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Review: 4743 Ice Blade


10 replies to this topic

Poll: On a scale of 1 to 5 (32 member(s) have cast votes)

How do you rate this set?

  1. Poor (2 votes [6.25%])

    Percentage of vote: 6.25%

  2. Below-Average (1 votes [3.12%])

    Percentage of vote: 3.12%

  3. Average (13 votes [40.62%])

    Percentage of vote: 40.62%

  4. Above-Average (9 votes [28.12%])

    Percentage of vote: 28.12%

  5. Outstanding (7 votes [21.88%])

    Percentage of vote: 21.88%

What do you think of Alpha Team as a theme?

  1. Very poor and a waste of shelf space (3 votes [9.38%])

    Percentage of vote: 9.38%

  2. Kind of cool but mostly stupid (2 votes [6.25%])

    Percentage of vote: 6.25%

  3. Some sets were good, others were bad (10 votes [31.25%])

    Percentage of vote: 31.25%

  4. The transforming was cool, but it was pretty average (6 votes [18.75%])

    Percentage of vote: 18.75%

  5. I liked it a lot (11 votes [34.38%])

    Percentage of vote: 34.38%

  6. Other (please explain) (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

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#1 Inconspicuous

Inconspicuous

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Posted 14 April 2010 - 06:27 AM

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Alpha Team is definitely one of the most overlooked Action themes. The line of transforming vehicles seen in the Arctic Wave (or Mission Deep Freeze) just didn't seem to catch on in the adult community. However, it was one of my favorite themes as a kid. Even though it wasn't the largest, the Ice Blade was my favorite set of the line. The transforming feature simply blew me away, and I was always a sucker for contraptions. Now, let me share with you the hidden beauty of this set, frozen yet preserved in the ice of time, in my review of 4743 Ice Blade.

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BASIC INFORMATION:
Set Name: Ice Blade
Set Number: 4743
Number of Pieces: 107
Minifigs: 1 (Charge)
Price: $10 USD (Now worth about $20 MISB)
Theme: Alpha Team / Mission Deep Freeze
Year Released: 2004

RESOURCES:

Brickset
Peeron
Bricklink
Flickr

THE REVIEW:

INSTRUCTIONS:

Front:
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First up are the instructions, battered by time. The paper is relatively flimsy, so a little bit of careless storage made its mark. On the cover is an exciting scene where the Ice Blade skims across the sunny ice, and appears to miss the evil ice orb lodged in the ice nearby. The cool Alpha Team logo is emblazoned at the top.

Comic:
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Right in the inside cover is a fun comic sequence. I'm not quite sure why it's in the front instead of the back, but it's a very cool touch. Remember, you can click the picture to see it in more detail.

Random Page:
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The interior of the booklet is way more flamboyant than today's. There is an intricate ice pattern printed in the background, which actually compliments the set's colors. The colors can be easily told apart, and the process is overall very clear.

Transformation Instructions:
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Towards the back is a sequence of small pictures showing in-depth how to transform the vehicle. This proves very useful when first attempting to do so.

Back:
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After a few ads, the booklet ends. The blue Win! logo is so refreshing in these modern times of screaming kids.

Instructions:: Thoughts: A fancy and sleek booklet, that get its job done.

PIECES:

Pieces:
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Here are the pieces of the set, meticulously spread for your viewing pleasure. Th set is mainly black, sand and dark blue, gray, and white. The variety is quite incredible, from Bionicle parts to giant cockpit pieces to turntables, bricks, and plates. The pieces are definitely more useful to someone who builds vehicle than to someone who builds castles, for example.

Pieces of interest:
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The more interesting pieces of the set- large Bionicle chainsaws, turbines, and printed pieces. Although the set has printed pieces, it also came with a DSS. The printed pieces were used all over the line while the stickers were set-specific. Please note that I didn't apply any of the three stickers. I'll discuss where they should have gone later on.

Turbine:
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The turbine is one of the cooler pieces. As I discovered, some Lego turbine pieces spin when you blow direct down them, but this one doesn't.

Pieces:: Thoughts: A great variety for vehicle building, but otherwise, the pieces are cool but not useful.

MINIFIG:

Front:
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The one minifig included in this set is the elaborately printed Charge. He has red buckles and zippers all the way down his pants, as well as a shiny silver headset. As an interesting fun fact, every Agent had their corresponding color on their left arm. Even though it's obvious Charge is red, this is still a cool feature. No back printing for him, though this was uncommon back in the day.

Minifig:: Thoughts: One is satisfactory, especially when it has such amazing printing!

THE BUILD:

Build:
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The set is constructed in 18 steps, not including the three major submodels: the base, the cockpit, and the helicopter blades. Here, it's shown at steps 5, 10, 12, and 18, with a submodel between 10 and 12 and two submodels between 12 and 18. The process is quite interesting and non-repetitive, and there is only basic Technic used.

Build:: Thoughts: Fairly interesting and yet not too challenging or too "Technic"al.

COMPLETED PRODUCT:

The Whole Set:
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And we have our finished product! The vehicle, the minifig, and the ice orb. I do admit, that gigantic blade looks foreboding! Please note that I have not applied stickers- there's supposed to be on along the center blade and two on either side of the cockpit. Personally, I think it looks fine without them.

Cockpit Closed:
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Here you can see the cockpit and the two turbines next to it. The windshield has a special red print, which has a use as we'll see later. Also, another fun fact about Alpha Team is that there was a colored grille tile above the windshield of each vehicle that signified which Agent was supposed to drive it. You can see the red grille at the top here.

Cockpit Open:
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And the cockpit is open! You can see the nice printed console. There is a very good amount of space for the minifig, and the whole section looks sleek and "agent-like".

