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Review of King's Castle 10176


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#1 dunamis

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Posted 06 August 2006 - 09:28 AM

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Hail good Eurobricks readers!  I bring forth the good news of the return to classic castle.  As always, comments and complaints are welcome.

Knights Kingdom King’s Castle reviewed by Dunamis

Set 10176
871 Pieces
$99.95 at the LEGO store (unless you get a busted box version then it is $84.95)
Build time 3.0 hours

The Box:
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Two items of note regarding the box:  Unlike standard US boxes, there were no piece count printed on the box and all of the boxes at this particular LEGO brand retail store had damage.  The store clerk said that they were all like that and gave me 15% off the price (which made the set $84.95 instead of $99.95.)  
Otherwise, the box is standard with two seals and the lid that flips up when you pull out the perforated tabs on the side.  


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Parts are in the two types of standard LEGO packaging; perforated bags and standard sealed bags. There were some larger pieces free in the box along with the raised base plate and the two instruction manuals. The bags were not numbered and (as usual) the minifig pieces are spread out among several bags.

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The Manuals:

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I’ve seen a change recently with some of the newer LEGO sets, two manuals!  It seems that someone at LEGO has focused on the instruction manuals lately.  I think this is a good thing and it has definitely been noticed.  Here are the highlights:

- The return of the part inventory.  This is outstanding in my opinion.

- Each step has a list of parts needed for the step.  Very handy.

- Steps are not overly complicated.  This makes for easier builds but longer instruction manuals (or two manuals in this case.)  I’m sure this contributes to cost, but in the long run I think it is worth it.

- I didn’t have any problems with color identification in the manual or any steps that seemed dark.  I know this was an issue with a few sets last year but I can’t remember which ones (Star Wars maybe?)  At any rate, the colors were fine this time around.

Two more things of note:  The first manual has page numbers while the second does not and all pages have kind of a silhouette background to them.  This is a subtle but nice touch.  Not sure why the second manual is missing page numbers though, probably an oversight.  I did run across an error on one of the steps where it didn’t call out the correct number of pieces.  No big deal though.  

Overall, I believe LEGO has stepped up the quality on manuals and this should be recognized as a nice improvement.  Good job LEGO!

The Minifigs:

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Ten minifigs plus two skeletons and a dog.  Note that they are all yellow and no flesh tone.  I don’t have a lot of Knights Kingdom sets so I’m not sure if this is the norm.  I kind of thought LEGO was doing all minifigs as flesh tone, but who knows.  Seems like we get a good selection of heads with lots of different faces.

I do like the breastplates and some have the new metal look while others are printed; very nice.  In addition, we do have a new color on some weapons (swords and spears) and helmets.  I looks to me that it is the light bluish gray.  I don’t really like it, especially on the helmet.  It looks too light (kind of a milky color) and to me it looks fake.

We also have the gigantic axes and the “masters of the universe” oversized swords which are kind of silly.  However, we do get some of the metallic regular (realistic) sized axes which are very nice (like what was in the 6210 Sail Barge set.)  However, all shields are no longer printed and required stickers.  What is up with that?


The Pieces:

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Standard castle pieces with lots of the black printed walls, tower pieces and capstone pieces.  As with most castle sets, where would we be without a couple of the large mountain pieces?  Fear not, for they are present!  Also included is the one piece archway and two of the five stud tall vertical track pieces for the gate.  Lots of blue slopes and the three sided 45 degree 2x1 slopes.  A number of the standard blue and red flags as seen in the old castle days and eight of the clip on flags which required stickers.  I’m at a loss on that one.  Finally, there is a single doorway piece with a large door (with a giant key) that clips in to the doorway.  Looks to me that it has Harry Potter written all over it but I never built too many sets from that line so I’m not certain.  Last, but not least is the return of the giant raised baseplate!


The Build:

Building of the King’s Castle was a breeze.  As I mentioned above, the instructions were well laid out and flowed nicely (nice job, LEGO.)  Not a single gotcha was to be found and the castle is broken down into sections so it always felt like progress was being made.  There was a tiny amount of Technic pieces involved and a few rubber bands, but it was very straightforward.  One question I had was since when do we have to put together the 2x2 turntables?  I don’t ever remember having to do that…

Here is a shot of the completed castle:

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The Design:

I guess one thing that should be mentioned is the color of the castle.  Since we no longer have the original light and dark gray LEGO is now using the light and dark bluish gray.  I have grown to like the new grays and I think it works well with the castle theme.  So, no color issues with me.

