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REVIEW: 7078 King's Battle Chariot


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#1 Clone OPatra

Clone OPatra

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Posted 01 June 2009 - 03:29 AM

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Here it is, another review of the smallest summer 2009 Castle set that most people hated so much from just the picture.

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Title: King's Battle Chariot
Set #: 7078
Theme: Castle/Fantasy Era
Pieces: 103
Minifigures: 4
Year: 2009
Price at Release: USD $19.99, EU €20,00-ish
Buy It? Inventory?  LEGO   Bricklink  Peeron


INTRODUCTION

Like Svelte_Corps says in the introduction to his fabulous review of 7097 Trolls' Mountain Fortress, this set has also been hated since the time some preliminary pictures were released.  Then, when the mostly completed set was shown at Toy Fair, even more people jumped aboard the "OMG 7078 is so awful" train.  They said it was so overpriced, with just 103 pieces for 20 bucks.  They said even for that amount of pieces it looked badly designed, and not very thought out.  The only good thing I personally read someone say about this set was that it comes with two orc shields.  That was it, just the shields.

Well, I didn't know how I felt about.  I don't buy a lot of Castle (the only other Fantasy Era sets I have are 7040 Dwarves' Mine Defender and 7091 Knights' Catapult Defense), so I didn't really care one way or another about this set.  It did seem overpriced, but lots of sets are these days.  

Anyway, I was in New York over the weekend so I popped into the big Toys R Us in Times Square.  Just as I'd expected, they had the new Space Police, City, and Agents, but not many copies of the new Castle sets.  But there were two crushed copies of 7078 King's Battle Chariot, and they were marked down to $16.90!  Although that's not really so much of a bargain, I can never resist things that are marked down.  Without a second's thought, I grabbed it and bought it.


BOX

Pardon the wooden floor in these pictures.  I did not want to carry the box with me from New York, so I had to take the pictures where I was staying there.

The front of the box shows a cute little scene.  The design of the grassy rocks and stone road is a lovely artwork.  The set itself already looks a bit small though, and it says 103 pieces right there, which is a giveaway that there will be a few less pieces than expected in a $20 set.
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The back of the box has more lovely artwork that continues onto the flap.  There are two little inserts, not really showing play features, because there are none.  It's hard to tell from the picture, but it was a real struggle to get the box open.  What happened to the great punch holes?
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The top side of the box does not show all the minifigures, just the king in actual scale and the king again fighting with an orc.  Also of note, no parts of this set were made in China, for any of you who care (I do a bit).
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On another side of the box, there was this game ad.  I wonder when we can expect to see the game.
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INSTRUCTIONS

The instructions were not horribly mangled, just folded neatly in half.  The front has the same art as the front of the box.
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The first two pages.  Nice and neat, good color distinction, although black and dark bley blend together just a little.
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Here is another nice page featuring the built set with its box, the other two summer sets, and that same little ad for the Castle game.
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MINIFIGURES

Ok, on to the plastic part of the set as opposed to the paper and cardboard parts.

First, the minifigures from the front.  The trolls and regular crownie have been seen before, but it's always nice to have more of them and to get the copper-helmeted troll with an alternative orc torso.  The masterpiece of the minifigures is the king, who comes with beautiful armor, torso printing, and leg printing.  He also has a dark blue plume...delicious!
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My my, the king also has a wonderful back printing!  That furry part of his cloak makes him look so kingly!
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In sum, the minifigures in this set are absolutely wonderful.  The king is fabulous beyond description, and the others are great to have as well.


MINIFIGURE Special Section: KING

I read on one of the forums that people were annoyed that LEGO put "yet another" king into a set.  Those people wished there were just more crownies in this set, and no beautiful king that can easily be afforded.  Well, lets take a look at how our newly outfitted king holds up with kings of the past ten years.

From left to right, King Leo of KK1(sorry, I could not find his crown, but it's quite worn anyway), King Mathias of KK2, and our new king, of Castle.
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The new king is a lot more exciting with his dark blue and back printing.  King Leo does have nice leg printing, but the gray just does not compare to royal dark blue.  Plus, our new king has beautifully printed armor and a plume!
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Now, let me show you a few things that you can create with pieces from the new king, to further show you how great he is.  

