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Review: 9465 The Zombies


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Poll: Review: 9465 The Zombies (63 member(s) have cast votes)

How would you rate this set?

  1. Outstanding! (20 votes [31.75%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 31.75%

  2. Above average. (18 votes [28.57%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 28.57%

  3. Average (22 votes [34.92%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 34.92%

  4. Below average. (2 votes [3.17%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 3.17%

  5. Poor! (1 votes [1.59%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 1.59%

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#1 The Penguin

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Posted 27 August 2012 - 05:59 AM

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White bones in the moonlight
Dressed up also in white
Dancing upon their own tombs
Waltzing across the graveyard

Amberian Dawn

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(The pic is an official box art one.)

Set Number:9465
Name: The Zombies
Theme: Monster Fighter
Year of Release: 2012
Pieces: 447
Minifigs: 4
Price: $40 USD, 35 pounds, 40 euro, 3000 rub.

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At first for my 9-th review I wanted to pick something from the current Batman line to finish my education the way I started: with the Bat-set, but then I saw this…… This set immediately stood out for me. No, I’m not a zombie fan, not a fan of post-apoc or Romero films. This set is about a different thing. It’s about love. Undying, eternal love, that cannot be broken even by vile s.c. “monster fighters”.

The Box

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Am I the only one who has the impression that in “Monster Fighters” theme the bad guys are actually humans? Just look at the box art! Tiny, puny old mausoleum is about to be smashed to dust by a huge armored to the top, fire-breathing steam train from hell! Those hammers seem to be crushing not only bricks and bones but souls of the unfortunate ones to get in its way as well! Who the heck sends such a monstrosity to smash three half-rotten corpses that are already falling apart?!

The box art is made in a nice “classic-horror” style and has all the necessary attributes:  full moon, creepy mist, greenish glowing, vampire bats flying around. However the pic doesn’t lack action as well. It shows how the devilish machine throws the zombie driver flying towards his doom and is about to smash the zombie bride. For god’s sake! Don’t the designers of this set have any respect for the dead?! It’s not like they’re terrorizing the local population of the living or something…… Moreover there seems to be NO living population in MONSTER REALM at all! Why assault the quiet old cemetery with the armored train?! And, damn it, the zombie stone which the human is apparently after is not even the part of Lord Vampyre’s Eclipse machine!  Why the heck would you need it then, you vile creature?!  :hmpf_bad:


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The side of the box shows the minifigs in 1:1 scale which s a must nowadays for all LEGO sets. Again, I can’t help but think that it is actually zombies who defend themselves from that steampunk abomination. He just won’t leave the couple in peace, will he?


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The back of the box shows practically the same with some so-called “play features” which in this set mean flick-fire missiles, opening graves, flying cauldrons, etc. Well, I'm going to speak about those in detail later.


Instructions booklet

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Instructions booklet shows the same art as on the front and came battered once again. Actually I start to wonder if I ever reviewed a set that had a clean, clear booklet. Or perhaps I do it myself when I take it from the box with my flippers! Waugh-waugh!  :grin:


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The built is rather simple. A person even with a bit of experience and skill can easily see how the mechanism works and the crypt itself is pretty plain. It has its charm but anyone can build it easily with the parts he/she has from other sets.


Interesting parts and pieces

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Surprisingly this set has several interesting pieces that can be of some value to LEGO-lovers. The steam train “thing” is the most notable one. “Flat studs” (which I still consider to be a rare piece), brown vines and such are very nice to get in such a relatively small set.

The zombie stone is a unique part to this set, but frankly speaking I can’t think of many uses for it outside this particular theme. I’m pretty sure it will be useful for Castle fans, and themes like that, but to me it doesn’t really seem very appealing.


The Minifigs

Now we’re getting to (arguably) the best part. The minifigs. We have three zombies: a bride, a groom and a driver and some hellish spawn from demented mind of a crazy scientist (circa 1910-s) with a steam-driven hand and the facial expression of a child molester.

