Review: 70840 Welcome to Apocalypseburg (Part 2)

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Impressive though the minifigure selection and building experience offered by 70840 Welcome to Apocalypseburg are, its greatest features are found in the completed model. The second part of Brickset's comprehensive review accordingly focuses upon that subject.

Discover the secrets of Apocalypseburg here or read the first section for detailed information about the minifigures and construction.

The Completed Model

Apocalypseburg looks absolutely spectacular on display, measuring 52cm in height. The ruined Statue of Liberty is an iconic image from several apocalyptic films, although the most famous is probably Planet of the Apes from 1968 where George Taylor, famously portrayed by Charlton Heston, discovers the toppled statue on a beach. This structure forms the centre of Apocalypseburg and I love how the statue has been integrated with surrounding buildings.

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Coffee evidently remains an integral aspect of life in Apocalypseburg, despite the arduous conditions. The Coffee Chain from the original movie has been rebranded as Coffee Unchained and is located at ground level. Its exterior appears suitably rugged, featuring a series of sand blue window frames with coffee symbols at their centre and two stickers that create a large sign above the doors. The building has been scaled down in relation to the animated film but captures every important detail.

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The upper sections can be removed to reveal the interior. This is furnished with a serving counter that corresponds precisely with its design in The LEGO Movie. However, the bright orange highlights which appeared there have been swapped for black grilles. Petrol pumps are repurposed as drink dispensers but the expensive coffee still costs $37.00. The second beverage is denoted by a skull and both can be served using flexible hoses.

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Food is also available but the options are rather limited, consisting of croissants, chicken legs, spiders and mice! A mouse is displayed behind the counter and there is space for a minifigure to stand in here as well, although no dedicated access point is available for Larry the Barista to enter. Furthermore, you can seat a customer at the table inside and another small table is found outdoors.

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Maintaining order in a post-apocalyptic wasteland must be challenging but Scribble Cop incarcerates any lawbreaking minifigures in a cell. This evidently belonged to the Super Secret Police and features an attractive sticker on the wall which has suffered some degradation. I like the black and white colour scheme around the barred door as well.

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This is decorated with Scribble Cop's insignia, matching the printed design on his torso. The trans-red and trans-blue lights look marvellous and I love the civil defence siren which is mounted on a ball joint outside. In addition, a rubbish bin which contains the head of a Skeletron is situated beside the prison cell. Several pieces of these robots can be found throughout Apocalypseburg.

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Bad Cop frequently expressed his frustration by throwing chairs during The LEGO Movie and one such accessory is found inside the prison. Rotating a pipe underneath the staircase will launch the chair and this function works perfectly. Unfortunately, one of the internal walls appears unfinished but that design suits the apocalyptic environment quite nicely.

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A sticker is placed on the opposite wall, showing a number of criminals being sought by Scribble Cop. These include a character resembling Mo-Hawk, a DUPLO alien and another minifigure which depicts Justin Ramsden, the designer of this set. Moreover, a wanted poster for Harley Quinn is placed on the floor. Ideally, this white 2x2 tile would have been printed but the sticker is an adequate alternative.

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The neighbouring building is only a façade which is somewhat disappointing, although it looks brilliant. A broken window is represented by some trans-medium blue 1x1 slopes while the others are boarded up, include black lattices or are completely empty. Corresponding designs appear on the upper levels of the city, thereby creating some consistency in an otherwise inconsistent setting!

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70905 The Batmobile was also created by Justin Ramsden and its radiator grille is placed on the wall, presumably forming an air conditioning unit. The entire model is laden with magnificent detail but I am especially pleased with the number plate which was originally flame yellowish orange. However, it has since become rusted so is now medium nougat. Two boxes carrying Batman-themed merchandise are also kept here with an excellent basketball hoop.

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A small workshop is located on the next floor. This is simply furnished with a cylindrical tank alongside an impressive workbench which looks relatively simple, although it is actually assembled upside down so can fit securely onto the 8x8 grid plate underneath. Some accessories are also attached to clips on the wall.

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The devastation caused by invading DUPLO aliens has compelled residents of Apocalypseburg to use any material they can salvage in the construction of their new city. This includes a train carriage which houses a gym. The exterior bears a resemblance to the vehicle from 4855 Spider-Man's Train Rescue and features a row of windows along with a reddish brown 1x1 pyramid which has not appeared in this colour before.

