Lego Pharaoh’s Quest: Rise of the Sphinx (#7326)

Pharaoh’s Quest presses onward and upward with the next set in the series, Rise of the Sphinx. The last time we looked at theCursed Cobra Statue, but now that seems like mere child’s play when compared to the 527 pieces of Rise of the Sphinx. Wowsers! Not only is this set bigger than the combined brick count of all four sets in the series we’ve looked at so far, it’s the largest Lego set I own. That may not be saying much to some of you Legophiles out there, but it’s got me all excited. I even may have pee’d a bit. Let’s tear this baby open and see what we got.

The box is nice and big and does a good job of advertising what you get once you’re done with the build. Inside you get four bags of NUMBERED bricks. Yep, we’re up to the big leagues now and the bags need numbers. You also get two instruction books and a small sheet of stickers. Bag #1 builds the three minifigs and the vehicle, a roadster. Bag #2 builds the temple base. Bag #3 builds the head and body of the Sphinx, and Bag #4 builds the Sphinx’s legs. The three minifigs, vehicle and Egyptian structure has been the basic formula for the last three sets in the series, but this time out, the Egyptian part really monopolizes the brick count in a big way. Oh yeah, the featured artifact this time around is the Golden Sword, which will go nicely with the Golden Scarab Shield from the last set. Enough with the preamble… to the minifigs!

Ok, things are starting to get really redundant here. You get another Jack Raines. This time, he’s got the body of the Aviator Jack Raines that came in the Flying Mummy Attack set, but the hair of regular Jack Raines. Either way, you really don’t need this figure if you’ve picked up all the smaller sets so far. The Mummy Guards are the same ones that came with Golden Staff Guardians only instead of each one coming with a sword and scarab shield, one comes with a sword and the other with a spear. There’s nothing wrong with any one of these figures, they’re great, but they are starting to get a little stale. But hey, at least my Mummy army is continuing to grow.

The roadster falls in somewhere between the jeep from Golden Staff Guardians and the bi-plane from Flying Mummy Attack in terms of size and complexity. It looks great, and holds two figures. I like the build for the exposed engine as it was really creatively done. It comes with a rifle that mounts onto it behind the seats and a pick axe that stores on the rear bumper.

The Sphinx consists of two parts, there’s the temple base and the Sphinx itself. The idea here is the same as the Cursed Cobra Statue. Once Jack helps himself to the Golden Sword artifact, the Sphinx comes to life and chases him down for stealing his shit. Yes, the Sphinx is in reality a fully articulated figure, big enough to squish Jack under his paws. The temple contains an altar that looks very similar to the lid of the Ark of the Covenant only with golden scorpions instead of angels. There’s a play feature that allows you to clip the dynamite to the wall and then by slamming the exposed lever on the back of the temple, you can blow out the wall and reveal the altar with the Golden Sword. It works surprisingly well.

The Sphinx rests snugly on top of the temple, but his legs are all on ratchet joints so he can stand up just fine on his own and be put in various poses. His head is stationary, but his bottom jaw opens and closes. It’s a really big piece, especially when standing with legs extended. Building the Sphinx was lots of fun and even though the legs involved redundand builds, you still had to mirror the left and right legs, which I did without the instructions for a little added fun and challenge.

Even with the rather redundant minifigs, this is one awesome Lego set. It took me about two and a half hours to build it, although keep in mind I was well lubricated on Scotch while I was doing it, so your build time may vary, and it was fun all the way. The Sphinx’s articulation is good and he’s a solid toy that can stand perfectly fine on his own, although mine will spend most of his time squatting on his temple and looking awesome while doing it. At fifty bucks, I was pretty concerned over the value of this set, but having built it, I’ve got no complaints.

Lego’s Pharaoh’s Quest: Cursed Cobra Statue (#7325)

Next up on our jaunt through Pharaoh’s Quest is the Cursed Cobra Statue set. For this set, we jump from 125 pieces (which was the brick count for Flying Mummy Attack) and up to 213 pieces. Like the last two sets we looked at, this set still includes three minifigs and a vehicle. Oh yeah, the artifact du jour is a golden scarab shield. I was really hesitant to get this set, because the Cobra takes up most of the brick count and building it looked like it was going to be a really redundant and tedious affair. Plus, if you’re working your way up from the bottom like I am, this set is going to give you a duplicate minifig and that’s always a bummer. So let’s see if the Cursed Cobra Statue set is really worth the thirty bucks in the end or if Pharaoh’s Quest has finally derailed.

The box includes an instruction manual and five unnumbered bags of bricks. You also get a small sticker sheet and the translucent plastic sheet to punch out the part that makes up the Cobra’s hood. The minifigs include a Mummy High Priest, [Seems to be officially called a Snake Charmer. Just sayin’ is all. -FF] the third new hero in the series, Helena Tova, and the same Jack Raines figure that came with the Scarab Attack set. You also get a jeep and the Cobra and his temple base. Let’s start with the minifigs.

