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Review: 7947 Prison Tower Rescue


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Poll: On a scale of 1 to 5 (201 member(s) have cast votes)

How would you rate this set

  1. 1 - Poor (it's KK all over again) (4 votes [1.99%])

    Percentage of vote: 1.99%

  2. 2 - Below Average (KK plus) (12 votes [5.97%])

    Percentage of vote: 5.97%

  3. 3 - Average (35 votes [17.41%])

    Percentage of vote: 17.41%

  4. 4 - Above Average (I could like this set) (113 votes [56.22%])

    Percentage of vote: 56.22%

  5. 5 - Outstanding (Medievel Market worthy?) (37 votes [18.41%])

    Percentage of vote: 18.41%

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#1 TheBrickster

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Posted 22 May 2010 - 04:29 AM

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This afternoon, I was fortunate to find the complete collection of LEGO Kingdoms at my local Toys R Us store here in the Western United States.  While I was tempted to buy the large Knights' Castle, I'm a sucker for prison towers and the darker forces, so went with 7947 Prison Tower.  While the pictures probably don't do it justice, I hope you enjoy this review of the new set.

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Set Name: Prison Tower Rescue
Set #: 7947
Theme: Castle
Subtheme: Kingdoms
Year Released: 2010
Pieces: 365
Minifigs: 5
Horses: 1
Price: $47.99 (USD)

As you could see from the initial image, LEGO boxart keeps getting better and better with the beautiful imagery and backgrounds.

The back of the box:

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Pictured are some of the moving features of the set:

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Just four bags are contained in the set:

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With two sets of very piece-by-piece instructions:

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I love the new orders/factions of knights (the reds and greens ).  The princess belongs to the order of the reds.  Her face can be turned to show a scared expression (not pictured):

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The classic white horse has some nice unicorn armor:

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My favorite of the new orders are the greens.  I love the classic shield:

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The set includes a treasure chest with gems and gold, plus some extra weapons:

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Moving on to the tower, let's start with the portcullis:

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Right angle view:

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And the right side:

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Above the portcullis are two griffins that stand guard as part of the second floor:

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And the third has a hot caldron of fire:

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To the left are steps that lead to the tower.  A bar can be swivelled down to block intruders. (Major security issue here) :laugh:

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At the top of the steps:

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Let's take a look at the interior starting with the ground floor.  Furnishings anyone?

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Here's the back of the tower after climbing the stairs:

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Two sets of stairs provide a roof for the ground floor:

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At the peak, one can climb to the prison tower (third floor):

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The prison tower has no additional furnishing providing a 'move-in ready' extra:

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At the top of the lower tower is the best feature of this set, a winch to lower the portcullis.  It is fun to lower and raise the gate:

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An image of the entire tower:

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And the backside:

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Adding the minifigs to the scene:

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Batttle shot:

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Lastly, the extras:

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My Thoughts:

This is tough.  It's not Classic Castle... okay, now that I got that out of the way...  While I actually like this set for a few reasons, it does have a Knights Kingdom feel to it with the large molded pieces and lots of big bricks.  'Kiddie-alert' comes to mind.  I actually bought this set for the brown, green, and black elements which provide some great pieces for that forestmen hideout that I've always wanted to build.  I've always been a fan of 'green sets' and with the fantstic factions, they drew me to this set.  It's not forestmen, but it's the closest right now.  The tower does need some furnishings.  It's completely bare save the treasure chest and the poor field mouse that couldn't make a meal in the barren tower.  I also like the working gate.  In fact, it reminds me a bit of Playmobil (they had a Baron's Prison Tower that also had a lifting gate (although the design is very different)).  I won't judge the different aspects of this set seperately (e.g. piece selection, playability, price, etc.) because I'm not sure that I'd rate any of them very high.  At the same time, I'd give this set an overall rating of 'little above average'.  I don't regret buying this set, and once I get it on a table with some trees and surroundings, it will probably look a lot better than my pictures with it standing alone in front of a white backdrop.  I do like the multiple sets of steps in terms of the playability aspect and with the figs, this makes a definite buy for those of you who plan to collect the Kingdoms collection.  I look forward to seeing what you guys think of this set, especially the castle fans.

