Set Reviews

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Postby Carda » Sat Jan 05, 2008 6:51 pm

Review number two: the Exo-Force Assault Tiger mech!

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As soon as I saw this one, I knew that if I was only going to get one set, it would HAVE to be this one. It stands about 8 inches tall, the legs accounting for about 5 inches of that height. The two primary weapons are what look like a long range blaster and THIS BABY:

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It slices, it dices, it even cuts julienne fries!

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But wait, there's more! The long-range blaster has a surprise of its own!

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That nifty little gadget atop the blaster barrel is actually an autonomous robot! (Yep, another photo coming up; can you tell I love this thing?)

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Basically I can see this mech being used in a close combat role if other mechs are involved, or possibly just as a demolition machine, since that giant sawblade looks lethal. The little robot could be used for scouting out smaller areas and could probably hold its own in hand-to-hand combat (perhaps for balancing purposes the mech's pilot must use his action for the turn to remotely control the robot).

The cockpit does have two glaring weak points: the sides. You can't really tell from any of the photos, but to the pilot's immediate left and right, there's nothing between himself and a potential sniper, I'd say 1/3 cover at best. It's possible to possibly slip some extra bricks in there as cover armor, but leaving the weak point open could be a benefit when CP is an issue.
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Postby Carda » Sat Jan 05, 2008 7:16 pm

And here comes the review for the Hybrid Rescue Tank!

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Let's start with the important stuff: WEAPONRY. We have two missiles, a gatling gun style blaster cannon, and EIGHT blasters (nine if you count the spy drone's). A small gear on one side of the chassis rotates the turret 360 degrees.

Here we see the gatling cannon, which rotates as the tank moves thanks to a simple gear system connected to the treads. You can also see the Sensei Keiken minifig, which you couldn't get without spending 100 bucks on the Sentai Fortress set before now:

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Up above we have Ryo in his new jungle duds, though how bright orange can possibly be considered "camo" is beyond me. You can also see the spy drone:

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And the spy drone in robot form:

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In the spirit of transforming objects, the top turret actually lifts off and becomes a glider!

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So essentially what we have here is a tank that can provide its own air support, either with the spy drone or the turret gilder. The driver down below can be fairly vulnerable from behind, but it's more likely that anyone who got that close would simply get run over by that huge back wheel on the next turn anyway...
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Postby Carrnevil9 » Sun Jan 06, 2008 3:54 am

In rapid response to Carda's reviews, I bring you live, from the field, the Exo Force Chameleon Hunter!

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Reporter 1: Oh my... What you're seeing now is live... it appears the Hunter has fallen prey to a large WIP. We'll bring you updates as soon as possible on this tragic event in Exo-Force history. We'll now turn it over to Marsha, who's live in the field. Marsha?

Reporter 2: Well Dave, what you're seeing behind me is the remains of the Chameleon Hunter and the miniature robot that called it home.

Myself:

-Mechanical Statistics

Size: ???
Armaments: Crude fire-like blade, Large red grasping claw, and 2 small rockets

-Construction Quality

I was not entirely happy with this set, but then again I've never been much of a fan of official Exo-Force mech(a). The legs do not permit perfect vertical standing, the pilot is, as mentioned in Carda's review, rather exposed in the cockpit, spinning the claw gives no tactical advantage, and the Mini Robot doesn't even pretend to be hidden, let alone nice to look at.

-Brikwars compatibility

It has legs, it has guns, it has to be the widest mech I've seen produced so far. If you wanted to, you could throw it in believing it had some manner of close range combat capability. But don't for a second think that I would put my stamp of approval on it.

-Minifig count/quality

Comes with blue, spiky haired youth with new chest camo pattern and Mini Robot. Mini is ugly and does not mesh well with the blade-arm.

-Unique pieces

Well, the set isn't a total loss. The new green spines are useful for... uh... mm... I actually don't know what they'd be useful for, other than hair. Lots of green slopes though, and a new faux-hinge part (you can see a picture of it on the Assault Tiger's Mini, right beneath the red 'eye.')

