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REVIEW: 4866 - The Knight Bus


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#1 Catanas

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Posted 21 May 2011 - 09:29 PM

Since I enjoyed my first review quite a bit, and you were all so nice about it, I decided to grab the Knight Bus and give that a bit of the old reviewing! Again, bear with the pictures as this time I decided to use photoshop to play around and test things out! If you want to see the bus in action before you read, take a look here!


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Set Number: 4866
Name: The Knight Bus
Theme: Harry Potter
Release Date: June 2011
Pieces: 257
Minifigs: 3 (And a head)
Price: $34.99 USD   £29.49 GBP
S@H description:
Harry Potter and his owl Hedwig need a lift back to Hogwarts, but as the purple, triple-decker Knight Bus screeches to a halt beside them, are they ready for the bumpiest journey in the wizarding world? Set includes Stan Shunpike, Ernie Prang and the shrunken head. Rebuilds into a London bus or regular bus. Hold on tight when you ride the Knight Bus!





The Box



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This time, the box is slightly larger, has the same delightful red patterns and serious looking trio. But this time, it has a bus!! Who would have thought?  It’s a wonderful image showing the bus tearing through the streets of London!



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Here, on the back of the box, again we have the parchment which is present throughout the line and a picture of the complete set. You can get a good look at the characters on the back of the box and it also shows you the moving bed feature. Yes! The bed really does go backwards and forwards. More on that later! Oh, and don’t forget the push tabs, there’s two of them!



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This image on the back of the box introduces us to the modular nature of the set. You can put the top on the bottom, or even put the bottom on the middle if that’s the way you like your buses. Its like automobile … Lego. One thing to note is that the roof doesn't actually come in one piece.



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The front of the instruction book, showing a brand new and completely different image of the bus speeding through the streets of…. Wait a minute!



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The DSS. Only two very small ones fortunately.



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A page from the instructions. You too could own your very own bus!



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Here are the last things within that wonderful cardboard box. Those plastic bags full of plastic people with their plastic dreams and plastic bricks. Three of them, reasonably large.


The Figures.



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Here be the figures contained within this bountiful set! Firstly, a Harry Potter. Wow, I didn’t expect that. Another for the Radcliffe shrine. Today he is wearing his eye catching casual wear with front and back printing, what a guy. Secondly, we have Ernie Prang. The bus driver with glasses thicker than his sandwiches, although that doesn’t quite come across in the Lego version. The torso is excellent with front and back printing and the face is very decent. Perfect for old people MOCs, especially with that hair and the fact the torso doesn't have skin printing, so it could be yellow or fleshy. Thirdly, and here is where I have an issue. Stan Shunpike. The torso is lovely all by itself with great front and back printing, however I don’ink it looks grubby enough. The face also looks too old for the character and not nearly pimply enough. I don’t own the old Knight Bus, but I have done my research and actually prefer his old head. Here is a comparison for the lazy!



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The older one looks much younger, and I think the hair really works well. But I digress, this is a personal opinion and therefore it is the only one that matters! :D



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Here we have the last little star of the set. The shrunken head, printed on a 1x1 cylinder, something which Lego seem to have taken a liking to of late. Its sand green (excuse the photo) and looks like a… shrunken head I suppose. Slightly intoxicated if I don’t say so myself.


The Parts

This is probably the most interesting part of the set. I knew there would be plenty of purple, but I was really surprised with how much there actually was. There aren’t a lot of big hard to use bricks either. If you want purple, you need this set.



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Here you see ALL the purple pieces in the set laid out. You have lots of useful smaller bricks and plates, even some tiles. But you also get eighteen purple 3x4 train windows. Unfortunately, you’ll note that the 3x2 windows are not from the train theme, but are instead house windows, unlike the previous Knight Bus.



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Here are the more specialised parts included in the set. We have 3 excellent trans clear windows, including a squared one, 6 of those new black 1x4 tiles with studs (Or whatever you’d like to call them!), a treasure chest, printed Hedwig and a nice surprise for me were the two printed sock tiles to go in the chest.


The Build

I actually quite enjoyed building this one and it uses some nice techniques for the front and rear, otherwise its mostly just stacking purple bricks. Take a look!


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Lets pause for a moment and take a look at the bed. Yes, that is a bed, a quite simple one at that. But it does the job and slides around inside thanks to the smooth tiles underneath. Hooray for flat slidey beds!  And on we go.


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The last image shows how the delightful chandelier attaches to the bus. It hangs there so it can swing around as a play feature, and boy does it swing. I've nearly taken Hedwigs head off about fifty times, and I still havn't realised I can move him!


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The leftovers. Not many, but reasonable for a set this size and all the usual duplicates.

Parting shots.

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This shot above shows something that I think gives this set a massive one up on its predecessor. The wheels on this set are more accurate in placement thus the back of the bus ends up looking much better in regards to reality with an open back entrance which Stan can hang off.


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One final shot showing the multipart roof and the chandeliers swinging mechanism. Oh and Stan. Hey Stan, you look a bit worse for wear. Have you tried anti aging cream? Maybe you should.

