Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Cloud Cuckoo Palace (70803) Review

With a huge number of launch sets for The LEGO Movie, picking a first purchase was a relatively tricky decision. But one set seemed to combine the key ingredients of a low price point, featuring main character mini-figures and looking unlike any other LEGO set on the market. So here’s a look at Cloud Cuckoo Palace (70803).

The build for this set is straightforward and even the intended audience won’t find it takes too long to put it together. Once the build is complete it makes a satisfying enough environment - obviously it isn’t a full ‘palace’ – but there’s enough there to give some context to the mini-figures. It’s also hard to judge this set with no reference to compare the set to (no major spoilers here!).

The eclectic colour scheme is fantastic. The different pinks, greens and blues make this one of the most varied coloured LEGO sets available. It stands out on a shelf significantly, like some trippy dream world. There is something great about the design that brings a smile to the face just by looking at the finished set, with its jolly sun and swirling circles. Speaking of those pieces, there are no stickers in this set, only printed bricks (come on LEGO, let’s make that common across all themes).

The mini-figures and characters are absolutely brilliant. Emmet has the best surprise, with no white dots in his eyes! They are pure black! What a nice treat for long term LEGO fans. Emmet’s construction worker outfit is suitably similar to the standard LEGO worker, but is also different enough that he is clearly an individual. Wyldstyle has a very detailed mini-figure with a cool hood piece. The Executron rounds out the mini-figures and there are no complaints with him. Unikitty is brick built with a cool and wacky design, and the snail has a simply but clever build. Those eye tile pieces for the snail could be very useful.

As a parts pack this set proves good in terms of colour scheme, talented MOC’ers can get some colours here that are not commonly popping up in standard release sets. The colours and wacky design are certainly what stand out most about this set. The last time something this eclectic was released by LEGO was probably Time Cruisers, it’s nice to see the creativity let loose to this extent (even though presumably it was movie designers who really came up with the concept?!).

If these rest of The LEGO Movie sets turn out to be this much fun then the theme will be a real treat. It’s a strange postmodern idea that these are toys based on a film that is based on the toys, but it seems to have led to a wonderfully bizarre world. Especially for those collectors who have been on the LEGO scene for many years, this set is a breath of fresh air, one that really stands out and touches the inner child. 

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