Lego Kingdoms: Crossbowman Bagged Impulse Set (#30062)

[I am indeed gone for the weekend, but I did have time to put together something that’s been sitting in my hopper since the beginning of the year. I’ll be off again tomorrow, and back on Monday for the usual M.A.S.K. Monday goodies, which by the way is starting to wind down for the time being. In fact, I have only three more installments planned for the present time. Hopefully they’ll be some new stuff turning up on the pegs soon, else I forsee some kind of Summer Hiatus for FigureFan. -FF]

Yes, bagged impulse set! I don’t know what else to call this thing, but no doubt you Lego collectors are familiar with these little impulse sets that turn up en masse during the holiday season. I picked this one up quite a while ago. In fact, it was probably a couple of days before last Christmas in that array of binned stocking stuffer items that Target sells that time of year. I seem to have dropped it into a drawer and forgotten about it, because I only found it again yesterday when I was looking for a bottle opener. I can’t remember the exact price, but it was either $3.99 or $4.99.  That’s a buck or two more than the blindbagged Minifigs usually sell for, but this one comes with a little more than your average Minifig.
As the name suggests, this set comes in a simple, printed baggie. The front shows you what you’re going to get inside and declares that the set contains 31 pieces. It doesn’t sound like a lot of bricks, but for a set this small, that’s not bad at all. It takes no time at all to slap this set together. When you’re done you get the Crossbowman, a little cookfire with a turkey leg, a couple of spears and a box to stand them in, and a target with an apple tree.
The Minifig is very cool, although if you collect the Kingdoms series, he’s probably pretty familiar to you. He’s got a nice printed tunic, a jolly grin and a very cool steel helmet on his head and quiver of arrows slung on his back. He also comes with… wait for it… his crossbow!
The box of spears has been included in various Kingdoms sets before, and I think most collectors of the line will be happy to get another. You can stick it in the corner of your Castle or Prison Tower as an enhancement. More weapons and a place to put them is never a bad thing. The cookfire and turkey leg is an ok piece. I’ve never been overly fond of it, but it makes for a nice enhancement to any Kingdoms camp or guard barracks.
The other bigish piece in the set is the target and tree. The apple tree is a little funky, but hey its hard building a convincing Lego tree of this size. The target is cool and can be angled up or down. Again, this is a great enhancement piece to a Castle courtyard or your Kingdoms camps. Besides, I’m pretty sure I don’t have any Lego apples, so it has some unique bricks for my collection.
In case you haven’t picked up on the subtle theme of this feature, its enhancement, and that’s what this set does best. While there’s nothing essential here to make me want to hunt down more of them, everything in this little baggie make nice additions to any Kingdoms collection. On the other hand, if you just collect the Minifigs, the Crossbowman is a good addition to any lineup, and he does look great dispayed with the extra set pieces. All in all, not a bad little set for the price of admission.

Lego Kingdoms: Outpost Attack (#7948)

It was a bitter-sweet morning at Wally World today as I made my weekly trip for groceries and picked up Outpost Attack the last Kingdoms Lego set that they stock and I still need. There’s still a couple Kingdoms sets I need to get, but I’m going to have to hunt them down online. This poor set had a tough act to follow as the last one I put together was the Prison Tower Rescue at more than twice the price point and about a 165 more bricks. Was Outpost Attack doomed to be a disappointment? Let’s find out.

The box proclaims Outpost Attack is comprised of 194 pieces, which include three minifigs a catapult and the outpost tower itself. The box contains an instruction booklet, a small sheet with two stickers, and two numbered baggies of bricks. This is the first time I got a set with only two bags and had them numbered. Baggie number one contained the parts for the minifigs and the catapult, while the second baggie had the parts for the tower. The build didn’t take me that long. It was well under an hour, but I still found it to be fairly satisfying and while the tower is undertandably short compared to the Prison Tower from the last set, it’s construction was a bit more complex than I was expecting.

As I said, you get three minifigs with this set and man, am I having fun collecting the Kingdoms minifigs. This time around you get two Lion Knights who are defending the Outpost and one lone Dragon Knight who is doing all the sieging by himself. Two of them are basically the same figure, only colored for each side. They both have pike helmets, the other Lion Knight is a crossbowman who also comes with a quiver of bolts he can wear on his back.

The catapult is a larger, more complex version of the one that came in the Knights Showdown set, which I looked at a few weeks ago. It’s basically the same idea, but it hurls a much bigger brick and thanks to a construction gimmick in the tower you can use it to blast a chunk out of the front of it, but more on that in a minute. You get the bricks to build two projectiles and the catapult holds two Dragon Knight shields.

The Outpost Tower is fairly simple, and it’s got a false back just like the Prison Tower so you can get in there with the minifigs and use it as a playset. It’s a nice looking structure, albeit very functional. There are clips two hold two included halberds on either side of the main gateway, there’s a socket to mount the crossbow at the very top and there is a flagpost with flags. It would have been cool to toss in a portcullis, but it probably would have required too many additional bricks.