However, as I stated in the very beginning of the review, this set is not about ghouls and goblins, but about love. Eternal love that conquers all! I strongly suggest you should listen to this song by a not-very-well-known band “Amberian Dawn”. To me it sounds like the very essence of this set and its soul, if I may say so.  :classic:

Indeed, this seems to be a tragically romantic story. A bride and groom in their finest wedding garments were buried along with the driver. Was it a tragic accident with the wedding train? Has something happened with their car? Or was it a murder story? That makes no difference. What is important is the fact that even after death they’re together raising from the graves not to be parted ever again! Perhaps they wanted to finish that one dance they always dreamt of having while they still could feel the warmth of their bodies?  :sadnew:

But, “no-o-o-o-o!” says Dr. Rodney Rathbone! CRUSH THEM WITH STEAM HAMMERS! Scatter their bones and tear them to shreds! Turn them into dust and destroy every memory of them! What the heck is wrong with you?! Come to think of it, with his small moustache and thin beard he looks just like an archetypical depiction of devil! Oh, my god!  *oh2*


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The Groom makes a nice minifigure. I really like how much attention to detail has been given. We have a (surprisingly) clean white high-collar shirt, untied red bow-tie, a nice brown vest, a waistband and some no less lovely back printing! I find it odd for a groom to have a vest of such colour and design, but I guess that will do. We also have a top hat for him. Speaking of those. I wonder if it is high time for LEGO to introduce another top hat design? This has been around since like 1998? So I guess it looks a bit plain in comparison with the new awesome bowler hat. Something I’d really love to see!

The Groom also has those new glow-in-the-dark eyes (which do not glow intensively after being exposed to bright light, but it's still great to have that feature. Same with the Bride's eye, BTW  :grin: )  and a rather interesting mouth shape. To me it looks like he’s clutching his teeth from pain or simply not to cry, because he was parted with his beloved!


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The Bride. That’s a lovely figure for sure. Again, like her groom, she has a clean white dress, but I guess that’s some kind of a feature you get in such circumstances. “White bones in the moonlight, dressed up also in white” Aw, isn’t this song lovely? And fitting.
I really like the expression on her face, with that questioning, puzzled look. I guess her death mask will hold it forever since it seems she didn’t realize what was happening when she died. This story is getting even more sad. I really like how TLC made her lips. It seems that it is either the lipstick or actually blood on it, depending on how old and cruel the owner of the minifig is!

The fact that the bride has a red eye is interesting. I wonder if it’s the red eye like those skeletons used to have in 2008 Castle, or a bloodshot one, which makes the fig a rather gore one? In any case they deserve sympathy and not being crushed to bits! The second face shows a kind of a smirking expression. I guess that is the expression she has when they finally managed to drive the stem-guy from their graveyard and now they can spend all the time together.

One thing I don’t quite like about the fig is her hair. The colour is perfect (it has that dried and lifeless feel to it) bit the style is all wrong. However if we take that she’s been buried don’t-know-how –long, she must have lost her original hairstyle.


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The Driver is a good fig, though not an exclusive one to this set. He appears in the Vampyre’s car set as well and he can be seen as a cook and as a pillar in the Haunted Mansion set as well. For some reason I don’t really like that fig. I don’t know why. He looks somewhat plain and boring to me. Perhaps it’s just the fact that zombie driver is something you don’t see very often in horror movies?

Oh, and a note about his eyes! His eyes, unlike those of his fellow-zombies in the set, do not glow in the dark. Which is a shame, since the driver could use those while transporting His Undead Lordship in the dark of the Monster Realm!  :laugh:


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Jack McHammer. Yes, the fiend has a name!  :hmpf: Despite my general dislike of his faction, it's a nice fig to use in other themes if you throw away the face of a child molester. He can be used as a lumberjack fig, or some Western character, he'll look good in victorian MOCs and MOCs based on modern life. His mechanical hand is not a new piece, so he's a good but not really that valuable fig at all.


