In the last of my three LEGO Movie set reviews, I will be taking a look at 70811 The Flying Flusher. For me, this was one of the most eye-catching of the LEGO Movie sets initially, mainly due to the fact that this is the first plumbing van ever seen in LEGO. Receiving new vehicles for your city is always welcome, particularly when that vehicle looks as good as this one does. The alternative model is not as interesting in my opinion as the proportions look a little odd, although with the limited parts selection this is understandable to an extent.
This is presumably one of the many attack vehicles which citizens are forced to quickly create when Lord Business' Micro Managers attack. This set is priced at £24.99 or $29.99 for 351-pieces, which seems like good value for money too, and I think that there is plenty of playability to be had as well, so this model should appeal to many people.
Box and Contents
The box is very glossy, and shares the same film strip graphic as the rest of the LEGO Movie sets. We can see the Flying Flusher approaching on an attack run against the Micro Manager, which is in pursuit of Dr McScrubs, and in the bottom corner is the alternate model, Joe's plumbing van. On the back of the box we can see both models side-by-side and images displaying the various features of the set including the flick fire plungers, removable van roof and opening door to access the plungers in the back.
Inside are three instruction booklets, two for the Flying Flusher and one for Joe's plumbing van, along with three bags which are not numbered. The same advertisements feature in the back of these booklets as in other LEGO Movie sets, with the upcoming video game and film referenced, as well as (a little bizarrely) the DC Super Heroes sets. I suppose this does make some sense however as many of the DC characters on display in that image will appear in the movie.
Three Minifigures are included, the first of whom is Dr McScrubs. This is an excellent figure in my opinion, and is probably the highlight of the three for me. It is a rare occurrence for medical related Minifigures to be included in sets, and this figure therefore will be a significant draw to the set for some of you I imagine. His tidy hairpiece is not a new mould, but this is its first appearance in dark brown, which looks great and will no doubt be very useful. His head is printed on both sides with a smile on one, and a terrified expression on the other as well as some brown eyebrows.
Dr McScrubs' torso is the most interesting piece in my opinion, as it is printed with a huge amount of detail on the front and back, including sand blue doctor's overalls, a stethoscope and a small ID card which hangs from the zip. On the back, there is some simple stitching and a few creases. While this design is not particularly interesting, I am nevertheless pleased to see some back printing as this is so common that I think it has got to the stage where one now expects to see it on a Minifigure. His legs are plain sand blue which have appeared on quite a few Minifigures before and are not printed.
Also included are Plumber Joe and Alfie the Apprentice, who share the same outfit and only differ in their head and head accessory. Plumber Joe has a blue cap, while Alfie has a dark orange hairpiece introduced in this colour with Agent Fuse way back in 2008. Joe's face is printed with an unkempt stubbly beard, a smile and bushy brown eyebrows. Alfie on the other hand is clean shaven and looks much younger than his counterpart which is perfect.
The torsos on each Minifigure are excellent, with dark blue overalls (complete with U-bend logo) and a tan jumper. This design is continued onto the reverse and on the legs, which are dark blue and printed with some buttoned pockets. Although I do not think that the Minifigures in this set are particularly exciting, a fact which applies to most of the two-in-one sets I think, there is a nice selection in this set, and certainly enough to create some exciting rescue scenes which is evidently the intention of the set.
Construction of this set is quite enjoyable, and there are a couple of interesting techniques used along the way. Both models take about half an hour to build, and taking them apart is actually a fairly brief exercise, so switching between the plumbing van and the Flying Flusher does not actually take too long which is great.
I thought the use of a ladder as a tail plane on the Flying Flusher was interesting, and it might be new to some that it is possible to attach these kinds of ladders straight onto studs, a technique which is used for placing it on the roof of the truck and on the plane. The SNOT construction of the Micro Manager and portaloo (or portapotty for US readers) included in this set is also interesting, and makes good use of some of the newer SNOT pieces introduced in the last year or two. Lastly, the construction of the toilet is interesting as it makes use of some unusual pieces, including a life ring in white and a blue satchel. This is not a new technique, although it might be new to some of you and is very useful for adding that extra detail to any buildings you might create.
The Completed Model
The Micro Manager is not used as part of either the plumbing van or the Flying Flusher, and is one of the more simple versions of these little robots. Just like each of the others, the model is based around a central black cube, with red eyes and some flick fire missiles. This Micro Manager has some small legs which fold up into the cube shaped body, and can be posed at the 'ankles,' 'knees' and 'hips'. It also has a small pair of arms which can be used to grab Dr McScrubs and hug him to death should you wish, as can be seen in the final photo.
When it comes to the main model, I will begin by having a look at the Flying Flusher, since that is the model displayed most prominently on the box. This is the weaker of the two vehicles in my opinion, and although it retains the cobbled together charm which I think should be captured by each of the two-in-one sets. The propeller on the front can rotate, and one Minifigure can sit inside the cockpit in front of the large Joe's Plumbing advertisement (which is a sticker). Underneath is some landing gear and there are lights all around the vehicle. The wings support two water sprayers which look great, although the wings look a little stubby to me. Behind this are two doors which allow access to an area filled with pipes, and the tail plane area. On top is my favourite section of the plane however, where once can seat a Minifigure to control the plunger launcher in front of him. A toilet seat is used as a gun sight and I love how the plungers are placed as though on a chain like bullets. Only one of them can in fact be fired by flicking it.
The far superior of the two models is Joe's plumbing van however. This vehicle is accompanied by a small portaloo, which contains a toilet, complete with some water pieces should you wish to recreate the toilet overflowing, and a toilet roll which is attached to the wall at the back. The door can easily be opened and closed, with or without a Minifigure sitting inside.
The van is decorated with various advertisements for Joe's plumbing on the front and side, and stickers are used for the number plates at either end of the model. There are also plenty of lights and a bumper, along with a steering wheel inside, and seating for one Minifigure. Wing mirrors are also included, and there are some grey bars used throughout the model which add a little bit of detail, and to break up the attractive white and blue colour scheme a bit. Inside, a couple of plungers are stored at the back, and there is also some kind of nozzle to which one could attach a hose accessible from the side. On top is a ladder and some piping, and there are tools clipped to the sides of the van.
Overall I think the van looks great, and is just the right size to fit with the 'great vehicles' released as part of the CITY theme over the past few years. The portaloo is a nice touch as well, and adds some interest for playability with regard to the van, as well as of course providing additional parts for the Flying Flusher.
This is a difficult set to form an opinion of in many ways. Although there are plenty of positive points to be made regarding the plumbing truck, the Flying Flusher itself is not a great model, and I do not think the Minifigures are quite interesting enough to make up for the weak plane.
Joe's plumbing van is probably the main reason for buying the set, and although £24.99 or $29.99 is a reasonable price when it comes to the price per piece ratio, to me the set does not ultimately feel as though it is worth that much. Bearing in mind that the 'great vehicles,' all of which are larger than this vehicle, are usually priced at £17.99, this set suddenly does not seem like it is quite as good a value as it initially seemed to be in my opinion.
Parts: 5 - There are plenty of useful parts included in this set, including three of the new inverted dome pieces in red, and some water pieces.
Playability: 4.5 - There is lots of potential playability here I think. The Micro Manager allows for some exciting chase scenes I imagine, and with the addition of some of the other two-in-one sets, the fun would only increase.
Building Experience: 3.5 - The building experience is quite interesting, with a few new techniques to some.
Value for Money: 3 - The price to piece ratio seems excellent, although the actual set feels quite small to me.
Overall: 3.5 - This is not a bad set at all, but there are certainly several better LEGO Movie sets, which I would recommend before this one.
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