Star Trek Mega Bloks: Transporter Room by Mattel

There’s brand new Star Trek on tonight, folks, and if that isn’t cause for some special Sunday content, then I don’t know what is! I’m trying to be optimistic about Discovery, but the truth is right now I’m bracing for the worst, but hoping for the best. Either way, I’m excited! Meanwhile, I’ve been watching a lot of Star Trek this weekend and I’ve been saving another one of Mattel’s Mega Bloks Star Trek sets for just the right occasion. This time it’s the The Transporter Room… Energize!

The set comes in a typical enclosed box, albeit with some sexy angled edges and I really like what they did with the presentation for this series. You get a very Classic looking Star Trek deco and logo with the 50th Anniversary insignia and some artwork featuring the completed set, which is so close to what it looks like it might as well be an actual photo. There’s also a little window in the bottom corner that displays Spock, one of the three Micro Figures included with the set.

Inside the box you get a large full-color instruction booklet and a heaping helping of unnumbered bags of bricks. Unnumbered? Yup! Mega Bloks ain’t going to coddle you like LEGO does, so you might as well just dump all those bags into a bin and mix them up, because with these builds you have to hunt through every last brick at every step of the build. In total the set includes 321 pieces. Let’s start with the Micro Figures!

The Micro Figures come already built and include Mirror Universe Kirk and Spock, although technically, I guess this is really our Universe Kirk dressed in the Mirror Universe outfit. You also get a materializing Micro Figure. I’m pretty sure that’s Kirk too, but he can pass for anyone. Also, if you take the sash off of him, he can pass for someone from our Universe as well. All of the Star Trek Micro Figures have been pretty impressive. They have decent likenesses for the scale and a surprising degree of articulation. All three figures come with gold figure bases and Spock and Kirk come with phasers. And now… on to the build!!!

Once the set is complete, you get this long strip, which works as an alternate display option. It kind of reminds me of a Classic version of the Regula-1 Transporter Room from Wrath of Khan. I think it would stand in nicely for a TOS Starbase Transporter. The control console is even built on a swivel, so you can orientate it to this configuration without having to remove it.

I’ll also point out that the set comes with back panels that have the emblem of the Terran Empire’s Imperial Starfleet printed on them, but they also provide enough to build the regular Universe Transporter and that’s the one that I went for. Oh yeah, these panels also glow in the dark, which is pretty damn cool. When you’re ready to turn it this thing into the Enterprise Transporter Room, all you do is roll it up!

And there you go! I think this thing looks really great. Granted, the layout of the pads is not accurate to the Enterprise Transporter. It has the right number of pads, but they aren’t configured in a circle like they should be. Still, I’m happy with the way it turned out and if you wanted to buy two of these, you might be able to build a more accurate one with the combined pieces. I found this build to be a lot less frustrating than the D7 Battlecruiser, although there is a little bit of repetition in building each of those triangular pad sections. Also, the top Transporter discs do not attach all that well to the support beams, so it’s not uncommon for those to fall off when handling the set. Unlike the Klingon ship, I’m happy to report that I wasn’t missing any pieces this time. Oh, and that one top piece on the right wall does fit correctly, I just didn’t snap it down properly.

The Transporter console is comprised of specially printed bricks, and I think it looks great. Probably the one thing that Mega Bloks can laud over LEGO is that they don’t use stickers, and that’s a wonderful thing. The platform in front of the console even has pegs for a Micro Figure to stand in front of it. I also like the star chart that hangs on the wall. It’s a nice touch!

The pads are re-purposed figure stands, cast in silver instead of gold, which is pretty clever, although the center one only has a single peg. I’m not really sure why they did that, but it’s no big deal. I think the materializing Micro Figure looks great displayed on one of the pads.

