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Weekly Set Review: Viking Fortress against the Fafnir Dragon

Discussion of official LEGO Castle Theme sets and products

Postby wunztwice » Mon Nov 19, 2007 9:23 pm

I really actually like this set overall. MY first thought when I first saw it was that it appeared a newer re-incarnation of some of the older castles (like the BF Fortress). And hearkened back to early castle-esque fortifications. I was impressed that TLC would produce something "round" and the poseable dragons, while a bit spindly, were actually a nice step for LEGO IMO. I was always frustrated with the smallness/stiffness of the old LEGO dragon animal piece, and I sure a heck like the 'bionicled' dragons better than the new "Undead" Duplo-looking dragons!

The fig selection was good and hefty, and I like the large gates on the front. The catapults are a bit silly, and I did do away with them, but the mechanism on the largest worked REALLY well, and I've played around with how to use it in other places. The large prison thing was also kinda strange, so I took it apart and made more of a main hall kinda place.

Overall a good set, and well worth what I paid for it!!!
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Postby lord azreal » Mon Nov 19, 2007 9:33 pm

I was really excited about getting this, firstly all the loggy parts will be unbeleivably useful for other structures, but also it was a fortress that didnt have a holes all over it. however TLC shows its obsession with catapults yet again, and only 6 figs to hold a fortress against a dragon? still it was overall a very nice fortress and I dont regret getting one!
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Postby Blue Monarch » Mon Nov 19, 2007 9:45 pm

I'm actually surprised at some of the responses. I really like this castle. The word "viking" can mean many things: barbarians, ambushers, seamen etc. I think Lego did a good job of pulling off the whole series and that this fortress is a great example of it. I'll take a bunch of extra useless catapults anyday to a sharp series like Vikings.
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Postby Dr. J » Mon Nov 19, 2007 10:03 pm

Every day, I lement not doing what my conscience was telling me to do, and not buying it when it was on sale. :(
Every time I look at it, I think of all the stuff I cou'd build using the peices from one of those sets alone.
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Postby MarioDAlessio » Mon Nov 19, 2007 11:25 pm

I like this sets circular hinged design it was pretty revolutionary for the castle line and the whole Viking line was a timely theme that regained my imagination during KK2.

The use of contrasting gray slopes and raising the walls an additional brick higher then the older castle lines has carried through and is good.

I never stop being surprised at where the castle theme goes from Ninjas, Vikings and Dwarfs. It was definitely time for Vikings!

I purchased heavily discounted sale sets for $70au ($60us) and the Viking Ship for $35au($30us) but in the end gave them away as presents to young nephews and got to enjoy building with them and my adult brothers during Christmas time.(now those memories are better them keeping the sets for myself)

Having previously brought Fort Legoredo and Sheriff's Lock-Up and parting them out thinking I would build a timber village back in 2002 and never doing so, I really didn’t want to get caught with more brown castle wall sections and I was afraid at the space these set would take up if left unopened.

It was the Viking minfigs, their weapons and superior torso designs that most impressed me. I was happy enough buying multiple smaller sets in the Viking Range for the minifigs, this set only contained 6 but all those brown wall sections.

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Postby Sir Kohran » Tue Nov 20, 2007 12:15 am

Certainly a very good set by itself for what's there - the look of the wooden walls and the massive gate with the mounted shields and torches is brilliant. Also the figures and the very impressive dragon are excellent. The catapult mechanism is genius. I do not regret buying this set one bit.

On the other hand I felt some of the set design was a bit sloppy; there's nowhere for the six men to actually live. The Bionicle parts are a bit grating in a supposedly Dark Ages building. The big catapult - whilst well thought out - looks slightly ludicrous in the overall look of the set. The two small catapults are unnecessary - what use would a group of big axe wielding brutes have for them anyway? Also the cage, whilst not 'bad', looks a bit too big compared to the rest of the structure. Finally the fig count feels a little small (particularly when looking at the promo artwork which showed dozens of warriors in the fortress) and it would have been nice to have some variation - we get six warriors and if you have the smaller sets this is basically more of the same (this could probably be said of the Viking line overall).

Overall, some flaws but definitely a good set.

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Postby evilnailman » Tue Nov 20, 2007 9:15 am

I quite like the design of the wooden fort, and the overall look of the whole set. I would have thought more than six vikings, but then there are never enough in a set are there?

I didn't buy this at the time of release, as I have enough dragons and way too many catapults. I may pick up a second hand set at some point for the log pieces, either sans characters, or ebay the dragons as I really don't want them. I like the look and the build of the dragons, but can't see me using them constructively on top of the wyvern & others that I already have. Plus I'm planning a large brick-built wyrm soon.

