Monday, June 6th, 2011 at 10:34am by Benjamin, BZPower Reporter
It came from the skies...or just the LEGO Store.
This just in: Aliens are attacking! The city is in shambles and debris is everywhere—can anything be done to stop this? While we wait for an alien-defense team, let us take a look at what is going on downtown. It seems a tripod walker has appeared and is using an alien pet to grab on to innocent bystanders' heads! For further details, read on for a review of Alien Conquest set #7051: Tripod Invader.
What we have here is a nice-sized set for the new Alien Conquest theme. While it does not contain a blue-suited human defense minifig, the cute and disgusting alien pet should make up for that, not to mention a few other surprises in minifig choice, part variety, and playability. Here's the full scoop.
From the design of the box to the instruction manual, these are the first things you see before building the set.
The box itself should grab your attention. It contains a brightly-lit action scene of an alien tripod walker blasting a businessman while sending out a head-grabbing alien after it. What's not to love? The back then informs us that the pet, or whatever it is, can indeed stick to a minifig's head, while also showing us that said fig can be held as a prisoner in the back of the tripod ship section, which can actually disconnect itself from its legs to blast off into the atmosphere. How devious!
Let us not forget about the LEGO logo, Alien Conquest logo (with flying saucer image!), an age suggestion (I'm 21 and eagerly awaited this series), set number (7051), set name, piece count (166), and possibly a price (most likely $19.99). Once again, the piece count is a tad low for a $20 set, but that is to be expected now, isn't it? Too bad.
Inside are quite a few polybags of pieces, an curled-up instruction manual, and a sticker sheet which I do not care to use on this model. I might save it later for future creations that could use a little zest.
Half the fun is had building the set. How fun is it to build and how easy or challenging is it?
The build starts of pretty basic, but soon advances into some SNOT territory and adds in a few extra flares with some hinges and transparent pieces.
The business man minifig can easily fit into the stasis pod on the back of the ship, but he can't be holding his briefcase. Still, it is a cool feature to see the aliens capturing humans for who-knows-what.
Next come the three legs, which are all the same and joined in the middle of the walker. They have a sturdy balance with their big, round webbed feet, and some pokey bits near the bottom as well. These, however, seem pointless (yes I just did) when it comes to function. Everything culminates when the spaceship is placed on the walker for a full tripod attack, complete with rotating laser.
Now that the set is complete, we can critique how it looks from every angle. New or interesting pieces can also be examined here.
All 166 pieces spread out look pretty good. There is a nice assortment of light grey and lime green and even some purple. Inside the biggest parts bag are two small bags with lime-green alien things—the minifig's head and its pet. I suppose there is a good reason for it.
Here are some highlights of the pieces that come with the set: new beams for the tripod legs, a few thick Slizer feet from the Barakki, some purple bits, some new minifig designs, and some nice transparent pieces. There are also two small curved, jagged slopes, similar to what was found in the Mars Mission sets only smaller. They are new to me but will be sure to be useful in future creations.
The pod itself is sleek and spacious. My only worry is that the engines might cook the captured human, given their placement. But the colors and the design, especially the bubble canopy, are cool. The underside leaves something to be desired in aesthetics though.
As for the tripod as a whole, the legs look sturdy up until they consist of a lone, unarmored technic beam. But the design is sturdy and the gun and pod swivel from side to side which is also quite neat.
Finally, the minifigs are fantastic. The human businessman is looking smart with his pin-striped suit, glasses and briefcase. The alien can turn its head slightly which is also a plus. And his spacesuit looks neat. Finally, his pet is just plain cute and fun to use. I wonder what it would be like to have a dozen of these in something...?
Just one note about the businessman: Blue pin-striped suit. Glasses (brainy-specs). Hair. Why, LEGO, why did you not give this man brown hair and a plain old screwdriver—for the laughs? You were so close to having a non-canonical, officially unofficial Doctor Who Tenth Doctor minifig, and the chance was lost.
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.
To start, that adorable alien pet can cling to the minifig's head. On top of that, the head has an alternate “worried” look on its back, adding to the fun. There are so many scenarios for the two minifigs and the pet to be placed in. I'm sure this is a major draw into getting the set.
The tripod walker itself can swivel around on its base, shoot its laser, and capture humans for later probing. While the legs have two different stances—close in or further out—this does not make good for walking motions. In short, this set is better standing and looking cool, or moved with little bounces, than attempting to have full-scale accurate movement.
Once it's all said and done, how does the set stack up? Should I get it?
What's to like?
- Cute alien, head-clinging pet!
- Nice pieces.
- Cool minifigs.
- Good build.
What's not to like?
- Little articulation for play
- Price-to-piece ratio continues to be low.
- It's not The Doctor.
The pieces are neat, the tripod looks cool, but the function is lacking. So, as usual, it comes down to what you want. I look forward to using the pieces from the set, but not so much as an alien invasion menace. But if I was, that pod is slick and speedy and can carry a human with no effort. And finally, there's the pet. That just might be a dealbreaker.
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