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REVIEW: Indiana Jones 7196 Chauchilla Cemetery Battle

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    Percentage of vote: 46.74%

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#1 Svelte


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Posted 06 May 2009 - 07:55 AM

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Name: Chauchilla Cemetery Battle
Set: 7196
Theme: Indiana Jones
Subtheme: Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
Year: 2009
Pieces: 187 (?)
Minifigs: 4 (and a skeleton)
Price: $US19.99 (according to Toy Fair), yet to be confirmed elsewhere
Resources: Brickset

Indiana Jones and Mutt Williams are in Peru investigating the disappearance of Harold Oxley, Indy's old colleague. They follow a clue to Chauchilla Cemetery to the grave of Francisco de Orellana, a Conquistador who supposedly found the legendary city of Akator and brought back a mysterious treasure. However the guardians of the cemetery are not too keen on a visit from these uninvited grave-robbers...

Part 1: Box, Parts and Instructions

The front of the box:
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The back of the box, showing set functions:
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A side view showing the minifigures:
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Contents include three bags of parts...
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...and an instruction manual:
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The A5 sized manual is laid out in portrait format:
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The parts list:
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The parts, debagged. As you can see, there is a lot of bley, with some brown plates and bricks, and a hint of tan :tongue::
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The painted chassis of Mutt's red motorcycle is separately bagged:
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And de-bagged:
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Unlike the pearl version that was released with the Conquistador skeleton in last year's 7627 Temple of Akator, the armour here is metallic silver. Castle fans rejoice!
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Parts-wise, there is a great selection of dark bley slopes and cheese, but not much else of particular note. Here are a few of the other interesting pieces - the pearl gold version of the treasure chest, 2 goblets, 4x plants, 2 scorpions (we haven't seen these in a while), the cheap bley daggers, 2 emeralds and a Crystal Skull. Not a bad haul, overall.
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Part 2: Minifgures
There are four minifigs in this set - Indy, Mutt and 2 Cemetery Warriors.

I was really excited by the prospect of a new Indy face! :wub: :wub: Then I noticed it is almost exactly the same as Mutt's except with a few lines taken off and some stubble print added :sceptic: Yes, we know Indy has a son and heir, do you have to keep slapping us in the face with the family resemblance? :tongue: Besides, Mutt is a son and not a clone so by rights should be half-Marion! :tongue: (In Lego terms that means he at least should have a 'scared' print on the back of his head). Compare and contrast the genetic similarities below:
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The Cemetery Warriors are identical in every way, with a double sided head print. With the shaggy mop, they do resemble Harry Potter more than a little. This is Harry Potter on crystal meth:
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And this is Harry Potter after a spray-tan:
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(Note the accessories; a blowpipe and, er, chainsaw :wacko:)

Our cast together. Note Mutt's simple but clever lantern.
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And the Conquistador skele - he needs to take in his arms a bit. Seriously, what was he, a knuckle-dragging Neanderthal?
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Mutt's motorcycle is a great new mould and will make this set a must-have for City fans too. The dark red paint job is sleek but I am sure we will see this piece in different versions. Here's Mutt's motorcycle chassis assembled over the usual motorcycle frame but before the side bags are added:
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And with the side bags:
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Mutt on his cycle. One thing Lego has been omitting from bikes (and this is also true of 7641 City Life and the Camper set) is the headlights, but I'm sure most people have a few (dozen!) 1x1 trans clear round plates lying around to use as a spare :grin::
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Here's a comparison shot from the movie:
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Part 3: The build

The build is divided into two sections - Orellana's Cradle (and Grave), and the entrance. These sections are connected by Technic pins and for the sake of the box art have been split apart so you can see inside more clearly; when you build the set, it actually runs in a straight line.

