23 January 2014

The good, the bad and the ugly

For the second post in this series about The LEGO® Movie sets, I'm reviewing 70802 Bad Cop's Pursuit. You get a flying police car, a ruined railway structure, two alligators, two minifigs - oh, and a frog. The ruined railway thingy made me feel a bit ho-hum about this set at first; it's one of those ugly things that just looks like a tacked-on play feature, which I could do without. However play features are critical for the target market, as is the establishment of a scenario kids can act out and given they're replicating a scene from a film here, that's especially important.


To be fair it does a decent job of making a fun scenario; hero Emmet stands on the edge of the structure and with a tug of a Technic axle, goes plummeting into the jaws of the prowling robo-alligators. At least I assume they are robotic; they have police lamps on their backs! This lifts them out of the ordinary and helps distract from the fact that the alligator design is now twenty years old and could do with a redesign to bring the style in line with recent LEGO animals. Given how rarely they're needed for sets however, I guess this isn't a big priority for TLG.



What makes this a great set is the police car; it's a fabulous design that wouldn't look out of place amongst fan MOCs. It is retro yet futuristic, pod-like and streamlined, with lots of interesting angles and loads of curves thanks to the impressive range of Black bows used.

I didn't apply the stickers - I almost never do, and especially not in this case as some of the elements they go on are rare - but they're nice stickers that feature the logo of the "Super Secret Police".

It's a fun and intricate build. The two wheel rims aren't used for wheels, as this car has none! Some SNOT turns them into an oval frame for the thrusters, a technique much loved by fan builders. There's less SNOT than I anticipated, just eight brackets, but there are many kinds of hinges utilised; this set is almost a Who's Who of Hinges. I was surprised LEGO did not insist on attaching boat studs to the underside of the vehicle; this is pretty standard for anything that a child might potentially push along a carpet. Perhaps as an airborne vehicle this was deemed unnecessary. My favourite design feature are the diamond shapes echoed along either side.


I imagine you guys aren't as into "play functions" as the target audience are, but one of them is very fun. On either side of the vehicle, the panels flip up to reveal double-jointed arms which fold out to reveal weaponry. You'll want to make some sound effects as you unfold the arms! Notably, none of the weapons are flick fire missiles, but as I'm about to discuss in a moment, there's a new projectile included that's ready to threaten children's eyeballs across the globe instead.

The greatest play feature though is the fact that the car is eminently swooshable and cool. Having started out being non-plussed about Bad Cop's Pursuit I finished feeling that, thanks to the car, this is actually one of the best sets of the range. Especially if you're one of the people put off by the general random silliness of this theme (me, I love the general random silliness). I'm also pleased there's a set in the range that isn't overloaded with minifigures.

Parts

The most talked-about new part in this set is a new gun, the Mini Shooter (Element ID 6051333 | Design ID 15391), which currently you can only get in Light Bluish Gray [BL]/Medium Stone Grey [TLG] in this set. Three 2014 Star Wars sets have it in Black. The big thing about this gun is that it actually shoots. Rather cleverly, the ammunition is your regular 1X1 round plate, which we can all afford to lose a few of down the sofa. And lose them we shall, because it fires well over a metre with impressive velocity - promotion of violence aside, it's a noteworthy piece of engineering. The gun actually consists of two elements - there's a Dark Bluish Gray trigger (Element ID 6051334 | Design ID 15392) that you need to insert first (which is fiddly to get out again; I ended up using a pin). The ammunition is attached stud-inwards to the front end of the gun and the trigger presses on the centre of the stud to fire. You can shoot other elements from it too, so long as they have a solid stud. The body shape of the gun is a little odd and not to my taste; the rear end is very plain whilst the front is a little sculpted, I suspect largely for functional reasons. It's bulky, being the diameter of a round brick, which makes me wonder if Castle builders might adapt these into cannons and have impressive batteries of them firing from their parapets. Naturally I'm interested in how else you guys might utilise this new part other than lodging plates in Little Timmy's nostrils. I'm sure we will see these turning up in MOCs representing things other than guns, as they're fairly usable - there are four potential points of connection as shown in this picture. Sitting vertically like this, the gun is five plates high so could be used as a building element in System - however you'd probably want to secure it top and bottom, because of course inserting a stud into the front end is (by design) a weak connection. It doesn't disconnect by itself (I left it attached to a large plate all night) but easily pops off whilst you're building.

