Tuesday, December 31st, 2013 at 11:18am by Andrew, BZPower News Manager
Let's get back to it! LEGO has provided us with a copy of 70809 Lord Business' Evil Lair that I'll be reviewing today. It's a larger set with a lot more to see, and it's also a bigger decision on whether or not to add it to your collection. So what are you waiting for? Continue reading and watching to see if it's something you've got to have!
From the design of the box to the instruction manual, these are the first things you see before building the set.
Once again the box makes it clear that this is a set from The LEGO Movie lineup. There's a lot going on here, with evil villains and heroes and freeze rays and cute kitty cats. It's almost too much to take in, but I'm sure you'll manage. In the lower right we can see that this set comes with an impressive six minifigures plus the adorable Biznis Kitty.
Flipping the box around we see that the set can split into two modular parts, which can certainly help with its play value. Along the bottom some of the action features are highlighted along with an ad for the LEGO Movie videogame.
Half the fun is had building the set. How fun is it to build and how easy or challenging is it?
There are five large, numbered bags on the inside of the box, plus some loose parts and stickers. The instructions break things down for each bag, which certainly makes the build easier. It's still a large undertaking though, and it'll take you a little while to get everything assembled. There's some cool techniques like SNOT that the designers were able to sneak in to spice things up a bit, but nothing most of us will have any problems with.
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 evil lair is made up of mostly light grey, black, and white bricks, slopes, and plates. There's plenty of accent pieces to spice things up, from transparent plates to columns to clips to Techinc bits. It's certainly a good variety, but it doesn't feel like a good parts pack for any particular type of piece.
A lot of the new and interesting parts are limited to the minifigures. Lord Business alone gets four new moulds with his hair, helmet, armor, and pants. Most of Biznis Kitty's parts aren't new, but I don't think I've ever seen an arch piece with printing on three sides before, and the tail is interesting if not that useful elsewhere. The 1x1 square and round plates in pastel colors are a nice addition too. Other standouts include the 2x2 round tile with a hole in it, 1x1 round plate with a hole, the new 1x4 by 1x4 modified plate, and the transparent clear minifig base. There's some useful curved slopes and other assortment of parts scattered throughout as well.
Once you get everything together you really end up with a substantial playset. There's three main sections - the 'Where Are My Pants?' film set, the board room and 'cryo chamber,' and the krazy glue freeze ray.
The film set is definitely the simplest, but has some really great details like the lights on the rafter, the camera, and the sofa. The couch is really well built and uses SNOT to good effect.
I like the board room's table and chairs - it uses a Technic base to attach them all together and allow the chairs to swivel. The sales chart sticker is a nice touch and fits perfectly. Above that are the 'cryo chambers.' I have no idea if that's what they really are, but I imagine we'll find out in February. There's some really cool techniques here including some SNOT to flip the arch pieces upside down and Technic beams to hold it all together.
Finally, the largest section is the krazy glue freeze ray. Starting at the top, I think the tube of krazy glue is absolutely perfect and using a flick-fire missile as the nozzle is the best use of that piece in a LEGO set that I've seen. The claw mechanism to hold and squeeze it works well too. Below that appears to be some kind of stage, with SNOT curtains and a little railing made of skeleton feet (creepy!). A suction tube on the end of the glue bottle takes the glue away, possibly to the cryo chambers or to the freeze ray below. The ionic-style columns look really awesome and the choice of white really contrasts with the ominous black doors in between them. Though not shown in the pictures above, out of those doors will pop some sort of eye or laser beam or freeze ray or something. Whatever it is, it looks pretty cool. Finally, there's a big 9 Volt battery off to one side which I'm assuming powers the whole contraption. It captures the look perfectly and is really well done.
All together, I feel like the set has enough cohesion and common design aesthetics to make it work pretty well. While it's not huge, there's enough in here to keep you occupied and definitely feel like you got something for your hard-earned cash.
