4 September 2014

Ice Ice Baby


Returning for another review today is Jeremy Williams (Bricking It) who is not only sticking with the Legends of Chima theme; he's sticking with the icy world of Sir Fangar!

This review continues the Chima theme from my last review, in which I looked at Sir Fangar’s wheels (well, paws actually). Today I’m looking at his pad; his Ice Fortress, a set full of playful traps and some rather nice new elements, too. Let’s begin.

70147 Sir Fangar’s Ice Fortress is a large set by Chima standards – not quite up there with the gargantuan Flying Phoenix and Lion CHI temples (1,301 and 1,258 pieces respectively) but a still impressive 670 pieces in seven bags. The set comes with a separate Gorilla assault trike and the detachable plane pictured here.

All in all the build is fairly straightforward with minimal repetition. I’ll get onto the set design and features later on, though; let’s get straight to those rare elements.

Exciting elements


Perhaps the most special element in the set is the skull piece (Element ID 6032363 | Design ID 13695), both because it’s rare (the element is only found in White and only appears in two sets: this one and last year’s Lone Ranger 79110 Silver Mine Shootout and because it’s cool. It’s the perfect addition to Wild West desert scene (cue the gorgeous canyons of The LEGO® Movie), a Viking stronghold or a creepy Hallowe’en scene. The element appears in this photo with two other interesting elements in White: the 1X5X4 arch piece that TLG have recently reverted to its original perfect curve (Element ID 6056259 | Design ID 14395) and is now cropping up in several colours but only in the vast 10244 Fairground Mixer in this colour, and the trapdoor frame (Element ID 6054973 | Design ID 92107) which is in two other 2014 CITY sets in White.

The skull is, apart from the minifig elements (see below), the only part that is rare. For avid colour-collectors, however, there are plenty of existing parts in new colours in addition to the White specimens above. Rarest of all are the new elements in Aqua [TLG]/Light Aqua [BL] – the 1X2 brick (Element ID 6022032 | Design ID 3004) and 3X3 plate with round corner (Element ID 4618664 | Design ID 30357) are only found in this set, while the 1X2X3 slope brick (Element ID 6027624 | Design ID 4460) is only found in a fellow 2014 Chima set, 70135 Cragger’s Fire Striker, which Tim G reviewed recently.

The Gorilla trike also sports some familiar elements in a lovely glossy colour, Dark Brown – the curvy 4X4X2/3 plate (Element ID 6031838 | Design ID 45677) is unique to this set and the curved wedge brick (Element ID 6051188 | Design ID 47753) and engine plate (Element ID 6063706 | Design ID 41862) only appear each in one other Chima 2014 set – 70132 Scorm’s Scorpion Stinger and 70145 Maula's Ice Mammoth Stomper respectively. The curved 2X2 plate (Element ID 6046939 | Design ID 47457) appears in two sets, as do the pair of 2X3 wedge plates (Element IDs 6070135 and 6070136 | Design IDs 43723 and 43722) and jumper plate (Element ID 6037797 | Design ID 3794) both in Dark Orange. Also in Dark Orange is the curved 2X4 wedge brick (Element ID 6076683 | Design ID 43712) which has only appeared in the Flying Phoenix Temple previously. In short: if orangey-brown is your thing, this set’s a goldmine.

Of course, Spacers like me tend to shun earthy tones for greys and metals, and there's even an interesting new part in boring old Medium Stone Grey [TLG]/Light Bluish Gray [BL]. The new 1X4X2 panel (Element ID 6061675 | Design ID 14718) is only found in two other 2014 sets.

There are (in common with all of the ‘ice’ Chima sets) some lovely Tr. L.Blue [TLG]/Trans Light Blue [BL] elements; of these, the rarest is the ball connector (Element ID 6043677 | Design ID 90612). A couple of other less common ones are shown in the picture: the iceberg wall element (Element ID 6033019 | Design ID 47847) and the new icecage (Element ID 6065032 | Design ID 15091).

I’ll mention one other element at this point: the large portcullis (Element ID 6037598 | Design ID 89519) in Titan.Metal. [TLG]/Pearl Dark Gray [BL]. It’s a pretty rare piece in any of its three colours, only appearing in five sets in total, and it plays a pivotal role (pun intended – all right, it doesn’t pivot, it slides) in the Fortress.

Minifigs



My last review praised the detail and styling of the current crop of Chima minifigs and their unwieldy weapons, and this set is no different. As the name suggests, we have Sir Fangar once again although he is more heavily armed here. Joining his (presumably evil) horde are the tiger Strainor and the vulture Voom Voom, whilst upholding peace and justice (I also presume) are the gorilla Gorzan and the wolf Worriz. It’s hard to pick a clear winner here but I’d go for the boss; if Sir F is in a bad mood I wouldn’t fancy my chances (unless I’d got a lot of CHI with me).