#2 prateek

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Posted 22 May 2010 - 04:34 AM

Nice review. I like this set. The figs are awesome as usual, and the colours look really good together :thumbup:

#3 Dannylonglegs

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Posted 22 May 2010 - 04:56 AM

Great review, but IMO, worst set of the theme. Would you mind posting a picture of the left side as well as elaborating on the heads (specifically the good knight in bucket-helm's) please?

What I like about this set;
-The unique princess fig is nice.
-The horse and it's rider are great (Bucket-helm :cry_happy: )
-There are many dark green pieces, including 2 (count 'em; 2) dark green dragons!
-The portcullis is a well made new piece, and the new 1by2 by 2 arch-window pieces are usefull

what I don't like about this set;
-The dragon knights are outmanned in their own fortress, with only 2 (count 'em; 2) dragon warriors, vs. 2 Lions, a horse, and a princess.
-Leaderless. Let's face it, the dragons have no authoritative figure to boss them around or generally look cool. :hmpf:
-From what I've seen so far, the left side of the fortress is atrocious.
-The structure is merely a facade (Like most of my MOCs) The back is as blank as, well, it's blank. :hmpf_bad:

This set could use a leader figure for the dragons, or atleast another dragon. Ah well.
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#4 Stash2Sixx

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Posted 22 May 2010 - 05:08 AM

This whole line just oozes awesomeness!  The colors, the pieces, the figs; all of it!  Of course there are going to be some "kiddie" parts, after all, it is marketed to kids.  That being said, I think a few easy modifications can change all of the juniorized aspects.  I see many similarities to the classic castle look, and since this is what many people have been waiting for, I really hope this line continues with a few waves.  Hopefully, not all siege weapon sets.

Thanks for the review Brickster!

Dannylonglegs, let's not forget that a Troll King didn't show up until the final wave of the fantasy line.

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#5 just2good

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Posted 22 May 2010 - 05:15 AM

Great review!
This is my favorite set of the Kingdoms theme. I love the minifigures and the playability features!

#6 Dannylonglegs

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Posted 22 May 2010 - 05:18 AM

View PostStash2Sixx, on May 22 2010, 01:08 AM, said:

Dannylonglegs, let's not forget that a Troll King didn't show up until the final wave of the fantasy line.
But even before then, there were leader trolls with gold helmets. In addition, the trolls were slated as chaotic marauders, so all of their sets were siege weapons (also, it was sorta assumed that they were led by the necromancer too). These guys however seem to be a more "civilized" group, yet they don't even have leaders. I wouldn't even mind an elite functioning as their leader in this set, really my qualm with the fig selection is the lack of dragons on their own homeland. The set creators could have replace the lion footsoldier (red shirt) with a dragon and called it even. Frankly the whole set IMO is poorly designed (Portcullis to nowhere) :sceptic:
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Edited by Dannylonglegs, 22 May 2010 - 05:22 AM.

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#7 TheBrickster

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Posted 22 May 2010 - 05:22 AM

View PostDannylonglegs, on May 21 2010, 09:56 PM, said:

Would you mind posting a picture of the left side as well as elaborating on the heads (specifically the good knight in bucket-helm's) please?
Here's the left side:

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The top of the tower with tilting caldron:

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And pictures of the figs without their bucket helmets.  Also is the back of the princess:

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View PostStash2Sixx, on May 21 2010, 10:08 PM, said:

Thanks for the review Brickster!
You're welcome.  Glad to hear that you like this set.  Now I'm adding my additional green army from the smaller sets.

Oh, in regard to the large pieces: it's not so much the size of the pieces.  It's just the combination of elements - sort of a mish mash of bricks that I remember from the early KK line.  I still like the set though; and while the pictures don't do it justice, it looks pretty slick set up.

#8 UsernameMDM

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Posted 22 May 2010 - 05:25 AM

Thanks for the review!  

I can't tell in the pic, but is the white on the horse barding pinkish?

