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Review: 79107 Comanche Camp

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Review: 79107 Comanche Camp

Postby Staff » Tue Aug 13, 2013 6:27 pm

Full Set


Unfortunately, The Lone Ranger bombed out of my local theaters before I had a chance to even consider seeing it, so most of what I have to go on in the movie is jokes from late night talk shows and the trailer I saw once before Iron Man 3. That means that, sadly, my jokes for this review are going to focus on the audacity of Johnny Depp in red-face. I'd like to fall back on making jokes about the TV Show, but somehow, I missed it despite a childhood wasted on Nick-at-Night.


Okay, to be fair, I never had any intention of seeing this movie, but something about these sets caught my eye when I saw them on the shelves. I'm not one for reading spoilers or leaks, unless they're news on the site, so I hadn't done much to look at these sets before they showed up at Walmart alongside the Man of Steel and Iron Man 3 stuff.


So, on a whim, I picked up all of the sets up to the Colby City Showdown (my fellow author, cas, will be working on reviews for the Cavalry Builder and the Stagecoach, while I'm handling this one and the said Showdown). At $20, 161 pieces, 3 minifigs and a whole lot of scorpions, this set seems to have a lot going on when you check out the box. The question is, does it hold up once you put the thing together?



While the movie may have bombed, I've been decently impressed with this line for its overall quality and genuine "fun" that comes along with it. Maybe part of it is that I missed out entirely on the Western line that was out in the late-90s (and don't remember ever seeing the re-released versions in 2002). Maybe it's because I like unique parts (I bought like ten of the Prince of Persia ostrich race sets). Or maybe I used up all of my irrational hatred of the Pirates of the Caribbean line. At least this set is supposed to have a canoe, unlike the $120 Queen Anne's Canoe.


Minifigs


We get three minifigures in the set, The Lone Ranger, a "not-at-all-a-racist-caricature" Tonto, and Red Knee, who was actually played by an actor of Comanche decent. While that doesn't make Johnny Depp as Tonto any better, I will acknowledge that they did cast real Native American actors for a lot of the roles in the movie... just not the most important one. It's kind of like making a Last Airbender movie and casting a white guy in the... oh, wait.


But this isn't about the movie or Hollywood's inability to recognize history or diversity. But you know me, my brain lives for the diversion in a review.


 Lone Ranger Lone Ranger Back


The Lone Ranger is identical across all of the sets. Printed legs that extends out his jacket (but only in the front), a badge, scarf (or is that an ascot, ala Fred Jones Jr.?). Almost all of the figures in these sets (save the Native Americans) don't have an alternate face, as they go traditional LEGO, using standard hats and no special hair. I like it, that's a great touch for the collector who wants to expand out his choices for faces.


The hats and revolvers are also great, though I'm having trouble seeing much utility in having more of these particular legs and torsos. I'm sure someone will come up with a great idea for them though.


 Tonto Tonto Back


Captain Jack Tonto is a much more stylized figure to match the over-the-top character in the movie. The hair throws back to the hairpieces in the Pirates of the Caribbean sets, and it's not a big stretch to picture the Captain Jack (especially the one from The Cannibal Escape), but maybe that's just me. His hairpiece has a spot for a crow (or to swap in a tiara, if you feel so inclined).


Tonto Alt-Face


He does come with an alternate, surprised face. Someone that's seen the movie will have to tell me if it's accurate, because all I saw in the trailers and previews was that same indifferent face that showed no emotion or fright.


 Red Knee  Red Knee Back


Red Knee is the last minifig in the set... I'd love to tell you something about him, but given that I haven't watched the movie and none of the trailers actually hinted at the fact that there were other Native Americans in the movie. A quick jaunt around IMDB tells me that Red Knee is played by Gil Birmingham, who apparently was also in the Twilight movies. I wanted to put a joke here that talked about one of my fellow staff-member's fanboyism for that series, but couldn't decide on which one to inflict that on.


As a figure, he's pretty nice, and has a bit more of a generalized look than the more stereotypical Native Americans we got in the old western sets or the collectible minifigs. I have no idea where I'd ever use that hairpiece, but I could think of uses for the legs and torso. That being said, I welcome the challenge of throwing up some buffalo horns...


Red Knee Back and Alt-Face


He does have an alt face, and it and the regular face highlight the only slight beef I had with the figure, and that's in the red printing. It may be totally accurate for the movie (IMDB doesn't have a picture, and occasionally, I just get too lazy to Google), but that limits what you could really do with it. Face painting like that is accurate for Comanche warriors in general, so that's cool. It also looks kind of strange with the line printing not changing when the rest of the facial expression.


Set with No Figures


The set itself is really what sets this whole thing apart. It's really just a collection of a few different pieces, a canoe, a tipi, a small weapon rack, and the bane of anyone who's ever traveled in the desert, a scorpion launcher.


