Review: 79100 Kraang Lab Escape

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Kraang Lab Escape

When LEGO finally announced they had secured the licence to produce sets based on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, it certainly seemed to fire people up, with seemingly equal volumes of excitement and disappointment.

Now that the sets have been released in some countries (though not in the UK at present), it’s time to take a look at the smallest of the six strong launch line-up: 79100 : Kraang Lab Escape.

As most of you will already be aware, this theme is based on the cartoon currently airing on Nickelodeon and not the original 80’s cartoon show. It contains 90 pieces and retails for US $12.99 / GBP £9.99.

Box and Contents

The front of the box shows the action, with the Foot Soldier slipping on a pizza thrown by Mikey whilst he escapes from the laser prison with The Kraang watching on. You know, I’ve been racking my brains trying to remember if this is a scene from the first twelve episodes of the TV show and I’m drawing a blank, anyone?

79100 Kraang Lab Escape

The back of the box shows more of the play features and also a small comic strip that acts out the scene.

79100 Kraang Lab Escape

Two small non-numbered bags are included, along with my personal favourite, folded instructions :-/

79100 Kraang Lab Escape

79100 Kraang Lab Escape

Minifigs

This set contains two minfigures: Michelangelo (Mikey), a Foot Soldier and one character: The Kraang.

Let’s start with the star of the show: Mikey.

79100 Kraang Lab Escape79100 Kraang Lab Escape

Mikey has front and back printing and a specially moulded head piece. I’m pleased they resisted the temptation to give the turtles standard minifig heads and that they also decided to use standard ABS plastic rather than the softer rubber sometimes used for these types of heads.

The shell, which is of course a new piece for this theme, attaches simply around the neck and looks great. Mikey’s weapon of choice, the Nunchaku are built using two reddish brown 24mm outer cables and a chain 6 M.

Let’s cut to the chase, if you’re after a complete set of Ninja Turtles, you’re going be buying this set, the only other set Mikey currently appears in is 79104: Shellraiser Street Chase (review coming soon!) and that version not only has a different facial expression, but the set is also a lot more expensive. I think the Turtles have translated really well into LEGO form and make for great minifigs.

The Foot Soldier is a lot less interesting, although obviously more of an army builder, which is lucky given that he appears in four of the six launch sets. He has front and back printing and is packing this one piece flail.

79100 Kraang Lab Escape

Finally we have The Kraang, not a minifigure, but what LEGO call a ‘character’. It comes supplied in a separate bag and is moulded using the softer flexible plastic. The Kraang fits on to a standard bright purple minifig head so you can attach it to studs, specifically in this case, inside the Mech Walker pod included in this set.

This is the only set that The Kraang features in so far (not counting the biosuit version from the Shellraiser set), and since there a ton of these in the cartoon series, you will either need to buy multiples of this set, or more likely, pick more up on BrickLink if you want an army of them.

79100 Kraang Lab Escape

The Completed Model

There are two separate models in this set. You get the Mech Walker that The Kraang uses to get about; this is actually two sub-assemblies, with the top escape pod lifting off the legs. The pod can freely rotate though 360 degrees and contains two flick-fire missiles on the side. Again, I'm pretty sure this hasn't featured in the cartoon as yet (I've seen the first twelve episodes).

It’s a basic model but perfectly decent, can’t say it blows my socks off, but the two printed 1 x 1 flat tile pieces are really nice and new for this theme, I can see a lot of re-use potential for these in MOCs.

79100 Kraang Lab Escape

79100 Kraang Lab Escape

79100 Kraang Lab Escape

The laser prison is designed to house a minifig, although it contains no studs to place Mikey on, the reason for this soon becomes clear, since pressing down on 2 x 4 flat tile to the rear explodes the transparent wall element from the plate and releases the imprisoned turtle (and for what it’s worth, the exploding mechanism works pretty well).

Those clips on the side are to hold Mikey’s nunchucks whilst he’s twiddling his thumbs inside. One thing that bugs me about this model is that the ‘laser beams’ stop well short of the top of the prison, and it just looks a bit off to me.

79100 Kraang Lab Escape

79100 Kraang Lab Escape

Conclusion

79100 Kraang Lab Escape

I’m a little under whelmed by this set, truth be told, I mean, it's not bad, but it's not particularly great either. On the plus side, Mikey is a great minifig and I do like the The Kraang’s Mech Walker. The Foot Solider for me is a little dull and I think the laser prison could do with a bit of spicing up, although the exploding mechanism is a nice touch and works well enough.

I would perhaps liked to have seen another minifig included, even if it was just another Foot Soldier. By including one of the Turtles, and in particular a design that is unique to this set, LEGO have made this an essential purchase and I can’t deny that it would be a decent introduction to the theme.

I passed this set on to my four year old son and he gravitated towards Mikey and the Kraang Mech Walker, whilst not really giving the Foot Soldier or laser prison a second glance. I will say this though, so far we have two of Turtles sets, and of all the themes my son has tried to date, this is by far the most popular with him.

21 comments on this article

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By in United States,

Decent set, but not as bad as the Stealth Shell or Dragon Bike in my opinion. It's in the middle of the road for me with TMNT.

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By in United Kingdom,

Just FYI: The recent Argos Lego voucher advertisement in Argos stores says that TMNT will be out in the UK on 15 February.

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By in Canada,

I'm pleasantly surprised by the sets in person, their price, and the reasonable distribution of popular/important characters. I won't be getting all of them, but look forward to picking up this set, Shredder's Dragon Bike and the Turtle Lair. I can wait for a 20% sale and get them all for under one hundred, giving me a great 'building', all four turtles (two of my favorite, Raph), Krang, Shredder, and multiple foot soldiers. Having three sets for under thirty bucks is awesome for a kid-friendly line. I got my nephew the Stealth Shell and he was blown away!

