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Found 652 results

  1. Here is my review on 75296 Darth Vader Meditation Chamber: THE GOOD: Great display piece. Love the design of the open/closing experience. Interesting building experience. Great details in building the stairs. Love the stand. Great minifigures. THE NOT SO GOOD: none (really can't find anything negative about this) I like this set very much. I had a great experience with this and I do think this is an excellent set. Really like some of the design and building experience in this. On top of that, it's a great display piece on any desks or shelves. It's always nice to see Lego releases Star Wars sets not based on vehicles. I wish LEGO releases more sets like this. Anyway, totally will recommend this to everyone.
  2. Here is my review on 10776 Mickey & Friends Fire Truck & Station: THE GOOD: Minifigures are great. Finally, Pluto and without the need to spend hundreds of dollars. THE NOT SO GOOD: Not much memorable to talk about. Lacking play features considering this is a 4+ set. Price still a bit on the higher end. I bought this set purely for Pluto. And it's great it's a set under $100 but feel pricey though. For those who still don't own a Goofy minifig, this set will be a bargain although the torso of this Goofy is a variant to the one in the Disney Train set. Overall, as an adult fan of lego I'm not expecting anything from a 4+ set in terms of building experience but compared to the farm set, I found the Farm one is a lot more interesting. I will recommend this set if you want Pluto and Goofy OR if you are just a disney fan. Otherwise, go for the farm one.
  3. My review is below, lengthy but the speed build takes a lot of time and there are chapters for your convencience. Will write more whan I have time, and the 42128 video review is coming tomorrow. Also coming shortly: the 42129 detailed outdoors test and 42129 competing against custom-built LEGO trial trucks.
  4. It may come as a surprise but I really don't enjoy being negative towards LEGO sets. So it came as a relief to me that 42128 seems to be one of the best Technic products in the last few years, and it's incredibly reasonably priced on top of that. Fans of trucks, of highly functional Technic sets and of pneumatics should all be very happy with it, especially seeing as you can buy two of these for the price of a single Zetros set. I only wish the colors were different and the stickers less trashy, but that may just be a matter of personal test.
  5. Here is my review on the GWP 40486 Mini Adidas Originals Superstar: THE GOOD: looks great and impressed on how it looks in its side. interesting build overall and some great use of new pieces. Printed tiles for the iconic 3 stripes. THE NOT SO GOOD: It depends on your region but better roll out plan in AU/NZ please. This is a great GWP. To me, it made a better impression than the 1:1 one. I like this colour scheme better too. Having a minifigure is just a nice icing on the cake. I'm also surprised with the overall building experience and Lego did went the extra mile for packaging on this one. I wish the adidas decors are also printed but I probably asking too much. I just hope the roll out / availability of this set can be improved and less stressful. For AU & NZ, this promotion is not yet live on Lego shop at home but it was available when physically purchasing the Adidas Originals Superstar in Certified Store. But they didn't have stock on 1st July so they ended up taking everyone's details and stock finally arrived few days ago. Anyway, totally recommending this to everyone if you can still get hold of this set.
  6. Here is another review from me on Vidiyo 43111 Candy Castle Stage: THE GOOD: The bear minifigure is excellent, especially the head piece. I like the mini drum set on stage. THE NOT SO GOOD: Pricing as usual is high for Vidiyo sets. Bland compared to the other 2 Vidiyo sets I own from this wave. This set, it does capture a very pop vibe and nice candy themed stage but definitely not a castle as per the set name. The minifigures are excellent especially the Blue Beary Guitarist, I was surprised to see how they dual moulded the head with the clear blue on top. Some nice touches in the build but compared to the other 2 sets I have from this wave, It does few a bit bland both in terms of the end product and building experience. It's really really an expensive box of pop colour parts pack. Having said that, if this is your first Vidiyo set or for kids that only started collecting Lego, this is not a bad choice if you can get it with a discount.
  7. Another review on Vidiyo sets from me, this time we take a look at 43114 Punk Pirate Ship: THE GOOD: The pirate ship stage looks excellent. The building experience is interesting to keep me engaged. Excellent selections of minifigures. Love the drummer set up. Great with the details in the backstage area. THE NOT SO GOOD: Hard to find something that needed to highlight that is not so good, personally may be a place for mic stand? Could be cheaper but then you often get discount of Vidiyo so eventually not really an issue. This is another good set in my opinion. No matter whether this theme is a success or not, the sets in this wave so far are pretty good in my opinion. This pirate ship does look good with great minifigures. And it's totally feasible as well. (I have seen actual sound stage looks like this). With matching decorations in the background, you can indeed create a customer summer music festival. Pricing often being brought up with Vidiyo sets but with a 15%~25% often, and the overall satisfaction after building it, pricing no longer relevant in my opinion. I totally recommend this set to everyone, I'm not a fan of Vidiyo itself and bought this purely based on the look but so far, I'm really happy with sets I bought so far.
  8. As a fan of the MCU, have to get this set day one. Here is my video review on 76162 Black Widow's Helicopter Chase. THE GOOD: Excellent minifigures. Especially Black Widow's torso! Great looking helicopter. It lacks interior but it's one of the better helicopter in recent years. Boxart ... I think this has set new standard in box art. THE NOT SO GOOD: Would be nice to have specialised piece for Taskmaster's shield. May be include Red Guardian in the set as well. Overall, I think this set is huge improvement compared to the Endgame sets. The build is good and the minifigures are excellent especially Natasha (A brand new hair piece and head print would even be better but one can never ask too much). To my surprise the actual task master minifigure is looking way better than in photo. It's a shame they didn't include Red Guardian but all good for me as I'm very happy with this set. I'm not usually a fan of Lego Helicopter but I do like this one. This set also is a good example on how to use stickers while not being excessive. And I absolutely love the box art. The price ain't that bad considering the overall building experience and end results. I would totally recommend this set to everyone especially to MCU fans.
