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Review: 44028 Surge & Rocka Combat Machine

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Set name: Surge & Rocka Combat Machine

Set number: 44028

Piece Count: 188

Year Released: 2014

Price: $24.99

Hello everyone and welcome to my review of the Combat machine. Firstly as always I want to thank Lego and the Eurobricks staff who made it possible for me to bring these reviews to you guys.

Before we begin I do want to apologize, upon posting this review I have noticed a couple photos in the review that I did not get a chance to retake. These photos will be amended in the morning.

The Combat machine is the second largest set of the year, and is also one of the most unique, Two machines that can connect together, and with a build that is unlike anything we have seen from Invasion from Below. But is this flagship Surge machine really that fantastic, or is the hype for it overshadowing some major faults?


Box Front


The box displays the set in a rather boring action pose, though you will come to find that this is about as exciting of an angle as it gets. These sets were signed by the designers, and in this case it appears that two people designed the combat machine.

Box back


Various functions and play features of the set can be seen here. Firing weapons, flick fire missiles galore, opening cocoons, jumping jumpers, firing spheres, removable ship with moving wings- there's a lot to be seen here.




One thing I found interesting, was that the instructions for this set were actually quite thick- thicker than those with the queen beast. As far as build complexity goes, the Combat machine takes the cake this year.

Random instruction shot


While I will discuss my mixed opinions on this set later, one thing that cannot be denied is that it's a pleasant change from the usual formula. The structure of the body is a maze of bones, and you really don't know what is going on until it's all done. Also it's worth noting that the instructions have a jumper printed onto them, witnessing the build as you go. :wub:



Like the first wave of IFB sets, the instructions have a nice comic in them. Usually the first part of the comic shows off the set in action, and the second part details the combo models. In this case we see the interchangeability of the mech's weapons. It's worth noting that this set looks miles better in the comic than the actual set. The back of the machine is filled out and solid.

Beast combo model


I didn't receive PDFs of the combo models for this wave like before, but I can say for sure that I will build that combo as soon as the instructions go live. The beast combo before was a three headed kaiju which just didn't look good overall, and now we have a massive scorpion that gives Scorpio a run for his money. The cocoon-stinger is also an interesting design choice. Needless to say, I really want to build this.

Hero Combo


On the other side of the frying pan, we have this buzzkill. It's like they took the worst parts of every mech and put them into one, larger and messier looking mech. I'll reserve judgement until I actually build it, but I wish they had included the combat machine and made a really massive machine to combat the scorpion.

Combat Machine Alternate weapons


Now this was a surprise when I peered into the instructions. I'm sure we all remember the absolute tragedy that was the six-armed evo XL machine from the first wave. he harvested the limbs from other mechs, to "power up" his machine. This is repeated again with the combat machine, although it's not nearly as bad (and actually quite cool) the weapons from the driller machine and flea machine can be swapped out for the ship. (The container from the evo spider mech from the Queen Beast set can also be swapped out as I will show you later in the review)

Sticker sheet


I've avoided showing sticker sheets thus far because they really never show up on camera, and basically the only difference is that the names are different for Surge, Breez, and Bulk, who previously did not have sheets.

Interesting Parts

Surge goodies


Among the interesting parts we have blue minifig parts and a new helmet for surge, as well as his printed shell piece.

Cocoon petal


The cocoon petals are a soft plastic that can usually be bent down (to imitate an open cocoon) We get red petals with this set.


Surge and Rocka front view


Both minifgs come with the projectile gun that was a new piece earlier in the year with Star Wars. Do note that the final mech has two of these near the surge cockpit- They are the same blasters as the ones the minifigs are holding, I just removed them and placed them on the mech. In other words, the set only comes with two blasters, to avoid confusion.

Surge and Rocka back


No major differences here. Something I did find interesting, was that the instructions mistakenly instruct you to place the silver armor on Rocka, and the gunmetal on Surge.



While the other sets include the new blue-shelled jumper, the two jumpers in this set use the older black shell. I would have expected a red body jumper with a blue shell, but it looks like they chose this route instead.