First up, we build Orellana's Cradle-Grave. Here is the base with Technic connection showing:
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Already we see lots of cheesy stonework and the Crystal Skull's resting place:
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Spiderwebs and candlelight - just what a dusty old crypt requires:
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The gold chest contains a few treasures:
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The cheese slopes wedge Orellana's skele-feet so he doesn't flop all over the place. He effectively conceals the Crystal Skull behind him:
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Just like in the movie, Indy has no qualms about grubbing about in human remains.
"Get out of my way bony, I'm not getting any younger myself!"
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It's a shame we couldn't have a tearing shroud like in the film, but otherwise the Lego rendition is faithful to the scene:
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Next, we build up the 'exterior' to the Gravy-Cradle, with some concealed hideaways for the Cemetery Warriors, and the moving stone disc which Indy slides over.

The base of the exterior section, showing where the Technic bricks will connect to the other section:
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The stone disc, which you can see is also connected like a see-saw to Technic bricks:
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The disc is now in position:
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The mechanism works by means of a gear concealed on the other side of the doorway. Dr Jones has kindly volunteered for this experiment to show us how it works:
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The door is closed when the handle is down, like so:
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When spun, the door flips up and Indy falls through the other side:
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Finishing off this section are little ladders where the Cemetery Warriors can conceal themselves:
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This is a nice touch; I thought the way they darted in and around various unexpected places in the movie was one of the film's creepiest aspects:
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Part 4: The finished model

The unconnected sections as seen from the rear:
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Side view:
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With the figures in place:
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Here's the sequence as Indy goes through the stone entrance again. Not very elegant. Plus, Orellana has stinky feet!
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The poison dart blowpipe is a little difficult to position (how do minifgs feed themselves? :laugh:) but it can be done:
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And finally, spare parts :wink:
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Part 5: Overall Rating
Minifigures - 7/10. The idea of giving Indy a new face was a good one; it's just a shame the face they gave him was Mutt's! :sceptic: The Chauchilla Cemetery figs are great, with a new torso print and head, but it is slightly disappointing that they are identical, especially considering the smaller 7195 Ambush in Cairo had two very distinct villains. However the metallic skele-armour is sweet and there is nothing really here to complain about.
Parts - 7.5/10. Good selection of useful dark bley slopes, with a sprinkling of other interesting stuff. And of course the sweet, sweet motorcycle :wub:
Playability - 7.5/10. Some nice little features, and the sliding disc mechanism works well. Probably the weakest part of the set is that the gear that works the mechanism tends to fall out. The hidey-holes for the warriors are a clever touch and hiding the Crystal Skull behind Orellana is true to the film.
Price - Remains to be seen for non-US markets, but if it is $US20 it will be priced in Australia at $AUD35-40. Probably a bit expensive at that amount, but worth picking up on sale for the parts, the bike and the two Cemetery Warriors.
Overall - 7/10. This set is a good little one, but hardly essential. It's kind of like a foreshortened 7623 Temple Escape with a whiff of Harry Potter about it! (Maybe I feel that way because of the mop hair, spiders, flames and web-pieces, all HP staples :grin:). I suspect most collectors will want it for the motorcycle and Cemetery Warriors, but apart from that it is a useful parts pack. In terms of Indy sets at a similar price-point, I wouldn't rate it as highly as the wonderful 7621 Secret of the Lost Tomb, but it is certainly better than the decidely average 7625 River Chase.

(Note: screencaps were taken from this livejournaland then photo-edited, as I don't have a DVD copy of KOTCS  :classic: Thanks to the original poster!)

#2 The Penguin

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Posted 06 May 2009 - 08:44 AM

Awesome set and another great review! )  :classic:  :thumbup:
The geatest mystery of LIJ is solved for me now: now Batman fans can get 2 Scarecrow's goons! Yay! )  :laugh:
Plus I just love, love the motocycle.  :wub: Gotham streets are just waiting for one!
Well, and I find the striking resemblance between mutt and indy a nice step by LEGO. Very clever! )  :thumbup:

Thanks fo the review again! )

Good day, gentlemen! )  :sweet:

#3 Lordofdragonss


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Posted 06 May 2009 - 08:53 AM

Another great preliminary set review! :D (When someone will review a Mine set?)
I'm really happy that we get Crystal skull in small set, I always want one! And this set have a lot usefull pieces for Castle fan, so its must get for me!
Oh and are the sword still rubber like in previous year?

