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Found 634 results

  1. Here is my review on 76188 the 1966 Batmobile: THE GOOD: Although there are some slight difference but great to get 1966 batmobile in a standalone set. Great joker minifigure. Improved display stand. Very interesting building techniques on both the front and back bumpers. The batmobile does look great and really capture the vibe of the real thing. THE NOT SO GOOD: No Robin. Batman skin tone too pale. Hard to apply stickers. The replacement parts for the stud shooters not easy to change. I'm so happy they releases this 1966 batmobile by itself, especially I was so tempted to get that batcave back then but I managed to control my urge to collect everything. The batmobile is excellent and I like they improved the display stand as the 1989 batmobile GWP often falls off the stand. The minifigures are great but Lego really need to improve the printing on dark colour head piece. Overall I enjoy the build and happy with the results. Despite common flaws with print and stickers, I still recommend this to everyone as it's a great set in summary =)
  2. Preface This theme means a lot to me, even though I never owned any myself when I was a kid since I wasn't old enough at the release to be interested in these kind of sets. I did, however, have a lot of old 90s Lego catalogues from my older cousins, who passed them down to me. When I was a bit older I acquired a taste for this line, but it was discontinued for years at that time, so I had to wait. Opening this set sealed really meant a lot to me, since I always wanted to do this. In the future I intend to hunt down all other UFO sets, preferably sealed and I might do a review on those as well. I made this review so that you can see how it was like to unbox and assemble this set back in 1997 and because I never found a similar modern review of the set, when I was looking to buy it. There are a lot of reviews on it, but I couldn't find any that would include a sealed box. I tried my best to make this review as comprehensive as I can. This is my first review so any feedback you might have is welcome. I hope you enjoy this review! Information Set name: Interstellar Starfighter Set number: 6979 Number of pieces: 292 Year released: 1997 Minifigures: 3 Price (then): 80.00 USD Theme: U.F.O. Introduction Description of the theme on Brickipedia: »The UFO Aliens come from the planet Humorless. They spend their time fighting the Exploriens and Roboforce, and scare Earth farmers in their free time. They have the ability to read minds. They have droids do their work for them, though they usually steal those droids, like in Andy Droid's case. Alpha Draconis is their leader.« source U.F.O. alien species is called Zotaxian. Their backstory differs from region to region - promotional materials back in the day weren't in sync and thus we get different backstories – in some versions Zotaxians even invaded then equivalent of Lego City, while in other versions the story was confined to space themes only. source A thing to mention is that aliens from Insectoids theme are also Zotaxians and come from the same planet as U.F.O. aliens. For different reasons, depending on the local promotional materials issued at the time they had to flee their native world and find a new home. U.F.O. theme was also featured in Lego Racers video game from 1999. There was a racing map where both U.F.O. and Insectoids themes were interlaced. I got this set sealed via BrickLink. The box was in overall good contention, aside from some print wear. But most importantly, no dents! You can check BrickLink listings for this set here. The box Here's the front view of the box. Wear on the edges shows that it was sealed for almost 24 years but I guess that is a necessary evil and not really that important. This is the front of the box with its flap up, revealing transparent windows showcasing some elements of the set. Yes, I learned that was very common for Lego sets at the time but I grew up with sets that had simpler boxes with no flaps so this feels alien to me... I'll see myself out Upon closer inspection we can see what is showcased – 2 minifigs (Alpha Draconis on the right, Andy Droid on the left). Above them (the very top of the window) are 2 transparent neon-green circular pieces that the U.F.O. theme is most known for. They form cockpit canopy of the starfighter. Between the figures are alien helmets – black one on top (Alpha Draconis') and below it one in grey (Chamon's). Fun fact is that Chamon (the 3rd figure in the set that the grey helmet belongs to and has shoulder pads, just like Alpha Draconis) is not showcased in this transparent window, but his helmet is. Instead, Andy Droid was chosen to be showcased. I wonder what was the reason for this? On the very bottom of the largest window is the battery box that takes 9V battery. Yes, this set has electronic parts that produce visuals (and also some audio but I don't think that was the designer's intention – more on that later). Immediately below is another tiny window, showcasing the cockpit lights. Lastly on the very bottom we have a line of 5 small transparent windows. The contents showcased are (from left to right): electric wire with brick, 2 magnets, red electric micro motor, 2 magnets, electric wire with brick. Below are additional pictures of the box. The top of the box. An observation – I noticed a number imprint on the top of the box (4217). I have no idea what this was used for. Maybe something to do with production and/or distribution system back in the 90s? Left side of the box. Bottom side of the box. A closeup of legal and production information on the bottom of the box. It says the set was made in Billund, Denmark. Right side of the box. The back of the box, showing mostly alternative builds - a practice that is not that common for set packaging nowadays. Below are pictures of box seals, which can be found on the front of the box, under the flap. This is where you are supposed to open the set. You have to take the cardboard with transparent windows off in order to access the box contents. Unboxing Like mentioned before, you have to open the box from the front, with its flap out of the way. I cut the seals with a knife along highlighted areas and the lifted the cardboard with transparent windows up from the box to access its contents. This how contents of the box are distributed in the box. The box is divided in several compartments (light green cardboard), each holding specific bags of parts or larger parts. Items showcased via transparent windows are held in a separate packaging which sits on top of the compartments. Instructions and promotional materials are located on the very bottom , under cardboard compartments. Another imprint on one of the green compartment cardboard (4107390). Here are all box contents stretched on a table. These are all parts that not packed in any plastic bags or additional packaging inside the box. Above 2 pictures show all the printed elements excluding minifigures and their accessories. On the left are the instructions, in the middle are promotional materials and on the very right is a ... poster? Indeed, you get a cool one-sided poster with this set. This was a very pleasant surprise and I guess that a much more common practice in the past. This is a separate packaging, containing all the elements that are showcased via transparent windows on the packaging. These are all plastic bags containing the remaining bricks. Plastic bags are of the old type, of course, with holes all over them to enable air circulation. Nothing remarkable otherwise. Note the bag on the very bottom right-hand side contains the only sticker this set has, 2 light grey 1 x 12 beams, along with 9 optic fibres (they might be difficult to observe in this picture). This is the only sticker in the set. For those unfamiliar with the theme – this sticker is somewhat special because it changes colour based on heat. The idea is that you put your finger on it and it then changes to green colour, revealing U.F.O. symbol as shown in above picture. These are optical fibres you get in the set. 9 in total, 8 to use and one spare. Above are shown all electronic components of the set. On top is the battery box, below it are (left to right) black electric twin lights, red micro motor and light grey fibre optics electric element. Lastly there are two black electric wires with brick. Finally, you also get four black cylindrical magnets. Minifigures UFO Red Droid/ Andy Droid This is the only minifigure in the set without a helmet or a shoulder armour. It is the only robot in the set and supposed brother of more known Ann Droid from Exploriens theme. source The minifigure sports quite interesting printing (front of the minifig only), with U.F.O. logo on the top left-hand side of the torso, remaining printing looking like exposed wiring and electronic components to me. Below are additional pictures of the minifigure from remaining angles. Red UFO alien / Chamon One of 2 Zotaxians in the set, also referred to as the Red UFO alien. The figure sports grey alien helmet and a black shoulder armour. Printing on the minifigure itself is also only present on its front. The only other printing can be found on the front angle of the helmet, looking to me as a brain with interlaced cybernetic implants. Below are pictures of the figure with all its accessories from the remaining angles. Here is the front view of Chamon without its helmet and shoulder armour. The face is one of the more memorable ones for me – that grin makes the figure look both funny and creepy at the same time. The printing on the torso and legs is also quite detailed but looks more organised to me that, say, the printing on Andy Droid's torso. Mandatory U.F.O. logo is also present on the torso, this time on the top right-hand side. Below are pictures of Chamon figure with no accessories from remaining angles. Alpha Draconis The only (consistently) named minifigure in the U.F.O. theme. Although his role is again not consistent in promotional materials between regions, he is supposed to be the leader of Zotaxians in some capacity (ranging from dictator of planet Humoreless to leader of the Zotaxian fleet). He was also featured both as a playable character and an npc in the legendary Lego Racers video game from 1999 (although he was missing his shoulder armour). He is most famous for his black helmet and grey shoulder armour. Printing on the helmet is the same as on Chamoin's helmet, but the torso and leg printing are a tad different. Below are pictures of the figure with all its accessories from the remaining angles. Here is Alpha Dracoins without his accessories. His face print looks to me almost bug-like. I wonder if this connected somehow with Insectoids theme? His torso printing is different from Chamon's and Andy Droid's. There are no electronics in sight, only a large U.F.O. logo in the middle of the torso. There are hints of electronics shown on his leg printing. Printing is, again, only present on the front of the figure. Below are pictures of the figure from different angles. Building the set I unfortunately didn't take any pictures of the set assembly but to be honest there is not much I can say on that except the instructions did not age too well. There are no required parts shown for each step of the building process so you have to have a keen eye for details and every step feels like a game of finding all the differences between pictures. My worst fear was that I would end up with an extra piece at the end that I knew I missed somewhere. Fortunately it did not come to that and I'm rather proud of myself for achieving this These are all the extra pieces of the set – one optic fibre and one trans-red electric light bulb cover. The back of the instructions. Assembled set This is the assembled Interstellar Starfighter. I'll try to capture as many angles as I can. The front view – one of the best angles in my opinion. Angled front view. You can clearly see black electric wires coming from the battery box just behind the main cockpit and going to micro motor and optics fibre element hidden behind a printed trans-neon green element located in the middle of the starfighter. The back of the starfighter. Another side view. Front view of the fighter, more level with the ground. Definitely not one of the good-looking angles. Side view, more close to the ground. Another side view from ground level. Top view. Next to 6900 Cyber Saucer. Another feature of the set is that it has a smaller detachable space craft. The main ship Magnets on the back of the main ship are used to connect main ship with the smaller detachable space craft. Below are some pictures of main ship only. Above is the bottom of the main ship. It is clear that the preferred angle to look this set at is from above. Detachable space craft Below are some pictures of the smaller space craft. It is assembled from two smaller circular pieces with a trans-neon green cockpit. On the top of the latter is where the only sticker is located. Do the electronics work? Not all. The twin lights in the cockpit work flawlessly, while red micro motor is dead, effectively rendering fibre optics in the back bust. The grey fibre optics element works on its own though. Fibre optics in the back should flash one optic at the time. This is caused by rotating a Technic rod in the grey fibre optics element, allowing only one fibre optic to be lit at the time and providing flashing of all fibre optics. Rotation should be achieved by using the red micro motor, while grey optic element only provides red light. But since micro motor is dead only front twin bulb lights in the cockpit work. The micro motor is known to produce some noise so that's what I was referring to when I said there was some unintentional audio produced by electronic parts. Better working front lights and optic element than nothing! I have heard that these red micro motors are a bit iffy anyway, so this is something I was half-expecting. A gif and a picture showing working front cockpit lights, proving I am not full of... err... brick? A side note: when taking the battery box out of the set it's a good idea to utilise one of the holes in the plate below the battery box in combination with a Technic or a normal rod to push the battery box out of the set from below first. Otherwise the bottom battery cover might stick to the plate and you'll end up tearing the upper portion of the battery box out of the set while the bottom will be stuck to the plate. When this happened to me it caused me a mini heart attack (the crack noise mostly) but fortunately I did not break anything. Using this method is a safer alternative. Note that none of the parts used on the rod assembly on the picture above are a part of this set – I borrowed the tip of one of the s-foils cannons on my UCS X-Wing. Conclusion Opening this set was a very interesting experience for me and it was hard for me to be objective when reviewing this set. The price of this set sealed is also something that a lot of people would find hard to justify. But for someone like me, who adores the theme it was worth it. I would not recommend this set sealed to anyone however – you have to be either a big fan with the means to buy it, otherwise just get a used set. Sure you'll miss all the fun unboxing experience and the parts might be in poor condition/broken but it's going to be way cheaper. On the other hand, if you are a big fun with a budget – go for it, just don't expect all electronics to work. Hopefully this review will make you help make the decision whether to buy this set either sealed or used. Design: 8/10. The front of the fighter looks really nice but the main issue I have is with detachable space craft. No full circular shape - what were they thinking? Parts: 8/10. Electronic parts, along with circular parts and minifigures are really nice, it's a shame that the red micro motor is not working though. Build: 5/10. Oh how building instructions have improved. Hats off to any former kids building large sets before required parts for every building step were established as a norm. It's a game of concentration and patience. The build itself is nice but it's the instructions that bring the experience down significantly. Minifigures: 10/10. The helmet design, shoulder armour, printing... these figs have it all in my view. Still one of the best figures TLG ever produced and they aged really well too. Playability: 8/10. Lots of functionalities present on this set. From flashing lights and detachable smaller space craft to alternate builds – you decide how to play! Price (sealed): 6/10. I don't think I paid an unfair price for this set but it was still substantial. I know other older sets with higher demand sell for way more, so I can't complain too much. The price could always be better though. I hope you enjoyed this review and that you got to know more about the theme in general or just learned something new about the set. On display.
