OK, so maybe the Flying Flusher didn't blow my mind, but how about a set that has not only the largest "Micro Manager", but a helicopter cobbled together from a windmill and a giant fire mech? This is more like it.
I love mech sets and have bought every one LEGO has made since the Exo-Force days. It was a no brainer that I would want to get this one considering that love of mechs and the fact that I've never bought myself a fire truck, so the alt mode would take care of that. One problem. This set is not a 2-in-1. Sadface, but let's move on shall we?
We get five figs in this one. First we have our citizens in peril. Sure to be popular with the old school crowd, we have a Fabu-fan and a Blacktron fan. Both of these prints are stellar and wonderful in the meta factor alone. The face prints, like those in the Flusher are simple, but very effective and the alt faces are wonderfully aghast. These shirts are simultaneously generic and fantastically specific, so very useful on display.
Next up is Blaze Firefighter & Hank Haystack. I can't wait to see this pun-apalooza. Blaze is a pretty generic new fire fighter print if you need even more of those and his sweaty face is a nice stressed look of seriousness. Neither of these heroes have an alt face, but I guess they just don't need them. Hank is another story. Most farmer figs are all peasants or plain mister green jeans types, but hank is hillbilly all the way. He'll be happy knee deep in moonshine or strumming his banjo on the front porch. He's as funny as he is useful and a standout to be sure. The back printing on both are good, but Hank is, of course, all pressed ham.
On the villain side we get a nasty Robo-Swat officer of the Super Secret Police. I love the variety of these bots. I love robots and these are some choice heads to be sure. He comes with the printed flak jacket from the Cycle set and the new gun, both welcome accessories. But he doesn't come alone.
This set has the largest of the Micro Manager proto-Borg cubes. It's really about the same size as the one from Metalbeard's set, but it's bulkier and better designed IMO. I built the Cloud Cuckoo Palace, Glider Getaway and Metalbeard's Duel sets as well as this one and the Flusher. One thing that impressed me is that the cubes are all quite different, but end up looking about the same. That type of variety feeds into the oppressive nature of the cubes, while keeping the builds non repetitive.
This one has flip up sides that reveal more flick-fire missiles and an extra round stored inside, ready to be reloaded. He also has a third arm, just for gun-totting. I really like the two AT-ST looking cubes and they are the most fun to run around and battle against.
Those little claws can even hold a fig, it's tight, but they fit!
The real meat of this set is the fire mech. This is a fun build. Interesting techniques, if nothing staggeringly new and a lot of functionality. It has no flick-fires or other projectiles, but it does have the water cannon that you spin around with the knob on the back of the hand. The mech has an extremely loose turntable at the waist and would be likely to spin around willy-nilly and make posing difficult were it not for the new hoses with pegs on either end. They're used to make it look cool and keep its range of motion fairly limited. They even act a bit like springs on the upper body allowing a spring loaded punch that is capable of knocking over the proto-Borg with one mighty blow. The joints are pretty sturdy, but one complaint is that the white 1x2 plate with rail grooves keep the feet from bending upwards toward the knee. That limits the standing poses, but it's still quite functional.
I had a lot of fun with this big clobbering truck-stocity. Part of the enjoyment comes from the fact that this is supposed to made from a fire engine. I should get something out of the way now. This is not one of the 2-in-1 packaged sets.
But I will be blown away if they don't make the alternate modes available online. I think the fact that this and Creative Ambush are not double ups is due to not wanting to print an extra two or three books. everything is here to build a full fire truck. EVERYTHING. I found myself doing a mental inventory as I was building and if I had the extra time right now, I'd build it. I'm sure someone will though and I'm also still betting instructions will pop up soon as a nice little bonus to the quickly approaching movie.
This helicopter is part of why I believe this. There are just too many parts that make more sense in a windmill then here. I'd love to believe that the designers meant to do that, but I think that some little bits would have been different if they had really been without the restriction of an alt mode.
Still, on its own it's still a crazy little copter and probably my son's favourite part of the build. Windmill props, chicken telescope lookout, carrot bomber and an apple "launcher" make this a well packed and very tight model. It is very sturdy, but awfully blocky to consider swooshable. You'll still manage though. The best part for me it that it is pig powered. He's on the back, chasing a carrot. If this was truly a single model, that treadmill might move, but instead it is just implied. Sneaky. Love the spotted piggy too. So there is that flying pig I spoke of in the Flusher review. Even the way the hinged roof and props are constructed reeks of "we have to use these specific parts". We'll see I guess. Fingers crossed.
One other thing. The anchor part has a slanted end. I don't know if that is a new part, but it was certainly new to me.
Great for cube fishing I'll bet.
Both vehicles are well equipped to take on the proto-Borg menace. Though, if villainous reinforcements show up, they always have further back-up.
The fire mech is pretty much on par size wise with Metalbeard, so a tag team back-to-back beat down is a definite option if you're so inclined to pick up more sets.
And don't worry, the evil Robo-Swat was taken care of by the real hero of the set. OINK!
What I Liked:
- Great original figs and some animals to boot.
- The fire mech is a fun build and is fun to play with, the helicopter is pretty neat too.
- Even if this turns out to have no alt build, it would be very easy to do it yourself. Trust.
What I didn't Like:
- I didn't like having to sticker the new double curved slopes on the mechs arms. Need more of those parts.
- Alt instructions not included. That will be forgiven if they are made available soon
- A couple of design issues with the vehicles, but nothing too serious.
Using our fancy new rating scale:
5 – An Absolute Must Buy
4 – Worth the money
3 – Get it when it’s on sale
2 – One for the clearance bin
1 – Not even if they paid you to take it
I'd say a pretty solid 4, but no more. Fun, interesting and a great value at 859 pieces for $70US. It has no stand out characters or abundance of incredible parts to push it up over the top, but it really is well worth the money and it makes me want to get more sets AND see the movie even more then I already did.
Well played, LEGO. Well Played indeed.
You can pick up 70813 Rescue Reinforcements on Lego Shop@Home right now!