Lego Alien Conquest: UFO Abduction (#7052)

Yes, it has been quite a while since I looked at a Lego set. In fact, I’m pretty sure the last time was also one of the Alien Conquest series. I’ve actually been hankering to build a set for a while now, but there’s been an awful lot of stuff out their vying for my toy buying dollahs. But, this past Sunday morning as I was out hitting Wally World early to get some snacks for the Super Bowl I decided to pick up a new set to give me something to do while waiting to see the Giants kick the Patriots’ collective asses. [Why yes, I am a prophet! -FF] 

And here we go. The goods come in a standard Lego box declaring that this is in fact set number 7052 and does indeed contain 211 pieces. That piece count includes three minifigs, one alien flying saucer, a couple of barricades and a missile launcher. It also points out that this set includes a light up feature, which is the first time I’ve ever seen this in a Lego set. I didn’t need much incentive to pick this one up, as I’m really digging this Alien Conquest series, but if at any point I was teetering on indecision, the light up gimmick surely had me sold. The Alien Conquest series continues to tap into that whole Mars Attacks aesthetic with the logo and artwork. Tearing open the box you find an instruction booklet, a sticker sheet, a loose clear plastic dome, and two decent sized baggies of Lego goodness.
As always, let’s start with the minifigs. You get one Earth Defense guy, one farmer, and one alien. The Earth Defense guy is pretty much the same thing we saw in the Alien Defender set (that’s number 7050 if you’re keeping track) although the head is new. These guys are basically just dudes in blue space suits, which is kind of strange because they seem to do all their alien fighting on Earth. I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned that before, so let’s move on. The farmer is the alien abductee, which is pretty funny because it’s usually some hick that the aliens kidnap (God, I love this series!). He’s a cool little figure and comes complete with a pitchfork. If you have any need of a generic farmer minifig, this guy can easily be cross purposed. And lastly you have the alien. I like these guys, but Lego’s alien minifigs do tend to blur together a bit for me. Both the Earth Defense guy and the alien each come with a pistol.
The bulk of the build here is the alien saucer, but there are a couple of barricades and a simple missile launcher for the Earth Defense guy to use. Seriously, gotta make sure those road barricades are up to defend that thing against the giant death dealing alien spaceship, right? Suffice it to say this isn’t even a fair fight, so you may want to make sure you pick up the Alien Defender set to give the humans a little more firepower. C’mon, it’s only ten bucks!
The saucer is very cool. I was a bit afraid its simple and very symmetrical design would make for a boring build, but there’s a lot of cool little details that help keep things interesting. The bottom hatch has an elaborate little system of teeth and claws that let you drop the saucer down on a minifig’s head and it will pick the figure up. Well, maybe seven out of ten times it will anyway. There are two articulated antenna arrays, the dome opens and closes to sit the minifig and oh yeah, did I mention it lights up? The build for the light up mechanism is very cool and the whole assembly sits in the cockpit. By pressing forward on the big green ball behind the cockpit the red brick in the cabin lights up and shines down through the hole in the bottom of the craft. It makes for a very cool effect and it casts the light down on the ground below the ship really well. Its kind of hard to show with my shitty little camera, but take my word for it, it’s pretty nifty.
All told, it took me a little over an hour to build this set. As usual, I took my time and I was watching some Doctor Who while doing it, so your build speed may vary. It’s certainly a fun build and the saucer turns out very nice and solid for play or display. The set costs just under thirty bucks, which is not bad, but somehow it doesn’t seem quite the value that the Tripod Invader set was at only twenty. Still, I highly recommend this one, whether you’re already into Alien Conquest or you’re looking to see what its all about.

Lego Alien Conquest: Tripod Invader (#7051)

I promise I’m getting back to the Playmobil stuff soon, but I’ve had a tight schedule this week, so I’m forced to run some of the content I’ve already finished first to buy me some time to catch up. So, today we’re going to climb another rung on the ladder of Lego’s Alien Conquest series by looking at the next larger set of the line: Tripod Invader. I don’t have much of a preamble for this one, so let’s just get to it.

     
Another pretty standard Lego box with some pretty cool artwork showing little Lego people running for their lives while the alien menace descends on them. Once again, I get a nice B-movie vibe from this line, right down to the intentionally cheesy logo. The set boasts 166 pieces, which is around 60 or so pieces more than the first set I looked at. The box contains an instruction book, a sticker sheet, and three baggies of bricks, which build two minifigs (three if you count the alien head clinger), and the alien Tripod.
      
