For reasons best known to the LEGO marketing department, the UK was the last country in the world to get the GS sets, but at least both the first- and second-wave sets have been released together. I won't bother reviewing the first batch because I suspect you all already have them, so I'll concentrate on the new ones.
70706 Crater Creeper is in the middle of the price range, at £17.99 or $19.99 for 171 pieces. It consists of a fearsome looking bug -- some sort of beetle -- with snapping mandibles, and a small hover-craft for the squaddie.
Box and contents
The back of the box shows the bug in detail and illustrates how its mandibles open and close. The QR coder at the bottom promises to show you the Crater Creeper in action, but alas, it currently leads to an error 404 (page not found).
Inside we get four bags of parts in unnumbered bags, instructions and two sticker sheets. Is this a new trend, putting two stickers sheets in sets, in case you mess one set up? It certainly would make sense given they cost next to nothing and having two sheets might prevent calls to customer services for replacements, thus saving money in the long run.
The set has not yet been inventoried at BrickLink, but I believe the minifigs are identical to those in the first batch of Galaxy Squad sets, which is perhaps a shame: it would have been nice to have some unique ones.
The completed model
Here's the completed beetle and the hover-craft. The alien sits neatly within the bug. There are plenty of flick-fire missiles. I guess kids like them, but personally I get a little tired of them being shoe-horned onto every model these days. The legs and mandibles use a part originally from Hero Factory. The middle legs can be moved up and down, but otherwise their geometry is fixed, which is a shame. An elastic band keeps the mandibles closed.
The hover-craft is a nice model in its own right and reminds me of 6815 Exploriens Hovertron from 1996.
The back of the bug features a trans-red canopy but it's fixed and there's nothing under it except a clip to mount the alien's blaster when not in use, which then doubles as a 'stinger' for the beetle (although I'm not sure that Beetles have stingers!)
If the squaddie gets too close the pincers can snap shut to capture him and his craft...
I have always liked building insects and bugs (in fact my model for the building challenge on the Inside Tour was an ant) so I have a soft-spot for models such as this. There isn't a lot of playability, or movement, but it's a good display piece. As with all Galaxy Squad sets, the minifigs are great and perhaps the best aliens LEGO has made to date.
- Parts: 4 -- nothing new, legs and pincers are not much use other than for, err, legs and pincers
- Playability: 2 -- not a great deal to do with it, and not a lot of movement
- Building experience: 4 -- a few SNOT techniques keep it interesting
- Value for money: 4 -- pretty good at £17.99, $19.99 (10p/11c a piece)
- Overall: 4 -- a model every Galaxy Squad fan will want