Wednesday, January 3rd, 2018 at 11:05pm by Benjamin, BZPower Reporter
The city may be the urban jungle, but LEGO City just went to the outskirts of town, and then kept going! There was adventure and treasure to be found among the trees and vines, and plenty of trouble too. LEGO City went to the jungle! Today we review a larger portion of the expedition, with dangers around every turn. The Jungle Exploration Site gives us plenty of minifigs, some wild animals, and some clever play features, but is is oversized enough for even the fearless adventurer? Read, and watch, on to find out!
First, a big thank you to LEGO for providing the set so I can share my opinions on it. This is one of the largest City sets of the year, containing 813 pieces and retailing at $120 USD. That comes out to almost 15 cents a piece, well above the preferred average. There are some large pieces in this set along with some new animal and plant molds, and we will discuss if the worth is offset by that.
From the design of the box to the instruction manual, these are the first things you see before building the set.
This is a nice big box that shows off the set features very well. From all the vehicles and minifigs to the animals and traps, all the details show a complete adventurous scene. The top of the box shows off a few of these features as well as all the minifigs. The back of the box goes into more detail with the vehicles, animals, and environment. Usually the back shows off three or four features, but here we get a dozen panels that barely scratch the surface of the play options this set gives!
Half the fun is had building the set. How fun is it to build and how easy or challenging is it?
The set starts out strong with some vehicles. Wheels, propellers, and extra bits of fun let the builder start moving things around on the ground and in the air before the true danger even shows up! They are pretty sturdy vehicles, based around studs-up builds. The helicopter gets a few more Technic details than the small buggy, and the off-road truck ups the game with extra beams, attachments, and specialized parts.
Once the vehicles are built, it is time to go exploring. The jungle is assembled through several steps, including some rocky terrain, a rapid river, and an ancient temple. There is also an ominous plane crash with more than a few dangers in and around its crash site.
All together, they form a complete excavation site for our daring city dwellers to explore.
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 all sorts of new and interesting pieces within this set. My favorite is the man-sized carnivorous plant, but following that I especially appreciate all the parts in Keetorange that we get. We've been seeing this pop up more and more since Chima started using it, and I can't get enough. We also get a few animals, a few printed parts, and some large pieces like plates and rocks. The leopard is another favorite, with the mold appearing in a few Jungle City sets as different animals.
The plane crash site is set snug on top of a rock, and has some treasure in its cabin and a snake too! The temple looks like a face complete with eyes, teeth, and hair, which should look inviting and not at all spooky when trying to grab the treasure.
The helicopter is water-ready and equipped for an air evacuation with its hook, whether that be for treasure or explorers is up to you. The little buggy has space in the back for cargo as well as a few useful tools in case its six wheels are not enough for roving through the jungle. And finally the truck looks like it was made for adventure. Aside from being very sturdy, it is well equipped for passengers and their needs. The kayak is up top and a motorcycle is in the back. The additionally machete and pickax on the sides show this is ready for business.
Some final accessories include a gator, campfire and stove, and the previously mentioned carnivorous plant. Always welcome additions to completing the scene.
The minifigs are equipped with all sorts of gear. I assembled them here as the instructions showed when taking them out of the bags, but as you can see on the box art the different accessories can certainly be mixed and matched for whatever tasks you have your explorers taking part in.
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 plenty of traps and thrills for the explorers! The leopard is hiding behind the spider web under the plane, but a quick snap of a switch in the back and it can pounce out of its cave onto an unsuspecting minifig! Above the temple, a boulder can fall down in a landslide. With another switch under the temple, an explorer might find themselves falling through a trap door into a river. The same river a kayaking minifig might be paddling down. My only gripe is the river is a bit short, but does provide the general idea.
The final trap is the plant's mouth snapping function, currently hiding a spider, which is just so cool.
Once it's all said and done, how does the set stack up? Should I get it?
What's to like?
Cool animal/plant parts!
Lots of playability. Clever traps.
Cool and sturdy vehicles.
Lots for the minifigs to do.
What's not to like?
Price to piece ratio fairly steep.
River/water awfully short.
The Jungle Exploration Site does a very good job providing a jungle site to explore. The minifigs are all ready to see the sights and get in a little bit of danger, and find danger they do! From the plants to the animals and then to the traps of the forest itself, these explorers are going to have plenty to see. The play features are clever, especially in the design of the temple. The vehicles also give plenty to do and provide impressive builds to round out the set. The price is a concern, but if found on sale this set has lots to provide at a more suitable price. Overall, it is a solid set which greatly adds to the jungle exploration theme.