Title: The Zombies
Serial Number: 9465
Price: 350 DKK, €40, £35 or $40
I'm new to this whole reviewing business, and I haven't gone to the Reviewers' Academy. However, I recently acquired an exclusive set which I believe we're a bunch who've been rather hyped about – so why don't you sit down with me as we'll go through the experience that makes set #9465 The Zombies?
Featuring the beautiful bat-and-moon graphics that appear on every set in the Monster Fighters line, this one has the added details of gravestones in the dark and gloomy background. All in all, this makes for a very pleasant view, even if the scene it describes is a rather creepy one (which, frankly, I'd have expected to be beyond what TLG would allow themselves – I suspect this might be one of the reasons why this is marketed as an exclusive set, which tends to be the primary target of AFOLs).
The back tells us many useful things about the set, showcasing the five play features - though among those are flickfire missiles and a GitD spider, so many reasonable people would only consider that three. Still, three is a lot for a set this size, and I'm particularly looking forward to turning the moonstone to release the dead from their allegedly eternal sleep.
There's a little comic, too – this one is featured on the back of every Monster Fighters set, with only the second panel altered.. The moonstone in question changes colour on panel three, too.
As you can see, the first panel tells us that disappointingly, 9468 (the Vampyre Castle, as I'm sure you've already guessed) is not included. I, for one, was looking very much forward to finding this very large set inside the box of a medium-size set, and find this piece of news very disappointing.
I have to address this strip of graphic, too. It's a beautiful picture which they could've done without, but put in the little extra effort it took not to. I think it's great.
Four minifigures are included. That's the real reason you bought this, of course.
As Kai is here to tell (and show) us, the 1:1 size comparison picture is, indeed, size 1:1.
Oh, and one more little thing: Apparently, this set is really called Zombie Bride, Zombie Groom & Zombie Driver. It's no wonder they've wanted to shorten it down to The Zombies.
This line reminds me of Orient Expedition in many ways. Both have this sort of stunning graphics, both are pretty much a renaissance for Steampunk Lego parts, and both have taken me by my collectors' gene and refused to let me go. Buth what Orient Expedition had which this is lacking is something I see a lot of people complaining about in other lines: redundancy. One of the beautiful things about Orient Expedition was that even though I was too young to plan for it, I ended up getting a huge amounts of top hats, guns, crystal pieces, Johnny Thunder hats, etc. If you buy every set in this line, you'll still only have two of each Monster Fighter (and one extra Rodney Rathbone). I realise that the variety of figures would be at cost if they were to include more of each individual figure, but I'd still have liked to have so many bowler hats I'd never need them again. I guess I can't have my cake and eat it.
You know, I first saw this set on the shelves of the Lego Store in Berlin. This was back in, what, May? When it first started being sighted around the world, and I would have bought it right there if the very helpful, but unfortunately wrongly informed, personnel of the store hadn't told me that it would not be an exclusive (as I thought it would), and that I could safely expect it to be included in the sale where I buy most of my Lego. Yet it wasn't, so I had to wait for my return to the Berlin Lego Store two days ago to pick this up.
The moral being that you know more about Lego than their salespeople do.
Okay, let's open the set and throw the box away (I have; as much as I admire their effort, I can't have empty cardboard boxes lying around)!
No comments about the unfortunate child having a fit because his parents won't buy him the Lego he wants. We're used to seeing him at the back of our manuals by now.
The instruction manual features the same art as the box. No big surprise there.
A random page.
Hurry up, take the code from here and use it to unlock scary content (if you dare)!
What, you've already opened bag one while I was gawking at the manual? And what's that you're toying with now?
Oh, the minifigs! Well, let's have a look at them, shall we?
Jack Mchammer is familiar from one of the other Monster Fighters sets, The Vampyre Castle (the one that's not included in this set, remember?). His cyborg arm has been seen before, but is still a nice touch to add to the steampunk vibe that's given by this whole theme so far.
Jack Mchammer is part of a gang who've teamed up to prevent anything non-human from ever returning from the world of insufferable terrors they've been banished to. Guess who's my third favourite Monster Fighter?
We should all know the Zombie driver by now, since he also appears in the Vampyre Hearse (which is already abundant with cool minifigures), a polybag and next month's Lego Store Exclusive. Still, any zombie, even one as specific as this, is a pretty good armybuilder to me. I don't mind having two.
The Zombie groom has unique face and torso prints, and they're very nice, too. Wearing a smug expression and a torn and rotten wedding tuxedo, it looks like he's ready to continue right where he left off.
Features a delicious backprint.
