From the design of the box to the instruction manual, these are the first things you see before building the set.
Ah, the desert. Something about it inspires adventure. Perhaps it's the survival aspect of it. Anyway, the box pulls off the desert background very nicely, and the action of a bunch of cavalry men attempting to catch bandits gives off the Wild West feel. Also, the back of the box has alternate models, which LEGO doesn't do anymore and is something that I personally miss a lot from the newer sets. The large set also has the flap on top which opens to reveal the interior of the box. The plastic/cardboard sheet inside was used to preview minifigs and/or exclusive/unique pieces, but seeing as mine was used, this is not the case here.
Half the fun is had building the set. How fun is it to build and how easy or challenging is it?
This set is rather ridiculous with the space its pieces take up, so I couldn't organize them completely. There are 668 pieces total, which makes for a mild build. I think I built it up within an hour, since the build isn't terribly difficult. Also, I couldn't help but hear Gerudo Valley in my head as I was building. I can't imagine why.
Now that the set is complete, we can critique how it looks from every angle. New or interesting pieces can also be examined here.
There are four 16×32 baseplates in this set (no, I'm not kidding), so the build is split up into four parts. First, let's look at the entrance. the entrance:
The entrance is pretty...entrancey. The watchtowers are cool, even though (as seen from the back) they have no ladders to lead up to them, so one must wonder how a guard could get up there to look out from there. The doors are barricaded from the inside with a bar made from a 1×10 plate and two 1×2 hinge pieces, as are the other doors on this set. It's pretty cool how they designed that (it is a fort, after all).
Now, the walls:
The first wall is rather nondescript. Just a guard wall with a ladder leading up to the top.
The second wall has a little more going on. There's a side entrance and a rock wall made with, which I recently found out is called, a Big Ugly Rock Piece (BURP). The cactus at the bottom of the wall hides a cache of coins. This wall also has an actual tower on it to place a sentry in, which is cool. We also have a flag like the one at the entrance adorning the tower.
The final part of the set is headquarters:
This is my favorite part of the set, as it actually has something going on other than being a wall. The headquarters reminds me of the Hydeout in the Borscht Bowl Club from the first case of Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney. It has its secrets, like the hiding place in the chimney behind the fireplace.
Or the spinning table that sends the bandit or cavalry member to the prison/floor below.
Here, you can see the Colonel and Dewey Cheatum (no, I did not make that name up) playing at the aforementioned table. Rotate the table counter-clockwise, and Dewey ends up doing time for the vast number of card-based crimes he's committed.
The room is accessed by its minifig regulars by a set of stairs that can also be found in the LEGO Studios Vampire Crypt, along with others.
Now that we've covered the set itself, let's go over the minifigures:
There are two factions. Let's first go over the bandits.
From left to right, we have Black Bart, Flatfoot Thompson, and (*sigh*) Dewey Cheatum. Of all the figs, I think Dewey's is the coolest. His playing cards style vest and top hat clash a lot with his nasty gold-toothed scowl. It's as though class and hillbilly merged. Flatfoot Tom has a great western villain face, and Black Bart always struck me as the muscle of the gang.
The cavalry contains three soldiers, two lieutenants, and the colonel (whose face somewhat resembles that of the LEGO Chess king). Since this set is the headquarters of the cavalry, it contains the largest number of their figures, which is definitely a plus for this set.
This set does not contain the sheriff (but Sheriff's Lock-Up does, and I hope to find a good one soon...), but it does contain his deputy. He has a white hat and hair and a sweet cowboy vest. Not much else to say about him; however, he looks to me like he's always chill about everything, even if a gunfight were to start.
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?
Other than the doors opening and closing and the table trap that leads to the prison, there isn't really that much functionality with this set, which disappoints me a little bit. However, this set is a great setting for a western adventure, so while there isn't much to do with the set, there is a lot that someone could come up with at the set.
Once it's all said and done, how does the set stack up? Should I get it?
This set, being a very nostalgic set, is quite pricey. If you can find this set for less than $100 and you want this set, grab it. I understand why it's so loved, but I personally wouldn't place it as more important than, say, Pharaoh's Forbidden Ruins or Night Lord's Castle.
What's to like?
- Many minifigs
- Classic theme
What's not to like?
- Not much functionality