This set retailed at just under $40 originally, which is the same price as the D7 Battlecruiser, but with about thirty fewer pieces. On the other hand, this set had two more Micro Figures, so I guess it all balances out. I picked up mine for just under $15 when Amazon was running them on sale, and I’m pretty sure that they’re still running specials on these sets. I think they did a beautiful job with it and I appreciate the fact that they took the opportunity to pay homage to a specific episode, rather than just throw a generic set out there. There are only two more Classic Trek Mega Bloks sets left for me to pick up: The Bridge and The USS Enterprise. The Bridge is a sure thing, but the Enterprise? Well, at 3,000+ pieces, we’ll see how crazy I feel.

Advertisements

Star Trek Mega Bloks: Klingon D7 Battlecruiser by Mattel

It’s been a while since I looked at any building sets, so I thought I’d mix things up today and check out another one of the Mega Bloks Star Trek sets. I built and reviewed a couple of the smaller sets way back in July of last year and since then I almost forgot these things even existed. Then I got a friendly Recommendations email from Amazon telling me they were blowing out the Klingon D7 Battlecruiser, which reminded me of the old Klingon saying: “Today is a good day to buy!” Seriously, this was a deal that would have made a Ferengi blush!

The set comes in a mostly enclosed box with fancy angled edges, and a tiny window to show the included Micro Figure and a nice illustration of the finished build firing its disruptors. This whole union between Mega Bloks and the original Star Trek series is so random and weird, but also delightful and miraculous at the same time. I’ve only seen these sets in a brick and mortar store once, but seeing any Star Trek merch on the shelf gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling, especially since it was the 50th Anniversary of the show and no one seemed to care. I keep meaning to pick up the Bridge and Transporter sets, and maybe building this one will encourage me to finally do just that.

The box contains about six bags of pieces, none of which are numbered. You also get a loose base plate, and a large and colorful instruction manual with shots of Kirk, Spock, and Uhura on the front. All together there are 351 pieces which builds the ship and the display stand. I found this to be a fairly challenging build, and I attribute that to two things. First, since the bags aren’t numbered like in LEGO sets, you have to dump all of them out, which makes for a lot more pieces to search through. Second, 99% of the pieces in the set are either gray or light gray, so sorting by color won’t help much. There are also a surprisingly large number of smaller pieces used, and hardly any specialty pieces. I’d say the build was overall pretty enjoyable, but with a modicum of frustration every now and then.

And here she is all built, measuring about twelve inches from the front of the bridge to the back of the warp nacelles, and ready to earn honor and glory for The Empire! I’ll start out by saying how cool it is that they included a buildable stand and how much I love what they did with it. It includes a rotating base so you can display the ship anyway you want. It also has a nameplate with the ship’s designation, and you get a Klingon battle flag and a little Captain Kor to stand in front of it. Obviously, the Micro Figure is not in scale with the ship, but it’s a really cool way to display the completed model. Plus, the Micro Figures in this series have all been excellent. Kor comes with a a little hand disruptor and a shoulder strap to carry it in. On the downside, my set was missing one of the clear support poles that hold the ship up. It still works with just three, but I think it stinks when they leave parts out. In the past, Mega Bloks has made it easy to automatically report missing pieces and they will ship them out, but in this case their system doesn’t even recognize the model number of this set. Let’s take a closer look at the D7 itself, and to do that I’m going to take it off of the stand. But I’m going to have to empty out a shot glass first…

Overall, I think this is a great looking rendition of the famous Klingon warship, and the fact that it does use so few specialized parts makes it all the more impressive. It’s really well proportioned and the two-tone gray blocks fit the color scheme of the ship perfectly. The disruptor effect parts are pretty cool, but you can obviously remove them if you’d rather not have your D7 perpetually firing.

I was a little worried about the integrity of the boom, but it’s reinforced quite well at both ends, and I’ve been handling the ship a lot without it detaching. I particularly love the engineering behind the way the wings attach, allowing for them to angle downward ever so slightly and yet still not be floppy. All in all, this is a very sturdy model and it’ll stand up perfectly to being wooshed around the room.

