24 July 2020

LEGO® Monkie Kid review: 80012 Monkey King Warrior Mech – The Build

Now, in Part 2 of his review of LEGO® Monkie Kid 80012 Monkey King Warrior Mech, Jonas Kramm takes a look at the various builds in the set and highlights the interesting aspects and techniques for you before giving his verdict. 

Last time, we took a detailed look at all the new pieces in 80012 Monkey King Warrior Mech and were blown away by the crazy amount of Warm Gold Drum Lacquered/ Metallic Gold, so now it’s about time to see what they get used for.



Constructing the side-builds in LEGO set 80012

Before it is the turn of the enormous Warrior Mech, the instructions guide us to create the smaller builds.


We start by putting together a small Bull Clone mech. I like the use of the 2x2 modified plates on the shoulder which were originally designed for MetalBeard from The LEGO Movie; otherwise it’s a fairly simple build.


Next is Pigsy’s colourful noodle store, a nice little build with some interior detail like a bed and a stove. The building is placed on a 8x8 plate and connects via Technic pins to the module with the utility pole. I can imagine that you can very easily expand this system with your own little build. Unfortunately there is no connection point for another building on the right side; instead there is a little mechanism that pushes out the wall for better accessibility.


Details like the arcade machine, the fish, the sign and the flowerpot are great. It reminds me a bit of Ninjago City, probably because the techniques for the awning and the air-conditioning system were first used there, but in comparison this build falls a bit short in terms of detail density, especially on the inside. Keep in mind however that I didn't apply the stickers for my review.


Another side-build is the Monkey King on his cloud, which stands on a transparent dish.


The Flower Fruit Mountain seems to be an iconic moment from the series. I guess that the upside-down 1x1 tile with pin is here to hold the staff, but I didn’t find any indication of that in the instructions.

Building the Monkey King Warrior Mech

After the bunch of smaller scenes, it’s finally time to start the construction of the Warrior Mech. As you would expect it starts with the body and the attachment of the massive joints for arms and legs.


The technique for the rotating arm joints isn't something completely new, as it was introduced in the LEGO Ideas Voltron and also used in the big Jurassic Park T-rex, for example.


Next, the cockpit is integrated and some Metallic Gold pieces make their first appearance. I really like the colour scheme they form together with Bright Red/ Red and Dark Turquoise/ Bright Bluish Green. (From the images on the box I was mislead in expecting some Flame Yellowish Orange/ Bright Light Orange but throughout the build it’s always actually Bright Yellow/ Yellow that is used.)


The shoulders make good use of eight Brick 1X1X3 1/3, W/ Arch (6297822 | 30935) in Red.

The legs of LEGO mechs always give the designers headaches, as they have to be sturdy enough to support the whole construction. Most of the time the issue is solved by leaving out the knee joint, as it is done here.



To make the knee look natural without an actual joint, the leg is angled a bit, by using a big ball joint and two of the smaller ‘Mixel' joints.



A simple but effective technique was used to make the feet more slip-proof: integrating rubber wheels on the underside.


The build continues with the arms. More joints get added, allowing three ways of articulation.



The hands are connected to the arm with another ball joint to make them rotatable. While the fingers look fine, I don’t really like the connection points. It doesn’t resemble a solid, powerful hand, but instead gives the impression of being flimsy. I’ll also mention here the obligatory wish for Mixel joints in colours other than grey, but that might never happen.


I wasn’t expecting the head to be such a complex structure with lots of SNOT elements, clips and jumping between three and two modules wide.


The bananas and other Metallic Gold elements give the head a great frontal look but I’m not convinced by the other angles. There are some holes above the ears and the colour variations distract me a lot.


After building the hatch for the cockpit there weren’t many bags with bricks left and so I was left wondering how all the fairly empty areas at the back and the hip would get covered.


That’s when the cape and the foil sheet kicked in.


With the big red cape, most of the back gets covered and it adds an epic look. I find the Yellow Technic bush to attach the cape a bit out of place and would have preferred the thicker version in Red instead here.


The joints and technical structures at the hips get disguised by two foils and another one attaches to the front. They do their job fairly well, given the area looked quite unfinished without. Shoutout to the golden chain: a simple but cool detail.

