Sunday, July 22nd, 2012 at 9:10am by Andrew, BZPower News Manager
Today it's time for a review from Blog Leader DeeVee, as he takes a look at 9471 Uruk-Hai Army. These Lord of the Rings sets sure look perdy at first glance, don't they? If you'd like to see if the meet all your Tolkien-expectations though, you should read on and see!
From the design of the box to the instruction manual, these are the first things you see before building the set.
The Lord of the Rings sets come in boxes. They are very sturdy, glossy, expensive feeling boxes. I swear that they shine. It is so cray cray.
The front of the box has the small wall that Eomer and "Rohan Soldier" are protecting or hiding in or riding around on their awesome brown horse. This wall is being attacked by Uruk-Hai orcs with a giant ballista. Oh those pesky genetically-engineered orcs, what will they think of next???
The front of the box advertises the six minifigs that come with the set, though it does not advertise the horse, which is the best of the minifig accessories.
Anyway. The back of the box shows off the various things this set can do, with the flick-fire ballista, the ability to turn the wall around and see the stairs, and the connectivity of this wall with the other Lord of the Rings sets to achieve a larger playset (I think it looks like it's probably Helms Deep, but don't quote me).
(Man I am way worried about that being wrong and being told what's what in the comments.)
Anyway, the box is big, it has a finger with a ring on it, and like I said, it's glossy. It feels more substantial than other LEGO boxes.
Half the fun is had building the set. How fun is it to build and how easy or challenging is it?
First you build the ballista. This is pretty cool, and the parts that make the hooks fly are fun and I always enjoy seeing how the designers set those types of things up. There are some interesting building designs, like the way the wooden panel on the front is mounted so that it can be set crookedly.
Next, we build Eomer's wall.
Like most castle-y smaller range sets, the wall is pretty simple and straightforward. I like the use of the headlight bricks and the cheese slopes to add some variety to the wall textures around the center. But other than that, and making sure to remember that the colours and parts aren't entirely symmetrical, this is pretty easy. Nothing to boggle the mind, and the wall goes together very quickly.
Set Design / Playability
Now that the set is complete, we can critique how it looks from every angle. New or interesting pieces can also be examined here.
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?
(It's really hard to set system reviews up and separate these two sections.)
First things first, let's talk about the reason most people are buying these Lord of the Rings sets - the character minifigs.
We'll start with the Uruk-Hai.
There are four of them in this set. They all have the same torso, same legs, and same head. The head has two faces, and the instructions call for the guy with hair to have one, and the other three guys who wear helmets to have the other one. The details on them are pretty great, but if these are based on the movies, weren't the Uruk-Hai blue and grey? Oh well, the red looks cool.
Two of them have the classic axe, the other two have swords. There are two crazy shields in there too.
Overall, these guys are fun.
Eomer and the Rohan Soldier:
Eomer's helmet is printed, he has a gorgeous shield, the Roman Centurion minifig spear, and his torso is fantastic. His face is, like so many others, two-sided, one with a serious face and the other with a "OMG BATTLE OR CRY" face. The Rohan soldier is similar, though his helmet is un-printed, and his beard is way manlier. He comes with a bow and arrow and quiver.
These guys are also quite delightful.
But the real hero is the horse.
Man, I cannot get over how cool this new horse mold is. I'm not entirely sure when he first showed up, I'm sure he's not brand new to the Lord of the Rings line (he's not, right?), but man, this is a cool horse. He can rear up on his back legs, guys! Like this is wayyyy cooler than those boring old horses. I want an army of these. They are so cool. For those of you who collected system sets earlier like I did, and then only sporadically, mostly for parts the last several years, this horse is a revelation.
Also, that brown was made for these horses.
The set is clearly designed in a "playset" style. A base, with an assaulting weapon and enemy force. The side of the wall has pin holes and technic pins, for the aforementioned Helms Deep team-up. The wall is nothing special, and as mentioned, kind of comes across like any other smaller castle siege set from the last ten or twenty years. The ballista is cool. I definitely see TLG's move towards sets you can build part of, and then play with, and then build the rest of here in this set. It was smart of them to start off with the fun build, as the instructions have you build the ballista and then the wall.
You can probably tell, but I'm kind of bored with a good chunk of this set. It really just doesn't seem like anything special, and it is priced to really move at $30USD. The licensing fees are really killing the price points on these, more than I feel the Star Wars ones ever have.
But let's be honest, you and everyone else is probably looking at this set for the figs, and these ones are great, even if they only come with stodgy old Eomer.
Once it's all said and done, how does the set stack up? Should I get it?
What's to like?
- Cool figs!
- COOL HORSE
- Cool ballista
- Lord of the Rings
- Sand green bricks!
What's not to like?
- Red orcs?
- Boring "base" build
- Not more horses
Overall, I don't think the price justifies the set. It might justify the figs to avid collectors, I don't know. But hey, that's your decision, I guess.
And there you have it - the Uruk-Hai Army. As always, be sure to thank DeeVee for the review in the Talkback, where you can also ask any questions you might have. We've got more Lord of the Rings reviews in store, as well as some Hero Factory and more, so keep checking back right here on BZPower!
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