Review: 21141 The Zombie Cave

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View image at flickr

Next up in our series of Minecraft 2018 reviews is 21141 The Zombie Cave. You could say this is the sister set to 21140 The Chicken Coop as it is pitched at the same price of £19.99 / €19.99 / $19.99 for the same box size, but you do get a few more pieces – 232 in all.

There have been several zombie sets released in the Minecraft range before, so should we really care about another? I've built it in an attempt to answer that very question. Read on to find out after the break.

Here's the box, 260x190x60mm in an adult hand front and back, doing it's best to lure us in and part with money. It feels full – no complaints here.

View image at flickr

View image at flickr

Inside there are two numbered bags and an 84 page booklet cover to cover. The main build is 60 steps with a few pages prior devoted to the minifigs and detail elements.

View image at flickr

There's a few pieces of note. The new furnace printed 1x2 bricks are here, 1x1 petals in Lavender, neck brackets in Dark Brown, 1x1 with open stud in Reddish Brown and the most interesting for MOCers is probably the 2x2 corner recoloured in Orange. This appears in three 2018 Minecraft sets, albeit not in vast quantities, but it's a good piece to have out there in the wild. There is a new 1x1 plate with print for the Minecraft Bat and or course the two new parts that make up the Baby Zombie.

View image at flickr

For minifigs, we have to deal with the disappointment that is plain old Steve and a Zombie again, but we do get the cool Baby Zombie which I love and the brick-built Bat is also very well done. If the baby remains exclusive to this set, that'll be reason enough for some people to put hand in pocket and at least it's not in a silly priced set either. Good move LEGO.


View image at flickrThe Build

The Build

There's about half an hour build here and I really enjoyed myself. The beauty of these small sets I've found is that there's nothing particularly repetitive and there's a decent variety of pieces to keep the interest up. Bag 1 takes us as far as the base shown here, plus the minifigs, blocks, ores and TNT.

View image at flickr

After working through Bag 2, we end up with this, and I think it's not bad at all. It doesn't stand out and grab me like 21140 The Chicken Coop does – as that one has heaps of originality – instead it's an honest, bread and butter £20 Minecraft set. In fact looking back at 2014's offerings I'd say this is 21113 The Cave regurgitated in a different style. That may or may not be a bad thing depending on where you sit and we'll come to that when I sum up.

View image at flickr

So what have the designers put in for features? Well, up top you can clamber the ladder where you'll find a furnace – I'm warming a cookie on it. Note the two gravel blocks up there. There's a varied landscape of rock, grass, water and lava and there's a lot of handy jumper plates dotted around for easy placement of items.

View image at flickr

Looking at it from the rear you'll find a sliding tray mechanism by the furnace. Pulling on this opens a trap door and the gravel blocks fall through into the lava below.

View image at flickr

View image at flickr

The bat has a handy place to hang out. You take the wings off and refit them in reverse to fold up around the body which is a neat touch.

View image at flickr

On the base in the corner is another mechanism – a simple push rod and jumper. There is a small block and TNT build that fit onto this.

View image at flickr

Once the block and TNT is in place, it pushes a small technic rod through to the other side.

View image at flickr

And if you've read any of my previous Minecraft reviews you'll have a pretty good idea of what happens next... a quick test.

View image at flickr

Also found at ground level is a pile of rocks waiting to be mined. Give them a good bashing to reveal the diamond hidden within. Don't disturb the bat though! Also note the coal hanging at the top.

View image at flickr

View image at flickr

As well as the diamond and coal there is gold and redstone to be found in the cave. All in all there's a lot of blocks you can shuffle from place to place and jumper to jumper so it's all very flexible.


View image at flicOverall

Overall

I think this is yet another successful set for the price. If you're a Minecraft newcomer, or need a small build for your kids this is a pretty safe bet. It has different play mechanics to 21140 The Chicken Coop so complements that very well and it's quite good fun really. On the basis that this is where you stand as a buyer then you can't go wrong for your £19.99.

