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Review:9468 Vampyre Castle/CzechMate

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CzechSigFig1

CzechMate
Country: Australia  
   DayJoined: 31 July, 2011   LEGO.com-icon-yellow № of Reviews: 33   FA-goldbrick № of Featured reviews: 1
LEGO Logo Building Experience: Expert


Rating-ar

The Big daddy

9468 Vampyre Castle - The second largest set in the theme, and ultimately lives up to the hype, but how does it score compared to other MF sets?

Very, very big set. A box which barely fits into a CAR SEAT. I bought this set along with a few others, but I'd recommend building this set last when you collect MF.

I took the time to take pictures of this set myself, mostly good quality, which you'll see throughout the review.

The box

This box is massive. Has pocket holes, which are in extremely big sets, (which it is, 948 pieces) with all the features, but really should show a moonstone version of the 1:1 scale of the minifigures, as I wanted to know how big they were.

Remember back in the old days when the massive sets have flip-out boxes which showed the features? Yeah, we need those, especially for these type of sets, would have loved it so much. I remember an old Dino Attack set of mine like that, and the T-Rex eyes being able to be tried out. They could have included a light in the box to show the glow in the dark pieces, but that would be too hard.

On the MF website, in the background you see the castle - and here is LEGO's "derpy" moment - they put in the wrong castle. Well, it is the right castle, but the wrong version of it. They are showing the PRELIMINARY image of it, with the white moonstone and the yellow moonstones instead of the dark green one and the purple one. A big derpy there. One of the good things about the prelim version is the smiley Lord V, c'mon Lord, show us a smile ;)

Minifigures

6½ minifigures in this set. The half being the skeleton, who I do not fully count.

Lord Vampyre

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I'll start off with Lord V, as he is the main man of this set (the main figure of this is his bride, though ;))

I like this vampire in terms of clothes, to his predecessors. The first seems more Vampirific (thank you, Berrybrick, all credit goes to you :P). See his review of 9464 for his thoughts on the vampires. Lord's costume is ultimately better than the others, but his head is too cartoony. His slightly older one from Series 2 seems to happy though, the Studios one seems more like a blood loving, serial killer, scary vampire, to me. The new hairpiece used from 2010 onwards is good, more slick and easy to use. Lord's GiD face is good, but it is a PAIN to get off, or even to swerve to his menacing second face. The capes they use these days for vampires are always screwed up by the time you get them on the figure, you have to bend the cape, then put it in half and try and put it on, and it always ends up making the collar part look terrible. However, if you want the cape, you have to get this set. Some nice back printing, which reused for the Zombie Butler in 10228.

Vampyre's Bride

P1040681

My absolute, most favourite female minifigure ever.

What a minifigure. She is wrongly accused of having the same torso as Elizabeth Swann, who has a completely different print, however they share the same hairpiece, but not hair colour.

A great hairpiece, which is the best choice, even though some other hairpieces wouldn't be bad. I'd really like it if she had a highlight printed in her hair, like a shade of purple or white. Anyway, her head is nice, but like her hubby, her head is almost impossible to take of without doing damage to the figure. If you get this set, put her face onto her smiley face instead of the other, if you don't, you'll have to manage the pain of the damage you'll cause to the figure :S. I really like the ripped dress design, which suits her really well, the only negative is there is a lot of peach colour around the chest area, which should be white. Nice back printing too, like most other MF figures.

Dr. Rodney

P1040680

Great MFer, though my interest in him as kind of died out.

I do still like him, but having two is good and bad - good because there is more special leg pieces you have, bad because he's more of a one-off minifigure. We won't see one like him again. I like his rapier and gun, and his torso is good. His face is a good expression, but due to the bowler hat, is so far down his head, which is a shame, really. I do like the bowler hat, a good addition to my collection of pieces, and good that it is unprinted.

Jack McHammer

P1040683

Thor's long lost brother, Jack, stole his Mjölnir, and renamed it a "hammer".

Jack M.C Hammer is a good figure to own, though I am sick of cybernetic arms on figures who do not need them, it looks out of place and awkward(see my image) . I can sort of understand the use of it, but it would have been better if he just lost a family member to Franky's Monster. A nice use of sand blue on his legs, with printed pockets, and knee-pads. His face is nicely printed, useful for a lumberjack, I guess. Another pixie cap, which is starting to bore me. Read here on thoughts on Thor, Jack's long last bro.

Manbat(s)

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I love these man bats, really dig them, and their place in this set.

Love the new arms, which aren't fully attached to the body, so you could take them off, but I do not recommend. We see another in Series 8, labelled "Vampire Bat"which uses the same style. The hair/head piece is very good, and I like the face prints. Another good thing about these figures is Manbat customs (batman), of which I've already started on, wait a bit, and you'll see mine ;)

The Build

A majority of the build is somewhat boring, with so many brick brick and other profile pieces used. The definite, most worst part was when they didn't give me enough brick brick pieces, which also ended me building it.