  9. Hey all, i made a BuWizz motor review video, i hope it is helpful.
  10. Here is my review on VIDIYO 43112 Robo HipHop Car: THE GOOD: Great Minifigures and accessories. Great Printed pieces especially the LED TV with music video playing. Surprisingly great car here. Interesting build with some cool features integrated. If you are collecting beatbits, another 16 of them in this set. THE NOT SO GOOD: Pricing. Although the car is great, the ratio between the front and the back wheel are a bit off but very minor issue here. This is a great set to be honest, it has great minifigures, interesting build, fun and looks nice. Regardless of how rubbish the app is, as a lego set, this is good. I always love new variations of the guitar piece, some great new printed piece as well. The LED TV with musics video playing going to be very useful in MOC. Lego includes a stand of one minifigure and 12 beatbits, but I do wish they also included the beat box case piece. This is also good news if you have bought the beat boxes and try to complete the beat bits collection, since it also include 2 unique ones and 14 assorted ones. So you don't have to buy double of the beat boxes to get more. Price indeed a bit high but I'm pretty sure you can get discount off this. Overall this is a good Lego set and I will recommend this to everyone.
  11. Here is my review on LEGO City 60301 Wildlife Rescue Off-roader: THE GOOD: New Animals! Lion, lion cub and the python are all excellent. Great savanna build, looks great too. Doesn't feel like 4+ sets. THE NOT SO GOOD: The off-roader is a bit too big if you compare to other Lego City vehicles. I bought this set purely for the lion but it turns out to be a pretty great 4+ set. The savanna setting build really exceeded my expectation, especially even from the back it looks very natural. In fact, this set is among those more complex 4+ builds. It looks good too. It is also great LEGO included not one but three new animals in a smaller set, and they are great. I really can't find anything to criticise in this set apart from the off-roader is a bit too big to my likings. Recommend this to everyone especially if you are looking for a Lego Lion.
  12. Thanks to LEGO, we have four of the new for June 2021 Harry Potter sets, and I have the pleasure of reviewing them. Without further ado, let's kick off with the biggest and most intriguing... 76389 Hogwarts Chamber of Secrets | 2021 | 1176 Pieces | 10 + 1 Minifigures USD $130 | GBP 130 | EUR 140 (variable) | CAD 170 | AUS$ 230 __________________________ LEGO has departed from the style of Hogwarts sets it produced from 2018 through 2020, which prioritised reproducing recognisable sections of Hogwarts from the film. The new June 2021 Hogwarts represents a soft reboot, prioritising modularity and interior spaces, while the exterior harkens back to the very first type of Hogwarts sets released for the first two films in 2001 and 2002. Fan chatter has certainly been mixed, but I'm going in with an open mind. Will this set succeed? And, will it still combine with the older ones if you have them? Join me to find out. __________________________ THE BUILD & PARTS Bag 1 Bag 1 kicks off with one of the best minifigures in a set of good minifigures, as well as the new and exciting Basilisk. The actual Hogwarts section is nothing to write home about. The Basilisk looks fantastic, making great use of the already-existing lower jaw with a brand new head. While it feels a touch small, the shaping and mean-ness are there - an improvement on the fun original one, and the "one" from the 2018 Great Hall doesn't even bear mentioning. It's also great to get the CMF Sword of Gryffindor. Bag 2 Bag 2 includes yet more new goodies, in the form of the Cornish Pixies and the new candlesticks piece which will be used for Beauty and the Beast's Lumiere later. Note the first of many, many frogs included in this set. Though it's not visible in this pic, Bag 2 also contains a brick 1x2 with two studs on the side in light flesh/nougat. That colour is starting to be used more outside of minifigures, but still a surprise, and the only one of them in the set. I had to whip out the macro lens for a glam shot of those Pixies. The shine down the middle and go translucent at the edges - glorious! Bag 3 Bag 3 contains those lovely rounded bay windows that fit the old square grills. I didn't mention yet that the random chocolate frog card (tiles) are sprinkled throughout the build rather than being in a single bag. Bag 4 Bag 4 builds up the Great Hall. Nothing extraordinary here, though the spread-wing owl in pearl gold is a fun part. This Dumbledore represents another example of recent CMF prints being reused in sets, as the face is the same one that was previously exclusive to the CMF2 Dumbledore. Bag 5 In addition to glow-in-the-dark Nearly Headless Nick in Bag 5, there's also an unprinted glow-in-the-dark head that goes under the newish fishbowl helmet piece (used for Mysterio, for example). There's also the printed trans head containing some sort of potion ingredient, but the writing on it is unreadable even in person. Nick's prints are nearly an identical colour-swap of the version included in the 2018 Great Hall, besides his reverse, considerably more shocked face - he's been petrified! He glows quite nicely, though the fact that his hands to not glow becomes quite noticeable. (We haven't gotten to the g-i-t-d 1x1 round tiles yet.) Bag 6 Bag 6 takes us down to the Chamber of Secrets level at last and changes up the colour palette considerably. Tom Riddle's diary comes in Bag 6, though it's unfortunately a sticker. Oddly, they have you put the sticker on in such a way that it puts the gold edges on a different side to the printed one. I've looked it up, and the stickered way is more correct, I think because his name is actually written on the back of the diary. So, the printed one has the gold correctly in relation to the name, but incorrectly in relation to the spine. Bag 7 Bag 7 builds the wonderful Chamber Entrance, and includes the fantastic new owl print/colour. This is where the g-i-t-d 1x1 round tiles appear, as owl droppings I suppose? More on that later. Bag 8 Bag 8 contains more of the dark colour scheme from Bag 6, primarily building up the Salazar Slytherin statue. Bag 8 is the first bag of the entire set that does not make a self-contained build. All previous bags make a whole section or module within each bag. Bag 9 Finally we come to the final bag, which completes the Chamber of Secrets... and the Great Hall, with an extra table. I was wondering where those cereal boxes had gone! The most exciting thing would have to be the recoloured Ninjago snake heads a spooky statues. __________________________ THE MINIFIGURES I wouldn't go so far as saying that Minifigures can make or break a set, but they certainly play an important role, and for a franchise that's all about the characters, it's important to have a full complement of them in the big sets especially. Thankfully, much like the 2018 Great Hall, this set delivers the goods. It also feels like the Minifigure choices were deliberately made to work with what had come before