The Croc Swamp Hideout 70014 is one of the Lego Chima sets released in August 2013, it contains 647 pieces and retails for $69.99. The set is currently available on Amazon. Below is my review of the set.
- An above average selection of olive green and earth-toned parts
- Decent number of play features
- No unique parts or minifigs (unique means exclusive to the set)
- Not a good-looking model to display
This set is clearly meant to be a playset and has little value outside of this. It has a variety of play features as I’ve shown in the video, but most of them are standard except the rapid-fire shooter, which I think is the most well-designed functional feature of this set. The other aspects of the set are not so appealing, especially the lack of unique minifigs for one of the largest Chima sets. As for builders, there aren’t any unique pieces to the set. Taken together with the minifigs, this set seems like a remix of existing Lego parts and figures, which doesn’t add much to the its novelty. I would not recommend buying this set at retail price unless someone really wants a croc base to play with.
The Lego Star Wars AT-TE was released in August 2013 and contains 794 pieces. It retails for $89.99 and is available on Amazon. Below is a brief video review and my remarks regarding the set.
- Has a handle to pick up the model, fits with the dropship if you have one from years ago.
- Includes 4 unique minifigures
- No extraordinary play features besides standard adjustable legs and cannons
- Not significantly different from the 2008 version of the AT-TE
This is a set of a popular model from the Clone Wars, so it’s no surprise that it’s also the 3rd time LEGO produced the set. Unfortunately it does not have significant play features or include many minifigures. However, fans of the series will probably still be interested in obtaining a copy as it make for a decent display model. If you’re a builder, then this set does not have much to offer in terms of part variety besides the standard grey parts. Overall, I don’t recommend getting this set at MSRP, but Amazon currently has it for 25% off, which I think is an acceptable price to buy it at.
The Lord of the Rings Pirate Ship Ambush set came out last August. It retails for $99.99 and is available on Amazon. Below is a brief video review and my remarks regarding the set.
- A good lineup of minifigs including 4 that are exclusive to the set
- Include unique elements such as the cloth sails, dark bley wings, and 14 printed shields
- High price-per-piece ratio
- A pretty straightforward model, no real surprises in buildings techniques or play features
This set has a decent balance of minifigures, parts, play and display value that will suit fans with different plans for what to do with it. Surprisingly there are no spring-loaded cannons in this set, and the flick-fire missiles are not a good substitute. The major drawback is the heavy price tag. Around the holidays last year many people were able to buy this set for 40-50% off from retailers like Amazon and Target. If you don’t have this set and want it, it’s probably better to wait for a while for another round of discounts.
The Lego Star Wars Corporate Alliance Tank Droid was released in August 2013 and contains 295 pieces. It retails for $19.99 and is available on Amazon. Below is a brief video review and my remarks regarding the set.
The tank droid is a decent Star Wars set. It contains 60 tread pieces, which is the best way to get them other than Bricklink. Jango Fett is the only unique minifig in this set. Unlike the previous version of LEGO’s tank droid that retails for $25, the new version costs less and includes more parts. The only drawback is the lack of printed dish part, but an unprinted piece will provide more options for building. This is a good pickup especially when it is on sale.
The Lego Star Wars Homing Spider Droid was released in August 2013 and contains 295 pieces. It retails for $29.99 and is available on Amazon. Below is a brief video review and my remarks regarding the set.
There’s not much to be said about this model and it’s a very straightforward build. There’s only one unique minifigure, Stass Allie, and 3 are generic figures for army-building. The droid itself has flimsy legs as shown in the video and needs to be repositioned each time you pick it up. The head rotates, and that’s the most prominent play feature. Unfortunately there aren’t a lot of interesting parts to make up for its other deficits. Overall, this is a filler in an army of battle droids.
Lego Batman The Penguin Faceoff is one of the Lego Super Heroes sets released in March 2014. It retails for $12.99 and is available on Amazon. Below is a brief video review and my remarks regarding the set.
This is a wonderfully unique set for the Lego Super Heroes line. It includes a beautifully designed scuba Batman whose head can be used in custom sci-fi minifigs. The variety of individual models and above-average number of parts makes it fun for the kids and useful to builders. The unique minifigs from this set will help boost its collection value. It’s overall a great set.
Lego Star Wars General Grievous’ Wheel Bike is one of the new Star Wars sets released in March 2014. This set retails for $24.99 and is available on Amazon. Below is a brief video review and my remarks regarding the set.
- Low price-per-piece ratio for a Star Wars set
- Both minifigs are unique to the set
- Includes 17 sand blue cheese slopes
- Wheel bike is sturdy and can be rolled
- Despite having lots of parts, the finished model is rather small
This is well-rounded set in terms of minifigs, parts, looks, and playability. The model captures the gritty look of General Grievous’ wheel bike yet rolls easily. The parts selection is average, but the high parts count helps sell the set to builders. The new white version of General Grievous will surely be popular and is guaranteed to be popular among collectors. It’s one of the best Star Wars sets in the low-medium price range.
Lego Star Wars Vulture Droid is one of the new Star Wars sets released in March 2014. This set retails for $24.99 and is available on Amazon. Below is a brief video review and my remarks regarding the set.
- Includes two spring-loaded shooters
- All 10 sand blue parts are unique to this set.
- First minifig-scaled vulture droid by LEGO, and a pilot droid fits inside the cockpit
- Only one unique minifig
- High price-per-piece ratio
After 3 renditions of the vulture droid, LEGO finally made one to minifig scale. It features a sturdy and simple transformation feature and can hold a pilot droid. The spring loaded launchers add great playability to the model. Unfortunately there aren’t notable minifigs in this set if you’re looking for non-generic characters from the Star Wars universe. As a parts pack, it is not the best due to the higher than average price-per-piece ratio. There are a few sand blue parts, but they can be obtained on Bricklink once they become more prevalent.
The Lego Star Wars Battle on Saleucami is one of the new Star Wars sets released in March 2014. This set retails for $14.99 and is available on Amazon. Below is a brief video review and my remarks regarding the set.
- Includes a unique BARC trooper, 3 olive green grass stems, and a spring-loaded launcher
- The set is built like a target practice range, and it’s fun to shoot at the droids
- Comes with only one unique minifig
This set is essentially an upgraded battle pack with the added feature of a target practice playset. This is currently the cheapest set to get the spring-loaded shooter, which is one of the coolest bricks that Lego has released. The speeder is well-designed with the skis/fins contributing to the more dynamic look of the model. The olive green grass stems are exclusive to this set, and it’s useful in many creations that need foliage. If only the set had more than one unique minifig, then it would make this a true gem. Nevertheless I still highly recommend this set both for the great play feature and useful parts.
Doc Ock Truck Heist is one of the Lego Super Heroes sets released in March 2014. It retails for $19.99 and is available on Amazon. Below is a brief video review and my remarks regarding the set.
- The exploding safes is an interesting play feature
- The design for the armored truck is decent and includes a unique green train window
- Besides Doc Ock, the other minifigures are not unique to the set
- Spider Man’s web catapult does not work
This set has the potential for higher marks from me, but the lack of more than one unique minifig and the default suboptimal design of the play features are setbacks. In order for the exploding safes to eject from the truck, you’ll have to switch to frictionless technic pins as I’ve shown in the video. There is unfortunately no fix for the web catapult, so it should just be regarded as decoration. Otherwise, I like the design of the truck despite an overall average selection of parts. Judging from trends on other older Super Heroes sets, I expect Amazon will have discount the set by about 25% after several months when fall is here.