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A wise man once said: "The future is what you make it." And what better way to create the future than to build it out of Lego! Since TLG always strives to inspire the builders of tomorrow, it is only fitting to make one of their Creator sets centered around futuristic vehicles. This 3-in-1 set gives us a glimpse into a possible future with three different kinds of vehicles: a mech, a jet, and a car. But does this future look bright or is it a dystopian nightmare? Let's find out! Set Number: 31034 Name: Future Flyers Theme: Creator Year of Release: 2013 Pieces: 237 Minifigs: 0 Price: $24.99 / €19.99 / £17.99 S@H description: S@H Bricklink Brickset The Box The box art is the same as all the other recent Creator sets featuring a yellow sidebar with the 3-in-1 logo in the upper right corner and the two alternative models displayed in boxes below it. Since this copy of the set came straight from Lego's headquarters in Billund, this is the European version of the box as you can tell by the lack of a set name and part count. The main image depicts the giant robot landing in a desert setting. The sky looks very interesting as it transitions from day to night from the left side of the image to the right and there are some meteors flying overhead. Maybe this is supposed to be some kind of alien planet where such a thing as a half-day-half-night sky can exist. Or maybe it is supposed to indicate the passage of time, symbolizing the movement towards the future... or maybe I'm just reading too much into the background image. The top of the box features the inventory and a 1:1 scale picture using the robot's "eye" for reference. There isn't much on the back of the box. It only shows the 3 different models and a small picture that tells you that the robot's jetpack is detachable. On the right side you can see that this is the type of box that has two tabs which make it easier to open it. I miss these tabs. Why don't American boxes have these tabs anymore? I bet it's because of people ripping them open in stores and stealing their contents. You disappoint me, 'murica! Inside the box there are three instruction booklets, one for each alternate model, and two bags, one smaller than the other. There aren't really any rare parts parts included, however many of them are quite useful, such as the white curved slopes, trans. light blue parts, and big and small ball joints. Here is a random instructions page. The part call-outs and building steps are pretty clear and the light blue background provides a nice contrast to the illustrations. To build up suspense, I will be reviewing the models in order from smallest to largest, building up to the main model. So let's start with the Future Flyers model that is not a flyer at all: The Car The build of the car is pretty straight forward, but somewhat unconventional. The chassis is made up of some parts that would usually not be used for the base of a car, such as wedge plates, curved slopes, and that white boat hull piece. Next, the aforementioned seemingly random parts are covered up by various plates. I like the cylinders in the back here because they give the impression that they could be part of the engine. After about 40 steps, the car is finished. It looks quite nice and does have a somewhat futuristic feel, especially thanks to the trans-light-blue bits. It doesn't resemble any particular existing car, so I'm guessing it's supposed to be a concept car. This is especially evident by the double canopies which are reminiscent of concept cars like the Ford Futura (which later got turned into the 1966 Batmobile). However, I feel like it doesn't really fit into the theme of Future Flyers. I think it would have fit the theme much better if the designers would have made the wheels like the ones of the DeLorean or Nick Fury's car and thereby turned it into flying car. Of course that would have required hinges or other parts that this set doesn't include and I realize that this is just an alternate model, but I'm just nitpicking here. Hey, I think I just figured out what makes this car so futuristic! Look, it has no steering wheel! This here must be one o' them fancy new self-drivin' cars. Unlike the DeLorean, this car fits two minifigs comfortably. However, since the inside of the car is filled with those random pieces, they sit a bit a high. Thanks to all the curvy white slopes, the car has a nice aerodynamic profile. Looking at it from the front, you can see that a ball joint was used to add detail to the grill of the car which is an interesting choice. The back is fairly plain, but it looks quite good. I especially like the use of the light blue dishes as headlights. The only thing that bugs me a bit is the small gaps between the upper corners of the bumper and the fenders, but it's hardly noticeable. Thankfully this is a Creator set; otherwise there would have surely been a license plate sticker covering the 2x4 tile. The Jet Let us now move on to the second alternate model, the jet. Its construction is fairly normal, except that the wings are only attached by one stud. Also, note the Mixels ball joint at the front. I will be talking about it later. The build lasts about as long as that of the car and there are approximately the same amount of parts left over. The finished jet looks very nice and slick. It looks like a high-end jet, and it's a vehicle that is designed to fly, so unlike the car, it fits the Future Flyers theme very well. Here is a look at it from the front. I really like the design of the nose as it cleverly uses the Mixels joint that I pointed out earlier to attach the second sloped wedge part upside down to the bottom of the jet's hull. It looks very good from the side as well. The only things that look a bit off are the gap between the wings and the top part of the plane and the holes in the fins