#9 curtisrlee

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Posted 22 May 2010 - 05:55 AM

Wow great review! This really makes me want to get the new Kindoms even more! :classic:

I do agree LEGO is getting a little kiddie-ish, but that doesn't bother me, at least there seems to be less fantasy (skeletons, trolls, bah  :tongue: ) and me like that.  :thumbup:
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#10 Dannylonglegs

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Posted 22 May 2010 - 05:55 AM

View PostTheBrickster, on May 22 2010, 01:22 AM, said:

Here's the left side:

And pictures of the figs without their bucket helmets.  Also is the back of the princess:
Sweet, thanks.
Well, I must admit, the left side isn't awful. The rocky look isn't that bad, but it still could be better. :tongue:

Thanks for the sig faces too, I knew it was William Falcon's face! ( :wub: ) I'm sure the princess won't mind that her spry, hansome Prince Charming was her age 40 years ago! :laugh: Also, Is his torso blank or does it have the grey and gold lion on it?
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Edited by Dannylonglegs, 22 May 2010 - 05:59 AM.

Playing as the Begonya Siblings, Feliks and Nadine Begonya, a pair of russian-accented Mitgardian traders! Sylph Solanum in Heroica! Doctor Danielle Long works for Octan in AG!

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#11 The Penguin

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Posted 22 May 2010 - 06:02 AM

Thanks for the review, TheBrickster! )  :thumbup:

While I totally agree that the set looks a bit bare and somewhat incomplete, I still think that it's one of the best sets in the line. It has (at least for me) some really useful parts, a great selection of figures. That sets just beggs to be bought in quantity of two to three to build a Forestmen's hideout.
I also have never considered the current line to be 'classic'. I just don't see anything that would indicate that. Perhaps, it's just me.
Anyway, the line is pretty promissing and thanks for the review of one of it's best sets again! )  :sweet:

Good day, ladies and gentlemen! )  :classic:

Edited by The Penguin, 22 May 2010 - 06:03 AM.


#12 The Cobra

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Posted 22 May 2010 - 06:54 AM

I rated it average. I like the figs, accessories and cauldron. I don't like the colors (not only in this set but in the full line), the awful piece count (though there are many biggies) and the fact that baddies's biggest set has always to be a prison tower.

So, wht's the best castle towr one could have bought for 50 bucks? This new one or one of these?

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#13 Lordofdragonss

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Posted 22 May 2010 - 07:17 AM

Design: 9/10
Playablity: 4

Where are the traps? Places to hide uour minifigs or treasure? There is even no place to put your dragons army inside... Man I miss the old lego Playablity...

But I realy like design of this set- dragons, caldron, the tree, 4 (!) shields and free plumes!

Edited by Lordofdragonss, 22 May 2010 - 07:21 AM.

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#14 iamded

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Posted 22 May 2010 - 07:33 AM

Hmm. The building itself I think could be better, but it does look like a lot of fun to play with. The main attraction of the new line for me are the mini-figs, and this set does not disappoint in that area. The figs are amazing, and it's nice to see a Princess who isn't brunette for once. :grin: I can't wait to get my hands on these guys. Thanks for the great review, TheBrickster! :thumbup:
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#15 legitimatealex

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Posted 22 May 2010 - 07:51 AM

View Postiamded, on May 22 2010, 02:33 AM, said:

Hmm. The building itself I think could be better, but it does look like a lot of fun to play with. The main attraction of the new line for me are the mini-figs, and this set does not disappoint in that area. The figs are amazing, and it's nice to see a Princess who isn't brunette for once. :grin: I can't wait to get my hands on these guys. Thanks for the great review, TheBrickster! :thumbup:
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The princess is the real selling point of this set. Is the price a little high for the piece number though? I'd expect this to cost the same amount as the previous Drawbridge Defense from the Fantasy line.
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#16 cooky321

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Posted 22 May 2010 - 09:46 AM

Mmmm... I think that there is a definate lack of Green Dragon knights in this set, 2 knights for their base!

That said, I do love the new portculus.  :wub:  I also like the fact that most of the tower is realisticly acsesable by the minifigures. Personly I don't like it whe there is a lack of ladders and staircases.

#17 Bujimuji

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Posted 22 May 2010 - 10:25 AM

This set reminds me sets from 90's.Great review.I also very like new pieces.