The breakaway wall gimmick just involves the center wall with the window not being secured in anyway. If you aim your attack with the catapult just right you can blow it right out the back. It took me quite a few tries, but I nailed it twice and it worked really well. The wall holds in there pretty well too, so you don’t have to worry about it constantly falling out when you don’t want it to.

For a $20 set, I was really satisfied with this one. It was a fun build and it seemed more substantial than some of the other $20 Lego sets I own. I’m really tempted to get a second one of these sets so I can mount them back to back and make a bigger and more fleshed out structure. Considering it’s only a $20 set and I’d be happy to get the extra catapult and minifigs, the prospect is looking more and more appealing to me.

[As a nice little surprise, it was announced at Toy Fair today that Lego would be releasing four brand new Kingdoms sets in 2011! This made me a very happy camper! I only hope they’re fairly substantial and not just the impulse sets. -FF]

Lego Kingdoms: Prison Tower Rescue (#7947)

So, like I said last time, I’m on a crusade to pick up whatever remaining Lego Kingdoms sets I can find in the stores so as not to get stuck paying extra for them online when they’ve disappeared from the shelves. That led me to pick up this incredibly awesome Prison Tower Rescue set yesterday morning at my local Wally World. This is the first playset-style Lego set I own, so I was pretty excited to get started on the build.

The set comes in a decent sized box with four numbered baggies of bricks and two instruction sheets. At 365 pieces, it’s a decent sized set and certainly one of the largest I own. In addition to the tower itself, the set includes no less than five minifigs, a horse, extra shields and torches that clip on around the tower, a treasure chest with jewels and a rat, and even gargoyles. It was a truly satisfying build, not only because it took me several hours, but because there was very little redundant building steps like in some of the Space Police ships or the last couple of Pharaoh’s Quest sets. I really had a great time getting this set together.

The minifigs are pretty awesome. You get two Lion Knights and their horse, a Princess to rescue, and two Dragon Knights to defend the Tower. The Knights are all what you’ve probably come to expect from the Kingdoms sets, but I really dig army building the Kingdoms minfigs, so you’ll get no complaints from me. You get one set of swords and shields for each side, as well as a spear and a crossbow. The Princess has a double printed face, and one of the Lion Knights comes with an armor piece that slips on over his torso, which is cool because it’s the first time I’ve seen that. The horse has a helmet with the horn that I was missing from the Prison Carriage Rescue set and an armor piece that fits over him.

As a playset, the Prison Tower has all sorts of cool play features. It’s designed like the great 80’s playsets of old, with no back so you can get inside and have access to the rooms. There’s a boiling cauldron of fire at the very top that can be spilled out over the side. The transulcent orange bricks that make up the fire are well done. There’s a catapult mounted on the side of the lower platform to launch bricks at those attacking goody-goodies. The porticullis raises and lowers via a working windless on that same platform, which works beautifully I might add. The top floor of the tower features a fold down gate so you can lock the Princess in there. There’s also three different flights of stairs and a little room on the bottom to keep the treasure chest in. There’s also a barrel that holds a couple of extra polearms.

Besides being a fun build, my favorite thing about this set is that it can incorporate all of the Kingdoms sets I have so far. The Prison Carriage Rescue set we looked at yesterday was practically made to compliment this Tower, the Knights Showdown set can be used by the Lion Knights to assist in the siege and I like to put my Wizard minifig set in the Tower too. Yeah, at $50 it’s a might pricey, but as much as I liked the equivalently priced Pharaoh’s Quest set, this one has a lot more play and display value to me, so I’m not all that put off by the price. Needless to say, I highly recommend this one, and it’s really whetted my appetite to hunt down either the bigger Castle in the series or some of the Prince of Persia playsets before they disappear too.

Lego Kingdoms: Prison Carriage Rescue (#7949)

I had a few too many other commitments to lay out the scratch for the next Pharaoh’s Quest set on my list, (it is, afterall, the big $100 mama-jama) so I had to get my last Lego fix with something just a wee bit more affordable. I opted for picking up another one of the smaller Kingdoms sets. I’m slowly coming to terms with the fact that I should be buying the Kingdoms line whenever I find them, because they seem to be slowly disappearing and pretty soon they’re going to be a lot more expensive. [Which is why I went back and picked up the Prison Tower set this morning! -FF] So, let’s take a look at Prison Carriage Rescue!

Like I said, this is a fairly small set, weighing in at only 50 pieces. The bricks come in two unnumbered baggies, plus one really conspicuous horse, and you get an instruction booklet. Keep in mind that about 20 of the 50 pieces in this set make up the minifigs and their horse and gear, which doesn’t leave a lot for the rest of the build. That’s not a complaint, mind you, I’m just pointing out that this set is mainly about the minifigs. And, hey, minifigs are never a bad thing.