Firstly, two semi-obvious Castle minifigures: a crownie in armor with a lovely sash and dark blue plume, and a dwarf in a kingly robe.
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But then I got to thinking, and I realized that you can even use the king's torso for city-themed characters, like so:
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You couldn't have made that guy with King Mathias' torso.
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I hope these few thoughts about the king further convinces you (WhiteFang) of this minifigure's beauty.


ACCESSORIES

Yes, they get their own section.  Here is where we see that there are two, not one, two! orc shields.  We also get some dark grey long poles (I still think they should have never left the Orient), four differently colored gems, a chrome gold broadsword, a bow, and two dark Reown (reddish-brown) spears.  It seems LEGO likes its dark brown spears, because it put them in the Mountain Fortress too.  I have to wonder though, why did the trolls have those cool metal chipped swords before, but now revert back to wooden spears?  While LEGO did put some chipped swords in the even newer Trolls' Battle Pack, the spears were still an odd choice in this set.  They are nice to have though.
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We also get a horse (I consider it a minifig accessory).  It comes with bricks to fill it in when it's not attached to the chariot.
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The back of the box shows the king riding the horse, even though there's no saddle.
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A great accessory collection, especially for just four minifigures.


PARTS

Who needs a picture of the parts list in the instructions when I set all of them up so nicely?  Even sorted by color.  The color variety is very nice.  It's great to get gold, brown, and especially dark blue!
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And don't forget the extra pieces!
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The BUILD

Ok, you're ready, let's put those pieces together!  (Does that sound corny to you too?)  I took pictures of every fourth step after the fifth one, don't ask why!

In 5 steps, we have:
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9 steps.  Weapons and horse attacher added, plus the first panel of what will be the floor of the chariot.
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13 steps.  Mmm... dark blue added.
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17 steps.  More dark blue is added, starting to build the walls of the chariot.  The gems (and extra piece) have been put in the gold chest.  This king must be filthy rich to have all that gold plated stuff.
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21 steps.  The chariot part itself is mostly done, now with gold flags and a two-high wall.
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While in between steps 22 and 23, you build the horse attaching part.  I find it funny that the instructions have to show you that you must take out that white brick from the horse before putting the different part on.
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23 steps.  It's just missing the metallic bow.
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I also find step 25 odd in the instructions.  Firstly, I thought that usually nothing was added in the last step but the minifigures, but here the bow is attached.  Also, why is the king in the front manning the bow, while the soldier is standing in the rear?  I would think the other way around would make more sense, but maybe this is a king who likes to be right out there in the action.
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The build does not take very long, so it is not boring and it is not repetitive.


SET

Now I'll critique how the set is once it is built.

First, the left side.  From this angle, it is a nice looking chariot, with good colors and nice big wheels.  I put the king in back and soldier in front, the way I would have thought to.  Perhaps two horses would have been better for the comparatively large chariot, but I think it's ok.  The set is symmetrical, so there is no need for two side pics.
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Front.  Yes, the angle is a bit funny, but the chariot does look a bit imposing when viewed head on.
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Back.  Here's an obvious flaw, what's holding the chest in on the back.  If the chariot zoomed forward, wouldn't the chest fly right out?
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Above.  Here we see that there is really not so much space in the chariot, and it is hard to put the king and soldier in many different positions when they're holding their accessories.
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DESIGN

I know this is not a traditional section of a review, but I want to spend time on this, so I created this section.

First, I mentioned above that there is nothing holding the chest on the back of the chariot except LEGO studs, which don't exist in real life anyway (sorry kids!).  Why couldn't LEGO have added one more gold rail thing to the back, to make the chest look safe?  The way it is now, this could happen:
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Another flaw is that there is no designed way for the minifigures to enter the chariot except by the hand of G-D.
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The poles leading up the flags also block the vision of the minifigures inside, so an orc could climb up.
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For a battle chariot, the whole thing seems a bit under-armed.  The only armed part of the chariot is the spears and crossbow.  I wonder why LEGO did not rig it with play features like flick-fire missiles, that shooting system they use on the Troll Warship, or some regular flick-catapult.  Not that I mind not having those, I really don't.  It's nice to have a simpler model without those play features, but I still can wonder why LEGO opted not to have them.  It's not like they were over their piece per price limit.