The Hellish Train

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I’m not sure that it’s actually the official name of it, but I guess it’ll do. I’m also not quite sure what exactly is supposed to be the main item of the set? The crypt or this hell spawn? Judging by the size of it, the Train is.

Well, this vehicle (if you can call it so) is kind of a mixture between an armored truck and a steamer. It also has those huge hammers which are to smash the undead and other ghastly creatures (in the eyes of the engineer). I’m not very good at mechanics, or automobile industry, but that seems to be a very odd choice for anti-zombie weapons, not to mention the stability and safety of the truck itself.


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The side pictures show the vehicle’s great hammers, some odd blue thingies (what’s that stud supposed to represent? A button, a lamp? If so, why in that odd colour?) and the baggage compartment. Yes, that thing has one, for some purpose.

What amuses me is that it’s quite odd for an anti-zombie vehicle (that is supposed to withstand the attack of a zombie hoard) to have open front and back. I mean, yeah, the guy has a stem-propelled hand and everything but still you won’t get away from the horde of zombies if you really piss them off by stealing and ravaging their home.


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The front pic depicts the way many unfortunate zombies ever see the train. I can’t help but think that t looks somewhat even cute that way, but I’m pretty sure Rodney and his crew made it deliberately that way so that it doesn’t raise much suspicion. The lights seem to be too tiny for such a big vehicle, BTW, but well, you can never tell how those infernal machinery works.


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The back picture shows the baggage compartment as well as red back lights on the vehicle. First of all I’m not sure that those were present in 1910-s and even if they were why add then anyway? It’s not like you’ll encounter that helltrain in a traffic jam. Anyway, safety first! I guess it’s for those vehicles who stand in the row to bash and smash the poor graveyard inhabitants!  :hmpf_bad:


The Mausoleum and the Tombs.

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As I stated before I’m not sure what is supposed to be the main “focus” of this set. To me however it is definitely the crypt. I would definitely love it to be a bit bigger, even for the expense of the train and the tombs, but still it’s a nice little building.


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I can’t help but think that the crypt would have benefited from having a coffin (perhaps like the Vampyre one, but in gray? :wub:) instead of another cauldron. Come to think of it, it’s an odd place to brew a potion! I guess it must be Hermione again. She has a certain passion for making potions in funny places. Remind me to give her Dr. Burton’s card…..

And note the lovely stairs. With those flat round studs and cheese slopes it gives that feeling of old and ruined staircase. And the cog holding the stone makes a wonderful pedestal. I just love those nice little touches made by TLC designers! And note the glow-in-the dark spider. I don’t really get it. Is it a ghost of a spider? Why fear it in that case? Is it just some spider that crawled out of the box with phosphorous? From Mad Scientist’s lab, perhaps? Then again we should pity the fellow, since it’s not healthy at all! And what does he do in the graveyard in this case?!


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The crypt has that lovely stained glass window, which is, let small, but is a great touch! Not sure about the blue-orange colour, but it’ll do. You can also see the cauldron firing mechanism handle here. But about play features we’re going to speak a bit later.


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The crypt also has those nice barred windows which make the building visibly lighter and those nice gray arches at the foundation look even somewhat creepy. I can easily see undead crawling from under the mausoleum. Overall, despite it being rather small, the crypt is a nice building worth having in your collection.


Complete set

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The complete sets looks great to my taste. It has everything a modern LEGO set should have. Wacky oversized vehicles, nice detailed buildings and great figs! What else can we ask for? Out of entire range of Monster fighters sets, I guess this one is among the best and most popular, judging by the fact how fast they disappear from the shelves.


Spare Parts

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I wonder if it's me doing something wrong, but the set seems to have like a ton of spare parts, which is both good and alarming at the same time! Well, since everything works fine, I guess I didn't miss anything! Those round flat studs are always great to get!


Play features

Basically this set has 3 main play features: whacking hammers, flying cauldron, opening tombs.


