Unless you've been living under a BURP, you know that a new, classical - styled Castle theme has replaced the Fantasy theme this year. Sure, there are big, impressive tower and fortress sets, but what about the more laid-back, even comical part of medieval life? Well, this set delivers with a simple yet worthy "impulse" in which you can add the exclusive red-and-white jester minifig to your collection, as well as add his performance booth to your castle village.
Set: 7953 Court Jester
Year Released: 2010
Theme: Castle / Kingdoms
Number of Pieces: 22
Number of Minifigures: 1
Price: 3.99 USD / 2.99 GBP
Keep your eyes peeled for this set in the store; the box is minuscule (which is to be expected for an impulse set), and, at least at the store I went to, the impulses were kept off to the side from the main Lego aisle. The design on the box is very nice looking: there's even a designated sidebar for the set info so it doesn't cover up part of the set picture. The new Kingdoms logo is pretty nice, but the overall effect of the front of the box is hindered by an annoying Warning, which covers the bottom of the set.
Unlike most Lego sets, the back of this set's box doesn't feature any of the set itself. Instead, the largest set of this wave of Kingdoms is featured. Also, the box opens by the punch hole method. Too bad for box collectors, because you could rip the box if you're not careful.
The instructions cover presents a simplified version of the front of the box. As usual with impulses, the manual folds out into one page, rather than it being a booklet.
The front of the manual, naturally, has the building instructions. Nothing too complicated here, although the faded stone background is nice.
The back of the instructions features all (or most?) of the first Kingdoms wave of sets. Nice to have if you're looking hunt them all down.
Along with instructions, out falls a single bag full of pieces. After spending ten minutes attempting the famed bag-build challenge, I found that it isn't really possible for the set to stand at its full height within the bag. Also, the jester hat comes in a little plastic bag of its own, so it would be most difficult to open it within the main bag.
Anyways, the set comes with a nice assortment of pieces. I'm not sure how common the red slopes are, but they're my first. The six red, white and blue 1x1 round plates are little, but it seems they're harder to come by these days. And of course, one can never have too much brown.
Ah, finally the minifigure. He's probably the main reason one would get this set, and jewel it is indeed. While it's basically a recoloring of the blue-and-red jester we got in the Drawbridge Defense set last year, a rare figure like this is always welcome. The one difference between this and its predecessor, however, is the belt insignia. The Lion Knights logo replaces the Crownie one.
The three studs act as juggling balls. Just look at that wide smile, he must like his job!
The jester does have back torso printing, which is similar to the front, except without a belt. The head is also double sided, with a 'tragedy' face with a single tear falling to mirror the 'comedy' face on the other side. He deserves an Oscar award.
Next up is the performance stand, on which the apparently low-budget jester shows off his tricks. There's not much to it, but it is surprisingly tall. The ornate flags on top are a nice touch, and the pegs at the bottom make the stand much more impressive than if it were without them.
I'm not really sure why a picture of the bottom is needed, but in case you were wondering what it looked like, now you know.
After everything is built, this is what you have left. Not much to complain about, at least you get something extra in an impulse. And studs in these colors aren't very common, so if you happen to loose a juggling ball, no worries.
The entire set put together. It's pretty impressive for an impulse, and the minifig fills up the open space in the stand nicely. It would make a great addition to any medieval village. You really can't ask for more.
Build/ Design: 10/10 (What more can you ask for in an impulse? The design is solid, and the build takes less than ten minutes to complete. I see no reason for taking any points off).
Playability: 9/10 (Well, you can try to make the minifig juggle, but mostly this set is meant to add to a collection).
Minifigs: 10/10 (A rare, desirable figure that I probably would've paid much more for if it were in a larger set. What's more is that it is exclusive to this and this set only).
Parts: 9/10 (Nothing too special, but brown parts are always nice to come by. And really you can't ask for much more in an impulse).
Price: 7/10 (Didn't impulses used to be cheaper? Ah well, you're already getting a great set for four dollars (although I paid around six thanks to Toys R Us inflation).
Overall Score: 45 / 50
An excellent impulse set, highly recommended if you can find it. A rare, exclusive figure and a neat stand to boot. Don't pass this up if you happen to see one, even if you don't like the Castle theme you could probably sell a few years later for a profit.
A blast from the past...
So that is my review of this little gem, I hope you enjoyed it. Feel free to rate and discuss the set.
Edited by JimButcher, 05 July 2011 - 07:41 PM.