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black monarch's big castle review


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#1 alex54

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Posted 15 January 2007 - 10:31 PM

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With all those new castle sets it’s time to see what classic castles are (nostalgia :-$ …).
During my Christmas holidays, I’ve cleaned during six hours, bricks after bricks, two of my CC sets that I review here.

Set ref. 6059
Name : Knight's Stronghold
Year : 1990
Pieces : 221
Minifigs : 5 and 1 horse
Weapons : 2 swords, 1 battleaxe, 2 crossbows and 1 spear, 3 shields

This set is my first Black Knights set.
It’s a door with two walls on each side that you can open as you want with the hinges.
We have 3 black guards (sorry for my bad castle vocabulary in English). Just notice that they are totally red dressed. We have also a falcon knight, one henchman and a catapult.
Here the front:
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Here the back:
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We find a prison to shut away the bad Falcons:
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But they can destroy the door with their catapult:
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For the anecdote, I just discover how to use this catapult! Because, when I was a child, I put two technic bushes to the axle. But one of it was an extra part. And with only one, you just have to draw off the axle and it fire by itself!  8-|  So stupid I was! :-$
This set has one spin and a technic brick that permit to connect with other sets, like…

Set ref. 6085
Name: Black Monarch’s Castle
Year: 1989
Pieces: 665
Minifigs: 12 and 4 horses
Weapons: 6 swords, 4 battleaxes, 2 crossbows, 2 bows, 3 spears, 10 shields

First, you have to know that it was my first so big set. I can’t remember how old I was (6-7) when I had it, but I was younger than the indicated age on the box. I bought it with some Christmas money (certainly a lot for a young boy). I can remember when I opened the box. There were so many pieces, I can’t believe my eyes! :'-)  It took me several hours to build this castle (maybe as many times as cleaning it).
So, just let you discover it.
We have 8 guards, it’s a lot nowadays! They aren’t all red, but blue/red or red/blue dressed, depend on the kind of guards. And with those guards, we have 4 knights with one horse for each. I think that the black knight is the king of this castle, the second one would be the one with the white horse because it has a horsewear too (I don’t know the correct word, even in French!) and the two other classic knights.
The castle now has a big central part, which integrated the drawbridge and a portcullis entirely made with plate bricks. You can open/close, up/down them with strings, like you can see here:
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Here another view
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And here the back where we can see the two towers in the corners.
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This castle can be opened with the hinges pieces, so you can modulate it as you want. Instead of having a square castle, you can have a long one, a real good point for the playability.
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Here it’s the inside of the castle.
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There is any detail of life, just a prison under one of the tower.
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One good thing is that, like I said before, you can connect other sets with technic spins, making your castle bigger and more beautiful, like here:
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And here from the back:
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In conclusion, this castle is a real classic set: big, beautiful, a lot of minifigs, a good concept of spin-connection. But we can deplore the lake of details in the castle. It were great if TLC would have made more additional parts, like the guarded inn set ref. 6067.

And for people who find that the one-piece wall is a juniorisezed one, those two CC sets have got 19 right panels and 10 corner panels…

This set (I know they are 2 in real, but one for me, cause I had one, and the second just few weeks, I was really spoiled this year *sweet* ) is one of my favourite. It reminds me a lot of memories from my childhood, and all those LEGO periods, so nice… Anyway. TLC had succeeded with me, making me having the two sets just for the bigger castle, like it was shown in the catalogue. But it’s without any regerts! *wub*

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#2 Asuka

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Posted 15 January 2007 - 11:13 PM

What a wonderful review!  *y*
You are a lucky one to own those marvelous sets. Sadly, most castle sets were released during
my dark ages.... Well, Im looking forward to this years surprisingly good revival!
And I think you still meant bards, barding (also called peytral).

#3 TheBrickster

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Posted 15 January 2007 - 11:49 PM

Excellent imagery!  Very nice.  Lego just doesn't make sets like this anymore.

#4 phoinix

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Posted 16 January 2007 - 12:05 AM

thank you so much alex for this great review!!
you brought back great lego memories

back from when the catapults didnt have to be so complicated
they could work even if they were simple!

great lego design..clean-simple and leaves so much to the childs imagination!

its great that you have these sets in such great condition!

(i am missing parts from the castles i had when i was 7-8 and some parts have been played to death!!)

thanx again! hope you will do some more classic reviews!

#5 blueandwhite

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Posted 16 January 2007 - 06:13 PM

Goes to show you how far LEGO still has to come if they want to get back the glory days when it comes to the castle line.  This year's sets don't even come close.  They may have more bricks, but they don't look nearly as clean or well thought out.  This year's castle looks ok, but it is light years behind the BM's Castle.