Since there are no things to flick or fire, one must be imaginative with the armament of the chariot.  For instance...

1. An orc warrior is standing ready to jump on the approaching chariot.
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Looks like the King's Chariot had that attack covered!
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2. Two orcs fear the King's Chariot, so they run for their lives.
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Good thing the king had that crossbow installed!
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3. This time, the orcs decide to attack from above.  The king wasn't ready for that.
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CONCLUSION

The best thing about this set, hands-down, is the minifigures.  They are beautiful.  The accessories for them are also really great, a big plus for this set.  The color scheme and parts selection is quite good, but it is at least 50 pieces under what is today the standard of price-per-piece.  There are also a bunch of flaws in the design, as I demonstrated above.  So, am I happy I bought this set?  Yes, I am.  The minifigures alone are worth the $20, and the chariot is a nice addition to the myriad of other crowny vehicles already available.  The Castle line was crying for a vehicle for the king, and it got an acceptable one.


RATINGS

Minifigures: 10/10 - I think you know my feelings about them by now.
Pieces: 8.5/10 - Great color scheme and selection, but not enough.
Build: 9/10 - Not repetitive, and you can't really expect a long build in a $20 set.
Playability: 8.5/10 - Apart from rolling it around and banging little plastic men together, there isn't much to do.
Price: 8/10 - You can't expect this to be a $10 set, even though $10 would fit the 103 pieces.  The finished model is bigger than that of a $10 set, and the minifigures are awesome.  Throughout the years, LEGO has always considered a variety of factors when pricing a set, so $20 is not so bad.

Overall: 8.8/10 - A calculated average says "this set is most likely worth getting."  Although I've given you this advice, the best way to find out if you will like this set is to buy it and see it yourself!

I hope you enjoyed my review, and learned something about a set that so many people hated.
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#2 metalandi

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Posted 01 June 2009 - 03:39 AM

Thanks for the second review of this set! Now that i see all the accessoires at once i think it's a really good set for parts. I also like how you compared the kings and the (unexciting) building process. But what in gods name did you do with that poor box?? You know that you just have to cut open these 2 trans-plastic stripes on the edge with a knife, don't you?? :tongue:

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#3 HumanPackMule

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Posted 01 June 2009 - 03:48 AM

Thanks for the review. It looks MUCH more appealing to purchase, now that you've reviewed it.  :thumbup:
For an optimist, the glass is half full. To the pessimist, it is half empty. To the engineer, it is twice as big as it needs to be.

#4 Clone OPatra

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Posted 01 June 2009 - 04:11 AM

View Postmetalandi, on May 31 2009, 11:39 PM, said:

Thanks for the second review of this set! Now that i see all the accessoires at once i think it's a really good set for parts. I also like how you compared the kings and the (unexciting) building process. But what in gods name did you do with that poor box?? You know that you just have to cut open these 2 trans-plastic stripes on the edge with a knife, don't you?? :tongue:

The box was already smashed like that when I got it, hence the small markdown.  Still, thanks for the advice about opening these newer sets, I'll definitely have to use a knife in the future.  I can still ask, though, what happened to the punch holes?

I am glad you enjoyed my review.
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#5 metalandi

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Posted 01 June 2009 - 04:15 AM

I think the holes are still there at some sets, these sticky stripes have been used since years already, at least i had many sets in my hands already that had these. I don't know on what they decide what to use to close the boxes, but there have been different versions out there for sure since quite a time.

