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Competition: make a LEGO font

24 February 2014

When carrots attack

Somewhat delayed by life in general, here at last is my final review completing the first wave of The LEGO® Movie sets; 70813 Rescue Reinforcements. You get a lot in this set (it has the greatest piece count of this first wave) and the completed build consists of a Micro Manager, a chunky mech made from a fire truck and a kooky helicopter made from a windmill. You don't get to see the 'original' forms of these as the set doesn't have the alternate instructions to build them. Nor did I spot them in the film itself - only the transformed versions - but perhaps like so much else in the film it was a case of blink and you'll miss it.



Micro Manager

This Micro Manager is the same larger size as the one in 70807 Metalbeard's Duel (roughly a 6X6 cube) and has similar legs and claws, although this one comes with a third frontal appendage clutching a gun. The sides flip up to reveal flick fire missiles, as did the 4X4 one in 70805 Trash Chomper.

I'm perhaps getting a little jaded with these Micro Managers now, as I found myself wanting more from this one... given the additional space offered by the 6X6 cube, it would have been really cool to have fitted more functions inside much like a Swiss army knife, but all you get are spare flick-fires. I can't be too harsh though; at risk of repeating myself I'll commend what an excellent concept and design the Micro Managers are. And this one is so cute. He even looks a little puppy-doggish, with those ear-like side flaps.

Fire mech

Although we don't get to see or build the 'original' fire engine, the very concept that it has transformed into a mech is cool. And it's kinda fun to guess what each of his parts were used for in the original fire engine; it's a credit to the design that this is pretty clear. I liked his rotating hips which use the new 6X6 round plate's ability to attach to the 4X4 turntable. 

Movement of the upper arms is a bit restricted, but they're nice sub-builds with attractive detailing - wheels, gauges and accessories like helmets and air tanks are used. One of the hands appears a bit clumsy as each finger is a fire hydrant; cute idea but looks odd to me. The other hand is way more exciting, having four squirting hoses on a rotating plate. The four yellow cylinders used as hoses would fall off very easily if it were not for a neat method of attachment; the projecting handle at the base of each cylinder is attached to a 1X1 clip tile, providing two points of connection. A good little trick to remember.


Faced with high pressure water sure to rust his innards, Micro Manager begs for mech mercy.

Windmill helicopter

Hmmmm... ok. This makes me think of a bumblebee, in that it looks too fat to fly. The design achieves its goal of looking thrown together but the finished piece leaves me cold, especially the bizarre arrangement of slopes on the bottom. But it's an interesting enough build and contains a few parts in Dark Brown.

The tail rotors are made of eight left-hand wedge plates and zero right-hand ones, which may prove irritating once you've assimilated the set into your parts collection. By happy coincidence however, I'm planning a model at the moment that uses hundreds of Reddish-Brown left-hand wedges and zero right-hand ones, so I'm alright! (I'm actually being serious.)

What the finished model lacks in realism or beauty, it makes up for in humour and play features. Accompanying the farmer is a spotted pig (Element ID 6068981 | Design ID 17202, previously only seen in 7189 Mill Village Raid) and a chicken performing navigational duties up top, peering through a telescope!

The weaponry is also funny, if you ignore the incongruous flick fire missiles. Shutters open to reveal a bunch of carrots that slide out and fall on unsuspecting (carrot-fearing) enemies, and a basket hung on the other side will ditch a payload of apples. Rather meanly, you only get two apples when the basket can fit many more than that. At least one is red though (Element ID 6054438 | Design ID 33051); these are making a welcome return in 2014 in several sets, the others being in the Friends and Disney Princess themes.

Parts

A very ordinary but totally new brick comes in this set in two exclusive colours, but is sure to appear in many more sets and hues. In their wisdom TLG have decided to create the 1X1X3 brick, and this set has four in Light Bluish Gray [BL]/Medium Stone Grey [TLG] (Element ID 6061702 | Design ID 14716) and two in Red [BL]/Bright Red [TLG] (Element ID 6061700). You'll also find it in White in other 2014 sets, by the way. I'm sure many of you will rile against the introduction of what could technically be classified as a POOP part - "Parts Out of Other Parts" as they're unaffectionately known - i.e. you can easily make one from three 1X1 bricks. But I like this addition, partly as it removes that obsessive-compulsive hassle of aligning 1X1s perfectly, but mostly for the visual improvement of having a single piece without 'joins'. I guess we're now building a family of 1X1X bricks... the 1X1X5 was introduced way back in 1988 and of course The LEGO Movie has also brought us the 1X1X2, albeit with a random hole on one side.

