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Set Review: 70002 Lennox' Lion Attack


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Time for another set review! Sharing some insight on the Chima line, BZPower Forum Assistant Nuju Metru takes a look at 70002 Lennox' Lion Attack. What goes into this ferocious ATV set, and is it worth your while to pick it up? Why don't you read on to find out?

Presentation
From the design of the box to the instruction manual, these are the first things you see before building the set.

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Ever since I saw pictures of them, I've thought that the Legends of Chima boxes were quite attractive in a design sense. The box of Lennox' Lion Attack (henceforth abbreviated as LLA, for my convenience) reinforces that opinion. The theme's distinctive logo rests on a dappled blue backdrop, and some blue energy flows from the Chi dotting the letter "I" into the eye of an enlarged Lennox artwork. Against a speed-blurred Chimascape below, we can see the Lion Attack Vehicle, a 4x4 ATV, rushing after a crocodile on foot with a heavy-looking gun and a crystal of the magical Chi, the energy source in Chima and the root of the conflict in their universe. I didn't really think about it until now, but it doesn't make much sense that a crocodile on foot carrying something heavy should be able to outrun anything, let alone a juiced-up Lion ATV...

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The back of the box, as is typical, is occupied with several smaller images of the set that showcase its functions and playability. The eye is drawn first to the top right corner, where our characters, the lion Lennox and the crocodile Crug - awesome alliteration - are both lunging for a sphere of Chi. Below them is a collection of story-telling images, maybe intended as a loose comic, that show us Crug stealing Lennox' Chi and running away with it before Lennox runs him down, gets out of his tricked-out ride, and socks Crug right in the kisser to take back his property (at least, that's how I interpreted the bottom right panel playing out). We are also given an insight as to how the "rapid fire shooter" function works.

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Opening up the box, we're presented with a nice jumble of parts, a spattering of Keetorange (the color born for BIONICLE!) with various other eye-drawing elements, which we'll look into later. Sorry, I already unwrapped the parts from their bags when taking this picture - I've never found images of the bags themselves to be all that interesting - but I can remember that all the parts were in unnumbered bags. We're given two instruction books here, an event that seems abnormal for such an average-sized set (LEGO retail price $25). Something else missing here is the small sticker sheet, probably still somewhere in the box in this picture, I think. So sue me.

Building
Half the fun is had building the set. How fun is it to build and how easy or challenging is it?

Now the exciting part starts! It's time to make LLA out of the pile of elements seen above, enjoy the discoveries of building techniques encountered as the instruction manual progresses. I like that part. The first thing we build here are, as in most sets, the minifigures, Lennox and Crug, who is given his "Slugga" (I looked that up on the Chima website) cannon. Then the real build begins. Here are some WIP images; Crug and Lennox decided to put aside their differences for a few minutes to help build this vehicle.

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Lennox shows us our few extra pieces:

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Set Design
Now that the set is complete, we can critique how it looks from every angle. New or interesting pieces can also be examined here.

First on the examination block are the interesting parts in this set. Neglecting all the new Keetorange elements that appear here, there are several new (or newish) molds that are exciting.

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Lennox' and Crug's headpieces are new molds, and the prints are unique for their characters. There's also the extended spine part - which I'm sure will find plenty of uses in BIONICLE MOCs - a long, rubber spike that comes in both reddish brown and white in this set. My personal favorite spots in this set are the 2x1 SNOT brackets (herein meaning "studs not on top," not nasal fluid), which come in the "above" and "below" varieties... I want a whole bin of those things. There's also the Chi piece, a pretty part that seems to combine the designs of a 1x1x1 cylinder with the old Rock Raiders crystal (Editor's note - Nuju Metru is too young to remember that these parts first appeared in Aquazone in the 90s); the end result is a rhapsody in blue. I also liked to see the "hollow slope" part, which is very useful.