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Postby Lord Tyler II » Tue Nov 20, 2007 1:15 pm

I actually bought this set this last year from LEGO. It was on sale because the were getting rid of there old stock. I am quite pleased with it! The idea of to many catapults is true... To many.... But don't let that stop you! The Minifigs, of coarse, are awsome! Most people hate the dragon... I personally don't mind it. It's okay. And again with Zwords.... Most people hate the Zwords (as do I) but when they're at least silver, and not YELLOW, I don't mind them so much.... The construction of the walls is rather interesting. Using slanted plates and hinges to make the octagonal fort was new to me, and it was enjoy able to put together. The brick-built doors were a nice touch as well! Over all I think it's a good set!

8 1/2 /10!
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Postby Coatsy » Tue Nov 20, 2007 7:48 pm

Vikings were an interesting departure from the usual castle themed sets. They remind me of the Ninja sets from the late 90s. I was thrilled when the line promos came out and bought at least one of all of the sets except one of the catapaults. The Viking Fortress is a very fun set overall. Of course it has its pros and cons.

I'll start with the cons.
~ Goofy catapaults on the high points of the fortress. Realistic? Not really.
~ The viking mini fig helmets. More variety in the helmets has been mentioned. I also think the helmets are too small. I am honestly just not a big fan of the viking helmets.
~ The KKII swords. Arrrgh!!! I cannot stand them. Give me the old long and short swords!!!!!!

Otther than these three complaints, which are not that big, onto the pros!

~Kick-Butt Viking torso desgin! Yeah!
~Kick-Butt Viking faces. Love them! They are tough little hombres! Going to sack the coastal villages!
~Wooden set design. I know this was used before with the Western sets, but having a majority wooden set is a great idea.
~The giagantor dragon. Yeah it is bioncle tastic, but I really like it. It is big, fierce, and can eat your mini figs.
~The overall color scheme. It is subdued it seems, but the bright splotches of color with the mini figs and shields are great.

I modified the set to give it a more "square" feel, and put the catapaults in a spot where it was feasable for the mini figs to actually "man" the catapaults. I would have liked to see a little more Viking sets, but the ones put out were fun.

I give it a 6 of 10. It is definitely above average, but not in the tops because of the goofy catapaults and boring helmet designs plus the KK2 swords. But it is definitely fun fun fun!
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Postby timber_wolf899 » Tue Nov 20, 2007 10:40 pm

I'm going to largely echo what others have said here. The reason I will do this is because i feel the good point sof this set cannot be praised enough.

The gate is just fantastic, best lego has EVER made, hands down. The concept is so amazingly unique and so well carried off that it will inspire my mocs for years to co me.

Also the shap eis great. I hope we see this again! I had been toying with the idea of a triangular castle when lego comes out with this thing. It was like "wow yeah thats how you do polygons". :)

And fafnir is a fun dragon!
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Postby Spongey » Wed Nov 21, 2007 12:28 am

Never got one, but my friend's brother did, and I was only mildly impressed. A few good log pieces, but too few figs and a non-lifelike dragon keep it in the mediocre section.
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Viking Set

Postby spyrius » Wed Nov 21, 2007 1:05 am

Well I think its a pretty decent set. I think that they could have added a few more blocks to it.
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Postby Count Blacktron » Wed Nov 21, 2007 8:55 pm

The parts count is very high, but many of those parts are of the tiny variety and Technic in origins. I would like to see a return to Vikings now that LEGO has proper beards and helms available, proper swords and a better model building technique for sets of this sort. It's a good theme with good mythology and it would be better to see more traditional Norse mythology mixed in with better LEGO elements in the future.
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Postby Demmue » Wed Nov 21, 2007 11:01 pm

I guess I'm one of the few that HATES the dragon. To me it just seems out of place because of all the Technic pieces, I don't mind a few here and there like on the catapults but the dragon looks like it is from a separate Creator series set.

Aside from that, this is one of my favorite sets, I often separate the hinge pieces and use them as a moat for my other castles. The gates are easily my favorite part and are in fact my favorite doors of all time. The figs are OK, good faces and torsos but the helmets suck for playing because they always twist around and never feel like they are secure.

Over all a solid 8/10 set, would pick up another for the same price I paid!
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Postby evilnailman » Thu Nov 22, 2007 7:20 pm

Might be a stupid question but how similar in size and construction is the Fafnir dragon to the Nidhogg dragon?

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