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New licensed themes are always a welcome development to our beloved hobby, but let's admit it, LEGO has been churning out new licensed themes lately at a pace that has become increasingly difficult for us FOLs to 'follow'. Good thing I'm a non-completist selective buyer, so I normally just pick up the best, or two, sets of the theme. So when the new licensed theme Disney's The Lone Ranger came out this year, the set that stood out among the rest for me and the one that really got my interest was the 79108 - Stagecoach Escape - for a variety of reasons: a great-looking minifig line-up, a good selection of new parts, and a visually-appealing stagecoach build. So how does the actual set meet my initial expectations? Join me in this review as I find out. Set Information Set Name: Stagecoach Escape Set Number: 79108 Theme: The Lone Ranger Year: 2013 Pieces: 279 Minifigures: 5 Price: $29.99 Links: Brickset | Bricklink | Peeron (not yet inventoried) | LEGO Shop@Home Product Description Make a famous Lone Ranger Stagecoach Escape! Look out for the bandits going after Red Harrington’s valuable silver locked in the vault in the Stagecoach Escape! Launch the baggage off the back to slow the bad guys down! Then jump down onto the galloping horses, detach them from the wagon and help the Lone Ranger and Tonto to chase the outlaws off before they steal the stash! Includes 5 minifigures with weapons and accessories: the Lone Ranger, Tonto, Red Harrington and 2 bandits, Jesus and Barret. • Includes 5 minifigures with weapons and accessories: the Lone Ranger, Tonto, Red Harrington and the 2 bandits, Jesus and Barret • Features opening doors and roof, baggage launch function, opening vault with silver bar, mailbag with letter and 2 detachable horses • Also includes bandit’s horse • Weapons include 3 revolvers, rifle and 2 knives • Accessories include a pocket watch decorated element and dynamite • Detach the horses and chase the bandits away! • Launch the baggage and send the villains tumbling! • Battle to protect the silver • Open the stagecoach roof and doors to play inside • Stagecoach measures over 5" (13cm) high, 5" (14cm) long and 2" (7cm) wide The Box The boxart for this new product line comprise of a top yellow motif with the obligatory logos of LEGO, Disney, and The Lone Ranger, along with the image of the Lone Ranger as he appears in the upcoming movie. The brightly-colored packaging seems a bit of a clashing contrast with the predominantly subdued earth-toned, steampunkish hues evoked by the movie source material. I like the action-packed scene depicted in the coverart, with all the characters and elements of the set involved in a seemingly high-speed Wild West chase, the details of which we won't know until the movie comes out in August. The usual minifig line-up appears at the bottom right corner (which we'll look at more closely later), and the rest of the standard set details complete the front of the box. As what we've all been accustomed to, the set features are presented at the back in separate panels surrounding the main image of the complete set. I do feel however, that most of the so-called 'playable' features of the set are kinda 'forced' and seems to have been thrown in there as "space fillers" (like Tonto holding a compass pocket-watch, and Red Harrington somewhat distressed with a letter?). I may be just saying this since I don't know the importance of these particular bits in the actual movie, so I'll try to give these the benefit of the doubt. There are two images of the minifig line-up shown in the box: the 1:1 actual size image of the minifigs at the top and the half versions in the front (lower right corner) with their descriptive names of the character. The font used is a nice touch consistent with the Wild Western theme of the movie. Now I'd like to highlight a significant mistake in the minifig line-up: the "Barret" shown is actually Kyle from 79110 Silver Mine Shootout (thanks to 8Brickmario for this info). Probably this was a last minute change in the minifig line-up (Kyle was supposed to be in this set until Barret was included instead). The Contents There are three plastic numbered bags containing the pieces of the set, along with a single instruction booklet and a sticker sheet. No loose parts are included. The Instruction Booklet The instruction booklet bears the same coverart as the box minus the set details and the minfig line-up, which allows you to appreciate more the minute details of the artwork, like the realistic sand drift dust effect. The Sticker Sheet There is one small sticker sheet included in the set, which provides the