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The whacking hammers play feature is, as I stated before, quite an odd one. I guess kids may find it fun to play with oversized steam-train like hellish spawn that shows now respect for the dead, but to my taste those giant hammers are out of place, make the whole vehicle look unbalanced and generally ugly.

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The mechanism of the whacking hammers is pretty simple. We have two cogs joined together. The lower cog is set in motion when we move the hammer truck and the upper cog starts turning in the opposite direction, naturally. Thus the hammers are being swung. Interesting to note that the hammers (as you can see from the pic) are not falling from up to down, as one might expext in the analogy with real hammers, but actually "rise" from down to up. That's an interesting way to send the zombies flying around!

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The cog mechanism is simple and effective, but has one major flaw. Shouls you stick any rod between the cogs, the vehicle will come to a sudden stop and most likely will turn over! Oh the sweet (and tasty!) revenge!  :laugh:


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The flying cauldron (sounds like something from HP) is an odd feature as well, which’s supposed to represent an explosion, I guess. Why would the cauldron explode? Why would it explode inside of the crypt? To deal more damage to the building? Perhaps it was Lord Vampyre’s trap, but in that case he has quite a weird idea how a good trap is set.


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The opening tombs one is considered, I guess, the main feature of the set and indeed it works  in a rather clever way. What bothers me is that the tombs seem to be a bit big, and when raised pose to be quite an obstacle for the zombies to climb down. I mean, look they can fall apart even before they get out of the grave!


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Final thoughts

Well, that's it. We examined the set literally from every angle. The mystery behind Dr. Rodney Rathbone's expedition is uncovered. The vile fiend under the name Jack McHammer is defeated and the plan to destroy the resting place of these poor unfortunate souls is foiled. Yay!  :laugh:

Is it a good set? Yes, it is. This set is somewhat untypical for TLC to produce. Frankly speaking when the first rumors appeared about some set, called "The Zombies", I was pretty sceptical. Though the fact that we actually got a zombie in Collectible minifigures did impress me back then. Still I had my doubts about TLG making something like this. And I was wrong. So what did we get?  We got an elegant, let somewhat small, crypt, we got a decent vehicle, which has a good selection of parts and bits. We got four very nice minifigures (two exclusive to the set) and a fairly decent amount of play features. They may be somewhat boring, but I guess those were the most natural choice in the scenery created. Though adding like an old falling tree or perhaps replacing a couldron with the grey coffin would've made the set even more valuable in my eyes.

Should I get the set? Yes, you should. Get it if you're a City fan, get it if you're a Castle fan, get it if you're Action themes fan, or even Superheroes fan. Zombies are now pop culture, they pop up here and there all the time, so you will always find a way to integrate them into your collection. The set is not that expensive (unless you buy it here  :hmpf: ) and in return you get good parts, nice figs and lots of fun.


Ratings

Design: 4/5 The set has a nice design, especially when it comes to the crypt. Again, I suppose that switching the balance from the car to the building would’ve been better, but oh, well!
Build:5/5 Yes, it was a fun build. Not repetitive, no difficulties, nothing out of order, so to say. So I find no points to be taken from this one.
Minifigs: 5/5 I guess no comments are needed here. The set’s main attractiveness is its figures.
Playability: 3/5 –Well, whacking hammers and blowing cauldrons can get boring. And rather soon, I’m afraid!
Parts: 4/5 – The set has some nice parts, which can be used in every other theme. Even for train fans.
Price:3/5 – I got this set here, so the price is definitely too high. Here it comes for like around 100$ which is insane.
Overall: 4/5 – That rating was a hard to make. But some minor flaws and hellish steam trains keep this set from becoming a truly great one!


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Good day, ladies and gentlemen! )  :classic:

#2 BaraSH

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Posted 27 August 2012 - 06:24 AM

Great review! Thank you!

This set isn't very good, IMO. But minifigs look excellent and some of them have rare Ligth Bluish Grey hands! And there are some parts of interest (dark tan hair, for example).

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Price: $40 USD, 35 pounds, 40 euro, 3000 rub.

