Thursday, December 2nd, 2021 at 2:00am by Jason, BZPower Reporter
Monkie Kid has another wave of sets coming out next year, and the smallest of them is 80030 Monkie Kid's Staff Creations. Although the designs are intended for a younger audience, there are some build methods and pieces that would probably interest an older crowd. Read on for BZPower Reporter Xccj's review to see if this set is worth looking into.
If you want, you can view a more succinct version of the review by heading over to BZPower's Instagram. Or read down below for a more detailed but perhaps longwinded review.
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 shows off the three main creations you build in this set: a racecar, a jet, and a mech. Based on the name, it's implied that these vehicles are actually transformations of the Monkey King staff that Monkie Kid can use to tour around his modern-day city. I know the legend says that the staff can change size and everything, but I'm guessing the idea that it can transform into a vehicle is a more unique take done by the show. In many ways, it seems like a concept borrowed from the Green Lanterns. Or, closer to home, it's a replica of the Ninjago golden weapons transforming into vehicles (that could be marketable as sets to the various fans.)
The back of the box shows off the more creative feature of this set; the parts of the various vehicles can separate and be rearranged to form new vehicles. A matter of glitching as it were. (Did they intend to reference Galidor? Giving a humanoid figure wings is a total Nick Bluetooth move.) The images are pretty simple but show off some of the various combination that can be made.
The set is $34.99 USD and will be released in the States on January 1, 2022. (Although I believe China will see an earlier release in December.) The set comes with 309 pieces and two minifigures. I'm surprised it doesn't have a Juniors label because it certainly seems aimed at a younger audience with its 5+ age rating.
What kinds of interesting pieces are included with the set? What are the minifigures like?
309 pieces is a decent amount for a set this size, and we get some good ones. Most of the elements are red or yellow, with a fair number of teal and gold parts added in. I think there are enough interesting parts that AFOLs would find it worthwhile to pick the set up.
There are four new parts, as far as I can tell. The new stud shooter blaster is included; it debuted in a few of the new Batman sets this fall, and it reappears here in gold. You can fit a 1x1 round tile in and shoot it just like the previous blasters, although this one is housed in the weapon so you're less likely to have the ammo fall out. Next is the 2x3 curved slope, which is unique with the Monkey face printed on it.
The cool new piece is the yellow bent plate / leg joint. This is used on the mech's limbs and it two plates tall in the center with 1 plate tall ends, and a rod hole in the center. It makes for an interesting angle and I'm intrigued by how this could be incorporated in other sets / MOCs. For now, it seems to be a Juniorized way to make limbs. It would be cool if it were an actual joint, but alas it is fixed into position.
Finally, there's the teal 1x2 connector piece. It's a brick tall, with a 1x2 rounded plate forming the top and the base, but in the middle are two bars that can easily be clipped to. This is used to help connect the various pieces of the vehicles together, because it's a sturdy connection that can also be easily taken apart. This set comes with 15 of them, which alone would make it appealing to AFOLs who want to start using the piece in bulk.
There are a few other parts that are moderately rare. The 2x2 red corner wedge has only appeared in three sets, the pentagon teal tile has only been in four sets, the handlebar plate in bright light orange has only seen use in 3 sets, and the 1x2 black plate with vertical grip clip is still new and only in 5 sets. Meanwhile, this is the first time the 3x4 wedge plate has appeared in teal, and the elusive white wind gust piece shows up here again. Overall, it's not a bad selection.
We get two minifigures: Monkie Kid and Monkey King. Monkie Kid is a new design as far as I can tell; the white shirt looks similar to some of the designs used in the Chinese New Year sets, but it's still unique, and also has the benefit of the monkey face printed along the back. The rest of Monkie Kid's parts are pretty standard, and here he holds a bow staff. Monkey King's fig is reused from other sets last year (or rather this year) but this remains the cheapest way to pick him up, so still useful. The orange tunic is simple but nice, and he has a tail, specialized ears, printed legs, and a minifig copy of his staff. One issue is that, because of his tail, Monkey King can't really fit in any of the vehicles, although you can kind of place him in the car. Monkie Kid remains the sole driver of the jet and mech.