Now, on to the design.  There are a few head scratchers in this one, folks.  For example:

- We have a nice gate that lifts up and a pull out pin to lock it in to place.  However, there is no winch and no string.  Pretty lame.
- We have these funky catapult things which “fling” 1x1 round bricks.  The design is intriguing but the practical use is nil.
- The drawbridge doesn’t eve go all the way up and again, where is the winch and string?  Poorly designed in my opinion.
- Yet another questionable “flip the lever and drop the 1x1 round bricks” weapon is mounted on the top of one of the towers.  This thing is just screaming to be modded right out and replaced with something better.

As with most of the sets that use this style raised baseplate, the design is broken into four corner sections and one large center section.  These are serviceable but not earth shattering.  As usual, there is a dungeon pit, a couple of towers with the flinging brick apparatus and the ubiquitous wizard tower.  LEGO did add a couple of nice features in the bottom of the baseplate, the skeleton on a rack and the blacksmith area.  These were nice touches.  The back side of the castle leaves you wanting for… the back of the castle.  There’s not much there and gives you ample opportunity to do what we do best- change it!

Blacksmith area:

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Here is a photo of the LEGO designer who makes the decision regarding stickers:

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Dude, where is the back of my castle?

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The Stickers:

As mentioned above, we have stickers.  First the good news – no stickers across multiple pieces and there were only fourteen stickers total.  Now the bad news – the stickers go on pieces that traditionally were printed in the past; shields and flags.  I just don’t get it and it makes me want to take a trip to LEGO HQ, find the genius who made this decision and kick them in the groin.  Oh well, they were not too difficult to apply.

Sorry for the poorly focused image, I was so angry about the stickers I was shaking...

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Overall Thoughts:

It is a nice looking castle (from the front) and has some nice features.  The total number of minifigs is outstanding.  However, there are a number of questionable design issues (as mentioned above) which detract from the set.  Plus, the cost is pretty steep at $100.  It’s not a bad way to return to the classic castle series but there is some room for improvement.  I hope they continue as I believe we will see some better sets.  

Final Rating: 76%

Playability 7/10 (lots of minifigs, but no winches and lame catapults)
Minifigs 10/10 (nice assortment with nice armor)
Design 6/10 (hope you’ve built up your stock of bluish gray to fix the back of your castle)
Parts 9/10 (Good stuff here plus the baseplate)
Price 6/10 (Pretty steep.  Go buy Battle at the Pass for $40 if you want minifigs)

{Edits for grammar and clarification}
So much LEGO, so little time...

#2 Jipay

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Posted 06 August 2006 - 09:38 AM

Nice review ! Too bad I have to buy the viking first ! But definitly a cool set, especially with 10 minifigs !!!

#3 Lord Thrawn

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Posted 06 August 2006 - 02:33 PM

This review has opened my eyes a little.  I don't like it that much, but it is better in some areas than I had expected although much worse in others.

I won't be picking this up at full price, as I'm building my own castle at the moment.

#4 SWMAN

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Posted 06 August 2006 - 02:50 PM

If you think you had damage, you should have seen mine. It was crushed in all 4 corners, and when I opened it, the green baseplate was cracked. I am getting a new part from lego as we speak. It was shipped UPS, and the outside brown box was in the same condition, with a big rip. One interesting thing about the box. On the top where they show all of the minifigures, instead of the blacksmith, they show another bull knight, identical to the first one, even though there is no other knight.
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#5 oo7

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Posted 06 August 2006 - 03:50 PM

wtf?!? The sheilds are sticks!?! Oh well, it could be worse. I am overjoyed with the reurn of the chrome greatsword! Ugh, the floor of the first floor is green. :-|
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#6 dunamis

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Posted 06 August 2006 - 05:59 PM

View Postoo7, on Aug 6 2006, 03:50 PM, said:

wtf?!? The sheilds are sticks!?! Oh well, it could be worse. I am overjoyed with the reurn of the chrome greatsword! Ugh, the floor of the first floor is green. :-|

Yes, shields are stickers.  I couldn't believe it.

