Wednesday, January 12th, 2011 at 9:44pm by Jason, BZPower Reporter
It’s time for another review. Today, I’m looking at the Pharaoh’s Quest impulse set, 7305 Scarab Attack. Is this a set you should grab the next time you see it at the store? Read on and find out.
From the design of the box to the instruction manual, these are the first things you see before building the set.
The box is rather small, since it is only a $4.99 set. The front image has the Scarab beetle attacking Jake Raines, who is attempting to fend it off with a pickaxe. Set against the generic Egyptian background (which is still a lovely background regardless of how many times it’s used on Pharaoh’s Quest boxes) you get a pretty clear view at everything this set has to offer. Beneath the LEGO and Pharaoh’s Quest logos are the usual statistics about the set. There’s more stuff written on the side of the box (apparently, the components were made in either Denmark, Hungary, Mexico, or the Czech Republic) which also includes an "actual size" image of the golden crystal. The back of the box features another scene with Jake and the beetle (this time Jake’s offering it the golden crystal) and a chart showing which of the six golden treasures this set comes with. On yeah, and there’s a tab marked to show you how to open the box.
Half the fun is had building the set. How fun is it to build and how easy or challenging is it?
There are three things inside the box; a plastic bag of small parts, a plastic bag or larger parts, and an instruction manual. When you tear the bags opened, you can spill the parts out on the floor and begin construction.
The first thing the instructions have you do is build Jake’s campsite. But this is pretty basic stuff. You snap a couple of plates together to form a campfire. And then you put Jake’s equipment around. It’s very easy to construct; in fact, I’m not quite sure why there are instructions at all. Maybe they’re for the kids within the actual age range for the set. Maybe.
The Scarab beetle has a more interesting build, although it is over in only ten simple steps. Still, it’s a satisfying small build, and the best this set has to offer.
Now that the set is complete, we can critique how it looks from every angle. New or interesting pieces can also be examined here.
This set contains 47 pieces (yes, three more than the actual piece count!) I must admit, it seems a tad low, and there aren’t any truly remarkable pieces here. You do get a bunch of camping gear for Jake to use, including a gun, a pickaxe, binoculars, a cup, a chicken leg, and a box to put some of it in. None of these pieces are exceptionally rare, but it’s nice to have them all in one cheap set. You also get six black legs and eight grey robot hand pieces, which are useful in MOCing, and this set comes with enough of them to be worthwhile. Additionally, there are three spare pieces; a golden round plate, another grey robot hand, and a second flame piece. It’s not much, but for some builders it might be worth it.
There are no new molds in this set, but there are still a few exclusive pieces for this set. Two of them are the dark blue panels that form the Scarab’s shell. They’re dark blue with a brick pattern printed on them. And the last is obviously the golden crystal, which has never been seen in that color before.
This is the same Jake Raines minifigure that appeared in the Cursed Cobra set that I reviewed a couple of weeks ago. And I believe he also appears in the Scorpion Pyramid set too. I wouldn’t say he’s the most exceptional minifigure out there; he certainly doesn’t have the same flair as Johnny Thunder or Indiana Jones. But he also doesn’t try to be like them either. And all things considered, he is well dressed to go attack mummies and living statues in the Egyptian desert, so power to him!
The Scarab is easily the highlight of this set. It is a simple but effective design, and looks very much like a beetle. Like the other creatures in the other Pharaoh’s Quest sets, this Scarab appears to be a statue that has come to life, due to the brick pattern painted on its shell. I think this is a nice bit of detail, which really gives more life to the Scarab. As far as articulation goes, the Scarab is somewhat lacking. It has six moveable legs that are somewhat flimsy and appear to be there more for show than for support. The head is also moveable, and although small, the gold eyes and horn make it work.
Overall, I wouldn’t say that the Scarab is an ingenious design. But it uses a low number of pieces to a good effect, and for a cheap impulse set, I think it works out.
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?
This set isn’t good for much besides role-playing. It has no action features, no projectile weapons, and doesn’t even contain a figure that is easy to pose. But for an impulse set, I think role playing is an adequate expectation. And since it’s Jake Raines against a Scarab beetle, I think there’s plenty of potential for a good showdown in the desert.
One thing that does strike me as odd is Jake’s campground. Sure, he has some tools and weapons to aid him on his adventures. But a big mug of root beer (or perhaps it’s herbal tea) and a massive chicken leg for dinner? Jake’s eating royally out in the desert. Next think you know, he’ll be ordering up a pizza.
No, Jake, it’s a trap!
Look out, this Scarab also has the ability to breathe fire!
This could be the end of Jake Raines.
Jake tames the mighty Scarab and rides off into the sunset.
But you don’t have to settle for just the role playing provided by this small set. You can add in characters from other Pharaoh’s Quest sets, and let the Egyptian adventures begin.
The Raines twins and Helena fight the Scarab, Cobra, and mummy at the fabled Tower of Pizza.
Now, if we can leave the world of Pharaoh’s Quest behind for a moment, I would like to point out that this Scarab beetle can fill in for another role in a theme you’re perhaps more familiar with; that of Mata Nui’s pet Scarabax beetle Click.
I was not impressed with the set version of Click LEGO released back in 09 (and since it came with the BrickMaster magazine, I never got it) so this new Scarab will fill in for Click and hang out with my Mata Nui model.
Once it's all said and done, how does the set stack up? Should I get it?
What's to like?
- Great price at $4.99 USD
- Great Scarab design, considering it’s an impulse set
- Jake Raines could be worse
- Scarab makes for a good stand-in for Click
What's not to like?
- Low piece count
- Lack of interesting pieces
- Campground build is lackluster
- Jake Raines could be better
Obviously, this is not the set to have in 2011. It doesn’t have a lot of great pieces, and the design isn’t super cool. If you’re on a tight budget, I would recommend saving up for one of the more expensive sets. But if you have a spare five dollars, you could toss this in with your other purchases. It works as a nice impulse set, so I believe it is worth the money, especially if you need a Click beetle for your Bionicle collection.
Friendly hug or killer death grip? You decide!
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