-Piece count

188, a portion of them proved useful after ripping model asunder.

-Value

I think this thing is ugly. However, in light of my comparably small green part collection, I purchased it and decided to assemble it out of spite for my eyes. As you can see above, I did find a use for parts of it, amassed in a larger green mecha I find more palpable for ocular thesnuggly. It costs $15, but comes in as my 4th favorite 2008 set out of 4 and I would not expect it to hold firm as this list grows.

-anything else you deem important

Would it kill them to make a new pilot or two, or even make new/recolor the hair?

This set contains stickers.
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Postby Carda » Sun Jan 06, 2008 6:10 pm

I got my hands on the Motorcycle Escape set last night, so here goes!

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Not shown are two small crates that could easily be put to better use than scenery. Each is about as tall as two 2x2 bricks stacked atop each other.

Say what you will about "peach" minifigs, but I believe these are some of the best likenesses you'll find when it comes to Lego minifigs. Here's a good shot of Indy's hat and bag:

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Another angle to give you a decent look at the sidecar:

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I turned the flash off for this shot because I wanted to give you all a very good look at how closely the Prof. Jones minfig looks like Sean Connery. Even my wife was surprised at the close resemblance:

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And to finally put the whip debate to rest, yes, it does indeed stretch:

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So, down to business. Unless you're planning a scenario involving dozens of Henry Jones (both Jr and Sr) clones, the only real value in buying several boxes of this set is the fact that you get two motorcycles and a sidecar (easily removeable from the bike) in each. I'm sure someone could think of a use for half a dozen gatehouses, but the motorcycles and minifigs were my primary motivation for picking up this set. (Yeah, you get one guard minifig, but he's pretty generic.) Still, 10 bucks isn't that bad for what you get.

I'm considering statting out a hero card for Indy. I've already got a good disadvantage for him: Whenever he takes damage or performs a heroic feat, he must roll 1d6 to see if he loses his hat. On a roll of 1 his hat flies off his head and lands 1d6 inches away in a random direction. Indy may then take no other actions until he has retrieved his hat and put it back on his head.
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Postby IVhorseman » Sun Jan 06, 2008 8:11 pm

how's the construction quality of the gatehouse?

i also admit that i'd look into this set not necesarially for the figs as much as the motorcycles, but that gatehouse and the promise of cover-providing boxes seems pretty good.

speaking of the boxes, are they actually nice looking crates? or are they just blocks?
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Postby Carda » Sun Jan 06, 2008 9:13 pm

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The guard shack, not counting the gate, consists of 13 individual bricks. By comparison, the sidecar alone, unattached to the motorcycle, counting wheel and tire as two separate pieces as well as the backpack on the back, has 20 pieces. The gate is 8 bricks. The set altogether has 79 pieces, barring any accidental extras (my box featured a spare pistol), so that leaves 38 pieces for the bikes and minifigs. Feel free to confirm or fix my math.

I suppose it would make for a fair piece of cover if not for that gaping window. And the crates (which are 2 pieces each counting the smooth 2x2 panel "lids") only provide 1/3 to 1/2 cover each, if that. Same with the window.

Although the gate could provide some mayhem if dropped at just the right time...
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Postby Carrnevil9 » Mon Jan 21, 2008 4:34 pm

Last week I impulsively bought the Toa Undersea Attack (Clearance Isle for the win.) Does anyone want to see a review of it?
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Postby Carda » Mon Jan 21, 2008 4:37 pm

If it includes potential stats for Bionicle minifigs, I'm all for a review. ^_^
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Postby james+burgundy » Mon Jan 21, 2008 4:44 pm

Carrnevil9 can you give me some hows on those mechs of yours?
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Postby Carrnevil9 » Mon Jan 21, 2008 5:09 pm

Pfft, always about the numbers. SIGH. I'll give you the 'ship' stats, but this isn't going to be something I will enjoy.

This space reserved for an extremely-critical-and-negative-with-a-light-soy-sauce review. Going to go shovel =_=

James, post your request in my mechanical database and I'll help if I can.