#18 yellost

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Posted 22 May 2010 - 10:51 AM

I really like the shape and design of that building. Especially the many stairs and ladder that lead almost on every floor of the tower. The one thing that bugs me a little though is that for a prison tower, it seems to be missing an actual cell or something of the kind. unless there's a hidden door I didn't see... :sceptic:
but this line does give me a feel of a modernised classic castle that reeks nostalgia while giving it a modern edge. kinda like those new old cars (new beetle, new mini, new fiat 500  :laugh: )
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#19 Talon Karrde

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Posted 22 May 2010 - 10:54 AM

Fright Knights with new pieces, poorly played on this TLG, compared to the bigger castle.
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#20 Etzel

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Posted 22 May 2010 - 11:07 AM

I like it! I'm pretty sure I'm going to buy this set, which I can't say about the Lion's Castle which I find quite boring. This set has better colours and pieces I think. By only looking at the pictures I can't see that many large pieces. There are the stairs and portcullis and some black wall pieces but they aren't that many I think. I'm not looking at the set design when I'm buying sets since I will take it apart for MOCing usually within a week after I bought it, so the design flaws with no interior and low security doesn't matter to me.

The minifigs are nice, I like all the different torsos and the new helmet. On the other hand I'm a little disappointed by the heads, just the same old as we have had in Castle and Pirate before. I think that we only get 1 new head in the whole line (the king's/blue wizard's).
Still, still set get a solid 3 out of 5 from me. Good set that I'm going to buy  :classic:  :thumbup:

View PostThe Cobra, on May 22 2010, 07:54 AM, said:

So, wht's the best castle towr one could have bought for 50 bucks? This new one or one of these?

Posted Image Posted Image
Definitely this one for me. Much better minifigs and colour scheme.

#21 NorthernKnight

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Posted 22 May 2010 - 12:05 PM

I'm buying this set. It will be a good source of pieces for any bad guy castle moc. The figs are good, there is only one red footsoldier here and it has a nice generic torso. Is there any print on the red knights torso?
Adding the green wizard to this one will even out the odds a bit  :classic: It is good that there are a couple of extra shields in there as well.
I still hope for a dragon's nest with a dragon rider as the biggest set for the dragon knights, with the green dragon from the trolls ship set in it. A single dragon in a line would be nice, i think three as the fantasy line had was way too many. It is really hard to MOC with a "brick" that's so big it won't fit on a 32x32 baseplate.

Edited by NorthernKnight, 22 May 2010 - 12:13 PM.

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#22 Svelte

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Posted 22 May 2010 - 12:23 PM

Thanks for the review TB!

I have mixed feelings about this set (and the line is generally unimpressive, apart from the figs). While I do appreciate the different shape, and the logical detailing with stairs and internal ladders etc, there is something just lacking overall about the whole experience. Maybe it's the mix of parts? Lack of interior? I can't quite put my finger on it...

Still, if I was going to get a Kingdoms set this would probably be it  :thumbup:

I do wonder if we had seen an Elflands theme in Fantasy that it would have ended up something like this... :sceptic:

#23 Shroffy123

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Posted 22 May 2010 - 12:51 PM

You know, as I was building this set, I keep thinking to myself, "wow they are really waste space here with this large piece ... they could've put something unique in."  

With that said, I gave it an "average."  But I still loved the set (particularly the color scheme and mini-figs).

I have a question for everyone.  Any ideas on how to extend this set?  Make it better?  I am thinking about buying another Prison Tower Rescue today, and add on to the set.  

I don't know :/

#24 Capt.JohnPaul

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Posted 22 May 2010 - 12:54 PM

Thanks for the amazing review! But in one of the pictures, one of the ladder looked silver  :sceptic: But I do love the jail even more now that you took pics of it.

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P.S. Don't you think the picture of the green pouring boiling fire and stuff on to the red is a little graphic for LEGO. (They ARE a kids company)  :tongue:

#25 squiz

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Posted 22 May 2010 - 01:40 PM

I really dislike this set. I really dont know what its trying to be, just looks like a load of brown and black pieces chucked together. Easily the worst from the forthcoming kingdoms line. Only redeeming feature is the minifigs which are good, but imo isnt worth the money.

Thanks for the review though !

Edited by squiz, 22 May 2010 - 01:40 PM.





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