The Zombie Bride is a definite star. I don't believe we've had this hair in this particular colour before. I personally think it's a rather dull colour, but it fits the theme, and indeed the minifig, perfectly on this wonderful occasion. Also included is unique face (sporting a creepy, satisfied expression), torso and wedding gown prints – in fact, every single piece of this minifig is made especially for this set (unless I'm wrong about the hair)!
The soon-to-be Mrs. Zombie has an alternate, disappointed face, for when Jack storms down the aisle to interrupt her wedding.
...and the backprint you've all been waiting for (as a zombie, she has no problem posing for this).
I wouldn't worry too much if I were him; Zombies are notoriously slow.
You were probably waiting for this: The Zombie ensemble.
The Monster Fighters zombies vary from the Collectible version in that they have hollow eyes rather than bloody ones (except for the bride, who has one of each), and that the teeth they have left are more yellowed. But they're the same colour, and perfectly compatible with each other.
Now, let's have a look at the rest of the parts.
The contents of bag one, minus the minifigures. Even without knowing what set it is, it wouldn't be a mystery what kind of model these pieces will make.
I've noticed a trend in bags numbered 2 to contain the rather dreary, boring parts that are necessary to complete the build. At first, this may seem to follow the trend, but if you'll just look again, there's a bunch of SNOT pieces, a number of round 1X1 tiles and a small selection of plates. In this case, I'd rather have an extra Bag 2 than an extra Bag 1.
Bag 3 provides us with a small number of more or less blend parts, yet parts that are generally useful and always nice to have, anyway.
Bag 4 is what builds up the main visible part of the building (the mausoleum). Therefore, it includes the mood-setting parts, the decorative elements that are often of particular interest to AFOLS.
All the parts. Excuse me for a minute while I remove all the parts I don't find very interesting.
I'm sorry, Technic fans. I personally think Technic is a wonderful system that's just as ingenious as System Lego is, but after a decade of collecting Bionicle, I've grown satisfied. So I'm not really very excited by that kind of pieces anymore.
That is to say, I've given up Technic, but I'd recommend nobody to follow my example.
Pieces of interest to me. I've included three pieces that aren't particularly new, because you can't get too many cheese slopes, SNOT pieces or simple, regular bricks.
Pieces of interest to the general public.
I'm not sure whether the 2x1 cheese slope modification piece-thingamajig has been released before in black, though I suspect it has. There's a few new and useful SNOT plates included in light bley, as well as a handful of 1x1 round tiles in light bley and pearl gold. The brick brick is still new enough to be interesting to me (this set includes four), and the metallic silver 1X4 motor brick thingie might be new, since I'm not into Racers.
The GitD spider will probably be interesting to anyone who doesn't already have the Mad Professor And His Monster or the Vampyre Castle (there's our friend again; this one has a lot in common with that set).
The pink moonstone is exclusive to this set, not even included in the Vampyre Castle, and introduces new rules to the game: Now the evil Graaf Von Krolock (the evil vampire) can safely lose one of the evil moonstones, and he will still have enough to open his evil gate through the evil moon. Supposedly, the moonstone is also needed to activate a play feature in this set, as we'll soon see.
That being said, let's get into the build!
And we're started! As much as two pages into the build, we have the base for two wheels.
I'm decidedly fond of how sleek the engine looks at this point, while not even ceasing to be a block! Well done!
A nice technique is used here.
The hammer. You have to build two of these for the car, and I personally think they could've been done better; the Technic rod goes all the way through, and I would think it better, both in terms of parts and aestethics, to round of with an inverted 2x2 plate (as in the Samurai Robot of Ninjago) and a regular 2x2 plate, as opposed to the round versions. If you have the pieces, it's an easy modification to make.
What are we building now? Well, it's a grave, and the beginning of a mechanism.
The foundation of the mausoleum.
Lego's designers know which side of the brick brick is the interesting one, and they make sure always to put that on the outside.
Almost finished! I've tried the mechanism that makes the pot fly out, and learned that it has to be restocked every time you use it. This can be particularly difficult for someone as clumsy as me, especially in such tight space.
What's that? Up already?
Unfortunately, the bride doesn't fit in the graves, so it'll have to be her waking up her groom and their driver. I'm ever so slightly disappointed in this, since I figured I'd have the bride and the groom lying in adjacent plots. But alas, it was not to be.
These are the leftover pieces, of which there are surprisingly many.
I think my commentary has been sufficiently detailed so far, so I'll let the finished set speak for itself...
...and finally pop that afterlife-changing question we've all been waiting to hear:
“Will you bury me?”
Edited by Multiverse, 10 August 2012 - 12:02 PM.