One of my favorites, perhaps second only to 6074 (BF Mountain Fortress).

#6 alex54

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Posted 16 January 2007 - 06:54 PM

View PostAsuka, on Jan 16 2007, 12:13 AM, said:

What a wonderful review!  *y*
And I think you still meant bards, barding (also called peytral).

Yes it's that word... I should have a look at the peeron list to have the name of this pieces...

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#7 exo attack

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Posted 16 January 2007 - 08:26 PM

Very good review. Now I need to go on Ebay and see if I can get these sets....

#8 SWMAN

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Posted 17 January 2007 - 01:21 AM

I unfortunatley missed the golden ages of Castle, and was not interested in lego until Castle in general was all bukt over. I only have two sets, and both are not even built. I am saddened frequently that I have no nice castle sets. I could, but ebay is too expensive. All that beside, your castle is really cool. I like the idea of the combining of both sets.
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#9 Kikuichimonji

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Posted 17 January 2007 - 01:53 PM

6059, my first and only castle. Ah, all those memories coming back to me, I played with this forever when I was young and never knew it was part of something bigger. Thanks for the review!
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#10 Berry Syedow

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Posted 17 January 2007 - 06:06 PM

Thank you for the stupendous review, Alex!  

What I love about a lot of the older sets is the modularity factor.  Plus they look great to boot.  However, Im confused as to why TLC doesnt take full advantage of modularity.  Do not children enjoy the Collect em all! aspects of card games and what not?  Wouldnt that translate perfectly into the LEGO world?  You know, to give children more reason to collect em all?  I don't know too much about the Harry Potter Theme, (since I only collected UCS sets at the time) but there was another thread mentioning that early sets were compatible and actually formed a larger Hogwarts Castle when combined.  That's something I'd really like for TLC to continue exploring.

#11 Norro

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Posted 17 January 2007 - 06:44 PM

Great review!! I need to restart my review series (I think I did the Black Monarch's Castle, but I will never have time to take pics!).

       God Bless,

             Nathan
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#12 alex54

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Posted 17 January 2007 - 11:01 PM

Thanks for the comments! I'm just happy if I bring you back great lego memories...

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#13 WhiteFang

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Posted 04 July 2008 - 09:07 AM

I was looking up some old classic castle reviews in Eurobricks, and I could not believe my eyes when I found this two outstanding sets that is under the Black Knights theme. This review is simply superb and excellent! I can't imagine how happy I am, when I am looking through your clear images and reading your content.  Thanks alex54  :thumbup:

I love the old castle buildings which made use of modular and expansion design. Simply wonderful. I must admit that the Black Monarch Castle is so nice and it is comparable with the Black Knights Castle. Both sets contain high amount of mini-figs. You can't find such amount of mini-figs in big castle sets anymore.  :sadnew:

One thing, I never realised till now, until I read through the review. I knew this set can be expanded and added on but I never knew it can be combined with the Knight's stronghold. I thought it was just merely a border fortress, with guards holding its position. Never did I expect that this set can combined together with Black Monarch Castle and formed a much bigger castle grounds. Simply amazing!  :cry_happy:

How I wish I can turn back time, and collect these wonderful sets all over again. Black Knights is one of the best castle themes around. I am very happy to know that such good quality classic review is found and revive again in Eurobricks.

This is simply one of the best Castle sets around!  :thumbup:

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#14 alex54

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Posted 05 July 2008 - 09:42 PM

View PostWhiteFang, on Jul 4 2008, 09:07 AM, said:

I was looking up some old classic castle reviews in Eurobricks, and I could not believe my eyes when I found this two outstanding sets that is under the Black Knights theme. This review is simply superb and excellent! I can't imagine how happy I am, when I am looking through your clear images and reading your content.  Thanks alex54  :thumbup:
Thanks! :blush:
I've got others set from this period (80-90's) and from different themes, that are not reviewed, but I don't have the time to do that for the moment...

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#15 Tacitus

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Posted 05 July 2008 - 10:17 PM

Thanks for the nostalgia trip!  I had 6059, but I preferred the alternate model (bottom picture), instead, since it was more of a building than a wall.  It was really hard to get the figure out of the jail, though.

