When pictures of Legends of Chima sets first emerged a few months ago, it was difficult to know what to make of them from the small images. Many appeared to be a bit strange, but 70003 Eris' Eagle Interceptor stood out as looking like the best of the bunch.
I was therefore very pleased when it was included in the bunch of LoC sets Kim from LEGO sent us to review just before Christmas.
From the initial pictures we saw, some remarked that the legs were a bit fat and un-eagle-like. Read on to find out why they are, and whether I agree.
Box and contents
The box is square, and as atkinsar noted in his review of 70004, it's smaller than you'd expect for a £30 set. Personally I think this is a good thing, although as I don't generally keep boxes forever, it's not that relevant to me.
The front shows the Interceptor chasing the much smaller raven glider and identifies the three minifigs as Eris (Eagle), Razar and Rizzo (Ravens). Have you noticed how the characters' names begin with the first letter of their species' name? :-)
The back of the box shows what moves and what comes off.
Inside, the parts are in three numbered bags. There's one instruction book and a small sticker sheet.
There are three, one eagle and two ravens. Both species are similar and share the same armour and wings. The heads are different, of course. Here are the ravens, Razar (right) and Rizzo. I believe, but I don't know for sure, that the 1x1 round tile on their chests represents CHI, which is the element/crystal/whatever that they are squabbling about, and which provides a 'life force' in Chima (or something like that!). They each have weapons, which are not shown in these photos (but you can see them here)
This shot of their backs shows how the wings are attached to the bodies. The armour has 2 studs on the back, upon which two 1x1 clips are attached. The heads are printed on the backs, with a different expression. The raven head pieces are very well printed in metallic paint and look superb.
Here is Eris, who's constructed the same as the ravens, but with a different shaped head.
Her (not his, as it's been pointed out in the comments) head is also printed on both sides but her facial expression is virtually identical on the back, her eyes are slightly wider, that's the only difference I can see (I didn't notice at first so didn't photograph the back of his head as a result)
Bag one builds the minifigs, the raven glider, and the 'cockpit'/head of the Interceptor and contains a number of new parts, and old parts in new colours, including 2x4 and 1x2 bricks in 'Dark Azure' or 'ADU blue'.
Here's the raven glider with Razar on it. The wings can be rotated and angled to pretty much any position you like. I believe the weapons at the front, and the one on the right of this picture, i.e. those fitted with lightsabre blades, are called 'CHI weapons'
Here's the cockpit of the Interceptor. It's a very nice design and made to look, of course, like an eagle's head, and I think it succeeds, particularly thanks to the beak.
Eris fits comfortably in it but you have to remove the clips and wings from her back. Provision has been made to put them elsewhere on the model as you will see below.
The finished model looks excellent. The cockpit attaches to the body by way of click-hinges so can be detached relatively easily. The legs do look a little stubby from the front and if you were building a model of an eagle they would look very out of place. However this is not a model of an eagle...
...it's a model of a flying machine made to look like an eagle and if you turn it upside down the reason for the fat legs becomes apparent: they are the propulsion units! The printed upside-down tiles help represent this. It's interesting that these pieces are printed, but others in the set are stickered. I guess it all came down to budget.
The product shot shown on the set detail page (70003) shows the feather pieces a bit too spread out and consequently they look a bit sparse. But they are of course adjustable so once you've move them in a bit it looks much better. This shot also shows where Eris' wings are mounted when not on her. The large dark blue piece on the back hinges up to reveal a storage space, although I'm not sure what goes in it, other than the CHI crystal (shown in this picture from DrDave's review)
This is an excellent set and, as suspected having examined the hi-res pictures we now have of the Chima sets, one of the best of the first batch. I can exclusively reveal that this set was designed by none other than Mark Stafford, which goes some way to explain why it's so cool :-)
What I liked
- The concept of a flying machine made to look like the species that flies it is interesting and has been pulled off very well. We don't make aircraft that look like us though, do we? :-)
- The legs do appear too fat at first, but once you understand what they represent, they look fine.
- The minifigs are superb, and even includes a female (even if I didn't notice at first!)
- The raven glider adds a fun play element to the set.
What I didn't like
As atkinsar mentioned in his review of 70004, Watz' Pack Tracker, a lot of attention has been spent on the front of that model but not so much on the back. This model doesn't suffer from that problem quite so much, but the backs of the legs are not 'clad' in dark blue like the sides so the yellow bricks and grey plates stick out like a sore thumb when you view it from the rear.
I had hoped that I would not need to buy Legends of Chima sets, but having built this model and being very impressed with it, it's quickly become apparent that will not be the case: In fact I already have 7 of them!
If you are sceptical about the theme and not sure whether you'll like it, this would be a good first set to pick up to see the best it has to offer both in terms of the minifigs and the model. Highly recommended!
All of the photos above, and a few more, can be seen in a flickr set.