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However, my favourite detail is the poster advertising NINJAGO City at the front of the train. This takes inspiration from an actual poster that was available during 2017. Furthermore, the asymmetrical design of the train carriage is appealing and I like how the angled sections have been constructed using doors. The destination board, reading Brick Square, is similarly delightful and I can envisage this being useful elsewhere.

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The roof is only attached using four studs so it can be removed very easily to access the interior. The colourful punching bag is designed to resemble a DUPLO alien which is brilliant and I like the reddish brown weight bench, particularly since the barbell has been hastily assembled using a broom! A door occupies the rear wall but this cannot actually open, instead incorporating a sticker which shows that DUPLO figures are forbidden from entering.

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Apocalypseburg offers an alternative dining option for those who do not enjoy eating spiders or mice, including a diner above the train carriage. This feels very rudimentary which is appropriate for such a harsh environment but the kitchen is properly equipped with an oven and a fryer. The available foods range from fried eggs and chips to hot dogs containing spears or a cooked Skeletron leg! In addition, the menu board displays a parmo which also appears in 76108 Sanctum Sanctorum Showdown.

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Another dilapidated vehicle is situated beside the gym and forms a washing area. This truck includes the remains of a number plate on its mudguard, revealing that it is based upon 5571 Giant Truck from the popular Model Team theme. I think it looks fantastic, maintaining a few vital features of the original set while also feeling consistent with the fun designs which dominate the LEGO movie universe.

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I am particularly impressed with the pink 1x1 tile that represents a bar of soap beneath the shower and the yellow frog which forms a rubber duck looks wonderful too. Several dark orange pieces replace the red stripes that appeared on the original vehicle, creating realistic rust. The metallic silver patches are great too but another red stripe might have been beneficial here, more closely matching 5571 Giant Truck.

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Some more Batman merchandise is found on the Statue of Liberty's left sleeve, above an interesting sand formation. I believe this is where the Sewer Babies reside based upon the tiny arched doorways and its proximity to their place of work. Unfortunately, the set does not contain any babies but they will be available in an upcoming minifigure pack.

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The sewers are accessed through a round manhole cover which can open here, albeit using a larger hinged plate. There is little room to actually place any Sewer Babies inside which is disappointing but you can find another Skeletron arm and a printed fried egg down here. A mop and a medium blue fish are stored on clips beside the sewer, making efficient use of every available space.

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An excellent signpost directs residents of Apocalypseburg to different sections of the city, including the look out, Coffee Unchained and the diner. The signs are ingeniously formed using medium nougat skis which is incredibly effective and I hope to see this technique again in future. The post is decorated with the head from a Skeletron and further evidence of Octan remains as a striped oil drum provides support to the Statue of Liberty.

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Chainsaw Dave lives in a derelict camper van underneath the Statue of Liberty. This vehicle resembles 10220 Volkswagen T1 Camper Van based upon its colour scheme, although the bright red pieces have been replaced with dark red or reddish brown elements to reflect the arid setting. I like how some parts from the van are partially buried beneath the sand but there is no means of accessing the interior. That is not entirely surprising given its location but would certainly have been appreciated.

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Two old surfboards are stored in a rack beside Dave's camper van, perhaps for the unlikely event that the ocean eventually returns to Apocalypseburg! The rack is cleverly designed using window bars and it holds the surfboards remarkably securely. These accessories are decorated with stickers, indicating that they have been repaired using shiny metal patches which is quite unusual.

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The upper levels of Apocalypseburg can be reached by climbing a ladder. This large platform is linked to the tabula ansata which has been effectively integrated, maintaining absolutely stability while giving the impression that the metal ladders and walkways have been quickly constructed around the statue. A sign for a workshop is placed beside the tablet which seems out of place but following these ramps does eventually lead to the aforementioned maintenance area.

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Shipping containers have been repurposed for shelter in Apocalypseburg, lending a brilliant industrial aesthetic to the model. The first container accommodates a barber shop which is identified by stickers on the doors. I like their realistic design and the traditional barber's pole sticker looks superb, although a separate pole hanging outside would have been even better in my opinion.

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Medieval barbers were known to perform surgery and that seems to be the case here, based upon the circular saw and meat cleaver hanging by the doors. However, outlandish hair styles are a vital feature of the minifigures found throughout Apocalypseburg so perhaps these dangerous tools are required for hairdressing! The dark tan chair looks good and includes an acetylene torch that is seemingly intended to represent a tattooing machine given how the characters are positioned in official images.

