When The LEGO Movie (TLM) hits theatres and cinemas in February, it will be the biggest thing that's ever happened in the LEGO world and will focus the mainstream media's attention on the LEGO brand and its products. It will either flop badly, or be a huge success and draw many more people into the hobby.
I fear that it will be full of wise-crack one-liners and silly visual gags at the expense of a coherent script, but I really hope I'm wrong.
LEGO has released the movie tie-in sets in most markets already and has kindly sent them out to a number of AFOL sites, including Brickset, to review. CapnRex101 kicked things off yesterday with his review of one of the smallest sets. CapnRex, DrDaveWatford, Kempo81, Matthew and I will review the others over the next couple of weeks, rather than publish them all now and give you too much to take in all at once.
When I first saw pictures of 70803 Cloud Cuckoo Palace, my immediate reaction was 'what on earth is that all about?!' I have to admit to thinking that about most of the TLM sets but this one provoked the strongest reaction. Now I've built it, does it all make sense? Read on to find out...
TLM sets, like most licensed ones, are packaged in very glossy boxes and look stunning. This one in particular looks incredibly vibrant and colourful. The 'girly' colours quite possibly will make it appeal more to girls than boys.
The back of the box shows the back of the model, along with highlighting the 'action' within the set.
The top shows the minifigs: Emmet, Wyldstyle and Executron along with Unikitty.
Here are the minifigs. Emmet is wearing orange overalls and his security pass. Wyldstyle has a hoodie of which you'll see more clearly below, and Executron a suit, which is likely to prove useful in City MOCs. I don't know for sure but I think the Emmet in this set is unique, with a smile rather than a smirk. Executron appears only in this set. Wyldstyle with hood down also appears in Super Cycle Chase.
I believe all three hair pieces are new. Emmet's looks like the regular ancient male hairpiece introduced in 1978 but it has a bit sticking out of the left. To be honest I'm not sure what it is exactly!
Wyldstyle comes with a fantastic new hoodie piece. In other sets, I believe she comes with a piece that goes over her head but in this one she has the hood down.
Emmet has the new red 'backpack' or whatever it is attached to his back, along with what I assume is a light attached to his leg.
Emmet and Wyldstyle also have double-sided heads.
Unikitty is very cute and presumably a cross between a unicorn and a cat. Her face is printed and nearly every part she's made of is new or rare. The tail is new. I believe the horn has been used before. The 1x1 round with hole in, which it is mounted on the head, makes a welcome return: it had previously been used only in Games sets and there were rumours that designers weren't allowed to use it in other sets.
Snail is equally cute, and full of new or rare pieces as well. I had intended to identify all the new parts and old parts in new colours in this set for you but there are so many of them and I'm not really an expert in them given I don't have many Friends sets, so we'll have to wait until LEGO publishes the inventory to see what's new and what's unique.
Here's the completed set minus the minifigs, which I think look a bit out of place in it. Unikitty has some sort of platform to stand on and I can only guess, given the name of the set and the curvy-white pieces at the bottom, that the structure is in the clouds and that the sun-looking thing on the left is, er, the sun...
That's a catapult on the left about which the latest Shop at Home catalogue says 'shoot flowers from the flower catapult and fend off Executron'. As you can see, the set is very colourful and packed full of pieces which, unless you have a large Friends collection, will probably be new to you.
At the back you can see there's a mechanism for rotating the dishes: being grey they look a bit out of place among all the other brightly coloured elements, don't they?
This is a difficult set to review because without seeing the film, which no doubt explains what it is and why the protagonist characters are being chased through it, it's just a weird, whacky and nonsensical structure that could be straight out of a child's head. If that's what the designers intended, they've totally succeeded.
I don't think it will be particularly popular with boys given the colour scheme and the more obvious appeal of other TLM sets, so it's great that LEGO has produced this one to cater for other half of the market.
- Parts - 5 - you'll be hard pressed to find a set with as many rare ones.
- Playability - 3 - once built there isn't a lot to do with it: flick the catapult, twist the gears, that's about all.
- Building experience - 4 - straightforward, but it's a fun set to build partly because you are in awe at the rare parts for much of the time.
- Value for money - 4 - it's a rare-parts-fest and on that basis alone makes an excellent purchase. Its price, £17.99 and $19.99, is pretty reasonable for 197-pieces.
- Overall - 4 - A really fun set that makes no sense whatsoever but just goes to show what you can do with LEGO and some imagination.