without too much overlap. If you have previous Hogwarts sets, you're not going to get too many character repeats, and most of the ones that are repeats have new and very reusable robes. The Kids For students we have, from left to right, Luna, Ginny, Harry, Colin Creevey, and Justin Finch-Fletchley (token Hufflepuff with a little screen time). These new robes look fantastic and beautifully complement the previous jumper ones, and it's fantastic to get three out of four houses. It might've been even more fantastic to get all four, but three Slytherin ones come in the smallest (and very good) set of the wave, so they're easily obtainable. The only new head here, though, is Colin's and there have been grumblings both about Luna and Ginny sharing the same face and Luna being in this set at all. I agree with the former - Ginny is important in this film and merited a unique set of prints I feel, with appropriate eyebrow colouring. As for the latter, canonically Luna would've been at Hogwarts during the events of CoS, and her hairpiece is still unique to her and rarer, so I'm fine with it. Swap her hair and/or face if you mind. They all have very slightly different prints for the way their hoods fall. The Adults The adults in this set also look fantastic, with heaps of new prints throughout. 20th Anniversary Goldemort looks fun as a memento, and it's cool LEGO is doing both golden figures and collectible chocolate frog cards in these. While Dumbledore's bright outfit draws the eye, the standout for me is Professor Sinistra - a truly left-field inclusion, but a tremendously good minifigure with her detailed outfit, reuse of McGonagall's hat-hair, and a reddish brown head with two excellent prints including Dumbledore-stlye glasses. I'm embarrassed to say that I can't quite put my finger on the colour of Lockhart's body and legs. I'm a lifelong LEGO devotee but they finally make too many colours for me to keep up! Since Diagon Alley, I've not been a huge fan of the hair choice for him, but it's ok. I tried his original one and didn't love that with this face print. The one outlier as having something really wrong is Tom Riddle. The choice to have light grey legs with black printing looks so 2010. If they're going to go this colour route, they needed dual-moulded legs, or black legs like the version in a recent book would have been preferable. __________________________ THE GRAND TOUR Here's the exterior all put together as per the instructions (of course the modules can be re-arranged, but that's for another article). It looks LEGO Hogwarts-y in the way that all LEGO Hogwartses did pre-2018 - not actually replicating anything from the films (besides the Great Hall sort of), but sticking to an aesthetic that they created in 2001 and pretty much stuck to for a decade culminating in 2011. This set specifically matches the outline of the very first complete Hogwarts, 4709 (click for my scathing review of that one!). In a vacuum, it looks good; the colour scheme works as a whole, what details there are are created with bricks and not stickers, and overall it has significant bulk to it. Now let's go through in detail from top to bottom. The Astronomy Lookout I chose not to use the word "tower" just so we wouldn't confuse ourselves here. The best detail here is the sticker, showing a constelation that looks like Toa Tahu's original mask - a great easter egg. The roof removes somewhat easily so would-be astronomers can astronomise. This feature also appeared exactly in the original 4709. Lockhart's Office The next level down is comprised of two 8x8 modules, one that simply creates a balcony with a broom and clear stand to pose a flying figure (though I've put Nick there), and Lockhart's sticker room, I mean, office. All of the graphics look lovely, and small stickers like these that aren't absolutely integral to the look of a set don't bother me too much. Am I making a pointed reference to the new Hogsmeade set? Stay tuned. A key test of LEGO interiors involves the amount of space left available to pose and play with minifigures. Offices in both the 2019 Clock Tower and 2020 Astronomy Tower failed this sets abysmally; this office does a bit better. There's not a ton of space, but enough that it doesn't feel ridiculous. Can someone else explain the extra set of hair to me, though? Is it something I missed in the film? Also note the chocolate frog hiding behind Lockhart. Defense Against the Dark Arts Classroom The next stop down is the DADA classroom, which contains plentiful details: the Pixies, the new candlesticks, the lovely sticker painting, and more. This classroom really exhibits the strength of the new modular system: at 16x across and 8x deep, that's a total usable space of 14x7, which leaves plenty of room for details and lots of figures without it feeling cramped. 8x tall for a classroom also conveys the grand scale and high ceilings of Hogwarts, and makes the room accessible for fingers. The Clock Tower also had a DADA classroom, which I personally liked, but while that one had 16x across of usable space, it only had 5x deep, and 4 in some places, making it much less playable. It's simple maths really. The Great Hall I wanted to touch on the exterior here for a couple of reasons. First, how Great Hall-like is this really. It's certainly not very "great" in scale, being so short. It kind of captures the look of the Great Hall, but not that obviously, which is why it actually could work with the previous one, which had proportion issues but felt much more recognisable. Second, the way the designer has tried to transition between round bricks and the window in the centre tower is ugly. That's all. Where the module system really shined for the DADA classroom, it backfires somewhat for the Great Hall. Confined to this limited space, it doesn't feel very great at all. What details there are are nice, including the owl podium and some stuff in the rafters (also harking back to 4709), but it certainly doesn't convey the large, magical feeling of the place. It's better than the pitiful Great Hall interior in 4709 no doubt, but falls far short of 2018's Great Hall and even 2010's 4842 (another one I reviewed, what a coincidence!). One of very few "play features" in the set is the hidden Sorting Hat, which comically rests on a poop piece. Lift the flag and reveal the sorting hat - yay! I think this is the only Great Hall without the flag-swapping between houses gimmick. Populated with minifigures, you can see how comparatively cramped it is. There are two tables, but only one bench, so figures on the outer side have to stand on the ground. Just two spaces for teachers is also pretty sad - Ginny is sad about it anyway. Of course, this particular Great Hall doubles as the setup for the Dueling Club match, and in that scenario that space is less noticeable. The function works well - it's a simple lever, what is there to go wrong? Here they have Harry wipe the sneer right off of Justin's face. The Chamber of Secrets Entrance This might just be the most accurate-looking part of the entire set - simple, but what a good door! There's room for a minifigure to stand within. The back has those