For those who don't know, LEGO recently came out with a new line called Monster Fighters. This set is about fighting monsters, sure, but it's about fighting classic monsters in a Steampunk universe. Just look at this promotional picture from the LEGO site:
That LEGO dude (properly called a minifig) is wearing a vest, pocket watch, bowler hat, and a mean smirk. Not to mention that he has a robotic leg. You won't find the word "steampunk" anywhere in this marketing campaign, but I call Steampunk shenanigans.
Anyway, I recently got my hands on the ghost train set for my birthday, and I was super enthused to tear it open and put it together. After all, trains are totally Steampunk.
This set is amazing for a whole ton of reasons, which I'll try to lay out for you here.
First of all, it looks great. This was the first LEGO set I've ever put together that actually looked better in person than it did in the promotional pictures or on the box. The pictures just can't possibly do it justice, but I took some of my own anyway.
Here's the train:
It was bigger than I expected it to be. Also, way more detailed. Looking at a photo like this of the train, you don't realize exactly how detailed this build is:
The whole set is full of small details that just scream "Steampunk". For example, when you look inside the locomotive's cabin, this is what you see:
Yes, that's a throttle lever, and a coal chamber. Then look at this:
Yes, the door to the coal chamber opens, and there's fire inside. This is a set that was designed to be played with.
Even these little winged cars are awesome. Here's a close-up:
Note the awesome wings (which flap when it rolls!) and cool horns on the front fender. Also, the cars can all separate from each other pretty easily, so this little guy can drive off on adventures of his own.
The prisoner transport is also pretty darn cool all on its own. The doors actually open and close.
I haven't bought a proper LEGO set in a while, and if this is how they all are (not counting the subpar Minecraft set), LEGO as a company is definitely on the right track.
As if the train weren't cool enough, this set also comes with a propeller plane. The sheer variety of components was one of the things that made this quite possibly the most fun I've ever had building a LEGO set. Another was, as I mentioned earlier, the astounding level of detail.
Not to mention the design itself! Look at how cool this plane is:
Even the minifigs themselves have quite a lot of personality. Look at the smirk on this dude's face... It's even more heinous than the one on the promotional poster at the top of this article.
The female minifig sort of got the short end of the stick when it came to getting a good face, but her outfit is amazing. I know a number of women who want to dress up as her, because the outfit is just that cool. She's got all kinds of little doodads, including garlic and vampire stakes. Also, while her face may look kind of mean, her hair is amazing, and can actually hold objects.
One of my favorite little details about this set is the ghosts themselves. They could have just had normal yellow minifig heads underneath their shroud, but no. Instead they have terrifying black heads. Look at this:
So when you look into their eyes, you're staring into inky blackness. Cool call, LEGO.
Another great thing about this set is that it's clearly meant to be played with, rather than admired from afar. As I said, it has fiddly bits that only come to life when you interact with it, such as the coal chamber door, or prisoner cell doors, or these missiles on the plane that actually fire!
I reviewed the Minecraft LEGO set, and I was really disappointed by it because not only was it a pain in the rear to assemble, but it just wasn't meant to be played with. This set was the total opposite in every way, and I loved it.
Having enjoyed this one so much, I have every intention of eventually purchasing the rest of the set, and if you love LEGO or Steampunk, I highly recommend that you do the same!