Review: 70327 The King’s Mech

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I suspect that I wasn’t alone in not really knowing what to make of Nexo Knights when images of the latest LEGO ‘big bang’ theme surfaced a few months back, and when the sets started to appear on shelves I was still on the fence. On the one hand, what’s not to like about a Steampunk Castle mash-up? On the other, however, some of the set designs are a bit ‘out there’ for me. What I really needed was a Nexo Knights offering to encourage me to dip my toe in, and thankfully that temptation presented itself in the form of Set 70327 The King’s Mech. As a big fan of LEGO mechs going back to the likes of Exo-Force and beyond, I was interested to see how a Nexo Knights-styled mech would stack up against some of its robotic predecessors. Read on to find out….

Box & Contents

The modestly-sized box measures approximately 22cm by 26 cm x 6 cm and features surprisingly restrained dark blue and orange branding superimposed with silver Nexo Knights lettering. The front of the box is dominated by an action shot of the King’s Mech under attack, with hazy imagery including a space-aged castle and a windmill in the background. Arch theme villain Jestro peers diabolically from the lower left corner of the box, and there are also images of the set’s three minifigures and a couple of shields, together with a promise of "2 Nexo Powers” – intriguing….

The back of the box (below) contains a number of panels which highlight a few aspects of the set, although I don’t think they make a very compelling case and indeed probably undersell some of the best play features. There’s also advertising for the free Nexo Knights app which interacts with shields contained in this and other Nexo Knights sets to upgrade in-game character skills.

Opening the box reveals three sealed, numbered bags of elements, a single instruction booklet and a small sticker sheet which you can see below. The sticker sheet was loose in the box, but luckily it survived in good condition. It’s small, with an area of only 6 cm x 9 cm, but it crams in a total of 12 stickers.

The instruction booklet (front cover below) includes 84 pages from cover to cover, 70 of which are taken up by the building guide and two of which contain an inventory of the set’s 375 elements. The rest of the booklet consists of advertising, including three pages showing off a number of the other Nexo Knights sets, a two-page spread showcasing the Nexo Knights minifigure line-up, and a couple of pages about the Nexo Knights app.

Minifigures

The set contains three minifigures – Flame Thrower, King Halbert and a King’s Bot. According to the Nexo Knights website, baddie Flame Thrower (below) is a feared lava soldier whose insides are a big inferno of fire that he can shoot out at the enemy at any time. Lordy. His red, muscular torso, which has dark red hands, is new and thus far exclusive to the Nexo Knights theme, as are his black legs with a dark red and silver print and his fearsome red head with fangs and bright orange eyes. His black mohawk has however previously graced a total of four minifigures in this colour, most recently as part of the Ninjago theme.

Although Flame Thrower doesn’t have an alternate expression, the back of his head is printed as is the back of his torso. He carries a reddish brown quivver of arrows on his back, although it isn’t shown in the picture below so you can get a good look at the rear torso print.

King Halbert is described as the nervous leader of the realm whose skills include giving long speeches and waving at people. He sports a new pearl gold torso and pearl gold legs, both printed in multiple colours with an intricate armour pattern. His crown, which comes complete with straight mid-length dark orange hair, is unique to this minifigure although a variant with reddish brown hair has previously appeared as part of the Series 13 Classic King Collectible Minifigure. His bushy dark orange beard is also new in this colour, although has previously appeared as part of a number of different minifigures in reddish brown or white. King Halbert’s regal attire is rounded off by a dark blue cape; while these have existed since 2006, according to Bricklink the cape accompanying this minifigure is a new variant made of starched, shiny fabric and is thus far unique to this set in this colour.

King Halbert’s armour print extends onto the back of his torso, which you can see below with the cape removed. You can also get a good look at the reverse of the crown, including King Halbert’s dark orange hair.

The final minifigure to be included in this set is a King’s Bot. The torso of this unusual minifig is a new element which bears more than a passing resemblance to a Star Wars Battle Droid mechanical torso. Each of the bot’s legs is represented by a new element comprising a pearl dark grey foot and a flat silver clip which attaches each leg to the torso, while the shoulders are a pair of dark azure soft plastic elements which are also new. The design on the back-printed flat silver head is unique to this minifigure, and although the helmet has been around since the 1980’s this is the first time it’s appeared in this flat silver colour. Completing the roster of new elements is the blue 1 x 1 tile printed with a yellow symbol on an orange pentagonal shield which is attached to the front of the torso.