glow-in-the-dark parts, which, given their placement, I assume are owl droppings? Odd, but glowy parts are always nice. The Chamber of Secrets Slide Here we have half a play feature. Half because, while you can drop figures down the slide, it really works in tandem with the Polyjuice Potion Mistake set. Good sales tactic! Note the white skele-frog, which is behind and underneath the slide. Despite the slide taking up room, this segment still passes the "room for minifigures" test. Even Colin is getting in on the action. The Chamber of Secrets Slytherin Statue And now the final part of the set to explore: the iconic gigantic statue of Salazar Slytherin's head! It looks really, really good. Applying the stickers was nerve-racking, because if they were misaligned it would've really thrown off the look. Fortunately I did ok, but this is a case where prints would've been far preferable because these could make or break it. All of the rounded shaping is excellently done with parts, though. A drawback of this section is that, as built, the snake statues on either side get in the way of using any of the interior space. The space is there, but the build locks it away. Of course, you can remove the snake statues, which is just fine, but given that the action happens in front of the Slytherin head in the scene, ultimately your "Chamber of Secrets" will be your own floor/surface, with the LEGO parts set up as the backdrop. To my taste, that's a shame. I prefer when LEGO scenes can be re-enacted on the actual LEGO, and not on in front/to the side of it. This section also has a play feature of sorts: the lower jaw of the mouth slides out, allowing you to then slide the Basilisk through. It's all very manual, and the interior of the mouth serves no purpose, which I think is a bit of a shame. Would have been nice to see something hidden in there, like an old textbook or set of tattered robes or something. Voldemort is about to say "looks like that young lad is in trouble... but that's none of my business" (if you get the meme, good on you). __________________________ A WORD ON PLAYABILITY Throughout the review I indirectly touched on the fact that there's not much in the way of "play features". In that regard this set shares a choice with the previous ones from 2018-2020, emphasizing doll-house style playability over LEGO action playability. There's plenty of space to play out scenarios with the minifigures, but besides the hidden Sorting Hat, the Dueling Club table and the mouth the manually slide out of Slytherin, there's nothing in the way of functions. Gone are the days of trap doors aplenty, yanking chains, spinning furnaces. Now, I derided most of these for various reasons in my review of 4709, but what I did say is that they felt magical. The wonder and whimsy of the Harry Potter stories is all about the magic, and in the films you certainly feel that when things are floating by themselves through the air, or someone flicks their wand and causes something to happen. LEGO has the ability to capture that through action features, and given that these new sets prioritise interior play over exterior look, these would have been a good place to reintroduce some of that LEGO Harry Potter magic. __________________________ DISPLAYING HOGWARTS Many people want to know: how does this new, green-roofed Hogwarts look with the ones from previous years? Unfortunately my new display cabinet is a bit cramped, but in my assessment, they display together just fine. My displaying ethos is one of "mushing it all together", and I did these two setups quick and dirty; lots of clever people here on Eurobricks have come up with more elegant solutions in the Harry Potter discussion thread. However, if you don't care about the accurate placement of buildings and simply want to know if the aesthetics work, this is for you: __________________________ FINAL THOUGHTS & RATING It's difficult to talk about value until the end. As a whole, this set has a lot of different parts to it, hitting many of the key memorable scenes at Hogwarts from Chamber of Secrets: Lockhart's manic classes, the Dueling Club, and of course the Chamber of Secrets itself. The spaces have lots of details, and mostly enough room for play, though the Great Hall feels a bit sad in scale for meal scenes, and the Chamber leaves a bit to be desired. The overall scale feels large; the modular system uses good economy of larger parts to build up a large castle, while not feeling under-detailed from the outside. It's simpler than the 2018-2020 sets, but still more detailed than the ones from 2011 and before. The tower part is as tall as the Astronomy Tower, with more room inside, while the Great Hall section feels comparable to the Clock Tower in size, being shorter but deeper. 2010's 4842 was the same price as this, with more parts, but less good playable space. The minifigures, bar Tom Riddle, are fantastic, and pair well with previous ones, if you have them. Looking at this set alone, there are enough figures to play out lots of scenarios, and the most important figures for the Chamber of Secrets itself. Of course, some are missing if we're going for accuracy - you need Draco for the Dueling Club and Neville for the Pixie scene - conveniently both available in the upcoming Quidditch practice set!! On the parts side, in the majority of parts there's nothing revolutionary, but the new creatures are amazing and I doubt they're going to be cheap on Bricklink. All in all, by itself this set offers quite the package, at what feels like a tolerable (US) price. I personally still prefer the look of the 2018-20 sets that went for exterior accuracy, and those are the ones I will continue to display, while I might create a second display with these new ones. However, as Hogwarts LEGO set its appeal is undeniable, and for collectors it offers enough that you probably don't want to miss. Dare I say it's the best "complete" standalone Hogwarts set yet? Minifigures: 9/10 - a point docked for bad Riddle legs and duplicate little girl faces. Pieces: 9/10 - there's a lot of them, and some good new and glow-in-the-dark stuff. If you like the colour scheme it could be a worthwhile parts pack, as there aren't a ton of large parts besides the flooring and a few LURPs. Design: 7/10 - The exterior is consistently fine (besides the ugly central Great Hall tower) though not wow, and the interior has some truly great spaces and some slight let downs. Playability: 5/10 - Again hard to rate. The fact that there's usable space makes this play-able, but it's a missed opportunity for some real play features. Price: 10/10 - I think it's right, what can I say? For the volume of it, the size of the finished model, and the new stuff and minifigures, expecting a lower RRP would be naive. Inflation hasn't even gotten the better of it, because the 2010 one was the same price and this one feels larger. Overall: 8/10 - Where I come from that's a solid B - a not perfect but still very solid score. That sums it up. I expected to like this set a lot less, but in actuality it has a lot to offer. Next up, a very good boy?
  13. 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.