The chrome sword is very nice.

I was puzzled by the green 1st floor as well.  It's like they have grass in the throne room???




View PostSWMAN, on Aug 6 2006, 02:50 PM, said:

If you think you had damage, you should have seen mine. It was crushed in all 4 corners, and when I opened it, the green baseplate was cracked. I am getting a new part from lego as we speak. It was shipped UPS, and the outside brown box was in the same condition, with a big rip.


Wow, you definitely had worse damage.  Mine was only crushed on the edges (although you couldn't tell in the photos.)  Also, the sticker seals were broken on my box as well as all the boxes in the store.  I figured I was safe since the perforated tabs were still intact.  Strange that all boxes in the store were like that though...
So much LEGO, so little time...

#7 Djole

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Posted 06 August 2006 - 06:15 PM

Well this set occupated my mind these days,and I'm very pleased woth your review.Thanx  :-)

As I see it better now,I can tell that TLC made step in right direction...
Of course it's still somehow juniorized...
But it has it's better sides

After all,I'm surely going to buy this...
I'm just waiting for it to get in here... It's going to be no less than 130EUR.
Anybody knows the European price?

Greetings from Serbia

#8 optimus-convoy

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Posted 06 August 2006 - 06:39 PM

Thanks for the review. *y*

I think I like this set,  but I'm not buying it unless I see it on sale.
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#9 Jipay

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Posted 06 August 2006 - 07:22 PM

For the record the old lego castle sets used to have stickers everywhere : torsos, shields and flags ! Just look at the yellow castle (which is the ultimate reference for a lot of people, I'll never get that).

#10 alex54

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Posted 06 August 2006 - 08:44 PM

I don't find this castle so wonderfull. and one think that ii find very horrible is the gost! So horrible! I have an old one that looks more like a gost! I mean it has a black head like the new one but you can't see the head through its cloth. and some legs, what a silly idea, a gost doesn't have ones! and the worts of the wors, the yellow hands :-X ! Why TLC doesn't use white ones?
But the reurn of the chrome greatsword is a very good thing!
Good work Dunamis, I just want to add that the non-yellow minifig are the licenced ones.

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#11 Starwars4J

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Posted 06 August 2006 - 09:08 PM

Just a few notes for the reviewer:

First of all, FANTASTIC review!  I really felt like I was building it with you  X-D

This set is rather disappointing, I was thinking I might get it on sale, but on second thought nah.  This wasn't from the classic castle line anyway, it was from the dreaded KK1, however at least with KK1 you got some pointed visors...

I love the flow of this review, great job, and please keep it up!

(also, TLG doesn't make all figs in fleshtone, just the license ones)

*y*

#12 Djole

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Posted 06 August 2006 - 09:33 PM

View Postjipay, on Aug 6 2006, 09:22 PM, said:

For the record the old lego castle sets used to have stickers everywhere : torsos, shields and flags ! Just look at the yellow castle (which is the ultimate reference for a lot of people, I'll never get that).

Well that's right but it's in actually just one castle - the yellow one...
What makes it so legendary? I think it's legendary only for truly LEGO fans who are in this almost for 30 years,and whose love started with this one...I think it's beautiful,but no legendary to me.

Who cared for stickers back then? Nobody,'cause they doesn't seen printed stuff...
Just can't believe TLC couldn't done printed ones...  :-(

Greetings forom Serbia

#13 dunamis

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Posted 07 August 2006 - 12:38 AM

Thanks for the feedback on the review, I enjoyed doing it.   :-)

I had forgotten that the fleshie minifigs are only on licensed products - that explains it!

Let me know if anyone has any questions.  I'm going to start on the 8285 Tow Truck review soon...
So much LEGO, so little time...

#14 Berry Syedow

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Posted 07 August 2006 - 10:40 AM

King's Castle is a set I've been undecided on up until now.  Without a second thought I'd buy the Viking Fortress because it's a better deal, set design-wise, and piece to price ratio.  It does not suffer from the degree of juniorization present in the KC.  And the Viking torsos are printed.  Structurally the castle is lame.  Four towers and a middle section?  Hasn't that been done to death?  Never mind that TLC claims the KC is a "legend".  :-|  Because it isn't.  ;-) At least they did something right, that ghost is scary looking! :-P

Excellent review, dunamis.  I probably won't buy this set,   ever.  That juniorized archway is bad enough, but in bley, yuck!