  3. Alpha Draconis

    Lego 6975 UFO Alien Avenger review

    Preface In line with my promise to keep making reviews on UFO space theme I present to you the biggest UFO set by piece count and one that was very high on my wanted list for more than a decade. The purpose of this review is to make as comprehensive review of the set as I can and also provide some useful information to any collectors, who might want to buy this set either used or sealed by taking a lot of pictures of the box from different angles which are rather hard to come by in a good quality. As a bonus, I'll also provide a short comparison between this set and the 2nd biggest UFO set, 6979 Interstellar Starfighter, a review of which you can find here. A disclaimer: I intentionally avoided the word »unboxing« in the title of the review because the set I got had its seals already broken, but the contents inside were intact. It's a small thing but one I will adhere by. Any feedback is welcome and if you have any questions just let me know by posting it below. Enjoy the review! Information Set name: Alien Avenger Set number: 6975 Number of pieces: 351 Year released: 1997 Minifigures: 4 Price (then): 60.00 USD Theme: U.F.O. Introduction to the theme There are 3 main sources of this theme's backstory, those being German, UK and US promotional materials and sometimes local magazines. Unfortunately, there seems to be little uniform backstory details, that only being the planet from which the aliens come from – Zotax (sometimes referred as planet Humoreless). Even the nature of the aliens is different from region to region, but they are usually presented as evil or at least neutral. This was especially the case in the US, where the aliens were supposed invaders of Earth. This also translates to Insectoids theme, which was a theme that came immediately after U.F.O. theme in 1998. In that story line, the protagonists also come from planet Zotax but were forced to leave due to turmoil on the planet and seek refuge on a different planet which was home to large insects. In order to blend in they adapted their vehicles' appearances to look like bugs, hence the name and the gist of the theme – insects in space. If you are interested in more details, I recommend you check an excellent Brickipedia article here. I personally like the idea of Zotaxians being neutral – just look at their head wear and overall appearance. They don't look like the good guys to me Another interesting titbit of information - U.F.O. theme was also featured in a famous Lego Racers video game from 1999. There was a racing map where both U.F.O. and Insectoids themes were interlaced and it took place on the planet Zotax. There was also one playable character from the theme, also serving as an NPC. Not only that, but according to Brickipedia, this very set was featured in the game – floating in the air above the race track next to the finish line. There are 11 main sets in this there, some with different packaging (poly-bag/box variation or as a part of value packs/bundles) which have their own set number. You can check the U.F.O. set list here on Bricklink. Introduction to the set I got the set via Bricklink. The box was in good condition with no dents and with slight print wear, something to be expected for its age. Both seals were broken already but the contents of the box were still in their original, unopened packaging. You can check Bricklink listings for this set here. The box Here's the front view of the box. Some slight print wear on the edges is present, but not too much. This is the front of the box, with its flap up, a common packaging for the 90s. A single transparent window showcases some of the parts, sealed in a special plastic tray. A closer view of the underside of the flap. A closer view of the transparent window. Parts being showcase are (left to right, top to bottom) 2 trans-neon circular panels, Alpha Draconis minifigure, grey alien helmet, black alien helmet, Techdroid I minifigure and a trans-neon green windscreen at the very bottom. Similarly to 6979 Interstellar Starfighter, Alpha Draconis and a droid were chosen to be the two minifigures showcased in transparent window, along with 2 alien helmets on display which are meant for aliens only (black one for Alpha Draconis). Both figures and helmets have exact same position in the transparent window in both sets. I'm beginning to see a pattern but I will probably never understand why Chamon or Commander X were not chosen to be in place of the droid, since one of their helmets is on display. Below are additional pictures of the box. The top of the box. Left side of the box. Right side of the box. Bottom side of the box. A closeup of legal and product information on the bottom of the box. The set was made in Billund, Denmark. The back of the box, showing alternate builds. Below are pictures of the only 2 seals found on the back left and right side of the box. Mine were already broken but due to their placement and relative small size I think it's not that big of a deal. In practice I think it's not that easy (nor cheap!) to come across the same set with seals intact after such a long time. On the other hand, I think you are more likely to come across 6979 Interstellar Starfighter set with its seals still intact, since the box opens differently and the front flap partially protects the seals, while seals on 6975 are fully exposed. On top of that there are 4 seals on 6979 set, which are really long (covering most of the box sides), further increasing probability of having intact seals. Some pics of comparison between 6979 an 6975 box sizes below. A surprise for me is the fact that set 6975, despite having bigger piece count, has a significantly smaller box than 6979. Another difference, as you'll see in the next chapter, is the fact that 6975 has no internal compartments like 6979 has, separating bags with pieces and big circular »free-floating« pieces. This could be a bad thing for 6975 set, since these circular pieces can collide with each other in the box (since they are not held in place by a compartment) and this can potentially cause scratches. Luckily for me, no significant or noticeable scratches were on circular pieces in my 6975 set. »Unboxing« The box opens from either left or right side like most of present Lego boxes. All bags with pieces and free-floating pieces are contained within a green cardboard tray, that slides out of the box. On top of the cardboard tray sits a plastic tray, containing showcase pieces. Instructions and catalogues are located on the very bottom of the cardboard tray, under all bags and free-floating pieces. There's an imprint present on the inside of the cardboard tray. Mine reads: 4107370 Here are all box contents on a table. These are: a plastic tray with showcase pieces, a reflective sticker sheer, 6 plastic bags with pieces (5 bags with holes and one without holes), instructions, 2 1997 catalogues, 4 big grey circular pieces and 2 small grey circular pieces, all 6 of which are not packed in any plastic bags. Picture above shows all printed pieces in the set, exuding minifigs and their accessories. Here is a closeup of the plastic tray. If you are observant you'll notice that there is something in this tray that can't be seen from the front box window – those being 6 magnets in the bottom left-hand side corner of the tray. A closeup of all 6 cylindrical magnets. These are all stickers in this set – 4 in total. 2 separate black thermal stickers on the left and 2 reflective stickers on singular sticker sheet on the right. I was pleasantly surprised that none of the stickers gave me any trouble when I applied them to pieces. The glue seal was in perfect condition and it felt like these stickers were brand new, not 24 years old! I wonder how it will feel to apply modern stickers from current year in 24 years. One thing is for sure, they will not apply better than these old-school stickers! Minifigures Blue UFO Droid/ Techdroid I This is the only minifigure in the set without a helmet or a shoulder armour. It's the only robot in the set and one of only 2 in the whole U.F.O. line. Printing is only present on the front of the figure but is quite detailed, especially for 1997. U.F.O. logo is present on the top left-hand side of the torso, with remaining printing looking like exposed wires. Below are additional pictures of the figure from remaining angles. Blue UFO alien/ Commander X One of 3 aliens in the set (and also the whole U.F.O. line), also referred as Commander X by August 1997 edition of Bricks 'n Pieces magazine, published in the UK. The figure has a grey alien helmet, with black shoulder armour (identical to Chamon, another alien in the set). Blue colour is used for legs and arms of the figure. Printing is only present on the front of the torso and legs. The helmet sports iconic »brain« print on the front angle which the U.F.O. line is known for. Below are pictures of the minifigure with helmet and shoulder armour from all remaining angles. This is Commander X without his shoulder armour and helmet. The face and head look very insect-like to me, transparent green only adding to the vibe. The printing on the torso and legs looks more orderly than that of TechDroid I. The leg printing pattern is the same as that of Chamon and Alpha Draconis but in different colours. U.F.O. logo is present on the top right-hand side of the torso. Below are remaining angles of the figure without its accessories. Red UFO alien/ Chamon The second and the most common alien of the U.F.O. line, being featured in 5 sets. Chamon is very similar in design to Commander X, the most obvious difference being a red colour scheme for legs and arms. The figure has identical helmet and shoulder armour to Commander X. Below are pictures of the figure with its accessories from the remaining angles. This is the minifigure without its accessories. Like with all figures in the set, printing is only present on the front of the figure. U.F.O. logo is present on the top right-hand side of the torso. Below are pictures of the figure from different angles. Alpha Draconis The commander of the Alien Avenger and the most consistently named character of the U.F.O. line. Promotional materials are not in agreement on many things regarding the role of the characters but it is believed that Alpha Draconis is some sort of the leader of Zotaxians. His character is also featured in a video game Lego Racers from 1999, where he is both an NPC (the only one to represent U.F.O. line) and also a playable character. He is immediately recognised by his black helmet with gold print and grey, instead of black shoulder armour. The leg printing pattern is the same as Chamon's and Coommander X's but with a different colour scheme. I have a small gripe with the helmet of this particular figure – the print of the brain seems misaligned a bit and smudged a bit towards the front. The best indicator of this is the gold line that runs on the sides of the front helmet angle – it's quite thick on the left-hand side but it gets significantly thinner on the right-hand side and almost disappears at some point. The same figure I got in 6979 Interstellar Starfighter had a significantly better helmet printing. I digress – below are remaining pictures of the figure with his accessories. Lastly, here is the figure without a helmet and shoulder armour. Printing is only present on the front of the figure. Torso print is a bit different, since the U.F.O. logo is aligned in the centre and there are no wires or other electronic parts visible. A very clean torso design indeed. The remaining pictures of the figure without its accessories are below. Building the set Building the set was not complex and did not take a lot of time. The only thing you have to keep in mind is that these instructions are of the old-school type. This means that you don't get any separate parts list required for each step and new pieces are not highlighted in the build. Effectively, every step feels like a game of find all the differences between current and previous step. This requires more focus that modern Lego instructions. Again, I'm proud to say that I found all differences and was left with the right amount of space bricks. I'm starting to like this style of building more and more but I still prefer modern instructions The back of the instructions. Assembled set This is the assembled set, containing all minifigures and smaller vehicles inside. One of the side crew compartments in visible with Techdroid I in it. Side view. Back view – or is it? I'll touch on this in a moment. Another crew compartment is visible with Chamon in it. Another side view with the crane assembly. A view, more level with the ground. You can see 4 landing gear legs and a central engine in the middle. Keeping the tradition of the U.F.O. theme, most sets are meant to be looked at from above. Top view. Base section One of play-features of this set is that the saucer can separate into 2 section – a base section we'll take a look at in this chapter and a command module, which will be presented in one of the next chapters. Top view of the base section. Front view of the base section. In the middle, there is a planetary rover with a crew member manning it. The rover has a magnet on it, which can be used to connect with the magnet on the crane. The crane can then be used to deploy rover or store it back onboard the Alien Avenger. A closer look at the central compartment where planetary rover is stored. Note 2 circular magnets on the left and right of the central compartment – this is how command module attaches to the base section. The connection between modules can happen regardless of whether the rover is in base section or not. At the side of the central compartment there are 2 containers, each with a 1x2 printed tile inside, representing some sort of a hand-held device. On the side of the base there is another compartment. It houses a small buggy. A closer look at one of the two crew compartments. Techdroid I fits quite nicely. The other crew compartment houses Chamon. His helmet and shoulder armour make him more difficult to fit which means that his legs have to be bent somewhat. Here comes the dilemma – I'm not actually sure what's the front of the base and what is the back! The two pictures above both show candidates for the front side. The last picture above shows 2 rotating black thingies, which may very well be the engines or weapons while previous picture shows the side with 2 stationary beam emitter-looking contraptions. I assume marketing team at Lego did not know the difference either, since their promotional materials are not consistent – examples below. Promotional picture, showing rotating thingies as engines. The front of the box and instructions, showing rotating thingies on the front, reinforcing weapons theory. You may assume this ends the debate (if you, like me, thought that they got this sorted out for the actual product) but... This is the last step in the instructions, again showing rotating thingies as engines. Aargh! Were 90s Lego sets always this confusing about pointless details? Jokes aside, it doesn't really matter what's the front and the back of this set since it is circular and can be switched up at any time. If I had to guess I would say that it makes more sense (despite what instructions say) for rotating thingies to be weapons. I think it makes more sense for weapons to rotate than engines. This is of course looking more from play-ability perspective. In the end I'll leave it up to you to decide. Maybe there is no front or back? Now that would truly be extraterrestrial! ...getting back on topic. Here's the underside of the base. Not the best looking part of the set. Command module Command module attaches to the lower base section using magnets. The command module has 3 out of 4 stickers on total (2 reflective stickers on the side and one of thermal stickers on top of the cockpit canopy) in this set and is assembled using 2 small circular grey and 2 circular trans-neon green panels. 2 antennae are on the side of the module. The overall appearance of the module is very similar to the top portion of 6900 Cyber Saucer set of the same U.F.O. line. The main difference being the number of antennae – 6900 Cyber saucer has 4. There's room for only 1 minifigure in the command module. Gotta reinforce the chain of command. A closeup of the first reflective sticker. A closeup of the second reflective sticker. Thermal sticker before activation. To activate it, just hold a finger on it for a couple of seconds. Thermal sticker after being activated by heat. Notice the colour change to green and revealed pattern – a U.F.O. logo. Underside of the module. Notice 2 cylindrical magnets, used to connect to the main base. Planetary rover The rover has the second thermal sticker on it, right next to the magnet that connects to the crane, which is used to move rover on and off the Alien Avenger. The rover is controlled by one pilot at the very front . At the back there is a printed 2x2 tile with U.F.O. logo. Overall design is somewhat similar to certain vehicle designs from Lego Racers video game in my opinion. I love the black barrel wheels. Below are pictures of the buggy with a pilot and from different angles. Small buggy There's not much to say about the small buggy – has 4 wheels, fits 1 sitting minifigure, has 1 printed control panel and is small. Comparison with 6979 Interstellar Starfighter Size comparison bestrewn some U.F.O. sets. Left to right: 6979 Interstellar Starfighter, 6975 Alien Avenger and 6900 Cyber Saucer. When comparing 6979 and 6975 I think it's safe to say that 6975 feels more compact and overall takes up less space. It's also packed with more play-features than 6979, although it has no electronics, which 6979 has. Both sets feature some sort of detachable crafts that use magnets to connect to main base/ship. 6975 has more parts than 6979 but it doesn't show that at the first glance. 6975 also has 1 more figure and has all aliens of the theme, which is rather nice. The build process of both sets felt quite similar to me and I cannot really draw any definite differences here. Both sets feel appropriately »alien« to me but 6975 feels »more alien«, since it is shaped like a stereotypical pop-culture UFO. I like both sets very much but I think I like 6975 a bit more, since it's the flagship of the theme, has more play-features and has more minifigs. If you're deciding on which of these sets you should get (new or used) I would advice you go for both. But maybe go for 6975 or at least start with it. Also note that if you want these sets in new condition you will want to set aside some budget as well. They are not cheap sets to get in new condition but 6979 is usually a bit cheaper than 6975. Also,like I mentioned before, you are more likely to get 6979 perfectly sealed than 6975 if that is important to you. Conclusion Opening and building this set meant a lot to me. This was the flagship set I was always looking at in 1997 catalogues I had laying around. This is THE U.F.O. set – the flagship of the theme. Like I already said in my 6979 review, it's hard to be objective for me when reviewing sets from this theme but I tried my best. The question of price is always present, but, like I already stated, I'm ready to pay this price now. If you are a die-hard fan of the theme I think you have already made your mind regarding what condition you want your set to be in. For others I always advise to grab a used set in good condition. It is an interesting set from a wacky theme but don't spend too much money on it if you don't feel it's worth it. Hopefully you enjoyed the review and got interested in the theme. If you did then my job here is done and I'm happy. ... also go check another review of the same set here to get a separate take on the same subject. Design: 9/10. I dig the shape of the set and its many play-features. Underside of the UFO could have been handled better. Parts: 8/10. A lot of big circular parts, lots of printed parts and a lot of trans-neon green. Build: 5/10. Despite my somewhat growing love for old-school instructions (for the sake of challenge) I also find it frustrating at times. I still prefer modern instructions. Minifigures: 10/10. U.F.O. line has in my opinion one of the best looking minifigs ever. The detailed prints, shoulder armour and helmet combo – it just works. And you get all but one minifigure from the entire line in this set! Play-ability: 9/10. A ton of play features, much better than 6979 set. I can see kids having a lot of fun with this set. Price (New Complete): 6/10. Despite the set not being perfectly sealed I still paid pretty penny for the set. I can't complain too much but the price can always be better. I only recommend buying this set new if you are a big fan of the theme. Otherwise go for a used set in good condition which will set you back a lot less financially. On display. My fleet grows stronger...
  4. Finally after a year delay, here is my review on 75550 Minions Kung Fu Battle: THE GOOD: The set actually looks great and will fit very well with the chinese new year temple festival from last year. Surprising new printed element, looks like shin ryu from Dragon Ball. Great mini dragon dance build. Cool action features. THE NOT SO GOOD: No way to have the just one minifigure stands on flat surface with falling when holding the dragon dance but I guess this is expected =P Overall, I like this set. It's probably a runner up if compared to the buildable minons set. I really like the look of it and really surprised with the new printed tile. I thought it's gonna be stickers when they first annouced this. I like the action features and the minifigures included. Otto looks really cute but of cos this is subject to if you like Minions or not. The price while is on the high end, given it is not uncommon to get discount off this, pricing ain't that bad to be honest. anyway, I think this is a good set includes great minifigs and some cool stuff which I will recommend to everyone.
  5. Pchan1983

    REVIEW: 3409 Championship Challenge

    I can't believe this set released 20+ years ago. Here is my review on 3409 Championship Challenge. THE GOOD: Fun set for everyone and football fans. The shooting mechanism works really well. Great utilisation of pieces to create the goal and using net for goal net. Added as much variations of face as they can at the time of production to give characters to each team. THE NOT SO GOOD: Can't really find any fault given the set is really selling the unlimited possibilities of the play feature. Overall, this is a great play set. It's definitely not a set for you if you are into building experience. I like how the shooting mechanism works. It's also great to see how easily they can make a goal with the limited piece variations back then. I definitely look at this set differently compared to how I would see it 20 years ago. It's great they included 2 teams for obvious reasons and I'm surprised how long those stickers last! All I say is I still like this set and would recommend to all football fans or if you looking for something that you can have fun with friends and family.
  6. Hello, I'm here again presenting my 36th review in Eurobricks. Let's have a look at Dom's Dodge Charger! Before that, I want to thank LEGO for providing us with this set for review. Overview Name: 42111 Dom's Dodge Charger Theme: LEGO Technic Pieces: 1077 pieces Minifigures: 0 Price: £89.99 / $99.99 / 99.99€ Box Square boxes are quite uncommon in LEGO. However, this is actually my first technic set in my life so let's move into it and I'll let you know what's inside. Like usual, the back of the box shows us the play features in the set and we get to see the actual car picture at the top corner. At the side, we can see the actual size of the tyre. The Content We get four numbered bags with smaller same numbered bags so there are 8 bags in total. The instruction booklet is sealed in a plastic bag together with the sticker sheet. The frame and the tyres are not sealed inside the plastics. I've scanned the sticker sheet here in high resolution. The comparison photo of the actual car and a dog. This is found at the back of the instruction booklet and LEGO is trying to tell you they are rebuilding the world. Different version of Dom's Dodge Charger. The parts list. This is quite clear and you can zoom in to see the parts numbers by clicking at the picture and zoom in. This is an 11x15 frame in dark bluish grey with the part number of 6265646. I suppose it is new and currently exclusive to the set. It is still not catalogued in bricklink yet. Tire 56 x 28 ZR Street. 6035364 is a tyre produced in 2001 as seen in the left one. Technic, Shock Absorber 6.5L - Hard Spring. 6027566 is an old part but it is considered a new piece to me as this is my first technic set. It contributes to the suspension of the car making it bouncy. After finish bag one, you will get a set of bones like this. It feels fascinating building technic for the first time. I feel like building a car. (What am I talking about? IT IS A FREAKING CAR!) There is a sticker underneath the frame. I suppose the license is a serious issue here. Technic, Engine Cylinder without Side Slots, 4234251. Going towards bag 2, this appears as the engine part. It is released since 2009 and it is new to me here, haha. Technic, Engine Piston Round, 4112203. This is even older and it comes in blue too since 1990. Okay, 6276854. This one is new and currently exclusive to the set. Quite a nice and versatile piece for some Star Wars ships I think. As I said, this is new to me and I find these pistons build very interesting. After building the second bag, you'll notice the 'steering wheel' is at the back of the vehicle and the pistons of the engine at the front are controlling the rear wheels. Technic, Steering Wheel Large, 4125213. Since 1988. This wheel is useless in the vehicle and it controls nothing. Haha. Technic, Panel Fairing # 2 Small Smooth Short, Side B 4566249 and Technic, Panel Fairing # 1 Small Smooth Short, Side A 4566251. This is an interesting part to me as LEGO is very considerate in putting numbers at the parts so that we won't be confused of the right and left side of the piece. I love this kind of small details LEGO put in. Bag 3 is actually wrapping the front part of the skeleton. I really love the trans clear boat studs coupled with that sticker with the word Charger. The front of the car really looks gorgeous. Bag 4 completes the whole build and this is the rear view of the vehicle. The white California 2JRI424 License Plate is produced as seen on the 1970 Dodge Charger driven by Dominic Toretto. More info. Side view of the Car. I wonder why the technic pin is not 'finished' sticking out the rims. Hmm... It is quite hard to pull the lever inside the car after the hood is installed. It is too narrow inside. The grey technic part at the middle is the lever. Easier when it is still the skeleton phase. The front hood can be opened to reveal the engine inside. I love the look of the engine but imagine if we get chromed parts for this! Okay wake up. The bonnet is filled with 2 bottles of Nitrous Oxide can. I am Groot. *Groot is not included in the set.* Review summary Playability: 6/10 - Yes you can play with the car and as the steering wheel is at the bonnet of the car, it is quite convenient to control the front wheel. Design / Building Experience: 6/10 - The design is very nice at the front and back but please don't view from the top. You'll only see a black rectangle. Minifigures: -/10 - At least give us a minifigure without any hairpiece. Price / Value for money: 6/10 - It is a nice display set for a Fast and Furious fan. Don't display it inside a Koi fish pond (If you know what I mean). Haha Overall: 6/10 - I think this set is only targetted for Fast and Furious fans as normal LEGO fan would only see this as a black car. However building this makes me feels like I'm a real mechanic especially when you build the spring part. Thanks for reading! I hope you like this review. Do share your thoughts in the comments below!  My reviews in Eurobricks. Review: 76060 Doctor Strange's Sanctum Sanctorum Review: 60134 Fun in the park - City People Pack Review: 70911 The Penguin™ Arctic Roller Review: 70818 Double-Decker Couch REVIEW: LEGO 76051 SUPER HERO AIRPORT BATTLE REVIEW: Short comparison of various sized Antman. Review: 9469 Gandalf Arrives Review: 31015 Emerald Express & 31054 Blue Express Review: 79018 The Lonely Mountain Review: 9474 The Battle of Helm's Deep Review: 21029 The Buckingham Palace [Review] 30611 R2-D2 Polybag Review: 9473 The Mines of Moria Review: 41103 Pop Star Recording Studio Review of City of Wonders Gift Sets in Malaysia. Review: 75030 Millennium Falcon Review of 76084 The Ultimate Battle for Asgard and 76088 Thor vs Hulk: Arena Clash Review of 76099 Rhino Face-Off by the Mine and 76100 Royal Talon Fighter Attack. Review of 76031 The Hulk Buster Smash and 76104 The Hulkbuster Smash Up Review: 75230 Porg [REVIEW] 5005254 - Harry Potter Minifigures (Bricktober 2018) [REVIEW] 5005255 - Jurassic World Minifigures (Bricktober 2018) [REVIEW] 5005257 - NINJAGO Minifigures (Bricktober 2018) [REVIEW] 5005256 - Marvel Infinity War Minifigures (Bricktober 2018) Review: 76105 The Hulkbuster: Ultron Edition Review: 70841 Benny's Space Squad Review of 76039 Ant-man Final Battle and 76109 Quantum Realm Explorers Review: 79003 An Unexpected Gathering The Fellowship of the Ring Collection. Review: 30452 Iron Man and Dum-E Polybag [REVIEW] 76048 Iron Skull Sub Attack [REVIEW] 40343 Spider-Man and the Museum Break-In [REVIEW] Four SDCC minifigures [REVIEW] 76144 Avengers Hulk Helicopter Rescue [REVIEW] 21313 Ship in a Bottle
  7. After 10 hours spent across 5 days, I finally completed the build and here is my review on 71741 Ninjago City Gardens: THE GOOD: LOOKS STUNNING!!! Massive volume, for me the side temple feels like more of a bonus. Lots of new ways to create awesome details in various areas. The fully working arcade is just brilliant. The dragon skeleton display and the skylight are also great design. 18 minifigures!!! (20 if you include the 2 decorative ones) THE NOT SO GOOD: Some of the parts (e.g. the cover sewage pipe) doesn't connect well. The instruction booklet has some steps which make the build a bit more difficult than it should. Some components a bit flimsy to be removed while the 2nd level path way is a bit too tight for removal. Overall, this is another contender for set of the year. It looks absolutely stunning. And I love all the little details they put into each components, from the tree to outdoor air con but highlight for me is definitely the minifig scale working Arcade. I also love the minifigures selection, although I do think fans following the TV series will probably appreciate the minifigures more. Many of the shops can easily modified to a typical Lego City store. The temple also great even on its own, it's truly a bonus side build which I will be extremely happy already even without it. It is pricey but consider the volume (factor in it's also cheaper than the previous incarnation with more volumes), it's actually very competitive pricing too. Can't wait to see what's LEGO is cooking up next for similar set =). While this is not perfect (there are some flimsy parts and parts doesn't connect so well), I am extremely satisfied with the end results and totally recommend this set for everyone.
