World of Warcraft: Barrens Chase by Mega Bloks

And it’s time for more World of Warcraft from our good friends at Mega Bloks. I manage to finally kick my habit of playing the game (for the third time) and now I keep getting dragged back to WoW via the building sets. Like the last set, this one was a Christmas present and also like the last set, I was very happy to get it because while I had decided to stop investing money in them, I apparently have no problem with getting them for free.

There’s the box, and I have to say I still really dig seeing the WoW logo and motif in the toy aisle. I wish someone would give the franchise a proper line of action figures like Halo gets, but at least it’s cool to see WoW represented in the toy aisle in any fashion. Once again, I take issue with the fact that Mega Bloks uses CG models rather than actual photos of the toys, but as we’ll see in the case of this set there aren’t any real discrepancies to complain about.

Dump out the contents of the box and you get a large instruction booklet, a bunch of unnumbered baggies of pieces, the mystery loot baggie, and a trial card for the game that lets you play up to level 20 for free. Oh yes, friends, like any good dealer knows, the first taste is always free. Altogether, you get 128 pieces, which is only 22 pieces less than the more expensive set we looked at last time. The difference is this set is made up of mostly tiny pieces and that’s not a bad thing, because building this one felt more like a Lego build and less like I was just assembling some toys. The 128 pieces comprise two minifigures, a couple of battle standards, a Horde X-53 rocket and an Alliance mount. As usual, let’s start with the minifigs.

The minifigures come completely assembled. All you need to do is plug the weapon clip into their backs. This set comes with Tanavar, a Night Elf Warrior (Alliance) and Dragath, an Orc Warlock (Horde). I’ve made no bones about the fact that the minifgures are my favorite thing about this line and that continues to be the case here. The Tanavar and Dragath figures perfectly capture their races and character classes from the game and I’m always happy to add a couple more players to my display shelf instance. Tanavar comes with a translucent purple sword and Dragath comes with a large and very cool staff. As always each figure’s armor is interchangeable with any other figures in the collection. I still haven’t gotten around to playing around with this feature, but it sure is cool.

The Nightsaber mount is a very simple build. All you do is attach the legs, the head, the tail, the reins and the saddle. The finished beast is very cool looking and features some very impressive sculpting, particularly on the head. The angular nature of the sculpt replicates the polygon stylings of the game really well and the coloring on the figure is spectacular. The saddle fits the figures very well and they can actually grip the reins too. Each of the legs is ball jointed at the body, which gives a decent amount of articulation for such a little guy. He’s certainly won me over for Mega Bloks’ mounts and I’m rather anxious to get some of the flying mounts now. Well, played Mr. Bloks… Well played.

The X-53 rocket represents the bulk of this set’s build, and as mentioned already it feels more like an actual Lego build than any of the previous Mega Bloks sets I’ve put together. The bricks are without any of the annoying color issues that I’ve seen in previous sets, and the build is very well designed and the finished rocket holds together solid. The nose art is cool, there are some adjustable exhaust pipes, and the back engine of the rocket can spin with the flick of a finger. Admittedly, the figures look a little awkward sitting on this thing, the windshield is undersized, and there are no controls to speak of, but I still dig it a lot. Maybe the thought of an Orc flying something that looks like it was cobbled together by Wile E. Coyote just tickles me.

In the end, I love everything about this set. The figures are awesome, the mount and rocket are both very cool, and while the Nightsaber mount was a very simple assembly, the overall set was still a genuinely fun and satisfying build. I’m always a sucker for sets that give you everything you need for a self-contained battle and that’s exactly what you get here: A couple of foes and their rides to chase each other around The Barrens or Thousand Needles or wherever. It seems like the set goes for around $24.99 at most retailers and that seems like a fine deal to me. In fact, this set is so good, it’s restored my confidence in the line. I’m going to grab a few more of the smaller sets and if I like what I get, I just may convince myself to pick up that Horde Zeppelin that I want so badly.

I actually have one more Christmas present to look at, but I’m going to come back to it on Saturday so that tomorrow I can get to TFC’s first Project Uranos figure, F-4 Phantom, before the second Project Uranos figure arrives at my door next week.

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