Aanchir), who is well-known for his love of LEGO® colours and constraction... and just to add to his geek credentials, he's also a Brony.
2M Single Bushes and Dark Stone Grey [TLG]/Dark Bluish Gray [BL] 2X2 Inverted Plates with Two Snaps mentioned in my 70162 review.
Ø3.2mm Holder with Claw covered in Tim Goddard’s review of 70135 Cragger’s Fire Striker, making this the best source so far for that particular element. Tim G. also covered the Tr. Bright Orange 1X1 Round Tile with flame pattern which appears on all this year’s heroes, the Ø3.2mm 4M Shaft With Flame which appears in a blend of Tr. Red and Tr. Yellow in many new Chima weapon designs, and the Double Snaps With Hole. This set includes two of each, plus two extras of the 1X1 round tiles.
Crystal with Cored Knob (Element ID 6066085 | Design ID 11127), or “Fire CHI” as it’s called in the Legends of Chima story. This is the third color for CHI crystals after Tr. Light Blue and Warm Gold, and appears in several of this summer’s new Legends of Chima sets.
3X6 Cockpit with Bow. Even though this windscreen lacks any studs, it’s still very versatile, and a new color could open up even more uses. Also used for the cockpit, and appearing for the first time for over fifteen years in Brick Yellow [TLG]/Tan [BL], is the 3X4 25°/45° Roof Tile (Element ID 6068077 | Design ID 4861). Filling the jaw are four White 1X2 Plates with 2 Vertical Teeth (Element ID 6046384 | Design ID 15209). This piece came out earlier this year, but this marks its first appearance outside the Mixels theme. Beneath the cockpit, the engine is built using a New Dark Red [TLG]/Dark Red [BL] 2X2X1⅓ Motor (Element ID 6035897 | Design ID 50943).
This set contains a bounty of Flame Yellowish Orange [TLG]/Bright Light Orange [BL] elements — a total of 27 parts in 13 different designs. Appearing for the first time in this color are two 3X12 Flaps with Fork (Element ID 6051504 | Design ID 57906), five 2X5 Windscreens (Element ID 6059338 | Design ID 6070), two 4X4/18° Wedge Bricks (Element ID 6015235 | Design ID 50373), and two 5X6 Shell/Hands with Ball Snap.
This last piece excites me the most. I’ve been a die-hard constraction builder ever since the Throwbots/Slizer theme debuted fifteen years ago, and I’m an especially big fan of the Character & Creature Building System (CCBS) introduced in 2011 in the Hero Factory theme. This particular piece not only makes great hands, but also is useful for building shoulders, feet, and torsos. Flame Yellowish Orange is rare in recent constraction sets, so this piece should help constraction builders supplement the existing variety of shells and beams in that color.
7 Module Claws with Cross Axle (Element ID 6068078 | Design ID 15362). This design is new for this year, and also appears in Black and Warm Gold [TLG]/Pearl Gold [BL] in various Hero Factory and Ninjago sets. System fans might consider it a bit specialized, since it’s a fairly large piece with just a single connection point, but it is fantastic for claws, spikes, and other details such as this set’s energetic mane. Like Flame Yellowish Orange, Reddish Brown is a rare color in constraction and Technic sets, so this piece will probably be greatly appreciated by Hero Factory and BIONICLE fans, especially if it continues to appear in future sets.
AFOLs. Seventeen stickers are all printed on transparent sticker film, only two of those stickers (the ones for the rear wheels) have the background color fully printed, and none are numbered (a luxury I remember fondly from the sticker sheets of the Exo-Force theme). I already mentioned in my review of 70162 why I prefer stickers printed on white sticker paper. Beware of bubbles, dust and fingerprints with this set! With that said, the stickers definitely add a great deal of energy to this set (though even a lover of stickers might be hesitant to apply all of them, since many are used on new or rare Flame Yellowish Orange parts). Interestingly, instead of lion iconography (or the decorative crest that appeared on “good guy” vehicles in 2013 and the first half of 2014), the stickers for the shoulders feature phoenix insignias.
The first numbered bag builds Cragger, Mungus, and the Fire Lion’s chassis. The second numbered bag adds the “spinal column”, lower jaw, and both arms. The third numbered bag builds Laval and adds the upper jaw/cockpit and wheels. It’s a build that can be surprising at times — for instance, my brother and I found ourselves wondering why the lower jaw was attached with a non-friction Technic pin that caused it to hang limp. But as the functions came together everything began to make sense.
The cockpit has seating for both Laval and Cragger, a nice touch that really reinforces their rekindled friendship… or maybe creates additional tension as they fight for the controls. You decide! The center ridge of the mane acts as a divider and has a click hinge you can use to “open” or “close” the cockpit. On a particularly thoughtful note, the designers included unused clips under the flaps on the arms of the Fire Lion that can hold Laval and Cragger’s weapons, since they’re too large to fit inside the cockpit.
A launcher armed with four flick missiles is attached to the Fire Lion’s right shoulder with three Technic hinge points, allowing it to aim in various directions, but while it’s an effective design for its simplicity, it feels a bit superfluous once you realize the vehicle’s much more impressive main function.
In its default resting position, the lion’s arms stretch forward and its mouth is shut. However, by entering “Fire CHI Power Mode” with a pull of a handle on its back, the lion rears its head up and spreads its arms up menacingly, its jaw opens with a mighty roar (note: no sound brick, so you have to provide your own sound effects), and the flaps on its arms fold outward. Although it rests quite comfortably in this upright position, it can also lunge forward again, clamping its jaws shut and grabbing or slashing at foes depending on how you have its paws positioned. The flaps on the arms remain folded out, though, perhaps to show that the energy of the fire CHI is still in effect.
Overall, this set is a good buy either as a parts pack for Flame Yellowish Orange, or as the start of or an addition to a dedicated Legends of Chima collection. For constraction builders like me, it not only offers some great parts but brings to mind the elaborate action features of the Rahi from the BIONICLE theme’s debut year. Thanks to this set’s dynamic transforming function, my final impression is that this set is MUCH greater than the sum of its parts. Even without an extensive Chima collection of my own, I’m glad to consider this set a part of it!
Our thanks to LEGO's Community & Events Engagement Team for providing this set.
70144 Laval's Fire Lion retails at US$49.99 / £39.99 / €49.99. Consider using our affiliate links to buy it (or anything) from Amazon; this helps support New Elementary!