  8. While Jurassic Park rightly deserves a lot of credit for re-introducing audiences to the pleasures of mankind encountering living, breathing dinosaurs (before said dinosaurs eat man, leaving women to inherit the earth), let's not forget some of the earlier versions of this, including the 1925 silent movie The Lost World, based on the 1912 Arthur Conan Doyle novel of the same name. I bring this up mostly because the Adventurers' Dino Island subtheme, first released in 2000, has more in common with Doyle's work than Crichton's more contemporary version. And as an avid fan of both dinosaurs and turn-of-the-20th Century adventurers, this was a pretty solid third wave for one of my favorite LEGO themes. So hold onto your butts, as we explore: Info Set # - 5955 Name - All Terrain Trapper Theme/Subtheme - Adventurers/Dino Island Year - 2000 Piece Count - 185 Minifigures - 3 Price - MSRP $30 US Links Brickset, Peeron, Bricklink, Bricksafe Box 65 million years ago, I did have a box for this set in my collection. But alas, it has since been lost to the ravages of time, (otherwise known as the parents recycling it) so we'll just have to push on without it. Although for those curious, it looks like Bricklink has a listing for the box. Instructions Aside from the usual wear-and-tear, along with some postmortem contractions of the posterior neck ligaments, this is probably one of the better Adventurers instruction manuals in my collection (especially compared to my River Expedition one, yikes). The world map graphics bordering the actual set image is a great change of pace from the previous imagery around the two earlier Adventurers subthemes, suggesting Johnny Thunder and friends (along with his nemeses) are well off the beaten path here. While the background is very clearly computer-generated, I don't mind the swooshing lines for the trapper or the stationary net, which help to highlight the play features. Moving closer, we can also see a revision to the old Adventurers logo, which I'm personally not too crazy about. What was great about the first two was that it gave you everything you needed in one concise package. You had the brand-new hero for this brand-new theme in the center, along with the new wildlife molds in the border. Add in palm leaves in the background of the Jungle subtheme logo, and pyramids (plus that all-important biplane) in the Egyptian one and you've got a pretty great logo. The fact that it looked like an old-school stamp you might see on a steamer trunk or a passport didn't hurt things either. But this logo's a touch too sprawling for my tastes, even though it still gives you everything you need to know about this subtheme (namely that it has dinosaurs and Johnny Thunder). So while I'm nitpicking, it still gets the job done. Much like in previous manuals, this one also offers alternative builds, and given how this subtheme featured more blocky, less specialized pieces, it could make for a bit of a mixed bag. Fortunately there's mostly good stuff here you can create, from a nice little jeep and storage depot in the bottom-most image (even if that plane is severely lacking in controls), and a pretty good barge in the smaller image. Also, there's a fun little comic here, which helps to explain the different alternative builds, even if it's clear the two lead characters are dreaming a little bigger than what's actually possible with the pieces in the set. And for anyone who always wished they could actually build the alternative models, LEGO kindly incorporated abbreviated steps for a few of the designs, which is pretty nice. I can't remember how often I'd try replicating one of the cooler alternative builds with the earliest Star Wars sets, only to run into a wall during the attempt. As an added bonus, you also have fun infographics near the end, offering interesting facts on each Dino Island dinosaur, such as their weight, size, what they eat, and most importantly of all, which sets they came in, so, like Pokemon, you can collect them all. Moving on to the interior of the instruction manual, you can see it's a pretty basic layout, with the background vaguely continuing the atlas-like motif, with some latitude and longitude lines. The color distinction is perfect, while sub-models get call-out boxes and steps. But for those of you used to having individual piece call-outs for each step, get used to carefully looking over each image for new pieces that are added on, before doing the same with your pile of parts. Pieces As you can see, we spared no expense sorting all 185 pieces of this set. Aside from the bright yellow and red, which will mostly be covered up by the rest of the vehicle, the brightest color will be blue, which is the dominant color scheme for the villain's vehicles on Dino Island (minus one glaring exception). Plenty of green and light gray will make up foliage, while black will help round out the shaping of the Trapper. Much like how frog DNA easily slots into prehistoric dino DNA to fill the gaps, LEGO opted to use mostly generic bricks for the Dino Island subtheme, which can fit in everywhere. Similarly, the unique pieces aren't too out there, largely being quite common, although that only makes the set more attractive if you're not looking to keep it built. Take for instance the ubiquitous string net, 10x10 square. which appears in 55 sets in black, used in everything from Pirates to Ninjago. Or the plate, modified 2x2 with bar frame square, appearing in 35 sets total. The same goes for all the other pieces pictured here, which are interesting compared to the rest of the pieces in this set, but aren't too unique when you look at the bigger picture. The biggest exception to this rule might be the slope, curved 2x2x1 double with two studs and the vehicle, base 6x5x2 with two seats, both of which were introduced in the Adventurers line, but have since been incorporated in a number of other sets. Again, owing to this theme's relative simplicity in parts usage, there are no printed parts here. Fortunately, LEGO spared no expense in providing plenty of accessories for this motley crew, which is always nice. Here we have two different kinds of firearms, along with a hammer and wrench for making quick fixes to the Trapper, a crate to carry it all around, and some cooking supplies. Let's just hope they don't mind sharing utensils. Minifigures While we don't have Dodgson here, what we do get is the entire villain's team in one set, which is rather nice. From left to right we have Baron Von Barron, er, I mean Sam Sinister, his sister Alexis Sinister, and their intrepid big game hunter/guide, Mr. Cunningham, which, while not as much fun to say as Rudo Villaino, still gives you a good enough idea of his character. He's cunning! And judging by that shirt of his, he's a big fan of ham. As for the other two, Alexis Sinister is a nice way of shaking things up in the villain department, since I don't think the Adventurers theme ever had another female villain (who's apparently rather interested in getting Johnny Thunder to work with the bad guys, if the September/October 2000 issue of Mania Magazine is any indicator), and Von Barron, or rather, Sam Sinister is the quintessentially perfect pulp adventure villain. I can't really blame LEGO for re-using his character so many times (though I can blame them for changing his name), since he's got everything you need in a villain, from the snooty-looking monocle, to the nasty scar and the hook for a hand! He's honestly perfect. I decided to skip photographing the backs of the minifigures' torsos, since there's no printing there anyway, so we can move onto the real reason you'd buy this set in the year 2000: Dinosaurs! While they've made more detailed ones in the Jurassic World sets, with better articulation, these ones are still fun to have around and get the job done. Aside from the baby T-Rex which I forgot to include here, there are no predators in this set (aside from the human ones, that is), with a Stegosaurus and Triceratops making up the quarry for our nefarious trio. The Build We kick things off by building the titular Trapper, which is nicely symmetrical, and actually rather intricate. We start off with some white plates and vehicle axles... ...followed by some tiling and a few 1x1 blue round bricks. The tiles will become part of the main play feature. Add in a covering for the back, along with a propeller, and it's starting to take shape. But first, a sub-model. Here's one of the two sub-models. This piece fits over the blue tiles, which will make contact with... ...this axle brick. While the yellow and red stick out a bit, they'll mostly be covered up in the final model. So installing these two and covering them with another plate, we'll have... ...a fairly complete model! But first, after some tires are added, and... ...we get to move onto the actual trap part of this All Terrain Trapper. Using these 7 pieces, we create... ...a weighted net, which still looks the part with those 1x1 round bricks in blue. Add that to the end of Trapper, along with a chain and the cab, and... ...Behold! If you want something that'll let you get around Dino Island easily while catching said dinos, this is the vehicle you'd want. Some additional perspectives of the All Terrain Trapper. One thing you don't get from the image on the instruction manual and box is how the vehicle seems designed for amphibious use, able to drive right into a river or lake and get to the other side without getting the minifigures wet (though I wouldn't try this in real life). The propeller in the rear, along with the wedge-shaped plates help contribute to that look, while the cab, typically situated closer to the ground, is near the top of the vehicle. And those tires look like they're made for the type of rugged environment I'd imagine Dino Island to be, making this a vehicle that can traverse through a variety of different terrains, including long grass. An added bonus of this vehicle is how, unlike the jeep in Spider's Secret, there's more than enough room to place a headlight or two on here if you want, since, unless I'm mistaken, Dino Island doesn't have electricity or running water that isn't a river. Of course this group couldn't call themselves effective poachers if they only had a single trap, so we get a stationary one as well, for all the clever girls who avoid the Trapper. We start by taking the big 8x16 green brick and attaching it to two more 2x3 green bricks. The two 1x8 light gray tiles will be part of a play feature, which comes next. We start by building the mechanism that will support the net, with one 2x10 blue plate and two 1x10 light gray plates to start. Two 1x1 round bricks in blue will get added later. Speaking of, this particular brick did not hold up. Not sure if this has happened to anyone else, but it's a good lesson kids. Always treat your bricks gently. Fortunately I had a spare, and the part of the trap that supports the net is done. Now we move onto the platform that'll trigger the trap. Add some bricks onto the grille plate, and boom, we have a trap! Just attach it to the plate, and... ...we have trap number two! While not as striking as other booby traps in the Adventurers theme, the low profile works well for Sinister and Company's prey, especially with the camouflage on either side. Some more angles of the stationary trap. While with current parts (or even parts back then, if I'm being honest), you could probably add more camouflage to the grille plate and net, resetting it would be a pain after springing the trap, so it's fine. Last but not least, we have the actual campground for Sinister's base of operations. A 4x8 blue plate makes for a nice river, and provides some welcome change to the set's environment. So after building up a solid connection between the two baseplates with bricks and plates... ...we can get started on the campsite proper, with a barrel complete with a tap on top and a 2x2 round brick in brown, which will become a stove of sorts. So after adding a few more pieces, along with the Trapper's super-simple repair kit, and we have... A campsite, complete with Alexis Sinister and that pesky baby T-Rex I missed up above (though you tell me whether he's supposed to be an accessory or wildlife. Guess it depends on if you're in Sinister's camp or Johnny's). Some more views of the campground from different angles. Dino Research Compound this is not (for one thing, this model has a completely different name), but it's still a great addition to this set, giving our villains room to scheme and plan their next trap while enjoying fresh fish or whatever else they have on hand to eat. And there's plenty of room, which ensures all three minifigures can fit on here easily when the Trapper's engine is on the fritz. Let's just hope that they set up camp away from a game trail. And now you have the whole set, with all characters and vehicles included. As you can see, there's plenty to do here, so let's move on to the play features. Play Features Once you've built your top-of-the-line, custom vehicle designed for capturing dinos, it's only natural if the next thing you wish to do is give it a little field test. In the case of the Trapper, which capably traversed the rough terrain of my white tablecloth, we see it's encountered a rather docile Stegosaurus, caught unawares. Let's see how it does. Well, Mr. Cunningham must be a religious man, since it seems as if he got an assist from the Hand of God. Aside from outside help, you can see how the arm propped up launches the net. Once the Trapper hits a dinosaur (or a hand, wall, or pet), the front plate will be pushed in, sliding along the tiles to push the arm carrying the net up. It's pretty clever, and works wonderfully every time (although you do need to hit it like you mean it to get any kind of trajectory. Otherwise it just lands on top of the engine). Moving onto the stationary trap, we see Alexis Sinister has kindly offered to demonstrate how it works for us. By placing something on the black grille plate and pushing down... ...the net gets lifted up and falls over the quarry, leaving them a little tied up. Between the two traps, this might be the better one, since it doesn't require any finessing. Just stick something on the plate and let 'er rip. Finally, there's the campsite, which again, isn't anything noteworthy in terms of play features. But given how we get two really good ones with the other two models, having a bit of scenery where your minifigures can just hang out is nice. Although that flame under the frying pan might be a little strong if it's holding it aloft. Might want to turn that thing down, unless you like your food burned to oblivion. Final Thoughts Following my new tradition of trying to use numbers in my set reviews, let's see if I can sum this set up fairly. Pricing and Value - According to Brick Insights' statistics, which will probably be skewed a bit once this review is added to their index, the price-per-part for this set today is $0.24, an improvement over the initial price-per-part in 2000, which stood at $0.26. Overall, I'd say the value of this set is a 7/10, since you get a fair number of pieces for the price (and if Brickset is any indicator, the prices on this set used haven't gone up too much). Pieces - Sadly, this is where the set takes a hit for me (along with the other Dino Island sets), since so many of the actual parts aren't that unique. Unlike the Egyptian or Amazon subthemes, which offered a wealth of printed parts, here the only printed piece which is unique to this subtheme is a film strip tile, which is nice but a far cry from what we received in previous Adventurers subthemes. And the foliage isn't even that interesting, with all of it variations on this piece. On the other hand, you get two dinosaurs and two nets, along with some other useful, cool pieces, so it's a 7/10 for me. Design/Build - Here's a set which shows that, despite a lack of interesting or unique parts, you can still accomplish a lot with basic bricks, slopes, and plates. The design of the Trapper is fantastic, and the stationary trap is good too, while the campground has enough diversity in appearance to make it fit in with the other two models without completely disappearing. So it's a 9/10 for me, due in large part to the dedicated campsite and unique amphibious design of the Trapper. Playability - No preoccupations about whether or not I should try and trap a dinosaur with the Trapper or with the stationary trap, only that I can do so and should honestly do it more often. This set is very playable, and offers just enough accessories to give each minifigure something to hold or do. While the Trapper only seats two, you can still give the odd man out (or woman, if it's Alexis) something to do at the campsite or the stationary trap, which is great. While the net-launching feature on the Trapper doesn't always work if you aren't actively ramming the target, the rest is fine, so 8/10 for me. Verdict: All told, I'm glad life found a way to bring this set to me. While it was sacrificed at the altar of Star Wars, and later, Indiana Jones, it was a real treat to put it back together and play around with it some more. While some of the Dino Island sets are a little wonky now, especially in the surrounding environmental design, this set is a perfect balance between cool vehicles and playable terrain. Plus, if you're trying to avoid overdoing it with your LEGO purchases (preposterous, I say), this is a great set to get since it has all the villains. But again, the blocky design is a little primitive and lackluster compared to the designs of the previous two Adventurers subthemes, so the total score is a 77.5% from me. So while this isn't, say, a UNIX system, it's still a set I'd absolutely recommend picking up. Welcome...to collecting LEGO sets. Thanks for reading! Feel free to leave questions or comments below.
  9. Here is my review on 71747 The Keeper's Village from Ninjago: THE GOOD: Great looking set. Interesting build techniques through out. Great design in the dragon head. Excellent printings on minifigures. Some nice new elements like the piece on top of the statue and the printed sheilds. THE NOT SO GOOD: The price. My own preference but I would want more tribe person instead of 3 ninjas. Overall, I like this set a lot. It reminds me of island people from the old pirate theme. This set does look really good although it's not really a village. I enjoyed the building experience a lot especially the dragon head and the throne chair. The printed shield does look like Godzilla and I wish they included more new elements like that. Although the minifigures are great I do wish they swap on ninja for one more village people as this theme does not have many sets, it's a mission to build an army of this tribe given B&P recently does not sell much Ninjago pieces. The price is on the higher end and I do wish it is $20NZD cheaper but in the end I'm very satisfied with the outcome and still recommend this set to everyone.
  10. Hey everyone! I am launching a new review series focusing on every single canonized model from the Bionicle fan community, be it via contests, books, or more. I intend to build every single one that has instructions published when this is all said and done, and if there's enough interest I'll keep updating this post to include the next models! Here's the first one, focusing on Tobduk, operative of the Order of Mata Nui. Let me know what you think or if you have any comments or suggestions for the reviews down below, and thanks for watching! Next up is Makuta Miserix! Melding Teridax Ancient
  11. Here is my review on latest Monkie Kid set 80024 The Legendary Flower Fruit Mountain. It started to appearing in local stores already =) THE GOOD: Look absolutely stunning. Great display piece. Excellent minifigures. Some very interesting builds like the bridge and pathway to the top of the mountain. I like how the water fall opens. Surprisingly amount of depth and space to place minifigures. THE NOT SO GOOD: The clear stickers are a challenge to align properly on a reflective piece. The apple tree is too heavy to keep it upright. Overall, I love this set. It is a very good looking set either with all parts combined or even each part individually. The quality of the minifigures are excellent too. The build itself is not difficult but there are a lot of small details incorporated into this. It may lack play features but as an adult collector, I prefer great looking sets and play features really are secondary. I also like the amount of references to the Monky King origin in this desing. And it's great to see Lego decides to go with a lovely terrain build instead of Big-Mech or Vehicles. The only down side is some of the stickers are very hard to apply, may be this is just me. Also I believe the apple tree issues might just my piece connection not the best. Other than that, I can't really find any fault in this. Yes it is an expensive set but I'm satisfied with the end results. It's also great to see this wave now available at local specialty stores as well as lego store, which means more likely to get a discount later =) Anyway, I recommend this set to everyone even you are not a fan of Monkie Kid.
