Hello, faithful fubbytubbies! We are bringing you an early sneak peak at what you can expect from the from the LEGO Dimensions line with this, 71201 Back To The Future Level Pack. We won’t be previewing the actual game level, just the LEGO elements you get in the pack so let’s get right into it shall we?

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Here’s the box. The packaging strays far away from what we’re used to seeing for LEGO sets but that’s because these are designed to hang off of a peg instead of sitting on a shelf. But as packaged items go, there’s some weirdness going on with these sets because there’s this front flap that extends vertically from the front creating this lipped edge. I haven’t figured out what the purpose of it is for other than creating extra real estate for more text and/or graphics to be printed on the front of the package. Also, the flap only appears on the Level Packs and no others.

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The back of the package shows all of the alternate builds you would do with the set once you’re in the game. Each of the different models provides different functionality that can be used to help progress in particular area of a level.

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Based on the pictures, I’m guessing that the DeLorean Time Machine is the first model you build right off the bat. The Electric Time Machine probably illuminates dark areas, and the Ultra Time Machine looks like it can fly. The different hoverboard modes are probably similar. Cyclone Board looks like it has a higher jumping ability or maybe a spin attack. The Ultimate Hoverjet looks like it can fly. Speculation is the name of the game, kids, and we won’t know exactly what each of the vehicles modes can offer in terms of gameplay until the game is officially released. The game will allow you to have up to seven items in the game at the same time so I would imagine each of the two vehicles modes offers something different from each other to make it feel worth playing.

And by playing I mean rebuilding. How much of the rebuilding you actually do is completely up to you. Each vehicle mode is saved to the base’s NFC chip so you can skip the instructions and go directly to the save mode. The game doesn’t actually know what you built; it just assumes you built the model in the instructions you opened up.

Speaking of instructions, let’s thumb through the pages one by one shall we? Page 1:

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Build Marty. No problemo. This is how you start a typical set anyway, by building the figures first. Marty is the same as the one you get from the Ideas Back To The Future set, 21103 The DeLorean Time Machine, but this time he comes with a red guitar element that came from the Friends line. You can actually turn the guitar in his hand thanks to the stud on the back and have him go pew pew at Biff. It is unpainted and unique in red to this set (there is a painted version that comes in the CMF Series 14 Monster Rocker minifigure).

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It also comes with a Hoverboard that is also unique and a new mold. The graphic on top is printed (as are all of the Dimensions elements that have graphics) and can easily be held by a minifigure thanks to the rounded edges. This is one of the key items I wished was included with the original CUUSOO set. I’m glad it is now an official piece but it sucks that it had to be gotten through an expensive Dimensions Level Pack.

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Page 2 shows how the figure and the NFC base goes on to the Toy Pad. Sweet.

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Aaaaaaaand that’s it. Page 3 tells you to go look up the instructions in the game to build any of the models. That is to be expected of course because LEGO and WBIE really want you to play the game. It is, after all, a toys-to-life game we are reviewing that just happens to have LEGO at the toys end of the spectrum.

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The rest of the pages acts as a mini catalog showing a small sampling of what other sets are available.

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Despite not having any instructions, the mini models were easy enough to reverse engineer given the parts selection and the picture on the box. The DeLorean is actually a pretty nice mini model and came with a new part: a 1×2 plate with wheels holder. I have to hand it to the designer for incorporating the DeLorean’s signature gullwing doors. Not an easy feat for such a small model. I didn’t bother making the alternate builds as they don’t really interest me too much but that Ultra Time Machine mode looks pretty cool so I may tackle that one tonight. The rear of the DeLorean model looks half finished though and a couple of extra pieces could have helped cover up the rear wheels a bit. Despite that, like I said, it’s a nice little representation of the time traveling car we all love.

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Remember that point in Back To The Future 2 when Marty got on the Hoverboard and it had like this crazy attachment on the bottom that he used to help defeat Biff and his minions? Yeah, neither do I but I supposed they had to make a mountain out of a molehill and dress up the Hoverboard in some way. Kinda funny if you think about it.

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There are three NFC bases included in the set, one that has Marty McFly printed on it and two blank bases. Each minifigure in whatever pack you get will come with a printed base and each vehicle will come with a blank base. I assume the figure base is the key to unlocking the new level in the game for whichever level pack you bought. The vehicle bases are blank, weirdly enough, considering that each one has the minibuild model information stored on them. This almost requires that the mini vehicle stay permanently attached to the base so you know which base is for which vehicle. Otherwise you’d have to load up the game to identify each one. This doesn’t sound like too much of a hassle if you have one or two vehicles but if you plan on getting a bunch of packs it can become tedious. My suggestion is to stick a label on the bottom of each base and writing down what its for for easy identification. The bottoms of the bases won’t be able to snap onto a LEGO plate or have anything be built underneath it; it is completely flat.

That’s pretty much it. As a LEGO set, it is EXPENSIVE. A level pack will run you $29.99 MSRP and you get two mini builds and a minifigure. It’s more than double the cost if you compare comparable items (two polybag mini sets and a CMF). But if you’re going to play the game, not only are you getting some LEGO out of it, you’re also getting a whole playable level in the game. So, maybe $15 for LEGO, and another $15 for an augmented DLC pack. That sounds a lot more reasonable to me. You can bet that LEGO will stuff Dimensions sets with unique parts, be it printed elements or minifigs, to try and draw in the non-gaming LEGO crowd. The question is whether or not that tactic will work.

Conclusion? It felt weird ending the article on that last sentence and I feel like I should say something more. Will I be buying it? Not sure. My budget is not what it used to be so I have to be a bit more choosy on what I can buy. There are a few choice sets coming out that that makes me yearn like a 5-year-old before Christmas (I’m looking directly at Chell as I say that). As for the rest? I’ll just have to wait and see.