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#16 iamded

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Posted 06 July 2008 - 12:41 AM

Wow! :cry_happy: They're wonderful! :wub: Thanks for this great review Alex, these were the best kind of Castle sets! :wub:
(Well, actually, I am a big fan of Castle 07/08, so I'll be debating that issue with myself now... :grin:)
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#17 UsernameMDM

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Posted 07 October 2008 - 06:52 PM

I have fond memories of 6059.  Good castle/play set with an appropriate amount of minis.  Good review.

#18 Lego12

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Posted 07 October 2008 - 11:36 PM

Great review, great set! This set is beautiful :wub: ! Man oh man I wish I had that! :cry_sad:
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#19 Zarkan

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Posted 13 October 2008 - 09:08 PM

Thanks for the nice review.  :thumbup:

Overall, this set is good. The castle wall is excellent, and I love the knight. However, I don't think it's perfect, for a couple of reasons. Firstly, this set could use a couple more figures. I know KK isn't liked much at all (not even by me), but we all can at least admire that their third wave kit similar to this one had ELEVEN figures. While I don't expect that of a kit from the early 90's, I don't think it would have been mucn of a hassle if they included another black knight or a prisoner for the jail cell.  :look:

Secondly, I don't like the catapult at all. It looks way too thin and unstable with those small wheels and a narrow base. I think it would have been much better to make the base at least 6 studs wide and to use normal brown wooden wheels - because the set design doesn't look strong enough to lift much of anything.  :tongue:

Still, this is a nice set overall, and the modular concept is really awesome. I give it a 3 out of 5.  :classic:

Edited by Grevious, 13 October 2008 - 09:10 PM.

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#20 Zorro

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Posted 13 October 2008 - 09:27 PM

Big  :thumbup: for this review. I loved these sets, I have both of them and I will never give them away or even sell them.
The only thing it lacks is a treasure chamber or something like a trone room with a King.

#21 blueandwhite

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Posted 14 October 2008 - 06:59 AM

View PostGrevious, on Oct 13 2008, 03:08 PM, said:

Overall, this set is good. The castle wall is excellent, and I love the knight. However, I don't think it's perfect, for a couple of reasons. Firstly, this set could use a couple more figures. I know KK isn't liked much at all (not even by me), but we all can at least admire that their third wave kit similar to this one had ELEVEN figures. While I don't expect that of a kit from the early 90's, I don't think it would have been mucn of a hassle if they included another black knight or a prisoner for the jail cell.  :look:

Battle at the Pass is a far larger set than the Knight's Stronghold.  It cost twice as much and included twice as many figures.  To expect 11 figures in a mid-sized set is probably pushing it (then or now).  Now don't get me wrong; I don't think that this is a perfect set however I certainly don't think that for $20 bucks it suffered from a shortage of figs.

#22 Zarkan

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Posted 30 October 2008 - 11:49 PM

Quote

Battle at the Pass is a far larger set than the Knight's Stronghold. It cost twice as much and included twice as many figures. To expect 11 figures in a mid-sized set is probably pushing it (then or now). Now don't get me wrong; I don't think that this is a perfect set however I certainly don't think that for $20 bucks it suffered from a shortage of figs.

While you're right about the price difference between the two sets, I think you should read my post again. I said I didn't expect that of this kit, only that I wished they had included just ONE more figure, not 6 more figures. I don't think that's that much to ask for - the $20 skeleton chariot in 2007 included NINE figures, counting horses.  :wink:

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#23 Athos

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Posted 31 October 2008 - 12:34 AM

I just wish the design of the 6059 mirrored the design of 6085. The wall design was noticeably different. And the levels didn't line up properly. The older grey castle sets fit together much better. Still they are both very nice sets.

I think you should have included Black Monarch's Ghost in this too, since it also had a modular design.

Steve

#24 blueandwhite

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Posted 31 October 2008 - 06:29 AM

View PostGrevious, on Oct 30 2008, 05:49 PM, said:

While you're right about the price difference between the two sets, I think you should read my post again. I said I didn't expect that of this kit, only that I wished they had included just ONE more figure, not 6 more figures. I don't think that's that much to ask for - the $20 skeleton chariot in 2007 included NINE figures, counting horses.  :wink:


We're now counting horses as figs then :tongue: .  I guess that's going to complicate things in the future.



In all seriousness, I wasn't trying to be difficult.  I appreciate that not everybody likes the older sets.  Still, very few $20 sets give you more than five figs.  I agree with you that the catapult is rather lackluster, however I still don't understand the problem with having 5 figs in a $20 set.

#25 UCSProductions1

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 12:19 AM

This set seemed rather small to me when I built it but the value has grown for me because it was one of my favorite classically deigned knights sets.



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