The build of the cocoon utilizes the tri-connector in dark brown.

Cocoon closed


The cocoon has a very neat organic look to it, with the veins and tears in it's surface.

Cocoon open


As I said earlier, the petals can open. Some of them don't like to stay open, but you can get some cool "hatching" poses like this if you wanted.

Rear Body


The build begins with a double torso.



If you found Furno's mech from earlier in the year to be strange to build this one will have you tripping down a flight of stairs. Admittedly it's not all that complicated, but at this stage you don't know what is going on, or what will become what.

Rear legs


Something that annoyed me from the first sightings at toy fair, the rear legs. It's not that they are smaller that mothers me, but whoever decided that foot was a good choice? Had it been my decision, I might have chosen a foot that is closer to the style of the front feet, or the exact same. (The most likely choice would be ben 10 feet, but they are limited in their front and back pivoting movement.)

Front Legs


The front legs are larger, though again they have this strange bending to them which ends up leaving a lot of spots unarmored. I've left these legs flipped like this so you can see the structuring of them.

Legs added


With the legs added, it just becomes more ridiculous to look at those back feet.

Weapons and cockpit


The finishing touches include adding on a cockpit, the two guns from the minifigs, a sphere launcher, and yes, 6 flick fire missiles. (Don't worry, there's more where those came from)

Finished Set (Part 1)



Well, he can lift his foot. Posing this set is...difficult. The legs have very odd bends in them, and attempting to really make him look dynamic is, not my strong point. Perhaps I'm just terrible at posing four legged sets. :oh:

Running pose


Er..something like that. The back legs almost disappeared in this photo, which also gave me inspiration to start working on a two legged machine, sort of like an AT-ST/AT-RT. In all fairness, I didn't even attempt posing this set with the flying machine attached to it, as I feel that the whole thing would collapse under the extra weight.


Building the ship


While Surge's machine was a balljoint jungle, the ship is almost entirely technic inspired. Here we see the start of the two most crucial aspects of the ship- Wings, and more flick fire missiles.

Put flames on it, it'll go faster.


As we press on with the build, a construct to attach the cockpit is made, and some of the strangest looking engines are built. I do question what the designers were going for with those front fins- Any hint of adding aerodynamics is shot once the cockpit is added on.

Finished Set (Part 2)

Ship Front View


Is this a ship, or just a menacing cockpit armed with flick fire missiles?

Side view


Again, those fins on the front literally lost all purpose as soon as that cockpit got smacked on there. This thing needs a lot more of them to give it a real nice shape.

Rear view


Oh lego, this has to be one of the saddest engine 'attempts' I've seen. The trans light blue wheel looks like the pilot should be standing back there, or manning a pirate ship. The little silver cylinders just look like exhaust pipes.

Wings extended


From this angle, the fins on the front end up giving the ship a nice shape. In fact, most of it looks quite good from this angle. It's from every other angle that it gets progressively worse.

Rocka Piloting


"Today, Hero Factory is proud to announce the new Flying machine. Rocka, how are you liking it?"

"It's quite exhilarating, every moment you are in intense fear of losing grip of the handlebars, otherwise you'll plummet to your death. I hear a lack of floor panels helps with aerodynamics."

Machines together


(Apologies for the photo everyone; Upon posting this review this one slipped my radar, I will be retaking a couple photos for this review tomorrow)

Words cannot describe how odd that looks. Personally, I would have preferred it more if Rocka's portion was a large turret on top of the mech. Right now it looks like the two machines were never meant to be put together.

Side view


Oh dear. I don't know if it's the smaller legs, strange feet, or fact that the entire big behind of the mech is missing armor, but it looks like lego gave up on the whole back half here.

Rear view


Again, just very awkward.

Wings extended


I'm noticing a common theme with this set as a whole- The best views are these top-down views.

Mech components


Here I have laid out the top-portion of each machine, which utilizes a two-pin system for being removed. As shown in the instructions, the ship can be swapped with the drill or the...flea? I have also thrown in the container from the spider machine for science purposes.



