Review: 70123 Lion Legend Beast

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This is the fifth, and last, review of the new Chima Legend Beasts that have just hit the stores (Smyths and The Entertainer) in the UK, priced at just £7.99.

Each Beast set consists of a minifig and a brick-built animal on which the minifig can sit, and contains a large number of useful and interesting pieces.

Have I left the best until last? Read on to find out...

The minifig in this set is Laval, who's much the same as in the 2013 Chima sets, but without a cape.

70123 Lion Legend Beast

This set has a very large number of new ball joints: 4 per leg, plus 2 for the neck, so that's 18 in total. There are also new claws, new 1x2 and 2x2 slopes, and 1x3 slopes in dark brown, a couple of new teeth, and a couple of new designs of the 2x2 round tile in light grey.

As with all other Beasts, the face is printed and a sticker sheet with largely superfluous decorations is provided which, if applied, might enhance the look of the model but limit the usefulness of the parts.

70123 Lion Legend Beast

The finished beast is very impressive looking and has captured the lion's characteristics well. I'm not too sure about the grey tops of the front legs, though. I wonder why they are not tan? Perhaps the 1x2 curved slope hasn't been made in tan yet.

70123 Lion Legend Beast

From the side, it looks great although the grey shoulders do look a bit out of place.

70123 Lion Legend Beast

Laval can sit on the beast comfortably with his shield. A black 1x1 round tile would have been better for his nose, but come to think of it, I don't think they've been made in black yet, have they?

70123 Lion Legend Beast

I'm struggling to find something different to say in conclusion. Like the other four beasts, this is a superb set: great design, great parts and great to play with.

I can't really make a recommendation as to which of the five you should buy because, honestly, they are all excellent and perhaps much better than we might have expected. They could easily have been 'constraction' sets, like last year's Chima buildable figures, which don't appeal to everybody, but instead we have superbly designed models that introduce a number of excellent new parts that will appeal greatly to MOCers, particularly those who build mecha and robots, and there are plenty of those, aren't there...

However, there are some that I'll buy multiples of and others I won't, so purely from the point of view of parts usefulness, I'll rank them in this order: crocodile, lion, gorilla, eagle, wolf.

Price-wise, as I have said in the other reviews, £8 for around 120-pieces and a minifig is pretty good value in my book. If you're in the UK there's no reason not to treat yourself for Christmas and go and grab all five, if you dare brave the high street this week!

I don't know when they'll be out in the USA or what price they'll be there, but if I had to guess, I'd say $9.99.

Great job LEGO: if all 2014 sets are as good as these, we are in for a great, if expensive, year!

21 comments on this article

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By in United Kingdom,

Purchased this yesterday in Toysrus, my lad loves it, they had all of the new Chima sets out as well! No other new sets though

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By in United Kingdom,

My boys want all of these, the only question is which order they want them in. And they're already thinking of what other animals to turn them in to.

I saw one of the gorilla in Stratford entertainer on Friday afternoon, but the queue was snaking around the shop so they won't be getting them for Christmas. But I suspect top of the list if they get cash.

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By in United Kingdom,

Huw, I think the grey is supposed to represent the Lion's shoulder armour ;-) Stickers applied, there would be Lion motifs all over it, that's what gives it away. Granted, without stickers it doesn't make much sense.

Great review though, but I still think the wolf is my favourite. What really bothers me is the exposed grey studs on the face of the lion, they would have been much better in white.

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By in Russian Federation,

Now I want to buy at least one 'legend beast', and probably it'll be Lion - I still haven't got any Lion minifigs and the beast itself is very impressive. Plus I want these new connectors!!

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By in United Kingdom,

I picked up my first Legend Beast yesterday, the crocodile (for the olive green pieces, and of course these new joints), although this lion looked like the pick of the bunch to me in store.

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By in United Kingdom,

I only have to wonder why Lego did not start the Chima series with these Legend Beasts?
They probably would have had a smash hit sellout for the parts alone.

The lion has four http://www.bricklink.com/catalogItem.asp?P=88292&ccName=4581280
and all the other rounded bits along with four of the new claws/crenellations for moc builders.