...it was weird buying LEGO for not-me haha. ^^

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By in United States,

Thanks for the thorough review - I picked one of these up over the weekend, but haven't given it a 'test drive' yet. I love the characters of this theme, so hopefully the sets do well sales-wise and we'll see some more produced in the future.

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By in United States,

I have to say I love this set. I've already bought 3, and plan to buy at least 2 more. The foot soldier, while boring, is a great army builder and the parts selection is just shy of amazing for what you get. Clearly I'll need to unload the extra Mikey's online, but for 2 great clear bits and a nice blend of rare/useful parts, I think you can't pass this one up.

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By in United Kingdom,

^ yes that's a good point, and something I didn't really touch upon, you do get varied and useful parts in this set.

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By in United Kingdom,

This looks like a fantastic parts pack, but I am not at all interested in TMNT, so is not an essential purchase for me.

Also, has there been any explanation yet for the delay in the UK release of TMNT and Galaxy Squad sets?

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By in Canada,

I like the set, and Kraang is a wonderful little figure, but I'm baffled at the cost of it here in Canada. $18 is prohibitively expensive, and the almost 50% markup over the US cost is very hard to justify.

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By in United States,

While it's disappointing that the foot soldier from the show is poorly designed (hence, not much to work with for the Lego team), this is one of the sets that I'm looking forward to getting. I'm more interested in getting the minifigs and maybe some nice parts from these sets, but this one (the mech, anway) looks pretty well designed.

Thanks for the review!

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By in United States,

Even though I find disgust at a TMNT theme. I'll probably end up buying this just for the foot solider and the Kraang, for use in non-TMNT MOCs.

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By in United Kingdom,

Cool figures!

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By in Canada,

I plan on picking up all the TMNT sets over the course of the next few months, one step at a time, I've been balking though at the odd price decision, as others have mentioned 17.99$ for such a SMALL box is really, really questionable. The contents are very much desired, the price is just 'scratch-your-head' odd I find. I could have understood if it went from 12.99$ US to 15.99$ CND, but to take it to 17.99$ instead... I just don't know.

Great review though, and while I know this first batch is set squarely in the 2012 TMNT series I wouldn't mind seeing a one-off 1980's based set in the future if the Theme does well enough. Even if it was massively out of scale I would love to get a set featuring the original series' Technodrome, a Party Wagon inspired set and definitely re-use the old Adventurers blimp piece for the 1980's Turtle Blimp, I mean those are the three most iconic set pieces of the 1980s' version and I would love if LEGO threw the older fans a bit of a nod like that. Mini-Figures wise I'd like 80's versions of all four turtles, the shredder, krang, april and splinter of course with Rocksteady and Bebop as well. Er, but I digress, this Theme is going to be hugely popluar I feel with its target audience. And it seems to have a lot of decently priced sets from the 25-60$ range. None of the sets actually cost over 100$ if I recall, so that's a great incentive to collect the entire Theme.

Now, if only there was a way to get those special Comic-Con Mini-Figs, especially that Shadow Turtle. *SIGH*

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By in Canada,

^IAmWillGibson - well, for comparison, the Catwoman, Captain America and Gandalf small sets were all around $12/13 US, and ended up at $16/17 Canada. The Mikey set is a buck or two more, but it's in line with recent Canadian prices for licensed sets of similar size. I'll be getting the sets when TRU runs a 20% off sale in a few months anyway.

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By in United States,

For the record, I can't understand why the Turtles would even be expected to have rubber heads. Generally, parts are made in rubber for one of two reasons: either they are intended to be flexible in some way, or they need to be made in a softer material in order for thin/sharp details to be molded accurately. These heads are nice and round, and have no protruding parts that would need to be made flexible, and as such there's no real need for a softer plastic or rubber.

I love the design of the mech walker in this set, and the prison's a nice simple play feature. Not a Turtles fan myself, but overall I think this is a pretty great set for its price point. I've got nothing against the idea of a TMNT theme: I think the brand as a whole is very "toyetic" and I can't help but be impressed at some of the clever building techniques used in the theme so far to recreate their bizarre subject matter. The only thing that disappoints me is that I worry it's unlikely for Nickelodeon to have both a TMNT theme and a Legend of Korra theme, but let's face it, TMNT has an easier aesthetic to match in LEGO (none of the intricate details of vehicles in LoK) and probably has a clearer overlap with TLG's core audience (certainly Korra hasn't really been promoted to kids too much in terms of merchandise, whereas TMNT in its various forms has been toyline material for decades).

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By in Sweden,

I have no interest at all in TMNT, but I love this set. The mech looks like a leftover from the Alien Conquest theme, to the point where replacing The Kraang with one of the little green head clingers from AC would probably make it fit perfectly with the other Alien Conquest sets. Three minifigures (two exclusive) in a £10 set seems like a pretty good deal too, especially for a licensed set.

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By in United Kingdom,

There is mention of 'Krang' and 'Kraang' by someone - what's the difference?

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By in United States,

did you say 1980 turtles blimp there is a reference to that in the turtle lair look at a picture!!!!!! Its on the exploding wall!!!!!

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By in Poland,

I wanted a complete ensemble of Turtles so I got 79100, 79101 and 79103. This is probably the best in terms of bang for buck of the three, despite its flaws. Kraang's head idea is great and his walker is very well thought out. Cage is the weakest part of this set and the idea of catapult somehow doesn't impress me at all.

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