A few months ago, I dedicated myself to spending more time at home and less time getting loaded at the local Pub. Sure, I’m usually still getting loaded, but now I do it at home with FigureFeline, and it costs a lot less. Of course, I needed something else to do. With my Xbox still on the repair heap and my PS3 little more than a glorified Blu-Ray player, I decided to venture back online to World of Warcraft. It seemed like a good idea and it gave me time to get my characters ready for the new expansion. I dove in with both feet and started playing like a crack addict all over again. Well, after Mists of Pandera launched, it held my interest for only a very short while. In fact, it’s been weeks since I’ve been back. I don’t know if that’s a statement about the quality of the expansion or just my shifting interests. Either way, it’s a good story that gives me a nice segue into today’s feature… another WoW building set from Mega Bloks.
This one is the Goblin Trike. I think it’s cool that Mega Bloks is doing a lot of the steam punk shit from the game because these designs seem to work better as building sets than the beasts. It comes in a standard box, about which I have two issues. First, there isn’t an actual photo of the toy anywhere on the box. The best we get is a CG model on the back. Second, the size of the box is seriously misleading based on what you get. The box is absolutely huge, and what’s in there only takes up about one-sixth of the space. Sure, having built my share of these sorts of sets I can gauge the size based on the number of pieces printed on the box, but it’s still damn prejudiced against the ill-informed. Anyway, dump out the contents and you three baggies with a total of 65 pieces, plus the color instruction booklet.
Let’s start off with the figure, Pitz the Goblin Warrior. I’ve been really impressed with Mega Bloks’ WoW minifigs and Pitz here is no exception. The head sculpt perfectly captures the cartoony and distinctive design of the race in the game. He has the same system of interchangeable chest and shoulder armor as the other minifigs, and might I say, they look gorgeous. The amount of sculpted detail and paintwork on the tiny little armor pieces is downright impressive, right down to the textures on the shoulders and the teeny little gilded spikes on his wrist cuffs. This is some seriously nice work! Pitz comes with a red warhammer, which can clip to his back for storage. Everything about this little guy is a win.
Moving on to the trike, it’s a pretty cool build, made up primarily of two large pieces, one is the sculpted wood-grain body and the other is the grey frame. That’s not to say there aren’t a lot of other tiny pieces that make up the rest of the build. In the end, you get a nice little three wheeled steam punk cruiser, complete with crazy exhaust pipes sticking out of the back and a cool little clip to hold Pitz’s Warhammer. There’s an extra post that can be used to secure Pitz to the seat via the socket in his back. He fits on it well and looks good riding it.
With all that having been said, there are some serious QC issues with these bricks. Several of them have weird and ugly swirly patterns in the plastic. It’s like when you go to Dunkin Donuts and get a muffin, but the muffin you get has a vein of some other muffin running through it because the batters got mixed up at the Muffin Factory. And you get a sudden mouthful of some nasty other muffin flavor that you didn’t want. It’s just like that. No? Just me? Fair enough. Thankfully the color flubs are mostly part of the brown wood-grain bricks, so I guess you can pass them off as just weathering. But still, how hard is it to stamp out a bunch of bricks in a specific color? I’ll also note here that the rear axil likes to fall off a lot. I’m all too aware of the fact that Mega Bloks is not Lego, but even so I expect better production values than this crap.
Speaking of color, there’s something about the color schemes on this set that I’m not crazy about. The greys and browns and blacks are all standard enough, but the bare red plastic looks a little cheap and that yellowish-orange color is strangely off-putting to me. Not to mention there’s a fair amount of paint slop around the spokes and the tires. There’s certainly a disconnect between the excellent coloring and paintwork on the minifig and the trike model itself.
In the end, this set is ok. It’s nothing great, and QC issues aside, it’s not awful. I absolutely love the figure, but then $25 is a lot to pay for a little minifig, so the trike has to factor in there somewhere. Everything about the trike model screams the differences between how dodgy Mega Bloks can be versus the peerless quality of Lego. And how about value? $25 for a 65 piece set with questionable QC versus, oh let’s say Lego’s Marvel Super Hero’s Loki’s Cosmic Cube Escape, which contained 181 pieces, including three minifigs, and only cost $20. Yeah, no contest there!
Between my apathy toward the new expansion of the game and my general “meh” feeling about this set, I think I’m going to give Mega Bloks’ WoW series a bit of a rest for now. I’ve got a couple more sets sitting around here waiting to be built, so I’ll get to those eventually. I’m not completely giving up on it, but part of me just wishes that Mega Bloks would focus on producing the minifigs, because they truly are the shining point of this line. Besides, strictly from a dollar perspective, the money is way better spent on actual Lego.