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Two more Skeletron heads display mohawk hair styles beside the other doorway and newspapers are kept outside. These printed tiles have only appeared twice before so I am glad to see them again here and the neighbouring pipework looks fantastic. The armour features dark blue walls and is denoted by an attractive metallic silver sticker on the exterior, exhibiting a helmet, a hammer and a flaming shield.

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Only the helmet is actually found inside, although there is another shield being carried by a Skeletron mannequin. This is decorated with the Justice League emblem from the 2017 film which is interesting. A selection of weapons are clipped to the wall beside a swinging door, leading to an external balcony. The black droid arms covering this entranceway resemble cargo netting and I love how pickaxes are incorporated here.

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The next floor seems difficult for minifigures to access but we know that Lucy is a skilled gymnast and this area of Apocalypseburg is intended for her. It includes the engine from the Hulk's vehicle in 76078 Hulk vs. Red Hulk along with two mail boxes. The lower box contains Green Lantern's power ring while the upper one holds a simple air horn and they are both decorated with envelope symbols.

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Lucy occupies a unique cabin which is situated at an angle in relation to those underneath. This looks magnificent and is securely connected to the plates below, thereby allowing you to detach the building and the adjoining roof in a single section. The pearl silver barbed wire component which last appeared in 2010 returns in this set and is useful for apocalyptic and industrial environments so I am delighted to see it again.

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Moving the fabric curtain aside allows access to the interior. The furnishings are comparatively basic but include a bed and a storage area for Lucy's binoculars, showing Emmet's house in the distance. I hope the larger binoculars that appeared in the trailer will come in another set. Furthermore, sketches showing Unikitty and Emmet hang on the wall and the relic detector from The LEGO Movie is found in here as well.

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The bed opens to reveal storage space for some additional accessories inside, including a drawing of Batman to replace those already on display and a letter from the Caped Crusader which is addressed to Lucy. However, my favourite detail is the poster for A Popular Band. This appeared during the first movie and suggests that there is a connection between Lucy and the group, corresponding with the Flashback Lucy minifigure.

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More room is available for Lucy upstairs. The reddish brown armchair ingeniously includes a standard seat element and some dark orange pieces that convey a sense of the fabric becoming worn. I like the small water tower here and the front of a truck forms a railing, potentially taking inspiration from 76083 Beware the Vulture which contained a similar bumper. An excellent sculpture completes Lucy's home and incorporates another Skeletron head.

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However, the central focus of the entire structure is undoubtedly the Statue of Liberty. This sand green behemoth looks wonderful and includes the tabula ansata which is carried by the real statue. I love the fingers wrapped around the edge and this tablet has become a ramp that connects the lowest levels of the city to those above. My only issue with this area are the blue Technic pins which support a walkway and appear out of place to me.

The head is intricately constructed so looks incredibly faithful to the original Statue of Liberty, featuring eyebrows which are formed using sausages and an impressive crown. Olive green parts are scattered throughout the model to represent sand residue and I appreciate how some of the uprights supporting the crown have exposed studs. The lips seem rather prominent in relation to the source material but I think it would be difficult to design subtler lips without omitting them entirely.

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Similar textured detail appears on the back. Recreating such an elaborate hair style must have been extremely challenging but the designer has definitely captured the most important details, including a few cylindrical curls on either side. Unfortunately, the internal Technic frame is visible in this area and that does detract from its attractive appearance to some extent, although the post-apocalyptic setting presumably resulted in some body panels collapsing, thereby revealing the metal framework inside.

Some rounded pipework is placed underneath which is interesting as this appears to form the letters 'JR' when viewed from certain angles, making another reference to Justin Ramsden. Additional detail would have been helpful in breaking up the surrounding sand green panels but I like the ladder which extends towards the diner near ground level.

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Nearly every section of the Statue of Liberty is hollow but there are few areas for minifigures to explore. However, opening the crown reveals that someone has been living in here as it contains a bed, a small telescope and some posters on the wall. I particularly enjoy the 'Where Are My Pants' poster that pays homage to Planet of the Apes, showing the 'Where Are My Pants? Guy gazing towards an enormous pair of monolithic trousers!

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Courageous minifigures climbing higher will reach an intermediary platform on the torch-bearing arm. This is ingeniously attached using clips so the platform is level but my favourite detail is definitely the simple windmill which is only constructed using three pieces but looks perfect. The blades can rotate and its base is connected to a dark bluish grey chain with the workshop at the other end.

