Here’s the second of the sets I picked up on Friday, 9461 The Swamp Creature, from the new Monster Fighters line. Given that this is such a small set, with only 70 pieces, this will be a short review. The Monster Fighters theme looks fantastic as a whole, though, with lots of classic movie spooks getting a bit of showtime.
This is a simple set, with one of the Monster Fighter heroes riding an airboat, and the Swamp Creature protecting his little spot of terrain. The box is nothing special, though nicely designed. The back includes a little comic showing the Swamp Creature giving–or perhaps being forced to give, as he doesn’t look too happy about it–his green swamp crystal, one of six rainbowed crystals, to the Vampyre Lord, presumably to activate some nefarious device which is included with 9468 Vampyre Castle. Inside the box are two little baggies, and the instructions, comparable to any other similarly sized set. Oddly the instructions include no advertisement for the rest of the sets in the Monster Fighters line.
The build is quite simple, with no surprises. The airboat is nearly identical to many others that have been produced by LEGO, except that this one is armed with flick-fire missiles, which I’m still unimpressed by. The little square of swamp is about as simple as it gets, but you can’t expect too much from a set this size. The inclusion of a frog is always nice, but I’m not sure if the fish is dead, or just kept swimming away, because he’s clipped to the base.
Clearly the highlight here are the minifigs, which are terrific. The Swamp Creature is a lovely design, obviously imitating the infamous Creature from the Black Lagoon. I really like that LEGO has gone the extra step and included printing on the creature’s head that isn’t even visible with the fishy headpiece in place. Similarly, the hunter (Jack? He looks like a Jack to me) has a great torso print of a leather bomber jacket overtop a dirty white tee. Nicely enough, both figs have back and leg printing. I’m thinking that LEGO is realizing that minifigs are a huge selling point in their sets, and we all love super detailed figs. So I’m guessing that detailed front and rear prints and leg printing is going to become the rule, rather than the exception, with sets from here on out. The Swamp Creature is pretty sparse on new pieces, aside from the aforementioned crystal, and the Creature’s headpiece. A quick Bricklink search tells me that the propeller, which was new to me, has actually been around for a while. Of most interest to me was Jack’s leg piece, which is in the new olive green color. It’s basically a greenish shade of dark tan, and is really going to be a fantastic color for both foliage and military models.
All in all, it’s a fun little set, but with Jack and the green crystal included in other sets in the Monster Fighters line, the Swamp Creature is the only thing really unique to this set.