Review: 70003 Eris' Eagle Interceptor

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70003 Eris' Eagle InterceptorWhen 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? :-)

70003 Eris' Eagle Interceptor

The back of the box shows what moves and what comes off.

70003 Eris' Eagle Interceptor

Inside, the parts are in three numbered bags. There's one instruction book and a small sticker sheet.

70003 Eris' Eagle Interceptor

The minifigs

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)

70003 Eris' Eagle Interceptor

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.

70003 Eris' Eagle Interceptor

Here is Eris, who's constructed the same as the ravens, but with a different shaped head.

70003 Eris' Eagle Interceptor

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)

70003 Eris' Eagle Interceptor

Construction

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'

70003 Eris' Eagle Interceptor

70003 Eris' Eagle Interceptor

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.

70003 Eris' Eagle Interceptor

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.

70003 Eris' Eagle Interceptor

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...

70003 Eris' Eagle Interceptor

...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.

70003 Eris' Eagle Interceptor

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)

70003 Eris' Eagle Interceptor

Conclusion

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.

37 comments on this article

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By in Sweden,

Eris is female, no?

Anyway, this is pretty much the only Chima set I'm interested in. Great-looking model, nice minifigures and it won't set you back too much if you just want a sampler of Chima. Still not sure whether or not I'll get it, but this review certainly doesn't make me less interested, that's for sure!

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By in United States,

That was what I was just coming to post. :-)
Isn't Eris female?

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By in United States,

Hips, female face, etc.

Anyway, I saw this set at a Walmart yesterday. I considered buying it, but I think we are going to wait for the full release, and start with a speedor.

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By in United Kingdom,

I have this set too, and take his word; it's really cool! Although i didn't know that eris' wings were meant to go on the larger wings. maybe i wasn't paying attention to the instructions and just wanted to get it done. I'm glad i got this over crawleys claw ripper, it looks way cooler. By the way i think eris is actually a girl, because if you look closely at the torso, you can see hips and a feminine design of shirt/clothing. The face looks a bit female to. Anyway that was a great reveiw! Thank you for making it and please make more =D
-Cameron

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By in United States,

I would buy some Legends of Chima sets...but then, as Im a completest, I know Id have to get them all, and thatd cost to much money for me :P

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By in United Kingdom,

I have realised at last what the bird like figures remind me of! Battle of the Planets.

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By in United Kingdom,

That looks the best set so far. I'm really taken on this and the Wolf Tracker. Please review more Chima sets please so if I can see if I like them.

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By in United States,

Probably the only Chima set I'll be getting. They all look pretty cool, but this is the only one that passes the "But...I have so many sets already..." test.

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By in United Kingdom,

Most people thought this would be the stand-out set of Legends of Chima (for this wave at least) but I had previously counted myself among those who disliked it. But now I have found myself swaying towards it, so 'thanks' for that Huw... :P

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By in United States,

ADU Blue is Dark Azur, not Medium Azur. Minor quibble there. From the pics I can't tell if it's actually Dark Azur or Medium Azur, but I'm going to assume that since you called it ADU Blue you've made a comparison.

Eris is definitely a she, not a he. Eyelashes and an hourglass figure are pretty good indicators as far as LEGO minifigures are concerned.

The printing vs. sticker issue in this set comes down to budget, but more importantly comes down to the same thing it usually does: What in this set are we likely to reuse in other sets? IMO, printing decorations that are only ever going to be used once is a bit of a waste unless it's a part that stickers will not adhere well to, like a 2x2 or 1x1 cylinder or any dome-shaped piece, or a part that stickers are hard to align on, like any round pattern on an airplane tail element.

Great review. The main vehicle is good, but also I ironically like the raven glider in this set better than either of the raven gliders that come as sets of their own.

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By in United States,

Maybe more importantly, the thrusters touch the ground, so stickers would just get scraped off when kids play with it.

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By in United States,

I at least like all of the Chima sets, but this is really the only one I actually wanted. Nabbed it at Walmart the other day, and it's even better in person. It's probably one of my favorite Lego sets of all time, to be honest. =)

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By in United Kingdom,

Good call everyone, Eris does indeed look female. Not sure why I didn't notice :-)

And yes, it's dark azur.

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By in United Kingdom,

I talked to Mark Stafford for a long time at the Manchester show last year and he really seemed to have a strong ethic for quality design. I have to say that his Alien Conquest work is perhaps my favorite thing that Lego has done in recent years. He wouldn't discuss what he was working on at the time, but I guess it was these Chima sets. I still prefer the Alien Conquest theme, but these look good for fans of Ninjago.

