Review: 21106 Minecraft Micro World: The Nether

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Two new Minecraft sets are released today and we've been sent one of each by the LEGO CEE team to review. In this review, I will take a look at 21106 The Nether. Later today, capnrex101 will publish his review of 21105 The Village.

Judging by the difficulty of getting hold of the original Cuusoo Minecraft set, 21102, particularly last year in the USA, it was a tremendous commercial success for LEGO and it is therefore not surprising that more Minecraft sets have been produced. These are not Cuusoo sets though (this we've been asked to stress), but they are perhaps the start of a long-term Minecraft theme.

The original set featured a part of 'The Overworld', known as 'The Forest'. We found this out, and that there'd be more sets on the way in June this year when it was renamed.

The two new sets represent different parts of the universe. This one is of The Nether, which according to the Minecraft wiki "is a hell-like dimension accessible only by entering a Nether Portal from the Overworld. It is home to several hazards, including flames, widespread standing and flowing lava, and Nether-exclusive mobs, as well as exclusive items and blocks."

The wiki goes on to say that "Locations in The Nether correlate to Overworld coordinates" which implies that it is underground, to me at least, and certainly in this model all the 'action' and details are underground.

Box

The box is the same, dimension-wise, as the original set, and is 12 x 12 x 14cm in size. I received the European version of the set which does not show the number of pieces on the box.

21106 Minecraft: The Nether

The three sets, and the Mobs they feature, are shown on one side of the box.

21106 Minecraft: The Nether

The box is packed to the brim almost.

21106 Minecraft: The Nether

Contents

The box contains two instruction manuals and five bags, three of which contain small 1 x 1 and 1 x 2 parts.

21106 Minecraft: The Nether

21106 Minecraft: The Nether

Here are all the bags emptied ready for building. Like the original Minecraft set, there are a lot of 1 x 1 plates and tiles throughout.

21106 Minecraft: The Nether

The Mobs and the Portal

The first things to be constructed are the mobs and the Nether Portal. Apparently, The Nether can only be accessed via the portal which appears to be a doorway with a 'purple mist' in it.

The pink mob on the left is a zombie pigman. The wiki states that "Zombie Pigmen are humanoids covered with a mixture of pink flesh (like a pig's), and green rotting flesh, with some bones visible. They wield a golden sword in their right hand, and wear a loincloth." It looks as if LEGO has done a good job of capturing the likeness, then...

The 2 x 2 white creatures are Ghasts which are aggressive mobs found only in The Nether. They "are very large, jellyfish- or ghost-like mobs that float through the air and shoot fireballs from their mouths. They are lava and water resistant. Their bodies are 4 blocks tall and 4 blocks wide with 9 tentacle-like limbs hanging from the bottom and eerie-looking eyes." Again, comparing the rendition by LEGO with the picture on the wiki, they've done a good job. Note how they've been built upside down so that cheese slopes can be used to represent the tentacles.

All of these parts are way too big to actually be used in the model itself and I guess are only included to make the set more appealing to Minecraft fans.

21106 Minecraft: The Nether

The Nether

The model is constructed in four sections, on 6 x 6 plates, which are connected via Technic pins, just like the original set. However in this one, all the detail is underground, and the sections do not have removable top parts.

It features lava pools, lava 'waterfalls', flames and, hanging down from the roof, glowstones (1 x 1 trans-yellow plates) that provide light within The Nether. The lava is made from 1 x 1 plates in normal yellow and the same size tiles in 'Chima lion' light orange and are thus quite rare.

21106 Minecraft: The Nether

Two of the modules, those shown above, are designed to be connected together, as are the two below. The platforms continue from one to the other.

21106 Minecraft: The Nether

The top of the sections is 'the void' area above The Nether which, apparently, "is an extremely efficient and safe place to travel since it is flat and there are no naturally spawning mobs". It's certainly not flat on the model: I guess that was considered to be too boring.

(This paragraph has been rewritten in light of comments made by people who are actually familiar with Minecraft :-))

21106 Minecraft: The Nether

Here's a shot of the 'open' sides of the four sections: The black one, on the right, has a hole in the back for some reason.

21106 Minecraft: The Nether

Here's a view of the backs, which are all fairly boring.

21106 Minecraft: The Nether

Combining with 21102 The Forest

As you would expect, the set connects with the original. It looks okay like this, (2 x 2) + (2 x 2), but...

21106 Minecraft: The Nether

...I actually like it better when it's configured (1 x 4) + (1 x 4), so you can see all of The Nether at once.

21106 Minecraft: The Nether

21106 Minecraft: The Nether

Overall opinion

There was tremendous excitement around the release of the original Minecraft set, which was of course the first product of the LEGO global Cuusoo programme. This was partly because we didn't know what to expect. Now that we do, these are perhaps not as exciting as the original and are really just 'more of the same'.

What that means then, is that if you loved the original, you'll want this and the other set released today, to display with it. If the first set did nothing for you, then this one won't either, unless you look at it purely as a parts pack given that it features more interesting and rarer colours.

Take a look at my review of 21102 and the conclusion I drew then, much of it is relevant for this set as well.

So, marks out of 5:

  • Parts: 4 -- Small parts, but lots of them. Some rare.
  • Playabilty : 2 -- Once built there isn't much you can do with it, other than connect it to other sets and rearrange the sections. Mobs can't be played with in the model.
  • Building experience: 3 -- A bit of a nuisance lining all the 1 x 1 plates and tiles up squarely.
  • Value for money: 3 -- At £34.99, it's certainly not cheap in the UK. At $34.99, it's a bit more reasonable.
  • Overall: 3 -- An enjoyable set to build and display that packs in a lot of details.