You can see the King’s Bot from behind in the picture below; I’ve removed the bot’s helmet so that you can get a good look at the alternate head print. As you may have already gathered from the description above, every part of this minifigure is new, apart from the 1L bars with clip which make up the bot’s hands.

The Build

The instruction booklet splits the build into two stages. Stage 1 kicks off with assembly of the three minifigures, after which attention switches to the construction of Flame Thrower’s double crossbow shooter which you can see in the picture below. As the name suggests, a pair of crossbows are mounted on the front of the shooter, and there’s a small platform at the back for Flame Thrower to stand on while operating the weapon.

The design of crossbow utilised here first appeared last year in Set 75105 Millennium Falcon where it served as Chewbacca’s bowcaster, and its use has spread to the Nexo Knights and Friends themes this year. The crossbow is capable of firing its ammunition, namely trans orange 1 x 1 round tiles, a good few metres; the set comes with five of these round tiles which is a good job as I’ve already managed to lose a couple while thoroughly ‘testing’ the crossbow. The shooter is hinged and is capable of a limited range of up/down movement, but strangely it can’t be rotated.

Next to be built is what LEGO describes as ‘the flying shield’ (below). This is basically a small, one-man craft which attaches to the left arm of the King's Mech by way of a Technic pin and can be undocked and swooshed as desired. The trans-neon orange windscreen is a new element; it’s unfortunately stickered rather than printed. The tail is made up of a dark bluish grey 2 x 4 vehicle spoiler which first appeared last year and it’s also stickered. The printed 2 x 2 light bluish grey tile which represents the flight controls has been around since 2011, having first appeared in Set 7930 Bounty Hunter Assault Gunship. Twin side-mounted stud shooters provide some firepower, but the open canopy means that the pilot doesn’t get much protection.

Stage one of the build concludes with construction of the torso of the King’s Mech (below). The trans-neon orange helmet visor, which can be pulled forwards and downwards to partially protect the cockpit, has only appeared once before, in a Hero Factory set back in 2013. A couple of stickers provide some decoration, while a pair of dark blue trapezoid flags help to form the lower aspect of the cockpit. You can see an interesting new element peeking out from the side of the torso, namely a small pearl gold pyramid, or as Bricklink calls it, a Slope 45 1 x 1 x 2/3 Quadruple Convex. This element seems to be ubiquitous across the Nexo Knights theme in a variety of colours, although it only appears in pearl gold in this set.

The mech is completed during Stage 2 of the build, and you can see the finished mech below. The upper and lower limbs attach to the torso via large ball and socket joints, and these are also used to provide multiple points of articulation in the arms and legs meaning that the mech can be posed quite extensively. A couple of new elements – a flat silver 4 x 4 pointed wedge and a trans-neon orange 4 x 4 wedge plate – are used to fashion a pair of eye-catching epaulettes on the mech’s shoulders, and the 4 x 4 pointed wedge also makes an appearance in dark blue as part of the legs and at the base of the torso. As befits “a mighty robotic suit of armor for King Halbert to defend the people of Knighton” the mech’s main weapon is a huge sword; this looks suitably bling thanks to the use of stickers and pearl gold pyramids for decoration, although it would have looked even better in flat silver or better still chrome (I can dream….).

LEGO mechs can sometimes have a tendency to appear messy and unfinished from behind, but that’s thankfully not the case here. The rear of the torso incorporates a couple of clips for weapons storage, and there’s a also small key sticking out of the back which suggests that the mech is clockwork and needs winding in order to function. A couple of dark blue tapered 1 x 12 hinge plates hang down from the shoulders in true Exo-Force fashion; these attach to the torso via small ball and socket joints meaning that you can angle them as you see fit. Elsewhere, the backs of the legs are neat and tidy, and overall the mech looks pretty good from behind.

The Verdict

Overall, while it doesn’t necessarily reach the heights of some of my favourite mid-size mechs of recent times such as Set 6862 Superman Vs Power Armor Lex and Set 9455 Fangpyre Mech, the King’s Mech is nevertheless a decent effort. It’s stable, the limbs feature multiple points of articulation allowing it to be readily posed, and it looks pretty good both front and back. In addition, the massive sword is suitably over-the-top, the detachable ‘flying shield’ is a nice twist on the standard mech specification, and Flame Thrower’s double crossbow shooter is a nice (if woefully outgunned) little accessory. On the downside, I’d have preferred the mech to have a more enclosed canopy, and the colour scheme doesn’t really do it for me, but these are fairly minor gripes and I’d almost certainly have bought the set myself if LEGO hadn’t provided a review copy.

