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Weekly Set Review: Viking Warrior Challenges the Fenris Wolf

Discussion of official LEGO Castle Theme sets and products

Postby dJOLe_sk8 » Tue Jul 11, 2006 12:52 am

That fig is surely great... it's the cheapest way to get a Viking...
But if you can love those viking-theme dragons on some way,this wolf can't be tolerated,no way... It really doesn't fit in any system-collection...

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Postby Peppermint Pig » Tue Jul 11, 2006 2:50 am

If you could mount a saddle on that thing, I might forgive them, but it ain't gonna happen.


My thoughts exactly. I actually did create a saddle-like version for figs to ride (needed other parts though). It wasn't anything really special, but it worked. No photos of it.. not sure it's still in one piece.
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Postby André » Tue Jul 11, 2006 9:44 am

hello,

this is my first message here. i´m andré, 30 years old and i am from germany.my english isn´t really good, so i hope, you understand me...i visit your community for the last couple of months, after i found my old castle stuff in the cellar of my parents house...as i saw it, i was suddenly infected by the lego-virus again...i´m not a set collector, maybe i´m a parts collector...

to the viking set: i think it´s to expensive over here. it´s about 8 € for only one fig!!! i bought it yesterday at a mall for company owners (i hope u know what i mean?) i got it there for 3.78€ thats too much, either. but i really like the fig and the black armour.
i don´t like the wolf and i really don´t like the vikings weapons and helmets.the swords are too ugly...
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Postby architect » Tue Jul 11, 2006 12:30 pm

Hi André,

Welcome to Classic-Castle. Many fans who grew up with LEGO in the 70's and 80's agree with you about the swords and the wolf. I like the wolf and it has useful pieces. It just does not seem like castle to me. (Of course it is Vikings, not castle).

I would rather have pieces in the new sets used for more buildings, carts, and siege weapons than for creatures. But the kids, especially the American kids, love the dragons, wolves, etc. I think the reason why sets like this one have been so successful are the nice figures and the creatures.

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Postby Bluesecrets » Tue Jul 11, 2006 2:25 pm

I like the fig a lot. I like this accesaries. I am with the majority about the wolf. I don't like it at all. But then, I really do not like Bioncle and don't really like the pieces. All of these type pieces are now in my "junk" bin and I NEVER use them. I would have been much happier if they wouldn't have been included. But I do realize they were trying to bring the two lines together for bigger sales. I'm just not a fan.

On another stand point. I bought this little set for my five and a half year old nephew. The wolf frustrated him extreme. My Mother was trying to build it with him and after 30 minutes they came running to me. Now my nephew has pretty much lost that wolf and all his parts. Mostly because he really didn't like it and it was very easy to come apart. But the fig is one he always brings to play with.
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Postby plucky » Tue Jul 11, 2006 3:14 pm

This is just a repost of my Lugnet review from 12/28/05, but I guess it's appropriate for here (if not large).

7015
(Castle) System / Vikings
Viking Warrior challenges the Fenris Wolf

Le guerrier Viking défie le loup Fenrir
El Guerrero Vikingo reta al Lobo Fenris

Ages 7-14, 76 Pcs. (C)2005. 12 page manual: 1 model (1 Minifig, 1 Shield stand, 1 Wolf), 20 steps, Building Time, about 13 minutes

Price Range: $5 (USD)

RATINGS: (Scale: Must-Have / Excellent / Very-Good / Good / Fair / Poor)
Set: Must-Have / Models: Excellent / Playability: Excellent

DECALS? No

SET DESCRIPTION
Viking Warrior challenges the Fenris Wolf is a set containing one Viking minifig, a stand holding a spear/shield device, and the Fenris Wolf himself! As the Fenris Wolf will kill Odin during Ragnarok, unless the Viking Warrior is actually Odin’s son, I don’t think he’s going to win this fight. The Viking is in dark grays and blues, sporting a shiny black glittery helmet with horns and new battle-axe, while Fenrir is in blacks, grays, and a splash of brown. Instructions are specific to the main model. The various pictures show the wolf in different poses.

SPECIAL ELEMENTS
As my first set of the Vikings line, that I’ve opened at least, many of the pieces were new to me, as was the building technique used in the wolf. Since so much of this was new for me (wolf’s head, wolf’s back, wolf’s ears, shield, new minifig accessories), for a list of Special Elements, just look at the sets inventory list on Peeron.