One thing Mega Bloks has been doing better than LEGO is their use of printed bricks over stickers. The D7 uses them pretty sparingly. You get the Imperial emblem on the one wing, a few blocks with Klingon script, the impulse glow on the back, and the windows and torpedo tube on the bridge module. They even accounted for using translucent green blocks on the back of the warp engines. Nice touch!

I really dig how the spaces betwen the bricks look like windows on the sides of the bridge module. It’s probably not intentional, but a cool incidental effect anyway. Also, I just noticed that I put one of the bricks with the rows of windows upside down and they’re slightly out of alignment. At least that’s an easy fix.

Overall, I’d rate this set pretty highly, especially if all things were equal and I wasn’t missing a goddamn piece. The original MSRP was $40 and if I compare that to one of LEGO’s licensed $40 sets, I find that on average, this one includes a couple dozen more pieces. Sure, the quality isn’t as good as LEGO, but it’s not really bad either. Also, I doubt LEGO could have done much better with the design at the same piece count. What’s also not bad is the price this thing is going for now on Amazon. I picked mine up for about $11 and as I write this it actually dropped down to $10, so I picked up a second one. Now if only the 3,000+ piece Enterprise would drop too, because I’d really love to pick up that thing!

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.

World of Warcraft: Sindragosa and The Lich King by Mega Bloks

I have returned from my Odin Sleep, it’s back to business as usual here on FigureFan and I’ve got some Christmas presents to look at this week! The last time I featured one of Mega Bloks’ WoW sets, I wasn’t terribly impressed and I decided that I was going to back away from these for a little while. Nonetheless, I got a couple for Christmas and I was surprised at how excited I was when I saw this one: The Sindragosa and Lich King set. Obviously this set has some serious gravitas in WoW lore so I thought it would be cool to have these big baddies in my collection. How’d they turn out? Can this set wash out the bad taste of the last one? Well, let’s see!

The box is pretty glorious and it’s absolutely huge. A Lego set in a box this big would run you around $150 and have a zillion pieces. This one only has 150 pieces, but as we’ll see in a bit, some of them are pretty damn big. The artwork on the front of the box is gorgeous with really nice colors. The box alone has tempted me to pick it up in the store and gawk at it more than a few times. The artwork is also slightly embossed on the front, which is a cool little touch but one which hardly anyone is likely to care about. The back of the box shows you the completed set, but instead of showing you actual photos, you get CG models. That’s hokey, Mega Bloks. It feels like you’re trying to hide something. Why won’t you show the actual product? Well, hang on kiddies, we’ll see why they don’t do that before this feature is over.

Open the box, spill out the contents, and you get a large, but thin, instruction booklet, a small mystery bag containing your random piece of loot, six un-numbered baggies, and a lone, loose brick that looks like it was either thrown in there by mistake, or Mega Bloks suddenly realized they left it out and tossed it in before the box was sealed. I guess we’ll find out which! (Hint: It was thrown in there by mistake!) All told, the 150 pieces make up the dragon Sindragosa and The Lich King and his Frozen Throne. Cool! Let’s start with The Lich King.


The Lich King comes fully assembled with his sword in his own bag. I can understand why Mega Bloks has the individual minifigures pre-assembled, because they wanted to go with a window box package, but I think including the figure assembled in a set like this is a mistake. I buy these things because I like to build them and when you take away from the build time, I tend to feel a little cheated. Nonetheless, Lich King is a great figure with tons of sculpted detail on his gorgeous armor. It really is stunning how much work went into this little guy. He has a removable cape, so you can plug in the weapon clip and have him store his sword, Frostmourne, on his back. The sword is an exceptionally cool piece. It’s so detailed it even has the runes sculpted and painted on the blade. I’ve been blown away by every WoW minifigure that I have, and The Lich King continues to hold that standard if not raise the bar a little higher.

