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.

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The Lone Ranger: Stagecoach Escape (#79108) by Lego

When I was a wee lad I got a lot of “hand me down” toys from my uncle, which included the 1970’s Lone Rangers figures by Gabriel. Those figures were amazing and I’ve had a fascination with lawmen and gunslingers ever since. Of course, since then, I’ve became more about John Wayne and Clint Eastwood than The Lone Ranger and Tonto, but it was probably those very toys that made me the hardcore western fan I am today. With that all having been said, I have no interest in seeing Disney’s new Lone Ranger movie. It’s not a “you’re raping my childhood” kind of deal. Nah, I just didn’t enjoy the Pirates of the Caribbean movies and this looks to be more of the same only set in the Old West. Maybe I’ll check it out when it comes out on a free streaming service. Nonetheless, movie tie-in or not, I simply could not resist Lone Ranger based Lego and so I jumped on one of these sets as soon as I spotted it. I started out with the Stagecoach set because it’s one of those nice mid-range sets that give me a good feel for the line without costing too much money. A brand new line of Lego! I’m excited!!!

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The packaging is very distinctive, mainly because of the yellow stripe across the top of the box. I’m not sure if they were going for a desert look or maybe old, weathered paper? I don’t know, but these sets really stand out on the shelves. There’s a big Disney logo and a head shot of the guy playing The Lone Ranger in the film. IMDB tells me his name is Armie Hammer, but I still don’t know who that is. I’m actually surprised they didn’t slap a picture of Johnny Depp as Jack “Tanto” Sparrow on the front too. Anyway, the box makes the set look crazy awesome. Let’s open it up!

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Ah… Lego smell! It’s been way too long since I built a proper Lego set and I knew this was going to be fun, but I forgot how hard it is to keep the cat hair off it while building. Inside you get three numbered baggies containing a total of 279 pieces. You also get a sticker sheet, and an instruction booklet. Let’s see if I still remember how my Lego reviews work… oh yeah… we start with the minifigs!!!! The set is not stingy on the minifigs, as you get a total of five, which include: The Lone Ranger (hereafter TLR), Tonto, Jesus, Barret, and Red Harrington. Apart from TLR and Tonto, I have no idea who any of these people are, but suffice it to say Red is the lady passenger, and I’m guessing Jesus and Barret are bandits. Works for me! You also get three horses, two black and one brown, if you want to include them in the count of minifigs.

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Kicking it off with our heroes… TLR doesn’t look like the character I remember, but he is a really nice cowboy minifig. He’s got a black printed suit complete with sheriff’s badge on it. He’s sporting his trademark black mask and white hat, and he’s got a pair of silver revolvers. He’s simple, but cool nonetheless. Tonto has a simple printed body and an elaborate headdress with a bird that pegs onto the top. He has two printed faces, one smiling and one surprised. He comes with a knife and a square brick with a pocket watch printed on it, which I assume has something to do with the movie. I would have liked Tanto to look like a more traditional Indian than one of the zombies from the last Pirates of the Caribbean movie, but Lego had to stick with the source material and they did a fine job with what they had to work with.

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Moving on to Red and Jesus… Red Harrington has an elaborately printed dress and a clever use of a cloth cape, which when inserted between her torso and legs makes the back of her dress. It looks good, but it keeps her from being able to sit properly in the coach. She has a huge hair piece and a little hat that pegs on top. She has two printed faces, one smiling and one with the classic Lego anxiety expression. She also comes with a grey revolver. Jesus is the cowpoke in the brown vest. He’s got a brown hat and a cool kerchief-mask and is pretty stereotypically cowboy looking. I like that a lot, because I want a bunch of generic Lego cowboys. He comes with a knife.

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Last up, we’ve got Barret and the brown horse. Barret is the feller in the grey shirt. The box art suggests giving him a brown hat and kerchief-mask, but I think he looks better with the extra black hat I got and sans kerchief. Again, he’s a simple, printed figure, but he looks great. The brown horse comes with a saddle that can hold a set of dynamite and a rifle. It also comes with the extra horse bricks to fill out his middle if you don’t have anyone riding him. Speaking of extra bricks, there’s a ton of extra stuff in this set, and I’m not talking about just random extra bricks like usual. You get the extra black hat that I already mentioned, an extra revolver, an extra kerchief, and an extra pocket watch brick. Ok, that’s not a ton, but they are some useful extras. I’m pretty sure I’m going to have to mix some of these bits with my Lego Police and make Space Cowboys!

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Of course, the showpiece here is the stagecoach. It’s a fun build and the finished model looks excellent. I was particularly interested in how the undercarriage was constructed as that and the horses take up all the parts in the first bag. There’s a ball joint connecting the horses to the carriage, and a string for the reigns. The front wheels of the coach turn and the back wheels actually have working struts! The harness for the horses makes use of the spaces where you usually put riders. You do get extra bricks to fill them in if you want to use them as just a couple of horses chilling around without huge bites taken out of their middles, or you can have the minifigs ride them. Extra horses are always a bonus and these may find their way into my Lego Kingdoms sets from time to time.

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The cabin of the coach has opening doors on both sides and it can comfortably seat two minifigs, although you can pack more in there if you aren’t particular about comfort. There’s a seat up front for the driver, a mailbag with a letter, a safe that fits on the roof, complete with silver bar inside. There’s also a play feature where by tapping the back of the coach, you can launch a briefcase out of it! Yeah, I’m guessing that’s something that happens in the movie! This thing holds together fine and rolls along really well. The stickers are well thought out as they add the lettering to the top of the sides and some ornate designs.

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There simply aren’t enough Old West toys these days, so Lego’s Lone Ranger fills a major hole in my compulsion to own toys based off of things I love. This one was a fun and satisfying build and in the end you get everything you need for a little stagecoach robbing fun. The brick count seems right for the $30 price tag, and yet in the end the size of the coach and all the horses and minifigs makes this set seem like a better value than usual. I’ll definitely be picking up more of these sets. I’m tempted to go right for the jugular and pick up the $100 train, but more likely I’ll grab a couple of the cavalry sets next.