Review: 70708 Hive Crawler
This set contains 560-pieces and retails for £50 in the UK, $70 in the USA. How refreshing to see that we in the UK aren't being ripped off compared to the USA for a change...
It contains the largest bug in the theme, three minifigs and two new bug larvae.
Box and contents
As usual the back of the box shows what moves, and provides ideas for play. The main features of the model are moving legs and an egg-slinging mechanism.
The QR code in the corner works (maybe LEGO read my comment earlier in the week in my first GS review?) and leads to http://www.lego.com/galaxysquad/70708. When viewed on a desktop PC, it just takes you to a product page but on my android phone it redirects to a video that shows the set in action. It's worth watching to see how the bug's legs move at it's pushed along.
Inside there's four numbered bags, two instruction books and a crumpled sticker sheet. Sadly, at circa 500-pieces, this set isn't big enough to have the stickers and books wrapped with cardboard so this sort of thing is a problem.
Bag one builds the minifigs and Galaxy Squad vehicles and contains these two larvae.
In the other bags there are a lot of pieces in new colours, mostly lime green, and six of these new parts in olive green which, for some reason, are not listed in the set's inventory at LEGO.com. No doubt we will see it cropping up in many sets from now on, given its obvious usefulness.
The larvae look suitably gruesome once fitted with spikes and trans-neon-yellow wings. It would have been better to have the wings fitting on the top though -- I assume the one on the right is the correct way up?
They fit neatly into the 'eggs'.
The alien bug minifig has a head that is new to this set (it's also in 70709) and I believe its torso print is also new. His weapons are new for Galaxy Squad: 'Tool W. Ø3.2 Shaft, No. 1'. They appear in trans-blue in several sets and in dark red in this (and 70709).
His head is made from a rubbery material.
This is apparently Billy Starbeam, with his red robot sidekick.
Galaxy Squad vehicles
The robot has some sort of winged craft to fly around, which is propelled by the rockets on his back.
Billy Starbeam has a sleek craft that looks okay except for the canopy which just flaps about in the wind and looks as if it's been added as an after-thought. It probably would have better without it.
When the robot's not using his craft it can be fixed to the back of Billy's ship by way of Technic pins.
The bug chassis is made with parts in bag two and as you can see, it contains a lot of Technic pieces.
Bag three adds the abdomen.
Bag four adds the head, thorax and legs.
This rear view shows the egg slinging mechanism loaded with the two eggs.
Here's a side view. The leg movement is cleverly implemented and you can see it in action in the product video. It's not very life-like, though. There are only ever two legs touching the ground and they move far too much. But it's a fun play feature, particularly as it makes a cool clacking noise as it goes along.
The head can be tilted to seat the bug minifig behind the eyes.
When folded back he peeps out from between them.
Here's a view of the underside, showing the leg moving mechanism.
And here's the 'bomb bay'. To fire an egg, you push down between the trans-red teeth and let go. Two elastic bands return the sling with some force and the egg goes flying over the bug's head.
Everything that's in the box...
When I first saw this demonstrated at the London Toy Fair in January, I was impressed by the leg moving and egg slinging mechanisms and now, having built and played with it, I still think it's a neat set, although the extreme un-lifelike movements of the legs distract from the coolness to some extent.
It's good that we have a new alien minifig and a couple of larvae in the set but it could have done with more. As I said in another review, how is one supposed to build up a colony when there are so few of them in the sets?
- Parts: 4 -- a lot of parts in new colours, particularly lime green and dark red.
- Playability: 5 -- kids will have a lot of fun firing eggs and pushing the bug.
- Building experience: 4 -- a lot of Technic to start with, which isn't to everyone's taste.
- Value for money: 4 -- it packs a lot of punch in the play department and will provide hours of fun.
- Overall: 4 -- another great Galaxy Squad set.
I think LEGO has put together an excellent range of models for the Galaxy Squad theme but I fear that it's not going to perform particularly well in the shops. For one thing it has to compete with so many other great models that will be on the shelves alongside and I also perceive that LEGO won't be marketing it much, particularly compared to Chima.
A question for parents: if you took your child into a toy shop and they see these sets alongside more established, or familiar IPs, which would they choose?