#6 Zuntir

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Posted 01 June 2009 - 11:59 AM

I wish this set had another horse or chariot was smaller. I ranked it average only beacause of orc shields and king.
And thanks for nice review!
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#7 Natman8000

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Posted 01 June 2009 - 12:16 PM

Honestly, you convinced me. I now see that this isnt as bad as we though. I might just get it!
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#8 KristofBD

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Posted 01 June 2009 - 01:48 PM

Very nice second review.   :thumbup:  Can't say that you changed my mind, but I love how you added an accesoire and design section.  

To a certain degree they even reinforce my thoughts about this set.  I also want my sets to be 'realistic', so I like the arguments about the chest, the lack of stairs and the blocked side view.  

I agree with you though that the minifigures are certainly an important plus! Additionally, you did convince me that the set has a lot of weapons and extras. Sure, the set only includes few pieces, but the pieces that it includes are nice and mostly large.

KBD
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#9 Dadster

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Posted 01 June 2009 - 02:43 PM

Very nicely done...


#10 Lord Admiral

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Posted 01 June 2009 - 05:17 PM

Using the king's torso as a city minifigure is absolutely hilarious. All that gold suddenly becomes bling. Your review is very thorough, but I still don't like the set. In particular, I agree with some of your design concerns, including the two flag poles on the side. Surely, as a battle chariot, you'd want to be able to cut from all 360 degrees of the vehicle. I think a black one stud 2x1 plate would be better at holding the flags than the brown sloped wall bricks. Maybe give the king a shield, or have some shields along the sides of the chariot.

I also agree with the lack of something to secure the chest in the back. A hinge plate or a plate attached to hinges would've been perfect (and you can unload from there too), but I guess TLG has something against hinge pieces these days. I believe people enter chariots from an open back, so the lack of another door doesn't bother me. Neither does the open back, if the treasure chest wasn't present. But it does seem quite disingenuous to place the treasure chest not only where it'll fall out, but where it's so easily stolen!

#11 alex12

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Posted 10 June 2009 - 11:37 AM

Good review but i saw in the flesh the other day and just could not bring myself to buy it.
Its a psychological thing i think.

#12 gormadoc1

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 05:58 PM

Its nice to have a smaller set with a king in it but if you ask me I think that the chariot is too big just to have the one horse so I think it should have two and be a bit bigger like 6044 Kings carriage. However beggers cant be choosers.   :classic:
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#13 Martijn

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 10:06 PM

View PostClone O'Patra, on Jun 1 2009, 04:29 AM, said:

But then I got to thinking, and I realized that you can even use the king's torso for city-themed characters, like so:
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That is so pimp! I love it!

Quote

For a battle chariot, the whole thing seems a bit under-armed.  The only armed part of the chariot is the spears and crossbow.  I wonder why LEGO did not rig it with play features like flick-fire missiles, that shooting system they use on the Troll Warship, or some regular flick-catapult.
I completely disagree. A chariot is not a tank. It's supposed to be fast and light and maybe feature a hand bow and a lance. Scythes on the wheels and other spiky bits are okay if you want more, but it's not a platform for a catapult.

In any case, I agree that the minifigs look good, and this set has a lot of very interesting pieces, but I would never use those pieces to build something awful like this chariot. It's too big, clunky and uninspired, and I really pity that poor horse that has to pull it all on its own.

The chariot is a nice showcase for some funky pieces, but they were put together the way a child would do it. I admit I built stuff like that when I was a kid, but I expect a slightly higher standard from official Lego designs (although I admit that over the years they've produced tons of sets that were far sillier than this one).

#14 Ratshot

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 11:22 PM

I picked up the set the other day and I would rate it 7/10. The overall design wasn't that bad while the figs were great. There are a lot of pros and cons with this set :sceptic:

My flickr

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#15 Teddy

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 11:40 PM

View PostMartijn, on Jun 17 2009, 12:06 AM, said:

I completely disagree. A chariot is not a tank. It's supposed to be fast and light and maybe feature a hand bow and a lance. Scythes on the wheels and other spiky bits are okay if you want more, but it's not a platform for a catapult.

In any case, I agree that the minifigs look good, and this set has a lot of very interesting pieces, but I would never use those pieces to build something awful like this chariot. It's too big, clunky and uninspired, and I really pity that poor horse that has to pull it all on its own.