  14. Here is my review on 76192 Avengers: Endgame Final Battle: THE GOOD: XCON van is great! Great references to the movie across the build. Big three (Iron Man, Cap, thor) are included in one set! New Thanos big fig, not perfect but way better. Surprisingly powerful missile shooter. Very nice Avengers Coffee table build. THE NOT SO GOOD: The actual avengers compound is still intact despite big debris next to it. The cage of Thanos makes no sense =P Wanda's expression a bit too cheerful and Thor missing his vikings beard. $20 too expensive I guess. Overall, this is a great improvement from the previous Endgame sets. Thanos while it's not perfect, it's a game changer. I now look forward to a Hulk with movable head. The compound build is ok, consistent with the previous avengers compound in previous wave, however, there are a lot of great references to the movies. I also like how they design the avengers coffee table. Although the laser confinement for Thanos doesn't really make sense. Also the main build is a bit too clean while you have big chunk of debris next to it. I'm also surprised on how powerful the missile is. To me, the best part of the build is the XCON van, it's a very nice van and I will totally buy a set with XCON van with Antman and Luis. Great they included the big three in the minifigures, I think it's the first time? The minifigs selection is not perfect (Happy Wanda and no viking beard for Thor) but I'm still satisfied. This is definitely a set for MCU fan and I still recommend to everyone despite the slightly high price tag.
  15. Pchan1983

    REVIEW: 60300 Wildlife Rescue ATV

    Here is my video on the latest safari sub-theme 60300 Wildlife Rescue ATV: THE GOOD: Turning action works surprisingly well. Includes not one but TWO monkeys. The new monkeys are cute. New printed pieces. THE NOT SO GOOD: May be include a hair piece for the minifigure? Wish the monkeys can hold their poops. Overall, I think this is a great small set and a great way to get the new monkeys in a very cheap way. In fact, I appreciate LEGO includes not one but TWO monkeys in this set. It also comes with 2 pieces of poops too XD. Unfortunately, the monkeys can't hold the poops. The ATV though is a nice surprise, the turning action works surprisingly well, I'm pretty sure this will be utilised more in the upcoming stunts sub-theme. Also, I love the printed drone control as well. Really can't fault this set, recommend to everyone =)
  16. Redhead1982

    REVIEW 71363 Desert Pokey

    If you're looking for some hammer swinging action, this is the way to go. Basic info of the set Set no.: 71363 Name: Desert Pokey Theme: Super Mario Subtheme: Expansion set Year: 2020 Pieces: 180 Minifigs: 0 Age group: 6+ Price: £ 17.99 / US$ 19.99 / EUR 19.99 Price per part: 10.0 p / 11.1 c / 11.1 c Links: Bricklink, Brickset, LEGO S@H The box When I got the set in my hands, I was first surprised by the box's size. It is smaller than a regular A4 paper sheet, but this could be expected since 71363 is one of the smaller sets. The box itself has a typical Super Mario design with a thick green line at the bottom, an additional character at the top right corner and written in bright colorful letters theme's name, Super Mario. In addition, the box art immediately reveals the idea of the set. Being one of the Expansion sets, it is meant to complement your (preowned) Super Mario figure with an additional layout. Super Mario is shown on the box art together with clear text that LEGO Mario is not included in the set. The interactive action of the set is shown on both characters, Pokey and Monty Mole, as they both feature the action tiles. The interactive action of the set is even more clearly shown on the back of the box. Together with the 71360 Adventures with Mario, this Expansion set adds another level to the starter set. However, this is not really promoted on the box art. In my view, a hidden potential lies in various combinations of the starter and expansion sets to create layouts or levels of different complexity. Instead, the interactive aspect of the Super Mario is emphasized showing coin-collection, hammer-swinging and other rewards activating when the enemies are destroyed. The booklet Another interesting aspect of the set is the instructions booklet. Or the lack of it. There's a booklet included in the set, but it's not what seasoned LEGO builders would have expected. The inner pages of this booklet can be viewed here, here and here. So, no instruction, but lots of advertising of other Super Mario sets. This is a sensible approach as the value of this set (or any other similar expansion set) is multiplied by combining it with other sets. The booklet directs you to an app that features a digital instruction booklet. While this might be interesting to the target population, I admit that I didn't enjoy the app's building instructions. It might be related to my tablet or smartphone used to view the instructions since progress through different steps of building just wasn't smooth. I ended up using a pdf scan of the instructions. However, going almost paperless is a good step towards saving tons of paper each year. I have a habit of simply throwing the instructions aways after some time, as I never rebuild a set, and even if I do, the instructions can be found online. The parts The contents of the set is shown here. There are in total 3 numbered bags, 1 loose plate with rounded edges and the above-mentioned instruction booklet. Altogether was packed pretty nicely in the box with a limited empty space. I still remember the time when the boxes were so large, there was about 1/3 of pure Danish air included. Surprisingly (or not) there's no sticker sheet. Bag no.1 contains parts to build the Pokey, hence the predominant yellow and green. Parts worth mentioning are the dark bluish gray SNOT 5 plates high bricks with studs on three sides. The bright green cheese pyramids included here are pretty rare, appearing in only 2 sets so far. The printed Pokey face tile and dark tan action tile are exclusive to this set. Bag no.2 is used to build the desert land for Pokey, with the predominant tan colors. Similarly to bag 1, parts are very common and from a MOCer's perspective not many stand out. Worthy to mention are eight 5 plates high bricks with studs on the side in tan, dark tan half a circle 2x6 plate, the four tan bow bricks (available in 2 sets only), and an exclusive to this set, 2x4 dark bluish gray ridged slope. Additionally, 2 of those plates with rounded edges, predominantly present in the Super Mario sets are interesting to mention. Yellow might not be a perfect colour, but these parts can be interesting to use. Their unique shape with rounded edges can be used to complement macaroni bricks and give more sturdiness to MOCs (an example here). Contents of bag no.3 is similar to the other two bags with no clearly outstanding or