27 January 2014

Thrown together

Posted by Admin
A double-header today, as we have two reviewers that live together. Yvonne Doyle features in Megan Rothrock's new The LEGO Adventure Book Volume 2 and The LEGO Play Book and Peter Reid is co-author of LEGO Space: Building the Future. His Exo Suit model is going to be the next CUUSOO set to be released later this year. I assigned them 70800 Getaway Glider and 70807 MetalBeard's Duel and as things turned out, Yvonne did the official builds and Pete took on my challenge of building alternate models from the sets.

70800 Getaway Glider

The set has lovely glossy box art, showing an exciting looking, compact little set containing three figs and the new style horse. Our hero, Emmet, looks pretty much the same as he does in the other sets. If there's a subtle difference, I can't see it.

The other two figs, exclusive to this set, are evil cowboy robots with light grey hands (which are always being stolen by my boyfriend). All the torsos have detailed front and back printing, and look great. There are two different cowboy hats; one exclusively in Reddish Brown (Element ID | 6062690 Design ID 13565) as well as a new black moustache for the Sheriff robot (Element ID 6055605 | Design ID 15439). As an added bonus, there's a spare moustache in the set. Nice one LEGO!

The horse is lovely. My boyfriend has been very vocal about his dislike of the original, type one equine, but loves playing with the type two, which he's nicknamed Horsey McHorsington. He used to be a naysayer, now he's more a neigh sayer. There's also the a foal/AFOL joke, but let's rise above that, shall we?

Sifting through the parts, the only new element that's exclusive to this set is a lovely Flat Silver [BL]/Silver Metallic [TLG] cockerel (Element ID 6059314 | Design ID 95342). There's also a Silver Metallic harpoon, which hasn't been in many sets. There's an interesting new type of gun with a clip on the top (Element ID 6055607 | Design ID 15445), which I thought was the same as the one from the last Dino range, but is an entirely new mould. It's a bit too big, if I'm being critical. I guess that's just how minifigs do things. If you were the size of a minifig and tried to eat a banana the size of a LEGO banana, I'm fairly sure you would die from banana poisoning.

There are five baby bows in dark brown, two of the lovely new cattle horns (plus a spare), and a good selection of clips and brackets. The set has some of the newer style brackets, as well as lots of useful Silver Metallic 1X1 round plates and generally useful parts.

The build

After the figs have been built, you're instructed to make a tiny cactus before starting the main build. The model tries hard to give you some good bits to play with. Almost immediately there's an interesting technique on the glider, where an unexpected stud reversal using 2X2 "tombstones" occurs. On top of the glider is a nice little weathervane with some metallic pieces including the cockerel and harpoon.

It's only a little set, but it's an interesting, fairly complex build. The glider is a cool little flying machine, and I like it. It's not quite symmetrical, giving an interesting patchwork look.

70807 MetalBeard's Duel

On starting the first bag, there are three figs. The construction guy, Frank, has quite busy printing on the torso and legs, with chest hair, a fetching pink vest and back print. The robot cop has a printed helmet, and detailed body printing. The Skeletron fig is awesome, having a body and legs in Light Bluish Gray [BL]/Medium Stone Grey [TLG] for the first time, and he has an awesome name. Maybe everything is awesome, like they say in the movie? Skeletron is definitely awesome.

Next comes the Micromanager; a blocky hybrid of ED-209, an AT-ST and a sentinel from The Matrix. After assembling the sturdy 6x6 core, the flick fire missile mechanism is constructed, then the lid. After the core, it's on to the legs.

There are some interesting dark bley parts; baby bows, clips and plate hinges. All useful stuff. There are lots of little brackets too, which we all need more of.

Once you've built the limbs, you get a proper sense of how poseable and sturdy the model is. The flick fire weapon mechanism folds neatly into the body, and it's very playable. Flick fire missiles seem very popular these days. They're an additional play feature that use just a few pieces.

We were particularly pleased with the posing of the model in our shot here. Tim and Pete tried to recreate the professional atmosphere of a Space Book photo session, and I'm sure everyone can agree, those boys posed the heck out of that strange box on legs.

The next stage is building MetalBeard's mech. The build starts off in a quite straightforward fashion, then the instructions tell me to put a sausage and a bone in a treasure chest. It must be a highly valuable sausage.

The core of the mech seems to have studs pointing in all directions, and resembles a pirate ship after the first few stages. It's a bit of a random design. I guess we'll have to wait 'til The LEGO Movie is released to understand what's going on here. As I reach the end of the build, it gets more bizarre, with each limb getting crazier. He's got a shark on his arm. A shark. On his arm. If you ask MetalBeard what the time is, he'll say shark o'clock, every time. Maybe he uses the dorsal fin as a sundial?

It's a very strange set, which I don't quite understand. It's like a pirate ship, but also a robot person. And it's fighting a box on legs. What does it all mean? I can't wait to see the Movie in a few weeks.