Set 70327 The King’s Mech contains 375 elements and three minifigures. It’s available now at an RRP of £29.99 / US$29.99 / €32.99. Thanks to the LEGO AFOL Relations & Programs team for providing Brickset with a copy of the set to review. I’m required to let you know that all views and opinions expressed in this review are mine and mine alone, and I’m sure that you’ll let me know soon enough in the comments below if you disagree with any of them!

 

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31 comments on this article

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By in Netherlands,

I think it's a great set. And i think your verdict is spot on, except for the fact that i actually do like the color scheme!

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By in United States,

Nice review and excellent photos. I, too, have not been keen on the color schemes in this line and the theme wasn't initially presented well. This set and 70325: Infernox captures the Queen seemed to have the most potential. Mechs are also near to my heart and I will probably add this set to my collection. Thanks, DrDave!

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By in United States,

Good review! To clarify, the leg pieces from the squirebots are a new element but not a brand-new mold. They're a recolor of the Ninjago skeleton legs from 2011: http://brickset.com/parts/design-93062 Likewise, the mech's visor, although rare in this color, was used in several 2013 Hero Factory sets with other colors and prints.

Personally, I quite like the color scheme. The Tr. Flu. Reddish Orange together with the two shades of blue results in quite a striking contrast, and the grey and silver help tone things down a bit. Also, the warm gold accents on this vehicle are a great way of signifying that it belongs to King Halbert, the same as the white accents on Lance's Mecha Horse or the bright red accents on Macy's Thunder Mace.

Overall, this set has a great value and has a suitably beefy design. I love that it has articulation in both its knees and its ankles (since many LEGO mechs only have one or the other), and the sharp angles suit it well. It also makes very tasteful use of stickers. And I like that it has places to store both characters' swords. The wind-up key adds a nice bit of humor. The only things that bother me about it are that the elbows are built differently, and that the shoulders don't offer the most articulation. But it still has enough posability to increase both its playability and its value as a display piece.

Note that this set is a Walmart exclusive in the United States. It's probably my favorite of the three store exclusives from the first wave.

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By in United Kingdom,

This is a great little mech. Only problem I had with it was the clutch in the ball joints not being strong enough to hold up the arm with the little craft in it. Don't think that craft looks great anyway so I built a regular second arm and more traditional shield. I also love that Lego is increasingly giving us places to store all the weapons that come in a model.

The other problem with this is that once you have it, you also HAVE to get 70325 Infernox Captures the Queen. http://brickset.com/sets/70325-1/Infernox-captures-the-Queen

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By in United States,

How can't you like the color scheme? That blue, orange and silver is absolutely beautiful, probably my favorite feature of the whole theme! opinions on color aside, thanks for the excellent review, I was thinking about buying this set before but now I have to!

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By in United States,

Great review! The legs of the king's bot are actually just recolored skeleton legs from Ninjago though.

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By in United States,

All the king's horses and all the king's mechs...
Had to put Humpty Dumpty back together as a magic-using cyborg egg with a jetpack!

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By in United States,

I don't like this set as much as some of the others. Granted, the price is a steal, and there are some awesome pieces... but I don't much like the mech's design, or that they didn't use ratchet joints in the limbs to make them tougher.

Don't shop at Walmart anyway. So it makes no difference to me.

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By in United Kingdom,

I wasn't convinced about Nexo Knights as a theme when I first heard about it, but I've been very pleasantly surprised. The range has some inventive design work. And that's some pretty smart detailing going on there on the Flame Thrower minifigure. (I know it's a different set but I LOVE the Moltor figure from 70313.) Nice review and pics :)

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By in United States,

Hmm, this set isn't half bad. I was not a fan of Nexo Knights (and still am not really on board with the theme), but this set stood out to me right away compared to the other NK sets. The king minifig, the detachable shield ship and the mech overall really make this set stand out.

I'll be the one to say it: it's good to see what finally seems like an honest review of a NK set. Most of the other Brickset reviews of NK sets seem to have heaped on positive comments where I felt they weren't fully justified as if to put the sets on pedestals. This is just my opinion though, being one who thinks the majority of NK sets are sloppy and distastefully colorful.

EDIT: Also, I agree with the comment below me. Nexo Knights doesn't scream "steampunk" to me. It's a colorful hybrid of Space and Castle. MetalBeard's Sea Cow is much closer to steampunk, I'd say.

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By in United States,

"Steampunk castle mashup..."?!?

My good sir, doth thou jest in poor taste?