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"Toa" Submarine:
Length: 7-13" long, depending on how you feel about tentacles.
Armaments: A gripping claw, revolving cannon, unidentifiable egg-sack like structure (possibly bombs)

"Toa" Tiny Underwater Boat
Length: 4"
Armaments: Another sphere (honestly doubt that's a bomb at this point) and two blades at the back of the craft. Where ramming speed would be less effective.

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Insect... Crab... Thing
Length: 3-6", tentacle dependent again.
Armaments:... Teeth? Really sharp feet with immobile legs? Rather long tentacles protruding from rear?

Evil Mutant Death Manatee
Lenth: 6-14", tail dependant.
Armaments: flipper... things? They're kinda painful looking... I suppose the teeth afront the beast may net if a few points of damage, and I certainly wouldn't want to find myself in range of the spine-ed tail. Another egg-sack thing on the bottom of this... creature?

-Construction Quality

Overall, not terribly pleased with this set. While the submarine is rather sturdy, many parts can move freely and the entire back half (As demonstrated below by a random minifig wielding a chain-blade) is worthless. No way to get in shy of destruction of the submarine, which seems foolish to me.

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Most of this set is a dumping ground, nay, a graveyard of Bionicle mega-weapons. There are 9 of the pincer-blades. Nine!

-Brikwars Compatibility

It comes with a small field of 12 melee weapons. These are in my opinion the only saving grace of this set. Other than that there are two apparent factions so sure, go to town. Underwater. Underwater-town.

-Minifig Count/Quality

6 bionicle minifigs, with new shorter arms and different heads. I like the red one, and the black one looks like it escaped from the set of Aliens 5: Ripley Is Uglier. However, the points of articulation are still lower than the common minifig (waist, arms, hands, head) and the stance is 3 bumps wide. Not idea for piloting common machinery.

-Unique pieces

New rubbery bionicle-head color? Ratcheting elbows on tail of Death Manatee have hole running all the way through, 3 pronged 120 degree cross beam connection, minifig parts. There may be hidden gold in this set somewhere, but I cannot find it.

-Part count

401, 5 of which I find useful.

-Value

Picked it up for $35 on clearance, and I still payed to much for it. The revolver, while neat, takes too much effort to fire. I'm not going to use many of the giant silver blades, and the sub is 3/4 useless. The DM is flimsy and the 6-legger isn't poseable at all.

-Anything else you deem important

Overall an ugly set, minimal re-usable parts, and the sub doesn't pretend to be enclosed very well. This was a poor decision on my part.

This set has no stickers (hey, wait, that's a good thing!)
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Postby Bonn-o-Tron » Mon Feb 11, 2008 9:14 pm

Here's a review for the Viking set, Heavy Artillery Wagon.
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The packaging and instructions.

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The newest recruits of my war machine.
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Finished product.
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Piece count: 312
Cost: 35 bones, not bad if you ask me.

This is the first set I've gotten in a long time (more than a year) so I was filled with the utmost glee during construction, and many of the pieces are foreign to me.

Construction Quality
I conducted a test in which I dropped it 3 consecutive times from a height of about 2 feet onto a carpeted surface. I rebuilt it after each drop, so it was in complete condition for each drop. For all 3 drops only the front panel/shield thing fell off, so my conclusion that it's unless you're going to be throwing it around and using it for rough play, it's sturdy enough.

Minifigs
I mainly purchased this for the awesome Viking minifigs and weapons. Not to mentioned a beautiful siege weapon to add to my ranks. It comes with 7 vikings, 5 shields (used for the machine, but can be detached), 7 helmets (all but one are gray, the other is gold), 5 spears (3 of which are attached to the machine), 2 axes, 2 large swords (one gray, one gold) and a large flag pole. There's also 2 goblets and 3 gems (blue, light green and dark green)