There’s not much point looking at Jack again, as we already saw this figure in the first set. While I can appreciate having a spare to display with this set, it’s still kind of a bummer getting a duplicate figure in a set that cost me thrity bones. Helena, on the other hand is new, and she’s very cool. She has printing on the front and back of her shirt as well as two expressions on her face and a satchel. The heroes come with two pistols, a rifle, a bundle of dynamite and a shovel. The dynamite and rifle are the same pieces that were released in previous PQ sets. The Mummy Priest is the same body and head as the regular Mummy Warriors, but he has a new headdress and comes with two snakes. Why’d it have to be snakes? Oops, wrong series.

The jeep is very cool and it was almost as satisfying a build as the biplane from the last set we looked at. It can comfortably fit three minifigs, two seated in the front and one standing in the back. It also has clips on each side for the rifle and shovel, or whatever else you want to put in there.

The Cobra statue and temple represent most of the building here and while it is true that the Cobra consists of building the same two components over and over again, I didn’t seem to mind it so much while I was doing it. The Cobra is designed to coil around and attach to the temple, but it can be removed and thanks to what I believe are some Bionicle ball joints, it has a nice amount of articulation for when it comes to life to protect the scarab shield. It’s mouth also opens and closes. I do think the use of the plastic sheet for the Cobra’s hood is a bit of a cheat, but it looks good, and I can’t see any way round it. The temple has a platform for the Mummy Priest to stand so he can chuck snakes at the heroes.

I bought this set expecting to be disappointed. Yeah, sounds crazy, huh? But I wasn’t at all. It was still fun to build, even though it didn’t take me much longer than the last set, and the end result is great looking. I’m really happy with the way the Cobra looks on the shelf coiled around the altar. I still wish a unique version of Jack could have been included, and it’s the first set where the price, in this case $30, started to feel like a bit of a reach, but apart from that this is a pretty solid set in the Pharaoh’s Quest.

Lego Pharaoh’s Quest: Flying Mummy Attack (#7307)

Another day, another Pharaoh’s Quest set, and this time we’re beefing things up just a wee bit more, with the 125-piece Flying Mummy Attack set. Again, it’s not quite twice as big as the last set, and it still comes with three minifigs, but the vehicle and the obelisk here are a lot more substantial than anything we’ve seen in the previous sets. But forget all that because, Lego, you had me at Flying Mummies.

The box includes an instruction booklet, a small sticker sheet and three unnumbered baggies of bricks. The three minifigs include two Flying Mummies and a new version of lead hero, Jack Rainer. You also get a bi-plane and an obelisk monument to hold this set’s priceless artifact: The Soul Gem! This set had me pretty excited to get going and I have to say the build was pretty satisfying. But first things first… to the minifigs!

The Flying Mummies are basically the same minifigs as the Mummy Warriors that we saw in the last set, with some new accoutrement to make them stand out. Namely, they get new, swankier headdresses that look like bird heads. They also get plastic wings that clip in between their head and torso. The wings look really coo and have a surprisingly long wingspan, but if you would just rather beef up your ground armies, you can leave them out and use these as regular Mummies. They each also come with a spear. The Jack Raines figure is in his aviators outfit, which includes a smartly painted flight jacket and the same helmet and goggles that came with Mac McCloud in the last set.

My first impression of the biplane was that it was smaller than I thought it would be, but in retrospect, I think my expectations were a little high, since this is just a twenty dollar set. It’s actually perfectly scaled to fit the minifig and it was lots of fun to build. It features twin machineguns,which are cleverly modified from regular hand-held machine gun pieces. There’s also a large grappling arm that swings down from the bottom to scoop up the Soul Gem right off the top of the obelisk. Naturally the propeller turns as well. I love pretty much everything about this little plane.

The obelisk is just a more elaborate structure to hold the artifact, just like the little altar in the last set, only it’s pretty tall and it has some stickers to improve it’s overall look. There’s not a lot to building this thing, but it does look impressive and it fits the theme really well. The Soul Gem just sits on the top, so that you can scoop it up with the bi-plane’s grappler arm, which works with varying degrees of success, depending on how good your imagination is.

This is the set I wanted to get right off the bat, before I decided to confine myself to going for the smaller sets first. Between the obelisk and the biplane and the Flying-freaking-Mummies, this set looked like fun and it sure was that. Sure it costs twice as much as the last set and isn’t really twice as big, the build is definitely substantial enough and the end result definitely seems like a decent value for the money. So far, this one is definitely my favorite in the series. Can the next set in the line, the Cursed Cobra Statue, beat it? We’ll find out tomorrow.

