Tuesday, April 29th, 2014 at 10:07pm by Andrew, BZPower News Manager
Chima Month has almost ended, but there's still some sets to review. Today we're taking a look at 70134 Lavertus' Outland Base, the biggest model in the first wave of 2014 Legends of Chima sets. Is it worth shelling out your hard-earned dollars for, or will you pick up one of the many other sets that we've looked at? Read and watch on to decide!
From the design of the box to the instruction manual, these are the first things you see before building the set.
This is a big box for a big set. We've gone over the design of the box art at length, so we'll focus on the set here. There's a lot of action going on, with turrets and vehicles galore. We also see that there's four minifigs included in the set - Lavertus, Laval, Blista, and Sparratus. The back highlights the many action features, like the opening gate, spinning turret, flick-fire turret, Venus flytrap, raising camera, and more. There's a lot going on in here, so let's check it out!
Half the fun is had building the set. How fun is it to build and how easy or challenging is it?
At 684 pieces, this is a pretty decent-sized set, and it takes a while to build. The six bags split it apart into bite-sized chunks though, so it never seems too challenging. Some of the build is quite engaging and interesting too, especially the way the designers angled the sidewalls. All-in-all it was an enjoyable process.
Now that the set is complete, we can critique how it looks from every angle. New or interesting pieces can also be examined here.
There's a lot of variety in the pieces here, with so many different things to build. It's nice to see all the Keetorange pieces, and there's plenty of light and dark grey to support the building of a base and vehicles.
As far as standouts go, the Keetorange reigns supreme, with curved slopes, tiles, Hero Factory shells, and more appearing in the color. There's some nice transparent bright green elements - namely 1x1 cones a 1x1 rounded plates - that look great. We also get the new spider leg piece in dark brown, a 2x2 round tile with a hole in it, and a new plant piece (which also has a hole in it). New to me was the 6x6 tile in light grey, although I feel like they've probably been around for a while.
And here we have the completed set. I really had to squeeze everything in to fit it in one picture. There's a lot going on, but the base looks every bit like it belongs in the jungle.
When it's folded up, the base looks fairly small and compact, but looks can be deceiving! When you open it up, you see it really is quite a sizable structure. The designers do a great job of including foliage in the build to make it look overgrown and a part of the jungle. The stickers help with this too, adding cracks and moss, and I feel like they really add to this set, which is not always the case. The turrets, antenna, and camera are nice features and all things you'd expect to see on a forward operating base.
On the inside there's some nice details as well. There's spots for storing Chi crystals, a miniature armory, and a display screen/control panel. It might not look quite as finished as the outside, but you could use the argument that the base was built in a hurry and interior aesthetics were not high on the priority list. That may be a bit of a cop-out, but I think it works here and looks fine.
Sparratus gets an off-roading vehicle that's absolutely spider-fied. While I'm not sure what the legs on the side are supposed to do, they look cool, and the legs as the roll cage are great. My favorite part though is the spider face on the front, complete with four eyes and a pair of mandibles. The turret is passable and the treads in the rear seem a little bare though, unfortunately. It would have been nice if they had been bulked up like the dishes over the front tires, which are a great effect.
Next up, Lavertus gets a motorcycle that can burst out the front of the base through the gate to intercept any attackers. It's a pretty basic design, and nothing really to write home about. I'm glad there's a lion vehicle to go against the spiders though. It does try to have a bit of a lion motif with the dark brown curved slopes on the front trying to represent a mane, but it doesn't quite do the trick, especially with the red plates showing. Looking back, I almost feel like they could have included a Speedorz here and gotten the same effect.
I'm going to call this a Venus flytrap. It's got some nice foliage pieces and looks like it would fit in the jungle with no problems. It's mainly there for its play feature, but I think it adds to the 'outland' feel perfectly well.
The last part of this set is a little mechanic's cart. It's cute and has a nice display, but doesn't really do much for me. I think I would have preferred to see its pieces used to bulk up another section of the set.
Minifig time! The lions each have new torso prints that I believe only appear in one other set each this year, and the printing on them is excellent as we've come to expect. The heads and animal heads are nothing new but still work really well. Both figs are great overall.
The new bad guy minifigs this year are also superb. Blista's bat head is fantastic and the torso and legs could probably be reused for some other fantasy themed monster if you wanted. Sparratus is interesting, with the odd combination of a web-covered chest and a grass skirt, but again the head is sweet. I'd say the only letdown is that they don't have two facial expressions printed on their heads.
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?
Let's start out with the Venus flytrap. It can open and close, trapping a minifig inside pretty easily. While some sort of spring-loaded mechanism might have been cooler, I think what we get is perfectly fine.
Sparratus' halftrack rolls around, obviously, and the turret also has some flick-fire missiles. As you can see, they don't work all that well.
The base has a bundle of play features - where to start? One gear on the side allows you to open and close the gate while another raises and lowers the camera to conduct surveillance. One turret has a gear mechanism that allows you to spin it like a Gatling gun. The other, similar to the off-roader, has a flick-fire launcher that is similarly ineffective. There's a bunch of stuff packed into this base!
Of course what good are all these features if you don't play with them? LEGO is all about using your imagination, so I'm sure there are tons of great stories you can tell with two good guys, two bad guys, a base, a couple vehicles, and a flesh-eating plant. The possibilities are endless, and that's without even bringing any other Chima sets into play. There's definitely hours of fun to be had here.
Once it's all said and done, how does the set stack up? Should I get it?
What's to like?
- Tons of action features
- Cool-looking minifigures
- Base looks overgrown and very detailed
- Spider vehicle is pretty cool
- Lots of things to play with
What's not to like?
- Spider and bat minifigs don't have double-sided heads
- Motorcycle is a little bit of a letdown
- Cart is unnecessary
Lavertus' Outland Base is a fun set with a lot of playability. It's not perfect, but if you're looking for a way to increase your Chima collection, this will certainly do the trick, with four characters, a base, two vehicles, and more. Some may prefer the smaller, less-expensive sets, but at $60 for 684 pieces, it has plenty of value if you ask me.
Thank you all for reading and watching the review and hanging with us during our Chima month. I hope you've been enjoying it! Questions and comments are always welcome in the Talkback. We're not quite done with our Legends of Chima content, so keep checking back here on BZPower!
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