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REVIEW: 7188 King's Carriage Ambush

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Although I have flitted between themes, Kingdoms has been my clear favourite, hence the number of reviews I have done in this theme. And here's another!

This is a review of one of the higher-priced sets in the 2011 Kingdoms line, the King's Carriage Ambush. I was tempted by this one because I really wanted a King figure without splashing out for the large King's Castle set, and I was particularly drawn to the white horses.


Set Name: King's Carriage Ambush

Set Number: 7188

Number of Pieces: 286

Minifigs: 4

Price: USD 39.99, GBP 35.99, EUR 39.99

Theme: Kingdoms

Year Released: 2011


LEGO Shop @ Home



My photo set on Flickr





Like all the Kingdoms boxes, we have a bright and colourful front of the box displaying the contents in an action scene. Movement is implied by the blurring of the carriage wheels and it's clear that the ambush has begun.



The back of the box shows the aftermath of the ambush as everyone gets stuck in fighting. Good to see the King doing his bit too. The are three boxouts at the top of the box showing off the action features. In both front and back shots I love the fact that you can see the King's Castle in the background, it's a great touch.



The side of the box shows off the four minifigs that are included, in semi-action poses. As this box is one of the newer style thinner boxes, the 1:1 picture is not of a minifigure. This shows off the treasure chest.




Inside the box are two instruction books, one for each sub-build, and only three numbered bags. Bags one and two are the good guy bags and make the King's carriage and the two goodies, whilst bag three makes the two tree ambushes and the baddie minifigs. There is no sticker sheet.

Instruction Booklet:


The two instruction booklets share a background, and then feature the sub-models over the top. Logically, then, you'd think that if you combined the two you'd have the front of the box picture, but you don't. The carriage is in the right place, but the trees aren't, as shown on booklet 2 by the flick fire missile obscuring the castle in the background, which doesn't occur on the boxart.


Here's a picture of the open booklet. You can see that the darker colours are quite murky, but that's only an issue at the start of the carriage build. The booklets have a lot of stages and only a couple of things usually get added on at a time.


The Pieces:


Bags one and two, opened up and dumped in a pile, as is my style for these reviews. Painstakingly arranging the parts in order is not for me! It's mainly a mixture of white and red pieces. At the top you can see the cardboard sleeve which holds the King's cloak.

Pieces of interest:


Parts of interest for this part of the build are a lovely printed horse with head armour (there are two in the set, but just one pictured here), as well as some interesting bricks which help create the carriage, like the red corner brick.




The front of the two Lion Knight minifigs. You can see the great detail on the King's face, he's old and stern but with a slight upturned mouth showing humour. The King also has amazing prints on his torso and legs. Very cool! The driver of the carriage is more of a standard Lion Knight figure.



There is back printing on both minifigs, including yet more superb detailing on the King's torso. The driver also gets a second “scared” expression for when the carriage is attacked. This adds playability to the figure.



The King gets some top-notch accessories. First up is a cloak in dark red, looking very refined. He also gets a chromed gold crown and a chromed silver sword, setting him apart from the serfs and peasants by his sheer shinyness! These are great accessories to get. The carriage driver gets a wide-brim helmet and a whip piece last seen in the Prince of Persia sets.



Here is a front view of the King, with all of his accessories. You can see how shiny the crown and sword are. The detail on this figure is just superb, and he just looks the part with the cloak. The little lion's head hanging from the chain by his leg is evidence of the high level of detail on this figure.

There was also a King in the flagship Kingdoms release 7946 King's Castle, and compared to this figure the face is the same – understandably so – but the torso and legs are different. This is a good thing as it means people have access to a King figure at a cheaper pricepoint but it is still different if you get this and the Castle.

Lion Knight carriage driver:


Not really much to say about the driver here. He has the standard red/white quarters and the lion motif. He's good to have but no-one will be buying the set for him.


Here he is showing off the scared expression. It's always nice to see at least one alternate face, and it works well as part of the play aspect of this set.

King's Horse:


I wanted to take a couple of pics to show off how great the horses look in this set. The detailing on them is incredible, with all the tassles and strapping, and they look fantastic with the armoured headpiece. I have not been able to find out if the horses are the same as the Lion Knights barded horses from sets like the King's Castle, as obviously most of the pictures of those are with the barding on.


Here is a shot showing the King's horse and the armoured horse from Prison Carriage Rescue. Both look mean and show off their armour well.


The first item to build is the King's Carriage.