IMPRESSION
I think this set is a wonderful introduction to a new line for me. I haven’t been this excited about a line in quite a while, and while there are things I would rather see changed, I’m still looking forward to playing with them all. Christmas brought me almost all of the sets (the last was sold out at the time, I’ll get the ‘Viking Boat vs. Wyvern Dragon’ later), but the 28th was the first day I had the chance to open one, and as I only had a few minutes I started small.

I’ll work my way through the set as I remember putting it together, which took a little under 14 minutes, from opening the box to matching Fenrir’s pose from the back of the box, on the carpet while listening to Enya. The Viking was the first to be assembled, and unlike so many figures before which were snapped together with an “ok, yet another one of these”, this one made me smile multiple times. I didn’t even notice the torso, which is a nice cross buckle over chain mail, because of my excitement of the black plate armor. The new bearded head was missed because it was overshadowed by the horned helmet! OK, sure, Vikings didn’t use horned helmets, but it still looks neat, you can take them out, and they are great little pieces to boot! I already want hundreds of the little things to line walls, or huge mouths. The battle-axe is a nice addition, and I’ll be glad to have a bunch of them, I can see interesting decorations coming out of these, as well. The only real disappointment with the minifig is the use of the Knight Kingdom sword, which is something that will probably bother me more in the larger sets.

The second part of the set was something that confuses me. It’s some sort of shield with a spear sticking out of it on a stand. I’m not sure what this thing is, and I wonder if it can be integrated as a neat design somewhere, but I’m not sure how yet. The only purposes I can see to this part of the set are to use up some extra Bionicle shields and to have at least one regular Lego plate in the set somewhere. If this unit were missing from the set, I wouldn’t miss it.

Fenrir intrigued me though. I can’t say I’ve assembled too many things like this. It is sort of a trade between form and articulation where articulation won out, and I think I like the end result. Lots of pieces I’m not used to using together come in bulk, and in a new color, which is very cool. In an effort to keep some detailed form while not losing articulation, a new molded head and a body piece I’ve never seen before were used to sculpt the top half of the wolf. Assembly hurt my fingers a little, and it was strange following instructions that didn’t entail putting some new bricks on top of a growing structure. The end result is an interesting looking wolf with good articulation. The only real problem with the wolf is that it has no jaw! Here’s hoping someone comes up with a creative, easy way to add a nice jaw to this model, as that would enhance its play value quite a bit, and make Fenrir a bit scarier as well! Does anyone else think Fenrir’s eyes’ being red is creepy?

For pieces, this set is a must have. Sure, you might end up with a few extra wolf backs, but once you find a way to mount the giant rat-like heads, you’ll be happy to have them all. With 8 black mechanical arms, 1x1 plates with teeth, 8 Technic T-Valves, and 5 Viking Helmet horns there are plenty of neat little elements, plus the Viking warrior himself. The only pieces I’m not excited about right now are the Bionicle shield and the Knights Kingdom sword.

The model is very good for what it is, as the wolf is quite interesting, and I think I’ll feel this way about the dragons in the other sets (I’m reserving judgment on the Midgard Serpent, though I’m suspecting that will be my least favorite set of the line overall).

Playability wise I think this set is great, and only misses the mark in one place, which I’ll repeat later. First, minifigs always have inherent play value, especially when they have so many accessories. If only minifigs could have robust articulation in their tiny little scale, and cheap! Fenrir jumps right in to fill this role though. A ball-jointed neck, articulation along the spine, and multiple points of articulation along the legs make this one action oriented monster! The only thing missing here, like I said earlier, is the lack of a jaw! It doesn’t look like this can be fixed though a piece connected directly to the wolf head, as there is no molding like in the heads of (classic) dragons for the alligator head jaw-piece. I think this is an acceptable trade off for the amount of articulation the wolf has over those classic dragons, though without a jaw Fenrir will not be able to reenact the biting off of Tyr’s hand or eat the Sun and Moon. The only other thing I foresee being an issue is not being able to stick Fenrir’s feet to studs easily, but I’m sure this will be easily worked around.

Likes/Dislikes
Like – Piece selection
Like – Interesting wolf model
Like – Viking Minifig
Dislike – Shield and KK Sword
Dislike – No Jaw

Scale
Standard minifig scale, though Fenrir likely isn’t as monstrous as he should be, but overall I think building it in this scale works much better than a realistic one (something that may hold true for the Midgard serpent as well).

Extra Elements
The extra elements made me wonder a few things, and looking on Peeron made me think of a couple more. First, are the extra elements 100% consistent for a product, or might they change a little between production runs? The most exciting extra piece in my box was one of the helmet horns. I can see use for lots of them, so an extra one in the set made me smile!