The best part building is the highest tower, with the bed, spiral staircase, and lab. Making the minifigures takes 20 minutes, searching for the pieces in big bags.

In total, it took me 3 hours to build it, longer than I expected.

The Set

I'll do each castle tower one-by-one, so it isn't one big text wall.

Car

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Some very nice sand green pieces on this car, which, by itself, is enough to persuade someone to get this set, especially AFOLs. Most of the pieces are exclusive to this set, so that's really good. A nice net launcher, which is actually one feature that I find underrated and should be used more. It slips in well behind the driver's seat, which is smartly designed to allow Rodney to sit down with his leg :P. Nice design, and my second favourite vehicle in this series.

The Castle of Night Eternal

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The main show, the big daddy, the spotlight, this castle is MASSIVE. Four major parts. I'll do each build part, in order.

Skeleton Dungeon
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The first part (sorry for the image, didn't capture it well, and ran out of photo room) very nice, easy build, as you can see >_^ the odd, trapdoor-secret-entrance-thingy-ma-jiggy. Lots of brick-brick pieces in this build, and a nice dungeon thing, with a poor skeleton, which is rather gruesome for a kids toy, but is good anyway. It is actually hard to get him in, as he'll flop to one side, or unlatch himself from it. A chain is used to do the up-and-down twerly wheely thing, which works well. A nice platform on top for a battle scene with Rodney and Lord V.

P1040668
The Gate
P1040677

Once more, no really good image of it, sorry, but this one should do. Basic gate, but built to have room for figures, which is good. A bat ornament on top, lots of brick-brick pieces. A reuse of the gate piece, which is nice, as I don't own any others :S. A rather odd feature, in the trap-spikes, which are supposed to jump out for a ghastly death, which, again, is interesting for a kid's toy. Most basic build.

The Trap Tower
P1040689
P1040690

Another one with no especially good image, but I'll show the main image in pictures. Pretty monstrous feature, but this is Monster Fighters... Good tower, but the windows on the floor pictured are pain-painstakingly annoying to put in, and take a while to understand how to put in. a looooooooong fall down into the pit. The spike pit is a tedious thing to make, and all the spikes get in the way of the other spikes and, well I think you get the picture *ba-dum-tiss*. Definitely a build only for people with good eyes, unlike me. his was also where I ran out of brick brick pieces.

Moonstone Contraption Tower
P1040672

This is the main tower, which starts at the bottom with the small area with Lord Vampyre's coffin, where he sleeps during the day (surely you understand that, right?). The area has some nice red pieces, and pearl gold pieces, too. Well designed bit. The next level is the most fun part to "play" with your figures in. The spiral staircase, which is easily one of the best features on it's own. It's also used in an LoTR set, can't remember which one, but it includes Frodo...(sorry, I'm clueless at LoTR). I like the bed, which is well made, I might do a "how-to" on that if I can be bothered. A nice bit of lab, with a table with a few beaker like glases, using diamond pieces and cones, and another table with a Fabuland glass, a bone and some other stuff. The next level has another bit of lab with a brick-built bookshelf, with "books" made of 2x1 plates and one 1x2 flat pice to slip it in. Another table with a glow-in-the-dark piece, which is cool.

P1040691

Top bit with the moonstone contraption, I'll explain to you now why the Zombies moonsotne isn't there:

  • LEGO didn't release the set until later, due to the unsuccessful Winchester moc on LEGO Cuusoo, as they would be in hot water with thr creator, and most fans about a zombie set being rejected, but a set being made right after, and the Zombies wasn't shown also due to a few zombie related problems, continuing from the Winchester problems
  • The moonstone would also be the uneven part on the contraption, as they'd need to make a very, very new piece to fit all 7, and LEGO wouldn't be able to do that.

Anyway, the feature works OK, but the moonstones slip forward too much, and sometimes one will get out of the wheel's grasp in holding it in. The very top tower has the best feature ever; a pipe organ. Wonderfully made, and shows just how funny LEGO sets can be, and how much effort is put into each set.

This is pretty much all of it in the set, look below for overall opinion and a big gallery of other images.

Overall Judgement

Such an amazing set, and luckily reduced price when I bought it - only $118, compared to $150 @ LEGO.com.

Pros
  • Minifigures
  • Spiral Staircase piece
  • Pipe organ
  • The car
  • Pretty much all of it'
Cons
  • The Moonstone feature is a real let down for this set, and I am disappointed.
  • Could have had another Monster Fighter
Overall Rating:
Star yellow Star yellow Star yellow Star yellow Star yellow 5 / 5
Play Experience:
Star yellow Star yellow Star yellow Star yellow Star yellow 5 / 5
Minifigures:
Star yellow Star yellow Star yellow Star yellow Star yellow 5 / 5
Value for Money:
Star yellow Star yellow Star yellow Star yellow Star yellow 5 / 5
Pieces:
Star yellow Star yellow Star yellow Star yellow Star half 4½ / 5


24.5 out of a possible 25, so definite buy

Now for the gallery!

Over and out

-Czech


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