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The uppermost section of the Statue of Liberty is its famous torch. Lucy has taken advantage of its considerable elevation by constructing another lookout platform at this level, allowing her to identify distant threats from DUPLO aliens. The flame yellowish orange flame includes beautiful texture and contrasts against the rest of Apocalypseburg that is dominated by earthy tones. Moreover, I love the fingers gripping the torch and the platform features a suitable colour mixture, appearing as though it has been cobbled together.

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Overall

Extraordinary models have been produced for each LEGO movie so the weight of expectation upon 70840 Welcome to Apocalypseburg is considerable. Fortunately, I am thoroughly impressed with this set. It looks absolutely magnificent when completed, capturing every feature that one might expect to encounter in a post-apocalyptic world and incorporating numerous superb details which only become visible under close inspection.

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However, the price of £279.99 or $299.99 has provoked some disappointment. That is understandable as only 3178 pieces are included while comparable models such as 70620 NINJAGO City and 70922 The Joker Manor contain many more. The vast scale of the structure, on the other hand, justifies its cost to some degree and I think those who appreciate post-apocalyptic environments will enjoy this set. On that basis, I would recommend 70840 Welcome to Apocalypseburg, albeit not above 70620 NINJAGO City.

I hope you have found this review informative. Let us know by liking this article and share your thoughts on the set in the comments below. You can also read the first part of our review here.

This set was provided for review by The LEGO Group but the review is an expression of my own opinions.

22 comments on this article

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By in Gibraltar,

Amazing review and great set! Cant wait to get my hands on it!

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By in United States,

Wow, this and Ninjago City rival each other for G.O.A.T play value...

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By in France,

I love it ! And this 360 play possibility is such a good idea. I also and overall like all the sets of this serie. This kind of foolish mixes of styles, colors, characters, could get out from a child unchained imagination... A child with many many free parts at hand of course. This is Lego, its purpose : let your ideas run and create something crazy, different, full of details and play possibilities. The dream comes possible. I just wish it would be less expensive of course, but talking just about what it is, a Lego set, it;s fantastic. Thank you for complete review and pictures.

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By in United States,

The arm holding up the torch looks a little thin...

But other than that an excellent set. But missing one thing...

SEWER BABIES!

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By in United Kingdom,

This really is a cool set, Its like Mad Max crossed with Planet of the Apes plus the day after tomorrow:
Hope theres a 2nd wave of lego movie 2 sets in the summer..

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By in United States,

Decent set for what it tries to be, but it’s not for me. Ninjago City is definitely better in many ways

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By in Canada,

I think its a matter of taste but I'm with @Jman007 in saying I definitely prefer Ninjago City and am not really a Ninjago fan just loved that set along with the Docks. Hoping for at least one other build to go along with that although I suppose its unlikely this far past the movie.

That all said I would love to build this too!

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By in Germany,

Lots of interesting building techniques and all that sand green.
Yet the price is just too rich for my taste. Possibly get this on clearance someday.

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By in United States,

This looks like a fun set to build! Thanks for the excellent review.

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By in United States,

Like Ninjago City, this set is absolutely brilliant and absolutely bonkers. If I bought and displayed large sets like this, I would get it in a heartbeat. If I bought sets for the parts and used them to build brilliant, bonkers things of my own, I would buy this set in a heartbeat. But neither of those describes the way I play with my Lego, so I'll just enjoy Apocalypseburg vicariously through Brickset.

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By in United States,

I've got a very similar easy chair designed for Aquaman Vs 3, but the armrests sit one plate higher, the the seat and back rise one plate higher above the armrests, the armrests and chair back are tiles vs plates, and I added a recliner leg rest (necessitating adding a plate to height of the seat). But, other than the recliner footrest, and maybe the embedded seat, I'm pretty sure the overall look has been done countless times by other AFOLs. And the truth is, once you plunk a minifig down on it (as I plan to do), you can't even tell that someone figure out how to incorporate a minifig seat in the first place.

Anyways, the Batman picture is probably intended to be swapped out for Emmet's, since she used to date Batman before Emmet, and the inclusion of the envelope (which probably should have been addressed to Wyldstyle, not Lucy) indicates that it's where she keeps stuff from her past relationship.

Now, I read somewhere that there's supposed to be a full Skeletron hidden in pieces, but all that's mentioned in the review is one arm, one leg, about half a dozen different heads (though I think the one in the barrel is the hidden body part), and a mannequin (but since there's a loose body underneath the shower, I think that's likewise the hidden body part). So, where are the other arm and leg stashed?