  12. Hello fellow muggles! It's September, which means it's back to school for the students at Hogwarts. And what better place to get all your wizarding school supplies than in Diagon Alley? I've been a Harry Potter fan ever since the first book was published and this magical shopping street has a special place in my heart as Harry's first trip there with Hagrid was the first time we ever got a glimpse of the wizarding world. Some parts of the alley have already been adapted into Lego over the years, but never at such a large scale, so does this set finally do Diagon Alley justice? Let's go "through the bricks" as LEGO puts it and find out! Set Number: 75978 Name: Diagon Alley Theme: Harry Potter Release Date: September 1, 2020 Pieces: 5544 Minifigs: 14 Price: £369.99 / $399.99 / €399.99. Links: S@H Brickset Bricklink S@H description: The Box The box of this set is huge! It's the same size as that of the Ghostbusters HQ. Since this is a European box, it only has the set number and name on the front along with the age suggestion which is 16+. Fortunately, even though this is aimed at adults, it doesn't have that boring, depressing black background as many of the other recent AFOL-oriented sets do. Instead, it has the same dark blue color as all the other HP sets and features a vibrantly colorful view of Diagon Alley under a partially cloudy sky on the front. There is also a minifig lineup. the Wizarding World logo, and a profile view of the back of the set showing off its impressive length. On the back of the box, there is a profile view of the front of the set and another view of the back of the shops with the four modules separated along with names for each of the shops. Above each module is a close up of the interiors that recreate scenes from the books/movies: Harry getting his first wand at Olivander's, Draco getting the Nimbus 2001 from his father, Harry and the Weasleys attending Lockhart's book signing, and Hermione and Ginny eyeing the love potions at the Weasley's shop. All of these scenes are very charming (no pun intended), although that last one is a bit odd since it's from Half-Blood Prince and the girls look way too young to be looking at love potions. There are four more close up scenes on top of the box. I especially like the first two as they recreate the scene from Chamber of Secrets where Hagrid guides Harry out of Knockturn Alley and they meet up with Hermione who fixes Harry's glasses. The other two scenes which show Ron getting ice cream with Harry and shopping at Scribbulus with Hermione weren't shown in the movies but are things that happened in the books and look very nice as well. There is also another minifig lineup. Hedwig is the figure that is highlighted to be at 1:1 scale, although all of them seem to be 1:1 scale to me. The long bottom () just shows some choking Hazard warnings. The sides are nearly identical as they both feature a smaller version of the front box art. There is a Lego Life ad on side, and name translations of Diagon Alley and Daily Prophet Photographer on the other. I assume all the other names are pretty much the same in every language. Contents Inside the box there is another box and a bunch of bags numbered 9-20. There are two bags for each number, a large one with a stripe and a smaller one without. Excuse me if I don't lay them all out for you since that would probably cover my entire floor. Inside the white box there are 4 dark bluish gray 16x32 baseplates, a bag of large plates, a bag with the instructions and stickers, and the rest of the bags numbers 1-8. Again, each number has two bags, except for number 6 which has 3, meaning that there are over 41 bags of parts in total in this set! And... wait... Is that a secret bonus set for number 21?! How exciting! What could it be? Stick around until the end of the review to find out! Unfortunately, this set comes with a ton of stickers, four fairly large sheets of them to be exact, each labeled with an A, B, C, or D to correlate with one of the modules/instruction booklets. Even the book covers which are normally printed get stickers here and several of the stickers are shop signs that are broken up into up to 4 separate stickers. I'm pretty sure this is what many AFOLs' boggart looks like. The only new printed pieces in the set are 1x6x5 panels and 1x2x5 bricks with window frames printed on them which look quite nice and should be very useful for MOCs. Other printed pieces include the Daily Prophet tile that has appeared in many sets before as well as the 1x2 danger stripes tile, the 1x2 Wingardium Leviosa tile (pardon me, "Levi-o-sa"), and the 2x2 window glass covered in newspapers from the Stranger Things set which are not pictured here. We get one brand new mold in this set, the wand box, of which there are 10 included, all in dark brown. It's 1x3x2/3 large and has similar features as the 2x2x2 crate. It uses 1x3 tiles as the lid and just like the crate it can be stacked to create an interesting pattern. We also get several new recolors such as two of the new ice cream glass that Ginny comes with in the latest CMFs in trans. orange. This set comes with not one, not two, but three new colors for the door with window: dark green, dark red, and light yellow. We also get our first dark brown broom along with other parts in new or rare colors. There are also some pieces that haven't appeared in an unprinted form before such as the 2x4 rounded tile from Super Mario in tan, the 2x2 triangle tile in sand green, a Ninjago skull, and Minecraft baby zombie heads. That's the benefit of having stickers instead of prints I suppose. There are 4 instruction books, one for each module. They have a higher quality cover than normal instructions and each one has a little blurb about the shops you're about to build at the beginning which is a nice touch. The inventory is listed at the end of the second book which is kind of random. The instructions are easy enough to follow, although it was a bit tough for my shortsighted eyes to distinguish between all the dark reds, browns, blacks, blues, greens, and tans at times. That's not unusual for instructions these days though. Towards the end of the final instructions book there is a full page dedicated to the team that worked on this set and a few words from the model and graphic designers which provides a great glimpse into the development process of a set like this. On the back of the last booklet, there is an ad for the rest of the summer wave with a text bubble saying that these sets have "limited availability", so if you're interested in any of them, I'd pick them up while you can, especially if you're in the States. Minifigures There are over 14 minifigs in this set. Let's begin with the most obvious ones, the main trio Harry, Hermione and Ron as seen in Years 1-2. As you can see in the "magically" moving picture below, they all come with a new torso that shows closed school cloaks with a Gryffindor crest on them. Hermione and Ron come with the same head as they do in other sets and look just as adorable and screen-accurate as ever. Harry on the other hand comes with a new head that has a delightful smile on one side and worried expression with dirt on his face and cracks in his glasses on the other as he had during the Knockturn Alley scene in Chamber of Secrets. The new torso has a hood printed on its back which is a nice touch. Here are some screenshots from Chamber of Secrets for comparison. It's clear that these torsos were designed specifically for the Diagon Alley scene in that movie since they have casual clothes on under their cloaks instead of shirts, sweaters, and ties as seen in the rest of the scenes at Hogwarts. Besides Ron, we get four more Weasleys: Molly, Fred, George, and Ginny. The only ones missing in this set from the Diagon Alley scene in CoS are Arthur and Percy Weasley which is a shame, but we already got half the family, so I guess it's alright. Molly comes with young Qi'ra's hairpiece in dark orange along with a new dark brown jacket torso and unprinted skirt. Her head is the same as that used for Helga Hufflepuff in the UCS Hogwarts set (Maybe she's related to Helga Hufflepuff? Probably not, but I'm sure there's a fan theory like that out there.). It works quite well for her. It has a smile on side and a determined grin on the other which would be perfect for a recreation of the "Not my daughter, you bitch" scene. The twins come with the same heads as in the CMFs, but with the shorter hair that they had in Half-Blood Prince. Their torsos are new and have different colors for the vest, shirt, and tie for each twin just like they had in the movie. It's nice to see these three characters finally getting some more love from Lego. Both Molly and the twins have back printing: A hood for Molly and some buttons for the twins. Here is a comparison with the previous versions that we got of these characters. The Qi'ra hair is perhaps not perfect for Molly as her hair needs to be curlier, but it's certainly much better than the old Hermione hair that they used on the figure from 2010. The Fred and George figs that we got back then were pretty close to the ones we get here, although in the old Diagon Alley set they were literally the same fig, so it's nice to see that they gave them some individuality this time around. Like the trio, the outfits are specific to scenes in Diagon Alley. Molly's is from Chamber of Secrets and the twins' are from Half-Blood Prince and they look very accurate. Aside from the Weasley twins, we get three more characters that work in Diagon Alley: Garrick Ollivander, Florean Fortescue, and Bozo the Daily Prophet Photographer. They all come with brand new torso and head designs. While Ollivander and Fortescue use the Doc Brown hair in gray and dark brown respectively, Bozo has a recolor of the S14 Whacky Witch's hat/hair which works surprisingly well for him. He comes with a clever little build for his old-timey camera. All three have nice back printing as well. Here you can also get a better look at Bozo's alternate face. The Ollivander in this set is not much different from the one that came in the GWP Micro Diagon Alley from just 2 years ago. The only real difference aside from facial expressions is the torso which has a slightly different printing and is cast in dark red. It's nice that they went the extra step to make him different and didn't just include the same fig. Comparing both figs to Ollivander's appearance in the films, the brown jacket actually looks more accurate, but it's not a big deal. He looks pretty spot on otherwise and so do the other two Diagon Alley workers. Don't worry, I didn't forget about Ginny! Here she is along with the Malfoys. Unfortunately, the set doesn't include Tom Riddle's diary to recreate the scene where Mr. Malfoy slips it into her cauldron, but I suppose that would render Moaning Myrtle's accessory from the CMFs nonexclusive. Her head and hair are the same as those of Maisie Lockwood from Jurassic World and the same head as Susan Bones from the Great Hall set, but they work well enough for her. Her torso on the other hand is new with a dark pink cloak print. Draco Malfoy has the same head as in the Great Hall set, but comes with a new torso that is similar to that of the trio, but with a Slytherin crest and a shirt collar and tie showing under the cloak. His father Lucius comes with a blond version of the Dumbledore/centaur hair and some nice new torso and leg printing. Like the other figs, they all have back printing which is always appreciated. While Draco and Ginny have double-sided heads, Lucius does not. I really like Ginny's adorable sad face. The last version of Lucius that we got was already pretty close to perfection, but the new hairpiece, shorter cane, and more detailed torso and leg printing do make him even better. The only thing that I don't like on the new figure is the face. It works well enough for him, but it's just a generic head that appears on dozens of other figs. The personalized snooty face on the old fig suits him much better, not to mention that it also came with a Death Eater mask on the other side, and I also like how he looked with a cape. The new fig with the old face and maybe a cape would make the perfect Lucius fig. I'm not sure why they gave Draco a shirt collar and tie as he didn't have those during the Flourish & Blotts scene. They could have easily reused the design of the Gryffindor torso and just switched out the crest. Oh well. Ginny is the least movie-accurate out of the three as her hair looked very different and her cloak looked more dark red to me than dark pink. That's not to say that the fig we got looks bad though, in the contrary. Since this set seems to be mainly based on the Diagon Alley scene in Chamber of Secrets, the inclusion of Gilderoy Lockhart was as he would say "pfffretty obvious" and I was excited to finally get an updated version of him as it has been 18 years since we got a minifig of him. Unfortunately, the fig we got in this set turned out to be a pretty big disappointment. The new face print and Chris Pratt hair that they chose for him don't really capture Kenneth Branagh's brilliant portrayal of the character very well at all. I do kinda like the cartoony embarrassed alternate expression that he comes with for when one of his spells inevitably goes wrong. We also get Hagrid in this set and he is the same as in the Great Hall and Hagrid's Hut set which is fine since that is accurate to the Diagon Alley scenes he appears in. Lockhart comes with a cape that is lilac on one side and dark yellow on the other. If you take it off, you can see that he has some detailed back printing. Honestly, I liked the old version of Lockhart much better. His hairpiece and smarmy grin represented the character much better in my opinion. Here is a picture of both versions along with a shaved Hagrid so that you can see his face. Still no alternate face for him sadly. The oddest thing about Lockhart isn't actually his face or hair, it's his outfit. It doesn't match any of the ones that he wore in the movie. The one he wore during the Flourish & Blotts scene that this is supposed to be based on was blue. The color that we got looks closer to that of the pinkish outfit that he wears a lot during the rest of the movie, but it's lilac. This would probably make Lockhart happy as that is his favorite color, but to me it's just confusing. Is it meant to be some kind of amalgamation of the two? Who knows. Hagrid on the other hand looks... like Hagrid. Nothing to complain about there. While they aren't really characters, we do get two more minifigs: Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw Quidditch player mannequins! It's exciting to finally get Quidditch uniforms for these two houses which don't get nearly enough love, although it's a shame that they don't come with capes. We also get a new tan owl with a cute sleepy face and the new Hedwig figure with the spread wings that appears in a few of the other summer sets. I don't think it's actually meant to be Hedwig in this set, I think it's just one of Daily Prophet's delivery owls, but let's be honest, we're all just going to use it as Hedwig anyway. The uniforms match the design of the Gryffindor and Slytherin ones that we got recently, and just like those they have hoods printed on the back. There is only one of each of these torsos included in the set, so it will be difficult to assemble entire teams with these. Hopefully they will appear in a cheaper set down the line, perhaps a Quidditch player minifigure pack like the recent Hogwarts students one. The Build I'm not going to show you all the stages of the build because otherwise we would be here all day and I don't think any of you have time turners to make up for that lost time. So, let's just quickly take a look at just a few points of the build. As mentioned before, the build is broken up into four modules. It starts with the shops on the left and progresses down to the right. The first module you build includes Ollivanders and Scribbulus Writing Implements. I really like how the cobblestone street is made out of various random round plates and tiles. This is what the build looks like after bags 1 and 2. The next section is the one with Quality Quidditch Supplies and the Daily Prophet. Below you can see what the store looks like after bags #6, right before you add the storefront which is only attached by two Technic pins at the top to give it a slight forward-leaning angle, a very interesting technique which I've never seen on a building like this before. The third module includes Florean Fortescue's ice cream parlor and Flourish & Blotts. I like how they achieve a wavy look for the roof of Fortescue's using alternating sizes of slopes and the brick-built SNOT awning is pretty nifty too. I also love the intricate SNOT work and little dragon statues made out of flippers and Ninjago sword hilts on the exterior of the bookstore. This is where we're at after bags #12: Lastly, you build the largest and most colorful module using 12 bags of parts, Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes with the Knockturn Alley entrance. There are lots of interesting techniques here and the SNOT work on the window frames is more complex than you might expect. In fact, there are clever SNOT techniques all throughout the set. Trying to align all the stickers on the shop signs is a PITA though. Here is the shop after bags #16: Feathers and fangs, branches and claws, burned sausage and cheese. No, these are not the ingredients for a strange magic potion, they are just some of the literally hundreds of spare parts left over after the build. In addition to the usual bits and bops, there are also a couple of extra wands and some black lipstick which should make the goth minifigs in you Lego town happy. Well, as happy as goths get anyway. I'm not sure if I should keep the sprue from the wands. Do you keep the sprue? Let me know in the comments. The Completed Set Welcome, reader, to Diagon Alley! 5544 parts and several build hours later, the alley is finally finished, and it looks very impressive! When combined, the four modules form one side of the alley. The whole alley is 128 studs long, 16 studs deep, and about as high as an average modular building. At first, I thought Lego had just taken random shops and placed them next to each other, but as I was rewatching all the movies while building this set, I payed close attention to the layout of Diagon Alley in the films and I was happy to see that Lego's recreation of the movie set is actually quite accurate to how it appears in the first two movies. In the following screenshot, you can see Ollivanders in the back with Scribbulus next to it and Quality Quidditch Supplies with the Daily Prophet entrance in the foreground. It all looks just like the Lego version, except for the DP entrance which is a bit more simplistic. Here is a picture of the ice cream parlor and bookstore from one of the extra features on the Chamber of Secrets DVD. When you compare the Lego version to this, it looks very accurate as well. The reason why the Daily Prophet entrance looks different is because it seems to be based on its appearance in The Half-Blood Prince. I'm not sure why, but the filmmakers changed the design of Diagon Alley for that movie. As you can see below, Scribbulus was now to the left of Ollivanders instead of the right and the Knockturn Alley entrance is to the left of Scribbulus instead of to the right of Flourish & Blotts which got a complete redesign, while QQS was taken out completely. This movie is where they added Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes to the alley as you can see in the back. TLDR: Lego's version of Diagon Alley is a mix between its appearance in Chamber of Secrets and Half-Blood Prince. I like that as it combines both versions of the alley that we have seen into one cohesive model. As you can also see in this image, all the buildings should actually have four stories, not just 2 or 3, but it's understandable why Lego reduced their size. However, if you don't like how it looks in the movies, you can mix and match the shops as you please thanks to the shops being built on separate modules and only connected via a single Technic pin. You can even split the alley in half and put the halves in front of each other as I have done for the title image at the beginning of the review to form a full street, although that makes it hard to see the beautiful facades. Here is one example of a rearranged alley: Sadly, I don't have the previous Diagon Alley set that was released, so I can't compare them, but I do have 4723 Diagon Alley Shops, the first Diagon Alley set that was released in the very first wave of Lego Harry Potter way back in 2001. It was a small, overly colorful set with two 8x8 vignettes that looked like they were cobbled together out of leftover parts from Belville and obviously it's nothing compared to this year's Diagon Alley set. Lego Harry Potter sets sure have come a long way since then. Although I have to admit that I actually quite liked that set. I still remember my mom buying it for me at a bookstore back in the day and I think it captures the spirit of Diagon Alley quite well in such a small space rather than the actual look of it in the movies: A whimsical couple of little shops with a wide array of witch and wizard items. Keep in mind, the set designers back then had nothing to go off of than the books and maybe some concept art for the first movie. It was a neat parts pack and a cheap way to get Hermione in casual clothes. Let's take a closer look at the individual shops, starting with Ollivanders and Scribbulus. The exterior looks nice and detailed with all the hanging signs, candle lamp, and textured bricks. The bay windows on Ollivander's shop have trans. yellaw glass panes giving the shop a cozy glow. It's not really accurate to the films, but it's a nice effect all the same. All the modules are open-backed for easy view and access to the interior. On the roof of Scribbulus Writing Implements is a chimney with trans. clear rod stuck on it which holds the flying owl. From there, there are steps leading up to the roof of Ollivanders which has its own pair of chimneys - one of them is short and offset, the other is long and crooked, giving it a nice whimsical touch. On the back of the building, there are stairs sticking out that lead from the ground floor of Ollivanders up to the upper floor. I guess you're just supposed to imagine that the shops continue past the baseplate towards the back. Inside Ollivander's shop, there