decorative printing of the stagecoach. It's interesting to see the slight gold metallic sheen in the stickers. The Parts Bag #1 Contents As the starting point of all LEGO sets, the first bag contains the initial parts needed for the base of the build - in this case the stagecoach's base, comprised of the greys, blacks, wooden browns, and the wagon wheels. The two new black horse molds are also inlcuded in this bag, as well as the first two minifgs - Lone Ranger and Jesus. Bag #2 Contents Black and red dominate the parts selection of the second bag, which will expectedly be used for the body of he stagecoach. The Tonto minifigure parts are in this bag, and note that the hairpiece comes in a separate plastic packaging, signifying it was produced or printed in a different location from the rest of the parts. Bag #3 Contents The last bag contains the finshing pieces for the build, together with the two remaining minfigs of the set - Red Harrington and Barret. The third brown horse of the set is also part of Bag #3. Interesting Pieces This set has several new (but not exclusive) pieces: like the Dark Bluish Gray Plate, Modified 1 x 2 with Pin Hole, Black Technic, Pin Connector Perpendicular 2 x 4 Bent, and the new hand pistol pieces, in flat silver and pearl dark grey colors. (My apologies if I have inlcuded the Black Hinge Plate 2 x 2 Locking with 1 Finger on Top, which is new to me but is acually a 2-year old piece already. ) The compass pocket-watch piece has some nice detailed printing on the 1x1 tile, and the exclusive headpieces with detachable accessories are also something to behold. The Minifigs Consistent with the marketing strategy of sets nowadays, this set offers a sumptuous treat of beautiful-looking and highly-detailed minifigs of five of the characters in the movie. Aside from the aesthetics, another good aspect of this minifig line-up is the balance between the protagnosists (2) and the antagonsits (2), and one in between (1), plus the fact that the two main characters in the movie - the Lone Ranger and Tonto - are included, makes the set even more tempting to get. Now let's take a closer look at these lovely minfigures individually: The Lone Ranger The Lone Ranger minfigure may not be as flamboyant as Tonto or Red Harrington, but it certainly succintly captures the look of the movie character. It has leg prints and back prints, though no alternative facial expression. Comparing it with the actual look of the movie chracacter, one would easily notice that the minifig is a clean-cut (shaven!) version of the Lone Ranger. The holster was also curiousy missing on the leg prints. But overall, the minifig is a pretty good representation of the Lone Ranger in LEGO. Tonto Thanks in part of being an eccentric Johnny Depp character, the Tonto minifig has 'lots of personality' on it. From the highly-detailed hairpiece with the dead crow accessory to the face-painted head to the intricate native American printing of the torso and legs, this minifig is as colorfully weird as it gets! The Tonto minifig has an alternative nervous/scared facial expression. Removing the hairpiece reveals the front hair and tribal necklace printing and the simple back muscle print details. The minifig is quite accurate with the source material, though IMO it would've been better if it had a more serious facial expression like the ones pictured (and from the trailers I've seen so far) as compared to the slight smile of the current one. And it seems the designers decided to give the minifig a dash of bright olive green accent on the hairpiece, which is clearly not found on the actual Tonto. Red Harrington Bright red dress, white stockings on one leg, curly orange hairdo with small green girly hat, quite a flmaboyant minifig isn't she? And using a short cape as a skirt piece? Brilliantly clever! (first time done on a minifig from what I know). The Red Harrington minfig also has a second expression - a scared damsel-in-distress facade. As mentioned earlier, the hat is detachable from the hairpiece, which makes both pieces useful in minfig customization. What's a Johnny Depp movie without Helena Bonham-Carter right? I think the three little facial line prints of the minifig is convincing enough to depict a middle-aged woman. The torso and leg prints seem to be accurate (the stocking can be seen in a scene in the latest movie trailer), but the hat is violet in the pictures shown (though she could have worn a green one in the movie - we still don't know yet). But personally, this the minfig I like the best in this line-up. Barret One of the two bandits in pursuit of Red Harrington and her silver-containing vault, the Barret minfigure is as