The chariot is a nice showcase for some funky pieces, but they were put together the way a child would do it. I admit I built stuff like that when I was a kid, but I expect a slightly higher standard from official Lego designs (although I admit that over the years they've produced tons of sets that were far sillier than this one).

Fast light chariots were more the Egyption way... Linky to wiki topic.
In medievel times a chariot was not used anymore.
Instead carriages were the cabs and lorries of the time.
So Lego confuses me with this set.  :sceptic:

#16 Raven Brickroft

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 11:52 PM

Maybe they called it a chariot because it was not enclosed and had an opened top?

Nice variety on the orcs though. And the king's printed torso looks great.

As a kid I'd be all "YEAH!! TAKE THAT BADDIES!!!"

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Raven Ashcroft, 18 years old male human Rogue

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Inventory: Main Gauche (WP: 3), Wrench (WP:3, target’s level -1, throwing weapon), Potion, Water Bomb, Lightning Bomb, Venom, Deadly Venom


#17 bbobb

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Posted 12 December 2009 - 05:43 AM

Thanks for the review. I really like the way you introduce this set. It's clean and detailed. Also, the pictures you took are great. Some of them make me smile. I like this set and especially the minifigures, but the price IS high.  :sadnew:  I hope I'll have the chance to get a copy that's marked down.

I would say that if someday I really bought this set, it would be for the king.  :classic:

#18 Nicker

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Posted 12 December 2009 - 06:13 AM

I thought one of the most glaring problems with this set was the fact that it has only one horse pulling the chariot. Another thing that bothers me from a design point of view is that the chariot is huge compared to the horse. The proportions of this set are definitely out. Chariots were designed to be driven into battle at high speeds usually with 2 horses. I really can't see this chariot racing into battle. It's a nice idea for a set but it really benefit from a better more balanced design. A second horse could have been included into this set for about the same price by taking out both of the trolls or by taking out 1 troll and the knight. I rate this set at 5/10. I plan on making a MOC of the way I thought this set should have been designed.

Edited by Nicker, 12 December 2009 - 06:48 AM.


#19 Grimmy

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Posted 12 December 2009 - 07:14 AM

I really enjoyed reading your review. I like the funny quick witted observations  :tongue:  I especially liked the city pimp guy you made, and the pics with the gold chest falling out the back because of no rail was funny as well as the Trolls (or rather Orcs as some like to call them which they look more like) running away with it hahah!  :tongue:

#20 KurttKrueger

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 02:10 PM

Nice review.

I haven't been too sold on this set, purely as I haven't seen it as something worth adding to my collection before. Now that I've seen the King in more detail, I think I'll be picking it up now.

He's a nice upgrade to the King/s that I already have from King's Castle Siege.
My Brickshelf Gallery - Forestmen, Trolls and Crownies oh my!

Also, Star Wars The Old Republic Custom Minifigures.

#21 Sir Fred

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 09:24 PM

Lately this set has been tempting me, despite that at first I did not like it. Really the only issue I have with it is the horse to chariot ratio, but I'm sure I can work out a way to make it work.

#22 MarcusV3

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 09:39 PM

I must say it's a pretty nice set, I just think it's the price that turns me off  :sceptic: Also I would have much rather had a battle wagon with two wheels, I think it's just a bit unbalanced looking.

#23 burkey42

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Posted 20 December 2009 - 12:37 PM

Very nice work within a very detailed review. I wont ever build n display it - still got it for parts and will put some of it in my BL store.
B42

#24 lightningtiger

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Posted 20 December 2009 - 01:14 PM

I actually liked building this and my son loves playing with, the good guys and bad guys take turns at who wins. :grin:
A support rail could be MODed into the design to help hold tthe chest, or maybe thats the idea it can fall out ?
Thanks for the review, 'Clone O'Patra'. :sweet:

#25 Swash Buckler

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Posted 20 December 2009 - 01:16 PM

:thumbup: Good review good set- why do someone hated that- don't get it- looks good- nice colors and all :classic:



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