Ratings

Design: 8/10 - I adore the design and parts chosen are amazing. It creates a pretty decent representation of the bus within the price range.
Build: 8/10 - A few fancy moments but lots of brick stacking.
Minifigs: 8/10 - Two brand new figures with excellent printing although Stan could use a facelift. Correct me if I'm wrong but I think this is the cheapest set in which to get casual Harry.
Playability: 8/10 - I love it and the little shakeabout features inside. I think that maybe the reason TLG decided to make the Knight Bus again is because theres is very little in the way of swoosh and vehicle play in the Harry Potter universe. Plus they wanted to print something on a round brick. It rolls like a dream by the way!
Parts: 9/10 - Purple, and socks. That is all.
Price: 8/10 - Initially, I was sceptical about £30 for this bus, but after building it, I love it to bits. All those bricks in a rare colour and two new minifigures make it definitely worth it. Oh, and socks.
Overall: 8/10 -  An awesome set, definitely better than its predecessor in my eyes with much more accuracy and playability with the minifigures involved.

And, as last time, a comic to finish off!


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Take care and thanks for reading!


Edited by Catanas, 08 March 2013 - 04:24 PM.


#2 Gregorovich

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Posted 21 May 2011 - 09:50 PM

Thank you, Catanas, for yet another fantastic review, with that lovely comic at the end!

The set definetely looks great from the outside. All that beautiful purple, and the nice design at the back. However, the interior let's it down a lot. Why one earth is there no floor? I understand that on the third storey that they need the chandelier to hang down, but why not on the second floor? On the box, Harry must be floating or something (then again, he is a wizard...). The bed on the first floor is quite simple yet good, and the minifigures are pretty decent. I agree that Stan's face is too old looking, but IMO it's an improvement on the last one.

Thanks again for another excellent and surprisingly early review of the HP sets (maybe BfH next :sweet: ?)!

Edited by Gregorovich, 21 May 2011 - 09:56 PM.

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#3 Catanas

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Posted 21 May 2011 - 09:57 PM

View PostGregorovich, on 21 May 2011 - 09:50 PM, said:

Thank you, Catanas, for yet another fantastic review, with that lively comic at the end!

The set definetely looks great from the outside. All that beautiful purple, and the nice design at the back. However, the interior let's it down a lot. Why one earth is there no floor? I understand that on the third storey that they need the chandelier to hang down, but why not on the second floor? On the box, Harry must be floating or something (then again, he is a wizard...). The bed on the first floor is quite simple yet good, and the minifigures are pretty decent. I agree that Stan's face is too old looking, but IMO it's an improvement on the last one.

Thanks again for another excellent and surprisingly early review of the HP sets (maybe BfH next :sweet: ?)!
You're welcome, and I do see what you mean by the interior somewhat. I have been blinded by the amazingness of purple, however in the film, the chandelier does come down through the floors and in 6 wide I think its impossible to put a walkway either side of it. And oh god, I wish I could, but I stretched myself with this one (So glad that I did, I loves it!) so I can't afford the £49.99 price tag on BfH. :(

#4 The Spark That Bled

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Posted 21 May 2011 - 10:01 PM

I really need this for the purple bricks.  The shrunken head is pretty funny.  Why do there have to be so many sets to want?

#5 Gregorovich

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Posted 21 May 2011 - 10:10 PM

View PostCatanas, on 21 May 2011 - 09:57 PM, said:

You're welcome, and I do see what you mean by the interior somewhat. I have been blinded by the amazingness of purple, however in the film, the chandelier does come down through the floors and in 6 wide I think its impossible to put a walkway either side of it. And oh god, I wish I could, but I stretched myself with this one (So glad that I did, I loves it!) so I can't afford the £49.99 price tag on BfH. :(
Actually, I think that you're right. I seem to recall them having a hole in the middle of each floor, so I think they should have put banisters in. And I hear where you're coming from about the prices - I can only afford the smallest set of each theme :cry_sad: !

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#6 ZO6

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Posted 21 May 2011 - 10:23 PM

Thanks for yet another informative review, Catanas.  This was a real pleasure to read!

This seems to be a nice set - the purple bricks are of course awesome, and the minifigures are interesting.  I don't know what it is, but something about the bus just doesn't appeal to me.  It's not the design of the bus that turns me off or anything... I'm not sure I can put my finger on why I don't have a desire to pick up this set. The playability is good too, so it's not that...  :look:

In any case, I agree that it's good to have variety within the Harry Potter theme by including a vehicle.

#7 lightningtiger

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Posted 21 May 2011 - 10:31 PM

Thanks 'Catanas' for this review, I do agree with your reason for this set because apart from a train and little blue car what is there.....oh, wait flying motorcycle....why haven't they done the flying motorcycle that would be AWESOME ! :grin:
The bus is okay, a bit blocky in shape, though it does have that head, plus bed and swing light fixture. It's the minifigs that make the set worth it.....though if I buy one for my son it will be when it's on sale and I mean big %off sale. :wink:
Keep on casting spells everyone ! :grin:

#8 deskp

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Posted 21 May 2011 - 10:34 PM

Stan has the head from the chef on queen annes revenge i think,atlest it looks really similar!

