REVIEW: 7573 Battle of Alamut
Posted 26 March 2010 - 11:33 PM
Set Title: Battle of Alamut
Set #: 7573
Theme: Prince of Persia Sands of Time
Year of Release: 2010
Price at Release: $80
From the time I saw the prelims of this set, I thought it looked awesome. The price, though, was higher than I usually spend on a single LEGO set, so I became resolved to read the reviews and look at the pictures and never have it myself.
This week, I had to go to the hospital for a few days. And, as a get well present, I received this set. I can tell you it certainly helped me get on my way to becoming well.
I have the box, but I honestly don't think it's the most important thing and it's too big for my studio setup right now anyway. I might add box pics later.
Anyway, you get two pretty thick booklets. Mine were bent terribly, as it seemed as if someone jammed them into the box after all the bags had already gone in.
If you thought the new WIN add was annoying enough on a small set, you've got something not to look forward to: that kid blown up to big size! Luckily, I hid it away with the back of the second booklet.
The inside pages just have some sand lines on tan, a good choice for the theme. Black and dark bley distinction is really bad (what looks like dark bley on this page represent black), but none of the seven numbered bags had one piece in both black and dark bley, so it's not too hard to figure it out.
To build a castle, you need bricks, lots of bricks. And so LEGO gives you lots of bricks, and lots of plates too.
Here are two new pieces (I forgot to show the new catapult, but I got it up-close later). Both of these are in Grand Emporium too, I believe, but not in these colors. That's right, that arch piece is in the all new orangy color. I would call it sand dark orange, since it's just a lighter shade of the dark orange found in such sets as the Indian Orient Expedition ones.
What surprised me was the new door. Like the new windows, LEGO has switched over from snapping hooks to standard clips. The new door is also taller, as you can see.
The new door also has a different, but very nice look from the back, whereas the old one was pretty yucky.
These are all the extras after the build. That's right, they give you an extra Dagger of Time and two extra claw accessories!
I like nice parts, but my real favorite is nice minifigures. Oh, how nice these seven are!
First, here are (from left to right) Dastan, Seso, and Alamut Guards. That guard on the left has a face similar to Bruce Wayne, but new. All of these are splendid, and I especially love getting another dark character to add to the African-lineage population of minifigs.
The backs are not left out! I've turned Dastan's hair around so you can see his alternate expression. That katana holder is so nice.
The named Baddies also sport excellent printing. According to the box (not the LEGO catalog), these guys are named (left to right) Gool, Nizam, and Tamah. I love Nizam and Tamah, and while I love Gool's upper body, it kind of seemed to me he showed up to the fight in blue jeans. That's my only gripe with any of these figures.
The Baddies' back printing would make great front printing too; oh, the possibilities. If you'd like a better look at the intricate dark blue on Tamah's back, click (it's quite large).
To get a better look at his stubble and intricately detailed front, here's Tamah with his hat off.
Preparing for the titular battle, the minfigures grab their weapons. Don't know where that axe that Nizam is holding came from? You'll just have to read on…
Yes, that katana is slightly different from the old one. Dastan still sports the old one on the box, but it's got a squarer base where the old one was octagonal.
Fresh out of one of those Chinese factory bags comes the all new LEGO camel, in tan. It's a lovely new addition the LEGO animal kingdom, and I appreciate that while the head has molded detail, the camel is simpler on both sides just like the horse.
From front and back, the camel looks quite cute. Those split toes are an excellent detail.
The build is pretty uninteresting, without any unusual techniques. You just build it up in sections, across seven bags. Building up means a lot of pieces, which gives this set its gracious piece count of 820. It's modular, so I'll show it to you in parts first.
Remember the original flick-fire missiles in the Batman sets, the ones that had no grab, fell out constantly, and barely worked? They're back! I really have no idea what this cart represents in real fictional life, so I guess it will reming a mystery until the movie comes out. It does somewhat level the odds between the two good guys and five bad guys, I suppose.
With all the pieces in this single part, and the completed look of it, I could see LEGO releasing this separately as "Gateway of Alamut." How nice of them not to.
The gateway looks quite imposing, even if the doors don't come together (the one problem). It gives off a superb Middle-Eastern vibe, especially with those white columns. Also note, the fire in this set is back to the old trans orange fire color, as opposed to the newer one that LEGO has been using for a few years. I'm not sure how to describe that too well.
The inside is pretty plain, though the new doors look great. But what are those hinges up above?
Aha, the guards can pour hot oil on intruders! (I didn't make it up, it's in the catalog.)
Then there are two of the new short catapult piece to fire at approaching enemies. I tried these, and they work quite well.
From the box I thought the color scheme of the walls was a bit of mess, but it's grown on me a lot. The solid white acts as a nice smooth base, while the rest reminds me of mud and sandy stone on top. The horns would stop Dastan from running up those studs too fast.
The inside is a bit yukkier, and I was quite perplexed by those technic pieces with tiles on them, since I have no idea what they could be. I didn't expect any detail here, though.
I'm sure you've noticed the moveable tiles in the walls. Depending on how you put them, Gool can either come down on the inside of the wall…
…or the outside.
This one looks very similar, but without the steps. Don't worry, there's a play feature here too.
The inside here is extremely bland, as is too be expected.
But what if Dastan decides to run on the wrong wall segment?
Bam, the guard can knock it out.
Now the real goodies: the main palace! So much to take in: steps, arches, gold domes… Beautiful!
This back view reveals some features I certainly wasn't aware of from the box.
On the first floor, there are pedestals with some lovely gold work.
In the middle, on a lovely circular base that reminds me of a well, there's a ruby.
But that's not just a ruby, it's a hiding spot for the Dagger of Time!
On the second floor, there is the arms holder where that axe came from. Funny it wasn't shown on the box.
