, the only other sets with the non-winged helms are the Troll Warship and the giant chess set, and the chess set is the only other place to get the dark brown braided beards) and the tan giant troll (which I prefer to the green one) helps make up for that, as does the wonderful design.

I do like that the trolls don't have the standard troll helm. It gives more variety to an army that I don't think should be altogether uniform. I had already switched out a few of my troll helms, giving some of them hoods, some of them bare heads, and giving one a winged dwarf-helm that he presumably took from a dwarf soldier he had killed. So it's nice to have variety on an official level, too-- it means fewer helmets to switch out. Not that I don't like the standard troll helmet--I just don't want every troll wearing one.
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#14 Bricklanta

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Posted 06 April 2009 - 06:47 PM

I've been thinking of getting this, but i'm still not convinced.

#15 Tea Weevil

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Posted 06 April 2009 - 09:03 PM

View PostBricklanta, on Apr 6 2009, 11:47 AM, said:

I've been thinking of getting this, but i'm still not convinced.

It would be good to decide soon. It doesn't look like LEGO will be shipping out any more, and this set always seems to sell rather quickly, so once stores run out of stock, that may well be the last we see of this set at the current price.
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#16 domboy

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Posted 03 September 2009 - 01:53 PM

Good review! This set is one of two that got be back into Lego. I hadn't bought any Lego since middle school age (the days of the Dragon Masters...) I happened to be in TRU one day and saw one of the new pirate sets on the end of an isle (6253 Shipwreck Hideout) which perked my interest, but when I saw this set I was hooked! It has to be one of the most unique sets Lego has ever made. I love just about everything about this set. I bought it, needless to say.

#17 Big Cam

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Posted 03 September 2009 - 02:55 PM

Nice review, It really urks me that LEGO can't creat a pair of short legs that still move, sorry off topic.

I like the story you tied along with the example pics.

#18 saberwing

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Posted 04 September 2009 - 05:39 PM

Great review!
I own this set too.
It's amazing.  :laugh:

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#19 Forresto

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Posted 05 September 2009 - 05:44 PM

I love this set and got it only a couple months ago! What's wierd though all the copper pieces (Dwarf helmet,Axes.......) in mine are brown, has this happened to anyone else.

#20 gormadoc

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Posted 09 September 2009 - 05:37 PM

Great reveiw, I think you might have actualy convinced me to buy this set  :laugh:
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