Ghosts vary significantly in their capabilities and those appearing in the Hidden Side theme seem especially powerful. They are absolutely invisible so commonly avoid capture and may possess an incredible range of different minifigures, objects and even buildings!
70422 Shrimp Shack Attack certainly exemplifies this extraordinary ability, focusing upon a simple restaurant which can transform between standard and ghoulish designs. This distinctive set looks brilliant in official images and has elicited considerable anticipation among many fans, especially given its price of £44.99 or $49.99 which appears rather reasonable in my opinion.
Almost every Hidden Side set contains Jack Davids and this minifigure wears a white hooded jacket which looks consistent with his new hood component. This lovely dual-moulded element includes a red cap with decorative streaks and the same pattern is present on his jacket. Furthermore, the legs feature a metallic silver bone-shaped tag, making reference to Jack's dog who has recently passed away.
Parker L. Jackson includes even greater detail, sporting a bright light blue denim jacket with matching jeans. Their ragged appearance is effective and I like the colourful stickers which are fixed to the jacket and seem appropriate for a teenage character. Her bright light yellow hat looks excellent too, despite its pairing with garish lavender hair that works perfectly for such a fantastical theme!
Both minifigures include double-sided heads with similar smiling and determined expressions. Their mobile phones appear comparable as well, exhibiting ghosts which have been uncovered through the Hidden Side app. The black and vibrant coral colour phones look good but I would appreciate slightly more variety as exactly the same accessories appear in the majority of these sets.
Jack's faithful pet, named Spencer, is equally prolific but this ghostly dog looks absolutely adorable, incorporating a printed nose and eyes alongside drooping ears. White and trans-clear plastic creates an impressive ethereal effect and that is further accentuated by the smooth texture of this specialised element. Even so, it can still connect to any studded surface.
Pepper Roni was introduced during the LEGO Island video game and presumably inspired Ronny, whose distinctive shirt is decorated with a pizza. This corresponds with Pepper's famous attire, even featuring the same slice which has been partially removed. Unfortunately, his dark blue trousers lack kneepad printing and Ronny does not come with a skateboard, instead carrying a hot dog.
The double-sided head was originally designed for 10244 Fairground Mixer and is intended to represent someone feeling unwell. However, it seems perfectly suitable to depict eating in this context. I like his cheerful alternative expression and the dark orange hair piece looks superb, although bright red hair would have been more faithful to Pepper Roni's appearance.
Chef Enzo prepares meals at the Shrimp Shack so features new torso and leg components, both of which are decorated with a sand green apron. This seems fairly realistic, incorporating some detailed stains alongside a notepad and pencil. The head has appeared previously but suits this character well and I am similarly satisfied with his angled hat.
Food is delivered from the serving counter to customers by Sally. The hair piece has only appeared twice before in blonde and this light aqua uniform, covering the torso and legs, is completely new. It looks great and lacks unique branding for the Shrimp Shack which is pleasing as these parts could undoubtedly prove useful. I like Sally's head as well, appearing cheerful on one side but frightened on the other.
Ghouls can possess both Chef Enzo and Sally, transforming these figures from genial Shrimp Shack staff into terrifying monsters! An additional pair of spring yellowish green arms are attached to Enzo's torso while his head is replaced with a trans-neon green component. Sally's ghostly form also includes a trans-neon green head with an intimidating expression and the hair element beautifully combines two colours.
The Completed Model
70423 Paranormal Intercept Bus 3000 is extensively equipped for any ghost-catching eventuality but the heroes can also deploy a smaller vehicle when necessary. This dark azure kart is constructed around a central cab element which looks superb and has not appeared in this colour previously. Metallic panels are formed using stickers on either flank and some controls are positioned beside the weapon.
This corresponds with the cannons which are found on the Paranormal Intercept Bus 3000, featuring trans-purple dishes. I like the yellow chainsaw handle at its centre and this weapon includes a light bluish grey handle so a passenger can target ghosts. Moreover, the black bullbar looks great and an attractive headlamp is situated beside the cannon, as exhibited above.