The set


The set is suitably malevolent to look at. The huge curving icy talons that flank Sir Fangar’s throne room look disturbingly like a ribcage, and the detachable plane (a tiger’s head, when closed) hangs ominously over the gate, between the two forlorn skulls.


But the main point of this set is its Indiana Jones-like pitfalls for the unwary visitor. Even climbing the initial steps is hazardous – with one flick, the steps fly apart, propelling the intruder into the distance. This mechanism is crude but effective. Somewhat more advanced is the swaying rope bridge (a fabulous bit of design), which is overturned with a rack and pinion gear. Having made it past the bridge, the invader is defied by the solid portcullis, which winches upwards in another cunning mechanism. Finally, as the triumphant hero stands gloating in front of Sir Fangar’s throne, a final trapdoor consigns them to an icy dungeon below. Stirring stuff indeed.

The verdict


There are only a few areas of the set that could have stood some more attention. The ground floor underneath the throne room is somewhat sparse, containing a meagre weapons rack and a strange anvil-looking piece of furniture whose purpose mystifies me... maybe if I was a more devoted Chima fan…



The two vehicles have some excellent features (there’s some clever angle-work on the plane), while the front panels on the assault trike are similarly well-angled, but other bits feel somewhat unfinished (the assault trike’s gun is somewhat floppy and the plane’s hood is cumbersome when open). But all in all, it’s an excellent set. My four-year old (I know; the age range is “a suggestion. They have to put that on there”) loves it; loves the traps, the scariness, the minifigs, everything. And I have to agree.




Our thanks to LEGO's Community Events and Engagement Team for providing the set.

70147 Sir Fangar’s Ice Fortress retails at US$69.99 / £59.99 / €69.99.

7 comments:

  1. Nice review! Btw, Stealthor is a Sabre Tooth as well and the head is meant to look like a Sabre tooth as tigers are on the "good guys" side...

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  2. ^ Clearly someone has not been paying attention to the cartoon. Color schemes have been flipped, with any new characters who have trans-light blue accents (particularly the left arm/right leg thing) being part of the Ice Age crew that invades Chima trying to put everything in the deep freeze. Anyone wearing trans-red or the red flame suit is a Phoenix, or any existing character who hooked up with the Phoenix tribe to help defend Chima from being snowed under.

    I do have to say, one nice thing about this is that instead of animal-specific bodies, we now get a whole bunch of matching fantasy faction armored bodies, providing you're cool with bright red.

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    1. Those element-based round marks on the front torso makes me think of the old Battle Beasts series.

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    2. I meant tigers as in Tormak and not Sabre-Tooth Tigers/Smilodons...

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  3. Good review! This set doesn't particularly interest me. Still, before reading the review I hadn't appreciated all the traps and obstacles this set boasts.

    No mention of the new segmented leg/tail segment in this set (http://brickset.com/parts/6064988)? I find that a very interesting part. Although it's functionally identical to the earlier 8M Tail (http://brickset.com/parts/design-87846) that originated in the Ben 10 constraction sets and has seen widespread use in various themes, it definitely is one of this set's most distinctive parts. Also interestingly, it resembles a larger version of the segmented spider/scorpion legs (http://brickset.com/parts/design-15064) from the Chima sets earlier this year. Frankly, I'm a bit disappointed that it wasn't introduced sooner — imagine how awesome it might have looked as part of the vehicles for those tribes! Let alone how useful it might have been to have both of those segmented leg pieces in the same color!

    Another interesting note — Gorzan's headgear actually features a new face print for this wave. In previous waves his headgear was printed with an open mouth, and now it's printed with a closed mouth. I've seen some people praise this change, since the closed mouth better suits his "mellow" characterization in the storyline.

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    1. Hi Aanchir - Good call. I briefly referred to them as 'huge curving icy talons' forming the eery ribcage but since they're in a few Chima sets this year (and a Hero Factory set), I didn't single them out. But you're right - they are awesome parts and look best of all (IMO) on the big CHI Sir Fangar figure (70212). But in other colours (black especially) these would be wonderful in space sets (the Romulan baddie ship from the first Star Trek reboot movie springs to mind).

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  4. Yay for more Summer Chima reviews! Caperberry, this site is one of two where I've seen Fire vs. Ice print reviews. Anyway, I knew about these insane play features when I first found the instructions online, but this set looks great with proper pictures. And my brother is five, so I have a feeling we would have tons of fun with this...

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