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Showing posts with label Microfighters. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Microfighters. Show all posts

Set Review - Microfighters Homing Spider Droid 75077

Whereas we now end our review of the Microfighters' 2015 season. Stay tuned next year for round 3 of Chibi goodness from a galaxy far, far away. Or, if we're lucky, maybe this August.

Much like the advent calendars, there's so much more ground to explored with these cute widdle crafts. Hopefully they don't kill them after round 3.5 like they did the planet sets. You know what would be really cool? An oversized chibified R2-D2 being ridden by Kenny Baker. Now that would rock my socks.

But for now, the Homely Spider Droid.

In a world of advanced technological warfare, we get a droid riding a spindly droid. I believe it was one of the Brothers Brick who called this out as madness. Sure, you get a great vantage point but you're also a sitting duck. Perhaps the droid isn't so much controlling the droid as he is hitching a ride to add firepower. To that I say, "Why not just add more firepower to the spider? Or a web?" It's a bummer to end this streak of reviews on a downer, but it really is.

Then there's the question of mobility. This set might almost be labeled as Technic since it's chock full of those fiddly parts. And despite the technical nature the legs, technically, suck. They don't move up and down. They just rock back and forth. It's almost like it's relying on the power of a cephalopod instead of an arachnid.

But the shaping of the hull is nice. You get eight 45° 2x2 3-facted corner slopes to help build the spherical shape. The design is a little gappy but well affected. Another interesting bonus is the single flick-fire missile where the pod's cannon would be anyway. Not only is it a single flick-fire but it is more well-built out than just a cone on a stick. It's a cone on a dish on a dot on a cone on a stick! Oh and a dark orange droid without any dots. Does dark orange mean he's rusted?

Set Review - Microfighters Republic Gunship 75076

IIRC, one of my favorite scenes in the second trilogy (was it EpII?) was when Amidala, Anakin, and Jar-Jar were set in the deathdrome with 3 very large and scary creatures. It was hoped that the prisoners would be made mincemeat in very short order. Instead, they bested the three creatures only to be faced with death by bunga-bunga. At the last second, tons of LAAT ships dropped down and there was an epic lightsaber battle. Then they all went out for ice cream.

I've mentioned before how the OT is what I grew up with and Eps I-III were interesting but less memorable. This ship made it past that barrier and is one of the more memorable ones, up there with X-wings and Death Stars. Maybe it's the unique shape and red and lime livery. Or the dual front cockpits. Or the festive banners (Eat At Dex's) that they often flew.

This craft has 105+10 pieces making it a great deal for pieces, if you like brackets (which make up almost 9% of the part count). It also comes with a new hat Clone Trooper. This one's got orange. I like orange. And orange juice.

Notable features include the dual front pod guns, the immense thrusters, and open side bay doors. There's even gunner's pods in all the right places including the side of the ship and the tips of the wings. The only drawback is that there is a single pilot's windshield. I really wanted the dual cockpit. Despite that I find the overall detailing very good and the ship is immediately swooshable. The one big shocker was the lack of a random clip hanging out there. Now I'm confused. But like, whatevars, right?

Set Review - Microfighters AT-AT 75075

Talk about squee. Chibi factor nothing. Add in some articulation and you've got lots to love. I've never owned a full size proper AT-AT so can't compare (or take adorable AT-AT/at-at pictures) but I can at least have a little fun with this one.

First off, let me just say that this set's a keeper with only two major flaws. (Three if you count a partially sand blue trooper). We'll get those out of the way before launching all the cute photos.

The back end. What? This is how LEGO left it. A little... unfinished. For such a stellar model there needs to be one more piece back here. Thankfully the set comes with a few extras for greebling.

Second is the head. The hinge connection used only allows up and down motion, nothing side to side. What a great opportunity this would have been to use the newer ball and cup joints! Especially since I still have none, dagnabbit.

I largely let my 3.8yo FAFOL build this. I gave him the parts and showed him the pictures. He did stellar. Once it was done he had loads of fun playing with it, especially once I showed him how versatile it was.