This odd, slightly steampunk-esque appearance reminds me of the Time Cruisers range from the mid-'90s. I heard from a LEGO employee that the Time Cruisers range was put together as a desperate eleventh-hour filler range by some lazy set designers, but went down extremely well with the focus group kids. I think they test four ranges during the focus groups, and the little ones ignored the cool stuff they'd been designing for months, and went wild for the cool parts and time travel. Back then, we all believed Time Cruisers was just an excuse to use up surplus headgear, boat hulls and monkeys because they had a vast stockpile of hats and monkeys in Denmark. These days, we have a better understanding of product development and lead times, and recognise such theories as nonsense.

So MetalBeard's mech is a mish-mash of parts, and a pretty good set for new and rare elements. Aside from the lovely greyness of Skeletron, it's the first sighting of a Dark Orange grated cheese (Element ID 6061592 | Design ID 61409), which is definitely a beautiful thing.

There are some unusual new Dark Brown elements; a 1x2 45° Double/Inverted slope (Element ID 6061594 | Design ID 3049) and a 2X3 curved slope with wing end (Element ID 6061591 | Design ID 47456). The 1X1 tiles with a keyhole print (Element ID 6063898 | Design ID 16827) are very useful and you'll spot them in Pete's alternate build later on.

There are some rare Silver Metallic parts too, including the six-length chain, a wind-up key and four Barraki eyes. The grated cheese isn't the only Dark Orange slope; the 2X2X2 65° slope is in here for the second time ever.

The only unique new mould in the set is MetalBeard's metal beard; a pretty useless modified 1X2 plate in Pearl Dark Gray [BL]/Titan. Metal. [TLG] (Element ID 6063705 | Design ID 15440). I'm sure someone will think of some use for it.

Finally, here's a beautifully staged picture of MetalBeard having a fight with the Micromanager. I thought they were on the same side? Maybe MetalBeard joins the good guys at the end, and gives up the pirate life? It will all become clear when we see the Movie.

Alternate builds 

The best thing about building an alternate model is you don't have to move very much. As a fundamentally lazy person, this appeals to me. All I had to do was build a nice alternate model, using only the bricks in the set. Put them together, make it good.

The first alternate build, of 70800 Getaway Glider, was easy. A micro ship just came together in my hand. After about twenty minutes I had a lovely little escort fighter. I was hardly looking at the bricks while doing it. My hands did their own thing.

I was pleasantly surprised by how easily it assembled itself, and the finished model wouldn't look out of place alongside my existing microscale fleet.

The larger set, 70807 MetalBeard's Duel, was more of a challenge. I spent days trying to come up with something cool, putting not more than a handful of bricks together before tearing them all apart in disgust. I have a reputation to uphold, and certain standards I try to live by. It would be an insult to my fans if I were to put a half-baked model online.

After failing to make anything for almost a week, I had several cans of lager in quick succession and came up with the cockpit arrangement. It reminded me of a baby Marauder, the prettiest ship in the skies.

Once I had that front end breakthrough, the rest of the ship came together fairly well. MetalBeard is an asymmetric, mostly brown mech and many of the parts were impossible to incorporate into the ship. I admit the finished model isn't quite up to Space Book standards, but I did the best I could with the parts available.

In an attempt to make the alternate builds look as slick as possible, I asked my collaborative partner and friend, Chris Salt if he'd do me a spacey background. He's a lovely guy.

Our thanks to LEGO's Community and Events Engagement Team for providing these sets.

70800 Getaway Glider retails at US$12.99/GB£11.99.
70807 MetalBeard's Duel retails at US$34.99/GB£29.99.

Affiliate links:
Lego.com:Amazon US: Amazon UK: Amazon FR:
Getaway Glider
MetalBeard's Duel


  1. Metalbeard is a Master Builder, so he is a good guy(or at least pretending to be).

    1. I'm glad someone pointed this out. The author has seen the trailers based on the text, but somehow thought Metalbeard was a bad guy?! He was fighting against President Business before and of the other main characters!

  2. This is quickly becoming one of my favorite Lego blogs. Set reviews focused on new elements is a great idea, and bringing in big names in the community like this just makes them even better. Keep it up.

    1. I'm happy to hear that Christopher, as these current posts are experimental (set reviews, guest contributors, focusing on a theme over several posts). Thanks!

    2. Please keep the experiment going.

    3. I fear the big fight that will arise between your NCS builder friends over who will get to review Benny's spaceship ;)

    4. And the winner is... ME! Actually you've given me an idea, given they'll all buy it perhaps we'll have a build-off of some description :oD

  3. Great review! And the alternate models look excellent! Actually, they are my favorite part of the review! ;)

  4. @caperberry
    This has nothing to do with this, but I've spotted 1 x 1 round plate with hole in a third color! Red! In Emmet's mech! I am so pumped up!

  5. Ah yes I see it! That IS exciting. Thanks I'll add it to the post I just published!

  6. A note, the flag pieces are a new mould! Stronger Clips