Lego Pharaoh’s Quest: Golden Staff Guardians (#7306)

Last time we looked at the smallest set of the Pharaoh’s Quest assortment, today we’re climbing up a notch to the Golden Staff Guardians set. It’s not quite twice as big as the Scarab Attack set, but with 70 pieces, including no less than three minifigs and a vehicle, things are starting to get a little more serious. As indicated in the title of the set, this time around the featured artifact is the Golden Staff.

The box contains an instruction sheet and two unnumbered bags of bricks. The minifigs consist of two Mummy Guardians, or Warriors if you prefer, and the second of the heroes in the line, mechanic-slash-adventurer Mac McCloud. You also get the pedastal containing the Golden Staff and McCloud’s motorcycle, along with some weapons and equipment. Let’s start with the minifigs.

The two Mummies are identical, but they do have double printed faces, so you can at least make them each look unique. Personally, I’m not a fan of the one-eyed face, so I’m fine with them both looking the same. Their torsos are printed on both sides, and the detail is very nice. They each come with a sword and a scarab shield and also a black headpiece. Then you have Mac McCloud. His torso is also printed on both sides. He’s wearing an oil stained A-shirt with suspenders. He’s also wearing a motorcycle helmet with flip down goggles. He comes with a bundle of dynamite and a rifle. 

The motorcycle is pretty cool, but the build was a little disappointing in that the bulk of it is made up of just two pieces. I know, this is only a ten dollar set, but I buy these things to build, and slapping the bike together was just way too simple. I also preferred to go with just the one headlight as opposed to using the extra block to give it two. It just looks more natural. The back of the bike has clips to hold both the dynamite and the rifle. Mac fits on it fine, and it’s not too hard to get it to stand up, but it does have a habit of toppling over.

The altar is just a little construct to house the staff. It looks ok, and I like the little palm brick on the side to give it some garnish. I think it could have used a couple of stickers to help it along, but it’s fine for what it is. There is a a rod through it, which is designed to blast the staff off the altar when you hit it. This gimmick works with varying degrees of success.

This set retails at just under ten bucks, and I’ve got to say I think the value for your money here is pretty high. Not only do you get a brand new hero for the line, but you get two army builder minifigs, another artifact to chase after and the motorcycle is pretty cool too. It didn’t take very long to put together, but that’s to be expected from a set at this price point. All in all, it was a satisfying step up from the last set, and I definitely recommend picking it up.

Lego Pharaoh’s Quest: Scarab Attack (#7305)

The big unlicensed Lego series hitting the stores now is Pharaoh’s Quest, [Actually, right now that would be Ninjago, but I’m not all that interested in those, so bear with me, folks. -FF] the epic story of adventurer Jack Raines and his quest to steal a bunch of mystical Egyptian artifacts from a slew of baddies. Each set is themed around a specific artifact, which is noted on the package. I think this line was a stroke of genius coming off the licensed Indiana Jones sets, since it offers up the same general flavor with free reign to get as wacky and imaginative as they want, and of course without any of those pesky licensing fees. Plus, your Indiana Jones minifigs will feel right at home with any of these sets. The initial assortment of sets offers something for every size group. I’m going to start from the bottom and work my way up (more or less), so today we’ll begin with Scarab Attack.

Scarab Attack is the smallest of the current assortment, weighing in at just 44 pieces. The box contains an instruction sheet and two unnumbered baggies of bricks. It recreates Jack’s campsite as he gets set upon by a Giant Scarab. The set comes with a Jack Raines minifig, the Giant Scarab, a cooking pit, and an equipment stand. There’s a slew of tiny pieces, but it took no time at all to slap thsi set together.

The Jack Raines minifig is great. His head is printed on one side with a smarmy expression. I don’t think he’s too worried about that giant ass scarab coming at him. His shirt is printed on both sides, and the gold paint they are using on this set looks great. I love the bandalier strap of cartridges running down his chest, as it goes well with the rifle that comes with the set. He also comes with a pick axe, binoculars and the Golden Crystal artifact.

Next up is the Giant Scarab, which keep in mind is just giant when compared to normal scarabs, but he’s still a good size compared to Jack. I love this figure. The construction is really clever, and the articulation is pretty good. It also looks great. Instead of stickers, the back is printed with a cartouche and part of a brick wall. He’s a fun figure.

The rest of the set is kind of meh. The cooking pit comes with a flame piece, a turkey leg and a coffee cup. The equipment box can hold the rifle and the pick axe. I would have preferred a second minifig in this set over the campsite, but that probably goes without saying.

If you’re opening sets like I am, from smallest to largest, I think you’ll be happy with this set. It’s new and fresh, which is cool and it does exactly what it needs to do. It introduces you to the main character and gives him something to fight. But even if this isn’t your first set, you’ll probably find some nice stuff in here to compliment some of the bigger sets, particularly the scarab figure. The retail here is only $4.99, and honestly, I think the Jack Raines figure and the Giant Scarab are worth the price of admission alone, although I don’t think this is the last we’ve seen of this Jack Raines minifig.