This ~530 piece (including spares) set will retail for US$49.99/ GB£44.99/ €49.99/ AU$69.99 when it is released in June 2014, but the super Community and Events Engagement Team sent New Elementary an advance copy for this review, which made me a very happy bunny. I was 13 when the original film came out and remember thinking it was the funniest film I'd ever seen - but the only reason I properly recall thinking this was because my octogenarian grandfather, who had a brilliant sense of humour, slated it as being completely stupid when we left the cinema. I was speechless.
Thankfully future generations have not agreed with Grandpa, and Australian Brent Waller's CUUSOO submission found enormous popularity. I've a feeling the set will be a complete success too. Senior Designer Marcos Bessa has created a magnificent official version of Brent's design, and has made my day by including a remarkable number of cool elements. But first, I need to drool over the box. Figuratively.
ElementsMOCs! But they please my inner child. The two classic "ECTO-1" numberplates come on 1X2 tiles in Bright Light Orange [BL]/Flame Yellowish Orange [TLG] (Element ID 6092269 | Design ID 3069). The four Black inverted round tiles with proton pack detailing (Element ID 6092452 | Design ID 2654) will be much more useful, as the design is sufficiently non-specific. The four red dots on each aren't symmetrical, which may or may not be useful for your builds.
Four is an impressive number of minifigs in a set this size, but not unheard of - other licensed sets like Star Wars 75046 Coruscant Police Gunship or SpongeBob SquarePants 3818 Bikini Bottom Undersea Party have the same price and minifig count, and roughly the same piece count. Same with a few non-licensed sets, such as Chima 70008 Gorzan's Gorilla Striker and Ninjago 9445 Fangpyre Truck Ambush. The printing on the minifigs is excellent. Each character's face is clearly recognisable, and is double-sided. Each torso has the character's initials on the breast and their first name on their backpacks at the rear, but these torsos are generic enough to use elsewhere. It's deserving that the graphic designer, Adam Corbally, gets credited in the booklet.
As is the rule for this theme, there are no new parts in this set but it comes with an impressive number of existing parts in new colours. Let's continue examining the minifigs. Some great recent hairpieces come in a couple of new colours; Spengler gets the Series 6 Collectible Minifigures (CMF) Mechanic's hair in Dark Brown (Element ID 6086672 | Design ID 98371) whilst Venkman sports the Series 2 CMF Vampire's hair in Reddish Brown (Element ID 6092610 | Design ID 64798).
21021 Marina Bay Sands, but this is their first appearance in a globally-available set.
The whip introduced in 2010 appears in Black (Element ID 6092878 | Design ID 88704) for the first time and you get four, as they're used as nozzles on the proton packs. Previously this has always appeared in Reddish Brown apart from the Series 2 Circus Ringmaster, who had it in White.
mysterious history and rarely appears in sets, so it was exciting to get it in Yellow [BL]/Bright Yellow [TLG] earlier this year. Here, it comes in Dark Red [BL]/New Dark Red [TLG] (Element ID 6073031 | Design ID 85861) and is put to good use in the proton packs and car windows, which I'll detail later. There are nine in total including the spare.
The really odd thing about its appearance in this set is that it has no functional or visual purpose. It gets hidden in the chassis, essentially doing the same job as two 2X3 plates. Obviously a 4X3 plate provides more strength than two 2X3s, but given that it gets covered up with more layers of plate I can't imagine stability was the reason. Those extra plates on top also negate the possibility that it was utilised in order to reduce the strength of the connection to the upper parts. Don't get me wrong, I'm absolutely thrilled by this part appearing in Light Bluish Gray, it's simply curious given that designers have a limited number of colour changes available to them. I don't know why the existing Black version wasn't used to save costs - unless that colour is still locked as an exclusive to the CMF range? So, my hope is that this part is now entering System sets proper and designer Marcos simply pounced on its new availability... yay... and that we'll soon find other sets using it in Light Bluish Gray.
Also new in Silver Ink is the 1X1 round brick (Element ID 6092106 | Design ID 3062) - you get four here. This part had never appeared in a metal shade until earlier this year, when it arrived in Pearl Gold [BL]/Warm Gold [TLG]. The 1X2X2/3 grilled 18° slope (a.k.a. the cheese grater) is another part new to any metal shade; Silver Ink is the first (Element ID 6092115 | Design ID 61409) and there are two in this set.
Excel spreadsheet of LEGO colours by Aanchir, a regular reader here on New Elementary with an encyclopedic knowledge of the subject. See Sheet 2.
A couple of minor points to finish the elements review. The 18x14mm wheels with axle hole are relatively rare in White, having only appeared in 8184 Twin X-treme RC in 2009. And in my copy at least, the Dark Bluish Gray [BL]/Dark Stone Grey [TLG] jumper plates (Element ID 6092572 | Design ID 15573) are the new style that allows offset underneath. I mention this only because this is the first time I've seen the new style in a colour other than White or Light Bluish Gray, although they apparently appear in Green [BL]/Dark Green [TLG] in the non-retail set 4000011 Nyiregyhaza Factory. It's just a matter of time before all colours of jumper plate are this new style... unless they change it again.
BuildAfter making the minifigures, the display stand (that I pictured earlier) is constructed for them. Even this simple build has a nice little technique in it, where the 2X2 bow with Ghostbusters logo is attached to Erling bricks and an inverted bracket, rather than the typical SNOT brick. Next come the proton packs, and for something so small these are a detailed little build including a neat technique with the clip that attaches to the minifig's back.
Onto the main build, and it's quickly apparent that this is a massive vehicle with a chassis measuring 6X24 studs. Huge numbers of SNOT parts adorn every edge of the chassis in a number of alignments - note the sideways Reddish Brown bricks towards the back here; the studs are aligned with the other SNOT plates but by setting the actual SNOT bricks further inwards, the required space for the wheel below is kept free.
Decorating the sides is a lot of fun, but my favourite moment comes with the side windows. Window parts are stacked amongst 1X2 plates with vertical hooks, which then snap into clips held vertically by Apollo studs. The arrangement rests at a slight angle thanks to the bed of cheese underneath the window, creating a snug and satisfying effect.
The detachable roof is the final section and it's packed with detail, though I have no idea what all the objects are. The finished vehicle really only fits two minifigs, which doesn't bother me. The other two guys are busy fighting ghosts. Ghosts not included in set.
Hmmm. I know it looks like Stantz and Venkman are dealing with a ghost who is also a flasher, but in fact I posed them that way just so the figs don't topple backwards with the weight of the proton packs. Which is unfortunate, but I guess the only real other option was to not include the proton packs in the set at all which would have been the greater shame.
This is an absolute corker of a set. I'm no fan of cars on the whole, but this is one beautiful vehicle. It's packed with great new elements, a constantly varying build and surprising techniques that I imagine many 10 year-olds could find challenging. But let's face it, this set has been largely aimed at the adult market. Even non-AFOLs are shrieking "Shut up and take my money."
My thanks to LEGO's Community and Events Engagement Team for providing this set.
21108 Ghostbusters will retail at US$49.99/ GB£ 44.99/ €49.99/ AU$69.99 when released in June 2014.