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Review: 3829 Avatar - Fire Nation Ship

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#1 Graynar


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Posted 26 August 2006 - 10:21 PM

Hey guys,

Here's my first real set review in a long time. After building this set, I thought it would be nice to do a review on it, it's one of the best part's packs in years. (If you like Bley)

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Here's most of the information you might want to know:

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The price is steep, 79.99 Canadian, and 49.99 American. But compared to the Mistlands Tower set (same price as FNS -but with half the amount of pieces) the FNS is a great buy!

*Please note this is completely my opinion so I hope this review does not offend people who like this set.*

Now then, onto the review!

Over view of the whole set
The Fire Nation ship crew
The Heroes

The Bottom of the FNS

The Ship's lower interior
Engine room

The Top Deck

The Prison
The Catapult
The Smoke Stack

The Main Tower

The Main Tower
The Tower's interior
The rear of the ship -including all deck pieces

Errors and Mistakes

The Instruction Manual (2 Errors)
(Box) Katara's hip mistake
(Back of box) Two too many

For fun (The two other sets you can build)

The two sets

The whole folder when public

The Good

The set is an awesome parts pack. I'm very impressed by the amount of usable pieces in the same colour. There is also dark red, black, and stone grey pieces but in smaller quantities.

Here are some awesome piece counts:

54- 2 by 6's (Bley)
16- 1 by 12's (Bley)
26- 1 by 3's (Bley)
25- Ladder hinge pieces (Bley)
13- Cylinder pieces (Bley) (for the smoke stack)

The set comes with 3 good Fire Nation figures, and Aang's torso is supurb. Katara's dark blue torso should be usefull. Onto the the ship it's self, the amount of Fire Nation flags (10) is very welcome, the addition of the speed boat and boiler room is very sweet. The anchor design is also very nice.

The Bad

Poor amount of accessories for the figures. There is no form of food or untensils for the crew aboard the FNS. There's not even a treasure chest! (TLC likes to include those) The roof of the main tower is flismy, but works. The speed boat has no controls and it has no engine.

The ship could use a few more Fire Nation men as the ship is seriously undermaned. The interior of the whole ship isn't very exciting, it's very plain. The 4 differen't floor pieces of the main deck (Catapult, prison, Main Tower, and Smoke stack) come off easily, except for the prison piece, because the nob you use to pick it up with break's every time. Also, the trap door piece is pretty useless. The plastic flag isn't great either (cloth would have been better).

The Ugly

The Crapapult is a piece of Megablockim trash. As it functions horribly. You push the lever to launch the dark red brick (sad, should have been better fire ball pieces) but there isn't really enough room to fire it properly, and the shot usually sails straight down.

The prison has no door, there for the prisoner can probably escape even if he/she was tied up. Also, every time you see an official picture of the FNS, you see the prison sitting up right, on top of the deck. This is in fact, not possible as the prison fall's right back down, unless it's on top of the catapult. I think it's just an advertising license so kid's can see the prison. But it's kind of annoying when you can't really do it for real. But modifications can always save the day.

The euro armours on the Fire Bender and Fire Nation soldier are brown and not red as we see in official pictures. The brown is pale and boring, but the figs still look cool.


Part's pack for sure. Some good figs, nice set design, not many flaws besides the prison and catapult. The holes in the main tower are a little unpleasent, but they don't degrade the set much.

The errors in printing on box art and the instruction manual are rather annoying, but they only serve as false advertising. I think LEGO's gotten cheap enough not to have editors to fix these mistakes. But it doesn't ruin the set.

Here are my ratings:

Pieces: A strong 10
Figs: A 7 (Demerits to Flesh tone and FN figs pale euro armours)
Playability: A 6 (Could of had more accessories and a better interior.
Design: 9 (It was pretty functional, minus the prison)

Overall, final score: I give it an 8.

Please feel free to discuss the set. :)

#2 prateek


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Posted 26 August 2006 - 11:47 PM

holy moly! I am NOT getting that! *n*

#3 Zane


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Posted 26 August 2006 - 11:49 PM

Hmmmnnnahhmmm......looks nice, well worth an import. As a fan of the show, this set's coolness is increased, hehe. Looks to have plenty of features and is one of the best sets this year, I'd think...


#4 Starwars4J


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Posted 27 August 2006 - 12:54 AM

Nice review.  I have this set, which I was originally going to get for just a parts pack, but for some unexplainable reason, I fell in love with it  *wub*

I just see it as the kind of thing they USED to prodice.  Everything is brick-built from small pieces.  I happen to LOVE the euro armor (both designs, though especially the red), and I think it's just very well designed on the whole.