is a desk with a cash register, some paper, and a quil. Each display window has a single wand on display as described in the books, and behind the desk there are shelves full of fake wand boxes made out of various plates and tiles. However, there is one 1-brick high gap on one of the shelves which holds a real wand box that you can pull out which is pretty neat. The layout of the interior is inaccurate, though, as the desk should be facing the entrance door and the stairs should be on the right and going up towards the back, but there is a reason for why it is like this which we will talk about later. Under the stairs, there is another pile of wand boxes, both real and fake ones. Inside Scribbulus Writing Implements, there is a table with a paper, a quill, and a lamp as well as shelves full of more quills, scrolls, and ink bottles. The scrolls are cleverly built out out of tan cones and ice cream cones while the quills are represented by plumes of different shapes and colors. The display window features an open scroll and a few more quills. This should make all you Pirates and Castle fans happy as this set comes with 7 white and 5 red single feather plumes as well as 2 dark red and 1 blue triple feather plumes, plus at least one spare for each. What I don't like about this store is that the grate under the display window is open towards the street instead of being covered up like in Ollivanders and there is a 1-brick high drop behind the door. Adding some tiles to serve as steps like in Ollivanders and other stores would have been as easy fix. Going up the stairs, there is what I assume is Ollivander's wand making workshop. It has a swiveling chair, a desk with a candle and a wand, a ladder, and more shelves full of fake wand boxes. Like on the shelves on the ground floor, there is one space for a real wand box. There are more wand boxes in one of the windows and a lamp in the other. The use of a hinge brick for an open drawer on the desk is not a new technique, but still pretty clever. All of these details give the workshop a nice cluttered feel. On the other side, above the Scribbulus shop, there is a small living room for whoever runs that shop. It features a fireplace and a small cabinet with a skull and a potion bottle on it. The potion has the same design as those Minecraft oddly enough. There is also neat, old-looking couch with a carpet in front of it, both of which have been placed DiagonAlley across the room. Get it? Let's move on to Harry and Ron's favorite store, Quality Quidditch Supplies. As mentioned before, I like how they recreated the forward-leaning storefront and the printed window bricks look great on it. I also like how they built the mobile with the quaffles and Golden Snitch hanging in front of the door, although they are missing the three Quaffles hanging from the banner above the awning. It's also nice to see the small window panes covered in newspapers from the Stranger Things set reused at the top of the building. The pink color of the upper floors seems a bit bright, but the dark red, sand green, and tan color scheme for the ground floor looks great. You may recall the press release for this set referring to the Daily Prophet section as an "entrance" rather than an office. That's because that is literally all it is - a big empty entrance way. There is only a box of newspapers (all of which are fake except for the one in front) and a spiderweb. It looks very boring and makes that whole quarter of the building feel pretty pointless. I think they could have put a printing press, a desk for developing photos/stories, or many other more interesting things here. And like with Scribbulus, there is a 1-brick high drop after the door which could be easily fixed. The QQS section of the building looks pretty good though. On the left side of the store, there is a display window with the Hufflepuff uniform and a broom as well as a rack with some Beater bats, including an extra thick one. To the right, there are shelves with the Nimbus 2000 displayed on top and with what I assume are meant to represent folded uniforms. Based on the colors, I'm guessing these are uniforms for each of the Hogwarts houses, although it's odd that they chose to represent Ravenclaw with dark gray plates instead of dark blue ones. For what it's worth, they tried to add some detail to the Daily Prophet entrance with a big sticker showing various newspaper headlines and a Sirius Black wanted poster hung on the wall. There are references to Voldemort's return, so this part of the alley must take place during Years 6-7. It's kind of odd how chronologically all over the map this set is. There is another "Have you seen this wizard" poster on the other side of the wall. On the second floor, there are more shelves with uniform plates, a box with another black bat and two Quaffles, the Ravenclaw uniform, and a broom display with a sign inviting customers to "feel free to test-fly any of our brooms". It's a bit odd that they don't seem to sell any Bludgers or Snitches. Maybe they're out of stock. Above this floor there is an attic which seems to belong to the Daily Prophet as it has boxes and stacks of newspapers. It's almost as pointless as the the entrance, but the addition of a rat with a literal cheese-slope is a cute detail. There is a hatch on the left of the attic that provides access to the roof where there are more newspapers on the floor. There are a total of 6 of these printed "The Boy Who Lived" newspaper tiles in this set. It would have been nice to at least get a new newspaper print, but oh well. Next is the store that many of the minifigs included in this set are centered around, Flourish and Blotts, along with Fortescue's ice cream parlor. Again, I really like the detailed exterior of the bookstore with its different shades of green, especially the boxes full of brick-built books to the sides of the entrance. Fortescue's also has some nice details such as the table and chairs in front of the parlor with miniature versions of them sitting on top of the roof. The chairs use fangs as the feet which is an interesting technique that I wouldn't expect in an official set. Now THIS is a bookstore! If you were disappointed by how small and bare the bookstore in the latest modular building turned out to be, this set will likely scratch your bookstore itch. All the dark colors give it an old bookstore feel and there are shelves and piles full of books on each floor. Plus, the open back makes it much easier to access the interior than in the aforementioned modular building. Like in Ollivanders, there are stairs sticking out of the back that lead up to the balcony above, and like with Ollivanders, this is actually inaccurate as the stairs should be going up towards the back, but since the back doesn't exist, this is understandable. To the left of the stairs, there is a large bookcase with various brick-built books in different colors and sizes and a precariously stacked pile of books that uses one of the trans. clear crooked minifigure stands from the DC CMFs to hold the top book at an angle. I love the use of the 1x1 "bump" brick as I like to call it as book spines. It's a shame that they didn't make the shelves like in Ollivanders where there could be a space to put a real book piece among the fake brick-built ones. As it is, you can't take any of the "books" off the shelf. I like how the bookcase looks, though, with the grill tiles adding some nice detail. I just don't like how mixed the colors are on the side. I wish they would have stuck with just brown parts there. Fortescue's interior also has some shelves along with a counter. The shelves hold glasses for serving ice cream, including the new wide glass. Unfortunately, the tall glasses are nearly impossible to remove as they are tightly stuck between the shelves. The glass dome on the counter on the other hand is easily removable as it only rests on a lipstick piece. There's not much under the stairs aside from a window display advertising Lockhart's new book. I wish they would have added some more books here like there are in the movie, but I do like that column next to it with the nice sand green details. On the right wall of Fortescue's, there is the list of daily suggestions as seen in the movies, complete with the misspelling of "Fortescue's" as "Fortesques" (yes, that was actually in the movie). Today's suggestions are chocolate with peanut butter , black beer & raisin , and bat juice and earwig. On the balcony of the bookstore, there is another bookcase with another pile of books. Inside the bay window, there is a lamp and a book rest with a generic brown book with the levitation charm tile. Above Fortescue's, there is cozy little living room where good old Florean sit in a completely SNOT armchair and sip on some tea. There is also a tall lamp, although it doesn't have anything to represent a light bulb inside which is kind of odd. A simple trans.-clear or -yellow stud would have done the trick. Since the building doesn't include the back of the store where Lockhart's book signing actually takes place, they included the desk where he does the signing as a separate little build. It's simple but fine looking desk with a mat, a quill, and a stack of black books next to it which I believe are meant to represent copies of Lockhart's book "Magical Me". Having the books attached to the desk wouldn't be a problem, except it's very obvious when you look at it from the back since the leg on the other side of the table is black instead of tan. Yet another minor odd design choice that could have easily been fixed. Last but not least, we have Weasleys' Wizard Weezes. The twins' joke shop really stands out among the other stores, not only because of its size, but also because of its color. The orange and lavender facade really pops and the giant Weasley statue is certainly an eye-catcher as well. It all looks very polished, except for the Technic holes on top of the bay windows which I wish they could have covered up somehow. Also, that gray 3x3 plate on the roof looks out of place and I wish they would have used a lavender plate instead. There are some nice details such as that orange/purple paper spinny thingy (anyone know what it's called?) which can technically spin as it is mounted on the bars of robot claw pieces, but I wouldn't recommend it since there is some resistance and each of the slope pieces is mounted on just one stud, so they can break off, or worse... get misaligned. The Knockturn Alley entrance gets kind of lost next to the WWW, but it looks good for what it is. The slanted window and street sign give it a nice creepy, wonky look. There is a dark gray lever behind the top of the corner of the building which when moved back and forth makes the giant Weasley twin lift its top hat using a gray Technic liftarm behind the statue's head. It's a simple mechanism and it doesn't move as much as in the movie (and there certainly isn't a magically appearing/disappearing rabbit either), but I appreciate that they included at least one play feature in this giant playset. There is nothing in the instructions on how one could motorize this feature, but I'm sure someone will figure it out. Normally, there should be a window behind the head, but they probably made it a solid wall to hide the mechanism, meaning that they had to sacrifice accuracy for playability, which is perhaps why there aren't any other play features in this set. If you thought the exterior looked colorful, wait until you see the inside! The interior is bursting with all shades of orange, purple, pink, and green and I love it. There are so many shelves and piles of various little packages and objects that it really feels filled to the brim with fun magic products! It looks so fun and whimsical, just the type of feeling you expect from a magical joke shop. On the side of the building there are stickers advertising some of their products such as Jinx-off. This is easily my favorite of the shops in terms of interior detail. This building comes with a separate build for the love potion fountain, but there is enough space to put it next to the register as you can see here. The ground floor has the striped cash register, shelves with various jars and boxes, and a pile of boxes under the stairs, including one with a Dancing Doxy. On the second floor, there is a pot of lollipops, a pile of Fred Weasley's Basic Blaze Boxes, and a few more shelves with a golden goblet, a blue crystal, and various little packages. I really like the stairs here with the randomly colored banister and the balloons hanging on the side. On the third floor, there are a few more boxes with the WWW branding, a geode, some dark blue trophies, and other little packages. This wide variety of products seems really fun, but you get a little disappointed once you realize that just like the books in Flourish & Blotts or the ice cream glasses in Fortescue's, many of these objects are stuck on the shelves and you can't take them off to play with them, so there's actually not much to do in this whole big shop. As you may have noticed, Each module has Technic connection on both the side and the back. This is so that you can connect them back to back to form a full modular building. In order to be able to do that, you can swing the stairs in Ollivanders and the balloons on WWW inward and lift up the stairs in F&B. Once connected, this is how they look. The different modules combine to form a modular building fairly well and the roofs line up seamlessly. If nothing else, it's a more space efficient way to store/display the set. Here they are between two modulars. Aside from the different style of sidewalk, they fit into a modular city pretty well. It doesn't take much imagination to pretend that these are regular muggle stores in an old English district of your town. Of course, WWW sticks out a bit due to its wacky colors, but it makes sense if you think of it as a toy store. It's pretty cool that the set designer has included this option. That's all there is to say about Diagon Alley. Did we forget anything? Oh yes, the mystery box! For those of you who want to know what's inside, click below to open the spoiler section. Anyone who doesn't want the surprise spoiled and wants to find out for themselves, continue to the ratings. Ratings Design: 5/5 - This set looks fantastic! There are so many little details and aside from some small inaccuracies and minor odd design choices, it looks just like the Diagon Alley in the movies. Build: 5/5 - The build is long and fairly complex with many interesting techniques. It starts with the smallest, darkest module and ramps up to the largest, most colorful one, giving you the sense that the build gets progressively more challenging and fun as you go. The surprise build at the end is the cherry on the cake! Minifigs: 4/5 - There is a decent amount of figs included and they all look pretty good except for Lockhart who really could have been better. Playability: 2/5 - It's a big doll house, but a lot of the objects are stuck in place. You can lift a hat and... that's about it. Parts: 4/5 - There is a wide assortment of colors with several new recolors and a new wand box mold. I just wish more of the parts would have been printed. Price: 5/5 - $400 may be a lot to drop on a Lego set, but it's a very fair price for what you get, especially considering other licensed sets of this size. Overall: 4/5 - I had a magical time building this set while rewatching all the movies and the end result looks amazing. It's a great combination of scenes from different movies to give you a timeless recreation of this iconic location from the world of Harry Potter. The fact that you can easily integrate it with the modular buildings is a nice option and finding the secret bonus set inside was a very peasant surprise. However, it's clearly designed to be more a display piece than a playset which is disappointing, even for an adult-oriented set. AFOLs want to play with their plastic wizards too dangit! Also, many have been saying that they should have sold each module separately which is understandable since the $400 price tag is hard to justify for many, especially during these rough times, but I think the idea was to have a modular Diagon Alley out of the box where the main feature of the set is the ability to rearrange and display it the way you want and it's a fair price for 5544 pieces. I don't think you would have the full Diagon Alley experience otherwise, so I understand why they did it this way. If you do have the money for it, I can definitely recommend it, not only for Harry Potter fans, but also Modular fans and fans of detailed Lego builds in general. I hope Lego will make more sets like this, such as a Hogsmead in the same style! I could also see them doing add-on sets to this such as Gringotts. This modular style also lends itself to builders designing their own modules to add to the Alley. I can't wait to see what people come up with. With that, I would like to thank you for reading through this long review and give a big thank you to Lego for sending me this set for review. I hope you enjoyed it. Please don't forget to rate the set using the poll above let me know what you think of it in the comments! I look forward to your responses. To finish off, here is a potential situation that you will run into when you try to play with this set:
  13. - A Review - Has anyone ever started a review with a picture of a mountain? The rules are a bit hazy now; I haven't been around since...well, August 25, 2012 was my last review here. You can do the math for that one. So why the mountains? Because that's where I have been for the past three years - exploring the world of the high-up, gazing upon the entire earth. It's definitely a viable excuse, albeit not exactly an honest one...point is, I've finally grabbed a gigantic set, and I'm here to review it for you, so you don't have to spend 100 big ones on it - I already did it for you! You're welcome, you're welcome. A donation box will be passed around soon, don't be afraid to put as much as you want in there - I think I deserve it. What The Kids Call It: Imperial Shuttle Tydirium Identification Number: 75094 Theme: Definitely Bionicle Year: 2015 Minifigs: 4 + Han Solo, who has surpassed minifig form in every way and become a deity in a brazen plastic form Pieces: 937 Price: £79.99 / $99.99 More Useless Facts About It Let's start, hey ho! The Imperial Shuttle is a staple in the Star Wars series, I guess. It was in Episode VI a few times, and it's been released by Lego a couple of times - the classic 2001 one, which I didn't even realize was a set; the 2005 one, which had a bunch of cool minifigs, kind of like an early-era battle pack; the UCS one, which to this day, has resulted in 42 deaths by falling and crushing people in the head; two mediocre mini ones, which I can't even create a comment about; and, of course, the brilliant mini one from 2004...ah, how I love it. Here's a hint - you'll be seeing one of these again. You can put your bets in now as to which one it is. Go ahead, I'll wait. No, I really won't wait. I've got a review to do, after all. Long story short, I had gift cards, I went to Disney World, I took advantage of the situation, and I walked out of the shop with this set. Was it the one I always wanted? Not really. Was there any particular advantage I had that caused me to buy it? Nope. Did I buy it for the hell of it? Absolutely. And, since I bought so much, they gave me a free polybag set with an astronaut! And, now...I realized I threw it out with the Lego bag. Whoops. I've got seventy-something photos here, so we're two down, let me throw another one out at you: This is the box. You can see that, but it might warrant me saying it. The top has a beheaded stormtrooper gazing into your soul, with some cracked edges and that rebel insignia painted on the right side. The box art itself has the Tydirium flying amidst explosions, shooting plastic at enemies out of sight. Remember that part in the movie? Me neither. I guess Lego doesn't need to be accurate - they just need your money. We also have our five minifigs on the bottom right - look at 'em all. The four humans have an orange fiery graphic behind them, yet Chewbacca is glowing blue. What does that imply? Does it really matter? Probably not even remotely. Ah, the sides of the box. It really hammers in the fact that this is a Lego set, nay...a Lego Star Wars set! We also get our glowing minifigs again. My theory is that Chewbacca somehow has Elvish metal in him...and orcs are nearby. Not much else to say about the sides - they make the box a box, so they're somewhat important. Let's give sides of boxes props. They do their job well. And this is our pal, the back of the box. A whole lot of graphics here, one of the whole gang, and others below it, mainly featuring Han. The Endor Rebel Troopers get a bit overshadowed, but that's what they get for not having names. Chewbacca looks so dead-eyed in this photo. It's just...why? Why do I keep making fun of Chewbacca?! Why does his new design look so stupid? Here's the open box. Yes, it still smells like fresh Lego box, in case anyone out there was wondering. This is the only bag picture you're going to get. Sorry about that, but at least now you have a new perspective with which to view them in. The instruction booklet is quite an impressive fella. He's about 160 pages thick, and perfect for hitting your dog if he urinates on the carpet, even though you've told him not to, repeatedly! Bad dog! Our friend the beheaded stormtrooper returns, in case you were feeling safe from his gaze since you opened the box. There's a fun little graphic of Mr. Fig here opening a box full of what he's made of. Don't think about that too much, or it'll be a human opening numbered bags of livers and digestive tracts. I'm pretty sure there was an episode of Hannibal about that. Behind Mr. Lecter the bag-opener, we get a layout of all our minifigs for 2015. It's quite nice to not see any of those horrid Clone Wars figures present here. I would rather tangle with Stormtrooper head again than seeing those eyes. Now, usually a review would be like this - box, booklet, minifigs, build, features, etc. But guess what I'm not doing that! I'm doing it chronologically, baby, and that means that we've got minifigs interspersed with the building steps! Hooray! Welcome to the new age! Right out of the bag, we meet up with Nameless Endor Rebel Trooper #1 and his best friend/lover, Nameless Endor Rebel Trooper #2. Don't worry if I don't know their names, by this time there