From the futury-futureness of space, to the Lieberal Party dreamscape of the medieval past. Today’s Lego 250 review touches on one of the mainstays of the Lego empire — at least until Harry Potter came along and fucked it up for everybody — the world of knights and armour.
Once upon a time (See what I did there?) Lego only had three main themes: City, Space, and Medieval, or Knights. And like its brethren, the Knights them underwent many a revamp and rebranding, until a corporate conglom-o-sponsorship sucked it up and shat out a licencing deal aimed at fans of a movie franchise who were willing to pay over the odds for minifigures that vaguely resembled Rupert Grint. Go figure. But in that more innocent — dare we say, simpler? — time, we arrived at Kingdoms, which had some nice little sets, and which are, these days, quite cheap to pick up, relatively speaking, if you have the time to trawl through Bricklink and garage sales.
Which is how I managed to pick up two of this nifty little starter set.
Truth is, I’m not big on the Medieval stuff. The castles tend to be made from too many BURPS (Big Ugly Rock Pieces, but it also applies to giant, single use panels). Everything comes in one of two shades of brown. And there’s only so much you can do when a third of every set consists of swords and halberds. Even so, there are some real gems. This little set only consists of just under sixty pieces, but includes two minifigs and, you know, an ACTUAL FREAKING WORKING CATAPULT, so it’s one of those sets that was always going to be worth picking up.
Catapult. Cat. A. Freaking. Pult.
And it doesn’t disappoint. It’s a quick, simple little build, with enough flexibility in parts to inspire thoughts of other uses. The two minifigs are significantly different from each other in colouring and facial features to indicate a genuine narrative. And while it conforms to the standard Lego one-for-you-and-a-smaller-one-for-your-sibling two-part build, the catapult means that there is a purpose to it– that little stand is a target, my friends.
The gang’s all here. Twice.
There was a time when Lego sets more clearly exhibited Lego’s philosophy of inspiring part selection, playability, and flexibility of rebuilding, without being muddied by complicated licencing and corporate empire-building considerations. This little set reflects that time perfectly. It’s just a nice little starter set that does everything you want a Lego set to do without any fuss. It’s an average set, in a way that reminds us that average can be a good bar to set.
Comfort food for the Lego builder without any frills or fancy-schmancy distractions.
The League Table of Awesomeness