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REVIEW: 8958 Granite Grinder


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Poll: On a scale of 1 to 5 (11 member(s) have cast votes)

How do you rate this set?

  1. 1 - Poor (1 votes [9.09%])

    Percentage of vote: 9.09%

  2. 2 - Below Average (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  3. 3 - Average (2 votes [18.18%])

    Percentage of vote: 18.18%

  4. 4 - Above Average (5 votes [45.45%])

    Percentage of vote: 45.45%

  5. 5 - Outstanding (3 votes [27.27%])

    Percentage of vote: 27.27%

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#1 WhiteFang

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Posted 01 February 2010 - 10:02 AM

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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
Year: 2009
Pieces: 94
Minifigs: 2
Price: USD$9.99, GBP 7.85, SGD$21.90
Resources: Brickset, Peeron, BrickLink


An image of a 8958, Granite Grinder
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A rear image of a 8958, Granite Grinder
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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
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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
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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
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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.


Spare parts
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A new buddy?
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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.

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Rex is a top engineer. He worked on the giant geo-thermal power station in the Earth's core. He designed most of the Power Miners' vehicles and constantly battles "Firox" who sabotages his machine.

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Glaciator is a nasty and evil, whom is feared by the other rock monsters. He always get "Boulderax" or "Meltrox to fight for him while he eats crystals. If the Power Miners are in trouble, Glaciator is behind it somehow!

Slight modification on his helmet
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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.  :tongue:


Building up the Granite Grinder
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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.


Rear engine
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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.  :wub:


Cockpit
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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
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A typical combat day for the Power Miners...

A trap to lure our dear friend
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Karate kick
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Victory?
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Don't think they will ever be easily subdue...
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The End...


Off to the digging platforms, and I don't think he is alone afterall...
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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.  :thumbup:

Summary review
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.  :wink: 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)

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#2 samuraiturtle

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Posted 01 February 2010 - 10:56 AM

This was my first Power Miner set and it is good over all.  Except the orange dump-truck bucket, I think it is out of place but it is welcome no less.  I also add to the helmets but, I used mostly goggles.  I also think it was one of the better priced sets in the theme.

#3 Lordofdragonss

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Posted 01 February 2010 - 01:07 PM

IMO the best set in the firs line. The playablity is high with this funny moving drill and click-click noise. But this set should have more cystals!
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#4 Big Cam

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Posted 01 February 2010 - 01:18 PM

Great review, I love the faces that you get from the Power Miners series.  The small tank style is actually appealing to me and usually I'm not a fan of Power Miners.

#5 The Penguin

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Posted 01 February 2010 - 02:31 PM

Great review as always! )  :classic:  :thumbup:

This was one of several sets I got of all PM theme.
And I really liked it. Mostly fbecause of the minifigs and those neat little touches like the gas cylinders. )  :classic: So no wonder that haven't even assembled it and just stored the bricks and sent the minifigs to serve my evil purist-hating customisation cause. )

But after your review...... I'm thinking of getting another one for simply playing purposes! Vroooom! ) :laugh:

Thanks for the great review, again! )  :sweet:

Good day, ladies and gentlemen! )  :classic:

#6 WhiteFang

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Posted 02 February 2010 - 01:17 AM

Thanks guys for all of your kind words. I realised most of us, have bought this set as their first Power Miners set or mainly liked it due to its playability. That's probably why this set attracted me so much. I probably will regret not getting a second set when it's still available back then.  :sceptic:

View Postsamuraiturtle, on Feb 1 2010, 05:56 PM, said:

I also add to the helmets but, I used mostly goggles.
I will give this a try. Never thought of that earlier.  :classic:

View PostLordofdragonss, on Feb 1 2010, 08:07 PM, said:

But this set should have more cystals!
Agreed, and I forget to mention inside my review. One blue crystal is very pathetic, especially when you have such a big orange tipper bucket at its rear.

View PostThe Penguin, on Feb 1 2010, 09:31 PM, said:

But after your review...... I'm thinking of getting another one for simply playing purposes! Vroooom! ) :laugh:
Thanks The Penguin. Glad to see your feedback! You should really consider buying one more since the playing mechanism is so much fun to vrooom about. See you around.  :sweet:

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My name is Wilhalm Bloodaxe and I am back to be part of the Ragnarök Now Redux.

Lord Kenneth Valise, Level 1 Knight, 28yrs old human
Power: 4 Health: 10/10 Gold: 10
Inventory: One potion, a Greatsword (WP: 3) and a Shield (SP: 2)


#7 prateek

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Posted 03 February 2010 - 04:35 AM

Another cool review. I really like this set, and it's interesting how this set has a visor instead of goggles.

#8 samuraiturtle

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Posted 03 February 2010 - 05:23 AM

View Postprateek, on Feb 2 2010, 11:35 PM, said:

I really like this set, and it's interesting how this set has a visor instead of goggles.
You must of not read the review too well it was a spare one he have laying around.  

@ WhiteFang - I got that idea off the 8960 Thunder Driller

#9 WhiteFang

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Posted 03 February 2010 - 05:38 AM

View Postprateek, on Feb 3 2010, 11:35 AM, said:

and it's interesting how this set has a visor instead of goggles.
It's much interesting "when" I used my spare transparent visor to add into the Miner's helmet.  :wink:

View Postsamuraiturtle, on Feb 3 2010, 12:23 PM, said:

@ WhiteFang - I got that idea off the 8960 Thunder Driller
Ah.. I never really noticed the minifigs' variations, and I thought all helmets are supposed to be the same.

I have attached an image of the one with goggle.

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My name is Wilhalm Bloodaxe and I am back to be part of the Ragnarök Now Redux.

Lord Kenneth Valise, Level 1 Knight, 28yrs old human
Power: 4 Health: 10/10 Gold: 10
Inventory: One potion, a Greatsword (WP: 3) and a Shield (SP: 2)


#10 Bujimuji

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Posted 19 March 2010 - 08:20 AM

The set is very good and i need to get one,because of the Glaciator,orange tool and bucket,lime pieces and tracks,but it's not available in stores in Russia(as well as Crystal King).

#11 lightningtiger

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Posted 19 March 2010 - 08:56 AM

COOL review 'White Fang' - thanks for doing it. :sweet:
Anyway this was my first PM build - I was very impressed by it's design and it's grinder feature - very nice ! :grin:
I have now moved away from PM - I can't do with all that heat now !  :wink:
Again thanks and keep on bricking ! :sweet:

#12 Blondie-Wan

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Posted 21 March 2010 - 06:08 PM

It is indeed a nifty little set, and the first set I acquired myself from the PM theme. I must admit that while I knew it had some action feature pertaining to the large drill bit on the front (as was clear from the set photos showing the elastic element near the front), I didn't really give much thought to it until I actually got the set and put it together. It's a nifty feature, but I actually like most of the rest of the set even more. The only thing I'm not crazy about is the use of stickers for the decorated elements instead of prints, but I went ahead and applied the stickers anyway as I feel they really do add to the look of the model.

Unfortunately, the set has pretty much disappeared from stores here now. The Toys 'R' Us near where I live had one remaining copy until a couple weeks ago or so, but now it's gone. I'm glad I got one while I could, but I wish it were still readily available.



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