Arriving in the second wave of the new-ish Monkie Kid theme, alongside 80014 Sandy’s Speedboat and 80016 The Flaming Foundry, is the medium-sized 80015 Monkie Kid’s Cloud Roadster. With five minifigures and 659 pieces, this vehicle is the second-largest set of the wave and retails for £54.99 / $69.99 / 58.48€. With an interesting minifig lineup, a promise of useful parts in interesting colours and a smaller villainous side-build adding play value, this set seems like a good time for kids and AFOLs alike. Let’s see if it can soar through the clouds, or if it’s left in the dust!
80015 features a number of exclusive and rare pieces, many of which are new in 2020 albeit appearing in a wider array of sets. Among the newer, rarer parts we’ll see many that do recur within the Monkie Kid theme, but have yet to turn up beyond it.
Minifigures in 80015 Monkie Kid's Cloud Roadster
Let’s start with the figures: the titular hero has appeared plenty of times throughout the run of the theme. He’s sported multiple outfits, and this is one he’s worn a few times already. More interesting are sidekicks Chen and Wang. Both have been parted together from pre-existing pieces for the most part, however Wang’s legs and hair are of interest. Her hairpiece, Minifig Hair Long Parted in Center in Black (6310419 | 36806), has only appeared once before in 75967 Forbidden Forest: Umbridge’s Encounter, while minifig legs in teal only appeared once before in another Monkie Kid set, 80011 Red Son’s Inferno Truck.
The torso print on Wang doesn’t seem to play nice with the coral background, and as a result her midriff seems closer to "keetorange" - ah, excuse me, Flame Yellowish Orange/ Bright Light Orange - than yellow. These kinds of perceived quality errors were explored in-depth by Bjarke Schønwandt, LEGO® Quality Director, in Francesco Spreafico’s fantastic report.
The two enemies packed into the set are even more interesting. Their torsos, heads and horn/hair pieces are new and exclusive to 80015. The horns (6309178 | 66124 and 6309177 | 66123) - are the most thrilling, since we are talking about an entirely new mould as opposed to mere printing on existing pieces. The community has a way of creatively subverting the intended use of minifig headgear, but I feel like these will be particularly tough to use as anything else - maybe ornaments?
Exclusive and interesting elements in 80015 Monkie Kid's Cloud Roadster
Moving onto the parts, 80015 packs a pair of 6 x 6 dishes with exclusive prints. The first comes in white with a teal stripe and some ‘stickers’ incorporated into the print serving as hubs on the smaller front wheels of the roadster itself, and we get two of these. Four black printed dishes have a sort of yin and yang design going on in silver and gold, incorporating Chinese characters which mean ‘gold’ and ‘silver’ respectively, a reference to Journey to the West, the literary work this theme is based on. These characters also appear on the demons’ torsos.
The demons’ weapons also incorporate some of the parts exclusive to 80015. Both rock some sort of vaguely gourd-like things that, going by the box art, emit sound. These are built using fezzes, round 2 x 2 brick dome bottoms and tops, some modified plates and an Exo-Force robot hand. The flat silver fez and pearl gold dome bottom both appear in this set alone, pictured below in the company of their more common counterparts.
Two pairs of rubberised Technic wheels are included for the roadster, one of which is rare, while the other is exclusive. Both moulds were designed with the LEGO Education SPIKE Prime sets in mind, though neither appeared in that theme in these colours. The smaller version, Wheel 57 x 14 with 4 White Spokes with 2 Holes and Black Integral Tire in White (6287607 | 39367), is new for 2020 but also appears in 71709 Jay and Lloyd's Velocity Racers. The larger one, Wheel 88 x 14 with 4 Spokes with 4 Holes, 4 Inserts and Black Integral Tire in White (6287605 | 49295), is exclusive to this set and we get two. Also pictured is Cloud/Dust with Bar in White (6316325 | 68547) which appears in 4 Monkie Kid sets, but the quantity here is noteworthy - every other set containing it gets only one, while 80015 is blessed with 6.
80015 comes with a nice assortment of Bright Bluish Green/ Dark Turquoise parts, many of which are noteworthy - and there’s even an exclusive involved. An unprinted pair of 6 x 6 dishes in Dark Turquoise (6313560 | 44375) appear in this set and nowhere else. Furthermore we get four 8 x 8 dishes, of which only two previously appeared in 70830 Sweet Mayhem's Systar Starship!, two cheese slopes that only appear in two other sets, a 3 x 3 Technic disk that only appears in another Monkie Kid set and a set of left and right 3 x 2 wedge plates only appearing in one other set. This isn’t the full extent of the Cloud Roadster’s Dark Turquoiseofferings, but the rest are pretty common.