Edited by Lordofdragonss, 06 May 2009 - 08:55 AM.

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#4 Svelte


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Posted 06 May 2009 - 08:59 AM

View PostLordofdragonss, on May 6 2009, 06:53 PM, said:

Oh and are the sword still rubber like in previous year?

They're not rubber but they're the softer plastic that looks particularly bad in darker colours. It's a shame, we get the nice metallic armour but the cheap daggers. Boo!

#5 Brickthing


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Posted 06 May 2009 - 10:05 AM

Thanks for yet another wonderful review svelte_corps! How many more new sets do you have to do?  :laugh:

I love this set quite a lot, especially for the neat parts including the Conquistador and the Crystal Skull. After the Ambush in Cairo set, this is probably the next Indiana set that I'll get.  :classic:

#6 Etzel


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Posted 06 May 2009 - 10:08 AM

Your review is awesome as always, svelte_corps! You are truly a master reviewer!  :thumbup:

This set is really good IMO. Like you said, a great amount of dark bley slopes which I'm in a big need of. The cemetery warriors are lovely although they would have looked even better if one of them had have another hairpiece. The mc is nice too, I might have too start building some city MOCs to fit it into.

Not much to complain about in this set, the overall design isn't overwhelming but what you can expect from TLG. I'm getting this set when it comes to my country.  :thumbup:  
I voted Above Average.

#7 WhiteFang


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Posted 06 May 2009 - 10:16 AM

svelte_corps, your reviewing mania is indeed incredible. I can't stop viewing all of your recent reviews.  :wub:

This is a nice looking set, reminds me of the 7623 Temple Escape, but of course this set is considered a mini version. I like the cementry warriors though, and the torsos could used as part of the castle scenes such as rogue or beggar, and the new armor piece with different finishing. Mutt's bike is very nicely done. In fact, this design is much sleek looking than before. The whole cementry looks rather wide and open, not really dense and creepy like in the movies. Well, the movies was taken at night, but it will be even better if there could be more green pieces to illustrate the forest density.

Very good review indeed.  :thumbup:

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#8 I Scream Clone

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Posted 06 May 2009 - 11:48 AM

Aargh stop reviewing these sets Svelte! You are going to make me a poor man come August!

This set looks amazing, just as good as the last two Indy ones. Better keep saving up for the onslaught.

Great photography and referencing make this another top notch review too :thumbup:

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#9 Sandy


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Posted 06 May 2009 - 11:58 AM

I'm not much of a fan of this set, although I rated it average. The positive things about it is the one new minifig and the gorgeous motorcycle, but that's about it. I'm sure kids and IJ-enthusiasts will enjoy this set, though.

I have to disagree with the reviewer that Indy's and Mutt's faces are identical aside from the stubble. Sure, they look similar, but if you look at the lines in the mouth and the eyebrows, it's clear it's not the same face.

I also noticed that in the preliminary pictures, the other warrior had a black Ron Weasley hair instead of a Harry Potter hair, but apparently it didn't make it to the final product. Too bad. :sceptic:

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#10 Kanal-K1


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Posted 06 May 2009 - 01:13 PM

View PostLordofdragonss, on May 6 2009, 09:53 AM, said:

When someone will review a Mine set?

I am quite sure, that Dita will come with it very soon  :classic: , as it has been one of sets she bought from me in a huge BL lot, thanks for deal again! Thanks for super reviews, I intended to review too, but, I am happy, that I didn´t, have still learn a lot from real Masters  :tongue:

Edited by Kanal-K1, 06 May 2009 - 01:13 PM.

#11 Bobskink


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Posted 06 May 2009 - 01:28 PM

this set has some very interesting parts. I would pas, but the new Indy head and motorcycle make it worth it. If the price in €'s is resonable. To bad we didn't have that motorcycle design one year earlier for the motorcycle chase set.

