Review: 70418 J.B.'s Ghost Lab

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Numerous ghoulish themes have been released and these commonly contain laboratories which provide spooky potential. 70418 J.B.'s Ghost Lab looks appealing within official images and offers brilliant detail, corresponding with other Hidden Side sets in that regard.

In addition, the minifigure selection seems fairly generous given the price of £17.99 or $19.99 but some people have justifiably criticised the dearth of exclusive characters. Nevertheless, this model interests me and I have been looking forward to building another creepy laboratory!

Minifigures

Nearly every set from Hidden Side features Jack Davids and this minifigure looks excellent, wearing an attractive red jacket which matches his baseball cap. The dual-moulded hood component includes wonderful detail and I like this double-sided head with smiling and determined expressions decorating each side. As usual, the legs feature a metallic silver charm which is shaped like a bone and probably belonged to Jack's dog, Spencer.

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Professor J.B. appears similarly detailed, including an extraordinary dual-moulded hair piece which combines lavender and white plastic. Her double-sided head looks marvellous too and the professor wears a white lab coat, befitting her scientific expertise. Its unkempt aesthetic is perfect and the pink shirt underneath, displaying Frankenstein's Monster, looks fantastic in my opinion.

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Both minifigures carry their respective black and purple mobile phones. These display the intangible ghosts which have been revealed through the Hidden Side app and the printing seems exceptionally intricate. I definitely appreciate this connectivity between the LEGO world and reality which share the Hidden Side app.

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While the majority of ghosts seem disruptive, Spencer supports the heroes in their mission to defeat these spectral villains. That is not entirely surprising given his association with Jack and this element looks magnificent, featuring white and trans-clear plastic which gives the illusion of floating. I love his simple black nose and eyes too, imbuing this adorable ghost with some personality.

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Civilian characters appear in the majority of Hidden Side sets but this example focuses entirely upon the ghost hunters. Douglas Elton lends mechanical skills to the group and wears green overalls that correspond with his janitorial position in 70425 Newbury Haunted High School. The little identification badge looks lovely too and I like the oil splattered on the front of Douglas' torso.

70418 J.B.'s Ghost Lab

The legs are intricately decorated too, including an interesting starry cloth beside worn kneepads. In addition, the head features smiling and terrified expressions which both look good and the plaster on his cheek gives an indication towards this character's daring personality. The striking dark brown hair piece further captures that aspect of the minifigure.

70418 J.B.'s Ghost Lab

However, not even the heroes are immune to possession, hence an alternative trans-neon green head accompanies the minifigure. This facial expression seems suitably frightening and the spring yellowish green hair piece is superb too. It was initially created for Kai from the NINJAGO theme but looks great in this colour, loosely matching the Douglas' typical hairstyle.

70418 J.B.'s Ghost Lab

The Completed Model

Scientific laboratories have appeared in other spooky themes, including 1382 Scary Laboratory from Studios and 9466 The Crazy Scientist & His Monster from the Monster Fighters theme. Nevertheless, this model feels distinct, taking an entirely different approach to the subject. Previous structures have occupied ancient buildings but this model appears brighter so resembles current laboratories, except for the huge electrical conduction coils!

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Various interesting stickers are applied across this model, including one that identifies an unusual 3D printer and another which displays the associated computer model. They look wonderful and I like the mysterious canisters placed above the terminal. Their colours should trigger actions within the Hidden Side app and Brickset member klinton reports encountering this while playing, although it seems fairly unusual.

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Soul Artefacts are found in each Hidden Side set and they are generally spring yellowish green. This trans-neon green and trans-clear conical flask is accordingly disappointing, although I like the normal colour scheme too. Moreover, the chamber for removing ghosts from possessed minifigures could be improved as no functions are included and this structure lacks detail.

View image at flickr

However, the neighbouring sticker looks good and I appreciate the flexible hose which connects this chamber to another device. I imagine the ghosts are stored in here after being removed from figures. The colour wheel on top has been integrated nicely and interacts with the aforementioned app which increases the play value, assuming you have access to an appropriate mobile device.

View image at flickr

Further detail decorates the back of the model which is rather surprising. A ladder provides access to the upper level, although any space is limited here, while some posters are formed by another sticker on the wall. These include an x-ray of a minifigure brain and an unidentified skeletal formula. The 2x2 wheel hub part placed behind the possession chamber seems similarly enigmatic, serving no obvious purpose.

View image at flickr

Overall

Hidden Side products have proven extremely impressive and 70418 J.B.'s Ghost Lab is definitely an enjoyable addition to the range, albeit not as enticing as some larger sets. The model features lovely detail in certain areas but the chamber for removing ghosts appears bland and should have provided some functionality in my opinion.

View image at flickr

The minifigure selection also leaves something to be desired. They are individually impressive but no exclusive characters are included which is unique across this whole theme. For those reasons, I think similarly sized Hidden Side sets, such as 70419 Wrecked Shrimp Boat and 70420 Graveyard Mystery, offer superior potential for both play and display.

I hope you have found this review informative. Let us know by liking this article and share your opinion of the set in the comments.


You can read our reviews of the complete Hidden Side range here:

26 comments on this article

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By in United States,

This is a weird set. Lots of random extraneous detail but nothing to actually do... huh.