I'm a bit confused about the "parmo". While created by an American, it appears to be a distinctly British dish. Both the family depicted in TLM/TLM2, and Dr. Strange, are American, so why would they be featuring British food in either of these sets? Taking a close look at both examples, I suspect they're more likely to represent hamburgers with a slice of cheese, but no bun.

The lips on the real Statue of Liberty are rather prominent, so while this may look weird, it's not really inaccurate.

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By in Czech Republic,

As someone else mentioned before me . . kind of resembles Mad Max world.. I was wondering how the scene with Ninjago Dieselnaut and this magnificient piece would look.. would they be in some considerable proportion scales - or not ?

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By in United States,

Just finished it. Very satisfying build - especially Lady Liberty’s head.

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By in Australia,

^I think in a post apocalyptic world everyone loses their sense of proportion, which is why the mash-ups work. Got a dieselnaught bigger than the Statue of Liberty? Tough luck Lady Liberty!

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By in United States,

Someone suggested that its price per piece (possibly price per gram too) is more comparable to Metalbeard's Seacow than Ninjago City.

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By in United States,

I was thinking perhaps the Justice League shield in the same room as a pilots helmet could be a tribute to Green Lantern given his history as a pilot. And this is the first official lego representation of his ring. To be honest, I’m kinda disappointed with the result. I was rooting for a new piece. Or at least a recolor of the Lord of the Rings ring.

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By in United Kingdom,

Oh! Reading the review reminded me, it's probably worth mentioning that I was able to buy 853865, the set with the Sewer Babies, in the Watford LEGO Shop this weekend. Doesn't look like it's available online yet, but the set is officially out on shelves now!

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By in Czech Republic,

Love the set so much wishing it's included with this year's Black Friday offers :)

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By in United States,

I agree with the conclusion that Ninjago City is probably a better buy, particularly since it's an older set and probably likely to retire sooner. But overall I think that the sheer value of the sets is pretty comparable, particularly considering how many bigger pieces are used for this set's foundation and structure compared to the number of smaller pieces used to construct Ninjago City. The general impression I've gotten is that the sheer size of the two models is fairly similar.

Notably, this model also has far more uniquely printed elements: Ninjago City only had 12 uniquely printed elements (including minifigure heads, torso assemblies, legs assemblies, and the two sticker sheets), while this set appears to have at least 28.

The set really communicates the idea of a post-apocalyptic shantytown, while also fitting in plenty of LEGO-related easter eggs. And even though many of its furnished spaces are located on the exterior (like the diner, improvised hot tub, workshop, etc), there's a good 484 square modules of interior floor space between the seven "rooms". I can definitely see myself picking this up at some point when the time seems right, though it's not going to be a top priority, let alone a first-day purchase.

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By in United States,

This looks wow but not enough for me to buy like Ninjago City.

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By in United States,

For whatever reason, I'm just not feeling this set.

I don't even like Ninjago in the slightest but I find the three big sets (Ninjago City, the boat, and the docks) to be incredibly impressive and worth buying - or at least put on my Wanted list. With 300+ sets on the Wanted list, one has to prioritize.

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By in United States,

@Aanchir:
I'm not sure what the exact number is, since some of the body parts are definitely repeated in other sets, and some of the heads may be as well. Emmet and Wyldstyle look like they share printed bodies (and her hair) with other TLM2 sets, but I don't know about their heads. Batman's head looks like one from TLBM, and his armor is shared with his other TLM2 appearance, but the legs and torso are unique. Besides that:

5x Harley Quinn (legs, torso, head, hair, bat)
3x Green Lantern (legs, torso, head)
3x Scribble Cop (same)
3x Pants Guy (same)
3x Larry (same)
3x Dave (same)
3x Mo-Hawk (same*)
3x Roxxi (same*)
3x Fuse (shares legs with Roxxi, but torso, head, and welding mask are new)

Assuming none of these heads were reused from other sets, that's a total of 31 new parts that were not in previous sets. However*, if you look at the other minifig from the Sewer Babies set, she has Roxxi's torso and Mo-Hawk's head from this set (which did technically release first), and Maddox' legs from 70836, which would knock it down to at least 29 in terms of unique deco elements. So, either you missed one that I counted, or I counted one that you ruled out due to being a repeat.

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