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#12 pedro


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Posted 06 May 2009 - 02:05 PM

Great review svelte! Your reviews are always a joy to read :thumbup:

LEGO have raised the bar high with the Indy line of minifigs and this set is no exception! Not only that but there's an amazing range of scope for using the minifigs in other themes, be it Star Wars, Batman, Castle, etc. Mutt's classic motorbike is fantastic... I've got various characters who'd look great on such a sweet ride!

The only drawback for this set for me is the model itself. I look at it and I think parts - albeit a good selection of parts. For me, there's not a great deal about the model of the cemetary that's particularly appealing at all and the play functionality seems pretty flacid. I accept it's a scene taken from the (disappointingly mediocre) movie but a figure heavy set like this could've been realised on a much smaller scale in my opinion, especially when compared to Ambush in Cairo which is an extraordinary set for it minifig and parts count.

Saying that, the minifigs and motorcycle are MAJOR plus points and even if the cemetary itself is destined for parts it's potentially still worth the investment :wink:

Edited by pedro, 06 May 2009 - 02:06 PM.

#13 liquidcross


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Posted 06 May 2009 - 02:18 PM

Fantastic review! I need to get this set, and soon...hopefully they'll start appearing on shore shelves.

Though all I could think of with all of this "cradle" and "grave" talk was...

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(and don't forget Text and Violence)

#14 The Green Brick Giant

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Posted 06 May 2009 - 02:19 PM

These sets are awesome.  Last year the sets were OK, but I felt they were lacking detail, besides the set with a tent that was only available in the USA for 6 months and I never got to buy!   :hmpf_bad: Anyways I like these fets they feel fun and slightly different, however this set has 50+ less pieces than the 2008 $20 IJ sets.

#15 General Armendariz

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Posted 06 May 2009 - 02:25 PM

Awesome review! I want this set! :sweet:

#16 baby


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Posted 06 May 2009 - 02:50 PM

This set is freaking awesome!  :classic:

The bike is cool! Looks like is a must have too.

#17 UserNameInvalid


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Posted 06 May 2009 - 03:00 PM

Great review again!

I like love the fake tan look, motorcycle, and bad guy torsos.

Otherwise not greatly impressed.  :sadnew:

#18 Erdbeereis


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Posted 06 May 2009 - 03:24 PM

I always am so happy to read your reviews Svelty. You make me laugh a lot.  :laugh:

This set isn't great, but it'll be nice to get those skeleton heads ( I told you guys they might be reversible. :wink: ). Thanks again for the beautiful review, what can we expect next?! :grin:

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#19 BearHeart


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Posted 06 May 2009 - 03:42 PM

I'm definitely getting this set. I'm sure this set is gonna be really popular (with all the unique pieces) so Im gonna scoop it up the first chance I get.

#20 FaF


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Posted 06 May 2009 - 03:50 PM

This is my favourite set from Indy '09. Awesome review ! I need them !!

#21 ultraman_bc


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Posted 06 May 2009 - 04:15 PM

I am getting this. If nothing else, it is definitely for that bike!

#22 DarthPineapple


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Posted 06 May 2009 - 04:26 PM

Definitely a must for me. I love the old Indy face and the motorcycle is just lovely.

#23 ChrisVA


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Posted 06 May 2009 - 04:46 PM

Great for the parts. I'll be getting it for the motorcycle and the new figures. I also like the armor and helmet included with the skeleton.

#24 Razzer


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Posted 06 May 2009 - 05:10 PM

Thanks for another great review svelte_corps! I'm definately going to buy the other IJ sets coming up this year but was going to pass on this, but now  I know that Indy has a new head... weeeeeell, looks like its a must have!
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#25 Commander Assassin

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Posted 06 May 2009 - 06:10 PM

WOW! I want that set even more now! (hot motorbike :thumbup: )

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