Actually I was wrong; the most talked-about new part in this set is likely Emmet's brick, called the Piece of Resistance in the film and Brick 1X1X2 With Extra Tube Side by TLG (Element ID 6055611 | Design ID 15444). But I shan't discuss it today because I mused over it some time ago, and it's in many more of The LEGO Movie sets we're going to review, and frankly... so far I'm finding it a pretty dull element to use. Even this construction using four of them is less fun than it looks.

Like the Emmet brick, the Emmet minifigure in this set is not exclusive. The cop is far more interesting; I especially love his helmet (Element ID 6055554 | Design ID 15851). He has a double-sided face which, if you've seen this bit of the trailer, you will know forms one of the many in-jokes from the film. His dippy happy face is very fun and reusable, for starters it would make a good "Where's Wally?" The cop is also available in the Collectible Minifigures range, but not with this face.

There are some interesting basic elements too. Once again I have cause to mention the 2X14 plate, a part you could easily overlook but in fact only came into being in 2012. It appears in Tan [BL]/Brick Yellow [TLG] in this set for the first time ever (Element ID 6036487 | Design ID 91988). A plate that isn't exclusive but is rare is the 2X8 plate in Dark Blue [BL]/Earth Blue [TLG] (Element ID 6027627 | Design ID 3034); only available in three previous sets including the desirable 10187 VW Beetle. You get two here. These plates all get used in the railway structure I was moaning about earlier, which also provides us with four of those useful 2X2X10 latticed girders in Black (Element ID 4667463 | Design ID 95347). Less usefully, we also get four Reddish Brown 2X4 right-hand wedge plates... and zero left-handed!

Making its fifth ever appearance in a set is part 3049 in White (Element ID 6059271) of which there are two in this set. It is an odd part, which probably accounts for its odd names: Slope 45 2x1 Double/Inverted on BrickLink and TLG call it Attic 1X2/45°. I think attic is a very sweet description! The reason I'm surprised by the attic slope's relative rarity in a colour as common as White is because it is very old; it was introduced in 1957 roof supplementary parts packs but not in White at that stage. The 1963 redesign only ever appeared in White in two sets about a decade ago, and this current incarnation of the mould (redesigned in 2004 to include the 'nail rail' allowing you to offset the part) only previously appeared in two Ninjago sets from 2011. Even more rare and surprising is the White 2X4 double 45° slope (Element ID | 6059275 Design ID 3041), which has never appeared in a set until now despite the part being 55 years old. This prompted me to have a nosey through the various designs of 45° slopes over the years, and it does seem that White has been underrepresented amongst the less-common 45° parts. So go build some white rooves, folks.

Alternate build

Having challenged my fellow reviewers to build an alternate, I figured I'd better have a go too. There's a diverse range of bows and slopes in the set and I was drawn to these as I began randomly sticking stuff together. Happily, my vague assemblage evolved into Robo-Budgie. Look out; he'll make cuttlefish outta you.




My thanks to LEGO's Community and Events Engagement Team for providing this set.

70802 Bad Cop's Pursuit retails at US$29.99/GB£24.99.

Affiliate links:


Amazon US: Amazon UK: Amazon FR:
Lego.com:
Bad Cop's Pursuit
Play.com:
LEGO The LEGO Movie 70802: Bad Cop's Pursuit

6 comments:

  1. I thought I'd read that this new gun could fit the grappling hook (and was looking forward to finally giving Batman a bat-grapple), but maybe that was referring to a different new gun?

    ReplyDelete
  2. All of the TLM sets are worth getting for parts, I've already picked up the two $12.99 ones, Cloud Cuckoo, Lord B's evil lair, all the CMFs, and I'm definitely going to try to get the rest. This may be the best theme ever.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That depends entirely on what type of parts the individual is interested in. For me, there are a handful of parts that spark my interest, but it's far more cost effective to buy them on Bricklink.

      Delete
  3. That gun piece is great... perfect for streetlights.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nice idea Tolga I look forward to seeing it!

      Delete
  4. Awesome alternative build/

    ReplyDelete