It's the fourth year for Elves, and this year we have a new villainess in Noctura with her accomplices the mischievous bats. What I've been really looking forward to are the brick built creatures that are featured in this year's storyline. We'll check out Noctura in a future review; today we'll look at the middle priced set in this first wave, 44192 Azari & the Fire Lion Capture.
The cover art on the box shows Azari astride Rowan, the Guardian Fire Lion Dragon. She's using her power-up hammer to keep those mischievous bats and their bat capture vehicle at bay. The art in the upper right hand corner shows Emily Jones with what looks to be a magical sword, along with Azari and Naida facing off against Noctura. Rowan is shown in the background. The lower left of the box shows insets of Azari and the two bats, Vespe and Molo. The back of the box shows a short story through a series on insets, Rowan being captured by the bats and Azari coming to free Rowan despite the interference from Vespe and Molo.
Inside the box there are three numbered bags, a small bag that includes the top part of Rowan's head, a small sticker sheet and two instruction booklets. For the first time in a long time there was a piece missing in my set. It didn't affect the final build, but observant readers may notice a certain flame yellowish orange 1x2 plate missing in the pictures.
Azari the fire elf is the only mini-doll in this set. Her torso and legs are both new to this set. Azari wears a sleeveless top emblazoned with several stylized flame decorations and has a dark yellow cross body belt. She has a flame insignia marking on her upper left arm. She is wearing a reddish violet skirt with a jagged hem accentuated in yellow orange. The look is finished with dark red boots that have some terrific stylized flames printed on the front. The adversaries in the set are the bats, Vespe and Molo. Both have great printing on the front, including very expressive faces. I particularly like the use of opaque accents in solid colours for the ears and wings of both bats. Vespe does manage to look somewhat menacing, or at least somewhat discontented while Molo (in purple) looks to be very happy for an evil bat.
Azari's main accessory in this set is her power-up hammer that she uses to help free Rowan from the bats.
Both bats have accessories of their own - Vespe has been tasked with bringing water to the water catapult on the capture machine, while Molo is going for a ride on a small glider. This glider also attaches to the capture machine as we'll show later.
The set includes a small bat cave for Molo and Vespe. The entrance to the cave is accessed through a large spider web guarded by a spider in my new favourite LEGO colour, cool yellow. The spider has been seen in this cool yellow only a couple times before.
The spider web can be flipped to access the interior of the cave, which reveals a chicken leg roasting over a small fire. Who knew that bats ate chicken?
Turning the cave around, we see the campfire again as well as the bat beds provided by 1x1 plates with vertical holders.
The bats have the capture vehicle at their disposal to try to catch and subdue Rowan. As is common with Elves sets, there's plenty of detail and features packed into a somewhat small build. In the front of the vehicle you can see Molo's glider.
On one side there's a catapult for water - this is apparently a distraction strategy for the bats to enable them to get closer to Rowan.
The back of the vehicle has a map, a storage area for water, a clear mug (how to do the bats drink from this?) as well a storage spots for a snack - in this case some cherries. I'm unclear whether the snack is for the bats or for Azari and Rowan. The main feature of the back of the vehicle is a long arm that's controlled by a knob to throw the chain over an unsuspecting Rowan.
The main part of the build is Rowan. I have a fondness for brick built animals, so I enjoyed this part of the build, even if building the legs was a bit repetitive. If you have any of the Elves Dragons from a couple years ago, building Rowan is quite similar. Of course, there's a new mold for the lion's head. The printing is quite nice and accomplishes the desired effect of making the lion look friendly and adorable. I really like the snub nose of the mold, even though I didn't get a good shot of it in this picture. There's space for a fire diamond on the top of Rowan's head.
Rowan is quite a striking figure from every angle, especially because of the seven fire pieces that are used for Rowan's mane, his wings and the fiery tip of his tail. Dark grey is still used for the ball and socket joints which is somewhat distracting from the overall effect, but there are enough of them that they can be considered accents to the overall colour scheme.
There's room on Rowan's back for Azari to ride, along with a compass and a cherry cupcake for a snack. I think it's clear this time the snack is for Azari.
In case you're wondering about the bat capture function, it is possible to ensnare Rowan in the chain, though he doesn't look happy about it at all.
There are a number of newer parts in this set that are either unique to this set or have only been introduced this year. For a set inventory click here.
If you enjoyed the dragon builds released a couple of years ago you will enjoy this build as Rowan is the primary feature. Overall I think this set is attractive, but for some reason it didn't wow me as other Elves sets have. I enjoyed building Rowan and I think his colour scheme is quite striking, though one doesn't normally think of a flame yellowish orange colour going well with the pink highlights that we find here. It does though and it works, despite the dark grey joints.
There is some play value in this set but I suspect the greater value will be when this set is paired with others of this wave. For the price (360 pieces, £24.99 / $29.99 / 29.99€) it's not bad value for money from a piece perspective but the finished product feels like it should be something more substantial.
What do you think? Do you like the brick built animals that Elves has introduced this year? Let us know in the comments.