As you’ve no doubt already realised from the reviews published to date on Brickset and elsewhere, the sets making up the LEGO Movie theme are turning out to be incredibly diverse. Diverse, and in some cases, frankly bizarre - probably not since the Time Cruisers theme of the mid 1990’s have we seen such a collection of ‘eccentric’ set designs.
In the midst of all the mayhem, welcome to a review of perhaps the most conservative of all the LEGO Movie offerings, 70808 Super Cycle Chase. At 514-pieces and £44.99 / US$49.99, this is one of the larger sets in the theme, although you wouldn’t necessarily know it thanks to the pleasingly compact box for a set of this size.
So, is this strictly a set for LEGO Movie afficionados, or does it offer LEGO fans in general enough to tempt them into a purchase? Read on to find out…
The theme branding has been covered in previous LEGO Movie reviews by Huw and others over the past few days so I won’t rehash it here; suffice to say that this set of course sports the same branding elements as its LEGO Movie brethren. The front of the box offers a typical chase scene, with a bit of motion blur about the only sign of overt Photoshopping of the models themselves, while the back highlights a few of the set’s play features in time-honoured fashion (click pictures to enlarge).
The box opens via a couple of thumb tabs (or alternatively via a sharp knife down one of the end flaps if you’re a box-loving obsessive), to reveal a couple of instruction booklets, a dreaded sticker sheet (DSS) and four bags of elements; two of the bags are numbered with a ‘1’, the other two bags are numbered ‘2’ and ‘3’.
Instructions and Stickers
The set is supplied with two compact but chunky instruction booklets; their covers are identical bar the number in the bottom left hand corner. Booklet 1 is the more concise of the two and guides the reader through the construction of the eponymous Super Cycle.
Booklet 2 contains the building guide for the SWAT 4 x 4 plus an inventory of parts, a couple of pages of advertising for some of the LEGO Movie sets, a “Coming 2014” teaser for the LEGO Movie videogame on the back cover and, somewhat unexpectedly, a page advertising around 30 of the DC Superheroes LEGO minifigures.
Depressingly, the DSS contains a total of 20 different stickers, most of which are supposed to be applied to the Super Cycle. Much as I loathe stickers, when ‘official’ models come with a DSS the build doesn’t feel complete without them so I feel obliged to grit my teeth and stick them on.
It’s not always easy to spot all the new and/or rare elements present in a set prior to the appearance of the definitive Bricklink inventory, but there were a few elements which caught my eye. These include a couple of light bley 2 x 1 curved slopes which I think are new for 2014 in that colour, Emmet’s red “Piece of Resistance” (a modified 1 x 1 x 2 brick) which has previously been highlighted here and elsewhere, what looks like a brand new gun with top-mounted clip in dark bley, some very cool dark bley goggles, a number of black Technic Link Treads and an orange modified 2 x 2 plate with one centre stud, which has to my knowledge never previously appeared in this colour before.
The set comes with five minifigures – the ubiquitous Emmet, the slightly less ubiquitous Wyldstyle, and three great Robo SWAT minifigures.
As the hero of The LEGO Movie, you’d expect Emmet to appear in many of the sets, and that’s indeed the case. The version in this set appears identical to that in Set 70800 Getaway Glider which was reviewed here a few days ago by CapnRex101, right down to his primary and alternate facial expressions, “Piece of Resistance” and peculiar mini polytail protruding from the back of his head. The front of his torso looks like it could have come from a standard LEGO City construction minifig, to be honest, although unlike a generic LEGO City minifigure his legs are printed with an ID badge and silver horizontal stripes.
Wyldstyle appears identical to the version which comes in Set 70803 Cloud Cuckoo Palace. She looks to be wearing a biker’s jacket which is decorated front and back, and her legs and hair are decorated to match. As noted by Huw in his review, her hoodie is a new element, and it attaches between her head and torso the same way that a life jacket would.
I’m a big fan of the Robo SWATs. All three of them have the same torsos, legs and body armour, with both front and back printing on the torsos and body armour. The Robo SWATs differ by virtue of their head-prints, headgear and weaponry - all of which you can see arrayed below. The guns are similar (but not identical) to those utilised in the recent Dino theme by virtue of the clip on their upper aspect. Here the clip is used to hold a scope or laser sight rather than a lime green syringe as seen in the Dino sets. I can see those excellent new goggles being in serious demand for MOCs.
The elements in the two bags numbered with a ‘1’ are used for building the Super Cycle, a spike strip, one of the Robo SWAT minifigs, Emmet and Wyldstyle. The business end of the spike strip is made up of a row of Technic link treads; this structure is completed after just 7 building steps (although to keep you on your toes, step 7 comes before step 6 in the instruction booklet….!).
Construction of the Super Cycle, which is perhaps more appropriately referred to in the LEGO publicity materials as a “two-seater, flaming-fast dragster”, is rather more involved. In truth, it’s a rather fiddly build, too often punctuated by the need to apply yet more stickers. There are certainly some interesting building techniques in evidence, not least the use of a large Technic cog for the back wheel of the vehicle, around which a ring of Technic link treads is wrapped. The completed vehicle is a bit of an unsatisfactory mish-mash for my liking, though. This is hardly the fault of the set designer, however, since on the basis of the movie stills I’ve seen, the LEGO version in this set actually looks to be a good likeness of the source material. So largely movie-accurate then, just not really my cup of tea….
Booklet 2 is concerned with the construction of the SWAT 4 x 4 vehicle, the parts for which are contained in the two bags numbered ‘2’ and ‘3’. While I wasn’t especially enamoured with the Super Cycle, I have no such reservations about the SWAT 4 x 4 which I think is excellent and one of my favourite LEGO vehicles for a long time. This squat, chunky monster looks like an escapee from a Superheroes set, except that it’s streets ahead of any of the recent Superheroes offerings.
As well as looking great, it’s as tough as old boots. In terms of play features, the roof lifts off, the side skirts lift up to reveal flick-fire missiles on both sides, and the back opens up to uncover a secret compartment containing some sticks of dynamite.
You can see all the various components of the set – the vehicles, structures and minifigures - laid out below.
This was my first hands-on experience of a LEGO Movie set. For me, the star of the show is undoubtedly the superb SWAT 4 x 4 vehicle, although I’m also a big fan of the Robo SWAT minifigs and their various accessories. Although the Super Cycle is too fussy for my liking, it’s nevertheless a good representation of the subject matter, and I furthermore suspect that the LEGO target audience will take to it a lot more readily than I did. At £44.99/US$49.99 for 5 minifigs and over 500-pieces, the set is reasonable value for money by today’s standards. Overall, therefore, the set gets a definite thumbs up from me, even if applying all those stickers was a pain….
Many thanks to the LEGO Community Engagement & Events Team for supplying the set for me to review.