Brikwars Compatibility
Are you kidding me? This thing was MADE with Brikwars in mind. It's a large wagon with a massive front shield/panel and it fires 10 miniature missiles, which you can manually fire by turning a small crank. Now, the wagon is designed to be pulled by 6 minifigs, which would be a pointless waste of warriors in a battle, (unless you have spare slaves at hand) so my suggestion would be to create some self-propulsion mechanism for it, or to assume that it has one built in. As I mentioned, it includes a handful of minifigs and an accompanying arsenal of gear. On the back, there's a small detachable platform which holds a keg of "beverage" and the aforementioned goblets and a chest of gems. There is room, however, for minifigs to sit (or even stand, I fathom), so you could use it to carry troops to battle, or to jail prisoners. There is also a section on the back of the frame which could be expanded upon, allowing more possibilities of destruction.

I conducted a firing demonstration and photographed it so you can get an idea of how far the missiles can fire.

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*exhales* Whew, that's it for now. If there's anything I forgot, let me know.

EDIT: Concluding thoughts: Rating: 5/5, a great spend, worth every penny. I definitely recommend this to anyone looking to expand their castle army, it has awesome potential in combat.
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Postby Carrnevil9 » Tue Feb 26, 2008 3:51 pm

Special thanks goes to Carda for notifying me of the release of this set
-Troll Battle Wheel-

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Mechanical Statistics-

5" from axle to tower
Armaments: crossbow, 4 halberds, 6 spears, 2 bluntswords, chain-flail (fishing pole), obligatory catapult, and troll zword

Construction Quality-

The Troll Battle Wheel has an excellent wooden siege machine feel(I'm cautious to touch it for fear of sphincters). The wheels roll well, and as you may have expected, it turns on a dime. I do question the idea of having two trolls run backwards to get this to move forwards; it seems a bit illogical. At the same time, I'd expect nothing less from the new troll faction. The crownie wall defense is not beautiful, but sufficient. An inability to rotate the catapult will hurt this realistically though. I'm viewing it as a medieval spike-strip, which might not work against this trollish machine.

Brickwars compatibility-

It seems less than wise to install the troll runners at the top of the wheels (vulnerability), and I would like to point out that mathematically, this device would not be able to move more than the 5" allotted to the two runners on a 1:1 ratio. However, I see no reason not to add this to either a viking or castle attack party.

Minifig count/quality-

6 minifigs: 2 troll soldiers, troll commander (with skeletal armor), 2 new crownie clothies, crownie bowman/artillery-man. The new troll helmets are excellent, the commander's (hidden) plate shirt is great, and the new cloth crownies look sufficiently weak.

Unique pieces-

New special dark chocolate colored 2x1 log bricks and 2x6 plates. We also get to see the new troll flag and net some dark blue 2x1 plate (single stud) parts. New minifig troll helms, torsos, sand green flag.

Piece count-

508, 508 had any value to me.

Value-

Rather high. While it did cost $40, I got 3 more minifigs than come with the Rogue Shadow. This set once again seeks to make me buy an entire theme.

Anything else you deem important-

Slightly disappointed about the giant handle in the back, but I'll overlook it.

This set contains no stickers.
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Postby piltogg » Tue Feb 26, 2008 4:54 pm

that is one extreamly unrealistic set.
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Postby Carda » Tue Feb 26, 2008 5:20 pm

Since you beat me to a review, I'll chip in with a few of my own impressions.

The chain-flail you mention seems to be intended for use as a grappling hook, which could make for some awesome Heroic Feats if a knightly hero were to use it.

The trolls running backwards thing had me baffled as well, but I'm willing to overlook it (or devise some sort of setup where they drive the wheels from inside).

I left the skelly armor off my troll commander; he looks cooler without it.

After doing some research, I discovered that the Dwarves' Mine set is going to be re-released, so we'll get another chance to get more dwarves and trolls. (Last release was apparently a Target exclusive or something... I'll have to go looking for it around here to see if it's still available locally.)
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Postby blackwing77 » Tue Feb 26, 2008 5:50 pm

Remove the two running Orks on top, put some transparent pieces on the bottom so this thing stands upright and put a jet engine or five on the handle. Much more brikwarsy.
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