A couple of trans-red 1x1 half circle tiles are connected to the model, forming its rear light. This piece has not been produced in trans-red before and could prove useful elsewhere. The printed 1x2 hazard stripe tile looks brilliant too and I like the balloon tyres, suggesting that this vehicle could travel across rough terrain in pursuit of paranormal entities.
Restaurants have appeared in numerous LEGO sets but the Shrimp Shack differs considerably when compared with previous buildings. Its simple architecture certainly resembles the structures that one might encounter along the edge of a beach and the model is larger than I was anticipating, measuring 32cm across. The restaurant itself only occupies half that width but has been nicely integrated with its surroundings.
An enormous shrimp advertises the restaurant and this model looks absolutely fantastic, featuring two white skeleton arms and black whips which represent its pereiopods and antenna, respectively. The textured detail is outstanding and I like the stickers on the sign above. However, the spacing between the letters appears slightly awkward, even when these stickers are applied at the edge of each 1x3 tile.
Rotating the shrimp reveals several black and spring yellowish green pieces on its other side. This is intended to depict the signage becoming possessed as an imposing green eye is revealed and the ground transforms into an opening mouth! Turning a black Technic gear on the back of the model will cause this mouth to open and shut and you can also extend the sign, revealing some hideous scales.
An ice dispenser and is situated at the base of this sign, including an excellent sticker which could be re-used for other models. Another sticker is applied to the base and looks odd beside the textured 1x4 masonry brick, although I think that helps in conveying the ramshackle environment. There is plenty of room for minifigures to stand on this platform and the neighbouring beach also provides some space.
The beach consists primarily of tan curved plates which is reasonably effective and I appreciate the medium nougat highlights. Similarly muted colours dominate the Shrimp Shack but it looks wonderful, appearing somewhat decrepit and accordingly matching other buildings within the Hidden Side theme, even before they have actually been possessed.
Possession functions in this set are focused predominantly upon the sign but the restaurant does include an evil red eye, hidden behind a decorative crab. Opening its serving hatches reveals some interior detail while the exterior features several stickers, depicting wooden planks with lovely texture. The tiny Squids sticker is particularly delightful, corresponding with 70425 Newbury Haunted High School.
Furthermore, this model was evidently designed to interact with 70419 Wrecked Shrimp Boat as that vessel can dock beside the Shrimp Shack and deliver fresh seafood. In fact, the same shrimp symbol appears on both the shrimp trawler and the advertisement which towers above this restaurant. Printed wooden planks are fixed to the jetty and I think the foliage looks nice, although using Technic elements for the tree trunk remains divisive.
Steps provide access to the roof of the Shrimp Shack and food is stored underneath them. This crate contains fish, a chicken leg and an egg but no shrimp which is disappointing, particularly since 70419 Wrecked Shrimp Boat demonstrates that red tooth elements and 1x1 round plates with a hole through the centre can create a fairly realistic shrimp.
Nevertheless, the restaurant interior looks marvellous. I love its black and white tiled floor which includes some exposed studs for minifigures and the cooking equipment looks reasonable as well. Moreover, two colour wheels appear here for interaction with the Hidden Side app. Both functions are nicely hidden, although the sliver of yellow which is visible above the cooker seems rather awkward.
However, that connection is required to reveal the bright green brick by rotating one of the dark brown barrels on the roof. You might also imagine that these Technic parts represent the simple chimney flue as a black stovepipe chimney does extend from behind the model. There is definitely enough room for another table on the roof so perhaps that would be a sensible modification, especially if you are hoping to integrate this set with your LEGO city.
70422 Shrimp Shack Attack is undoubtedly among my favourite Hidden Side sets, striking the perfect balance between mundanity and fantasy. The restaurant looks quite realistic in its standard form and I like how the designer has hidden its transformative features while also suggesting that Newbury might be under some negative influence, based upon the dilapidated aesthetic of certain buildings.
The ghost-catching vehicle looks less appealing in my opinion but offers significant play value and the minifigure selection is impressive. In addition, this set contains 579 pieces and costs £44.99 or $49.99 which seems appropriate so I would recommend 70422 Shrimp Shack Attack, even to those who have relatively little interest in Hidden Side but would like to expand their city display.
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