I do think your score was fair though, as I can't explain exactly why I can't bring myself to tear it apart!

#5 gylman


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Posted 27 August 2006 - 03:11 AM

Starwars - you probably can't bring yourself to tear it apart because it too so tediously long to build that big ship out of so many bricks.

I am glad to see that TLC can still build somethign with basic bricks (mostly).  That being said, I find the set quite unattractive. Of course fire nation ships are supposed to be unattractive, but still....

As a parts pack it is superb, and as usual - I find myself wishing that it had old grays, not bleys. Oh well. I ended up breaking down and buying this set, against my better judgement because of the inflated cost in Canada, and my kids got lots more play out of it than out of the Air Temple with all the specialized pieces.

I was quite keen on the Avatar sets when I first saw the pics this year, but ultimately, although each had merits, neither really was as good as I had hoped. Here's hoping next years, Avatar sets, if any, are a bit better than this years.

Thanks for the nice review Graynar!

#6 dunamis


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Posted 27 August 2006 - 06:26 AM

Nice review, Graynar!  Thanks for taking the time.

I've often wondered about this set, yet I have not picked one up yet.  I'm waiting to catch one on sale.  Having seen your photos, I get a sense of how many bricks there are.  It really looks like a lot!  I was looking to build up my bley collection and there are some great parts in this set.

Thanks again for the review.
So much LEGO, so little time...

#7 phoinix


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Posted 27 August 2006 - 08:55 AM

i have never watched Avatar in my life..has to be a nice cartoon (i did a little search on the net) *sad*

so i dont know how this ship is supposed to look..if you have a picture please post.. :-)

Now about the set.I loved it the minute i saw it! and now i love it even more! so much detail great design and basic building!!
It gives me the feeling of a ship of the 1900s and it would be great if TLC would produce a line from that era!
I would love to get this ship but as i said i dont know what the show is all about so i would just be a crazy man with a pointless ship!   X-D
I just cant get over how detailed the interior is... 8-

great review really liked that you pointed out the mistakes on box and instructions!

phoinix :-)

#8 Khorne


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Posted 27 August 2006 - 10:57 AM

I want this ship too, but I can't get it unless I ship from America >:-( . Thank you very much for this stupid decision TLC!!! I watch the show too and I have to say that it's quite good. The ship should've Uncle Iroh as he and Zuko are practicly always seen together.

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#9 Zane


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Posted 27 August 2006 - 11:00 AM

It does, in  the middle of the 2nd picture.

I know, not a great fig...

#10 Khorne


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Posted 27 August 2006 - 11:34 AM

View PostToa Tilius, on Aug 27 2006, 12:00 PM, said:

It does, in  the middle of the 2nd picture.

I know, not a great fig...
I don't think that's the uncle, the box states that it's just a Fire Nation soldier :-| .

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#11 Zane


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Posted 27 August 2006 - 11:55 AM

Hmm, I'm sure I read it was da Uncle....Bricklink says it's a FN Soldier, too.

#12 Matt


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Posted 27 September 2006 - 01:30 AM

View PostToa Tilius, on Aug 27 2006, 11:55 AM, said:

Hmm, I'm sure I read it was da Uncle....Bricklink says it's a FN Soldier, too.

Nope, it's a soldier. Uncle Iroh has a mini-beard thing and he doesn't wear a helmet.

#13 TheBrickster


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Posted 27 September 2006 - 03:07 AM

Nice review Graynar.  Thanks for taking the time to share your images and thoughts of this set.  I've only watched this cartoon once or twice and don't understand the story-line.  What surprises me is that there's only a few sets to the theme.  Perhaps Lego plans to have more in 2007.

#14 spotfrog


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Posted 01 October 2006 - 06:14 PM

To me, this set looks completely unrefined, like a preliminary model from a dealers' catalog. It's entirely too blocky... I know it looks pretty similar to the cartoon, but they could have at least made the design interesting. My main gripes are with the simplicity of the hull and control tower, where no innovative techniques are involved.

Looks like a rather mediocre set, only to be bought as a castle parts-pack. :-/

#15 KMOI


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Posted 01 October 2006 - 10:41 PM

Thanks for the review, Graynar! I totally agree with you on the fact that the alternate models should be the main ones. For those who are wondering, the alternate model to the right is actually from the cartoon itself. I guess they're going for the massive Fire Nation coal rig motif for that one. Would have been interesting for them to do that, but I guess Lego wanted to be conservative.

Anyhoo, the fire nation ship isn't exactly supposed to be riveting. It's the equivilant of a cannon fodder ship in Avatar. While I am extremely tempted to buy it, I'll wait to see what 2007 has to offer for Avatar. Awesome review, Graynar!

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