First we're going to look at the side characters, El Macho Wrestler, Ma Cop, and Pa Cop - they're a great supporting cast. The wrestler has printing on the front and back of his torso and on his legs, but obviously no alt-face. He also has a nice white cape. If you're making your own WWE arena, this print could come in handy I suppose.
Ma and Pa Cop both have plain black legs and no printing on their backs. While simple, the printing on their fronts is well done and certainly reusable. They both have good 'old people' faces with one side looking happy and the other being filled with fear. I don't believe either hair piece is new, but they're both pretty nice.
President Business, Vitruvius, and Emmet are probably the stars of the show here. Mr. Business sports a simple grey suit with no back or leg printing. He has an angry face with a unibrow on one side, and the other looks like a gaping maw of evil or perhaps a really bad haircut - I'm pretty sure it's related to his alter ego Lord Business. He's got a nice hair piece that's blocky and looks as if it's made of LEGO bricks.
Vitruvius seems like a mix between a deity and a hippie. His long white hair and beard are both tied into ponytails and are great new pieces. He also has a blue cape that sparkles on the inside. Once you remove those though you see his white robe is tattered with little tassels on the end and underneath he has a tie-dye shirt, a pair of blue jeans, and some green shoes with polka dots. He has two faces, both of which feature big white eyes with no irises or pupils that kind of freak me out. But it's Morgan Freeman's character, so I'm sure it will all be fine.
I don't think there's much more to say about Emmet by now - I suggest reading our earlier LEGO Movie reviews to see what we have to say there. He's wearing a construction uniform, has new hair, and a backpack with a 1x1x2 brick on it.
Biznis Kitty if probably my favorite minifig in this set, mainly because she's the most unique (and also because she's voiced by Alison Brie). You get some 1x1 plates in rare colors, plus two printed pink bricks. And how can you say no to those eyes? The tail and unicorn horn complete the piece and I'm not sure what more there is to say.
When President Business gets mad (or something) he turns into the evil Lord Business. I was disappointed that his helmet is mostly one piece except for the cups and trans-yellow plate. I believe his armor is new and sports a tie pattern because business. His legs are rather comical, although it's important to note the the black pieces are permanently attached to that set of dark grey minifig legs (there's a separate set of normal legs as seen above). I was also disappointed by this as those would be some really awesome slope pieces to add to a collection. His cape is also shaped like a tie to complete the business look. Despite the couple of let-downs, it's still a comically funny figure.
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 are two main play features on this set. First, when you push a Technic piece on the back, the doors open and a freeze ray/eye/power source pops out. It works really well, but it might have been nice if rubber bands had been used to make it retract automatically. The second feature is a trap door that falls down when you pull the balcony forward. It's super effective and anything standing on it will certainly fall.
The features above and all the little details really make it great for role-playing. Even though we won't see the movie until February 7th, we can still create our own stories with this set. With a bunch of minifigs and the lair as a backdrop, you can keep guessing at what's actually going to happen. I'm hoping Morgan Freeman kicks Will Ferrell's butt, personally. We'll find out in February!
Once it's all said and done, how does the set stack up? Should I get it?
What's to like?
- Great selection of minifigs
- Enjoyable play features
- Great use of flick-fire missile piece
- Wide variety of bricks, plates, slopes, and curves
What's not to like?
- Lord Business' legs and helmet are one piece
- The movie isn't out yet
While $70 is a lot for a set, you do get six minifigures plus Biznis Kitty and over seven hundred pieces, so that strikes me as a good deal. I had a lot of fun building it and playing with it. Though it might not stay together for too long, the pieces will definitely help flesh out my collection. Plus it's the only way to get Vitruvius, and who doesn't want Morgan Freeman in minifigure form?
I hope you all enjoyed watching and reading this review - thanks again to LEGO for sending us the set so it could happen! Be sure to leave any questions and feedback you might have in the Talkback. And don't forget to keep checking back on BZPower for more LEGO Movie set reviews and LEGO news!
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