The minifigs include an Alien Trooper, an Alien Clinger, and a human businessman-slash-captive. Like I said when looking at the last set, I’m getting a little burned out on the Lego alien minifigs. This guy looks ok and I still like the pink veins that make up his brain, but he’s nothing all that special. The purple and black suit is pretty sharp, though. The human is just a guy in a business suit with a happy face and a “holy shit, I’m about to get my ass probed” scared face. He does come with a briefcase that opens, which is kind of cool, and if you collect Lego City sets, I’m sure you could get some more mileage out of him. The Clinger is just a single piece that fits over the head of the human, obviously while in the process of digesting the human’s entire head. It’s a cool idea. I like him a lot.
The Tripod is actually built up in two main pieces. You have the lower part that includes the legs and the death ray and the upper part that detaches to form a space ship. At first I wasn’t crazy about the top part not being a symmetrical looking Tripod body, but I’ll confess having it detach to double as a spaceship is just so cool and adds a ton of play value to the set. The legs don’t actually move a lot, but they do support the ship very well and it’s very cool how the death ray sockets into the globe like an eyeball. I’m sure this sort of thing has been used in Lego sets before, but this is the first time I’ve encountered it and I think its terribly clever.
The spaceship itself has an opening dome canopy so you can put the Alien Trooper at the controls. There’s also some socketed bricks around it so you can plug his laser gun into the ship for some added firepower. The stickers do a very nice job adding detail, including a bumper sticker that reads: “We’ve Been To Earth.” The back of the ship features a green pod that opens and serves as a prison to put the captured human into. The ship portion rests on a large rod and simply lifts right off when it’s ready to fly away.
          
       
The Tripod Invader set retails for $20. It’s a fun build, albeit doing the three legs is repetitive, but what you get when you’re done is well worth the money. Possibly the only downside here is that you don’t get a human vehicle to play against, just some poor sap in a suit to get captured. Nonetheless, if you already have the Defender set we looked at last time, the two compliment each other very nicely and I do recommend picking up the pair of them together.

Lego Alien Conquest: Alien Defender (#7050)

It’s been slim pickings around here for Legos lately. I’m still waiting for new Pharaoh’s Quest sets to show up and I’m not terribly keen on the new Kingdoms sets that I’ve seen exhibited this year. I have been curious about the new Alien Conquest line, as it’s a bit similar to the Space Police series I love so much and I dig the way the vehicles and ships draw from the whole retro 50’s theme with plenty of saucers and tripods and whatnot. So when I went out today hunting for Mattel’s fabled DC endcap that is supposed to be turning up at Walmarts I came up empty and instead took home a couple of these sets. I’ll start off today with the smaller of the two.

The set comes in a standard, serviceable box like all Lego sets. I like this line’s logo with the B-Movie silver saucer as it really captures the vibe Lego is trying to do achieve with this series. At 105 pieces, this one is about a step up from the little impulse sets. Inside the box, you get an instruction book, a small sticker sheet, a base piece for the vehicle, and two baggies of bricks. The 105 bricks builds two minifigs, a human attack vehicle and a little alien attack flyer. As always, let’s start with the minifigs!

The two minifigs consist of a human defender and an alien attacker. The human has a printed outfit that looks like a cross between a space suit and a SWAT outfit and includes a helmet with a clear visor. Why is he wearing a space helmet? I don’t know. Maybe it’s just supposed to be for combat. The bright blue plastic used on this figure and a lot of other pieces in the set really pops. I like it.  He has a double printed face with both an angry and happy expression. While it doesn’t show it on the instructions, mine came with a little pistol. The alien figure is pretty cool, although Legos alien designs are really starting to blur together to me. He’s got a squat head with bug eyes, although I am really fond of the pink veins on the back of his head. His outfit is black and purple, which looks really good. He comes with a very cool ray gun. These are both solid figures, but I was surprised to find I liked the human better.

The alien flyer is kind of the throwaway construct of the set. It’s the typical “small piece count, one-man vehicle with a control stick” that we’ve seen in various lines from Space Police to Atlantis. In other words, it’s not much to write home about, but it does give the human defense vehicle something to shoot at, and that’s cool. I will give the Lego designers credit. It can’t be easy to keep coming up with new designs for these simple little vehicles, and they always manage to give each new one a little unique flair.

The Earth defense vehicle, on the other hand, is very cool. It’s a one seater with a rotating turret on the back equipped with dual ray guns (recovered alien tech, maybe?) and a couple of rotating flick-firing missiles on the sides. The mounted ray guns in the turret can also be used as BFGs for your minifigs, which is always a nice plus. It’s a fairly simple build, but the finished vehicle feels a bit more substantial than what I’m used to getting in sets around this piece count. The vehicle rolls along great and should compliment some of the larger alien ship sets very nicely.

The Alien Defender set retails for about ten bucks and it feels like a pretty good deal. The build won’t take most Lego veterans much time at all, but when you’re done you get the basic ingredients needed for some alien fighting fun and it seems like a good sampling of what to expect from the rest of the line. In a couple days I’ll take a look at the next size set in the series, which includes an alien tripod!