of the jet that are created by the arches, but I don't mind them too much. It has two engines in the back which are constructed using the wheels of the car. I am very happy with how this model came out and I would really like it if it weren't for the play feature. The designers of this set decided to make this a variable wing jet which is not a bad idea as it adds playability. Usually, variable wing jets sweep their wings backwards to increase their speed. But for some reason they chose to base this model on the rare type of jets that sweep their wings forward instead of backwards. I had not even heard of this forward design before and I am not a fan of it. I would have much preferred it if they would have used the swept-backwards wing design which could have easily been done by attaching the wings from the back instead of the front. The wings in the back and the fins can be tilted up and down as well. Here is a comparison of the two flight modes of the jet. To me, the one with the wings folded forward just looks weird, so I'll keep them in their default state. The Robot Now it's time for the main attraction! This is the model I was looking forward to the most, so I saved it for last. You start the build by constructing the robot's torso. Next, you build the arms and legs which can get a bit repetitive because each pair is almost the same. Lastly, you add the jetpack, the head, and the shoulder pads. The finished robot looks quite impressive. He has the same color scheme as the Mindstorms NXT robots which suits him nicely. His design kind of reminds me of a Transformer, like a mixture of Starscream and Soundwave from Transformers Prime. Kinda makes me wish it could transform into a jet without rebuilding it, but Lego probably wont make Transformers anytime soon. That translucent blue dish in his chest is reminiscent of Iron Man's arc reactor. The figure has some interesting proportions with its large hands and feet and it short torso. The wings can be folded up so that they are level. I personally prefer them angled like on the box art though. They can also be folded all the way down for when the robot isn't flying. The jetpack is only attached by a Technic axle to make it easy to remove it if you so wish, however it is stuck in the robot's back so firmly that it is hard to remove it without breaking off a few pieces. Also, as you can see here, the two rockets are only attached by a clip hinge which allows them to be tilted a bit. Not sure what the point of this is, but maybe it's to make them easily removable as well. In addition to the jetpack, the robot also has jet engines built into his feet to help him fly even faster. You can see them in the following picture where he is enjoying a break. What? Even giant crime-fighting robots need to relax every once in a while. The sides of the robot's feet are open so that you can see the jet engines inside which adds some nice detail. Also, there is a red plate with a rail on each foot to keep the knees from bending too far forward. As you can probably tell, the figure is a bit back-heavy, so you may need to lean him forward a bit. This figure has quite a lot of poseability, especially in the arms. The wrists can turn, and the upper legs, shoulders, elbows, and even the head are on ball joints, so you can make a wide variety of poses. And thanks to the shoulder pads being on clip hinges, they are never in the way of posing the arms. Here is the robot taking a fighting stance. Unfortunately, like most Lego mechs, he is missing some articulation in his feet, so you need to balance him on the tips of his toes when spreading his legs. Despite the lack of a hip joint, you can also achieve the overused Iron Man pose: Or if you're more into DC, you can have him do the Superman pose when he's flying. Here is a comparison with Build-A-Buzz, another buildable figure with a jetpack. The robot is about the same size as Buzz (if you don't count the helmet), but while he doesn't have turning hips like Buzz, he has a lot more articulation in his arms and head. Honestly, I wish the Mixels would have come out before the Toy Story sets because Buzz's poseability would have benefited greatly from those small ball joints. Ratings Design: 4/5 - The designs of all three models are pretty good. The robot looks cool and stylish, the jet is sleek, and the car looks sporty. I do have some nitpicks about each of them, like the non-articulated feet of the robot or the reversed variable wings of the jet, and I still don't feel like the car fits the theme of the set, but I get why it's included. Build: 4/5 - The builds are satisfying. It's not too challenging and doesn't take very long, but there are some interesting techniques and the dismantling and rebuilding of the set into the different alternate models will keep you busy for a little while. Playability: 5/5 - I'd say this set is quite playable. The robot has some of the best articulation I have seen in a Creator robot and all three of the models are very swooshable. Parts: 3/5 - Like in most Creator sets, there aren't many rare pieces here, but they are all quite useful, especially for the type of futuristic MOCs that this set is meant for. Price: 2/5 - This is the weakest aspect of the set. $25 for 237 pieces is pretty high, especially for a Creator set. Overall: 4/5 - This set is pretty good as far as 3-in-1 Creator sets go. The main model is great and the alternate models are pretty good too, albeit nothing really special. And it comes with some nice useful parts to boot. The only downside is the price, but I hear that Target has it for $20 which is much more fair, so if you can get it there or at a sale, I'd say pick one up, especially if you're a fan of robots/mechs. I hope you enjoyed this EB Reviewers Academy review. By the way, does anyone else feel like this set was inspired by a certain Collectable Minifigure?