Canoe


Canoe Inside


I absolutely love this little canoe, which is a throwback from the original Pirates and Western sets. I love that they didn't feel the need to make a new mold for this, and just reused what was already a great part. Just now we get it in reddish brown.


Tipi Exterior


The centerpiece of the set is obviously the tipi (also tepee or teepee, if you prefer). While it looks really cool, my big beef is that a tipi should have a tripod base structure (with the addition of smaller poles to add more structure to the outside). I'm sure, somewhere, there's a scout leader or elementary school teacher that would be glad to know I remembered something about Native American history. I've actually set up a tipi before... and spent time inside one.


I wasn't sure about the paintings on the outside of the tipi, which is made from two plastic pieces (the same material we see in the new sail barge sails or on Geonosian wings, if you were curious). I grew up in an area that actually had several reservations, and when my scout troop had a guest speaker come to explain the tipis to us, they were all undecorated hides. Looks like that was just a thing for the more northern tribes (Sioux, Omaha, etc).


For the Comanche, which is what Tonto was updated to in this version (I assume because it sounds cooler than Potawatomi, which is what he is in the original series... thanks, internet), the painting outside is actually fairly accurate to more traditional designs. I get that LEGO is basing this on the movie designs (I presume), but it's nice that the movie took some keys from history.


Tipi Interior


The inside of the tipi is held up by a technic pole system (and like I said, missing at least one), along with a fire placed in the center along with a fish. The fire is pretty much just some cheese slopes and a basic flame brick, nothing all that fancy, but a tipi like this would typically have something like that in the center. Other than that, it's just an interior to put some figures.


Weapon Rack


 The weapon rack is a weapon rack. I really don't have any good snarky comments for this... it's just some filler parts.


Scorpion LauncherScorpion Launcher Back


The last piece is a playset piece, and for this, I'm going to have to ask one of the three or four people that actually saw the movie if there's anything in the movie that involves scorpions flying out of a little hill. That in itself is odd, as scorpions are generally not all that dangerous (at least not in the US), and are far more prone to hide than to attack. They're like bees, and only attack in defense. There's a little launcher that flings them out, which itself is an odd playset feature.

To be honest, I wish pretty much all of the pieces of the scorpion pit would have been put into making us a better tipi. While the set as a whole has quite nice value, coming in $20 and a variety of pieces, including some nice dark tan slopes. What it is missing is a horse or two, which would be far more in place at a Comanche camp, or better yet, a bigger tipi (those things are a lot bigger than you'd think). But you get the canoe, and that alone made me want the set.

What I liked:

  • That canoe is both lovely and a throwback

  • Tipi looks historically accurate, even if its not built that way

  • While it has more than its share of cheese slopes, there's still enough value to make this set worth $20


What I didn't like:

  • The Scorpion launcher doesn't really make all that much sense, unless this is capturing some scene in the movie not cool enough to fit into one of the dozen trailers

  • Should have included a horse... would have been nice to see the newer horse in a different shade than black or white (maybe a nice pinto or one of the painted steeds like the old western sets had)

  • Another Comanche minifigure would have pushed this from a good set to a great one


Verdict: If you like the whole western motif, pick one up. It's worth $20. You can get Comanche Camp, and the rest of the Lone Ranger sets, at Amazon.com.
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Re: Review: 79107 Comanche Camp

Postby Legoscot » Tue Aug 13, 2013 7:44 pm

I built 5 copies of this set prior to watching this movie along with MONSTERS University at the closest operating drive in (I believe it was opening weekend)
I agree I bought the set to have a little tee-pee town going on, and love the canoes. The scorpions play a relevant role I reference to the native Americans encampment, and are used as a means of slow torture to the disgraced Tonto and lone ranger (watch the movie). I hate to give too much away,
Spoiler: show
but the scorpion launcher can depict this scene of the movie with a little bit of accuracy, as the characters can be placed inside
(ok, I said too much, but seriously watch the movie, my 8 yr old son LOVES it, and I think it's great if for no other reasons than encouraging the production of this line of sets).
So, does the launcher fit? No. The scorpions? Yes. Their enclosure? To a greater or lesser degree.
Let's face it, the scorpion launcher in the end is simply a great pile of parts for us to express ourselves better with, most of us want to canoe and tee-pee.

Long time reader, first time "post"er
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Re: Review: 79107 Comanche Camp

Postby Ultron32 » Wed Aug 14, 2013 6:43 am

1. I never saw Tonto smile. Or look scared. He sometimes looked a little disturbed/annoyed but never scared that I remember.
2. Lone Ranger (And Tonto) are not the same in all of them, they each have a different face printing in the Mine set, LR angry, Tonto indifferent.
3. There are scorpions in the movie.
Spoiler: show
The other indians don't like Tonto & Lone Ranger, so they bury them up to their necks in sand. Soon there are scorpions crawling over their faces.

