We're slowly getting our reviews posted of The LEGO Movie sets that LEGO kindly sent us. I hope you're not feeling overwhelmed by them all!
Today I'm going to be looking at set 70805-1, Trash Chomper which is a mid-priced (£24.99 / $29.99) two-in-one set that can be made into something fairly normal, or something that's far from normal!
I was initially attracted to this particular TLM set because the 'fairly normal' model is a rubbish/garbage truck that might look good alongside City 'great vehicles' of which I am a fan.
Let's see if it lives up to expectations...
The box is another very glossy one which shows the far-from-normal model, the trash chomper, chasing a chef for reasons that I'm sure will become clear when we've seen the movie.
On the back there are pictures of both models and the minifigs included.
Inside, four bags, three instruction manuals and a sticker sheet. The bags are not numbered which is not surprising given it's a 2-in-1 set.
The minifigs are (L to R): Gordon Zola, Garbage Man Grant and Garbage Man Dan. Dan's wearing a very nice baseball cap.
The garbage men's torsos have dirty stains, front and back.
Following the instructions for the Trash Chomper, the first thing built is this Micro Manager. They obviously have some significance in the movies because they appear in many of the sets. This one has a couple of arms, 'jet engines' underneath and...
...hinged sides that open to reveal flick-missiles.
Here's the finished model. Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No -- it's a chomping garbage truck!
It looks absurd but I guess if you asked a kid to draw something that eats rubbish and flies it would probably look a lot like this.
The absurd touches continue round the back: wheels for engines and dustbins for exhausts or something.
The best part of the model is the jaws which open and close via the gear on the side with a very smooth and satisfying 'chomp'
Here's a view staring into the jaws of the beast:
Not only is it a trash chomper, but a flying one at that, with wings and guns.
And, underneath propulsion units to facilitate VTOL operations.
So, chomper disassembled (but not the micro manager) I set to work on the garbage truck:
Note how it uses 'non-optimal' parts in quite a few places, but it was never a problem in terms of compromising the truck's aesthetics.
The finished truck looks pretty much as a garbage truck should. The dustbins are now used for their intended purpose!
From the front it looks pretty good, although perhaps a bit short and stubby.
Round the back, the aesthetic starts to fall apart somewhat. The 6-wide at-the-front vehicle has a 10+ wide back so the proportions look all wrong.
The back does however raise via the gear on the side, but not by very much.
Dan and Grant enjoy a natter between jobs. I forgot to put the red mugs in their hands, which seem to be a standard accessory in City sets containing workers these days!
A couple of points worth mentioning are that the Micro Manager does not need to be dismantled to build the garbage truck, and the level of parts re-used in the two models is very impressive. The only spares when building the chomper are a couple of 2 x 3 plates and a tooth. After building the truck, all that's left are a few technic pins and axles. That must have taken a lot of design work to achieve.
I built the chomper first because I thought I'd prefer the truck and would leave it assembled for a while but actually, the chomper is the more impressive model of the two, the chomp action being particularly satisfying.
Overall then, it's a neat set that makes a pair of impressive models, although IMO one is much better than the other. Although the truck is okay as a fictional work, I don't think it looks particularly good lined up with City 'great vehicles' due to the proportions being a bit out.
Parts - 4 - Nothing new but plenty of useful parts, particularly given green has fallen out of favour with designers lately and to find this much of it in a set is uncommon.
Playability - 5 - The chomper is swooshable and has an awesome chomping action: minifigs can be swallowed whole!
Building experience - 4 - SNOT and a touch of Technic, but not too much, combine with traditional techniques to make this a satisfying build.
Value for money - 4 - Pretty good, just under 400-pieces for £25, and not loads of tiny 1 x 1 pieces, either.
Overall - 4 - I reckon LEGO could be on to something with these TLM sets and this, I would say, is among the best; weird and whacky, but 'normal-ish' if you want it to be.
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