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By in United Kingdom,

So what can you actually do with it? Is it just spin the colour wheel thing?

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By in Canada,

I believe that this is the cheapest set that has the professor in it? It's sort of cosy and has good parts but yeah not super impressive overall.

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By in United States,

Not meaning to offend anyone but I think this set has some awesome new parts but it's just another one of legos recent typical sets that have no purpose...

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By in United States,

I find it odd that this set doesn't have the same transformation play element that the other Hidden Side sets do. . . in other words, this Hidden Side set doesn't have a hidden side ;)

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By in United States,

This seems to be here just to fill a price point...

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By in United Kingdom,

^^ Maybe there is no hidden side element to this one as this is the lab where ghosts are removed from possessed humans, and the ghosts don't want to come here.

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By in United States,

@CCC: In general this set's non-app-based features seem more geared towards role play than action play, considering its numerous features 3D printer, ladder, and computer terminal, as well as accessories like a camera, wrench, pizza, and of course the flask that serves as boss ghost Dr. Drewell's soul artifact.

But I agree, there's not nearly as much "wow factor" here as with the bigger Hidden Side sets. I guess to an extent that's to be expected at such a low price point… in fact, comparing this with some other recent themes, this set's limited structure and focus on character-driven role play rather than action features is reminiscent of sets like 70607-1 or 70651-1.

@The_Teenage_Brickster: Besides "filling a price point", I suspect this is also a good entry point for kids who don't spend a whole lot on this theme until they've had a chance to try out the app. That would be fitting, considering that this set depicts the origin of the ghost-capturing camera tech is not only a core part of every other set, but also the fictional basis for the in-app gameplay experience.

Needless to say, kids and AFOLs who are excited for this theme with or without the app might either focus on other sets before this one, or skip this one altogether. But especially with these sets being sold via unconventional retail channels like Apple stores, at least partly in hopes of reaching buyers who might not be used to buying LEGO and other toys, I'm sure the designers specifically wanted one of the sets to offer a chance to try out the app without any prohibitive money, time, or space commitments.

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By in United States,

Yay Spencer!

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By in United Kingdom,

Yawn...

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By in United States,

Was considerimg it along woth the school but I think both are a miss for me.

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By in Sweden,

Bought this one and the graveyard... Decided that I was probably not their core audience. Don't feel like introducing my 5 year old to them either, too scary atm. So unless you are 8 to 10? This set at least was mildly boring.

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By in Australia,

I think I'm developing a slight crush on Jack, our hero.

Ever since Lego started putting more personality onto their minifig faces, gosh, I just can't deal with that at all.

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By in Canada,

I figured the Wheel well in back was where you could store the extra Minifigure pieces out of sight when Douglas is no longer possessed. It's what I've done. The fact that a 1x2 jumper is also back there for Spencer to attach, or the Ghost Possessed Head and wig/hair piece seems to be what they were aiming for.

Or maybe the wheel part is meant for the bus or something and Douglas is repairing it. The lab is a decent enough set as a physical set, but considering the size of it I'm glad I got it during Bricktober's 20% off Hidden Side sets. I don't feel it's worth 25$ CND before taxes.

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By in United States,

This was my first Hidden Side set.

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By in Australia,

Great review, and I have this set and really like it !

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By in United Kingdom,

Gutted that this was £10.50 in Tesco until yesterday, I meant to pick it up, and now it's back to £18!

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By in Canada,

@SinKiller_Nick: none of the 'heroic' sets feature demonic tranformations. The lab, the truck, and the bus are all exempted from this feature. The bus has the little side build of the possessed toilet, but the bus itself doesn't transform. :)

Great review! This was my least favorite of the sets, tbh. It feels a bit... inadaquate... when displayed next to any of the other sets in the theme, being only a little vignette amid more complete models. As you mentioned though, it's a great way to pick up most of the main characters (including Spencer!!) inexpensively.

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By in United States,

Does anyone else notice that Douglas's name tag says DIAZ?

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By in Germany,

Weakest of the bunch, I would say. Throw in a ten $ and you get the marvelous fishing boat..

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By in United Kingdom,

I like this. As @Aanchir says it feels more like it's geared to role-play - it might've been nice if the chamber the minifigure stands in could rotate (though this wouldn't work well with the positioning of the hose) so you could spin the figure out of sight while possessed and then spin it back with its normal face/hairpiece. But otherwise, it feels like not a bad set for the price; I loved all the details and Professor JB is my favourite minifig in ages. Mind you, I'm coming at this from the POV of not planning to collect the whole range; the science lab-with-ghosts idea just really appealed to me.

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By in United Kingdom,

I like this. As @Aanchir says it feels more like it's geared to role-play - it might've been nice if the chamber the minifigure stands in could rotate (though this wouldn't work well with the positioning of the hose) so you could spin the figure out of sight while possessed and then spin it back with its normal face/hairpiece. But otherwise, it feels like not a bad set for the price; I loved all the details and Professor JB is my favourite minifig in ages. Mind you, I'm coming at this from the POV of not planning to collect the whole range; the science lab-with-ghosts idea just really appealed to me.

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By in United States,

I haven't seen J.B.'s alternate head before and I must say it is absolutely adorable!

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