are already three Star Wars books about them. In terms of design, these guys blow the last guy right out of his happy position as the most stylish Endor trooper. The tan and olive coloring mixes quite well together, and it definitely fits the scene well. Just too bad they don't have names. Backprinting is the norm for minifigs nowadays. Not much else to say, just a nice design overall. No one cares about these guys, honestly. We want the cool people! Like Han! Now, this Imperial Shuttle is quite white. Blindingly so. I took it outside once and three people ran into random objects that were clearly in its way. It reflects the Sun all too well. So, I'm switching up the background. Exciting and modern times, these are, I know. Try to contain yourself until the end of the tour. If you wanted to begin building the ship, well, you've still got to wait and build this yellow box. It hold two thermal detonators. I'm not truly sure if this is safe, but who am I to judge. If I brought grenades into my car I'd just put them in the cup-holders. Ah, right next to the box full of actual bombs, let's just throw a nice gun. There probably aren't any safety warnings about that. The little gun stand holds a backpack. Hell, there are probably thermal detonators in that, too. The Rebels seem to be a bit lax with their weapon placement. Finally! We can start building the Shuttle! Get ready, because it's a long path before it will look remotely like a big white ship. For now, it's just a technic mess. It will all come together and we will all gasp in happiness and then move right along with life. Here we have places for three of our minifigs to sit. Let's just assume Chewbacca doesn't get a chair. And Han can stand. He doesn't need a seat. In case you were wondering, no, it still doesn't look like the Shuttle. Oh? Hm, that was a quick Bag 1. Here is the beginning of Bag 2. I still have no idea what we're supposed to be building, I'm just quietly putting things where I'm told. Okay, okay, here it looks about 5% like a Shuttle. Not a great ratio, but it's definitely the closest we've gotten. And we connect the two Bag builds, and it still looks somewhat-nothing like the Shuttle. Progress? Bag 3 gives us some nice gray pieces, and a tiny bit of white. We build some guns and add more bricks. It's very elaborate. I'm sure the wings will be just as elaborate. At last, we build something familiar! That's right, we get the engine lights in there. The hyperdrive, I think it's called? The white thing with the trans-blue pieces also works as an adequate description. And Bag 3 ends here - with a structure for a nice little ceiling. Three full bags later from our Rebel friends, we finally get our fourth - Leia, ex-Princess. Does she still count as a Princess if her entire monarchy was blown up? Those rules seem to be a bit iffy. Anyway, Leia is rocking some great details, as well as generic Lego woman face #1 - the smirk. Ah, and here's generic Lego woman face #2 - the scowl. It's not that far off to suppose that 90% of Lego women have these two faces. And Leia covers up her nice detailed torso piece with a simple camo robe. Lego, just give us a plain torso next time. You've broken my heart! Leia also comes with a cookie laced with cyanide to fend off Ewoks. That's actually canon, trust me, don't look it up. The cookies had cyanide in them. It's not on the wiki, George Lucas told me personally. Welp, I'm getting tired of writing this; I need a break. You probably need a break, too, that's why Geico has been so kind as to make this minute long commercial for you to watch! https://www.youtube....h?v=pvcj9xptNOQ What's that? You've never heard of a review with a commercial break? Well, I've never heard of people questioning a review like this. It's unacceptable, and I don't like it! Get out! Those of you with manners, thanks for staying! Bag 4 opens up to some exciting stuff. But first we have to finish up the boring old structure. And baboom! Bag 4 throws us 4,058.1 white pieces to build this gigantic fin with. Turn the fin on it's side, and you've got a free dinner plate for tonight! Just don't have soup. In Bag 5, we get to build this little no-peek flap. This way, the Empire can't look in on the Rebels as they work! And, as a bonus, it keeps the Rebels from being sucked out into the endless void of space. Double convenient, eh? And we build the other no-peek flap! I suppose that was in the budget, but damned if we're not cutting it close here. We're almost out of white pieces! Here is the, uh, right wing. I think it's the right wing. Even if you put it on the wrong side, it'll look mostly normal. Like when you put shoes on the wrong feet - people will notice, but not that many. Here's the same image, reversed left wing. I totally took the time to build and model this wing. There was definitely no easier way I could convey the fact that it's the same thing as the other wing, just backwards. What if Ned Stark were an Imperial Shuttle? That's not funny, I apologize. Han Solo and some other thing are our minifigs for Bag 6, wrapping up our minifig collection for this set. It's a sad feeling, but then you see Han, and you cheer up. And you see Chewie, and you get even more depressed than you were. As for the detailing, it's very nice. A new Han torso is always welcome Nice back printing on Han, too. His alt-face is perfect for the situation when he finds out his wife is cheating on him, but he kind of suspected it anyway. Incredibly useful in Lego form, I know. Get those MOCs ready! Ah, Eddard's head the cockpit! Remember how in Return of the Jedi, all of the main characters fit in the cockpit? Yea sorry, not this time. You only get two seats. Attach the cockpit to the body, and you get one Imperial Shuttle, to go! Look how impressive this cropped image is at conveying the magnificence of the ship as a whole! Extra pieces. There are some. Insert false enthusiasm. Ah, there is the Imperial Shuttle. Look at its wingspan and its landing gear. Truly an impressive model. I even took an outdoors shot to show that it looks good in any situation. Here's an indoor shot just for comparison. Once again, here are our minifigs. You know who they are, even if not, go scroll up and read. I'm too lazy to rewrite their names. So let's begin our comparison shots! I hinted that I'd bring out one of the older Imperial Shuttle models, and prepare to not be disappointed! That's right the 2004 mini Imperial Shuttle! Calm down, you'll get your turn to bask in the glory of it! Here's the obligatory 3/4 shot of the both of them. As you'll notice, the 2004 version is smaller. The side shot really shows that the 2004 model is superior. The wings boast a clever more amount more detail than the 2015 model could even attempt to create. A rear shot. If you didn't scream "trans-blue", then you're either in public, or you were looking at something else. Let's get a closer look at them trans-blue tiles. It's simply the best part of the ship, no contest. There are also these tiny-aѕѕ guns on the back of the ship. I don't know what their purpose is, other than to do slight damage to any ships behind it. Let's move on to features! Why? Because I won't graduate if I don't show everything the ship has to offer! We'll begin with the wingspan. As I've said at least five times by now, the wingspan is large. But did you know that the wings also fold up to reduce wingspan? Yes? That's one of the main features of the ship and is featured in the movie multiple times? Oh. Well I took a picture of it anyways. Here you can see the flap in action. It raises up and down, or down and up! The cockpit also opens up and down. This is literally my only gripe with the set - the cockpit hatch is too heavy to actually stay open on it's own, so you have to hold it up. I didn't just accidentally leave my hand in the picture. ] The landing gear, like all landing gear should, comes down to land, and goes up to fly. Of course, it doesn't do this automatically. You have to move it with your hand. Also included are flick-fire missiles! Unlike the flick fires of the 2008 era, these actually do hurt if you shoot someone in the eye. All you do is press the little lever, and out shoots a trans-green rod. I even made a video! Uh, I don't know what to put here, but here's a behind the scenes image. Now time for that poll full of random numbers that mean nothing, like 37/100! You know what, I'm doing a different grading scale. Did I like the Imperial Shuttle set that took me five hours to build? Yes, I did. It only took me four hours, though. Would I recommend this ship to people to buy and build? Again, yes. It's a pretty penny cost-wise, but it has some good minifigures and it a solid, solid build. Which is your favorite minifig? Han, obviously. Chewbacca, on the other hand, looks like a fur-covered pile of poodoo. I want to send you money! Can I? Absolutely! Please PM me as soon as humanly possible! Final Score: 37/100 Go buy it. Or don't if you don't have the money in your Lego budget. I mean, what other set can you get for $99.99/£79.99? The Ferrari F40? Hmm, wait, actually, I like that set a bit better....
  14. A surprisingly good set here. I'm really impressed by how LEGO managed to make such a relatively small set look so realistic.
  15. Not overly impressed with this set, I'm afraid. It looks good and it has nice colors, but in terms of playability it can't hold a candle to the 42076 or to the 42025 set's excellent B-model.
  16. Pchan1983

    REVIEW: 60291 Family House

    Here is my review on the new lego city family house: THE GOOD: The house looks good Good varieties of rooms decor New Dog New Dashboard print Lots of space to pose minifigures even without the road plates Good parts selections for expanding similar style building THE NOT SO GOOD: Road plates not necessarily needed in my opinion Overall, I do like this set. It looks nice and great to get new dog which is a golden retriever! The new dashboard print also a nice addition. And it's always nice to see CMF parts being utilised in normal set (the video game controller). I don't really like the road plates though and to be honest, it didn't really add much to the set. I guess it's really depended on individual's preference. I got this set with discount so the price was not that bad for me but in RRP the price does feel a bit on the high end. I will recommend this set if you cant wait to get the new dog or does not have similar sets before and of course if you are into the new road plates =)
  17. Here is my review on 76173 Spider-man and Ghost Rider vs Carnage: THE GOOD: Robbie Reyes's version of Ghost Rider. Interesting build for the car front and back bumper. THE NOT SO GOOD: May be have an extra set of effect parts would be better. Car looks a bit too long compared to its width from top down view. I've always liked Ghost Rider and this is an ok set if you are into different version of Ghost Rider, it is actually a great set if you never have any spider-man or carnage before. The car works better than the bike in terms of proportion to the minifigure. It looks a bit too long since it's only 6 studs wide. It's nice to see new ways to build Carnage's tentacles though. Overall, this set is great for people who do not own any spider-man or carnage figure. Otherwise it will only appeal to those who wants a different version of Ghost Rider =)
  18. Here is my review on the latest Ninjago 71375 Tournament of Elements: THE GOOD: Excellent selection of minifigures. The printing of the Ninjago 10 yrs tile is great. Some nice touch in the battle platform build (e.g. I personally like the vase and the guard rails) The spinjitsu tool works exceptionally well. THE NOT SO GOOD: I'm totally ok with this but considering the main target audience probably I will say lack of action features in the battle platform build. Overall, this is a great minifigure pack and great for getting parts for oriental buildings. The minifigures are excellent. My favourites are Jacob and Gravis's heads. The so called Limited Edition Lloyd has excellent print quality too. There are also some nice touch the the vase in terms of the build but definitely lacking some action features compared to similar sets. I also prefer the gold colour pieces (ones utilised a lot in Monkie Kid themes) than the pearl gold colour. Wonder when Lego will consider swapping it out in future set. anyway, this set is still great and would recommend to people into unique minifigures and getting oriental style parts!
  19. REVIEW - 42043 - MERCEDES-BENZ AROCS 3245 INTRODUCTION So here we are, finally. Last year the Volvo review was published at the beginning of June, so you all needed to wait a little bit longer for this one. Rumors started early December of a licensed Mercedes set. What could it be, a truck, a car? Christmas Eve revealed the LEGO Technic 42043 Mercedes-Benz Arocs 3245. The eager anticipation of news about a new model always has its special moments. This time Paul (Boratko) had seen a first glance of the model. This resulted in one or two questions being asked. What's the color scheme? Does it have pneumatics? Does it have new pneumatic parts? Does it have double wheels on the rear axles? Does it have front suspension? Does it have this, does it have that? Was I excited at the moment? Hmmm not really. To be honest; I figured this would be the Unimog all over again. It's a public secret that I am not the biggest fan of the Unimog. A pneumatic crane that doesn't work too well, flaws in the steering mechanism and the model is leaning to one side, because of the battery box. Don't get me wrong; it is a decent model, and it definitely looks great, but it just doesn't cut it for me. So my initial thought was "will this be better than the Unimog?". We will find out at the end of this review The model is designed by Markus Kossman, who is lead designer at TLG and is known for some other flagship sets (among other models): 8421 - Mobile Crane (2005) 8275 Motorized Bulldozer (2007) 8110 - Mercedes-Benz-Unimog-U-400 (2011) 42009 - Crane Mk II (2013) It's safe to say that Markus has some experience when it comes to designing trucks. At the beginning of each stage, I state how long it took me to finish it. Mind you, that when I'm building for a review, I lose a lot of time shooting pictures. So your building time will probably be 70% to 80% of my time. Note: Pictures, taken with a Canon 70D with 50mm Canon prime lens, can be clicked for hi-res versions. SET INFORMATION Number: 42043 Title: Mercedes-Benz Arocs 3245 Theme: Technic Released: 2015 Part Count: 2793 Box Weight: 4455 gr Box Dimensions: 57,8 cm x 47,8 cm x 12,2 cm Model Dimensions: 54 cm x 23cm/51cm x 15cm (wo crane/w crane) Set Price (MSRP): Approximately € 200 Price per Part: Approximately € 0,072 per part Links: Brickset THE BOX The box is the same size as last year's 42030 - Volvo L350F (review). It's huge and it's heavy. Weighing in at almost 4,5kg, this actually does feel like the biggest Technic set ever. Unfortunately my box was severly damaged upon delivery. Even the outer box was damaged, and looked like someone had opened it. Luckily, the actual box was only damaged, instead of opened, so all the parts where still there. FRONT SIDE The front of the box shows the model (nothing new here), the Power Functions logo AND the new Pneumatics V2 logo. Hopefully we will see the last logo more often in future sets. Under the Pneumatic logo, all new pneumatic parts are shown. Three of the five parts are simply redesigned parts, but the two 11L cylinders (1x1 and 2x2) are brand new. INSIDE The inside of the box shows most of the features and functionality, combined with some fun facts about the real Arocs. The model will measure 54 cm upon completion. SIDES One of the sides shows the model and the two logos, while one of the other sides shows all the Pneumatic V2 and Power Functions parts. CONTENT OF THE BOX Being the biggest Technic set to date, means lots of parts. 2793 to be precise. 2 bags with 6 wheels 1 bag with instructions and stickers 1 bag with pneumatic parts 1 bag with L motor 1 battery box unbagged 4 bags #1 2 bags #2 5 bags #3 2 bags #4 6 bags #5 2 bags #6 SQUARE BOUND BOOK Like the 42039 - 24 Hours Race Car (some of them) this set has a square bound book sealed in a bag together with the sticker sheet. I really do like a single bound book, but when TLG divides the build into 6 stages, providing 6 booklets also makes sense. This would make building with your children a great deal easier. The instructions for the A-model count 105 steps, covering a whopping 471 pages! The sticker sheet with stickers for the A-model and two stickers (#25) for the B-model, apparently a Mercedes-Benz Actros 1845. For the first time (to my recollection) the 62.4mm D. x 20mm Tires are packed in bags. Normally they are scattered between the sealed bags. The new Pneumatic (V2) parts have been neatly packed together in a single bag. The hoses are cut to length, which makes assembly more straightforward. There's no need to measure and cut the hoses yourself. The L-motor comes in a bag, while the battery box doesn't. Normally the battery comes in a bag too. Since it has a slightly different color than the previous version, maybe the manufacturer or manufacturing process has changed. NUMBERED BAGS A total of 21 numbered bag, divided over 6 build stages. You can click on the bag to show a hi-res version of the picture. HIGHLIGHTED PARTS This chapter describes the interesting and/or new parts in this set. BATTERY BOX The color of the new battery box is slightly different than the old one. The dark bluish grey is much darker and the light bluish grey seems to be slightly different too. VERY SMALL SMOOTH PANELS IN WHITE For the first time a set comes with very small white panels (#21) and very small white panels (#22). These two panels complete the range of white panels available. WHITE PANELS Four other types or white panels are used in the cabin. NEW 60T TURNTABLE That kinda looks like a new turntable under the crane. Allanp was absolutely right about the introduction of a new 60 teeth turntable, resembling its smaller brother (bottom and top). As you can see in the comparison shot below, it's not much bigger than the old version. The design is much better, resulting in a smoother operation. The potential downside is that the new turntable doesn't have teeth in the inside, which can be limiting. That being said; I still think that this design is better than the old one, so thanks to TLG for bringing us this new turntable! Hopefully TLG will some day release an XL version with this design. TIRES Nothing special about these tires, besides coming in a sealed bag. So, why am I showing these tires anyway? It has nothing to do with the tires itself, but with the quantity. For the first time an official LEGO set contains more than 10 of these tires. The 42009 - Mobile Crane Mk II counts 10 of them and the same goes for the 8285 - Tow Truck from 2006. The latter also had double wheels on both rear axles, but it only had two front wheels. CRANE AND OUTRIGGER LIFTARM BRACKET AND GEARRACK I'm not sure what the part names will be, but crane arm outside and crane arm center are used for similar parts in the City theme. I will stick to Liftarm Bracket and Gearrack. These two new parts are perfect for outriggers and crane sections, but I am eager to see what MOC-ers come up with. I do see an application for Mindstorms Robots or TC7 Contest entries. The red section, containing the gear rack, is 15L. The gear rack itself is 14L. CLAMSHELL BUCKET Two clamshell buckets are introduced in this set. After the Grabber Arm Claw, this is welcome addition for crane enthusiasts. PNEUMATIC V2 Save the best for last, the new Pneumatic parts! Some people like pneumatics, some people don't. Nonetheless, it's great that TLG hasn't abandoned Pneumatics in favor of Lineair Actuators. They have redesigned some of the existing parts and even designed brand new ones. Some people on this forum will be so thrilled with these new parts. The outlets of every element have been redesigned in a way that the hose will be easier to attach. This means the existing elements do have new moulds too. SMALL PNEUMATIC CYLINDER The Small Pneumatic Cylinder isn't a new part, but it has been redesigned with new outlets. On the right you can see a comparison between the old (right) and new (left) cylinder SMALL PNEUMATIC PUMP 6L Like the small cylinder, the Small Pneumatic Pump 6L has also been redesigned. And TLG has used blue again, instead of the Unimog pump, where they used grey. I do like the blue version better, although you will probably not clearly see the pump in the finished model. The right pictures shows the three different versions of the pump. NEW 2x2 11L PNEUMATIC CYLINDER The new 2x2 11L Cylinder is 4 studs longer than the old Pneumatic Cylinder. I wonder if TLG will release a new version for the 7L cylinder as well. The picture on the right shows the 7L (right) and new 11L cylinder (left). NEW 1x1 11L PNEUMATIC CYLINDER When you do need length, but not a lot of power this new 1x1 11L will perfectly fit your needs. PNEUMATIC SWITCH The new version of the switch is simply a redesign of the old Pneumatic Switch with modified outlets. The pictures on right shows the comparison. PART LIST The part list, spreading over 3 pages, counting 2793 parts. THE BUILD The build consists of 6 stages: Front-end of the chassis Outriggers and gearbox Rear-end of the chassis Crane Cabin Tipping bed STAGE 1: FRONT-END CHASSIS Bags: 4 Duration: 120 minutes You start by building the front section of the chassis, with a small part of the cabin. No new parts are introduced in this stage, except for some newish parts from 1H 2015 and 2014, like Pin and Pin Hole and 3L Axle Pin with 1L Axle. The Arocs has a 6 cylinders inline fake engine. Of course the piston will move when you drive the vehicle. Here's a picture of the actual engine, used in the new Arocs. New 6-cylinder in-line engines with a particularly robust design and a longer life. An 88003 - PF L Motor is placed behing the fake engine, facing backwards. This motor is connected to a gearbox, which we will build in the next stage. This single motor will power all the motorized functions. Below you see the first front axle, with suspension. The 9L Technic Link is used to steer the front wheels. The front suspension uses the yellow Hard Spring Shock Absorbers, resulting in pretty stiff suspension. When the assembly is connected to the chassis, the 9L Technic Link is connected to a pivot point. Rotating the pivot point will move the link