By step 9 , the base of the carriage has been established. This bit was actually quite tricky as a lot of the colours – dark brown, brown and black – looked similar in the instructions. However, it's so piecemeal that you can't really go wrong.


By step 23, the carriage is beginning to be built up, and we have built our first action feature. The treasure chest rests on a movable piece that you can tilt using the two black balls, causing the chest to fly off and gems to spill everywhere.


Here at step 30, the sides are being built up and the two distinct areas are starting to show – the drivers area and the internal carriage.


By step 38 the window separating the driver from the King is added and the support for the carriage roof is built up.


By step 45, the carriage itself is complete except for the banners streaming from the top of the carriage. Crucial details such as the drivers seat, the wheels, the axes and shields, and the roof itself have all now been added.


Then the horse's harness is built up. You can see from the picture that it will have a good range of movement due to the use of the ball and socket joint as well as the clip.


Here's a shot of the completed carriage. It's looking very good with the two horses and the driver in position.


Here's a close-up of the driver. There's not much really at the front of the carriage but it all looks like it should. I do really like that window there.


Here's a close-up of the carriage itself, complete with regal King. You can see there's plenty of room for him to hold his sword, and the seat is positioned so that his cloak can flow out behind it fine while he sits down.


A view from the back. Here you can get another look at the tiltable mechanism that the chest rests on.


The roof section is easily removable, being held on by only two studs instead of 4. Here's a look inside the carriage to give a good view of how roomy it is. The only part of the design I really don't like are those two arch pieces at the far left and right, I think they interrupt the flow of the carriage. I realise that it has been done this way to give more space in the carriage itself, so I can't complain too much.


One more shot of the whole carriage. Just look at how cool those horses are!


Now we move on to the Dragon Knights and their ambush points in bag three.

The Pieces:


Somewhat suitably for a bag building two trees, the colours are mainly brown and green.

Pieces of interest:


Parts of interest in bag three include a brown arch piece, a spider (not had one of those before in any of my previous sets), a fish (which is always a nice piece to get) and the bottle piece that first appeared in Pirates of the Carribean sets like The Mill.




The front of the two Dragon Knight minifigs. We get one figure with the light green/dark green quarters and dragon head motif, and one in armour. Standard stuff for Kingdoms minifigs, really.



Likewise, whilst the backs have printing (and it is well done), these are just standard figures. Good to add more bodies to your Dragon Knight army though. They really need more!



Yes, the fish is an accessory as the booklet tells you to give it to one of the figures. Also included are a wide-brimmed helmet and a pointed helmet, as well as a spear and a short-axe. This axe is particularly good as it has the separate axe blade.

Dragon Knight 1:


Here's the first Dragon Knight. I think TLG added the fish so that we'd be distracted by the fact that it's the exact same face that has been given to Dragon Knights in at least two other sets (Prison Carriage Rescue and Outpost Attack). I gave them a pass for the reuse on Outpost Attack but this is a 2011 set and they shouldn't be using the same face again! I'm sure there must be other “rogue-ish” ones they could use.

Dragon Knight 2:


Here we have another use of the “gold tooth face” head. I guess it works as well for Kingdoms as it does for Pirates. Incidently, the boxart showing the minifigures does not match with how the instructions tell you to make the figures up. As always I have gone with the instructions for these pictures.


Last thing to build are the two “weaponised” trees that the Dragon Knights use to ambush the carriage.

Tree 1:


By step 8, We have a good start to the tree base. You can see where the hammer will eventually go.


By step 15 one branch of the tree has been built...


...then the other one is added on top.


At step 19, we have finished the build by adding the wholly unsuitable “Road Runner” ACME -esque giant hammer.

Here's more of the completed tree:


From this angle, you can't see the hammer, and can barely make out the lever to swing it.


Don't worry, here it is, in all its glory... As you can probably make out, pushing down the top of the lever forces the hammer to swing out. It's completely ridiculous and out of place. None of the Kingdoms sets I have seen have anything as ludicrous as this as a play feature. I know some people don't like the little catapults that come with a lot of the sets but at least they look like they belong. The hammer just looks totally wrong. That said, it's a mean looking hammer and kids'll probably love it.

Tree 2:


By step 6 for the building of the second tree, we have established a cozy hideaway with bottle.


By step 13 the spider-web has been added, and the platform for the tree has been created.


On top of this platform, the two identical branches and the flick fire missile are added, to finish the build of the second tree.

Here's more of the completed tree:


This side actually looks pretty good, apart from the symmetrical branches. The flick-fire missile is small enough not to be an eyesore.


