My first review so please feel free to criticize me. Don't bother flaming me since I have 10,000 flame element, I am virtually immune to flames. ;)
Set # - 7188
Name - King's Carriage Ambush
Theme/Subtheme - Castle/Kingdoms
Year - 2011
Piece Count - 285
Minifigures - 4 + 2 horses
Price - MSRP $40 US
The front of the box is nicely done with 2 bandit ambushing the carriage, while both the King and the driver are ready to fight back if needed. The forested area and the 2 bandits are almost reminiscent of my favorite castle era: Forestmen series. The carriage's wheels were blurred to simulate speedy movement.
The back of the boxes shows 3 small panels and a larger pictures of various battle scenes between King, the driver, and the bandits. It also shows how the hammer attack works, by flicking the 5L lift arm to flip the hammer. The larger picture also has very nice picture.
I may cut the box up and frame the 2 nicer scenes =)
3 poly bags numbered 1, 2, and 3 and 2 manuals. Manual 1 is for the carriage and requires bag 1 and 2 to complete. Manual 2 is for the 2 forest pieces and requires the last bag.
By miracle, the manual arrived flat and wrinkle free! I took a couple random pages:
from book 1
from book 2
2 pages of part list.
Front of King and Driver minifigs and 2 horses. Cloak and helmet was not attached.
Back of the Driver and King minifig. King has no alternate face but the driver has a fearful face.
Same 2 minifigs, fully outfitted (minus King's cloak) and some interesting pieces from bag 1 and 2. There are 2 arches of style I hadn't seen before, and the elusive square macaroni bricks, first discovered last year in the train sets. Not pictured, this set had lots of warm gold pieces including 1x1 with clip, 1x1 round plate, 1x3 curved slopes, horse's helmets, etc.
Bandit minifig's front and some pieces. There are some darker green (compare with LEGO's "Dark Green" 6x8 plate) and some brown bricks that doesn't look reddish brown. There's also a clear bottle that could pass for wine or whiskey bottle.
Back side of the bandit minifigs.
Darn me, i was having too much fun putting this together I didn't take enough picture of its progress. Like most other, I started with instruction book #1:
About half way through with the carriage. The treasure chest contained a cup, 2 round 1x1 plates, and 2 gems.
Nearly completed with the carriage
Completed carriage. There are 2 halberds and 2 shields mounted on either side of the carriage. The roof of the carriage comes off easy as it's held in place by only 2 studs, which should make it easy to insert and remove the King. The harness is a bit more flexible than the older harness I'm used to seeing in older castle sets.
Another view of the carriage with more of the warm gold pieces visible.
I was left with 3 leftover pieces: warm gold 1x1 round plate (can add it to the chest), brown 1x1 round plate, and black 1x1 round plate. There are also 2 of 1x2 white plate and 2 of 1x2 white bricks, which are used on the horses if you remove the harness so not an extra pieces.
Onto instruction book #2
About half way done on the tree #1. The lift arm there holds another lift arm for the flipping hammer part. The hammer goes onto the side, on the naked brown technic pin.
Completed tree #2. Flick the lift arm, it causes the hammer to flip over and smash the unsuspecting minifig on the other side of the tree. Nice big hammer, might steal that one for a hulk type minifig ;)
A bit before half way on tree #2, the wine bottle is up in place.
Completed tree #2, the spider web flips to reveal hiding spot for the bandits to sleep and drink. On top there's a missile launcher (seems out of place somehow) for attacking the passing carriage. One reddish brown cheese slope and one technic pin are leftovers as shown in the picture.
Design/Build: This is quite different from most of the castle themed sets, and I had some fun putting it together. This set is very much like it's from Robin Hood, if you think of those bandits as good people who steals from the rich to give to the poor. If you replace the 4 minifigs included with older series minifig, you could probably merge this carriage and tree sets into the 80's era castle sets. Especially the Forestmen sets. 9/10
Pieces: For $40, it's on the pricey side in term of piece counts. However it does have a variety of warm gold pieces, large wagon wheels, some different arches, and it could be worth getting it. Plus those darker shade of green leaves, when mixed with normal "Dark Green" leaves could make for colorful tree, and brown pieces were rather hard to find recently when LEGO choose to stick with reddish-brown color. I'm a tad dissapointed there's only 1 alternate face from all of the 4 included minifigs. if you're buying for parts, I'd probably wait until your local store has a good sale on these series (such as Toys R Us' Buy One Get One 1/2 off deal) to buy them. 7/10
Playability: Defiantly fun concept for playing when you use this with some castle sets or with Forestment sets. By itself, it will get a bit old quickly. I'd suggest a few decent castle sets first before getting this one though. 8/10
Verdict: I'd rate this one rather high on castle fan's must have list because it's different from the usual sets. And good collection of pieces in hard to find colors. The only real negative point is the $40 USD for only 285 pieces, which comes out to about $0.14 per pieces. Which is about on par with most of the licensed sets but a bit pricey for non licensed set.
EDIT: few typo, couple formatting issue
EDIT #2 forgot about 2 leftover parts from bag 3...
Edited by Rufus, 21 May 2011 - 05:08 PM.
Indexed! Poll Added