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#9 Nightshroud99

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Posted 21 May 2011 - 10:56 PM

Excellent review yet again!  :thumbup: Great set, nice supply of purple, plus the play features are rather imaginative  :sweet:
I also prefer the old Stan however, this new one is not very accurate.  :sad:
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#10 prateek

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Posted 21 May 2011 - 11:22 PM

Great review! I think this set is better than the old one, but I don't think it's worth 30 pounds.

#11 lowbike1

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Posted 22 May 2011 - 01:57 AM

View PostThe Spark That Bled, on 21 May 2011 - 10:01 PM, said:

  Why do there have to be so many sets to want?
oh man, tell me about it, I want this in multiples but its too pricey...

#12 KielDaMan

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Posted 22 May 2011 - 02:04 AM

Thanks for another great review Catanas, I've added this to the FP with your previous review. It's indeed better than the previous version, though this will be a definite pass for me being a non-HP collector.

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#13 Delta 38

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Posted 22 May 2011 - 05:25 AM

Interesting. The feature of taking off the layers is quite nice, it makes it less bulky (though I guess that's the whole point) and it looks better.
Those purple pieces are potentially useful, though I don't think I could afford it after Star Wars hits.  :laugh:
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#14 Fuzzylegobricks

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Posted 22 May 2011 - 07:39 AM

Great review! I love the colors. The Minifigures
are also nice. The head that shrunk kind of reminds me of plankton.... :wink:
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#15 Miss Kyle

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Posted 22 May 2011 - 09:36 AM

Catanas, you review genius! Thanks so much for another great one!
All the purple, all the wonderful purple! HUZZAH! IT MUST BE MINE!!
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#16 badboytje88

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Posted 22 May 2011 - 09:56 AM

Yep, another must have for me!

Thanks for the great review. I especially enjoy the little comic at the end.

#17 jonwil

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Posted 22 May 2011 - 11:11 AM

Nice review, confirms that this set is a must-buy for me (although I dont quite know what I will do with the purple :)

#18 Mr_Malfoy

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Posted 22 May 2011 - 11:50 AM

Great review! I wasn't going to get this set, but now I gonna get it :thumbup:
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#19 Gryphon Ink

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Posted 22 May 2011 - 04:22 PM

Some people have commented that this set looks "off" somehow.  I agree, and I think I've figured out what it is: the bus looks too smooth.  Nothing else in the Potterverse looks so flat and boxy.  It's all rounded corners, rough textures, natural stone.  Everything is ramshackle, weathered and worn.  Even the shiny things are crafted with decorations and style.  It's all very Victorian.  Most of the later sets have done a great job capturing this feeling.  Look at the Burrows or Hagrid's Hut - they are amazingly "rough" looking for piles of shiny plastic bricks.

Then you get to this bright purple, shiny, box-like thing, that has no texture at all.  It looks really plasticky.

Even the actual Knight Bus in the movie didn't look so new and sharp-edged.  It was an ancient, creaking monstrosity.  They built it from a couple of AEC Regent RTs, buses that were originally produced in 1938 and had a really old-fashioned design.  You could feel the thing straining every time it pulled off one of those crazy moves.  In the world of magical, gadget-laden vehicles, there are Chitty Chitty Bang Bangs and there are Q Branch Lotus Esprits.  Lego turned the Knight Bus into a Lotus, where they should have been shooting for Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

I don't know how they could have fixed it, to be honest.  I think it would take the skills of a serious MOCer to really do a worthy representation of the KB.  But I know this one doesn't do it for me.
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#20 Miss Kyle

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Posted 22 May 2011 - 05:03 PM

Yeah, I think I know what you mean, Gryphon. It bothers me, too, especially compared to sets like the wonderful Burrow. Still - lots of room for improvement :)
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#21 Canada_7

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Posted 22 May 2011 - 06:52 PM

This isn't a must want set for me nor is it actually that appealing to me but I might end up eventually getting one only because I missed out on the first one when it came out.

#22 The Yellow Brick

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Posted 22 May 2011 - 11:11 PM

Thanks for the review.
I actually own the last version of this set and it's been in pieces for a couple of years, so I can't really say which is better. But by just looking at it the new design is a lot better. but the old one had a lot better pieces included like the printed slopes with pillows on them.
Can't wait to buy this set  :thumbup:

#23 Jed

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 08:43 PM

I'm liking all that purple but the final design doesn't really seduce me. One to think on, but I think I'll possibly just pick up BfH from this round just to bolt on my existing build.

Great Review.  :classic:

#24 Parrothead Rasmus

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 10:01 PM

Thanks again!!!

And the comic is fantastic!!  :sweet:

Edited by Parrothead Rasmus, 26 May 2011 - 10:20 PM.


#25 Niku

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Posted 24 May 2011 - 12:54 AM

Great review but even better comic.  :laugh:

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