We’re down to the last exclusive - the Technic Brick 1 x 12 [11 Holes] in Bright Light Orange (6282106 | 3895) and we get three in this set. Meanwhile, Technic Pin Long with Friction Ridges Lengthwise and Stop Bush in Silver Metallic/ Flat Silver (6294233 | 32054) only appears in one other set, but we get 9 of them here, and Windscreen 6 x 2 x 2 with Handle in Transparent Blue with Opalescence/ Satin Trans-Light Blue (6290571 | 35375) is another part only appearing in one other set - incidentally both of these appear in Disney Princess Storybook Adventures sets!
A bounty of other pieces in 80015 Monkie Kid’s Cloud Roadster are also of interest:
- 2 x Wheel 18 x 14 with Pin Hole in Black (6273330 | 55889) introduced in 75253 Droid Commander last year, appearing in a total of 4 sets.
- 4 x Brick Round 2 x 2 with Axle Hole in Cool Yellow/ Bright Light Yellow (6301835 | 6143) appearing in only two other sets.
- 1 x Brick Special 1 x 2 with Vertical Clip [Open O Clip] in Bright Light Orange (6312453 | 30237) appearing in only two other sets.
- 2 x Weapon Hilt Symmetric in Gold Ink/ Metallic Gold (6294553 | 67131) which appears in the same quantity across almost all Monkie Kid sets, but I mention it as it is a highly useful and iconic piece introduced this year.
- 4 x Brick Special 1 x 2 with Handle in Medium Nougat (6295465 | 30236) appearing in only three other sets.
- 1 x Tile Round 2 x 2 with Dark Bluish Gray Lines, Bolts/Dots in Medium Stone Grey/ Light Bluish Gray (6237231 | 39746) appearing in only three other sets.
- 2 x Money / Gold Bar [Ingot] in White (6210076 | 99563) which was introduced this year and appears in six other sets.
- 1 x Pneumatic T-Piece (T Bar) [New Style] in White (6289866 | 4697) which was introduced this year and appears in three other sets.
- 8 x Tile 2 x 2 Round with Hole in White (6310185 | 15535) which was introduced this year and appears in two other sets, both of which feature it in lower quantities.
- 6 x Vehicle, Tipper End Flat without Pins in Bright Yellow/ Yellow (6293858 | 30022), an old classic that made its triumphant return recently and is a recurring visual staple of the theme.
- 2 x Windscreen 6 x 6 x 2 Canopy in Yellow (6293859 | 87606) appearing in only two other sets.
- 1 x Frog in White (6298930 | 28841) which was introduced this year and only appears in two other sets - and is a sneaky hint as to who designed 80015 as we will discuss in a moment!
There is also a sticker sheet included. I chose not to apply stickers to this set in order to retain the reusability of the parts.
This set boasts a very impressive selection of rare and exclusive pieces. I can see the printed dishes becoming favoured elements among MOCists, and the large selection of new or rare Dark Turquoise pieces in particular are bound to get some attention. Over the course of building, many of these parts end up being hidden, so the designer didn’t have to go this hard, but they did - and bless them for it.
Monkie Kid 80015: The Build
The build process of 80015 turned out to be a little bit simpler than I expected. It is, for the most part, a fairly standard studs-up vehicle build with a bit of Technic to strengthen the structure and facilitate the engine rotation mechanic. That said, the construction of the large engine intakes that carry the visual theme of “big yellow angular engines” that all of Monkie Kid’s rides share was more interesting. There are some additional surprises while building. There is a pair of spring loaded missiles in the chassis, pointing up. It is designed to look like the firing block could lower and sit flush with the rest of the vehicle when not loaded, but I was a bit disappointed to see this was not the case, and the trigger mechanism requires it to be fixed at the same position.
Overall, I’d characterise this as a case of using existing and well-known techniques well, without introducing anything particularly innovative. The engine pods are the only repetitive portion of the process, but you only need to build two and they’re quick to build. As you can see, the set looks superb even without the stickers applied, but they’re always there if you want some extra detail.