And a cramped throne room, for Nizam I suppose.
Nizam can overlook Alamut well from the balcony.
Time to put the section together to create a thing of real beauty! (Note, I took too many pictures for this section. To peruse them all, check my Flickr set)
The palace part is obviously not as high up as on the box (where it is raised), but from this perspective you can still tell it's nice and tall. The set looks quite exciting from the front.
Putting you in Dastan's shoes, here's what you'll see when trying to get in through the front.
Pretty straight on from the side, you can tell the walls protect Alamut well. It doesn't look too easy to get over those.
The majesty of this set, though, is really best shown looking a bit down on it so you get a view of it all. I originally had some reservation about the color scheme, but looking at the set complete in person makes me love it. The palace's colors are pure and flawless, while the courtyard walls look a bit dirtier, creating an excellent effect.
Viewing from the other side, Alamut it once again magnificent. Truly an unparalleled set in styling.
Looking back over LEGO's history, I think that its very best Castles are the ones that don't come out of the Castle line. The Orient Expedition line yielded the great Chinese palace I could imagine, and the Indian Palace was wonderful as well. And now here's a new, Persian-ish styled palace that blows castles like King's Castle Siege out of the water.
This year, it seems like Prince of Persia is the theme that is obviously replacing Indiana Jones. While I liked the Indy line and got just the few sets from it that especially peaked my interest, the one thing that it didn't have going for it was excellent non-vehicle sets. Seems like LEGO made up for that now, with the PoP line based completely on playsets. PoP is certainly a better license choice than Speed Racer, but even if, against all odds, the movie does flop, we'll have at least been blessed with the Alamut.
Minifigures: 9.9/10 - An odd rating, but Gool's blue jeans do tick me off .1. Everything else about these guys is brilliant!
Parts: 10/10 - So many bricks? So much new sand dark orange? Gold domes? I'll take it!
Build: 8.5/10 - Nothing too exciting, and there were a few of those dreaded 2X's. It took a nice long time.
Price: 10/10 - $80 for 821 pieces? YES!
Playability: 10/10 - Stuff to flick, and you can run up the walls. Really, for AFOLs playability might mean looking at the thing on the shelf, and so Alamut is a winner.
Overall: 9.7/10 - Though I got it as a present, I definitely should have gotten it as a present to myself had I not. I would suggest that you should too.
And remember, you get a LEGO camel!
Posted 26 March 2010 - 11:41 PM
I really like this sets minifigures and aspect, but it's to expensive for me ATM. Maybe in the summer i'll get it or on Christmas. ;) The dagger holder and gold scorpion is awesome aswell.
Edited by just2good, 26 March 2010 - 11:46 PM.
Posted 26 March 2010 - 11:54 PM
I'm really, really yearning to get this set, I've been drooling over the pictures for months now
All the great minifigs (Nizam's back printing was a wonderful surprise for me), great number of useful pieces and lovely colours! Oh, and a camel, hurray!
You Americans really got a great price for this with only $80!
Definitely a 5 from me.
Now I just have to wait for the PoP sets to start showing up over here. So much to buy...
Posted 27 March 2010 - 12:04 AM
Posted 27 March 2010 - 12:08 AM
I felt my old sig was too big, so it's gone.
I'll miss it.
My fantastic avatar is by Jebediahs.
Posted 27 March 2010 - 12:22 AM
Posted 27 March 2010 - 12:46 AM
I've come back after a while, now that Summers over I need something to do.
Posted 27 March 2010 - 01:15 AM
I find this set quite appealing overall, however I can't help but feel that something is lacking. It seems kinda stale in terms of play features, there are only a few of them and they are all pretty simple. I would personally liked to have seen a more elaborate trap or two within the palace - for it's size there is little of interest in it save for a handful of accessories and a couple of other details.
I'm sure it will still be a fun set, and as you said it does seem to be more interesting than something from the official Castle theme, but it's still not the complete experience I would have hoped for.
Thanks for the fantastic review!
Edited by ZO6, 27 March 2010 - 01:16 AM.
Posted 27 March 2010 - 01:17 AM
One question, and perhaps it has been answered somewhere else but I'll just ask you. Is that a new axe? It almost looks like, when measured from the top of a stud it is about 5 1/2 bricks high, where the old axe is basically 5 bricks high. Any help would be greatly appreciated! :]
Posted 27 March 2010 - 01:19 AM
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Posted 27 March 2010 - 01:22 AM
They can go straight in so many other themes too - a new benchmark for design!
Posted 27 March 2010 - 01:33 AM
Posted 27 March 2010 - 01:34 AM
One thing though; are you sure that the camels are actually made in China? The ostriches from Ostrich Race came in the same style individual bags, yet the box says the parts were made in Denmark, Hungary and Czech Republic. It doesn't matter much to me where they're from, I'm just wondering.
Posted 27 March 2010 - 01:43 AM
This review has convinced me otherwise.
I HAVE TO GET THIS SET! It looks amazing from your great pictures and descriptions. I'm especially interested in the katana holder.
Thanks for a great review!
Posted 27 March 2010 - 01:51 AM
Posted 27 March 2010 - 02:54 AM
Youtube links to my minifig collections
Black Knights Army
Ninja Army 2.0 Troll Army 2.0
Crown Knight Army 2.0 Skeleton Army 3.0
Dragon Knight Army 2.0 Lion Knight Army 2.0
Posted 27 March 2010 - 03:30 AM
Thanks for taking the time to present us this quality set.
Posted 27 March 2010 - 04:22 AM
I definitely love this set, like you said, it's very different from any other LEGO set I've seen. The minifigs are some of the best I've seen. Thanks Clonie!
Posted 27 March 2010 - 05:09 AM
Loving the camel. :)
Posted 27 March 2010 - 05:51 AM
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