View Postdunamis, on Aug 6 2006, 05:38 PM, said:

Let me know if anyone has any questions.  I'm going to start on the 8285 Tow Truck review soon...
Awesome!  That's one of the few technic sets that have caught my attention.  I anticipate your musings.

#15 prateek

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Posted 08 August 2006 - 12:57 AM

humnahumnahumna i want it sooooooooooo badly!!! *sing*
how come the ghost has human hands?

#16 Lord Thrawn

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Posted 08 August 2006 - 09:27 AM

It's really a mean old man dressed up. ;-)

#17 Khorne

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Posted 08 August 2006 - 11:32 AM

I think the REAL explanation is that Lego doesn't pay that much atention to details and perfection like they used to. So, mistakes like these happen. Other examples include: errors in manuals. I know it happened in the past too but not so much as now...

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#18 Brick Miner

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Posted 15 August 2006 - 05:36 AM

i have a question about the glow-in-the dark ghost shroud from this set...
does any one have an older ghost shroud they could compare this new one (from this set) to ???

i am having some GITD issues...  please take some time to read my thread here.  and respond if you can help !!!

thanks in advance !!!

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EDIT:  thanks to eveyone's comments regarding my concern.  all was answered in the other thread !!!
check out my about me thread.

also, check out The LEGO Western Expansion MOC Page at MOCpages.com !!!
and Brick Miner's Extras BrickLink.com store !!!

#19 gusmoore17

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Posted 17 August 2006 - 01:04 AM

Yeah, finally I've seen this...well, eh, jejejejeje, let me say that I really got closed with my MOC 10176!!!!

It's moreless the same and, well, It's a must have set, definitively.  *wub*

*y*

#20 dillthepill

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Posted 19 September 2006 - 03:55 AM

I think you can tell when a review is good, because it'll make you want to buy it.

I saw this once and thought it looked ok, but your review made it seem ten times better and now I want it.

Good job. *y*

#21 TheBrickster

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Posted 19 September 2006 - 04:17 AM

Thanks for taking the time to review this set.  Great pictures!  I sort of have mixed feelings about this set.  Part of me likes it with the new elements but it's not classic castle.  I do, however, like the detail (like the torture chamber) and figs are pretty nice to.  I'm not sure if I'll buy.

#22 SWMAN

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Posted 11 October 2008 - 02:17 PM

I bought this set when it first came out because I didn't really have a castle. For a couple weeks, I though it was the best thing ever. Then, I realized in all honesty, it is a pretty crummy set. It has stickers like none other. The stickers for the shields blew me away, and made me angry. It doesn't really fit with any theme, and seems like a mismatch of figures. The castle itself is a front-only castle, which I hate. Overall, it wasn't worth the $100.
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#23 WhiteFang

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Posted 11 October 2008 - 08:00 PM

I had considered to get this set in the past, and I had no idea that this set has so many stickers for its shields...... In fact, it make me so annoyed that I gave up of buying this set as I need to pay a premium price for it. I don't mind its structure of the castle and the wierd range of minifigs. What I really mind and I can't accept it, is the shields are make up of sticker. I am extremely disappointed with this set, and I will give it a pass unless I need more castles. Even so, I will rather get the 7094 King Castle Siege instead.

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#24 Sandy

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Posted 11 October 2008 - 10:14 PM

I just purchased the King Leo's Castle, and it seems funny to me how similar this set is to that. It's not just the baseplate,  the building techniques are nearly the same, and they use the same emblems here as well. There's just a similar vibe to both of the sets, as opposed to other big castle sets.

The biggest difference, though, are the minifigs, which are detailed and unique in King Leo's Castle, but generic and bland in this one. With the stickers to top it off, I'd never put my money on this set. :tongue:

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#25 metalandi

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Posted 11 October 2008 - 10:51 PM

i agree, i also noticed these similarities when i went through the instructions of King Leo's Castle :tongue: But i do think that overall this set here is the better one of the two, not at last because of the great blacksmith place "downstairs", and i think it also has more details.




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