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By in United Kingdom,

I understand why they would put faces on printed tiles, from a certain point of view, but otherwise I am quite confused. The lions, specifically, have had brick-built lion heads on numerous vehicles and I think they work really well. I reckon I'll be maybe re-making one in that image.

That being said, the set is terrific for both parts and playability. Thank you for reviewing..!

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By in United States,

They're wearing saddles! I can't believe I'm the only one who's realized this so far! Back when we first got box pictures, the artwork on the back, they have saddles on them.

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By in United States,

At first I wasn't really interested in these sets, but now I may have to get them. If not for the new ball joints.
Also seems like an easy way to get all of the main minifigs.

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By in United States,

I have to disagree with the round nose looking better; with all of the other straight edges, I think the square nose looks great. A round nose would look cartoonish and clowny.

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By in United States,

Meh, not very impressed piece-wise- I think I can skip this one.

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By in United States,

I think the grey in the torsos on the lion is armor for combat.

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By in United States,

I like the grey tops of the legs — with the stickers, it makes it look like the Lion Legend Beast is wearing heavier armor than some of the others. Naturally, the probable reason for this is the very reason you suggest — it requires fewer new recolors — but it's still a nice stylistic decision.

I love the Lion Legend Beast's legs but don't like its torso as much as the Wolf Legend Beast. Not only is it much more angular, but the back feels less muscular, so the beefy look of the shoulders seems to just drop off into nothingness. At the same time, I can see why this might have been necessary to meet price points — the head of the Lion Legend Beast is much more complex than that of the wolf due to the detailed mane, and the muscular legs probably eat up a lot of the budget as well.

I also think a $9.99 price point is likely in the United States, which is great — each and every one of them will be less than 10 cents per piece! This will certainly help AFOLs appreciate their value for money, unlike constraction models where measuring their price-per-piece against System sets is a pretty unfair comparison.

I have to say, I wonder what these new joints might mean for the future of constraction sets. Speaking as a constraction builder, I don't think they could replace the current building system that Hero Factory introduced in 2011, which has all kinds of advantages to its design that the new joints would have a hard time replicating (for instance, some parts have a Technic hole that runs through the center of a ball joint, which would be impossible with joints this small).

But at the same time, the larger Ø10.2mm ball joints are no longer the ONLY way to make fully-articulated LEGO action figures. The LinkedIn page of Asger Johansen, a concept developer at Advance, TLG's main ad agency, confirmed recently that there will be a new constraction theme in 2015. Overall, between the minifigures in the new Hero Factory sets and the new ball joints in System sets like this, I think we're going to start to see the lines between System and Constraction become a bit more blurred. And that possibility excites me a great deal.

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By in United States,

I agree w/ ericjohn on the nose. Square is the right choice here. The black portion of an actually lion's nose is triangular. Round would have looked straight silly.

As others have mentioned, the grey shoulder are armor.

I have not bought a Chima set yet. They're so clearly marketed to little boys and not AFOLs. These, however, are bound to change that.

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By in United States,

^ Aren't we all little boys at heart? (apart from those that are little girls, of course!)

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By in France,

Thanks Huw for those 5 reviews. They made me change my mind about Legend Beast line and now I want at least one of each beast !

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By in United Kingdom,

I was amazed to see these 5 sets in Toys-R-Us today (in London) - and sticking to the £8 price! I really should have picked at least one up...

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By in United States,

I do still think that this and the wolf look a bit too emaciated (and the face printing looks a little goofy), but nonetheless, it's a very interesting set (perhaps they could have added some SNOT in order to improve the sides of the body?).

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By in United States,

By the way, Huw, I was looking at these reviews once again, and I have to say, I LOVE the color-coded image backgrounds! They really look fantastic. Was that all done digitally, or did you actually use different-colored backdrops in your photo space?

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By in United States,

^ Thanks. I'm using different colours of card. When photographing against white you tend to end up with a murky grey which can be improved with some post-processing (as I did with the gorilla) but obviously takes more work.

Also, any minor white balance issues are not noticeable when using colours.

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By in United States,

The grey on top of the legs is armor, and I think it looks rather nice.

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