8450 The Mission
Price: 59.99 USD
Piece/Price Ratio: 9.33 USD
Set Dimensions: Length 42cm, Width (wingspan) 34cm, Height (with landing gear) 9cm
Build Time: Approximately 2 hours + or - 15 minutes.
Well, lego isn't that big on commercials, rather it relies on the web and those little leaflets it used to put into sets. This set, sad to say, didn't have much attention except for brief appearances in the leaflets and some time spent on the lego website. It was supposed to serve as a cybermaster expansion set, but sadly cybermaster just didn't fly, thus the support for the Mission Jet was left dry. I think it didn't even appear on store shelves - giving it low exposure to potential buyers. The price per piece ratio isn't that high, considering 1 cent per piece isn't that too costly.
The box says everything: its the attention grabber that captures your interests and reels you in. The box is medium sized, and has an opening flap to view some of the details. Overall the box puts in a nice blend of a yellow color and the chrome framing around the set. Inside the flaps and on the back it shows varying views and functions of the main model, its accessories, alternate models, and various screenshots from the CD-ROM. The pictures have a futuristic city like background, which is a nice touch to make it not so plain.
The box contains, well, another box to put all your pieces in which is a nice convenience. No plastic trays, something they eliminated after last year. The bags are all numbered to help in the ordering of construction to make things go a little faster, and these bags are not perforated making them less likely to rip open. Of course my way is always is to just dump all the parts into a pile on the floor, but lego makes it easier for anyone who wants to build this set.
Of the many sets lego has, this is one of the few to not have paper instructions. Lets consider this aspect on how well technology has advanced. It is a pain to have to sit down at the computer and watch its animations repeatedly to assemble this thing. You have to search through all the extras and features of the CD to find the instructions, then you set yourself on its pace. Worst of all, since technology has evolved way beyond WINDOWS 98 many computers are not compatible with this CD-ROM. With the noted problems with marketing as mentioned, lego has relatively little on this set and was not able to help me. Only after hours of searching I found a video showing the instructions then I was able to put this set together. It does include paper instructions, but only a bunch of legal jibberish in about ten thousand languages.
Aside from the instruction format being a pain, the actual construction is relatively painless.
The set starts out with the assembly of all the modular parts and then the accessories.
The cockpit: an easy build with a few stickers and H pins to hold the ends to the other part.
The body: nothing special here either, just straight forward beams, pins, and all the other parts. This includes all the gears and hydraulics that operate all the functions of the jet.
The engines: a repetitive step, but utilizes a unique way of smashing bushings, pins, and axles together to make a large component.
The accessories: straighforward, nothing special except uses rubber bands and strings in them.
So now that thats all set and done, now its time to unite all the modules to make a whole. Using the enslaved locals of my room, this task was accomplished quite easily.
The final product of around a few hours of build.
The construction is relatively straightforward, but really offers no unique steps. The modular build is a new concept at the the time and was just being explored, so it was something different. The build was quick and painless, nothing intense or tricky.
This set offered something different in the way it looked. A black, electric green, and yellow combo made for a stylish and very different look to this set. Somehow it all seems right. The stickers (yes evil stickers) add the technological screens, computers, and designs on to the set to make it pretty slick. The panels and flex tubes allowed for curves and shapes not possible before, and like other sets from this year were just an exercise in style basically. The sharp angles of the wings, the overall filling, and the slender body make this one hell of a visually pleasing set. Besides, black isn't a real common color in TECHNIC anymore...and once you go black you never go back.
This set included many of the new panels, flex tubes, and many colorful pieces. The pegs were black and grey, not red and blue like they are now. It had a good mix of stud and non stud pieces, but other than that nothing really special. Stickers were numerous and a nuisance, but they still made the set look nice.
This set has only four gears and one hydraulic pump...nothing real spectacular. These all operated simultaneously into one function that moved the landing gear and engines. Coming short this set really did not have a whole lot to drive its operations and therefore did not have a complex build or much functionality.
With the few gears and hydraulic all working together, there is really only a few results. A trigger on the bottom of the jet causes the hydraulic to drive an axle which pulls two lift arms in the under carriage to deploy the wheels, and the axle also causes the engines to be facing vertically. This creates a vertical takeoff effect which looks very nice and runs quite smoothly. The cockpit also opens manually, which again is nothing special in this set. The accesories can be attached either side by a plus rod and pin. The tools include a winch, a bomb dropper, a giant hand, and something that I have no idea as to its purpose. Nice in a play sense, but has little value to a collector.
Influence and Impact
Considering cybermaster was short lived and the poor marketing campaign, this sets sales were probably horrible. Out of a sample of brickset users, only 35 out of 13855 have this set, or 0.002 percent. An extremely low amount. This set was no blockbuster, and few were willing to shovel out the bucks for this so called expansion set.
Sad to say, but with cybermasters fall and being overshadowed by the immense and spectacular 8448 Super Street Sensation, this set gave little to the future. It did though, follow the trend of the year, explored a new style and modular building, and possibly taught lego that expansion packs were not always a good thing and cd roms are not a good way to build with.
Overall Score: 57/85 or 67 percent
Below average but only for its economic performane. Overall for a medium set its not that bad. It has great style, lego tried something different, and its relatively rare and unknown. I consider it a great collection to my family of 220 TECHNIC/Bionicle sets...and hopefully people will lift a blind eye to things like this more often.
LG over and out....
Edited by LordGalewind, 02 April 2009 - 07:32 PM.