We also get a couple of parts that are new for 2014, but not exclusive to this set. There's the great new ribbed flexible tube (Element ID 6056596 | Design ID 14301) which we've discussed in previous posts and also the new grappling hook (Element ID 6055312 | Design ID 15534). This appears in a couple of City police sets and the big change is that it has a right-angled bend to connect it to a chain piece, rather than a hole for string. Clever thinking there. No threading required!

An unusual and unique element - unique to each copy of this set, I think - is the numbered 1X4 tile (Element ID 6083453 | Design ID 17204) which sits on the chest of the mech. They're laser engraved with individual numbers that "unlock special content" if you own The LEGO Movie Videogame. This isn't the first time TLG have done this, so I guess it's proving worthy of the expense. As I'm not a gamer, I just find the inclusion of this piece a little irritating as the quality of the engraving is very poor and not something I'd like to use in a MOC.

Minifigures

These background characters seen momentarily in the film have surely been chosen for inclusion in this set for the benefit of nostalgic AFOLs. There's a chap wearing a Blacktron logo t-shirt under his Dark Red checked shirt (Element ID 6068076) but cooler still is Fabu-fan, a lady sporting a funky Fabuland top! (Element ID 6068095.) Hey, behind you, Fabu-fan, it's your hero! Or someone doing cosplay.


Her ponytail hair in Black (Element ID 6008100) is rather rare having only previously appeared on the CMF red cheerleader. Both fans have great double-sided faces with freckles and braces on their teeth (Element IDs 6068070 & 6068064).

The farmer (pictured earlier) is fun, but his prints aren't super-useful to me. The fireman and Robo-SWAT are unremarkable.

Conclusion

Having recently built several of the '2-in-1' sets, I found this set strange to build, as you're only getting half the story. I attempted reverse-engineering a fire engine from the mech, but quickly decided there didn't seem to be enough parts and that my efforts would look utterly rubbish compared to your average City fire set! Maybe once I have the film on disc I'll try it again, based on freeze-frames... if, indeed, you ever see the original fire engine in the film.

I wonder if/when in the development process there was ever a fire engine designed that had the same parts as the mech. My guess is there was, but once it was decided this set would not be a '2-in-1', the mech was allowed to develop without the inherent restrictions of being tied to a shared inventory.

Of course the three finished models all look very odd together, but hey, this is The LEGO Movie. It's a great set for kids acting out a scenario and the windmill helicopter injects some much-appreciated humour into proceedings. There's not really anything too exciting in the parts department - nothing that won't be very common very soon. Well, apart from Fabu-Fan's torso, that excited me a lot!



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

70813 Rescue Reinforcements retails at US$69.99/GB£59.99.

Amazon US: Buy.com:

The LEGO Movie Rescue Reinforcements (70813)

9 comments:

  1. There's also the old "Modified 1 x 1 x 2 with Shutter Holder", which often could be used as regular 1 x 1 x 2, if the holder was hidden from view (or if, as often has happened, the older spikes has broken off).

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    1. Good point! That part brings back childhood memories.

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    2. They sort of used that part that way in 6552-1: Rocky River Retreat

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  2. By the way, a question. Do you know a simple way to check if a part mold is still available or if it has been discontinued? It would be useful to have that information for Cuusoo projects, since, as I have understood it, you'd be allowed to use all current molds with any official palette colors in your proposals.

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    1. No I don't know of any public data on that.

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  3. I wouldn't have known this unless somebody pointed it out to me, but JANGBRiCKS from YouTube did manage to rebuild the fire engine mech in this set into a fire engine, and quite nicely at that: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ujJbzWvWXG4

    I have not seen anyone do anything similar to this with the windmill-copter... care to give it a shot?

    The windmill-copter is incredibly humorous. I like to interpret the pig on the back as being on a treadmill to power the rotors... it would certainly be consistent with the gears underneath and the way a carrot is hanging in front of him like a lure.

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    1. That's really good, thanks for the link! I didn't think to use the 4X6 roof bows as walls; hence my conclusion there were insufficient parts to do what I wanted. Interesting to see where we did the same things and where we differed. I was hellbent on using the 6X6 round for the ladder, which really wasn't helping matters!

      Love the treadmill idea; I think you're right. Poor piggy!

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  4. that blacktron t-shirt.. <3

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  5. Good review as always... I always come here before putting a set on my want list. May I request that you review the police dropship before the other wave two sets? I just can't make up my mind on it.

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