Random set of the day: Battle Wagon

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Battle Wagon

Battle Wagon

©2005 LEGO Group

Today's random set is 8874 Battle Wagon, released in 2005. It's one of 30 Castle sets produced that year. It contains 129 pieces and 3 minifigs, and its retail price was US$20/£14.99.

It's owned by 1153 Brickset members. If you want to add it to your collection you might find it for sale at BrickLink or eBay.


19 comments on this article

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By in United States,

Looks like our fellow on the white horse didn’t know not to go swimming in the moat with his armor on. This action seemed to have turned his suit a ghastly green color.

Our gentleman sporting the red and black armor, on the other hand, seem to have their coats of arms in tip top, shining condition. They seem more inclined to the purpose of good I should then think. ;-)

Thirty castle sets in one year?? And why don’t we have that now I might ask??

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By in Australia,

That's one strong horse.

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By in New Zealand,

Spectacular box art narrative! What’s going on here is you have an uncontrolled horse pulling a castle with a shooting catapult being pointed at by a knight on a horse on a collapsing rock face and they are all about to be struck by lightning as the crowd in the background looks on.

What a great night out!

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By in United States,

One of the first sets I built myself. Unfortunately, my mom stepped on it the next morning XD

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By in Belgium,

Is the lightning-shooting light brick included?

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By in Netherlands,

@Your-Future-President: Quite a few of those 30 are ghastly McDonalds figures, the buildable large figures, polys and some dubious combo/value packs. The actual amount of good sets is about 5. Still, that's a lot more than zero.

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By in Netherlands,

That's certainly some box art they've got going on here.
It's a bit too busy.

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By in United Kingdom,

I wonder which knight had the idea of “what if our catapult was also a prisoner transport wagon?”

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By in Netherlands,

It's no coincidence that I was in my dark ages around the time they made Castle knights look like power rangers.

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By in Australia,

^ You knocking the Power Rangers?

I mean, technically Lego started that trend with Bionicle, and they're still doing it through Ninjago to Nexo Knights.

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By in Netherlands,

Bring back Horses and Castle to non-licensed sets.

Interesting set, could act out as either a siege wagon, transport, or mobile lookout tower/prison :D

And that with only 130 parts.

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By in Netherlands,

Bring back juniorized blurry action striped castle!

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By in United Kingdom,

I like the visor shapes on Knights Kingdom - if they had refined the colour pallette a bit the knights would be great!

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By in United States,

That is either one powerful horse to pull that big ol' wagon all by himself, or it's one very tired horse...too bad he doesn't have any help. Oh well, design-wise it's no worse than that landing barge with no sails or oars; gotta love KKII!

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By in United Kingdom,

These years must be one of the low points for the Castle range. However, only two years later we had the amazing and celebrated fantasy area, with the Medieval Market Village as a particular highlight. I still regret not buying more dwarfs and trolls battle packs.

After the somewhat confused Nexo Knights, it would be so great to have a decent castle range again.

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By in United States,

I absolutely loved this theme when I was younger. Granted, looking back now, many of the builds were pretty trashy. Although, this set isn't bad (even if it does just have one horse pulling that thing)

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By in United States,

Truth be told I think a lot of traditional Castle fans' objections to this theme feel even sillier in hindsight than they did to me at the time — particularly in this second year when the quality of the set and character designs improved considerably, with the sets becoming less simplistic and the characters' armor becoming less monochromatic.

Believe it or not, brightly colored and highly decorated armor and helmets were far from unheard of in actual medieval history, let alone art and writing of that period. Besides decoration or to signify one's allegiance (which we are all more than familiar with on LEGO shields), it also helped to prevent tarnishing or corrosion.

It's mostly later during the Romantic period when the idea of armor in general being shiny metal took hold among writers and scholars, since by that time most surviving medieval armor in private collections had been excessively scrubbed or polished, removing any trace of the original coloration. But a few examples of painted helmets (as well as artistic or literary depictions of painted helmets and armor) still survive.

Some examples can be seen here: https://www.quora.com/Which-color-was-the-most-effective-to-use-on-armor-in-medieval-times/answer/Mark-Stouse

You can compare this with the way society tends to think of Greek temples and statues being pristine white marble even though when they were constructed/sculpted, painting them with vibrant colors was the norm. But any art historian can tell you that paints and other coloring materials (particularly from before the invention of synthetic pigments) can be very difficult to maintain!

That's not to say that the Knights' Kingdom theme as a whole was realistic — it had more than its fair share of cartoonishly exaggerated elements, such as its ballistas which utilized rubber-tipped Technic darts, its use of constraction weapons as oversized blade traps or transparent orange saws as fireballs, etc.

But I think as a theme intended to represent a fantasy world rather than real Earth history, the concept and design language hold up pretty well, and its biggest enduring faults lie more in the simplified builds common to most themes of that time than its departures from historical accuracy.

And all that said, there is a part of me that wonders how neat it might've been if LEGO had stuck more closely to their original "FUTURE KNIGHTS" concept instead of pulling things back towards a more conventional medieval fantasy setting. Years after this theme ended, I couldn't help but marvel at some of Mike Rayhawk's animal-themed castle concepts, including a Castle of Morcia with a MUCH more impressive transformation than the simple color changes of the actual set:

https://web.archive.org/web/20121017095215/http://www.mikerayhawk.com/morcia.htm
https://web.archive.org/web/20120924055050/http://www.mikerayhawk.com/castle.htm

Since then, of course, Legends of Chima, Nexo Knights, and Elves have all offered something of a taste of "what could have been" in that regard. And truly, all the wailing and moaning about Nexo Knights in particular being a sign that LEGO had given up ENTIRELY on traditional Castle seems silly when you consider how LEGO was able to jump directly from Knights' Kingdom II to the now beloved "Fantasy Era" Castle sets, even with some of the same designers heavily involved in developing both themes.

And in spite of its faults, Knights Kingdom II still sticks somewhat fondly in my memory. Creating a team of characters with their own distinctive personalities and skill sets, and then sending them on a series of quests across fantastical settings where they must employ those skills, resonated with me in a way that disconnected confrontations bet

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By in Australia,

Yep. And how are the Nexo Knights going these days?

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By in United States,

@Zordboy: Concluded after a successful run, of course. Two to three years for a non-evergreen theme is pretty much normal, and Mark Stafford outright told Castle fans on Eurobricks before Nexo Knights even launched that it was only planned to last a few years (much like other Castle themes like Knights Kingdom 2, Fantasy Era or Kingdoms, or other "big bang" themes like Legends of Chima, Atlantis, Power Miners, and even the original plan for Ninjago).

It's a little ridiculous when people act as if when a theme they like ends (no matter how abruptly) it's a mistake that needs to be corrected as soon as possible, but when a theme they dislike ends (no matter how long it's lasted) it's a sign that it was a failure and that its cancellation was overdue.

EDIT: Just noticed my previous comment got cut off right before the end of the final sentence, it was supposed to say "in a way that disconnected confrontations between armies of unnamed soldiers did not."

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