Saturday, July 29th, 2023 at 4:19am by Jason, BZPower Reporter
From the design of the box to the instruction manual, these are the first things you see before building the set.
I was super excited when I heard that new Indiana Jones sets were coming out. In part it was Indiana Jones that got me back into collecting system sets back in the day, so I have a certain fondness for the theme. I didn't get the first iteration of the Lost Tomb, so I jumped to get this one. It's got Indy, it's got Sallah for the first time, it's got new Anubis statues, and it's got a Kaukau Easter egg! What more could you ask for??
The set goes for $39.99 USD and contains 600 pieces.
What kinds of interesting pieces are included with the set? What are the minifigures like?
You get four figures here. An updated Indiana Jones, a new Marion Ravenwood, Sallah for the first time, and a Mummy. Marion has a nice dress print and makes use of a different hair piece than last time. She's still under-dressed for archeology, but it fits the film. Sallah has a vest design and a happy face; he's fairly simple, but it's great to have his character finally in fig form. (Especially since he was an important character in the video games.) And, of course, it's always great to get another John Rhys-Davies fig. Next up, LEGO has done a lot of mummies before, but this one is very corpse-y with fairly loose bandages. (Still, he's got muscles and hips to him, so mummification must've treated him well.) And then you have the new Indiana Jones...
I'll be honest, for me at least something felt off about this new guy, but it's hard for me to put my finger on. Side by side with the original fig, you can see they are quite similar. The torso and legs are not exact matches but awfully close, and the satchel and whip elements remain the same even after 16 years. The hat did get a significant upgrade, with extra printing of the strap and the inclusion of hair, and this is nice. But something about the new face is just off to me. I think it has to do with the proportions. On the new one, the stubble is thicker, which raises the mouth up higher. The eyes remain about the same size, but are slightly closer together and closer to the upper stubble, leaving no room for where the nose should be. Maybe it's just because I had a lot of nostalgia for the original, but I'm sorry, the new head just looks off. I think I'll stick to the classic fig for now. (Well, I'll swap out the hat, the new hat is cool.)
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 set is a floor and a wall. There's more to it, obviously, but that's what it really boils down to. The main layout is mostly flat and unremarkable, just a few stacked plates with some snakes slapped on. Meanwhile, you spend the majority of the time building the wall. It's a nice wall, which includes lots of colors, various gaps in the rock, and some built in features. But it's a big wall in the end. (And given that this is supposed to be an enclosed room they're trying to escape from, the lack of the other three walls is concerning... at least until you consider how much they'd hinder play.)
There is a little arch build next to the stand for the Arc of the Covenant. The bright light orange adds a nice splash of color to the set, although it's clearly supposed to be a stand in for gold. The few gold pieces are limited to the Arc itself, which is also made up of a 2x4 bright light orange brick with stickers on the side. There are a lot of stickers on this set, which are placed on tiles and wall panels and the sides of bricks. I'd be a bit annoyed with them, but the inclusion of all the Easter eggs makes them tolerable. The wall panel has an alien head and a Kaukau print on it, highlighting two other LEGO themes. The arch also shows off C3PO and R2D2, an Easter egg straight from the film itself. The coffin tiles are also reminiscent of the old LEGO mold from their previous Egypt themes, Pharaoh's Quest and Adventurers.
The floor of the tomb is scatter with dark green and dark blue snakes, which are both new colors. But better yet are the Anubis statues, which are certainly the highlight of the set. They're a bit updated from the 2007 statues, built in miniland scale. They have a very solid build with some SNOT work and a few good stickers to add in cloth designs. The head shapes in particular work quite well at this scale, and I can't help but be impressed by the black dome tiles that make up their abs. There's no articulation in either of them, since they're supposed to be static statues, but they still look great.
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?
While the whole of the set may seem a little bland as a floor with a wall, that's probably because a lot of effort was put into the play features. First up is the gap on the left side of the wall. Behind it is a compartment to store a snake, and if you lift up the lever you can send the snake shooting out of the wall to fall on an unsuspecting fig.
Next are the Anubis statues. Both of them are on freely rotating turntables, which is a bit awkward when trying to position them because they easily move around. But the right Anubis has a tipping lever, and it can fall back into the wall which then collapses down. The turntable helps that if the Anubis is facing at an angle, when it falls it with rotate to hit the wall on its back. (And the gap at the top of the wall also accommodates it's extra wide arms.) Toppling it over is a seamless action that works great. Unfortunately, it is quite easy to knock over, especially if you want to move the set around and play with other elements of it. It's a shame there's not a lock feature included.
Finally, on the back, there's the Mummy surprise. After crashing through the wall, another lever can be pulled and the Mummy will flip down. It's a classic LEGO Adventurers trick, but it does take up a lot of space in the back, which is odd. For display purposes, it really just gets in the way. But if you're a kid, it's nice to have yet another scene to recreate.
Once it's all said and done, how does the set stack up? Should I get it?
What's to like?
- Finally a Sallah fig
- Lots of fun Easter Eggs in the stickers, like the Kaukau
- Anubis statues are well done
- Statue toppling feature very seamless
- Lots of scenes to play through
What's not to like?
- The new Indy fig is not as good as the original
- Most of the build is just a big wall, kinda boring
- Statue toppling feature falls over too easily
- Mummy surprise in the back feels tacked on
I might not be a fan of the updated Indy fig, but I can't deny that the set does a good job at recreating the iconic scenes from the movie. And you still get a good amount of parts and figs for only $40, so it's a pretty good deal for its contents too. I don't think its display value is the best of the sets released, but it's packed with play features to make it a worthy toy for a younger audience. I think it's worth it for the Sallah fig, the Anubis statues, and of course the sticker with the Kaukau.
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