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Weekly Set Review: Dark Forest Fortress

Discussion of official LEGO Castle Theme sets and products

Postby PunkRockCowboy » Thu Feb 01, 2007 4:43 am

Spongey wrote:Not only do the elements of the set make it good on its own, it can also be purchased in multiples to make larger forest complexes. Unfortunately, they go for around $200 on Bricklink, so unless someone here is, or knows, a lovely and generous millionaire, I don't hold my breath on testing this assumption.

$200??!?!?! Wow, I once saw this for $12 on discount at Wal-Mart. Anyway, I eventually got one so that's good :-D. I love this set. It has great playability and parts. I like how it's a hideout but it's also got a cart too.
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Postby Heir of Black Falcon » Sun Feb 17, 2008 8:48 pm

I was not actively collecting when this came out but I wish I could afford one now. Sadly I would not pay what would likely be needed to acquire it so I will never know. It looks pretty cool though.

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Postby Brikbud » Sun Feb 17, 2008 9:04 pm

BEAUTIFUL!!!! I absolutely love this set! But unfortunately I'll probably never get it because it's way too expensive. 9/10
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Postby Lord Felix » Sun Feb 17, 2008 9:21 pm

Somebody I know owned this set, and won't sell me it! It is awesome, and when I was younger I used to play with it. It is a fun, fun set.

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Postby hulk hogan » Mon Feb 18, 2008 2:30 pm

I have this set and loved it. It was the final piece I bought before I stopped collecting. I loved the new Forestmen look, it appeared as if they had moved from pieceful robbers, to warriors who want to rebel against kings and queens.

The wagon was neat, i used it alot to transfer gold a jewels from Fire breathing Fortress to Black Monarchs Castle.

I loved the baseplate

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Postby jokkna » Mon Feb 18, 2008 4:12 pm

I love this set. Unfortunatelly I missed the forestmen because I was not born. :( .
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Postby Tower of Iron Will » Mon Feb 18, 2008 7:12 pm

I liked this set when it came out but only bought one. :? I liked the figures, playability was nice. Overall, a very good set.
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Postby Fenneke-Jose » Mon Feb 18, 2008 7:24 pm

Me want it ... & Me is gonna get it... Someday 8)
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Postby The Blue Knight » Mon Feb 18, 2008 11:25 pm

Ah yes! What a set! But my memories of it are mixed because this was perhaps the last decent castle set for 11 years. This was a true "Robin Hood" set. The "forestmen" have always been wood elves for me and my circle of friends. I got one way back when, glad I did.
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Postby Ben the lego king » Tue Feb 19, 2008 11:40 pm

I like this set it has nice figs lots of parts nice play ability. the cart is cool. nice big set. I love the bace plate. you can combind the bace plate with the srate one in the knights kingdom. over all 10/10
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Postby natelite » Wed Feb 20, 2008 4:57 pm

it's not $200. used BL'ed for $100-120. new is from 150 to 200. i have one. missing just one of 1x1 brown brick. quite nice, the bricks and minifigs still gleam. hardly a scratch. Maybe I'll list it in my shop. :P
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Postby Blue Monarch » Thu Feb 21, 2008 1:25 am

This is one of those sets I seemed to miss somehow. Sadly, it is one I would have loved. I really wanted one of those raised baseplates (every kid loved them). The dark forestmen rule!
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Postby DaleDVM » Fri Feb 22, 2008 10:30 pm

I have this set built on my lego table right now... I had to go take a closer look at it after I read this thread. I agree that this was the last good decent sized set for a long time. The figures are incredible. I always put the dark forest forces in with my large forestmen collection and used them as the leaders. They do have better looking armor and all.

The open construction in the back is problematic and the prison in the tree tops is silly. However both can be rectified with 20 to 30 bricks. Although the design is flawed compared to the older sets this set has one advantage over the old forestmen. Brown trees. And consequently this set is very attractive to look at.

This is one of only 2 sets that come with brown corner wall pieces that can be used for larger brown trees. This set comes with a whopping dozen of them! I wish the old forstmen sets came with brown trees as they would look so so so much better. The carriage is just OK. I would give the set an 9/10 as most of its flaws are easily rectified. It's minifigs are classic, ooh the parts, and it is just beautiful.
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Postby Mikael-o » Sat Mar 08, 2008 2:44 pm


I'm a little late posting, but this is one of my favourite sets. I think it was the first in box set I bought after my dark ages. It was 70 bucks CAD at the Bay, and then shortly thereafter I found 3 more in Sault, Michigan at Walmart, for 40 US ... so it was also my first big influx of extra building bricks!

I had fallen in love with the forest theme (the only surviving childhood set being 6066) and grabbed the remaining Forestmen sets of eBay. When I first saw this set, I was extremely happy that there were more Forest sets, and that they were brown!

It's the best Dark Forest set for sure (really, Hemlock Stronghold is a poor design), and one stays built in my collection forever!

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Postby Sir Kohran » Sat Mar 08, 2008 3:39 pm

1996 - the year of the Dark Forest. I was lucky as my family was in America at the time (even at six/seven I was a Lego fan) and was able to buy from this great theme.

The figures in this set are excellent; perhaps the most realistic Castle had seen at the time - the jerkins and scruffy green clothes look great for the peasants-turned-rebels and make a good contrast with the red uniforms of the two Dragon Masters. There is a huge range of good pieces here with foliage, weapons and building parts all included.

The structure and design may be a bit slapstick but in this case I think it works in the set's favour, as it seems appropriate that the rebel base would look a bit shoddy and uncoordinated, what with it being built in the middle of a forest.

Interesting that it includes both Forestmen and Black Knight shields, years after both previous lines ended, and therefore it represents the final year of genuine classic Castle. Sadly this great little theme was followed by the Fright Knights with their ridiculous and weak designs which marked the end of 80s/90s Castle. This was arguably the last truly good big set - and indeed perhaps the last truly good theme - until the releases of 7019/8877 about a decade later. Farewell, Dark Forest and classic Castle.

- Matt
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