I consider that the Knights Kingdom 1 theme as one of Legos best, one of the main strengths of this set/theme is the mini figures;
1. King Leo’s Court - King Leo, Queen Leonora, Princess Storm, Richard the Strong and John of Mayne.
2. The Attacking Bulls - The leader Sir Cedric and his expert siege engine builder Gilbert the Bad.
3. Skeleton –named Benjamin bone the protector of the castles treasure.
I think this set includes most of the elements of what a good main theme castle should include;
• Modular design to allow for quick adaptations.
• Inspirational alternate set design contained on box design and within instructions.
• Good playability.
• Good colour selection
• Main Gate, raised ramparts, portcullis, vertical tower elements with tiles and flags. ( A little bit to pyramidical the irregular massing in 10176 was superior)
• Different medieval technologies at play Catapult of defenders vs. bombard of attackers.
• Well considered and superior individual mini figure design including King & Queen, vassals, skeleton and potential aggressors. (the mini figure count in this set was to low I would have liked it to be 12 like some of the earlier major Lego castles and to have also included euro amour and capes)
• Range of weapon types, long/short swords, bows/cross bows & Halberds/spears.
• Mounted king with decorative barding to horse (should have been minimum of two horses with barding to allow for jousting)
• Decorative insignia cloth flags and banners. (Why was their not KK1 cog boat with this sail/cloth).
I think some of the earlier reviews of this set were a bit harsh, I would agree that there is a fair amount of juniorisation associated with some of the elements such as the castle panelled walls, portcullis and wall turrets. I personally don’t have a problem with them as an entirely brick built castle would have been a lot more expensive to the consumer.
I place a higher emphasis on mini figure design and accessories then juniorisation or the lack of a back wall etc; clearly this set was not designed in the round but as more of a stage to the mini figure characters.
I have two main disappointments with this set;
1. The low mini figure and horse count, I would have liked 12 mini figures with 4 horses with more barding - A wizard and some generic castle lion knights would have been good, it seems now an obligatory dragon may be part of castles future too. But two female mini figures in a castle set is a benchmark that I would hope is matched regularly.
2. The inherent comic book type storyline conflict component, the good knights vs. the bad/evil etc – I think that the 10176 redux was better handled so that the mini figures could be divided in play for conflict if desired without the need for depiction of violence on the box.