The Frozen Throne makes up a big part of this set’s assembly. It consists of a large white base with translucent blue bricks used to make the ice throne and some of the other ice formations. The build itself is well designed and it even includes a piece to hold Frostmourne while The Lich King is on his throne. The problem here, however, links in to the reason why Mega Bloks won’t show the actual set on the box. Some of the ice bricks are painted with white and blue paint to give them a frosted look, but in truth it just looks like crap. The paint is slathered on some, drizzled on others, while some bricks have none at all. I suppose if you carefully sorted them all out you could get something that looked fairly consistent throughout the build, but it would be pointless since the actual brushwork just looks like someone tried out a shitty custom paint job. It was a terrible idea, as I think the set would have looked just fine without the paintwork at all. In fact, it would have looked a lot like the CG image on the back of the package!

Moving on to Sindragosa… I should forewarn that I am not usually a fan of beasts in the Lego and Mega Bloks lines because they turn out looking too mechanical. It’s just the nature of the build and I try not to hold it against the designers. In the case of Sindragosa, the design of the finished build looks pretty good and makes for a solid, well-articulated, and overall fun toy. He has ball joints in his legs, neck, tail and the base of his wings, so you can get good poses out of him, and he’s big enough to pick up a minifgure in his hinged jaw. The bulk of the bricks used for this build are brown and blue, which is all well and good, but it still makes use of some of the badly painted ice bricks, which is very unfortunate. Again, you can try to pick some of the better looking ones for his back, but I just resent having to do that.


I think my biggest problem with Sindragosa is that too many of his pieces are complete right out of the box. If this were a Lego set, his wings would have probably been made out of 50 pieces each. Here they just come right out of the baggie as two large molded pieces. On the other hand, a lot of the pieces that go into the dragon are just stacked bricks used to make up his belly. You can barely see these, and they’re completely unnecessary for the build. Seriously, you can completely leave them out and it will barely even be noticeable!

Oh yeah, I almost forgot my loot. It’s a pair of shoulders. I like this idea of mystery loot, but there’s nothing special about these pieces and I can’t imagine ever swapping these out onto any of my figures. I guess I’ll just have to put them up on the Auction House when I get back to port back to Ogrimmar.

This set was a gift, so value isn’t really a concern for me. Nonetheless, it looks like the set sells for around $35 at Walmart. That’s a pretty good deal for the number of pieces and the complexity of the build. In the end, I think the Lich King figure is absolutely fantastic and Sindragosa is certainly cool enough, but I’m really soured on the whole crappy paint job on the ice bricks. It’s completely unnecessary and only serves to ruin a major part of the set for me.

I’m taking Sunday off… I know, I just had a week off, but I’m going to be taking Sundays off for good from now on. I’ll be back on Monday and Tuesday to check out last month’s Club Infinite Earth offerings and then I’ll swing back and take a look at the other Mega Bloks set that I got for Christmas. Then Thursday and Friday I start my treacherous journey down the dark path of third-party Transformers.

World of Warcraft: Goblin Trike by Mega Bloks

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.

World of Warcraft: Blood Elf Priest (Valoren) & Orc Warrior (Ragerock) by Mega Bloks

Yes, it’s World of Warcraft season again. Time for a new expansion, time for me to dust off my level 85 character, time for me to say, “Oh shit, I need to get my mining up another 30 points before I embark for Pandaria.” In honor of the new expansion pack, I thought I’d finally get around to looking at the other two of Mega Bloks’ WoW Faction Packs, which I picked up a quite a few weeks back. Last time, we checked out one of the Alliance minifigs, and today we’re going to see how the Horde makes out with two of their Faction Packs. This should be good, because everyone knows the Horde is awesome and the Alliance is a bunch of pussies.