There is actually a little bit of room on the platform. Between that and the space underneath it's not a bad little base at all. This is by far the better of the two trees.


These were the extra pieces. The Technic pin and the brown cheese slope are from the trees, whilst the three 1x1 studs are from the carriage.


The main focus for the majority of Kingdoms sets is versus play, with two factions duking it out. This set does that too. Let's take a closer look at the whole thing:


The King's carriage travels through a forboding forest. The Dragon Knights wait to time their ambush perfectly.


BAM! The massive hammer smashes against the harness of the horses, startling them and the poor driver.


The second Dragon Knight slips out of the concealment of his treetop base and knocks the treasure chest off of the back of the carriage, spilling the gems and goblets. The King isn't having any of it, though.


He jumps from the carriage, sword in hand, to take on the spearman. Can the King defeat him, or has he made a grave mistake?


The King beats his opponent, before asking him if he will yield. The cowardly Dragon Knight begs for his life.


Our intrepid carriage driver uses his whip to grab hold of one of the branches.


He manages to athletically swing his body around to where his attacker is, colliding with him at speed.


The Dragon Knight plunges from the trees to the ground! The driver has beaten him, and the King is safe once again!



As a set, the different pieces of King's Carriage Ambush mesh together well and provide plenty of playability even if I don't agree with how some of it looks. Giant hammer, I mean you here! The design of the carriage is really good, and I can't say enough nice things about the King or his two horses, they are just absolutely gorgeous. I am pleased with my purchase, although I didn't pay full price for it. Let's see how it all breaks down for the totals.

Design: 8/10 – I'm giving a fairly high score here for the design overall but for me there are a couple of quibbles, such as the symmetrical branches of the second tree, that could have been avoided with a bit more thought or a couple of different pieces. I know I should take off points for the giant hammer but if I'm totally honest it does the job it was designed to do.

Parts: 7/10 - I'm giving this section a high score mainly because of the lovely horses. If they don't float your boat as much then there's not a lot more to excite here.

Build: 7/10 – Plenty to build, with the carriage obviously being the standout. It feels like a comprehensive build and it's certainly big enough with the horses and harness. The trees are much quicker to build and feel a lot more insubstantial, almost like they have just been thrown in to the set.

Minifigs: 9/10 – Three good but fairly standard faction minifigures, but then there's also the King. He has shiny accessories and fantastic, unique detailing on torso and legs. AND a cloak. You can't ask for more!

Playability: 7/10 – As much as adult fans might scoff at the giant hammer, there's no denying it adds playability to the set. The versus balance is pretty good, with two ambush points for the baddies to attack from, and the large carriage for the good guys. Another playable Kingdoms set straight out of the box.

Price: 4/10 – Ah, now here's the real kicker. This set is terrible value for money in terms of price-to-piece ratio. 286 pieces for the asking price is a poor deal. The set itself is fine, so my advice would be to wait for a sale or offer. Full price is just too much. I actually got this set for about 28% off from eBay which made it much more palatable for me.

Total: 42/60 – As a higher priced Kingdoms set, this had a lot to live up to when the smaller sets are so good, and it didn't quite deliver. Some major positives like the unique King and those horses are dragged down by poor value for money and some bizarre design choices. By no means a bad set though, so keep an eye out for any deals.

I hope you enjoyed this review; the sixth of my Reviewers Academy reviews. I would love constructive comments and feedback below.

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As everyone else will agree with, the price point is way too high. But I will also agree that the set itself seems to be rather enjoyable. I like the big wheels on the carriage. And the overall design of the carriage is nice. I don't care too much for the "action" these days, but I suppose that is what kids want.

Good review. It shows us everything the set has to offer and more.

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Nice review, covering all the pros and cons pretty well. The set was a disappointment to me, though. The carriage design is nice but not great. The first thing my kid said when she saw it complete was, "why are there holes in the roof?" I would have liked to have turning front wheels like the POTC carriages. The tree are pretty bad, too, but you can combine them to make one better one. I just parted them out immediately to use the foliage in my modded Prison Tower.

The minifigs are very blah. One great-looking king and three super-generic soldiers. Why can't we get some new Dragon faces?

The horses are nice, though, and there are some good parts here. I finally got a spiderweb! But overall, I still find this the worst set in the whole Kingdoms theme.

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Really nice review.

I like this set but the price is horrible. Im waiting for some kind of deals in stores to get it cheaper.

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Great review! I feel like I know everything about this set after reading your review! thanks!


I like the carriage and the king of course, but I wont pay 40 euros for this one...

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