back and forth causing the front wheels to steer. The second axle is connected to the chassis. This axle uses a 6L Technic Link for steering. Using different links results in different steering angles for both axles. I did notice a strange anomaly; the front axle does have 1L Round Pin Connectors, while the second axle doesn't. The leftover parts only show one extra?! The video below shows how the steering mechanism works. Make sure the 12 Teeth Bevel Gear on the right is placed properly. I placed the gear in the same position as the one on the left, resulting in one of the lights making the model steer to the left side when turned right, and vice versa. The two pictures below show the model after stage 1. The build is okay so far. The most interesting thing about this stage is obviously the steering mechanism, attached to the pendular suspension. The mechanism is unlike steering mechanisms found in other models, so this required some out of the box thinking. STAGE 2: OUTRIGGERS AND GEARBOX Bags: 2 Duration: 45 minutes The first step of the second stage starts with the new bracket and gear rack. The outriggers could easily have been designed without this new gear rack, but since TLG designed it for the crane (probably); why not use it here. The stabilizers on the outriggers are operated manually. It would have been great to have motorized pads too, but it's not a big deal. The two outriggers are linked together in opposite directions. The new parts provide a compact solution, but there are no fixed mounting points for the driving gears. The gearbox consists of two layers with gears. The lower part of the gear box contains the Pneumatic Pump, much like the one found in the Unimog. Two black 12T Bevel Gears are driving the gear racks. The upper layer of the gear box contains the white Clutch Gear. This gear prevents the motor from stalling and overheating when the end of a function has been reached. At the end of stage 2 the gearbox and outriggers are connected to the front-end of the chassis. The truck is slowly taking shape. At this stage I was still not 100% convinced what I would think of the complete model. STAGE 3: CHASSIS REAR-END Bags: 5 Duration: 135 minutes With 135 minutes, the second longest stage in the build. In this stage you will build the rear-end of the chassis, with suspension and drive train. Four Flexible Rubber Axles are used in the base of the chassis. I am not entirely sure why TLG used these parts, since you will lock the assembly using liftarms. Possibly, it's a construction used in the real Mercedes, or these parts will be used in the B-model. I would love to hear your thoughts. The tilting mechanism for the bed uses a Linear Actuator, instead of Pneumatics. I have made a mistake by placing two of the Pin Connectors in a wrong angle. Won't be the last error with these connectors. The Rear suspension on the real Mercedes is actually a leaf spring suspension. TLG is mimicking this suspension type, by using the relatively new Steering Arms found in the 42021 - Snow Mobile and 75060 - Slave 1. Picture of the real rear suspension. The steel suspension on the Arocs impresses in every situation with its robust, solid construction, high performance and loadability. Two differentials are linked together using a small turntable. Although being linked together, the two axles still have the ability to move independently. The model will have two live axles, linked together by a drive train through the small turntable. Live axle vs Dead axle A live axle is a type of beam axle in which the shaft (or shafts, since live axles, while connected to move as a single unit, are seldom one piece) also transmits power to the wheels; a beam axle that does not also transmit power is sometimes called a dead axle. While typically used in vehicles with Hotchkiss drive, this suspension system can also be used with other types of power transmission. Or, to quote Allanp, who was right again: The rear axles are a single unit (suspended by 4 springs) that pivots longitudinally to allow the two axles to twist independently from each other by means of a 28t turntable piece allowing full suspension and both rear axles to be connected to the engine whilst all fitting between the dual rear wheels. Simples! Here's a video showing the rear suspension and drive train. WARNING We've all been there, a model with two differentials and one of them is turning the wrong way. TLG has published an explicit warning in the building instructions. Pay attention to the position of the differentials! After building the rear-end of the chassis, you will be merging it to the front-end of the chassis. This was the point where I needed to move my camera backwards a lot. The model is growing big. Double rear wheels on both axles, suspension and two live axles is quit a feat, especially regarding the limited available space. For me this stage was the turning point in the build. From now on you actually see the impressiveness of the model. STAGE 4: CRANE Bags: 2 Duration: 120 minutes Only two bags are provided for this stage, but it still took me quite some time. Connecting the pneumatic hoses does take more time than simply adding connectors. This stage did offer a variety of new parts, like the Pneumatic V2, new Turntable and the two Clamhell Buckets. Pre-cut hoses are quite convenient. The instructions clearly show which length you will be needing. There's little difference between 216mm and 240mm so watch out. The new 60 Teeth Turntable is mounted on the base of the crane. It turns a lot smoother than the old version. TLG really nailed this one! Normally I build in my LEGO room, but this time I was building in the living room. I was building, combined with reading topics on Eurobricks. At that moment I was reading Drakmin's response in the Technic Photography topic. He stated that he'd like to see making of pictures, combined with the end result. This made me take the next picture, where you can see my working place. And as you can see, sometimes a LEGO model needs a little spicing up The bottom view of the crane shows lots of tubing, which will add difficulty when you connect the crane to the chassis. The tubing is touching one of the gears, so you need to push the hoses aside. There's quite some stress on the hoses, so it can be difficult to get everything into place. A lot of Pneumatic Hose Connectors are used to guide the various tubes alongside the jib and booms. Instead of using a single longer hose, the sections are linked together using these connectors. The picture below shows the complete crane assembly. Normally I am not the biggest fan of pneumatics or building the crane on a truck, but I had a lot of fun building this one. Not sure why, but the size of the crane is very impressive and the techniques/parts used are pretty cool. STAGE 5: CAB Bags: 6 Duration: 150 minutes Stage 5 is the longest stage in the build. And it's probably the most rewarding, since you will see the truck come to life. You start by building the front bumper. The rear view shows how the slanting grill is achieved. The name Kossmann is clearly visible on the plate, making no mistake that Markus Kossmann designed this model. The front bumper is connected to the chassis by simply using connectors. The axles with the gears are sliding into the 7L liftarm, keeping them in place. At this point the chassis with crane is mostly done. You only need to add the rear bumper, before you can start building the cabin. The cabin grill is comprised of lots of Perpendicular Double Split Axle and Pin Connectors. I really like the design of the seats, because of its simplicity. The printed Mercedes logo adds a lot of value to the cabin. Here you can see another mistake I made with the pin connector. No way the steering wheel will fit like this. The Mercedes introduces two new white panels. They are used as "cab side edge turning vanes", which improve aerodynamics. There was some discussion about the looks of the cabin, but seeing it in real life, I can only draw a single conclusion; this cabins is one of the most beautiful cabins LEGO has ever designed/released. The front view is stunning! Here you can clearly see that I accidentally moved the head rests and didn't return them to the proper position. You will see this discrepancy returning in multiple photo's. I found a mistake in the manual, which can be somewhat confusing. I didn't look at the image when connecting the cab to the chassis, but when I did take a look when I was shooting pictures, I noticed this small flaw. The circle with the arrow, doesn't match the outlined image on the right. The circle with the arrow needs to be placed lower than its current position. Here you can see the tilting mechanism on the actual model. Front view of the cabin and grill. It does make you wonder whether this could have been the right moment to introduce a Dark Bluish Grey 11x3 Curved Panel. The front is instantly recognizable as a Mercedes. Obviously the Mercedes emblem helps a lot, but without the star it would have been clear too. At first I wasn't too happy with the white and dark bluish grey color scheme, but seeing it in real life makes a world of difference. Here's a picture of the actual cabin. The main difference is that the LEGO version only has three bars, instead of 4. I can live with this. The bottom front section of the cabin seems to be some sort of metal, so maybe Markus was right by using the light bluish grey panel. The radiator grille designed in a bucket tooth look lends the Arocs a striking, unmistakeable face and underlines its power and robustness. The leftover parts, I forgot to add to the previous shot. STEP 6: TIPPING BED Bags: 2 Duration: 30 minutes This is by far the easiest stage of the build, consisting of mainly grey panels and liftarms. The intersection shows the simple construction of the tilting bed. The finished bed looks....well uhhmm grey. A cool thing about the tipping bed is the lock at the end. This locks the tailgate of the bed to prevent cargo falling out. FINISHED MODEL After 10 hours of building the model is finally finished! I reckon most of you will do this in 8 hours (or less), if you don't rush the build. Markus delivered a great looking model, which is even more impressive in real life, than in pictures. As you can see in the picture below, there is quite some strain on the base of the crane assembly, where the pneumatic switches are mounted. Some of the hoses at the base can probably be cut a little shorter, to save space. BOTTOM VIEW The bottom view shows the entire chassis, with suspension, steering and drive train. Some of you said the wheels are too small and there's too much space between the wheels and the arches. Looking at pictures of the real Arcos, the second front arch, could have been placed a stud lower. Those minor details set aside, the finished model resembles the Arocs a lot! Even the rear view gives you the feeling you are looking at a real truck. With extended outriggers and stabilizers and operating the crane. I forgot to put the wheel chocks between the rear wheels for extra safety. My reviews always contain pictures taken in a photo studio. Unfortunately, this doesn't do this model real justice. That's why I left my comfort zone and went out to shoot some pictures at a local construction site. A friend of mine is the manager of the site and he happens to be building his own new house over there as well. There's no better excuse to take the Mercedes for a drive in his natural habitat. And while we are at it, why not let the Volvo tag along for the ride. FEATURES AND FUNCTIONS This set has quite a few features and functions. Controlling them is done by a combination of using the L-motor as a pump for the Pneumatic functions or by switching it to control three other functions. Switching is done by moving the levers on either side of the model. Reversing the function is done by the switch on the battery box. In the beginning this can be quite confusing. Since you are used to using a lever to switch between back and forth, I ended up switching between functions, instead of reversing the current function. MOTORIZED FUNCTIONS The Mercedes uses a single L-motor to motorize 4 functions: Rotating the crane Extending/retracting the outriggers Tilting the bed Compressor pump PNEUMATIC FUNCTIONS When the motor is driving the compressor, again 4 functions can be operated (as shown in the two images above): Opening and closing the bucket(s) Lowering/raising lower boom section Lowering/raising upper boom section Extending/retracting the jib MANUAL FUNCTIONS There are also quite some manual functions on this model: HoG Steering Tilting cabin Working fake enginge Wheel chocks Opening doors Stabilizers Tailgate tilting bed lock FEATURES Below is a list of the most important features: Double wheels on both rear axles Leaf sprung suspension on rear axles Two live rear axles Independant pendular suspension on front wheels OPERATING THE FUNCTIONS The long list of functions and features is great, but the most important question is "do they work properly?". Operaring the functions takes a little getting used to. Maybe it's just me, but I tend to get confused on whether to move the switch on the battery box or the lever on the side. For example; when you extend the outriggers and you want to retract them, you need to switch the battery box, instead of the lever, resulting in rotating the crane. Actually, I know that I am not the only one, since the guy demonstrating the model, didn't quite get it right too. Of course, after making the same mistake several times, you get used to it It helps a lot when you manage to use the right switches and levers. All the motorized functions work perfectly. The pneumatic functions do work a lot better than the crane on the Unimog, with a side note that movement can be a bit jerky sometimes. This is caused by gravity or strain on the pneumatic hoses. Besided the incidental jerky movement, you can actually fully operate the crane, which is something you'd expect from a flagship like this. Before we go any further, let's take a look at a video I shot demonstrating the functions: The video seems to be slightly out of focus. Sorry for that. As you can see in the video, I still need to find my way around the functions. The jerky and sometimes slow movement of the pneumatic functions is also visible. However, I still think the crane is as good as you will get using LEGO and Pneumatics. Lifting the entire crane simply requires a lot of power. All in all I am very pleased with the playability of the model. Here's an extra image, showing the truck with the cabin and bed tilted. B-MODEL Since the building instructions are not available yet, I couldn't build the B-model. This appears to be a Mercedes-Benz Actros 1845, as you can see on the back of the box. The cabin has more or less the same design, but the chassis is different. SUMMARY Here we are, at the end of this review. The main question I posed at the beginning of this review "Is this set better than the Unimog?" can be answered with a loud "Yes!". Your milage may vary, but the pneumatic crane is more advanced and it is working better than the one on the Unimog. There's no problem with the model leaning to one side and steering, although not perfect on this model either, works better than the Unimog. Which brings us to the obvious next question. Is this set also better than the 8258 - Crane Truck? The 8258 is absolutely a fantastic set (probably the most highly acclaimed truck to date), but to be honest; I think the Mercedes just kicked it from the throne. Without stickers, the 8258 doesn't look nearly as good as the Mercedes. Add the ongoing list of functions to the mix and the only possible conclusion is; the Mercedes is the best LEGO Technic Truck TLG has ever released. Aren't there any negative remarks? Of course there are, but they are minor. Because the steering mechanism uses more gears than usual, there's more torsional strain on the axles. Pneumatic control of the crane can be a bit jerky or slow. There are a lot of hoses between the switches and underneath the base of the crane, which requires applying some force when you attach it to the chassis. You also need to be mindful that the gear on the chassis doesn't touch one of the hoses. Here's a complete list with Pros and Cons: PROS The model looks awesome Biggest Technic set to date New Pneumatic (V2) parts 4 Motorized functions 4 Pneumatic functions The crane actually works Double wheels on rear axles Leaf sprung rear suspension Pendular front suspension CONS Steering causes torsional strain on axles Pneumatic controls can be a bit jerky (or slow) Lots of hoses underneath the base of the crane The last question I need to ask myself, is this set better than the Volvo L350F or the 8043 - Motorized Excavator? I'm not sure about that, but I will conclude this review by saying that the Mercedes did land a spot in my Top-3. SCORE How do I grade this set? 9 DESIGN Resembles the real deal a lot. 9 BUILDING EXPERIENCE The model grew on me during the build. 9 FEATURES Packs a ton of features. 9 PLAYABILITY The model offers lots of playability 9 PARTS Pneumatics V2 and lots of other interesting parts. 9 VALUE FOR MONEY You get a lot of Mercedes for your money. 9 BEST TRUCK TO DATE Thanks for reading and feel free to ask questions! More pictures can be found on my Flickr page. FINAL WORDS For those of you who are interested, I have tracked the time working on this review. I ended up putting around 35 hours in it, divided over: 2 hours of unboxing and taking pictures of contents 10 hours of building 3 hours of photo processing 18 hours writing the review 2 hours on construction site
  20. Here's a brief review of the set no one saw coming, including parts list and building instructions :)
  21. Here is my review on the other 2021 CNY set 80106 Story of Nian: THE GOOD: The Nian Beast, especially the head build is interesting. The look of the entrance is very authentic. Love the design of the door. Excellent selections of minifigures with new printed torsos. Surprising amount of space. Once again, great value on what you are paying. THE NOT SO GOOD: To be honest, can't find any. The only thing I would comment on is why Lego expects the grand parents to do all the heavy cleaning work considering the accessories given to them ... lol Overall, it is another great set. Although I personally think 80107 is better but this is still good. It may be just a facade build but as far as I know about this style of houses, it really just a wall so it kinda makes sense and the space in front of the entrance gives this set a lot more depth that you seen in the photos. The design of the door is just brilliant. The Nian beast also a very interesting build. With 6 minifigures with new torsos, this set is really great value of money. I will recommend this set to everyone. A few side notes, I found it funny the designer gave the grandparents cleaning duty and the superheroes effect parts for the fire works really exaggerating and you probably want to get away from those fireworks in real life XD. Especially if you speak/understand Cantonese, seeing the grandmother holding a shovel to clean snow during new year does not really align with the supposed new year theme =P