Here we’ve got the Blood Elf Priest, Valoren, and the Orc Warrior, Ragerock. I’ve never rolled an Orc, but I’m pretty partial to the Blood Elves, as three of my four high level characters are of that racial persuasion. Of course all of those are chicks. Why? Because if I’m going to stare at a character’s ass for a hundred hours while playing a game, you can bet your life it’s not going to be a dude. Let’s look at the toys…

Again, the packages are pretty cool, and I love seeing the WoW logo in the toy aisles. The sets come in little window boxes that are designed to hang on a peg or sit on a shelf. The window shows off the figure, his weapon, and his faction symbol, while the instructions and the baggie of parts to build the base are concealed within. The back shows the completed set and has some info on the character and class. These are some pretty intricate and attractive packages for a couple of little 29 piece sets. Plus, I’m happy not to have to deal with any of that blind bag bullshit that Mega Bloks did with Halo.

Let’s look at Ragerock first, since the Orc Warrior is pretty iconic for WoW. Mega Bloks nailed the head sculpt pretty well, and I like the overall build of the character, which is cartoony, but not too cartoony. He’s not as elaborate as the Paladin we looked at last time, but he does have some nice shoulder armor and a belt that crisscrosses his chest. I also dig the little sculpted chains that hold on his knee plates. There’s lots of love in the little details here. The coloring is all good too with the skin a pleasing green, two tone brown for his pants and gear, and a little red and silver for his shoulder armor to break up the rest of the colors. Ragerock comes with a big purple sword, which you can clip to his back. As always, you can swap out armor with the other figures to customize him as you so desire.

Ragerock’s stand is a simple little build, but very evocative of Ogrimmar. You get a brown base, some heavy masonry type blocks to build a little corner of wall, a spot to hold his Horde banner and some stubby horns, and a flag. Nicely done!

Moving on to Valoren, the Blood Elf Priest is looking very dapper in his majestic priestly robes. They’re mostly black with some very nicely sculpted ornate scrollwork. Actually, the scrollwork is really impressive for such a tiny figure. The trim and the scrollwork are painted yellow and you get some red trim to tie the whole ensemble together. Tres Chic! The headsculpt is pale with long white hair, and piercing green eyes. As with Ragerock, the overall look of this little figure wonderfully evokes the art design from the game. Valoren comes with a spear, which can also be clipped to his back.

Valoren’s stand is even simpler to build than Ragerock’s, as several of the pieces just go into building the little column. It’s still a nice display stand, though, and very reminiscent of the architecture of Silvermoon City. Maybe the stand could have been green, as I tend to think of a lot of grass in that area, but it still looks fine as it is.

Each of these sets contains 29 pieces, so they’re obviously pretty easy builds and the figures themselves are built and ready to go right out of the box. They ran me $6.88 each at Walmart, which is not at all bad considering that a lot more sculpting and paintwork goes into them as opposed to a Lego minifig and they display really well on their little stands. At some point I need to pick up the last of these Faction Packs, which appears to be some kind of Night Elf. But next time we revisit Mega Blok’s World of Warcraft series, we’ll be checking out one of the slightly more substantial building sets.

World of Warcraft: Human Paladin Colton (Faction Pack) by Mega Bloks

I haven’t looked at any of the toys or statues based on Blizzards ridiculously successful MMORPG game, World of Warcraft. And while I have looked at my share of Lego and even some Not-Lego (Character Building and Kre-O), I have only really looked at a few of Mega Bloks’ blind bagged minifigures, and not any of the actual sets. Well, for the last two or three weeks, I’ve been falling back into the dark, evil addiction of WoW, as I try to learn all the ins and outs of the new Patch before the new Expansion drops in on the 25th. It seemed like a good time to start checking out some of what Mega Bloks has done with the WoW license.