4. Would Red Knee's red face cover the eye slits in a Batman helmet? This is actually something I've been wondering since I first saw the figure.
5. The tipi is also horribly under scaled, I think. In the movie, Lone Ranger sat in there with like 6 or 7 indians.
6.
Spoiler: show
Silver (the horse) actually was in the scorpion scene. Maybe they should've put Silver in instead of the stone scorpion launcher...nah, there's already enough Silvers in the line as it is. Silver the horse, that is.
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Re: Review: 79107 Comanche Camp

Postby Trooper10 » Wed Aug 14, 2013 7:53 am

I saw the movie and am among the three people on earth who didn't hate it (it seems)...not saying it was a good movie, but it was mildly entertaining, in between the Tonto cringing moments, if overly long.

However, as has been indicated, the best thing about the film is the WESTERN LEGO!!!! sets it has provided us. As a fan of the original western line (I think I missed one set) these are some really nice looking sets. Never mind their movie accuracy (I seriously can't even remember a stagecoach in the film....but at least it isn't a Mandarin lawnmower...)

As for the overload of Lone Ranger minifigs....I'm thinking if I can get the right bearded head, that a steampunk Walker Texas-Ranger vignette is in my future....how do you get a minifig to lay down a roundhouse kick to the head?

BTW the interwebs tell me Mr Depp is 1/2048 Powhatan Native American, so that totally excuses any issues of racial stereotyping or casting problems, amiright? :facepalm:
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Re: Review: 79107 Comanche Camp

Postby dWhisper » Wed Aug 14, 2013 8:21 am

Trooper10 wrote:BTW the interwebs tell me Mr Depp is 1/2048 Powhatan Native American, so that totally excuses any issues of racial stereotyping or casting problems, amiright? :facepalm:


I'm 1/64 Southern Blackfoot, and can actually tie it back through some genealogy records... yet I always check that "incredibly white thanks to mostly being Scandanavian in ancestry" box.I think that the requirement for not being made fun of for it is somewhere greater than the amount that it takes to look like Johnny Depp. I believe most tribes usually put a 1/8th to 1/16th lower limit for claiming membership (so, great to great-great grandparent).

I will probably see the movie when it shows up on Prime or Netflix, but don't really care about it being spoiled. I remember the head-buried scene (which, as far as I know, isn't in line with Native American behaviors in general... they were less about torture, more about cutting things off) from a trailer, so good to know that something here would have fit. Something tells me that a little scene with them being buried, and just putting their heads on a couple of plates with some scorpions, would have been cooler than the launcher.

I don't have the Mine set (or the chase), so I'll have to take your word for them being different. Those are on my "when they're on clearance" list, much like the Prince of Persia line was.

I'll check on the Batman helmet and get back to you, that's an interesting idea, though I think the eyes might be at the wrong level. Also, with the tipi, 6-7 would fit the scale of an actual tipi... as a kid, we fit our whole scout troop of 12 into one with room to spare. They're really a lot bigger than you think... less a tent, more of a small house. They're quite nifty.
If the above post didn't offend you, you're probably reading it wrong.
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Re: Review: 79107 Comanche Camp

Postby Ultron32 » Wed Aug 14, 2013 8:28 am

dWhisper wrote:I don't have the Mine set (or the chase), so I'll have to take your word for them being different. Those are on my "when they're on clearance" list, much like the Prince of Persia line was.

Neither do I, I've just read/seen it online :) Picture: http://www.brickset.com/minifigs/?m=tlr010
The mine is probably the top of my "to-get" list for this theme, it's a very nice parts pack with all the dark tans, alternate faces, and hats-with-hair which I really need for my sigfig.
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Re: Review: 79107 Comanche Camp

Postby rushiosan » Wed Aug 14, 2013 8:50 am

I felt inclined to pick this one mostly because of the tipi. Both Tonto and Lone Ranger figures may be found together in almost any set of the line, and I wish they have put some face/clothes variation at all apart from Silver Mine Shootout. Anyway, a must-buy is the Stagecoach Escape in my opinion. Even for those who are not western enthusiasts, it delivers a good parts pack with horses, hats, weapons and several accessories. The "Red" minifigure is such an unique piece of LEGO art. It's a bit more expensive than 79107, though.

I really like the whole line. They are not 1:1 with the scenes shown in theaters, but still great additions to licensed themes gallery.