Of course sometimes little at-at has to do things like purge his extra oil.

Then there's playtime...

Nap time...

 And of course he can change into wheeled turbo mode, largely when it's not expected. Whee!

Little at-at sure does have some adventures eh? If I were that guy I would buy like a dozen of these and have all sorts of fun staging dioramas and making them play with each other and putting them into puppy piles. I may not be a big dog fan but I'd own an at-at-ling any day!

Set Review - Microfighters Snowspeeder 75074

I've always wondered about the intelligence of bright orange splashes on a white speeder, especially one that's supposed to hide in the snow from the enemy. Sure, if you go down, it would be easier to find you. But isn't that what radar is for? Or beacons? Or just follow the smoking fireball, right? If you have to eject, the orange jumpsuit would make you easy pickings for the enemy. Or a wampa.

The snowspeeder is a nice return to familiar territory. Star Wars. OT. Good times. (For a couple weeks here at least). I was pleasantly surprised by this build. Sure it's small. Sure maybe I don't have much exposure to the bigger sets. Sure maybe I don't have ROOM to build bigger sets. But I get some good exposure anyway.

What I liked:

The nose uses some wedges in a somewhat unique way to get that prong shape. I'm not used to voids in official builds. Unfortunately that has colored how I build MOCs as well. I try to fill every cubic LDU with ABS but usually end up with an ultra heavy display model. If it's for display I shouldn't be wasting all my bricks if it isn't even swooshable.

The blaster design is nice and solid with good greebling for such a tiny piece. The use of textured round bricks and technic pins makes it pop a bit.

The printed nose piece is the same one from the planet set snowspeeder. The price has come down a bit to a solid $1.50 now that the market has been saturated.

Technic gear racks for the rear grill.

What I didn't like:

Several minor points. First, the rear windshield seems like it should be a plate higher. It's even with the front which is correct, but it sits lower than the sides next to it and is way low on the pilot's back.

More clip plates on the back of this ship. What? Why?

Flick-fire missiles. *sigh*

The use of a dark tan 3L axle with stud in the back detracts a little from the overall look of the ship. Two better options come to mind. Either give me a couple of trans-orange 1x1 plates to cover it with (for booster flare) or use a newer 2L pin with axle. The 3L axle is used to go through two pin connections and then secures into an axle hole in the round 2x2 brick. This 2L pin-axle connection (or even the pin-2L axle) could have been done with a dark bley piece that would have blended better. The build sequence would have been a little different but not a problem.

Using a lever for the rear gun. It doesn't even go *pew-pew*. I used the extra lever to balance the greebs on each blaster and then took the pilot's handgun to use for the rear gun. Better.

I struck on a cool deal at Wally World. I bought 4 ships. Two were selling for $9.97, two were selling for $7.99. (another was selling for $7.77 but I had already bought it elsewhere). I got all four for $9 each. But wait, there's more! I used Ebates to earn 2% cash back on the purchase PLUS my Paypal credit card to earn another 1.5% cash back PLUS I used in-store pick up to avoid shipping fees on the $36 order. In total I got all four ships for $8.67 each which is like 13% off. If you're interested in swinging these kinds of deals for yourself, stay tuned for the release of my upcoming Seller's Guide ebook. You can even guide the writing by giving your input!

Set Review - Microfighters Vulture Droid 75073

I finally used the Toys'R'Us in-store price match feature. It was easier than easy. Even though I still own a flip phone (total Neandertal, I know) I was able to get to LEGO S@H and show that the actual price for the Microfighters is $9.99, not $10.99. No prob, and I'll take this here hot dog guy for $3.99 as well. Two days later, I was in a Bi-mart and they had a couple o' the Vulture droids for $7.99. Wrong price match I guess.