I’m starting off small, with some of their so-called “Faction Packs.” These are little boxed sets that contain a minifigure and a couple of dozen bricks that let you build a little display base. It’s a really cool idea that gives you something a bit more substantial than the blind bagged minifig format. I really dig the packaging, which consists of a little window box that shows the figure. The back panel shows the figure and base in detail along with some of the other available Faction Packs. Inside the box, the figure (which comes completely assembled), his weapon, and his faction symbol are all nested in a tray and the baggie of pieces for the base is concealed above. You also get an instruction sheet. The whole thing is wonderfully collector friendly, providing you don’t mind taking the base apart to store it.

 

The minifig in this set is Colton and he’s a Human Paladin, which makes him one of the hated Alliance *ptoowey* I spit on the Alliance, as in the game I only roll Horde. That having been said, Colton here is a pretty cool little guy with a design that really matches the game pretty well. His face is pretty generic, but the armor is very nicely sculpted for such a small figure and the shoulders and torso armor can all be removed and swapped out with other sets to customize. His five points of articulation consist of ball joints in the neck, shoulders, and hips, which is not at all bad for a minifig. He comes with a double-bladed axe.

The base consists of a fairly large platform and a number of bricks that look like… well, stone bricks. These make up a little corner of castle wall. You also get two long torches, and the aforementioned faction symbol. It only takes a couple of minutes to put this thing together, but it makes for a very nice way to display the figure. On the downside, it doesn’t hold together as well as Lego, so moving it requires a bit of care.

Of course, the other cool thing here is that Mega Bloks is compatible with Lego sets and that means I can slap the faction symbol on one of my Kingdoms sets for Colton to hang out in.

The whole set includes 28 pieces, which compares pretty closely to Lego’s impulse sized sets. I picked up this set at Walmart for about $6.88. It seemed a tad high at the time for just a minifigure, but when I saw how big the base was, I was a little happier. It seems like Mega Bloks only has four of these Faction Packs out right  now, and I’ve already grabbed two more, so we’ll be checking them out in the near future.

Halo: Series 2 Mini Figures by Mega Bloks

It’s bad enough that I’ve resolved to buy more Lego sets next year, but it’s hard for me to walk down the toy aisles without hearing Megabloks’ Halo sets calling to me too. Now, I’m not a big Halo fanatic. I loved the original game and spent a ridiculous amount of time playing it, but I was really put off by Halo 2, so much so that I haven’t been back to the franchise since. Still, these sets seem to capture the vehicles and weapons really well and they look like they’d be a hell of a lot of fun to build. But this week is all about stocking stuffers, so I grabbed a couple of these little Mini Figures to check them out.

Like the Lego Mini Figures, these guys come in little printed cellophane style baggies. They’re blind packed, which means you have no idea what you’re getting until you tear it open and dump it out. I think that prospect is a little less vexing here, since you can build armies of these guys, and it doesn’t matter so much if you get a lot of any particular figure. Unlike the Lego mini-figures, though, the Megabloks guys come assembled and ready for action. Of course, their arms, legs and head are all attached by ball joints so you can feel free to pull them apart. Each figure comes with a black block/stand and a weapon. They also come with a sheet showing you the different figures available and which ones are common, rare, or ultra-rare.

I was really hoping for the green UMSC pilot, but I had no such luck. Instead I wound up with a purple Covenant Brute and a pink Hayabusa Spartan. The Spartan is supposed to be rare (or is that TEH RAREZZZ!!!11?) so good on me, I guess? The Brute is listed as common. I know the Brute from the game, but I have no idea what the Spartan is supposed to be. It is indeed pink and it comes with a katana style sword. The sculpting on these figures is surprisingly good for their size and their paint apps are pretty good.

The articulation is pretty solid for such tiny figures. You get the aforementioned ball joints in the neck, shoulders and hips and you get hinged elbows and knees.

I don’t have much more to say about this pair. For some reason, these don’t seem like as solid a deal as the Lego minifigs, but then we’re only talking fitty cents more, and these are mostly army builders. It’s tough for me to really judge them without having some of the vehicles for them to interact with. Still, not a bad thing to find in one’s stocking and overall I’d say they’re really well done.