Can't wait for next reviews!
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Re: Review: 79107 Comanche Camp

Postby dWhisper » Wed Aug 14, 2013 8:56 am

Cas is handling the Stagecoach Express review (as well as the cavalry builder)... the next one I have up is Colby City. I agree though that the Stagecoach is a highlight for the sets I've gotten, and one of the best coaches/carriages that I've built in LEGO. Cas just beat me to the signup! I'm thinking I might want to pick up the Mine or Train set sometime soon as well, if I find a decent sale, just to finish the line.

Honestly, I wish this would have been less about Lone Ranger and more about just Western in general, given that I loooove me some Western Movies (well, good ones anyway... stuff like Unforgiven, True Grit, 3:10 to Yuma, Assassination of Jesse James from the modern stock, or older stuff like The Man with No Name trilogy or even the original True Grit from the classics).

I really hope that this line sells better than, say, the Prince of Persia line, and shows that there is a legitimate space in the LEGO line for a Western Theme. I know I've said on here I'm primarily a Castle guy outside of Star Wars, I'm more than willing to give up the Kingdom's line and let LotR take it if they'd fill those spots with Western stuff instead. There's just so much there that they could do, and it doesn't even have to be a "violent" theme to stay interesting. Give credit to kids that play with LEGO... it's about more than battles, it's about building.
If the above post didn't offend you, you're probably reading it wrong.
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Re: Review: 79107 Comanche Camp

Postby Ultron32 » Wed Aug 14, 2013 9:07 am

dWhisper wrote:Cas is handling the Stagecoach Express review (as well as the cavalry builder)... the next one I have up is Colby City. I agree though that the Stagecoach is a highlight for the sets I've gotten, and one of the best coaches/carriages that I've built in LEGO. Cas just beat me to the signup! I'm thinking I might want to pick up the Mine or Train set sometime soon as well, if I find a decent sale, just to finish the line.

I had been wondering when these reviews would start happening. Also TMNT. Has anyone else noticed there's only one TMNT set reviewed, after 8 months of sets?
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Re: Review: 79107 Comanche Camp

Postby dWhisper » Wed Aug 14, 2013 9:13 am

Ultron32 wrote:I had been wondering when these reviews would start happening. Also TMNT. Has anyone else noticed there's only one TMNT set reviewed, after 8 months of sets?


That's partially my fault... I actually had the pictures snapped for these a couple of months ago, but it got back-burnered for a lot of other stuff. Colby City will be out soon, but I know the other two LR sets we have queued up for review are coming after some different reviews.

TMNT was being done by those who watch the cartoon... and sadly, only a couple of the staff currently watch the cartoon. I had those sets, but didn't keep them together long enough to rate them (and in truth, only bought them for the Turtles).

We're working on getting better at our reviews and timelines, and look for some more timely reviews coming up, as well as some special features on some of the bigger sets. I can also say that almost all of the rest of the Star Wars line from the Aug 1st releases will be reviewed before the end of the month.
If the above post didn't offend you, you're probably reading it wrong.
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Re: Review: 79107 Comanche Camp

Postby Ultron32 » Wed Aug 14, 2013 9:15 am

dWhisper wrote:We're working on getting better at our reviews and timelines, and look for some more timely reviews coming up, as well as some special features on some of the bigger sets. I can also say that almost all of the rest of the Star Wars line from the Aug 1st releases will be reviewed before the end of the month.

So I've seen. Several of your recent reviews as well as a good 40 or so older reviews that I had never read gave me just the reading material I needed on my Germany vacation :D
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Re: Review: 79107 Comanche Camp

Postby rushiosan » Thu Aug 15, 2013 1:14 am

dWhisper wrote:Honestly, I wish this would have been less about Lone Ranger and more about just Western in general, given that I loooove me some Western Movies (well, good ones anyway... stuff like Unforgiven, True Grit, 3:10 to Yuma, Assassination of Jesse James from the modern stock, or older stuff like The Man with No Name trilogy or even the original True Grit from the classics).


I hope that happens. I'd pay a lot for more Western sets, even if licensed or not. I missed the whole 1997 line back then... :facepalm:
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Re: Review: 79107 Comanche Camp

Postby commodorelegolas » Thu Aug 15, 2013 1:00 pm

Great review! I always seem to buy\receive this sets right before you all review them. :S :p
By the way, that head works great with both old and new batman cowls, Ultron32.
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Re: Review: 79107 Comanche Camp

Postby Ultron32 » Thu Aug 15, 2013 4:06 pm

commodorelegolas wrote:By the way, that head works great with both old and new batman cowls, Ultron32.

Awesome! Even more reason to get this set sometime.
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Re: Review: 79107 Comanche Camp

Postby gomek » Fri Aug 16, 2013 6:47 pm

I might get some of these despite that it's Lone Ranger. I do like the western themes myself. I'm figuring these will be on clearance soon enough.
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