exciting parts. There are two printed action tiles, 2 round spikey bricks in green, 2 more of the plates with rounded edges and a printed brick with Monty Mole's face. An interesting part are Monty's legs, which could be used as a furniture legs or even a bottom of a tree. The build The building experience starts with the first character, Pokey, a desert creature. Being a Super Mario analphabet, I had to google this creature, and I have to admit it is cleverly built, or put together. Pokey is a sort of an arthropod. Pokeys are typically composed of three to five spherical body segments and can be defeated by destroying each body segment. This specific Pokey has 4 body segments, which are not attached together. As odd as it sounds, this is due to the hammer-swinging activity promoted on the box art. To kill a Pokey, you have to destroy each body segment. This way its easier to hit it segment by segment until the action tile is revealed. The design of each segment is identical apart from the face segment and the one with the action tile. However, these are small builds and the repetitive design is not a problem. At this point, only two extra parts are left. The building continues with the desert background for Pokey. Since Pokeys are cactus enemies, this background stand fits nicely. The tan and dark tan mass with grey rails forms a structural element to keep Pokey alive longer. The green cones on the back of Pokey slide in between the rails and help keep it stable for longer. Similarly, the ridged slopes help to keep the bottom segment still. The two cactuses at the side are a neat addition and make more sense after identifying Pokey as a cactus enemy. The cactuses are very basic in design, but they fit nicely here. They are almost symmetrical with the right one being taller. The half-circle tiles complement the round edges of the cactus' sections. Again, only two extra parts are left. The last part to build was the hammer-swing and Monty Mole. Monty Mole is another enemy of Mario and according to mariowiki Monty Moles dart out of holes in the ground and pursue Mario or throw rocks at him. Learning this makes me slightly confused, as I associate the desert with sand more than with rocks. But adding another character (and action tile) is an added value of the layout, so even if it doesn't completely fit in, it is welcomed. Another spikey cactus is included, and in my view, this one is a bit more interesting with the spikes and a tiny flower on top. The main attraction here is the swinging hammer featuring the last action tile. The hammer is set on the large turntable, and there's some friction to the movement. Similar to other elements of the set, the hammer is built in a simple way, easy to follow for the target population. The finished product The set is built very quickly. It's set on a small footprint with a low number of parts. Once Pokey is added to the picture, the scene looks fuller and more colorful. I had some fun swinging the hammer but gave up pretty quickly. The turntable tension doesn't allow an easy hit, and Pokey's segments don't really "fly" away when hit. Even with Mario on the hammer, my hammer-swinging skill was not improved. However, the little ones tested the set for me. While they couldn't make any comment other than I like it, they spent a few afternoons playing with it. The Final Verdict Design: 5/10 The overall design is very simple. Considering the target population of 6-year olds, the build is maybe too simple but can be quickly assembled so the youngsters can soon move away from the building experience to the interactive one. No complicating techniques are used, and the only moving mechanism is the hammer-swing on a turntable. The color scheme is a bit odd with yellow plates representing a desert and stone backdrop. Clearly, the background design was less important than the interactive activities of the set. On the other hand, I don't really see how the set could be improved design-wise as the main purpose of the set is to play Super Mario interactive game preferentially connected to the app. Parts: 5/10 Other than the 5-plate high snot bricks, the parts don't stand out. Most of them are very basic and common. Given the set's price, this is not really a worthy set to buy for parts alone, unless you are new to the hobby or really want the majority of the parts included. Not much more can be added here. Build: 5/10 The building of the set is simple and straightforward. As such it is appropriate even for the less experienced builders. One of the flaws was the missing paper instructions, as this limits the building experience if the child doesn't have access to a tablet or smartphone or is not skilled enough to slide step-by-step through digital instructions. Being targeted at 6-year olds, paper instructions would be nice, but there's a bonus for saving trees and going digital. Playability: 7/10 The finished product is stable and allows play-action, but there's not much flexibility to the layout. Monty Mole and the cactus can change the positions, but given the small footprint of this expansion set, not much more can be added in terms of varying the layout. Interactive gameplay is the most important feature of this set. However, it's almost a must to have Mario figure included. While I had some fun just swinging the hammer at Pokey, rewards can be collected with Mario jumping on the action tiles. I was disappointed with the hammer-swing moving with friction and usually stopping right at Pokey. Even with Mario at the hammer, there was no way for me to hit Pokey quickly and effectively. Price: 8/10 It's a small and licensed set, so the price is not that surprising. It's widely available and can be found at local stores with discounts as well. Given the original price and the part count, it's bordering what is a reasonable price per part (10 c). At 11c per part, the set is not a good value as a parts pack. On the other hand, to enjoy the potential of the set, buying the starter set or Mario alone increased the cost. Overall: 30/50 (50.0%) As the overall score implies, this is a set not really worth having from my perspective. It is clearly targeted at the young builders and more than bricks it promotes the interactive nature of the set. It has good playability, but only if complemented with a starter set or Mario, therefore it is not as interesting on its own. It is quite limiting to enjoy the full potential of the set if not combined with Mario, starter set, and/or other expansion sets. Nevertheless, I like the concept of introducing expansion sets, as these sections of various sizes offer more versatility in setting up different layouts for play action. The set as such is clearly not targeted at MOCers, but more at children being fascinated by going digital. While it is good for the kids to learn some basic digital skills, I feel it could promote more analog play as well.