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Moving on to the figures, we're given some pretty nifty little guys with LLA. Both figures have full front printing down to their clawed toes and back printing. They both have double-sided faces underneath their headgear; one face is kind of giggly, the other one serious, and only those eyes can be seen through the masks. Lennox is my personal favorite of the lion figures I've seen; he looks heroic from his golden eyes to his cool blue sash thing. Who would've thought a Lion could have abs? Crug is also a pleasing figure, with a red loincloth that compliments his scaly skin. The ironclad lower jaw is a fun touch that really gives Crug that "strong but stupid" vibe.

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Above is Crug with the Slugga and the Chi crystal. The gun is rather large and cumbersome, and not necessarily in a good way; it's hard for Crug to hold, and its handle detaches somewhat easily. I do, though, appreciate the inclusion of the olive green cheese slope.

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The full set is bigger than I imagined it, and looks good from most angles. The color scheme, a feline flow of Keetorange, tan, and brown, looks great, and accentuates the leonine theme of this vehicle. The forward facing array of weapons including claws, long guns, and (most imposing of all) flickfire missiles really reinforces that LLA is an attack vehicle, all front armoring and offensive weapons. The ATV looks light and agile, an impression somewhat made enigmatic by its wide-spaced tires and sturdy footprint. The cleverly achieved lion's head dominates the front view, while the back is defined by its stickered-on controls and Chi slot.

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Playability
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?

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The first thing I noticed when I started to roll the finished model around was its suspension. The system, based around reluctantly flexible thin elements and loose joints, is remarkably effective - above, you can see me all but twisting the wheels into perpendicularity with no ill effect on the model - and makes for a lot of fun. LLA can be rolled seamlessly over the uneven terrain of couch cushions, the treacherous ground of clothes on the floor, and of course smooth surfaces too. Its suspension is exciting and adaptable; you can really play with the LLA anywhere. An added plus is that the claws in the front, which look like they could be breakable, aren't; not only are the claws themselves rubbery shock-absorbers, but the housing for the claws is also totally rotatable, held in place only by the pushing of the blue Chi hoses. You could roll the LLA full-speed against a wall, and the claws wouldn't take any beating. I adore this part of the design.

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Less satisfying is the "rapid fire shooter." If you're unfamiliar with my own LEGO creations (as I'm sure you are), I'll let you know that one of my favorite things to do is to design rubber-band-powered projectile launchers. I was excited to see that LLA supposedly has one of these, a gravity-loading 2x2 round plate launcher that will fire upon the release of a pulled-back trans-blue element. In theory, it should work, and the loading mechanism does very well. However, the firing part isn't as smooth; the disks, once ejected, fly out a grand distance of about two inches before flopping sadly to earth and skidding to an apologetic halt. The images above are a dramatization of the launcher's capabilities. Not only is the launcher ineffective, it's also hard to fire; the trigger element is very difficult to get a hold of when it's in the pre-firing position, which bugs me. The disks are, to top all that off, difficult to load.

Final Thoughts
Once it's all said and done, how does the set stack up? Should I get it?

Pros

What's to like?
  • Oh-so-functional suspension
  • Cool-looking vehicle with attractive color scheme
  • The return of Keetorange
  • Minifigs are fun
  • SNOT plates
  • Sturdy, playable model that looks like a lion

Cons

What's not to like?
  • Rapid fire shooter... everything about it.
  • Larger than desirable parts-to-price ratio (230 pieces at $25)
  • Why does LEGO keep putting in flick-fire missiles, why?
  • Slugga is awkward

Thanks for reading. Overall, I am very pleased with this set; it's been rolling around my room ever since I assembled it. I even took it apart and built some really cool alternate models when I was watching TV, including a Lennox' Lion Helicopter, which I then forgot to take a photo of... Ah well.

I think LLA is a great way to introduce you into the nifty new Legends of Chima theme, which I hope to explore in more depth by purchasing more sets. I would recommend LLA to anyone who is still young enough at heart to lie down on the floor and make engine-revving noises while playing single-pin crocodile bowling with an unfairly sized ATV.

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...I did.

And so concludes our review for today - I hope you enjoyed it! Of course, be sure to thank Nuju Metru in the Talkback, where you can also ask any questions you might have or given some feedback. And don't forget to keep checking back for more set reviews and brick news, right here on BZPower!

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