Bottom line...

  • If you're a Minecraft fan and/or you liked the original set, buy it!
  • If you're not, and you didn't, don't bother!

If you do decide to buy, do so ASAP to avoid the inevitable problems of getting it nearer to Christmas. You can order it today from shop.LEGO.com: UK | USA | Canada.

35 comments on this article

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By in United States,

Huw, I am starting to get tired of these great reviews, they are all emptying my wallet.

Anyway, keep up the great and detailed reviews!

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By in United Kingdom,

Great review! Could the mysterious hole in the black section be made for the portal to fit into?

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By in United Kingdom,

Great review, thanks Huw, I certainly look forward to picking up the 2 new minecraft sets (I had no idea that the official release is today) :-D

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By in United States,

Great review Huw. I have 1 question do you play minecraft.

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By in United States,

Thanks for doing a review! Great parts pack

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By in United States,

bob123: It's pretty obvious to me from this review that he doesn't.

I'll definitely be getting these sets, but at the same time the scale is a bit off, I'm pondering replicating them at proper scale for the microfigs.

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By in Canada,

I can't wait for these sets. I read about the first lego minecraft set from a Minecraft forum, and bought them as soon as they were released. Then lego started sending me the lego magazines and that is how I got back into lego. Maybe you do need to play the game to appreciate the sets, but for those of us who do play they game - these sets are awesome.

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By in United States,

Looks decent. I think a magma cube would be better than 2 ghasts and maybe for the ghasts they should have included some translucent parts to make them "fly"

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By in Hong Kong,

When I search for "minecraft", it says "Sorry, item is not available in this country: US"?

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By in United States,

Huw, Great Review although I believe the UK price is £29.99.

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By in Hong Kong,

It is available in US now. Apparently it wasn't 9/1 yet when I searched.

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By in United Kingdom,

Yes the UK prices is £29.99 :-)

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By in United Kingdom,

Not a fan of Minecraft but this looks like a great parts pack. Thanks for the review!

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By in United Kingdom,

^^ Thank you, cheaper than the original, then. How refreshing...

And, no, I don't play Minecraft. Everything I know is from the wiki. Does it show that badly? :-)

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By in United Kingdom,

Hi Huw, I believe the Nether is actually like an alternative dimension, rather than being underground. That's why there's no forest on top of it.

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By in Germany,

Thanks for the review. A question though: Is this Red or Dark Red?

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By in United States,

Huw you did a dynamite review and have me wanting a set for my kiddo. When trying to order, it still says it is not available in this country: US How are other USA lego/minecraft fans able to order it?

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By in Belgium,

Huw: The Nether is not in the same plane as the Overworld. That's why you reach it by portal. The Nether is also 8 times smaller in both dimensions, meaning if you walk 20 tiles in The Nether, and build a portal, you'll portal to a location 160 tiles away from your original portal.

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By in United Kingdom,

^^ Give it a few hours, the USA hasn't woken up on the 1st yet, has it.

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By in United Kingdom,

This is quite tempting as a parts pack. A parts list will determine things for me.

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By in United Kingdom,

I saw both set on friday night at the minecraft evening at the the V&A on friday and they looked good

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By in United States,

kool

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By in United Kingdom,

I checked the price this morning and its £29.99 not £34.99.

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By in United States,

Seems like the nether portal should slide into the hole in the black module?

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By in United States,

Great review Huw! I'm no player of Minecraft, though it looks like a good parts pack.

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By in United Kingdom,

I don't play Minecraft (in fact I had never heard of it until the Lego set appeared last year!), but eventually caved in to this set due to the parts selection. Even if I don't like the set when I build it myself, it's a goldmine of great and quite rare parts :-D Including 14 of this part: http://www.brickset.com/parts/?part=4167302 (now 6052777) which has been out of production since 2005. Lucky as I've been looking for those for an MOC project.

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By in United Kingdom,

Also really wondering whether the parts are red or dark red? I really hope this is dark red but hard to tell from the pictures.

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By in United States,

I paid about $26 for Minecraft a few years and it continues to give me many hours of enjoyment. I wonder how much enjoyment I would get out of these $35 Lego sets?

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By in United Kingdom,

^^ Dark red. My colour balance isn't that far out, is it??

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By in United Kingdom,

@Huw, Thanks! It looks like dark red but in some of the images it looks a bit like regular red. Just wanted to make sure as being dark red means I have to rush to the nearest Lego store tomorrow morning to get one (or two) :)

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By in Australia,

Great review, just ordered these sets today.

Also, as both a Lego and Minecraft fan, I heartily recommend the game to any Lego fan. Building blocks, giant randomly generated landscapes, monsters and underground exploration? What else could you want?

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By in United States,

It may be just me, but I thought the set proportions were fantastic! :-) In Minecraft, Ghasts are extremely huge, and they're actually quite undersized in this set (understandably though, otherwise they'd have to raise the price point ;-D). And the portal is pretty proportioned with the land too (Minecraft-Lego scale), as it's actually pretty tall in the game too, being five blocks tall.
Anyway, excellent review! Now that I've seen it, I can't wait to buy this set! :-)
(Oh and buy Minecraft if you haven't already, it's really fun! XD :-))

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By in United Kingdom,

I love minecraft but is this a good set?

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By in United States,

Does anyone know how many extra 1x1 yellow-orange plates you get?

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By in United States,

Awesome. I got the original set probably going to buy this one as well. I hope that they create a minecraft hunger games set too ( here if you don't know what it is: http://www.minepick.com/hungergames/ ) with characters from the minecraft hunger games series, would be cool.

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