  17. A wild non-Hogwarts set has appeared in the June 2021 lineup. Let's take a look! 76388 Hogsmeade Village Visit | 2021 | 851 Pieces | 6 + 1 Minifigures USD $80 | GBP 70 | EUR 80 (variable) | CAD 120 | AUS$ 130 __________________________ Thanks once again to LEGO for providing these four Harry Potter sets for review. Check out my Hogwarts reviews if you haven't already: 76386, 76387, 76389 and combining them all. When images for the June 2021 Harry Potter wave came out, one set stood apart for NOT being a departure from the standards maintained for this rebooted theme since 2018. 76388 looks to contain two highly detailed buildings in a location that has never been done apart from a small Honeydukes included as a side build in 2004's 4756 Shrieking Shack. There are unique characters in screen-accurate outfits, and details aplenty. Is 76388 Hogsmeade Village Visit as good as it looks? __________________________ THE BUILD & PARTS The build for this set feels more in line with the majority of this line prior to this year, with lots of fiddly bits added for detailing, and such things as the angled roofs which satisfyingly fall into place with each other once they are all added. The buildings still make use of a few larger parts, but the build progresses more slowly and intricately than this year's Hogwarts sets. One of the best aspects of the build is that two instruction manuals are included, one for each building, making this set ideal to split and build alongside a partner or friend or family member. Here are the excellent spare parts, which include an unprinted white bowl, still-rare 1x1 stud with bar attachment in black, that printed 1x1 tile with a heart previously found in four Friends sets, the 1x1 with red swirl (not rare but mostly used in Friends), and cherries in red and magenta - always nice to have. In my reviews I actually haven't touched much on the Chocolate Frog cards. They're a nice little bonus but don't excite me personally. I hope they don't excite you too much either, because they are nearly impossible to collect without resorting to Bricklink (once they become widely available). In this set, I got duplicate McGonagalls. __________________________ THE MINIFIGURES The particular Hogsmeade Village Visit being depicted in this set comes from Prison of Azkaban, and minifigures have thus been chosen somewhat appropriately. The Students For Hogwarts students we get Harry and Dean Thomas in civvies, plus Goldenron. I always appreciate getting students other than Ron and Hermione, though they visited Hogsmeade at the same time, and Dean gets a lovely exclusive head and very repurpose-able torso. Harry has all re-used parts which aren't completely accurate, but not too bad really. Dean was barely glimpsed in this outfit in the film, if at all, but again he's so nicely done that that doesn't bother me. He was seen in Honeydukes, so he's a good choice as he can be browsing there while Harry is taking care of business in the Three Broomsticks. Dean's other face bears striking resemblance to his previous LEGO appearance, in the first Wizarding World CMF series. The only difference is the lack of cheek lines. Oddly, this is the second time in this theme that LEGO has changed a character's hair colour from dark brown to black: first with Madame Maxime, and now with Dean. The Adults For adults, we get Madame Rosmerta, the landlady of the Three Broomsticks; McGonagall in the outfit she wore when Harry eavesdrops on her, Madame Rosmerta and Minister of Magic Fudge discussing Sirius Black at the Three Broomsticks; and the Flumes, who run Honeydukes. All of these figures have outstanding details, though Fudge truly is missing to complete that scene. All four of these include brand new body prints that closely match their on-screen appearances. All four hair and hat pieces are recolours so far exclusive to this set, and Mr Flume gets a new double-sided head. The reused Mantis head works better for Rosmerta than it did for Bellatrix, and though Mrs Flume reuses the Helga Hufflepuff print which has already been reused for Mrs Weasley, I'd care more about Mrs Weasley getting an exclusive print than Mrs Flume. I'm happy as well for a repeat of this McGonagall face from her Hogwarts Moments book set, as those weren't everyone's cup of tea. All of them have delightful back of torso prints, McGonagall especially. You'll see lots of accessories within the builds, but Madame Rosmerta also gets a hammer - maybe to ward off unruly customers? Only the students and McGonagall get wands, which I haven't bothered to show. The acid pops head is much more enticing, and two are included. __________________________ HONEYDUKES Both of the builds included are obviously going to have details reduced from their on-screen appearances, and some incorrect proportions - it's a LEGO set after all. That fact alone doesn't bother me, and I will judge them both on their own merits and their success at capturing the essence of the source material. Exterior Honeydukes looks quaint and charming from the outside, with good asymmetrical detailing ranging from the mismatched chimneys to the snow on the roof to minor details like the placement of 1x1 grey tiles for added texture. The asymmetry continues on either side as stickered brick details and more 1x1 grey tiles are placed in different positions. The roof angles come together quite well too, forming somewhat complex shaping. There's an elephant in the room detracting from the exterior of the model, though, and not the cool new moulded elephant from the City line. It's the stickers. I don't mind stickered detail. They're not going to print things like 2x2 tiles all the time, or stickers like those used for minor brick detailing on the side of the building, and that's just fine. Honeydukes, however, is 100% reliant on the stickers. Without them, you'd have no lattice on the windows, and no pink at all. If you screw up their placement, the thing is doomed. And, even if you DON'T screw up the placement, you could very easily have trapped finger prints and air bubbles in your massive windows, like I have. I tried to be as careful as I could, and my alignment is ok, but the result is still very hazy and looks even worse in person. Interior The vibrant ground floor candy store and storage room above comprise the interior of Honeydukes. Let's take a closer look. The ground floor is filled with a variety of sweets along the walls and bigger displays of chocolate fondue and a glittery opalescent ball in the windows. It also has a removable sort of aquarium stickered on both sides that can be placed in the centre. I thought I knew the Harry Potter franchise well, but my knowledge has failed me again with this one! Both sides have further stickered details on the wall panels, which are easy to apply and create a fine illusion of a more packed store. The cash register area also has a few pleasing details such as the white bowl for weighing, and a couple of stickers. In my Chamber of Secrets review I wrote about the "usable space" test, and I'm happy to report that Honeydukes has plenty of usable space for posing figures. The 2x2 jumper plates were a good choice, and Honeydukes is surely often packed with candy-hungry students anyway. The upstairs simply has fireplaces on both sides. a Honeydukes storage box, a bucket and pot, and some more old bits and bobs stowed in the rafters. It too has enough room for a couple of figures, and would have more with the box removed. All in all, Honeydukes has great exterior shaping and detailing, and the interior offers lots of sweets in eye-catching colours with space to pose figures, but the massive, integral stickers are an equally massive pain. __________________________ THE THREE BROOMSTICKS In the films, The Three Broomsticks looks rather gnarly and has lots of odd angles, all of which have been straightened up for this set. Some people might wish that this location got the D2C treatment so that it could be reproduced more faithfully, but I think having varied locations at more reasonable and accessible price points is