And at only 77+4 pieces, $10 is still a bit high. At least the set doesn't feel like it has any extra pieces. Except for the droid pilot. Really? Why would a droid need to pilot a droid? Maybe, just maybe, the droid is merely getting a ride on the droid. That doesn't explain the blue vestment on the droid though. The funny thing is, the droid doesn't actually stand on the aircraft anywhere. It's more like he hangs on with his one arm for dear life while shooting a blaster at nothing in particular. Since there is an extra of each arm type, You can customize him to be a sw300 or sw360. Or make your own unique droid with TWO straight arms!

So even though I'm paying like 12.5c per part and there's an unnecessary droid, this is still one of the cooler Microfighters. It actually has functions! If my 7111 were anywhere near accessible, I'd pull it out and compare the two. On second hand, that parts list tells me everything I need to know. On the original set, it was the "head" that swiveled back and forth to change from walking to flight mode.

On this set, both sets of wings are on their own independent rotational system. They can each flip down for walking mode or forward for flight mode. Since this is a chibified version, the height is about the same either way. This is the newer clone wars version (dark blue, not brown) and has a rather unique color scheme. Rather than being largely blues, it's mottled grey with 6 dark blue 1x2 tiles for trim. All the left wedges are dark bley and the right wedges are light bley. This is going to cause a disturbance on the force, at least in the secondary market parts distribution and availability.

Go to Bi-mart and pick one up. Don't live in the Pacific northwest? Well then go to TRU and have them price match. No TRU? Well fine, don't get one. And I'll keep my flip phone.

Set Review - Microfighters ARC-170 75072

Thank Great Ole that the Friends stuff is over. I don't think I can handle another round of preschool animals anymore. On to Star Wars, those crazy Star Wars!

Star Wars Microfighters is now in its second iteration and I have to say... I'm a little less than impressed. Bunch o' clone wars. I get it, younger audience and all. But I'll be chibied, this is fun stuff. Let's go in numerical order his time around and start with the ARC-170 Starfighter, whatever that is. Oh wait, I did this one as a mini a while back. To read my thoughts on the ship, press here. To read my thoughts on this set, scroll on.

I built the ship while watching the pilot for Daredevil on Netflix. Those items are completely unrelated except that I know for a fact, every time I see this little build, I will think of Daredevil. Something about multi-tasking and connecting neural pathways.

This chibi is actually slightly less impressive than the micro build. The engine intakes on the micro or dark red. On here they are white. There is a printed round 2x2 tile for the intake, but it's printed on white instead of dark red. Sure, there's a hairline of dark red print on the edge but a full color tile would have looked nicer followed by 2 white (not dark bley) round plates.

The main wing ends of the chibi build have grill tiles on them. Maybe it's an attempt at greebling but I don't see it on any official pictures elsewhere. The wing guns are very simple and I'd like to see another part or two used to add the secondary smaller gun. The rear of the build incorporates a 1x1 plate with clip. I have no idea why other than to imagine that maybe it's a spot to stow the blaster.

There are some cool new parts in the build! First, some of the 1x2 plates with technic hole down. As I mentioned earlier, the printed tile. The vent is generic enough to be used in train, city, and space builds. The helmet style has been around for about 5 years but the red and yellow stripe pattern on this are pretty cool. You could almost use it for a race car driver or any other more generic futuristic helmet use.

At 95+6 parts for $9.99 this set falls right in the expected dime per part range. I guess I couldn't ask for much more as it satisfies my Star Wars and/or micro cravings. That and it's flush with dark red which always makes my pupils dilate.

Set Review - Microfighters Clone Turbo Tank 75028

At long last, we've reached the end.  My goal was to start the reviews of the Microfighters with an awesome set, finish with an awesome set, and bury the rest in the middle.  Overall I'd say I succeeded.  The Clone Turbo Tank is a set that we haven't seen in a while.  The 2005 release was pretty cool.  Then it went downhill.  In 2006 we got a slightly awkward looking micro version.  Then in 2010 was the even more awkward spindly thing that looked like a Chinese knockoff of a Hasbro toy.  Now we got another micro.  I figure at this rate we'll get a full size re-release sometime around 2021.  Assuming TLG hasn't run out of new stuff with VII-VIII-IX coming around.

