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Court of the Dead

May 9, 2014

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Lego and Minecraft - 21105 Micro World "The Village": Building worlds so similar in differences.

Imagine a sandbox building sort of video game, where the graphical elements look like something out of Wolfenstein 3D, but the environments are as staggeringly immense and complex as they are intricate and interactive.

Now take that game, and bring Lego into the mix (with the help of CUUSOO back in June of 2012 on the initial review set, that became the 21102 Micro World playet) and you end up with this:
The package design is a great merging of the trademark looks of both companies, and it's amazing how this could really have been one of Lego's own original concepts, they both fit so well together.
There are currently three Minecraft sets available at this time (with many more on the way, the next being "the End" featuring the Ender Dragon and Endermen), the one I got recently is the "21105 Micro World – The Village" playset.

The Village was released in Sept of 2013, comes with three "micromob" figurines that you need to assemble, and has some pretty cool detail features throughout. But before we get to that, let's start with the instructions.
The instructions (in two booklets, which surprised me at first because it's a smaller model build) are bold and colorful, showcasing a history of Minecraft and the other playsets available in the line up.
Lego really gives premium treatment of presentation to the sets that used licensed themes, and sure there's a bit of a marketing/brand awareness sort of edge to all of this, but it harkens back to when you'd get mini comics or extra sort of flavor publications with your action figures or playsets in the 80s.

Both books are very colorful, have information on the world of Minecraft and the other playsets that are available as well. After having seen The Nether playset, I wish I would have picked that one up first as I like the look of it, but I'm sure I'll be reviewing that in the next few months at some point.

I was a bit puzzled as to why there would be two books as this is not by any stretch a large model...

...then I understood why there were two booklets.
Six. polybags. SIX. Filled with a LOT of very small, very similar build bricks. There aren't many larger pieces to this set. Which, kind of made me wonder about the whole 10 year old rating on this thing.

Here's why. Most kids I've seen that put these sets together, especially the smaller sets, can usually rock right through a build just by looking at the pictures on the box and get pretty close. And that's in the recommended age range of around 10 years of age. And those sets I've seen done, don't have this range of size in miniscule be so prevalent.

But this amount of 1x1 tiles and bricks, intermixed in what visually looks like bagged bedlam waiting to happen, made me think... maaaaaybe I should get a sorting tray to help isolate colors and facilitate the build. But then I threw all caution out the window and just dove in. I was sure this could not take that long.
There are a few things that make this a bit of a confusing, or more so a complicated sort of build. The light grey bricks in the instructions are depicted as a darker color, closer to the dark grey that is included in the set. And the vast majority of pieces are blanks that are needed as the final finish parts for the top/outer layer that gives the set it's Minecraft polished look.
I regretted not getting the sorting tray about four minutes into the build. I spent a great majority of building the first section on just sorting and resorting some of the parts and actually looking at the edges of some of them, because some of these 1x1 tiles aren't build parts for the main structure, they are parts of the minifig mob that came with it (after building the minifig mobs are about the same scale as the Lego minifigs for the Heroica sets, which I actually prefer). I understand why it was done this way though because the minifig mobs look more accurate to the game characters they are based on. Shown above is the Zombie, and then in the middle inset left, is the Pig (with a spare face), and parts of face of the Villager minifig.
A fair amount of time had passed and I was only halfway through.
Building any model kits can be a relaxing and therapeutic sort of hobby. I build a wide range of models, but really was drawn to Lego kits because they require no glue, and take patience to make many of the larger ones.

I really thought that this whole thing would at the most take about thirty minutes to complete, but as you can see from above, forty-five minutes in, I'd made only half of the set.

It wasn't from lack of instructions, it was because I was quick to move through the booklets and would miss a part here or there, or I just underestimated how long it would take to put 466 pieces together (I'm not really sure if that is counting spare parts or not...).

The build was really quite fun, and I did marvel at the little details that if you are a fan of Minecraft, you will appreciate that made it into this set.
The final assembly with three minifigs. (inset, top right) The only spare parts left over, somehow I think I missed something somewhere.
The final build you see above clocked in at right around an hour and forty minutes. WAY longer than I thought it would. And although a fairly small set, a very solid and well engineered set that is pretty sturdy.

You can easily exchange out the locking cross bar to re-oreint the set however you'd like for playtime or display usage.

The overall aesthetic of the set looks nice and is a pretty cool blend of colors that really evoke the palette of the Minecraft world.
Hope you saved the box... because thankfully, unlike a lot of other Lego sets, this one fits back nicely in it's original box, with room to spare on the edges where the instructions and one small polybag of spare parts can be placed.
So is the set worth it at the retail price of $34? As an adult collector, yes. It's complex, takes time wading through all of the smaller scale bricks and is a great representation of the Minecraft license.

Parents though, might balk at the price for such a small box and what seems like low contents. Never mind the fact that not a lot of extra parts were included in this set, so if you got impatient kids and/or deep carpets, prepare to have some possibly frustrated kids and a rude moment of pain on the bottom of your foot at 1AM when you raid the fridge by pathway of the living room, because losing any of these parts can throw this set WAY out of whack for finishing it.

Thanks for reading, we'll see you next time!


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