Time for another 250 Lego review, and this time I’m going to go with my most recent acquisition, 70835: Rex’s Rexplorer.
If, like me, you were alive in 2014, you went to see The Lego Movie. Your enjoyment level may have something to do with whether you see Lego as a fun toy for innocently building creativity in both children and antiquated children who may or may not have been 43 at the time; or as a soulless international conglomerate exploiting generational brand loyalty to hoover up an ever-greater range of access vectors to your wallet while simultaneously spewing out an endless supply of non-biodegradable solid-form poisons and destroying the environment.
It’s possible these views are not mutually exclusive.
So, I loved it. It was fresh, it was funny, it was packed with clever pop culture references like an overstuffed armchair is packed full of dead relative’s hair, it was great. And then the sequels came along. And depending on how invested you were in Lego Batman being more than a one-joke sidekick of limited lifespan (Hint: he’s not), they were less funny, and less charming, and more and more just the giant, uninspired toy adverts we all knew the first one was but were willing to forgive because see above.
Until 2019, and enter Lego Movie 2. In which everything that was good about Lego Movie 1 was present, but somehow, at the same time, not. Schrodinger’s Charm. And it was centred around the joyless still-got-his-one-joke-and-still-gonna-beat-you-to-death-with-it Batman. And the memories of The Emoji Movie were just too damn fresh (Some scars will never heal) for the similarities to be overlooked. But there were a couple of spaceships that were clearly going to be sets, so there was that, at least. And six months after I watched it three months after everyone else because my local cinema works like that, one of them was half-price at the local K-Mart so I picked it up on a whim and here we are.
Wanna guess how this review ends?
TL, DR: It doesn’t end well.
Let’s get straight to the point. Rex’s Rexplorer is a bad set. Really bad. For a start, it’s as ugly as a bucket of clunky, angular, arseholes. Remember last review, when I talked about ‘swooshable’? This thing is as swooshable as a Vogon Constructor Fleet.
I mean, look at it!
It has a sticker sheet numbering somewhere in the region of Just Print The Fuckers Already stickers. Granted, it has dinosaurs– two brightly coloured blue Jurassic Parkian velociraptors– and the overall colour scheme is a dark blue/lime green combination that will greatly enhance my parts collection when it’s deconstructed for MOCs. So there’s that.
Dinosaurs always welcome. Dinosaurs with laser guns? Write your own ticket.
But the biggest flaw with this set, and one that is impossible to forgive, is that it is so badly constructed. See the two cockpits at the front?
There. No, not there. There!
The lower one is barely attached. In fact, the cockpit and the entire gun assembly in front of it are basically just sitting there, attached only by a single connector so deep in the guts of the ‘box’ that it’s impossible to put any pressure onto it to make sure the connection is secure. What’s worse are the gaps: the set is riddled with them. Hinges don’t quite close fully. Side plates don’t sit flush with outer surfaces. It’s understood that, narratively, Rex’s machines in the movie are a little battle-worn, a bit time-scarred. But that should be a buildable part of the construction itself, not an excuse to make things so haphazardly that they don’t fit together properly.
Look at that gap. I mean, just look at it. Would you show that to your
future parents-in-law? No. No you would not.
As a parts pack, Rex’s Rexplorer might be worth the 50% off I paid for it, eventually. As a set, to build, and (at least for as long as the 250 Review rebuild goes) display, it’s a frustrating disappointment. Like almost everything else associated with Lego Movie 2, this set feels like a tired, care-abandoned money grab. And okay, we all understand that Lego Movie 2 was a blatantly cynical marketing ploy. So was the original movie. But, as will be ever so clear when I review Benny’s spaceship later in the series, at least the first movie sets didn’t rub our noses in it.
Add points for dinosaurs, but even so…
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