Wild West Outlawish as it gets - a dirty villainous mug (unshaven face, evil sideburns, maniacal eye-bagged stare), unruly outfit and the signature black hat and gloves. Jesus I would go on a limb and assume the character's name is not pronounced as Jesus (Christ) but rather as Hey-sus (Mexican pronunciation). Now that is cleared, we could focus on the minifig . I like the fact that he has a completely different look than Barret even through they are scum buddies - different hat mold and color, different outfit color and print design, and he even has a bandit handkerchief. We don't know how important these characters are in the movie, but if they aren't, then it's an added bonus to get different variations of torso, legs, heads, and accessories considering minor roles in the source material. Here's a group shot of the protagonists: ...and the bad guys: Like I said, I love the variation of the minifig elements and accessories, which is very useful in minifig customization. Horses Well, horses aren't minifigures but I'd just like to highlight that the set gives a rare opportunity to get three of the new horse molds, with the two black horses exclusive to this set at the moment (different from the black Nazgul horses). When was the last time, and what was the last set, to give at least three horses in a set? (and a relatively small set to boot). Heck, even the large LOTR sets didn't give this much 'horse love'. The Build Bag # 1 Build The base of the stagecoach is solidly built from the first bag of parts, and unlike the initial builds from other sets, this could actually be ridden' and taken into action already, right? (the horses are ready, the wheel mechanism is soundly attached to the base, there is a space for the driver's seat - this one is ready to go! ) Bag #2 Build This is one minor repetitive step in the Bag #2 build - the sides of the stagecoach body. But other than that, almost all steps are unique and non-repeating. The majority of the stagecoach body is built from the second bag of parts, along with the Tonto figure. There is one interesting bit I noticed when building at this stage (though not pictured): 1x1 bricks with holes were used as regular 1x1 bricks, which I think is a clever cost-saving move (since the holed 1x1s have less plastic than the regular 1x1s but provide the same use). Also note that at this point, there was no instructions yet to add this build to the previous build from Bag #1. Bag #3 Build I deviated a bit from the instructions since I wanted to show the elements built from the third bag of pieces (those were actually meant to be added together with the two previous builds to form the final product): these include the curved base of the stagecoach body, the detachable roof, some decorative tiles and the baggage (mail, vault). One thing I noticed is that the four brown 4-L bars could've been already added to the body of the stagecoach built from Bag #2, so I don't know why these had to be added on the last part(?). The Completed Build Combining all the individual builds from the three bags and we'll end up with this lovely-looking stagecoach complemented by the five minifigs. Quite a nice array of elements for a pretty solid set isn't it? Leftover Parts There are a couple of those new pistols and the compass pocket-watch-printed 1x1 tile from the leftover parts. A closer look at the Stagecoach Despite how great-looking this stagecoach is the main criticism about it is it's insanely absurdly oversized. Wth this view, it is very clear that is indeed signficantly larger than real-world stagecoaches, like these ones: Now one could argue that this stagecoach is based on a fictional movie where there are machine gun-wielding Wild West trains or a man resurrected from the dead, so an over-sized stagecoach isn't a far-fetched idea right? In any case, the inherent beauty of LEGO is we could always modify builds according to our liking, so I'm pretty sure with the proper amount of inspiration and parts this could be easily 'modded' to approximate the size of real-life stagecoaches. Here's a couple more views of the stagecoach: Set Features Left: The driver's box comfortably seats one person, and it is accurately high as real-world stagecoaches. Right: The front wheel mechanism is cleverly designed in such a way that it could turn left or right and even adjust up-and-down in response to the motion of the horses. I think this is one of the brilliant aspects of the build and the designer's really went out of their way to give us a working wheel mechanism that is far better than the standard fixed wheel-hub set-up. The rear wheels are fixed by the way, but it has a certain 'fragility' that