Monday, January 3rd, 2011 at 10:29pm by Benjamin, BZPower Reporter
LEGO sets return to Egypt this year with a new hero on the search of adventure in Pharaoh's Quest. Mac McLoud seems to be taking the place of Johnny Thunder, going on the hunt for mystery and excitement...and various artifacts that lead to a bigger prize. Here today we have the Golden Staff Guardians, a small set that places our intrepid new adventurer face to face with mummies and danger. Read on for a full review of what this set contains and what tricks Mac has up his minifig sleeves to get out of his mess.
From the design of the box to the instruction manual, these are the first things you see before building the set.
The front of the box has the central figure of our story riding towards his destination, a small and ancient tower adorned with a golden staff and protected by two mummy warriors. From this angle we get a nice view of everything that comes in the set (swords, shields, motorcycle...). The back of the box shows our adversaries in conflict, although Mac does seem to be wielding the staff quite expertly.
We also see at the top of the box's back silhouettes of various items, one of them being this staff. We can assume that the other Pharaoh's Quest sets will contain another item to complete this collection.
There is also the age range (ha!), set number, set title, and piece count to be observed on the front of the box, along with the theme logo. The action sequence pretty much takes center stage though when looking at the box either in your hands or on the shelf. Presumably you might find a price as well: $10.
Half the fun is had building the set. How fun is it to build and how easy or challenging is it?
Opening up the box, there are two poly bags and an instruction booklet. Nothing comes unpackaged, and there are no sticker sheets. Once opened, all 70 pieces have a nice variety of some desert colors and a few other things.
The build is simple, straightforward, and very much from the ground up. Keep in mind that this is a $10 set. We see some vegetation growing on the side, but just a little seeing as how this is the desert after all. There are plenty of slopes to give this a streamlined, important feel, especially how the end result is a golden-staff-mounted throne.
Now that the set is complete, we can critique how it looks from every angle. New or interesting pieces can also be examined here.
New pieces of the set include the staff, sword, shield, the pharaoh headpiece, and probably the motorcycle. Also prominent is the amount of tan and sand colored pieces, mostly slopes. The blue cheese slopes are also nice, but best of all is a 2x2 jumper plate (plate with one stud in the middle). These were recently introduced and are sure to be helpful in future building projects.
Minifigures are arguably the most popular part of any set, and the three in this one are pretty neat. Mac is safely wearing a helmet, and his suspenders are a nice touch. More bold however is the blood stain on his shirt, which I'm guessing is a bullet wound. It is a rough life living out in the desert looking for treasure. His motorcycle is cool, and while it lacks a kickstand can usually stand up on its own.
The mummies are adorned with gold armor and standard mummy fabric. What is neat is that the two heads are actually the same, just two-sided. Their weapons, the sickle-shaped sword, and the scarab-shield are also nice and new pieces. This is also the reintroduction of the pharaoh head piece, first seen again in the Series 2 collectible minifigs.
For something that looks ancient, there are not many broken-off chunks of rock in the staff's structure. That does not, however, take away from the aesthetics. Instead, the eye is attracted to the shiny bits of gold that stand out and the pieces of blue that add a royal touch.
The other half of the fun is in playing with the set. How well does the set function and is it enjoyable to play with?
The staff-holder has a function to make the staff POP! right off. Simply press the Technic rod from the back and it pushes the staff off and towards the character of your choosing. There is no trouble of the rod missing its mark or the staff being too firm to move—it all works quite swell.
The new line of Pharaoh's Quest sets also mix in nicely with the Egyptian minifigs from the Collectible Series 2 and 3. While they have their differences, they can certainly be admired together.
Assuming Mac can get past the mummy protectors, the job is only half-done if he gets the staff. His motorcycle is equipped with a shotgun and a bundle of dynamite, though, so I don't think getting away will be a problem. At the very least he now has a new weapon to use to defend himself.
Once it's all said and done, how does the set stack up? Should I get it?
What's to like?
- Cool minifigs
- Nice, small structure
- New pieces
- Fair amount of playability for a $10 set
What's not to like?
- A less-than-ancient look
- Price-to-piece ratio is higher than usual
In the end, this is a nifty set. The $10 price tag is great for three cool figs, some slopes, and a new gold weapon, that we can forgive having there being a little under 100 pieces. This is a small set, after all, and the ratio really starts to work for the larger sets. I recommend it as an essential addition for the Pharaoh's Quest collector for more mummies and a cool golden staff.
With that, I leave you with a scene my 11-year-old sister created while I was building the set:
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