So, the minifigs consist of two of the good guys, one is the prisoner and the other the rescuer, and one bad guy. The prisoner doesn’t have any weapons, but he does have a double printed face, so you can use him as a regular knight without having him look like he’s about to shit himself in fear. The other Lion Knight and the Dragon Knight each come with a sword and shield. The horse comes with a helmet, which is supposed to have a horn no it, but my set was either missing the horn or I lost it. I’ll give Lego the benefit of the doubt and say I lost it, since it was so damn tiny. The horse can be hooked up to the wagon or you can take the bricks out of his back and have one of the knights ride him. If you have any of the bigger Kingdom sets, these figures will be great to beef up your garrisons. The rescue knight is a really fantastic figure, and I love his helm.

The prison wagon is pretty simple and quite easy to build. It has a hinged gate on the back that raises and lowers and it has clips on the sides to hold a lance and a torch, both of which are nice accessories. There’s not a heck of a lot more to say about it. It’s not terribly big, but you could squeeze a couple of figures in there. It probably wouldn’t be difficult to modify it into some kind of other wagon if you have the right extra bricks lying around.

This set was about ten bucks, which I think is a pretty solid deal. The build really wasn’t all that satisfying, but what you get out of it in the end is well worth it. Even if you don’t have a lot of use for the prison carriage, Kingdoms is a great set to army build for and this set certainly lets you do that. Speaking of which, tomorrow I’m going to be looking at the Prison Tower Rescue set, which this set really compliments very nicely.

Lego Kingdoms: Knight’s Showdown (#7950)

Well, I promised some time ago that I was going to make a New Year’s Resolution to buy more Lego sets in 2011 and I set out this morning to do just that. [No small feat, considering my hangover. -FF] Unfortunately, the stores in my area are still recovering their Lego aisles from the holidays, so pickings were pretty slim. They still had a lot of Star Wars, but I’m trying to avoid picking up any Star Wars Lego, or any of the licensed Lego sets for that matter. I wound up having to settle for one of the small sets. Knight’s Showdown contains only 61 pieces, and about 15 or so of those pieces comprise the two mini-figs and their accessories. There’s not a lot to this set, but let’s take a look and see what we get.

The little box shows off exactly what comes inside. You get two mini-figs, a small catapult, and a little flagpost/sword rack thingie. I’m not exactly sure what that thing’s supposed to be. Everything comes packed into two bags, but unlike most of the bigger sets that I’ve built, the pieces for the different completed items are mixed throughout the two bags, so you just have to dump the contents all together in order to start building. The instructions are easy to follow and it really takes no time at all to bang this little set together.

I love the minifigs. You get a good knight and a bad knight and both are very distinctive looking. You also get a pole axe and two swords, one black and one grey, and some extra plumes for their helmets. Honestly, I think the minifigs are worth the purchase of this set on their own, especially if you have any of the bigger Kingdoms sets and need to bulk up your ranks.

The catapult is like a miniature, simplified version of the one that came with the Outpost Attack set. It rolls along on it’s wheels and comes with a shield to peg into the side of it. Hitting the front of the arm with your finger causes it to launch the projectiles that come with it, albeit with varying degrees of effect. I really like the catapult and it seems like it would be a nice compliment piece to any of the bigger Kingdoms sets.

And then there’s the other little item. I kind of get what they were going for here. It’s a little post to hold the flag and a sword. Still, it really seems like a gratuitous extra to bulk up the set to the appropriate price point. If you don’t count the sword, there’s about 10 pieces of the set invested in this thing. I would have rather they invested the extra pieces into beefing up the catapult a little more or possibly just tossing in an extra black knight minifig so the red knight has more targets to shoot at.

Knight’s Showdown retails at around seven bucks. You can definitely see where the money went, and with the aftermarket prices of troop builder minifigs, I really think the two knights and the catapult justify the price of the set on their own. You can probably toss the rest of the blocks into your extras bin and not miss them.

Unfortunately, Kingdoms is not a line that’s going to continue into 2011, and neither is my other favorite Lego line, Space Police. I’m going to have to decide whether I want to spend some extra coin to pick up some backsets of these lines or just move forward and embrace some of the new stuff for 2011. From what I’ve seen of Pharaoh’s Quest, I’ll probably be on board with that line and try to get it all. Either way, you can plan on seeing a lot more Lego covered here on FigureFan throughout the new year.

Oh yeah… Happy New Year!

[Happy New Year, indeed. 2010 was my first full year doing FigureFan and it’s been a pretty fun ride. I was hoping my Mego-style Real Ghostbusters figures would come in yesterday so we could look at them tomorrow, but no such luck. So, instead, I’m going to jump the gun to kick off another DC Universe Week. I’ll be starting off with a look at the Fates Intertwined two figure pack and then moving into a look at all of Wave 13, and possibly get in a figure from Wave 14 as well, since I’m only going to be cherry picking a few figures out of that particular wave. -FF]