70143 Sir Fangar's Sabre-Tooth Walker. On reviewing duty is Jeremy Williams (Bricking It) who, on top of building stunning Neo Classic Space ships and scenes, also composed the music for the recent Exo Suit reveal video and you may have seen his Beginner's Guide to BrickLink tutorial video.
Unboxing and exploring the elements
The box contains four bags and two instruction books. Inside these is the usual visual warning to empty and build only one bag at a time. Does anyone actually demonstrate this level of restraint, I wonder as I eagerly tear into all four to pick over the enticing new elements. I’ll leave the Trans-Light Blue pieces until last.
The first to tumble out is this 3X2X1 axle connector in Pearl Dark Gray [BL]/Titanium Metallic [TLG] (Element ID 6022718 | Design ID 11272). This element only rarely strays outside of Constraction sets, and it’s a lovely greebly shape - perfect for microscale spaceships...
Next to be spotted (with some delight; greebling again!) are four White lightsabre handles (Element ID 6040333 | Design ID 64567), only found in three other sets.
A brace of the new double-bevelled Technic gear wheel in Black (Element ID 6093977 | Design ID 18575) is welcome, as are the new half-bows - both single-width (Element ID 6047276 | Design ID 11477) and double-width (Element ID 6053077 | Design ID 15068).
We’ve also got a new flame element, a fiery pole (Element ID 6083865 | Design ID 16768) that is found throughout this year’s Chima sets, including 70135 Cragger's Fire Striker as reviewed by Tim Goddard recently.
There are a few elements in nice colours: the barrel piece Tim referred to in his review (Element ID 6071683 | Design ID 98585) appears uniquely here in Dark Orange, along with a 2X4 half-bow (Element ID 6071236 | Design ID 93606), the delightful inverse bow - I’ve been itching to pick one of these up (Element ID 6065039 | Design ID 13547) and a 3X3 corner plate (Element ID 6071231 | Design ID 2450). There are also 2X3 wedge plates in left (Element ID 6070135 43723) and right (Element ID 6070136 | Design ID 43722) and a plate with bow and wing end (Element ID 6066332 | Design ID 47456), which are all pretty rare in this colour.
But it’s the Trans-Light Blue [BL]/Tr. Lt.Blue [TLG] that marks out the new Chima sets, and there’s plenty of it here. Unique to this set is an angled liftarm (Element ID 6064825 | Design ID 32348), of which there are four. Hmmm. Not sure how useful it’ll be for general building, unlike the rotation joint socket (Element ID 6032798 | Design ID 48169) which is excellent, and there are four of these, too. These will be wonderful for the glowing interiors of ion engines (did I mention I build spaceships?) especially as they could accommodate the tiny LED bulbs from third-party suppliers such as LifeLites and Brickstuff.
Sir Fangar is excellent - the use of Trans-Light Blue for his arm, leg and armour add real distinction, and the printing is superb. Note too the torn white cape (Element ID 6076594 | Design ID 17824) which is unique to Sir Fangar. His hefty staff incorporates the large claw/tooth piece 11089 which is soft and flexible (presumably to protect small eyes and hands) and also appears on the Walker’s head and the chopper bike.
The build process
The build was fairly straightforward, first constructing Stealthor’s chopper bike and the hidden ramp that drops it down from the back of the Walker, then moving on to the legs and head, finishing with the shoulder armament (flick missiles, naturally). And the beast stands complete. I’d say it’s not a taxing build, helped by a liberal sprinkling of distinct colours including Dark Tan [BL]/Sand Yellow [TLG] and small amounts of Red [BL]/Bright Red [TLG] and Medium Blue.
As someone who doesn’t collect many sets, it’s interesting to see how brackets are used to strengthen the structure and provide new stud directions. This technique isn’t new but is used generously on this set, especially around the hip joints. It’s both space- and parts-efficient.
The finished model
The overall poise of the Walker is great - it’s suitably menacing, with powerful shoulders and lithe hind limbs. For such an impressive silhouette, the biggest disappointment is the meagre tail, which almost seems an afterthought. A long swishy tail curling up and over the back would have given balance and interest to the rear half of the Walker. The eyes are also understated (Blue [BL]/Bright Blue [TLG] 1x1 round plates); a good trans colour would have added more menace. The jaws are very well done, using a mix of tooth sizes to great effect.
It’s a shame that the head doesn’t articulate - instead it’s fixed firmly to the body with two friction pins. This limits its poseability considerably. Possibly the weight of the head would have proved too much for a standard ball joint. Similarly the legs aren’t jointed enough and the use of click hinges limits the range of movement (having just played with an Exo Suit, I feel somewhat spoilt in this regard). However the rotating shoulder discs are great for playability, allowing more precise targeting of those flick missiles.
The special trick is the launch of the chopper. This is achieved by rotating one of the gear wheels which drops the ramp allowing Stealthor to roar off on his way through the gap between the hind legs. I’m a huge fan of such play features, and this one works smoothly and consistently. The chopper is simple but has a pleasing outline, aided by those gleaming white super-fangs.
That rounds off this review. But I have more to come from Sir Fangar…
Our thanks to LEGO's Community Events and Engagement Team for providing this set.
70143 Sir Fangar's Sabre-Tooth Walker retails for GB£34.99 / €39.99 and will be released on 1 August in the US for $39.99.