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 first of the standard vehicles is the racecar. It's a bit chunky and blocky, clocking in at 8 studs wide. The build is very simple, and the bumper and spoiler are also basic designs. They get the look across, but still appear simple compared to some of the amazing designs we've seen in Speed Champions. You can see the transformation of the staff in how the ends stick out from the front bumper and spoiler.
The jet using the same basic body of the car, although it builds up an enclosed cockpit instead. The fins on the back are more stylized with the hinge bricks, and the wings and nose designs remain simple but work. My favorite feature here is the cloud whisps coming from the engines, almost indicating that this jet is powered by Monkey King staff magic. It's fairly swooshable, so that's good.
The third build is the mech, which puts those limb plates to good use. It sort of resembles the new mechs we're seeing with the Super Hero themes. The body is brick build but the limbs mostly rely on the yellow pieces. One of the hands ends in the ends of the Monkey King staff, while the other merely holds onto the blaster. There are Mixel joints at the ankles, hips, and shoulders, but no movement on the wrists, and of course the knees and elbows are locked into position. It has decent articulation for a mech of this size and can stand modestly well on its own.
Overall, the three vehicles do a good job of blending in the red and yellow color schemes with the occasional gold or teal highlight. All their designs are simple, so the target age is very evident. They also all have empty clips, featured on the back of the racecar and jet and the hands of the mech; these can be used to store Monkie Kid's bow staff while he's operating the vehicles.
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?
There's not a whole lot of typical action features here, but the rebuild concept for the vehicles more than makes up for it. As shown in the images, all three of the vehicles break apart into different chunks. The racecar has the main body, two blocks for the sides, a back spoiler and a front bumper. The jet has a body, a nose, back fins, and two wings. Meanwhile, the mech has the main body that splits at both shoulders and the hips, keeping the two legs together on the same section. Once you've split these apart, now all you have to do is mix and match!
The back of the box showcases three alt builds. The coolest in my opinion is the winged mech, which uses the car side blocks and the wings. The side blocks have both clips and bars, allowing them to be used as extensions. The new "armed" jet takes the mech's two arms and adds the car's bumper to it, while keeping the back finds for aerodynamics. The car gets the leftovers, with the same spoiler but the jet's nose; without the side blocks the vehicle looks a bit sleeker, which helps.
I went ahead and tried a few of my own concepts to further mix and match the pieces. You could add the jet parts to the car and make it a flying machine. Adding the legs to the front of the mech and angling them back give it a more A-Wing spaceship appearance. The winged mech with the tail fins at the bottom is a unique glider design (if somewhat unsafe with the unprotected cockpit.) Then I used the jet's body as the center for a mech and things got weird. But not as weird as when I attached legs to the car and things just got completely out of hand.
Obviously some of the section swaps are going to be more coherent than others. The legs in particular are difficult to use on something besides the mech; attaching them to the car is problematic because hips could slide out of position and hit the wheels. Still, I think this will be fun for kids and allow a certain amount of rebuildable action without having to take the things fully apart. (Which I know is the standard for most things LEGO, but since this is aimed at a younger audience I think it's fine.) I'll be interested to see if they take this concept of swapping out vehicle parts to another theme. (When do we get Galidor 2.0??)
Once it's all said and done, how does the set stack up? Should I get it?
What's to like?
- Useful and new parts
- Fun swapping vehicle designs
- Decent figs
- Cheapest Monkie Kid set, somewhat affordable
What's not to like?
- Simple designs intended for a younger audience
- Not all combinations work together
- New limb pieces don't bend.
I'll admit that this set is not for everybody. Younger fans will probably enjoy the simple vehicle designs and swapping out the parts to quickly make their own jet cars or flying mechs or planes with limbs. Older fans might not be as concerned about those but will probably find the pieces interesting to add to their collection, especially some of the new elements like the teal connectors. Overall, I thought it was fun and captured the creativity of the Monkie Kid theme.
A big thanks to LEGO for providing us this set to review early. Of course, all the thoughts and options here are my own and not endorsed by LEGO. (I mean, do you really think they would've wanted be to add the legs to the car monstrosity that I made?) Make sure to stay tuned for more LEGO and Monkie Kid set review on BZP!
« Return to News