The issue for existing Minecraft builders is that if you already have 21113 The Cave there's not enough on offer here to make it onto the “must buy” list. The Baby Zombie and Bat are certainly the things that will appeal to collectors, but it may not be worth grabbing at RRP just for those alone – despite it's reasonable cost.

This set feels like an upgrade, an evolution or a rejig. I'm not saying that's a bad thing as we see it every year with remakes in other themes, but it may be a reason that holds some back from buying.

I'll still recommend this set though. I believe it ticks all the boxes that it's meant to tick, pitched at a fair price for something IP based and the exclusive Baby Zombie is a nice bonus. As with all Minecraft sets it will integrate well in any existing layout and I'm really pleased that I picked it up. Minecraft 2018 has shaped up very well so far – I haven't built a dud yet and I hope it continues.

Disclaimer: Bat does not fly on its own!

View image at flickr

What do you think? Please let us know by liking the article or leaving some comments.

 

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16 comments on this article

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By in United States,

Thanks for pointing out about the bat being able to fold its wings — that thought hadn't occurred to me before I saw these photos! Not really a Minecraft fan myself so there's not much here to interest me, but it seems like a pretty decent starter set for people who are into Minecraft.

The baby zombie uses a cube piece in a new size as its head. I have to wonder what other applications besides figures that might have within or even outside the Minecraft theme.

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By in United States,

That baby zombie! Awesome and terrifying at the same time. Those little buggers are freaky and really hard to kill! (I know that seems harsh and disturbing because it's only a little baby but they are the WORST)

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By in United States,

I'll probably try to try to pick this up along with the Chicken Coop.

Great review, even better photography!

(How do you do that?)

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By in United States,

Thank you for your reviews. They are amongst my very favorite; your spirit, style and photography stand out!

Kudos!!!

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By in United States,

This is *by far* the best photographed review on Brickset. I wish all the reviews used your photography. Well done!

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By in United States,

The fact that the bat does not fly ruins the set
:(

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By in United States,

Splendid review! Looks like a really cool set, and the Zombie Baby is so cute!

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By in Australia,

I cannot believe the bat can't fly! This is a giant slap in the face to LEGO's loyal fans and has also ruined my childhood. It's PC gone mad!

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By in United States,

I'm personally not upset by the appearance of Yet Another Zombie. After all, of all the hostile Mobs in the game, you arguably encounter Zombies the most frequently. On a side note, i personally wish Lego would give us more Mobs of any alignment and not as many basically identical Steves and Alexes. But i digress.

I was already considering buying this thing, and then iso3200 somehow managed to convince me i need it. I also bought 21113, and with a couple of tweaks, i'm thinking the caves combined could make an even bigger cave.

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By in United States,

Cool, IMO this is the best Minecraft 2018 set.

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By in Australia,

I need to stop reading these reviews; they're making me want to purchase the whole wave - which will fortunately be easy considering they're all under $90AUD! Think I might skip this one though seeing as how the bat doesn't fly...

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By in United Kingdom,

Great review. I enjoyed reading it, even though Minecraft isn't my thing at all. And another high five for the excellent photography. I may PM you to ask for a quick rundown on what you're using to clean up / manipulate the images.

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By in United States,

I honestly still don't know why iso is the only guy on brickset who will review Minecraft sets, when he clearly isn't crazy about the theme or game in general. I'm going over to Jang on this one.

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By in United States,

Actually, the bat face printed piece made its first appearance in 21137 The Mountain Cave. (Although I totally understand if you don't have that one. It ain't cheap.)
Surprised to learn that the baby zombie is all new molds. I thought it was a Games microfig with a new piece put on over its head. (I didn't notice the blocky arms.)

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By in United States,

It's a funny coincidence how on the back of the box one of the finger punch tabs overlaps the detail picture of the TNT trigger.

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By in United States,

^ Heh, that's a great reason to carefully open this one without breaking the punch tabs and hang on to the box even if you're not a box collector.

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