The Lone Ranger: Colby City Showdown (#79109) by LEGO

Disney’s Lone Ranger movie came and went resulting in one of the more spectacular box office flops in a long time. Despite my strong ties to the character and the Gabriel Lone Rangers figures when I was kid back in the late 70’s, the movie didn’t interest me. I’d even go so far as to say I’m glad that it flopped, but the truth is that Hollywood big-wigs will probably interpret the event as evidence that Westerns aren’t worth making and that’s a shame because I adore the Western film genre. And when I say western film genre, it does not include seeing Johnny Depp trotted out once again in grease paint and acting goofy. Anyway, the one good thing to come out of the movie is Lego grabbing the license. It’s been ages since Lego tackled a Cowboys & Indians theme, and so despite the shitty movie tie-in, these sets really scratch my itch, and I’ve embarked on an effort to get them all before they disappear from the shelves and get even more pricy then they already are.

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The one we’re looking at today is the Colby City Showdown. I picked this one because it’ll make a nice little town to go with Stagecoach Escape. Plus, at 587 pieces, it seemed like a pretty satisfyingly sized set. The set comes in a substantial box with some nice yellow borders. I don’t get all gaga over Lego boxes. They’re just boxes… so let’s spill the contents and see what we got.

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Inside you get four big bags of bricks, one loose base, two instruction booklets, and a sticker sheet. God, I love this moment. When you have band new Lego and you’re spilling them out of the bags and getting ready to build. It’s like having a great meal in front of you, knowing that it’s going to be the best thing ever, but soon it will be over. Of course with Lego, when you’re done you’ve got something to display or play with, so maybe that analogy sucks. Now is as good a time as any to mention that it looks like I got two color-switched bricks. Almost every time I build a Lego set, at some point I cry foul that I am missing a piece and every single time up until now it’s always turned up. In this case, it turned out that I was missing a grey 1×1, but had an extra tan 1×1. I was also missing a tan 1×2 and had an extra grey 1×2. I was able to discretely place the grey brick behind the roof slats, so the only real noticeable evidence is the tan 1×1 on the back wall of the cell. As always, let’s start with the Minifigs!

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Obviously, you get the Lone Ranger and Tonto and, as I suspected and feared, these are the exact same Minifigs that came with Stagecoach Escape. Yeah, it kind of sucks to have to pay to get the same two figures again, but this is a franchise with really only two well-known characters, and I wasn’t expecting Lego to just include them in one set. Still, variants maybe? Anyway, these were great little figures the first time around and they still are. The Ranger comes with his white hat and two revolvers and Tonto comes with the bird on his headdress and his tomahawk. I don’t remember getting the tomahawk in the other set, so at least that’s new.

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The other three figures are cowboys. They all have names, and I presume their characters from the movie, but to me they’re just generic cowboys. These are a huge part of the set’s appeal and I really dig each of these guys. One appears to be a sheriff, or at least he has a badge. I think the other two are supposed to be bad guys. They come with a handgun, some rifles, and a bag of money. I love the one with the bowler hat and the crazy whiskers! In fact, these guys are so cool they easily make up for the repacks of the Lone Ranger and Tonto. There’s also a little two-wheeled cart that can hold some bits and pieces. I may repurpose that for my Kingdom sets.

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The first two bags of bricks build the Jailhouse, so let’s start there. It’s a pretty small shack, but I love the design. The front looks wonderfully Old West-y, complete with a covered porch, railings, a wanted poster and the Sheriff clapboard that hangs off the awning.  There’s also a good use of stickers here for the wood pattern on the awning. There’s room for some Minifigs on the porch and off to one side is a barrel and a set of hinged shudders. To the right of the porch is the jail cell and room to place a nifty-looking shrub, so long as you don’t plan on using the exploding wall gimmick. The exploding wall gimmick just involves jamming on a rod to blow out the front. It works pretty well as far as Lego gimmicks go and there’s a clip to place the dynamite. Thankfully, the wall section clips in, so you don’t have to worry about it falling out if you move the Jailhouse around.

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The roof features a fold down wall that reveals a cannon. I love how this works because as you flip the wall down the cannon shifts forward into firing position. Neat! There’s room on the roof for a couple more Minifigs and there’s a box to hold the three cannonballs that come with it. The cannon actually uses a spring mechanism to fire. You load it up, pull back the rod in the back and let it go and you can get some good distance on it. It’s a nice improvement to the usual flick-fire missiles.

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Turn the Jailhouse around and inside there’s a door leading into the jail, a little desk and chair, a clip for the jail key and a rack to hold a rifle and a pair of handcuffs. You get two pairs of handcuffs and two keys, as well as a clear mug. There’s not a lot of room in there and you can’t get into the jail cell unless you remove the front wall or the roof area, so once you toss a Minifig in through the door of the cell, he’s not very accessible.

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The second two bags of bricks build the bank. It’s set on an angle and on the outside it’s a lot simpler than the Jailhouse. There’s a lantern hanging off one wall and a sign on the top. The door opens and there’s not a whole lot else apparently going on out here. Flip it around and inside you can see a HUGE vault with opening doors and a banker’s area where the poor Minifig bankers work and hope they don’t get robbed.

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While the bank seems pretty simple, there are three play gimmicks built in. The sign up top can be tripped to fall down on unsuspecting pedestrians below. The chandelier inside can also be dropped on people as they come in. Lastly, there’s a switch that will blow out the wall and reveal the inside of the vault. Yes, the people of Carson City built the biggest, toughest looking vault you can imagine, but the back of it is just the wall of the building… with a window! D’oh!

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Colby City Showdown is an awesome set, and it complements Stagecoach Escape nicely, even if the stagecoach is as big as the buildings. In fact, the only gripe I have about this one is that it really left me wanting more. I want a saloon and a general store and maybe a livery. My favorite Lego series are the ones that let you world-build and the Lone Ranger stuff certainly lets you do that, but not as much as I’d like to. I think I’ll have to get The Constitution Train Chase next as it might look nice running through the town, although the Silver Mine Shootout is still calling me.

2 comments on “The Lone Ranger: Colby City Showdown (#79109) by LEGO

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