Last step is to build the scaled up version of the staff, which is made of plenty of 2x2 round bricks on a 32-module Technic axle. It reminded me of the time I built the Barracuda masts. The staff is surely impressive and a perfect size for the mech. The two Black ball joint sockets allow the staff to be connected to the hands.

Conclusion




Once complete, first impressions are great. The outcome is a huge figure with a lot of cool features, it easily fits a minifigure and also has great arm movements.


Unfortunately the articulation comes at the cost of less coverage of the joints. The elbows, especially, don’t look too good from the back or when the arm is straight.

The movement of the legs isn’t really there; no knee joints and the feet are also fairly limited, so you can’t pose a walking or kicking mech.


Metallic Gold and Red is such an eye-popping colour scheme and the added Yellow with sprinkled-in Dark Turquoise make it even better. But the colours aren’t as consistent as it might seem on first sight. Over the whole Mech you can spot a lot of Medium Stone Grey/ Light Bluish Gray, Dark Stone Grey/ Dark Bluish Gray, Black and Reddish Brown all used for technical elements like joints or brackets. This comes, of course, as the set has an age recommendation of 10+ years, which means that compared to the usual adult sets (16+ or 18+) it has to be much simpler to build. Colour blocking elements to specific colours and make them easier to identify is a common approach.


For a kid it will be totally fine and they won’t be bothered by the colours, but as we are a site for perfectionists I felt the need to mention it here.


I still enjoyed the build and had a great time seeing the mech grow. I’m sure I will keep it on my desk for a while, but at some point it will wander into my collection so I can use the Metallic Gold, the cape and the foil elements for my own builds. The rest of the pieces are mostly Red and Yellow, so if you don’t build in these colours I’m not sure if it’s worth getting the whole thing just as a Metallic Gold parts-pack.


To resolve my question about the box art in Part 1, I’m finishing with a comparison shot of the mech and the noodle shop. Thanks for reading and have a great day!

The set is available now and sells for US$149.99/ £129.99/ 129.99€.




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6 comments:

  1. Good review.

    Personally on a set like this, I've never been too bothered by functional elements being in neutral colors like grey, black, or brown. On a large mechanical vehicle, it doesn't seem that far-fetched to me that certain parts like joints would remain "unpainted", much like the undercarriage of a car or truck. That kind of thing is more of a concern to me on large builds that are meant to represent some sort of living creature like the Elves dragons (though even then if the visibility of those color-locked parts is minimized I'm not likely to mind too much).

    I've quite enjoyed this particular set and have even modified it so that the Cloud Jet set can be "mounted" on the back as a jetpack. It's not a perfect modification—notably, attaching that much additional weight really pushes the limits of even the sturdy joint construction of a mech this size—but for play or short periods of display the two sets work quite well together! Here's a link to my earliest version of this modification (since then I have changed the colors of the Technic parts to red to make them less visible in front of the cape): https://twitter.com/AndrewBarnick/status/1281705673529622528

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    1. That jet pack is a pretty cool idea and I'm impressed how well it fits!

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    2. That's a really cool modification! I disagree though, I think the joints should come in other colors. For example, right now my sister wants me to build her a green mech for her new Green Lantern minifig, but the Mixel joints I want to use don't come in green

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    3. I agree with you Andrew, I've had quite a few sets that I've swapped out the bricks in 'mismatched' colors but sometimes I've reverted back and feel that the limit designers face to not include to many unique elements in a set provides interesting solutions that make things look more realistic.

      That's not to say that I'd love to see some more diversity in these parts, even if it's only 'basic' colors like reddish brown and tan. Oh, and @TLG: we'd really like to see more Black Technic, Axle 2 Notched (32062) instead of all the red ones you're putting in the sets

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  2. Also, a minor correction—while the small mountain peak build could possibly be mistaken for Flower Fruit Mountain, the shape and the mounting point for the staff make me suspect that in fact it is meant to be the peak of the mountain that the Monkey King sealed the Demon Bull King beneath in the prologue to this theme's story. Red Son and Princess Iron Fan removing the staff that had been used to seal him is the event that sets this theme's story in motion, as seen in the wonderfully animated pilot for this new theme's animated series: https://youtu.be/Pmp8rzUDkws

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    Replies
    1. You seem to be much more into the lore than I am. Actually I just took the information form the official LEGO shop, in the description of the set.

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