The sole white frog piece is located in an enclosed area behind the cockpit with a small grille separating his den from Monkie Kid’s seat. I wondered if this is some kind of in-depth reference to Journey to the West and I’m missing the deep-lore, but it turns out this is a kind of “designer signature” instead. 80015 is the work of Nick Vas, known for hiding frogs in his sets. Another curious Easter egg, if you will, is that the large gray and silver engine block in the vehicle’s rear is almost an isolated build, attached to the chassis with a single axle and can be easily removed, with some limited detailing seen around the socket that is covered when the engine is in place. This makes me wonder if there was to be some kind of maintenance-crane that was cut or replaced by the villain’s (admittedly simple) vehicle. I don’t quite read how the solid dishes can function as rotors on the orange demon’s backpack, but it’s probably magic.
All the while I was building the set before time came to put on the wheels - which takes place near the end - I was constantly thinking that this could just as easily be a spaceship/sci-fi aircraft build as much as a roadster. This leads us to the first MOC I made using 80015…
Aron Gerencsér's MOCs using set 80015
Well, it’s more of a super quick set-modification, really; you just need to pop off the wheels and do some minor gap-filling to get a passable spaceship.
I added some small fins to accentuate the shape, but even without them the concept is there.
The new opalescent effects LEGO recently introduced are mesmerising in-hand, and I was determined to put the new windscreen part to good use. Back when I was a kid, I loved the mecha-oriented theme Exo-Force (sorry to all of our senior readers who took critical damage reading that sentence) that debuted in 2006. When I placed this part next to the two large yellow windshields used in the engine pods it instantly reminded me of the typical aesthetic the small sets in that theme carried, with simple windshields and shoulder armor that would put a World of Warcraft character to shame.
The tipper-end pieces form the cockpit, and a clip on the mech’s rear allows Monkie Kid to stow his stave. Monkie-Force? Exo-Kid?
After those two builds that stuck close to the Monkie Kid aesthetic, I decided to steer away and start using 80015’s more interesting and exclusive pieces in other environments.
First up is a shrine dedicated to a wind deity, utilising all six of the Cloud/Dust with Bar in White pieces included, and lightly decorating one of the larger wheel pieces to serve as a halo. The small altar in front of the shrine was populated with various golden vessels found in 80015, including the new and exclusive dome bottom with the white frog inside. If you don’t recognise the large prefab base - which I’m pretty sure qualifies for BURP status - it is Mountain Element in Dark Bluish Gray (4288824 | 53588) which appeared in four 2006 Bionicle playsets as well as one City set.
Last but not least came the MOC I had envisioned even before receiving the set when I saw the smaller printed dishes on the wheels.
Some explanation for the System heathens among you… uh, I mean folks unfamiliar with Bionicle: the mask we see here gave the user the ability to run really fast, and was worn by a character I have more than a little fondness for. I incorporated a number of callbacks to the design of 8531 Pohatu as an homage, though this MOC is intended to be an independent athlete robot as opposed to a direct reimagining.
Plenty of pieces from 80015 are in action here. The chest design uses the Technic Disk 3 x 3 in Dark Turquoise in concert with the printed round 2 x 2 tile, as well as some of the more common macaroni pieces to give the appearance of an engine block, while the wings utilise the same cloud pieces the shrine did. By the time I was building this MOC, one of our cats got his paws on one of them, so I only used 4 instead of all 6.
The teal cheese slopes came in handy when filling some unsightly gaps in the arms. The retractable wheels use the smaller wheel piece and the unprinted teal dish as well as the printed white dish, as well as a 2 x 2 round tile with hole to connect them to the small armature, giving them a pretty high concentration of interesting and exclusive parts from 80015.
For children, 80015 Monkie Kid’s Cloud Roadster offers an enjoyable and not too difficult build process and a cool looking vehicle with some play features, complete with the “conflict in a box” setup. For AFOLs, this set offers a simple build process, a design that would look fantastic when displayed as well as a large selection of exclusive, rare and useful parts for MOCing. There’s something here for everyone, and while the build could have been a little more complex and interesting in some parts and the missile pod would be better if it could retract into the chassis, these minor criticisms do little to detract from the overall experience.
Massive thanks go to our 'Vibrant Coral' patrons: Jorgito Mozo, Mevits Bricks, Font Review Journal, Baixo LMmodels, Andy Price, Anthony Wright, Chris Cook, London AFOLs, Gerald Lasser, Big B Bricks, Dave Schefcik, David and Breda Fennell, Huw Millington, Neil Crosby, Antonio Serra, Beyond the Brick, Sue Ann Barber & Trevor Clark, and Kevin Gascoigne. Vale Iain Adams, a great supporter of New Elementary.
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