  22. REVIEW - 42082 - ROUGH TERRAIN CRANE INTRODUCTION The biggest set of the second wave of 2018 sets is the Rough Terrain Crane. Actually, it is THE biggest Technic set ever, with 4057 parts, surpassing the 42055 - Bucket Wheel Excavator, which has 3929 parts. This set contains 128 parts more than the BWE. Which immediately raises the question; has TLG purposely made this set bigger, so it has the highest part count ever? The reason I am asking out loud, is that there has been some debate in the Technic Forum about the growing size of the sets, related to the functions. Some say that the part count is intentionally high, without adding significantly more (or better) functionality. While I do see a trend in sets getting bigger (i.e. higher part count, thus higher price), I don't think that TLG designers are filling their workday finding out ways to add lots of unnecessary parts. I do like to think that the style of building is adapting/evolving to the contemporary standards/requirements. Of course, I don't want to sound too naive, because at the end of the day, it's all 'bout the money. It's all 'bout the dun dun do do do dumb. I don't think it's funny to..... Anyway, why not use this review to dive into this delicate matter. Before we start I like to point out that I do like big sets. The experience of opening the box and seeing the plethora of parts is overwhelming. On the other hand, with Technic sets getting more and more expensive, I can understand that people stop buying the (bigger) sets. In this review, I simply want to find out if this set could have been made with, let's say, 3000-odd parts while maintaining the same functionality. Another thing I'd like to address in this review is the use of extra elements (playable items), like a chains, tools etc. There has been some debate about this in the Technic forum, so I like to give you my opinion. If you see this icon, you can click the image on the left or right side of the image, to cycle through alternative images. PICTURES Pictures can be clicked to view hi-res versions. More pictures can be found in my Flickr album. DISCLAIMER This set has been provided by the CEE Team of TLG. It's not my goal to promote this set. It's my goal to give you an honest opinion about it. Therefore, the opinion in this review is my own and is in no way linked to TLG. SET INFORMATION Number: 42082 Title: Rough Terrain Crane Theme: Technic Released: 2018 Part Count: 4.057 Box Weight: > 5kg (I forgot to weigh the box, because my kitchen scale couldn't handle it.) Box Dimensions: 57,5 cm x 47,2 cm x 16,5 cm Set Price (RRP): £ / $ 299.99 / € 229,99 Price per Part: £ / $ 0.074 / € 0,056 Links: Brickset, Bricklink So, with an RRP of 229 euro, the price per part comes down to 5,6 cent per part, which is a steal. It's even slightly less than the BWE (5,9 cents per part). This makes it one of the cheapest Technic sets in terms of price per part. Let's compare some stats with previous flagships. COMPARISON WITH OLDER SETS 2011 - 8110 - Unimog - 189 euro, 2048 parts, 9,3 cent per part. 2012 - 9398 - 4x4 Crawler - 169 euro, 1327 parts, 12,8 cent per part. 2013 - 42009 - Mobile Crane Mk II - 199 euro, 2606 parts, 7,7 cent per part. 2014 - 42030 - Volvo L350F - 219 euro, 1636 parts, 13,4 cent per part. 2015 - 42043 - Arocs - 199 euro, 2793 parts, which is 7,2 cent per part. 2016 - 42055 - BWE - 229 euro, 3929 parts, 5,9 cents per part. 2017 - 42070 - All Terrain Truck - 249 euro, 1862 parts, 13,4 cent per part. 2018 - 42082 - Rough Terrain Crane - 229 euro, 4057 parts, 5,6 cent per part. All of these sets have Power Functions, some more than others. The Volvo is literally packed with Power Functions, which explains the high price and low part count. A potential candidate for a comparison with the 42082 - Rough Terrain Crane is the 42009 - Mobile Crane Mk II. The 42009 packs 2606 parts for 7,7 cent per part, while the 42082 packs 4057 parts for 5,6 cent per part. So, the universally praised Mk II crane has a 37,5% increase in price per part. Or the 42082 has a 27,3% decrease in price per part, depending on how you want to look at it. That is 5 years ago, and I'm not taking inflation into account. In other words; for 30 euro extra you get 1451 extra parts. This comes down to 2,1 cent per parts, which isn't bad at all. Some of you might argue that this is not the way to compare two sets, but these numbers are based on RRP and part count, which are numbers we can work with. Since this set has four of the big Claas wheels, a gearbox, and not a lot of PF, I could also compare it to the 42070. But that set was way overpriced, so I don't think that would be fair. The average price of a part in a flagship, based on these 8 sets, is 9,4 cent. So for 229 euro you can expect 2155 parts. You get 1901 more than that. Thus drawing the preliminary conclusion that this set is big, but the price is more than reasonable. Of course, the original debate wasn't focused on the price per se, but whether the models are getting unnecessarily big. Let's carry on unboxing so we can find out. THE BOX The front of the box shows the model and its Power Functions components, a Battery Box and a Large Motor. No sign of new Powered Up elements yet. It also shows a picture of the model with an extended boom, measuring 100 cm high till the end of the boom and a chassis size of 48 cm long. Going by the size this isn't some two-bit crane. But size doesn't always matter. The box has the same width and height as last year's flagship (42070 - 6x6 All Terrain Truck), but it's a couple of centimeters deeper. INSIDE FLAP Like the 42070, this box also has the flap, common to flagship sets. The inside shows a big picture of the model, which is most likely almost 1:1 scale. It's pretty impressive, that's for sure. You can also see that the upper body with the boom can rotate freely, thus 360 degree. This means that most of the mechanics, and battery box, are probably placed in the upper body and not in the chassis. This makes sense, and we have seen it before. Another picture shows the boom can be raised up to 60 degrees. BACKSIDE The back is divided into two sections/sides. The left side shows the functions of the main model, while the right side shows the alternative model, a Mobile Pile Driver. I will express my love for the B-model later this review CONTENTS OF THE BOX The box contains: 1x Inner box 1x Sealed pack with two booklets and the sticker sheet 4x Rim 4x Tire 25x Numbered bags (8 of which are in the inner box) INNER BOX The inner box contains the sealed pack with instruction booklets and sticker sheet. And it contains the bags for steps 1 to 4. INSTRUCTION BOOKLETS Two instruction booklets. One for the chassis and one for the crane. Makes you wonder if one person can start building the chassis, while the other starts working on the crane. STICKER SHEET Quite a few stickers to decorate this model. A construction vehicle just isn't the same without black and yellow stripes. And of course, a bunch of stickers indicating how to operate the functions. POWER FUNCTIONS ELEMENTS A battery box and a large motor. TIRES These, so called Unimog Tires, seems to be very common nowadays, but they have only been used in two Technic sets before. RIMS Four big red rims, also used in the 42054 - Claas Xerion and the 42077 - Rally Car. TIRES ON RIMS Here a picture with the tires fitted on the rims. NUMBERED BAGS A total of 25 numbered bags. HIGHLIGHTED PARTS Actually there is only one interesting part in this set and that is the 11 x 11 Curved Gear Rack (or banana gear as some call them) from the 42055 - Bucket Wheel Excavator in a new color black. I am very happy that this gear has appeared in a color which can more easily be used in a MOC, for example an EV3 Robot Not sure why I forgot to take a picture of the part itself, but here is a picture of the subassembly. This set contains a total of eight of these curved gear racks. PART LIST A whopping 4.057 parts, but still only two pages with parts. THE BUILD Bags, bags, bags and more bags. Lucky for us, they are numbered. If you like a challenge, open all the bags and create a big unsorted pile. That will keep you busy for quite some time. I will simply go from step to step As expected we start with the chassis. And to be more precise; with the gearbox in the chassis. Really, orange pins?! Yes, really! Right off the bat, lots of gears are added to the chassis. A white clutch gear is used in the bottom of the chassis. This indicates that these gears/axles will be connected to the Power Functions. At the end of the first step the center of the chassis has finished. This chassis with center gearbox is kind of reminiscent of models like th 8110 - Unimog and the 8258 - Crane Truck. Lots of gears, densily packed in a small space. There's little room left. The bottom of the gearbox. This set contains the 5x7 frames in two colors, light bluish grey and black. This is what you can do with two different color frames. I am not really fond of these kind of solutions, but I understand it can be convenient. Ohhh, and then there's the green liftarms. Because we need green in a red vehicle. I reckon someone opened up the bucket with green dye, so we do need to use more of these of parts in green Actually, I am being semi-serious here. The Forest Machine uses these liftarms in green, so it's probably cost-effective to use them in multiple sets. We are seeing this with other parts as well. For example, the beforementioned orange 3L pins with bush and white 1L connector, etc. TLG tends to minimize the overall number of different parts used in (Technic) sets. I reckon this has something to do with optimizing their warehouse space. New parts are added every year and storage space is limited. Instead of using five different colors TLG uses one (maybe two) color. Doing this over the entire range of sets will save up a lot of space. Technic seems to be the ideal theme to use these kind of strategies. And it adheres to the "color vommit in the chassis" strategy. One of the wheel assemblies. As you can see there is no actual suspension. Not even pendular suspension. Which seems odd for an Rough Terrain Crane, but I am no expert. Here's the subassembly attached to the center of the chassis. An almost similar assembly attached to the other side. Instead of green liftarms, this one uses orange ones. This way you can more easily tell the sides apart. This is actually not a bad thing. I have mentioned it before, but I am actually a big fan of the color vommit approach. Altough I must admit that using these orange 3L pins with bush is definitely pusing it. Blue might have been a better choice, but that would have confliced with the Bugatti color scheme. Therefore, I think TLG made the decision to use orange in this as well. By the way; this set does also contain 40 of these 3L pins with bush in black. The picture below shows how you can align the wheels. After aligning them, you slide the 16T gear in position. When I was building the set, I wondered why there was space between the gear and the liftarm, but it soon made sense. A subassebly for the outriggers. I do like the design, but as with most outriggers on Technic models, they op...e....ra.....te.....ve......ry......slow......ly. I would love to show you a video of the outriggers, but since it's Tuesday now, I don't have enough time to lower them before the embargo date of this review Just kidding of course. They do take a while, but since they are outriggers I find this acceptable. As long as the other functions aren't that slow. The chassis with front and rear wheel assemblies, and the front and rear outriggers. This is what you would expect from a crane this size. No unncessary use of extra parts so far. Next stop is the V8 engine with white oil filter and orange propellor/fan. I really like the oil filter. It's simple, but it adds detail to the model. The choice of orange as the color for the propellor seems odd, but it's likely a safety precaution. The emphasize that this is a part you need to watch, since it will be rotating when you move the crane. Not entirely sure, but it must be something along these lines. After the engine you will be building the connection between the chassis and the upper structure (crane body). This is done by using eight curved gear racks and an ingenious system in between. Click on the images to construct the ring. At that point you will attach the rims and the chassis is done. Worth noting is that the wheel caps in the rims use a lot of extra parts. Per cap approximately 12 parts are used, which boils down to 48 extra parts, just for the caps. This picture will be very hard to shoot with the crane attached, so I will give it to you now. This model implements Ackerman Steering Geometry. Or Reversed Ackerman Steering. Or even Reversed Reversed Ackerman Steering hehe. Not sure what the consensus in the forum was. I am no expert on steering assemblies, but Ackerman Steering boils down to the inner wheels turning at a different angle than the outer wheels, due to the fact the outer wheels have to travel a wider diameter. Ackerman Steering is something Technic fans like to see in models. For more information I suggest you start with Wikepedia and go from there SECOND BOOKLET This is an interesting part in the build. Reminds us of the 8043 - Motorized Excavator. Admittedly, I didn't think of this myself, but it has been addressed in the forum. Since the two 20T Bevel Gear with Pinhole have been placed on opposite sides of the actuators, this results in them turning in a different direction when the boom is raised (or lowered). Basically, this means that when the boom is raised, one of the LA's extends, while the other retracts. If one of the 20T gears was placed the other way around, this problem would not occur. Of course, the turning direction of one of the axles feeding the LA should be reversed for this to work. Since the gears attached to the LA's only rotate a tiny fraction when raising the boom, it leads me to believe that this is a calculated flaw. In this video I try to demonstrate the issue at hand. You continue to work your way back to the rear of the superstructure. Again, lots of gears and space which will be filled with gearboxes. This is the point in the second booklet where you can't build any further, untill you finish the first booklet. At this stage you will attach the upper section to the chassis. The boom is really massive. Feels solid like a rock. I am impressed with the sturdyness of this boom. It does a lot of panels and H-frames, so it's only logical, but I was still impressed. No wormgear to extend the boom this time. The other side of the boom with a white clutch gear for safety. The boom attached to the crane. Needless to say I am having a hard time getting the entire boom in the picture. The back of the upper section is closed with panels. The black ones can be removed for easy access to the battery. There are two gearboxes on the top of the crane. The left (bottom) one is to switch between crane and chassis functions. The right (upper) one is to switch between raising/lowering the boom, extracting/retracting the boom and lowering/raising the hook. The chassis functions are rotating the super structure and raising/lowering the outriggers. COMPLETED MODEL It is rather difficult to shoot decent pictures in the photo studio. I sure hope sets won't get much bigger than this. Looking at this model, I think TLG has done a remarkable job with this Rough Terrain Crane. The black chassis, with red elements, combined with the red super structure looks spot on. Lots of technic gears and elements provide an interesting build. I love how the two (or three) gearboxes work together. Here you can clearly see the gearbox on this side of the chassis is used to rotate the crane. Because of the weight, the chassis tends to bend a little, but nothing to worry about. The boom of the crane can exend way more than this, but that makes is impossible for me to take pictures. A close up from the front of the vehicle. The cabin door swings open to reveal the interior of the cabin. And one from the reaar. I'm sorry I don't have anymore pictures of the completed model, but I think you have seen most of it. You can find out more by building it yourself FEATURES AND FUNCTIONS This model packs features you would expect from a mobile crane. Raising/Lowering the boom Extracting/Retracting the boom Raising/Lowering the hook Raising/Lowering the outriggers Four wheel (Ackermann) steering Working fake engine Other than that there are some details like two cabinets which can be opened to store some gear. TLG has even added some walls which can be turned into part of a house or cabin. OUTRIGGERS Okay, let's get this out of the way. The outriggers are slow, really slow. I turned them on this morning and when I came home from work, they were halfway. Obviously, I am joking...I didn't go to work today. It's not that bad, but it would be nice if they operated a wee bit faster. You do need to use the four plates for them to properly reach the ground. STEERING AND DRIVING For a set this size steering and driving work properly. Even better than I expected. CRANE The thing I am most impressed with are the crane functions. These work like a charm. And, unlike the 42043 - Mercedes Arocs, this gearbox (or rather gearboxes) is very easy to understand. One look at the stickers is all it takes to be able to operate this thing. It offers a ton of playability. Linking gearboxes, instead of direct connection to a motor, can cause some slack. This can be seen when turning the crane. But this is just a minor gripe, just like the outriggers. DOOR A nice detail is the sliding door. PLAYABLE ITEMS It's time to talk about the added playable items, like this toolbox. Some people don't feel this is necessary and some even seem to be a bit annoyed by it. I have addressed this in my 42069 - Extreme Adventure review where I state that I like these added details. And I still do. The Forest Machine also packs some extra's like a chainsaw, some logs etc. Actually, I see it in most of the Technic sets. What I have seen is that this greatly enhances playability for younger LEGO fans. I am absolutely aware that this is a 11+ set, so it is not designed for a 5-year old. But seeing a 5-year old play with these Technic models and use all the extra items in the set for his "story" makes you realise that by adding playable items to a Technic set, it suddenly becomes a set for all ages. So, a handful of extra parts might be enough to prepare a 5-year old for Technic enthusiasm later down the line. After all, he (or she) is the future Technic target audience. Therefore, I am 100% in favor of adding these little details to Technic sets, even if these sets are 11+. PART COUNT And now for the part count discussion. No doubt this model could have been made using less parts. It you take away the playable items, wheel caps, grey construction panel and outrigger plates, you already save a couple of hundred parts. In the old days a Technic model used to be liftarms with gears inside. These days are over. Models are becoming more and more realistically looking, which means that less of the interior is visible. This also goes for the boom for example. In the old days we would have seen the interior of the boom and now it's covered with panels. I am not convinced that TLG is deliberately adding parts to the boom just to have more parts. I think TLG is doing this because they need to compete with other toys in the stores and these toys look like the real thing. Therefore TLG wants its models to look more like the real thing to, resulting in adding panels and other embellishments. Granted, TLG's marketing department won't mind having the biggest Technic set every year, so they can use this in Ads. Like I said in the introduction; I am a fan of big sets. I love putting together a 4057 part set. But I reckon people are more upset about the price of bigger sets than the part count. This can be a false assumption, because I know not all AFOLs think like this. But if TLG had used 3057 parts instead of 4057 they could have easily maintained the same RRP. 3000 parts at 229 euro is 7,6 cents a piece, which is still rather cheap. So my conclusion is that TLG might have upped the part count a bit, but still presented this set at a very affordable price. We already see this set popping up for around 179 euro, which boils down to 4,5 cent a piece, which is extremely affordabl for a Technic set. For me it would have been an issue if TLG priced this set at 349 euro RRP. Then I would have figured TLG was doing it on purpose. Basically, this is a UCS-like Technic set and you get it for 229 euro, or less if you do some online shopping. Personally, I think this is extremely good value for money. Of course your mileage may vary, but this is how I see things. B-MODEL The B-model, a Mobile Pile Driver, is a cop out, nothing more, nothing less. I mean, seriously?! 4000+ parts and we get a model that is 95% the same as the original model. And if that's not the worst part, it's ugly AF, as some people would like to phrase it. The Pile Driver extension looks like something I could have built....when I was four . Maybe, well probably, I am insulting someone at The LEGO Group, but I can only hope that they were lacking time and/or resources, so they came up with this at the last moment. The argument of time is rendered invalid, because this is what you can in a couple of days. Well, maybe not everybody, but @nico71 was able to turn this set into a front loader. Nobody will probably argue that this would have been a better B-model. Not sure what TLG's policy is regarding alternate models but the 42030 isn't in production anymore, so I don't see any reason not go for something like this. The rear view of the model. And even the grey construction elements can be turned into something useful. SUMMARY I am a big fan of this set. It packs a lot of functionality and parts, for a decent price. The forum contains pages and pages with potential improvements, but that's out of scope for my review. Almost every set gets improved by AFOLs, so that's no surprise. Bottomline is that this is great set for existing AFOLs and new AFOLs alike. I can remember coming out of my dark ages in 2005, building the 8421 - Mobile Crane, which had a whopping 1885 parts. I remember the endless quantity of parts coming out of the box. Imagine a set with more than twice the part count. And again, this doesn't automatically mean a better set, but you will be impressed when you open this box. Much has been said about the color vommit in the chassis of this model. I have grown fond of color vommit, because I like the variety in the parts. I do enjoy seeing all the colored parts. However, using orange 3L Pins with Bush is pushing it to the limit, especially on a red model. I would have preferred blue instead of orange. My final conclusion is that for around 200 euro, you do get a LOT of value for money. I can see myself getting an extra copy, just because of that. I would almost go as far a stating that this could be considered a UCS Technic set. PROS Good looking model Properly working functions (even Ackermann steering) Several (linked) gearboxes Great parts pack (especially for people new to Technic) Very affordable, almost cheap CONS Some slack due to drivetrains and gearboxes Outriggers operate very slowly No suspension No special parts besides the new curved gear rack in black SCORE How do I rate this set? 9 DESIGN I love the looks, color scheme, everything. 9 BUILDING EXPERIENCE Very enjoyable build with several gearboxes and other functionality. 8 FEATURES Great features, with some room for improvement. No suspension though. 9 PLAYABILITY Implemented features provide lots of playability. 8 PARTS Mostly common parts, but you do get a lot of them. 10 VALUE FOR MONEY Price goes down to 4,8 cent per part if you shop around. It doesn't get any cheaper than this. 8,8 UCS ANYONE? Thanks you for reading this review. All pictures can be found here.
  23. OK, so this set comes as a successor to the somewhat controversial 42093 Corvette set, and long story short, I'm blown away by how much of a MASSIVE improvement it is:
  24. Bricks Planet

    75290 Mos Eisley Cantina [video]

    Stop Motion Review of 75290 Mos Eisley Cantina https://youtu.be/QDn8msIszyc Year: 2020 Pieces: 3187 Minifigs: 21 Brickset : https://brickset.com/sets/75290-1/Mos-Eisley-Cantinas Bricklink: https://www.bricklink.com/v2/catalog/catalogitem.page?S=75290-1&name=Mos%20Eisley%20Cantina&category
  25. Happy New Year, just like previous years dashed out to buy and build this. Here is my review on 80107 Spring Lantern Festival. THE GOOD: Looks stunning. A good looking completed build. Various interesting build techniques and design, like the bridge, way to build terrain, the pavilion, the bamboo tress. So many new pieces and new printed pieces and torsos. Compatibility with modular buildings. Great value. THE NOT SO GOOD: None, but if I have to I probably single out the bench on the footpath but being an obstacle. (This is very nitpicking) Overall, LEGO has outdone themselves again. I think this is the best Chinese new year set to date. It looks stunning and compared to previous years, this is the only completed build. You can also easily extend this with different modular sets or create you own. It's difficult to single out what is the best part of the set simply I love the whole set. Although the package said 8+ but some of the builds will need extra patience and experience. The whole garden just looks so lively. I'll totally recommend this set and this is probably already a contender for set of 2021. Especially the price is very good as well considering what you are getting from this! Off topic, but the OX lantern does give me idea of the Brazen Bull. Also is switch is right on the butt of the ox, which is quite funny to be honest XD