The Microfighter Clone Turbo Tank (CTT) is a very sturdy little vehicle with one design flaw.  No steering.  I'm frankly a little disappointed.  The main carriage is created with two 1x10 technic bricks.  I would have preferred the rear six wheels be stationary with this setup while the front four get their own independent platform on a turntable.

The build itself has all of sorts of SNOT.  Pretty neat way to get the exterior texture and variation.  At one point you place a headlight brick and a bracket next to each other.  The side studs become exactly one plate of thickness apart.  It was just screaming for something cool.  Instead the headlight brick was left untouched.  It could have been a normal brick and not lost anything.

I checked some source material and was reminded of the size of this thing.  At 64' wide, 162' long and 100' tall this could crush several houses at once.  It even dwarfs the AT-AT (camel walkers) which are only 66' long and 74' tall.  The CTT can cruise at 99mph which means it could easily overtake the 37mph AT-AT, crushing it like a melon without even noticing.  I have to wonder how the clones, with their wheeled vehicles were not able to keep the Empire from taking over.  Or rather (as I understand it) how the Clone vehicles degraded even more to clumsy walkers when it became a key part of the Empire.

Er, but you were here for a review of a set, not my commentary on the Clone Wars.  Yeah, it's cool.  Even though some of my fellow bloggers give it no love, I'd pay full price for it, flick-fires and all.

All the Microfighters:

Or get 'em all in one shot:

Set Review - Microfighters AAT 75029

Moving along again in the Microfighters subtheme of Star Wars, we come to a very large couch straight from the 70's.  This comfortable settee features a windscreen, turret, and dual flick-fires.  The color is a beautiful tan Naugahyde.

Wait, not furniture?  But it looks like an overstuffed sofa!  I wondered about the weaponry bits.  In that case, I suppose this will be a very different sort of review.  I wanted to dislike this set.  I saved the AAT for near the end of the series, partly because it came from the I-II-III trilogy but also because it didn't appeal to me.  But now that I've built it I like it even worse.

There are a few minor building techniques that are nice.  The 1x3 curve top arch over the 1x2 curve top brick is a neat little maneuver though it was more of a necessity.  The 1x3 curve top brick has not yet existed in tan and apparently running a new color through the mold was not worth it.  That and perhaps some extra connections were preferred.  It was also refreshing to see a straight stacked connection at a 45° angle.  On the sides some sort of greeblies use standard bricks but they are turned on the stud.  The ubiquitous flick-fires use telescopes on the ends which as far as I know is a first.

Beyond that I find this to be a weak set.  The telescopes pop-off of the flick-fires and the flick fire bases are not well secured.  The turret on the top is very loose and would have benefited from some sort of clicking turntable.  The gun uses a red 2L axle in an otherwise black assembly.  Don't they still produce black axles?  And shouldn't the gun be grey and tan anyway?

Last but not least is the connection of the 2x2 dish on top.  This connection is made with a 1x1 round plate sitting betwixt the studs of the plates below.  Generally this is an OK connection when the studs below or all on a single plate.  But when there are multiple pieces, this connection becomes weak.  The slight tolerance and give of two pieces next to each other no longer provides a good clutch for the single anti-stud.  In this case, given that the connection is only holding a dish, it's passable.  Otherwise I would probably spend a whole paragraph complaining about it...

Oh and there's a new droid *yawn*.

The bright side of this set is the tan quarter round domes.  Apparently these pieces were important enough to produce in tan for the first time.  They might come in handy for my little Micros Eisley Cantina if I can ever get around to finishing it.

At $10 for 90 parts and a battle droid I might otherwise pass.  Maybe at 20% off I'd consider it.  The series collector is going to buy it no matter what but for the rest of you, I'd check into a bedroom set first.

All the Microfighters:

Or get 'em all in one shot: