Brickvault: Crazy Scientist and His Monster
I’ve been wanting to do a Lego review for awhile now, and have been racking my brain over a way to do it justice, so expect this format to change as I nail down a style. Hey new challenges keeps the mind sharp I figure! I will say off the bat, I’m far from an expert in Lego, just getting back into it after leaving the hobby back in Middle School I’ve not kept up with the current trends. Suffice to say everything is ‘new’ to me. So if I don’t know something or seem amazed by something that at this point is trivial then I apologize. Also something I noticed while photographing this, there are a LOT of bits and bobs that I could go on and on about, but since I like to try to keep my narrative short, I’ll try to just stick to some key items. But enough backstory, on to the review!
Might as well start with what usually draws someone to a Lego set, the minifigures. With this set we’re given four. The Crazy Scientist (Dr. Frankenstein) and his Monster, and Monster Fighters Dr Rodney Rathebone and Major Quinton Steele. First off, I love the names for the Fighters, though due to his look I can’t stop calling Steele “Sonny Jim” or “Safari Joe”. Rathebone comes with an awesome grey bowler hat, pistol and rapier. He’s also sporting a robotic leg, as if to denote the fact that these Fighters have been at this awhile and have sustained their own losses. Steele has the pith helmet and a really cool little rifle that’s had a few bits added on to make it look more like an elephant gun. Both of these figures have appeared in more than one set, and at the time I had gotten this set I already had them both so these really weren’t that exciting for me. The Scientist is another story, at first glance you may think he’s just a repack of the Blindpack Minifigure, but on further inspection you see that this one has new printing on his face and torso! He even goes so far as to have a second face this time, both of which are really expressive thanks to the equipment printed over his eyes. Love this guy! Lastly you’re given the Monster, which is also a bit different from his blindpack counterpart. This one has a few extra layers to his print that makes him look a lot more dynamic and modern even though the blindpack is only a year old!
Next we’ll tackle the build itself. Out of the dozen or so sets I’ve gotten so far, this was probably one of my favorites to build. First you build the car, which is quite fun for a car, it helps that it’s got an old-timey style which is accentuated by the gorgeous shade of blue used for the exterior. I need more of this color in my life! The Laboratory is even more interesting. It uses a few of those angled castle wall pieces, which even as a kid I felt these were a ‘cheat’ so I’m a bit disappointed to see that they’re still kicking around after all these years. The real fun comes in building the top of the tower and the mechanism for bringing the Scientists creation to life. Included with this set is a lighted brick. Not the first set to do so, but the first set I’ve had any experience with. At first I was apprehensive, as I’ve had experience with other LED action features (Sup TF Prime Voyagers!) and was afraid this would be as equally subpar. Boy was I wrong! After completely covering the light brick with more Lego, the light is funneled superbly through the clear green plastic bits and create a really slick effect. You’re also building a technic mechanism that you can turn from the back to set the light off at will.
Probably a good segway into the action features, other than the light brick mentioned above, you also assemble the gearing to move the lab table forward and back. It would have been nice to also allow the table to tilt up so you can get that neat “a behold my newest creation” movie effect, but we can’t have it all I suppose. The car has it share of flick-fire missiles and a neat little slide-out side-car. There are also a few bits of glow in the dark plastic with the Spider, Rat, and Skull head. It’s not really a lot but it’s still a nice touch.
I usually don’t like to put price/value statements in my reviews as I figure if you have the money to spend you’re going to spend it if you want the item bad enough. But with Lego it feels like something that should be addressed. At $50/$60 this seems a bit on the high end, until you remember you built a car too (I keep forgetting!) 4 Minifigures, 2 of which are exclusive to this set and a lighted brick helps make the price pill easier to swallow. If you’re only going to get one mid-high priced Monster Fighter set, as of this review I’d easily say to make it this one.