I'd actually go as far as saying that this improves upon the look of the set. The orange gives purpose to the seats, and makes it more look like a combat ready machine.

Grabber-claw thing


Again, this adds to the set, giving it the cool functionality of the claw.



Okay, it's not the best idea, but it's there if you want to do it.

My overall opinions on the Combat machine are...scattered. Do I love blue? Yes. Do I love mechs that combine together? Yes. Do I love 4 legged mechs and flying vehicles? Yes. But when I look at this set, too many things, to me, scream unfinished. The ship is a valiant effort, but overally really doesn't look like anything more than the oddly shaped cockpit with two wing pieces, sitting on top of a bed of technic bits, with flcik fire missiles to show which direction it's supposed to be facing. Surge's mech is actually really nice from the front, but like many cars, gets progressively worse as you get to the sides and back. The overall "combined" machine is very open and unfinished looking from the back, and I can't get behind the rear legs, which look like an utter afterthought at the most. THe set has it's charms though. It's a new and unique idea, with a fascinating build, and I really enjoyed how one half of the set focuses on the bonestraction system, whilst the other half was more technic oriented. The color scheme is great and vibrant, and I also appreciate how they incorporated the other mech's "backpacks" in place of the ship, as opposed to the mess that Evo XL harvested in the first wave. I think this set is a worthy pickup for those who don't mind the rather lacking back half and strange shape of the mech in it's combined form, but for those who had doubts about this set since day one, I can't say much to change the opinion. I still feel the same about the set as I did at toy fair, and before having it in hand. It's okay, but I feel it could have been so much more.

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Hi VBBN thanks for the great review, would you mind taking a photo of the side of the box where it says the parts are made?

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first up, thanks for the review VBBN!

indeed, there's many part that looks unfinished, but it's an easy fix considering how they leave an open ball joint there so you can easily put armors there if you want.

same with the flying part too.

but what interest me the most is that they actually include the longest bones that were long lost since black phantom.

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I for one really like this mech. While the flyer segment looks rather pathetic, I will always welcome an opportunity for more of those ultrabuild "weapon barrels" (and I don't have any tr. blue ones, so that's a plus for me) and 0(O)0 connectors. The main part of the mech is a glorious use of bone parts, which I prefer over excessive use of torso pieces. Even the posing doesn't seem like that much of an issue, considering its focus of firepower over agility. I think it would look better if it was just walking. And the ability to use the machinery of the other mechs just makes it perfect in my eyes.

Edited by DraikNova

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I mostly agree with DraikNova's points actually, and personally I much prefer the attachments from the other mechs as opposed to that very unsafe looking flyer (I know they're robots, but I would have thought they would have at least some sense of health and safety in their world :tongue: ). That's actually a rather decent idea come to think of it, and certainly much better than the compatibility of Evo XL Machine with the other 1H mechs. It'd be interesting to see what something like the Drill or Flea Machine looks like with the flyer actually.

The other thing that really irritates me is unused ball joints in sets, and there is at least two on that finished model blatantly staring me in the face :hmpf_bad: I have the same problem with Evo XL Machine actually (but the exposed balljoints there did serve a purpose unlike this), but fixing the Combat Machine to cure that won't be as easy as swapping out the XT4 torsos for 7M beams (my XL Machine fix) :wink:

I'll definitely get this set though despite it's problems. I think I'll mod the flyer into something a bit more "heavy duty" I think, and I'll definitely do something about that under-armoured rear end. Fixing LEGO's constraction set shortcomings seems to be all that I do lately :grin:

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I'm disappointed with this. But for some reason I can't help but get excited about it. I'll definitely pick it up but only to modify it heavily. Probably into a humanoid mech build. Seems to have enough pieces and bones with that build to provide some options.

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Thanks for the review !

The concept is nice, but I think the execution lacks because of the parts limitation. If they were allowed to give some more parts to the set, I think it would have been much better. I also think that with some modifications, it could become awesome, the comic version looks great and really menacing (well, at least on the fourth pane). I was gladly surprised by the swapping function. I think it's a welcome touch.

but what interest me the most is that they actually include the longest bones that were long lost since black phantom.