better. Exterior This building provides excellent contrast against Honeydukes, with a completely different style. There's still lovely asymmetry to be found, and sloped roofs intersected by windows, resulting in a building that looks eye-catching despite its muted colour scheme and not at all boxy, as one might expect a LEGO set to be. Stickers provide minor details on the front and sides, and are easy enough to apply. Once again, even stickers aside the build feels complex with lots of good detailing and a distinct look. Interior The ground floor, while fairly small, displays the pub portion of the Three Broomsticks, with a combination of brick-built and stickered detail. The stickered shrunken heads and painting are nice touches, while the high bar looks good with a slightly raised area for Madame Rosmerta behind it. Like Honeydukes, both side walls utilise stickers for extra depth and detail, and I'm fine with that. There's obviously not a tremendous amount of seating provided, though The Three Broomsticks feels like a communal enough place that separate parties could sit at the same table, like I've done here. There's also enough floor space for a few other customers, and for Madame Rosmerta herself. I also can't forget to mention the butterbeer mugs, appropriately making their next appearance after the second CMF series. Love as many of those as I can get, and the 1x1 white studs make excellent head on the beer! Upstairs contains a private room, presumably the one where Harry overhears Rosmerta, McGonagall and Fudge. There's a large, roaring fireplace in the centre with holly and a cup above, and a comfy arm-chair to one side with a sticker behind it. The other side has a small chest of drawers and stool, and a sticker that's quite difficult to see. I've boosted the brightness on the second photo so that you can see it's a Hogwarts skyline. This room also contains plenty of open space for staging figures. Madame Rosmerta isn't happy about that. __________________________ SET DRESSINGS In addition to the two buildings, the set also contains three small side builds to set the Hogsmeade scene: a lamppost, a bench, and a sign-board. All are simply but well designed. The signboard has stickers for both sides, with a more enraged Sirius on the reverse. __________________________ FINAL THOUGHTS & RATING All in all, 76388 Hogsmeade Village Visit meets and exceeds my personal expectations. It continues the high level of detail expected for the Harry Potter theme since 2018, with two intricate, visually varied models that complement each other and create a lovely little slice of Hogsmeade along with the snowy side builds. Parts-wise, it includes a wealth of useful parts in dark tan, including arches appearing in that colour for the first time, and the large rounded trans-clear pieces used for Honeydukes windows could be useful without their bothersome stickers. There's also the exclusive acid pops head, butterbeer mugs, and minifigure-scale candy aplenty. On the minifigure front, getting three unique characters is always delightful, while McGonagall and Dean provide excellent new prints. Even if you don't care for the characters, they have useful and not terribly specific prints, as well as some hair and hat pieces in exclusive colours. There's just one thing about the design that detracts from this set, and it's the massive bloody stickers on Honeydukes. Even though they're bad, I wouldn't go so far as to say they ruin the set. If displaying is your aim, from a distance the stickered windows have the desired effect, but up closer at all and they look subpar. They really needed to be prints to alleviate their issues. One other pretty minor gripe I got thinking about is the lack of animals. An owl, mouse, rat, frog or two or three etc would've been great and felt very Harry Potter-y. Minifigures: 9.8/10 - Harry is bland and somewhat inaccurate, and Fudge should've been included to complete the scene, but really these minifigures are fantastic. Pieces: 9.6/10 - Good variety including some exclusive recolours and prints, as well as thankfully two butterbeer mugs and plenty of accessories in Honeydukes. Lacking animals, though!  Design: 7/10 - It's only fair to knock this down because of the Honeydukes windows, which play a prominent role in the set. Every other design choice is good, though. Playability: 8/10 - Unlike Hogwarts, which is itself a magical building and thus should have more play features built in, these two shops are shops, so playability will all come down to using them like doll-houses and enacting scenarios. There's mostly enough space for that, though the seating area in the pub and the upstairs of Honeydukes are limiting. Price: 10/10 - I haven't touched on price until now, but it feels like a fine USD price for the volume of stuff and level of detail, as well as all of the well-done minifigures and accessories. Overall: 8.9/10 - This is a very strong score, though not perfect, for a very strong though not perfect set. Given all of the well-done design choices, I wouldn't want to ding it too badly because of the Honeydukes windows, though they are a real shame. Still, I heartily recommend this set for either what it is or as a parts pack. Though I ended up liking the new Hogwarts sets more than I expected to, more of this please LEGO! __________________ This concludes my reviews of new 2021 Harry Potter sets for now. I hope I provided some useful insights for you, and let me know if there's anything you'd like to see with any of these sets that I haven't already covered. Please leave a comment with your thoughts on the sets and/or my reviews, and also let me know if you'd like me to cover any of the other sets once they're available for purchase. I'll definitely be getting the chess one!
  18. Here is my review on 10292 F.R.I.E.N.D.S The Apartments: THE GOOD: Spacious to place minifigures in different situation. Foosball table and some of the furnitures are great little build. Love both kitchens. Great new version of the characters in minifigure form. THE NOT SO GOOD: Building experience not as fresh as The Central Perks Cafe. Overall, it's really a set for the fans of the tv series. I personally not a fan but watched it on TV back in the days, so the experience during build and after building is quite different compare to let's say any MCU sets. I would have give it full marks if I did not own the Central Perks Cafe. There are lots of building techniques already been done, and I do feel the Central Perks one is a bit more complex and the end product is more lively. Having said that, I still has a good time and surprised with size of this. And considering Seinfields set is also on the way, we may able to build our own TV studios in LEGO. The minifigures are excellent and it's always good to get new version of any characters. (but sad LEGO cut corner for not wearable turkey XD) The highlights for me are definitely the foosball table and both kitchens, I feel there are not of great stuff being hidden there and only appreciate it when you actually built it. You will love this set if you are a fan of the series, but if you are like me, I will still recommend this set but will rate the Central Perks higher and the pricing of this one is also slightly on the higher end, especially in NZ =(
  19. 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.
  20. Yes, it's a lengthy video but most of it is taken by the speed build which you can skip. The largest offering from LEGO, big enough to hold its own Guiness World Record, is certainly not for everybody, but it makes one crazy display piece.
  21. 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. collecting LEGO sets. Thanks for reading! Feel free to leave questions or comments below.
  22. I'm amazed by this set. It's like Model Team goes into space and meets quite a bit of Technic. I had to nitpick really hard to find any faults:
  23. 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.
  24. 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 =)
  25. 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...