I thought, that Monster Fighters not available in Russia officially :wink: .
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#3 The Penguin

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Posted 27 August 2012 - 06:30 AM

View PostBaraSH, on 27 August 2012 - 06:24 AM, said:

I thought, that Monster Fighters not available in Russia officially :wink: .

What do you mean "officially"? They are not sold in LEGO shops, right, but you can always get them via private online stores. And the price ther is just around that sum.

Thank you! )  :classic:

Good day, ladies and gentlemen! )  :classic:

#4 Ceroknight

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Posted 27 August 2012 - 06:32 AM

Thanks for the review!
Your comment about the humans being the bad guys remind me of Power Miners :tongue:

The set is really nice and I hope to get it when I get a chance to find it here :classic:
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#5 wokajablocka

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Posted 27 August 2012 - 07:16 AM

Thanks for the detailed review Penguin.

I had to laugh when I saw how many parts are left over. Every time I finish building something it seems you only get one spare part in a different element. When your left with multiple of the same elements it makes you wonder if there is something you missed in the build. Some times you will get the same element left over from different bags so this is where you get the same left over elements.

Ill probably miss getting this set but the Zombie bride and groom are just lovely and I'm sure they will come to good use for MOC's.
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#6 Lordofdragonss

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Posted 27 August 2012 - 07:27 AM

Magnificent review! I love how deep you are into reviewing the sets sir!

Imo It's a very good set even if it have some silly-weirdy things like mentioned hammers. But it not for me, I am focusing on getting the main castle.  :cry_happy:
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#7 Ferrik

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Posted 27 August 2012 - 08:12 AM

The minifigures in this set certainly look interesting and the set itseld looks quite nice. :wink: Superb 9th RA Review, The Penguin!  :thumbup:
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#8 Garyn Dakari

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Posted 27 August 2012 - 10:17 AM

Great review! Just wanted to say, that I found your hatred towards the human guy to be quite hilarious :laugh:

I may have to get this set. On a tight budget though, and I'm torn between this, a LotR set, and an Avengers set :hmpf_bad:

#9 J.V.D.

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Posted 27 August 2012 - 11:04 AM

Nice, and funny! , review Pengiun. An interesting set, but I am still doubting if I will get it. And your review isn't exactly helping me with the decision. But dont worry, this has nothing to do with the quality of your review, rather with the fact that you kind of confirm the strong and weak points of the set as I saw them too.
Main attraction definitely are the zombie minifigures.. seems Lego sometimes has a very clear look on what figures are highly demanded. But when it comes to the set itself, to my taste there is to much focus on the vehicle, and as a result the actual graves seem a bit to bland.
Of course the whole MF line is very tongue-in-cheeck, a blend of classic horror and humor, but as you pointed out too, the giant hammers mounted on the truck seem to be to much exagerated. I would have prefered that they had put a bit more detail in the actual graves instead.
I guess I will get this set afterall, but probably wait for a sale..
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#10 WhiteFang

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Posted 27 August 2012 - 03:46 PM

This is definitely enjoyable to read! This is one of the highly sought MF sets ever, and due to the popularity of the Zombies! I am sure more will jump onto the zombie wagon to acquire more of this sets since it comes with 3 different zombies variations including a female one. Kinda like a battlepack in some sense but of a larger scale with a little bit more expensive.

Thank you The Penguin. I enjoyed this review very much.  :sweet:

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#11 TheLegoDr

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Posted 27 August 2012 - 05:07 PM

Thanks for the review. I was already planning on getting this set, but that is because I'm into minifigures. The set itself isn't too spectacular, but that is usually what happens with lego. Since I'm not the target audience, play features are lost on me since I normally don't build the sets anyway unless it is something I actually like. But it is cheaper to buy the set than just the minifigures, plus that way TLG gets my money directly instead of some other seller.