Side:
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Below the cockpit is an awkward gap. You'll see why this is necessary in a bit. Also notice how subtly the Bionicle chainsaw has blended into the vehicle.

Front:
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The tip of the vehicle is very sleek. Again, the Bionicle blade has blended in nicely. You can also see the orange poles. These are either cannons or simply support for the transformed model.

Back:
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At the back, you can see the helicopter blades locked in. The blades themselves also help lock the cockpit into place. The blades simply have to swing up, and the cockpit can freely rotate.

Crystal Viewer:
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The ice orb has two sides, both with a similar design. In one, the central beetle is blue; in the other it's red. When viewed through the red plastic, the red side "disappears" and shows that the ice orb is deactivated. A very clever touch that allows for even more playability throughout the theme.

Video:

A brief video shows how quick and dynamic the change is. It blows my mind!

Transformed:
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And poof! We have a helicopter. I think it looks very good, and is considerably different. This was probably the most dynamic Alpha Team set. The others only became slightly different. Note that the orange poles I put down in the video aren't necessarily needed for support.

Common Problem:
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The one problem that occurs when transforming it back is demonstrated here. The helicopter blade doesn't want to detach! Lego forgot to put some sort of partially-tiled surface, so naturally the plates stick. Well, at least the transformation into the helicopter is seamless.
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Totals:

Design: 9/10 It looks a bit strange, especially around the middle, but this is to accommodate the function. Still, it loses a point for the sticking helicopter blades I showed.

Parts: 7/10 A good selection of types and colors, but they're really only useful for building vehicles.

Build: 8/10 Pretty entertaining, not repetitive, but it does have some Technic. It's pretty smooth, but certainly not as impressive as a Modular Building.

Minifigs: 9/10 You only get one minifig of one faction represented, but he is very flashy and special. Lego rarely put this much printing into a minifig back then.

Playability: 7/10 You can deactivate the orb, and transform the vehicle, but that's about it. However, the transformation is captivating.

Price: 10/10 A perfect ration of 107 pieces to $10, especially considering the larger pieces. Very satisfactory to me.

Total: 50/60 Overall, a very solid set. Maybe it goes to show that the Alpha Team line shouldn't be as overlooked as it is. This set is very rare on Bricklink, but if you can grab it for a good price, go for it!

Thanks for reading!

-Inconspicuous

Edited by WhiteFang, 14 April 2010 - 04:17 PM.
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#2 Algernon

Algernon

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Posted 14 April 2010 - 06:52 AM

I kind of adored this set as a kid. I spent more time with this relatively cheap purchase than I ever did with the theme's more expensive sets. The transforming feature is just so ingenious, I loved imagining situations in which my model would jump over a huge bank of snow and transform into a helicopter while in midair and fly away from some menacing threat from behind.

I loved Alpha Team Mission Deep Freeze, and I think this is the best set in the theme, if only for the awesome transforming feature.

Also, excellent review, the video of the transformation process is a nice touch. I'd love to see some more reviews of sets from this theme!

#3 Alldarker

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Posted 14 April 2010 - 12:32 PM

To me, this theme seems pretty recent, but that probably shows my age :hmpf:
Although I never bought any of these sets, I did like the transforming idea, due to a very logical reason: I used to love MASK toys when I was young (OK, so I still love MASK!). This vehicle reminds me a lot of both MASK's Condor toy, the motorbike / helicopter and MASK's Switchblade toy, the helicopter / jet fighter.

It's a great review, and it makes me want to check out Bricklink to see some of the prices for the vehicles in this theme...

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My Lego collection


#4 Corvus

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Posted 14 April 2010 - 02:56 PM

I liked this set when I was 10 or so. It's certainly pretty neat- both models are pretty solid, and the transforming feature is one of the best that lego has tried. It's not too difficult, but it works well enough so that kids have endless fun going back and forth between them.
True happiness: looking inside the box to see a perfectly flat instruction manual.

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#5 lightningtiger

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Posted 14 April 2010 - 03:06 PM

Thanks 'Inconspicuous' for this review - COOL `snow ski to copter ! :grin:
This set reminds me a little of the Freeco Speeder !
Keep on bricking ! :sweet:

#6 GravyTrain

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Posted 15 April 2010 - 12:50 PM

I'm right there with ya buddy, I LOVED this set and in retrospect wish I'd gotten more Alpha Team when I had the chance.

#7 Lordofdragonss

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Posted 15 April 2010 - 06:11 PM

I loved the transforming machines from Ice version of Alpha team! I got only the reviewed set, but I spend hours transforming it back and forth!  Lego needs to make more machines like this!
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#8 Big Cam

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Posted 15 April 2010 - 07:40 PM

Great review of a set I did not know existed.

It screams freeco speeder rip off, although it surely isn't since it was made before the freeco speeder.

I think it's an interesting set, that to me doesn't really fall into line with the regular LEGO homemade themes.  The ship with single pilot is common in SW sets, but usually at least to my recolection you get stuff to play with in LEGO's original themes.  Either way, it's a great review, adn every LEGO theme has a palce somewhere in the LEGO lineup.  I think this theme would fit in well with space police and agents.


BTW I love your lead in pic.  Much better IMO than the prelim one. :wink:

#9 prateek

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Posted 15 April 2010 - 10:08 PM

I love this set, as I do the rest of the theme. IMO, this theme had one of the best gimmicks ever :thumbup:

#10 Bujimuji

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Posted 16 April 2010 - 06:22 AM

I've already have this set and it have very good amount of pieces.Great review!

#11 Defferwa

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Posted 28 June 2010 - 04:31 PM

This was my favourtie set that I have ever purchased from Lego, but 2 days after I bought my dog chewed it apart. I can still see a salvaged engine here or there in my bin.

Great Review!



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