Hello to all Eurobricks members and Power Miners lovers,
For those whom are familiar with this review, I must admit that this review was left untouched for almost a year inside the Reviewers Academy. I didn't have much inspiration back then, when I first bought this set to "experiment" this new theme, Power Miners. That was my very first Power Miners set, and probably the last few which I ever own, since most of the earlier sets are no longer available in retail stores and I wasn't really very keen to start a new theme as well.
As I mentioned earlier, I wasn't prepared to write a Power Miners review due to my lack of knowledge and experience with this very new theme, but seeing new sets coming out over the past few months have given me a better idea of this theme's objective.
Name: Granite Grinder
Theme: LEGO System / Power Miners
Price: USD$9.99, GBP 7.85, SGD$21.90
Resources: Brickset, Peeron, BrickLink
An image of a 8958, Granite Grinder
A rear image of a 8958, Granite Grinder
The Granite Grinder is classified under small scale miners vehicle, to allow the miners to implement small scale excavation underground operation. As you can see, with another Power Miner set, 8960 Thunder Driller, both of them can be built and merged together to form a new mining vehicle. Such building combinations of different sets is quite similar to the ones in the Exo Force theme. Without further ado, let's proceed with the review.
Instruction Manual, Tracks, Bucket, Stickers and Contents polybags
These are the content breakdown where you are able to view part of the Instruction Manual, showing "Step 18 to Step 22" of the Granite Grinder building process. There are 2 separate polybags that contains the building parts, plus having an individual Rock Monster in its own bag. While the tyre threads, tipper bucket and stickers are placed inside on its own.
Close up of the Sticker sheet
This is the close up of the sticker sheet where you are able to view the insignia "3" representing mining vehicle no. 3 in this expedition. The rest are the usual construction decals and the computer panels for the controls.
Lime green bricks assortment
Lime green is the core colouring bricks for the Power Miners. This is the first time where common LEGO elements such as 1x2, 1x4 bricks to be coated with these bright colour element. In fact, the building of this and other Power Miners vehicles depend heavily on the usage of lime green bricks.
A new buddy?
It appears our Power Miners personnel, Rex is looking a little bit worried with his new Rock buddy, Glaciator. I love the idea of having that cute little nasty Rock Monster such as Glaciator to be added into my current collection. It's so nice and lovely where I am able to use it wham those medieval knights that is summoned by the evil wizard to act as their bodyguards or offensive forces. Glaciator is only available in the following Power Miners sets. Below is the attached summarised introductions adopted from the LEGO Catalogue 2009 of these characters.
Slight modification on his helmet
If you are observant enough, you might have already noticed that "Rex" is actually a dual-faced expression. He is fully equipped with a blue vest, silver harness with a drill logo pattern at the centre. There is also a silver chain and flashlight near to its pocket. I supposed these are some handy equipment for him to use while he is venturing downwards. I have added a transparent visor at the top of his helmet, and somehow I felt it looks nice with it, and without the visor, I find his helmet a little bare. Anyway, I believe it will served some protection for his eyes.
Building up the Granite Grinder
Building the base of the grinder is an interesting start. At first, I did not understand why there is a technic knob wheel behind, but I understand what is it for, at the end of the build. It's a pity that I do not have any video recording facilities at that point in time, otherwise it will be better to demonstrate for you. Other than that, the base are mainly built and supported by a black frame and grey lines, that will eventually be stacked by those lime green.
The rear engine shows where are the gas cylinders are placed, along with the exhaust pipes. The bottom of the threads, reveal the technic knob, where you move the grinder forward or backwards, the technic knob will move along too. Beneath the base, this simple mechanical movement triggers the long axle which caused the pointed front to move back and forth, looking as if the grinder is digging through the walls. The playing effects is simply wonderful.
This is the cockpit, where Rex is sitting, navigating those "imaginary" controls on the 1x4 lime tile. The headlight by the side of the cockpit is one of the nice touch as it helps to provide light in those dark tunnels. The front of the roll cage can be tiled forward to allow us to remove the minifig out of the seat with much ease.
Different angles of the Granite Grinder
A typical combat day for the Power Miners...
A trap to lure our dear friend
Don't think they will ever be easily subdue...
Off to the digging platforms, and I don't think he is alone afterall...
This is indeed a very enjoyable playset, with a nice integrated playing mechanism that enables the pointed front to move back and forth. the overall design is appealing, from its different angles such as the headlights, gas cylinders and etc. Furthermore, it's one of the smaller sets that Glaciator is available for purchase. There is no unique parts or minifigs but the design and the playability took the most points.
Playability: 9/10 (It's very fun when you see the pointed front moving back and forth, by moving forward.)
Design: 9/10 (One of the better aesthetic appealing design for this mining vehicle.)
Price: 8/10 (A little costly for less than 100 parts in Singapore context.)
Overall: 8.7/10 (An enjoyable playing set and it's definitely one of the better small Power Miner sets available in the market.)
I gave it a "4" based on my Review Score Card. What about yours?
Hope everyone of you enjoyed reading this simple review of mine. Comments and Critics are strongly welcomed.
Pictures can be found in My Brickshelf (When moderated)