There's no steampunk in any of these at all. They are quite obviously SPACE and Castle mashed up. From the hyper-dense power sources to the flying machines to the crazy mecha, there's literally nothing steampunk at all about Nexo Knights. And thank goodness, too. Steampunk is the worst.

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By in United States,

Awesome

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By in Australia,

At least this set has it's parts and minifigs listed, unlike 70325-1: Infernox captures the Queen, which is still in stealth mode here and on Bricklink, and presumably on the TLG site.

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By in Puerto Rico,

While the theme does not interest me as a whole I have to admit that these enemies are great for SW Sith Lords MOC.

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By in United States,

Excellent review! It would have been nice to have seen King Halbert without his beard, but I'm sure I've seen a picture elsewhere. Thanks for reviewing!

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By in Singapore,

@ Privatematrix, I can see the parts list here for 70325.

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By in Australia,

I think it should be noted that this thing has knees. Its a lego mech with knees. I don't believe we've seen that since Exo-Force. I can't imagine why, but Lego really doesn't seem to like knees for some reason, and that's really ruined all their mechs of this size (as well as the Power Miners Crystal King) for me, so its good to see them actually acknowledging that knees exist again.

Too bad its absolutely hideous though.

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By in Japan,

I am on the "I can't get past the colors" stage and I don't think I will ever emerge from it. I like the concept though, just wished it was more steam-punky overall and less neon-lighty with over saturated colors.

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By in United States,

I really liked 70701 Eradicator Mech. I thought it was a great build and one of the better Lego Mech's I've seen. I haven't broke down and purchased any of the Nexo Knights sets yet, but this one and 70325 Infernox captures the Queen look pretty good in my opinion. I may just have to make either my next purchase. Thanks for the review. As always love seeing reviews on here and getting a better look to decide how to spend my hard earned money!

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By in Australia,

@ Reece, yes, there is a parts list for 70325, but it's only 86 % complete. It does not have the new elements or minifig components.

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By in Australia,

Yeah, I'm having trouble finding this in Australia (gonna have to buy this and the Infernox set from Lego.com later on in the year, when I can afford their absurd shipping prices), but this looks like a must-have set. It looks amazing. Just a beautiful design, and I love the sword-and-shield aspects.

And how muscly is the Flame Thrower villain? Damn. That guy is *ripped*!

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By in United States,

I wish the set came with enough parts to build a full left arm, I dislike the look left when the shield/flyer is removed.

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By in United Kingdom,

Great review. Is it just me who doesn't like printed canopies? I prefer the stickers as then if I am using it for a MOC, I am not forced to have the print on the windscreen.

Have to say I like the theme, and my 7 year old son is mad on it.

I really like some of the new pieces though

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By in United States,

I like printed on most pieces except canopies.

Also can we have a talk on what Steampunk really is? To me this is nothing close to it and is 'just' futuristic castle.

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By in United States,

@magmafrost: http://brickset.com/sets/31034-1/Future-Flyer had knees, but no ankles. And of course http://brickset.com/sets/21109-1/Exo-Suit had knees. But you're right, mechs with both knees and ankles have been pretty rare for some time now.

I will agree with what others have said here: Nexo Knights definitely isn't steampunk. Steampunk is a pretty specific sort of anachronism: sci-fi based on Victorian-era technology pushed to futuristic extremes. The level of tech in Nexo Knights is more based on the digital age than the age of steam, and the design motifs are decidedly medieval, not Victorian.

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By in Australia,

Looks great. Loving the colour scheme.

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By in Italy,

this set is one of my favorite mech since exo-forces, by the way when i first saw nexo knights i didn't like them at all, but right know i've just completed building the whole first wave... quite a drastic change of mind.

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By in United Kingdom,

You've got me tempted now; it's a relief to see the back of the mech is nicely designed, and knees AND ankles? TLG, you are spoiling us!! I think I'll get the Infernox set first because I want the Queen and the little hover-horse thing, but the King's Mech has some nice features and I daresay I'll buckle when it gets a bit cheaper...

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By in United States,

This isn't steampunk at all as others have said. It's closer to a cyberpunk/Medieval mashup or Sci-Fi/Medieval.
But an excellent review otherwise. Surprised at the 375 parts for $30; don't see that very often at all. I'll have to find a way to pick up some of those new pyramid pieces and King Halbert's hair/crown piece, which is incredible. The only way this could be better would be to somehow include one of those ridiculous new horsey things...

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By in United States,

Liking these Lava guys...

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