realistically captures the instability of horse-drawn carriages/coaches. So how does the passengers get on to the stagecoach? Owing to its ginormous size, one has to exert extrat effort to ride this baby. But seriously, the passengers can be put inside by removing the detachable roof and putting the minfigs inside (right). Ironically, despite its gigantic size, the stagecoach only accomodates two passengers inside, though a third could probably be squeezed in there and several more could hitch a ride at the top of the roof or at the sides using handrails. Getting out of the stagecoach is as problematic as getting in for minifigs. Now I know why Red Harrington had that scared alternative expression Good thing our ever-reliable duo are ready to help a lending catching hand. There is a storage compartment at the back of the stagecoach that has some sort of baggage-launching mechanism to "send the villains stumbling" as the S@H description says. All you need is to open the cover, push down on the technic knobs and the briefcase will flip away, though I'm not so sure about its accuracy against villainous bandits (haven't tried it, sorry! ). This vault is the primary reason why the two bandits are chasing our heroes in the stagecoach - it contains Red Harrington's valuable silver! Little do they know it's a decoy as it's just made of ABS plastic! Kidding aside, the vault is nicely built and serves its purpose - though we still don't know its accuracy until we see the movie. There are several more features that I wasn't able to take pictures of, like the detachable connection of the horses from the stagecoach (and apparently you could ride them that way as shown at the back of the box ), the detachable roof and the storage space above (though it can be seen from the other pics), and the 4-L bar and even the tan 1x2 modified plates at the top of the stagecoach windows which could be used as handrails. Rating the Set Design – 8/10 The stagecoach is a visual eye-candy, it's a gorgeous build with a nice balance of aesthetic beauty and working functionality (wheel mechanism, storage compartments, passenger interior) - well that is until it is placed side-by-side with standard minfigs and horses. I would've wanted to give this a perfect score, but its oversized stature simply cannot be ignored, so I'm rightfully bringing the score down a couple of notches. Build – 9/10 I was very pleased with the technic-based wheel mechanism, I thought it was a pretty neat realistic feature that required extra effort by the designers instead of giving us the old and tired fixed wheel set-up. It was also refreshing to see a conscious attempt to use less plastic in builds (using 1x1 bricks with holes for regular 1x1 bricks), that garners a plus point for me. Parts – 8/10 There was a good number of relatively new parts, though I'm impressed the most by the three horses provided by this set. Minifigures – 10/10 Normally, I try to not make the minifigs as the sole reason why I buy sets, but this turned out to be better than I expected as I bought this set mainly for the stagecoach but the minfigs made this a much more rewarding purchase. The wildly beautiful Tonto and Red Harrngton figs with exclusive pieces and accessories, the useful and interchangeable cowboy parts of the Lone Ranger and the two bandits, this minifig line-up is certainly a winner! Playability – 7/10 The designers tried their best to put in extra features like the baggage-launcher at the back of the stagecoach, but I still think the only playability this set offers is the "chase role-playing" between our heroes and the baddies. Though even if it's the only real play value, I think kids would still pretty much enjoy their playing time with this set. Price – 9/10 I think this has a great value for a US$30 set: well-designed stagecoach, five minifigures, three horses, and a good selection of parts, can't really complain about that - except that I live in that part of the world where its SRP is 250% more expensive (US$75) and even if I got it at 25% discount it still is god-damn expensive. Lucky Americans! Overall: 85% So did the set meet my initial expectations? I'd say it did, and it passed with flying colors! It's not a perfect set, but it's certainly a great-valued purchase. If there's any set that a casual FOL would like to buy to 'try' or 'sample' this new Lone Ranger theme - I highly recommend this one. Parting Shot Mix-and-match fashion isn't for everybody... And to get you excited for the upcoming The Lone Ranger movie, here is the latest trailer (the third one released so far I believe): Thanks for taking the time to read my review! Comments are always very much welcome! .