Set #: 8962
Theme: Power Miners
Year Released: 2009
Piece Count: 168
List Price: $19.99 USD
I don't think I'm alone when I share that many fans were a bit hesitant with this set. But I think this set represents a classic example of a new, burgeoning LEGO psychological condition called The Power Miners Effect. Now, this is certainly not a condition we might hope to see in the future DSM-V, no, this is a pop-culture phenomenon that occurs when most everyone who sees a Power Miners product can't help but initially say, "Yuck." While this is doubtfully exclusive to Power Miners themes, it is most often seen in Power Miners themes, thus my need to coin the phenomenon known as The Power Miners Effect.
That being said, I bring your attention to the Crystal King, a set that has received more groans than usual. But if anyone can recall the initial disgust that came with the Power Miners revelation, you might be inclined to corroborate my understanding of The Power Miners Effect. Because, invariably, the "Yuck" turns into or at the very least
That being said, let's get busy!
The front of the box.
The rear, which features things I will likely explain in greater detail.
Inside the box there are three bags. Two containing multiple parts, and a single bag containing the head and jaw of the Crystal King himself.
There is a single, small instruction manual included in this set.
These pieces are so cool to me. I don't know how practical they seem to me at the moment in terms of imaginative application in MOCs, but it just strikes me as a piece I would crave as a child. I can see this becoming a set people puzzle over in MOCs 20 years from now, wondering where that rare rock piece came from, as people do from strange exclusive pieces in the past. The set includes three, and for the sake of display, I flipped the center one over so you could see the bottom. They are all three identical.
A close up of the Crystal King's head, jaw agape.
The rear of the Crystal King's head. If you were looking up into the skull, you'd see two tecnic pin holes.
Front view, jaw closed.
Jaw and head separated. The two come apart quite easily, though they are packaged and shipped connected.
The two Power Miners. All in all, it seems to be things we've seen a few times over. Nothing that impressive.
Rear view. Again, nothing that impressive or new in the series run.
As usual, the dual sided faces are present.
The initial phase of construction has us building this backpack drill unit that is used to combat the Crystal King.
A view of the completed drill unit without user.
A view of the completed drill unit in action.
The Crystal King is built in sections, then connected through the ball joints. Here is a shot of the sections that need be completed before assembling the fully finished Crystal King. Given the low parts count, this is an extremely quick build.
A shot of the King himself, alone, and ready to defend his crystalline kingdom. My quick and only gripe with this set is that the level of crystal detail apparent in the waist up is lacking in this model. A couple extra crystal pieces on the feet would've made this model more sensible.
The usurpers come quick, and the King is just as quick to act.
A view from behind.
An obligatory action shot.
A view of the extra pieces.
I purposely brought up this notion of The Power Miners Effect for the most specific reason of personal experience. When I first saw this set, I was really put off. It seemed so anti-climactic. And while it's still not the Crystal King I would've expected I'm still more impressed with it after building it, as seems to be the case with LEGO products. There are a few pieces in this set that I think are pretty neat, and the set's moderate price tag make them a fun thing to pick up. While I don't expect fans to be doing cartwheels down the street to pick this one up, I do think the bashing was a bit premature, my own included. I think opinion initially was cruel to the Power Miners theme, but history will bode well for it.
Edited by WhiteFang, 23 May 2009 - 12:06 PM.