Monday, December 30th, 2013 at 6:38pm by Andrew, BZPower News Manager
It's time to look at another set from the upcoming LEGO Movie, courtesy of LEGO itself. The second-smallest in the line, 70801 Melting Room will be the subject of discussion in this review. If you're interested to see what makes this set tick, read and watch on!
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 lets you know that this set is from The LEGO Movie. Once you get past the logo, you can see Emmet chained to some sort of operating table while a laser gets ready to fire, most likely to melt him. Thankfully, it seems that Wyldstyle is here to save the day. In the lower right we see those two figs called out along with Robo SWAT.
The back of the box sees our intrepid heroes in the midst of an escape orchestrated by Wyldstyle. Below that the box calls out that the table goes up and down and that there's a little rack for the handcuffs and the axe - an odd combination if you ask me. Finally there's an ad for The LEGO Movie Videogame - the inevitable tie in.
Half the fun is had building the set. How fun is it to build and how easy or challenging is it?
With only 122 pieces, this set won't keep you occupied for too long. The operating table and the laser do have some interesting techniques to keep you from getting too bored at least, but you're getting this more for the play features than the building.
Now that the set is complete, we can critique how it looks from every angle. New or interesting pieces can also be examined here.
Black and dark and light grey are the main colors here, and you get a variety of plates, clips, grills, slopes and more in those hues. There's also a surprising amount of Technic pins, gears, and axles for such a small set - a welcome addition to be sure. The transparent plates in red, orange and yellow make for good highlights to round things out.
These pieces are some of the highlights to me. The 1x1x2 brick with a hole on the side is still my favorite - and I can't wait to see how people use it. Also new for 2014 is the 1x4 by 1x4 angled plate which we first saw in the Ninjago sets this year that also has a lot of potential. The gun is new for the LEGO Movie sets I believe, and the clip on top is sure to give it plenty of use. The rest are just cool or recolors, apart from the minifig gear, which I'll discuss a little further down.
Unlike the similarly-priced Getaway Glider, the Melting Room is a playset as opposed to a vehicle. It features a central platform with an attached, moveable laser, and a side platform to hold handcuffs and weapons. It's simple, but effective.
The operating table is well done - it's built on a turntable so it can spin 360 degrees and has a little Technic function so it can lay flat or be tilted upwards. The 1x2 modified tile allows a minifig to be placed on the table securely, and the chains make sure he won't go anywhere. It definitely looks like something out of a mad scientist's laboratory.
The other main piece of this set is the melting laser. It's connected via a hinge that allows it to pivot into position to melt whatever happens to be on the table. It has a control panel, red warning lights, and conduit to transfer power - all the things you'd expect. It's a simple build yet it captures the feel of a pulp sci-fi weapon.
Emmet appears in more sets than you can shake a stick at, and is no different here than he was in 70800 Glider Getaway. I like the smirk and the screaming face, and the new hair piece with the cowlick is a nice addition to any collection. The construction uniform is certainly useful for City MOCs and has printing on the legs and front and back of the torso.
Wyldstyle shows up in at least three sets, but I think this is the only one with her hood on. The hood is a rubbery piece (likely out of China) and has some of her hair printed on it. It's a pretty sweet piece and I almost wish it wasn't printed so it could be more easily reused. She also has two faces - an angry one and another that I'll call 'flirty.' In addition to the awesome printing on the front and back of her torso, her right arm also has a blue and magenta design. Her legs are printed too, completing the package.
Rounding out the set is Robo SWAT, the enemy of the set. I don't know if the hat is a new mold, but the printing makes it unique even if it isn't, and regardless, I really like the design. The head has the same design as Deputron with the Cylon-esque eye. The rest of the body is patterned after a cool-looking SWAT team uniform, with very detailed printing on the front, back, and legs. You can easily swap the head and hands out to make a human SWAT police officer, which makes it a very useful design.
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?
I hinted at the main play features before - the operating table spins and tilts, and the laser pivots and lowers, allowing a lot of different positions to melt minifigs with. I definitely feel like they packed a lot into such a small set.
Where the action features end, the imagination begins. There's tons of scenarios these three characters might find themselves in. Is it Emmet on the table, or is Wyldstyle about to get melted? Maybe they teamed up and turned the tables on the Robo SWAT and he's facing his demise. Maybe you can use the control panel to turn the table into a catapult to launch Emmet to safety. The sky is the limit!
Once it's all said and done, how does the set stack up? Should I get it?
What's to like?
- Cool minifigure designs and parts
- Lots of playability
- Wide variety of plates, clips, and slopes
- Good perceived value
What's not to like?
I really enjoy this set and think I may bring it in to work to put on my desk. The set designers managed to cram a lot of playability into a $12.99 set, and it definitely shows. Plus, you get the two protagonists in the cheapest set they both appear in. If you want a taste of the LEGO Movie theme without doling out the dough, this is a great choice. If you're hard set on getting all the variants of the major characters you'll need to pick this one up too.
I hope you enjoyed reading and watching this review - thanks for sticking through to the end. And a big thanks to LEGO for sending us the set! As usual, questions and comments can go in the Talkback. Keep checking back on BZPower for more LEGO Movie set reviews and LEGO news!
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