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Set Review - Mini Mech 30230

I'll be honest.  I'm not much of a spacer.  Star Wars gets me going a bit but beyond that I'm out for lunch.  My dad bought me a few Classic Space sets in the 80's.  We even built a spaceport one time.  But for the most part I gravitated towards Classic Town and some of the Technic sets.  When Blacktron came around I didn't even notice.

So why did I even pick up a space themed set to review?  Several simple reasons.  First, it was on the shelf.  Second, it was cheap.  Third, I have a certain genre of sets that I gravitate towards and thought maybe I'd expand a little.  If you enjoy most of the sets that I've reviewed already, perhaps you'll agree with me on this review.  Or perhaps you won't.

At first glance this reminds me very much of the Umbaran MHC with its legs clipped to an octagonal clip plate and supported by a clear round brick.  No pointless axle this time though.  I'm given the impression by the packaging that this little beastie can dance around on another planet or moon.  I'm not sure of its function.  Entertainment for the locals?  Mere scouting?  The machine seems to have one feature.  That is, it can shine a lot of bright light.  I think that's what the trans yellow cones are for.  And that's a bummer.  There's no claws, no weapons, not even a control panel.  It's almost like this is the equivalent of being transferred to Siberia.  "Jack, we're putting you on Mini Mech duty." "Awww... not again!"  That's right, Galaxy Squad don't mess around with screwballs.

I take back my prior statement.  The machine has TWO functions.  The seat can also swivel around on the base, thereby allowing the pilot to see in all directions regardless of which way the legs are walking.  What I want to know is, how do the legs know which way to walk?  Is it the direction you're facing?  There's no control panel after all.

My 6 year old daughter was mostly enamored with the spaceman.  She grabbed his parts, assembled him and made him the subject of many an adventure sans his craft.  If I were very narrowsighted I might claim that all the play value is in the minifig.  But that wouldn't be fair.  Because she also attached him to the craft and started playing "Friends" with him.  Not the LEGO sub-brand, but more like, "Do you want to come over and play?"  The spaciness was right out.

This set was built with my girls in conjunction with Fawn's Forest.  You can read about our mashup in that post.  This set is also what inspired me to come up with the nifty redesign for a micro Star Wars Landspeeder.  So all in all I did get some value out of the set.  But at 23 parts and 1 minifig it falls quite shy of the nifty 10c per part benchmark.  At $3.99 (and counting the minifig as 5 pieces) you can bet on spending 14c per piece, more in sales tax states.  If you already own a bunch of other Galaxy Squad then this might be an interesting set to add to your collection.  Otherwise, I'd pass on the Mini Meh.

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