Either way, the review was highly detailed and covered everything that needed to be covered. I'm sure it will influence many purchases/avoidances. Kudos.
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#12 MonkeyCrumb

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Posted 27 August 2012 - 05:55 PM

Great review! Loved the funny pics. I'll never look at the humans in this line the same way again!  :thumbup:


I had mixed feelings myself on how to vote on this overall set. It's OUTSTANDING in the fact that Lego is making this whole theme, especially with more Zombies! So that alone will bring up my estimation of any review of a Zombie-themed set. That said, this is really a good set, and I paid $40USD for it. I wish this set was cheaper, though. At $30, THAT would have been the perfect price! I know how Lego loves it's vehicles, but I would have gladly sacrificed the vehicle for a better Tomb build. But I do like that we got that train grill piece, so it's not a total wash!

ONE THING TO NOTE: The Bride figure, when placed inside the rising tomb, will not close all the way due to the slope dress.

And like you, Penguin, I love those flat round 1x1 stud pieces! I want a lot and in a ton of colors! Lego, are you listening?  :sweet:

To anyone on the fence on this set: GET IT! It's worth it just for the minifigs alone.

#13 vorwand13

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Posted 27 August 2012 - 07:39 PM

Did anyone else notice the box version of the driver is different than the one you have? I wonder, which version is more common?(I have the version on the box, which I got in this set and the hearse)

#14 Capt. Redblade

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Posted 27 August 2012 - 08:53 PM

Great review, Pengy!

I kept telling myself I was going to get this after I got the hearse, but now that I have the latter, I can't find the former!  :cry3:

Incidentally, Fire-breathing Steam Train From Hell is the name of my cousin's death metal band.  :grin:

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#15 Huntleyfx

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Posted 28 August 2012 - 12:27 AM

I agree, the review is excellent. Alas, the set is not. I think it will largely be placed somewhere behind the haunted mansion when it is released.
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#16 legotrader

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Posted 28 August 2012 - 04:43 PM

Fantastic review.  Great set.  Love them minifigs.  I can see this being a set being quite popular.
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#17 Parks and Wrecked Creation

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Posted 28 August 2012 - 05:07 PM

Good set - great figs! But it really bothers me that you cannot fit the Bride and Groom in the tombs (and close the lids fully). Side by side graves are meant for the departed couple - not their chauffeur!

#18 Henchmen4Hire

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Posted 28 August 2012 - 06:38 PM

I like that our fearless "hero" wears a leather vest over the flannel shirt. Now that's manly :laugh:
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#19 -obelix-

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Posted 28 August 2012 - 08:48 PM

Very nice, funny and, as said before, a review that is a joy to read! Thanks Penguin! :classic:

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#20 Ralph

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 03:00 AM

Thanks for the great review!  
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#21 Aeturnus

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 02:18 PM

cool zombie figures, a couple of nice parts but .......otherwise "meh"

#22 JamesBenjamin

JamesBenjamin

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Posted 09 September 2012 - 05:46 PM

View Postvorwand13, on 27 August 2012 - 07:39 PM, said:

Did anyone else notice the box version of the driver is different than the one you have? I wonder, which version is more common?(I have the version on the box, which I got in this set and the hearse)

They look the same to me... Can you point out the differences?

#23 Faefrost

Faefrost

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Posted 09 September 2012 - 06:18 PM

If it helps any, I think the "Hammer Time" truck is some sort of hellishly converted farm tractor. Like something Mr T would build in the last 15 minutes of an old A Team episode.
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#24 roamingstop

roamingstop

  • Blue train track Guinness World Record pusher extraordinaire


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Posted 17 November 2012 - 09:37 PM

Does anyone know why this set disappeared from S@H in europe? Was it really only out for 2-3 months?

#25 8BrickMario

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 02:14 AM

Another reason this set is tragic: I never got it, and now it is a "Retired Product" on the S@H! I should have got it when I first saw it, but I wasn't into MF then! I really wanted this set and now it's gone with no good way to get it! :cry2:  I don't know how many times I can end a sentence with an exclamation point!!!!
With each year comes more sets to burn through my money.



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