Batman, actually. :wink:

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Why does the Hero-Machine combiner look like its wearing a party hat?

I'm going to dub it the "Hero-Party-Machine". Because I can :tongue:

It looks awful in comparison to the Mega-Cocoon-Scorpion-Beast combiner the beast-sets combine into. Damn.

One look at that and I bet Surge just oiled himself. I'm pretty sure I did too.

I want to build the brick out of that.

The official set looks cool at first, but looking at it more and more without the flying-pod on.. it just looks empty. Like at any minute it'll fall forward and explode or something. Doesn't help that it has those tiny feet at the back. Give it more Stormer XL feet or even just regular Hero-feet. Anything would look better.

I do like that it's a 2-in-1. I do like that it's blue, and has a bunch of cool armor parts. I like that it's packing a lot of firepower, and it comes with two dudes. But it's lacking in the trunk. The fact that two armor shells plus two add-ons on the exposed balls on the back could beef it up significantly, and those balls have not been utilized.. it's a little upsetting.

Not sure if I'd pick this one up, but thanks for the review :)

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I have to agree that it looks cooler and much more imposing in the comic than how the model really is (The concept is very cool)! The side view of the whole thing still looks pretty good. It has a kind of animal feeling, like it's ready to jump like a mad dog through the caves and destroy and squish all the poor little bugs. :laugh:

The torso is making my head spin. It's crazy how complicated it looks, and yet, how it's only made of 2 or 3 types of bones! I like how the Hero Factory structure is seemingly trying to "standardize" itself so you can achieve a lot of different shapes with the same basic elements. However, I don't understand why the ship then comes back to the old technic structure... It's kind of contradictory...

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I really like this set myself. I built it on LDD, and while I can see now that I made several mistakes, I really like the design. I do agree that the rear feet don't match the front feet very well, but I like that they (and the rear legs) are smaller than the front legs. It gives the set a nice, dynamic posture. And the body construction is awesome, making the set feel very industrial.

The flying machine bothers me somewhat, both in terms of its shape and the fact that it is almost purely Technic, without much use of constraction building techniques. With that said, I like the swing-wing function, which seems to work a lot better than the similar function on the Chima constraction sets this year. I feel like the machine looks good either with or without the flying machine attached.

I really like both of the combi models for this wave, from what I can see. The ability to swap out the flying machine with accessories from the mid-size machines is creative, and a lot cooler to me than the Evo XL Machine's ability to borrow weapons from the other bipedal machines (though that was itself a bit neat just in terms of how ludicrously over-the-top a machine with all those disparate weapons sprouting out of it was).

Overall, I'm pretty committed to getting this set now that I've gotten to see it in more detail than in Toy Fair photos, which only captured a few angles and in which the set was consistently badly posed.

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I think the flying machine is a neat little thing, don't really understand why everyone seems to hate on it :tongue:

I especially like the "combine with other mech functions" bit, its a simple yet nice way to "add" more functions to the set.

Nice review, btw :classic:

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Question, just out of curiosity: How many 1x1 round plates does the set include for the minifigures' blasters?

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Question, just out of curiosity: How many 1x1 round plates does the set include for the minifigures' blasters?

There are 3 in this one. For the rest of the sets, they all include 2. I suppose the rule of thumb here was that however many blasters the set has, give that many studs plus one extra.

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There are 3 in this one. For the rest of the sets, they all include 2. I suppose the rule of thumb here was that however many blasters the set has, give that many studs plus one extra.

Hmm, interesting. The BZPower review of Tunneler Beast vs. Surge said that set had three of them.

The reason extra pieces are included in sets is because it's easy for a set with one too many or one too few of certain very light parts can easily make it onto store shelves without tripping the weight sensors used for quality control, so for safety's sake one extra (beyond what the official inventory calls for) is included. That way, even if there's one too many or one too few, the set will still be complete.

So with that in mind, I guess this is what happened for BZPower's copy of that set: an "unintended extra" slipped in without tripping the weight sensors.

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