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By in Sweden,

By the way, Huw, the LEGO S@H site lists this set as having a prison, so I guess that's what the rear compartment is supposed to double as.

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By in United States,

After reading the review, I can safely conclude that the best part of the set is, in fact, the ravens' glider. =P As I've said previously, "the downscaled raven motif is blended nicely with the aircraft."

The legs, whether or not they're supposed to be propulsion units, are cheaply designed (not the printed tiles, though); I almost have a feeling that the printing was almost a last-minute addition to cover up this by trying to "explain" it with another fact. Even if they're really supposed to be that, it doesn't make them any better.
The wings (and even the back, surprisingly) are extremely unproportional and looks like they would be a pain to adjust (or put back on, if they fall off)...

Perhaps if the legs were changed to more-attached (and "better") things, and the wings were fixed a bit, I wouldn't have any problems with this set. After seeing such sets like the Hobbit, Galaxy Squad, Creator, etc., I'm a bit disappointed in the little steps they could've taken (and missed) to make these sets THAT much better.

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By in Australia,

Yea, this is the only Chima set that I'm really interested in. I love the idea of the Eagle-shaped jet. So I'll definitely be grabbing this one the second I see it. Thanks for the review :).

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By in Ireland,

Great review, I'll be very tempted to buy this set when it comes out. By the way, regarding Eris, her description in the review still mentions "his facial expression". ;)

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By in United States,

This theme has a potential greater then ninjago.

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By in Netherlands,

I am getting a flash-back to Buck Rogers...hawk's plane!

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By in United States,

At the risk of sounding way pervy, what does Eris's chest look like under the armour. It looks like she's got some curves and is wearing a bikini in a slave princess Leia kinda way.

Wow, that does sound pervy. But, it's all in the name of minifigure analysis!

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By in United States,

Google. I found a picture of her earlier without the armor. It is highly obvious when you see her without armor that she is female. I think there is more coverage than a bikini top. It is a bit more like a midriff top, with no sleeves, but still has that Leia metallic look. There is curvature on the shirt to indicate she is a female as well.

What was interesting was seeing the description of her in the Lego club magazine today. They are making her bright, and using strategy over brawn to defeat her opponents. I truly love the description of her. They've made a bright female fighter. I'm hoping she is a main character and gets a strong role in the show.

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By in United States,

One of my favorite Chima sets. I think i'll save my money for Galaxy Squad and Hobbit/LotR sets instead though.

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By in United States,

This set looks absolutely beautiful! I too was not expecting to buy any Chima sets, but I may splurge for one. Personally, the more I look at the Hobbit sets, the more I like them, and the same feels true to me for these. Galaxy Squad does not much appeal to me though - I love science fiction images, but the sets never feel real enough to me. Star Wars is plenty on its own, but I love how Lego always continues to branch out year after year. :-)

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By in Canada,

eris = godess of chaos

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By in Australia,

@Tensor - well, going from the last review, the male Chima characters all have abs that you could grate cheese on. Evidently this whole Chi thing is great for muscle tone and definition :).

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By in United States,

That eagle torso reminds me of those Avatar aliens...

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By in Australia,

The minifigs in this theme look awesome. I'll have to give this theme a miss due to my ever expanding Lego budget getting out of control as well as an expected addition to the family in the new year but I'll probably try and collect one figure from each of the six tribes.
I have to say though that this theme has caught my pleasantly by surprise and I do expect it to surpass Ninjago in terms of popularity (big statement, I know!)

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By in United Kingdom,

I appreciate anyone who likes this theme but I think its very poor and may come and go quickly.

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By in United States,

Wow good review Huw, I now have to buy this, the mini figs are awesome the set turned out well. The more I see these sets, the more
I'm drifting from the space theme!

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By in United States,

I cant believe I'm saying this but LoC is pretty cool

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By in United States,

So now I have to choose between the 2013 Ninajgo Samurai Bike and Eris' Eagle Interceptor... Gift cards don't go too far these days. :D

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By in United States,

This is going to be another flash in the pan. It looks like they missed the Avatar franchise deal and went out on their own. There is one of these themes that just doesn't resonate with people every couple of years.. at least they are consistent.

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By in United States,

@NoShelfWear: Not sure why you think that. Seems to me it would have around as much appeal as Ninjago did, albeit with a slightly different audience given the different subject matter. It's got that same kind of action cartoon appeal from what we've seen so far.

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By in United States,

Ok, just chose to buy this set. You convinced me, Huw!

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By in United States,

I think that the "jet engine" plates are printed instead of being a sticker because they're going to be the pieces which will be on the ground. If they were stickers, they would get rubbed and scraped a lot.

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