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[REVIEW] 76989 Horizon Forbidden West: Tallneck

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I don't remember when it started (maybe Minecraft?), but Lego has been making sets based off popular videos games for awhile now. This year, Horizon Forbidden West gets the Lego set treatment. I actually admired the Lego set first. And then when Horizon Zero Dawn (the first game in the series, Forbidden West is the second) was on sale on Steam I went ahead and bought it. Which makes me the model example of why video game companies partner with Lego :snicker:

If you've played either of the Horizon games then this set will immediately resonate with you. The main character, Aloy (pronounced 'eh-loy) goes around a post-apocalyptic world defending people and fighting machines. Without getting too technical or spoilery, the towering Tallneck machine acts as a radar dish of sorts that helps you spot other important things across the map. In game it's huge, imposing, and a little scary especially the first time you see one. Does this set capture all those emotions?

Number: 76989
Title: Horizon Forbidden West: Tallneck
Theme: Icons
Released: 2022
Part Count: 1222
Box Dimensions: 26.2 x 38.2 x 9.4 cm
Weight: 1216 gram
Set Price (RRP): 89.99 EUR / 79.99 GBP / 89.99 USD / 
Price per Part: 7.4 EUR / 6.5 GBP / 7.4 USD
Links: BricksetBricklink

The box is tall and imposing, much like the Tallneck itself.


"Tallneck" is written/presented much like you would see it in game. Just one of the many touches that prove the designers were putting together a love letter to the game and its fans with this set.


The back of the box shows off some of the features of the set including the Watcher's eye scanner changing colors from green to yellow to red as well as Aloy "converting" the Tallneck to her side.


The top side of the box uses Aloy to show the actual size of the pieces.

Inside are 8 numbered bags, a loose baseplate, a loose vine/flex-cable, a small sticker sheet and the instructions.


And inside the instructions we meet our very own @soccerkid6, Isaac Snyder!


He took a job at Lego a few years ago and his creative genius has been unleashed on this set.


Turning past the intro material we can see that the build is broken up into 2 parts.


The first 3 bags give us the base.


And wow, what a base! Using all kinds of SNOT Isaac gives us a beautiful oval that is sturdy without being too dense.


Finishing the base gives us a little piece of scenery for display or play. The rundown traffic light is beautiful. And the aspen is a great splash of color though the holes in the technic connectors is unfortunate.


The base has 4 attachment points which will be used to secure the Tallneck to the ground.


The Tallneck itself is a constant SNOT party. There's no simple brick-stacking in this beast! It's an absolute joy to build and every part is fun. Here you can see some of the SNOT work and a new element created for this set, a one brick deep click hinge attachment.


When it's done you get a machine that feels both spindly and sturdy. It stands without the base with no problem.


It is amazing how secure everything is on the Tallneck. Nothing feels like it'll fall off, yet the whole model looks so delicate. My only complaint is the stickers. They are a pain to place, and they don't add all that much to the model. I ended up placing one off-center. And now it's going to bug me for all time! For adult themed sets at least I wish Lego would include 2 sets of stickers. That way you don't feel so much pressure to get it right or ruin your model.


Stickers aside it looks great from every angle!


The pearl gold pieces along the neck represent points on the Tallneck where Aloy can climb the machine. In game the look more flaming yellowish orange to me, but the pearl gold is not a bad representation. Once she's on top of the Machine she can take it over by accessing the "eye".


Back on the ground, Aloy hides from machines in tall grass. Hiding in tall grass is a mechanic used in many games. I personally wasn't excited by the olive green tails being used for the grass. Maybe the color feels off, maybe the base just needs more of it. I can't quite place my finger on it. But if I had to change something that's what I'd change.


And here's the complete model. Aloy in the gass, a Watcher scanning for danger, and the Tallneck plodding along.


It's gorgeous.


From literally every angle.


You can have Aloy climb the Tallneck, but it doesn't look as good as it feels in game.


I decided to test how well the Tallneck stands on three feet. Answers is, it's still sturdy! The technic attachment points are great for keeping the Tallneck in one place. But it stands find on it's own and the attachment points don't add stability just function. I tried to pose it on two legs though and the Tallneck wouldn't have it.


So what about the minifigures?


There's really only one minifigure, Aloy, and then a brick-built Watcher machine. The Watcher is perfect. My only complaint is that the head doesn't have much range of motion. But for how small it is, it captures the details incredibly well.


Aloy also doesn't have that much range of motion due to her large hair piece. It really limits how much you can pose her arms.


This is especially noticeable if you're trying to pose her with her bow as her head can't turn.


Aloy herself is fantastically detailed. The arm printing looks great. The torso and legs perfectly capture her standard outfit. Aloy has her Focus printed on her head. It's printed on both the right and left sides of the head so you can change her expressions and still have the Focus visible. The blue halo that surrounds the Focus when in use in-game is molded into her hair piece. This is both brilliant and unfortunate. It perfectly captures the in-game look. But it decreases re-use value for the hairpiece.


Isaac is well known here on EB for being a talented builder. His talents are on full display with this set. It's a gorgeous replica of in-game elements. And it's a stunning Lego model. On top of all that it's a fantastic build experience. Even if you're not a fan of the Horizon Forbidden West game or have never played it you will enjoy building this Lego model.

How do I rate this set?

In case you couldn't tell from my gushing review the design is an easy 10. It just looks amazing! The Tallneck isn't as tall as it should be at minifigure scale. But as a model that needs to make some compromises so that it can sit on a desk and still look like it's source material it does a great job.

Easily the best Lego set I've build all year. It's fun. It's creative. And it's not boring or repetitive.

I think the main feature is that it's a display model. It does that well. I'm knocking a couple points off since it's not as tall as it could be to match the Aloy minifigure.

This is not meant to be a play model. Yet because it's built so sturdy you can take it off the base and play with it. It's a great testament to both the genius of the Lego brick and the set designers.

If all you wanted was a parts pack this would still be a great set! New parts, rare parts, recolors, this set has it all!

This set feels like a $100 set. But it's less! How often do we get to say that!?! Totally worth every penny.

Buy this set.

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This is a case of awesome set... awesome design/concept... horrible game, lol. My wife was so angered by the twists that she didn't even want the sequel.

Nice review. I've almost bought the thing several times because it just looks so well engineered.

Edited by LordsofMedieval

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A fantastic Set indeed, but playability would get a 5/10 by me because the Tallneck isn`t that poseable, not very ggod for playing.

Overall Score maybe 9/10 but no less, it`s one of the best Sets this year and when we select Sets under 100€, it`s even the best in my opinion.

(and the reason why I bought HZD and play it for now 15 hours - I'm loving it!)

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