Conclusion
Would I buy this set again? I sure would! Will I buy more of this set? Quite possibly, and if I see them on sale, I’ll grab as many as I can! I don’t know if I’d recommend this for younger children (7-10), if only for the large number of tiny pieces (thus the 7.8 cent per piece price mark), but for anyone else, AFOL or younger, this is a must-have. Even space buffs should enjoy the pieces in Fenrir, and they’ll have an easier time finding a use for that “Technic Connector Block 3 x 5 x 1 & 2/3”.


-plucky
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Postby TwoTonic Knight » Tue Jul 11, 2006 5:38 pm

Can't say I care for this set. I don't care for the wolf at all, and that's a major part of the set. The fig has the silly helmet and the awful sword. The plate armor just looks horribly out of place, so much so that it puts me off rather than attracts me as a useful part (which it is). No shield, which is the best minifig part that the Viking set has. This failed my preference test: would I want two of these for $10, or a 71016 for the same money? It's an easy choice for me.
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One of the best...

Postby xbloodyfangs » Wed Jul 12, 2006 1:11 am

Except for that thing with a spear sticking out of it :? , this is one of the best small sets in a long time :) .
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Postby Damien » Thu Jul 13, 2006 10:39 am

this is one of the best small sets in a long time


I'm not sure if you -meant- that as ironic, but it kind of is, because this set is also one of the -only- small sets (Castle-ish) to appear in a long time.

Nothing like being the best out of a group of 1. ;)


TwoTonic mentioned something I failed to and originally intended to. Lack of a shield. What's up with that? As TTK mentioned, the new shield (even if it wasn't a new -piece-) type is a big selling point for a lot of people. Remember all the buzz about "hey, is that a new kind of shield?!" when we first saw pictures of what the sets were going to be?

I think it's rather curious, and a bit absurd, that TLG chose to leave the shield out of this set. I do remember being disappointed about that, because I wanted to 'test' the Viking sets by getting the smallest set when they came out, but I wanted a shield. I ended up going with the Wyvern set, and got a few shields! Much better value, that was.
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Postby Lord_Of_The_LEGO » Thu Jul 13, 2006 4:58 pm

I'm kind of annoyed about the negative reaction to this set. To each his own, I guess.

Personally, I really like this set. The figure is perfect. I actually LIKE the KK2 swords in that color. I like the helm, and I don't care if the "plate armor" is historically accurate or not. I must repeat my old mantra, "It's LEGO, it's a freakin' toy!"

I like the wolf. Some of you whine about the bionicle/technic aspect of it, but think of this: would you have prefered a one-piece POOP monster? I don't think so. The wolf is a nice balance between form and function. The skeletal legs bother me more than the lack of a jaw. But those are minor details.

I gotta agree the shield is odd. But not useless. No part is useless. Ever.

A little fun fact: the wolf has been rebuilt as The Beast for my upcoming brickfilm Beast. Pictures soon. :wink:
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Postby Jake, of the Palace Guard » Thu Jul 13, 2006 5:16 pm

Lord_Of_The_LEGO wrote:I gotta agree the shield is odd. But not useless. No part is useless. Ever.

A little fun fact: the wolf has been rebuilt as The Beast for my upcoming brickfilm Beast. Pictures soon. :wink:


Firstly, well said. :D

Secondly, and this is a direct quote from an fbtb post of mine:

I wrote:*bangs on table, shouting "DETAILS, DETAILS" at the computer*


:wink:
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Postby Damien » Thu Jul 13, 2006 7:41 pm

and I don't care if the "plate armor" is historically accurate or not. I must repeat my old mantra, "It's LEGO, it's a freakin' toy!"


I don't think the set -suffers- because of the armour. But rather to anyone (or perhaps almost anyone) with an interest in actual history, the plate armour showing up in a set with the title 'Vikings' on it can seem jarring. Personally, I'd prefer a lack of armour, just to be more Viking-ish. Ya know? I certainly wouldn't refuse to buy the set because there's an extra set of armour in it. Haha.
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Postby ottoatm » Fri Jul 14, 2006 5:29 am

Hmm... I don't really have anything new to add, but I did want to say that I really like this set actually, and mostly because of the wolves :oops: .

I think they look so wild, big and foreign to the typical LEGO castle animal world, it's perfect for a sort of dire wolf in a dark forest or what-not. I remember that someone assembled a pack of them a took a pic awhile back, and the effect was good.

Anyway, I can see why some people don't like Bioncle, but in this case, I'd have to say that the Bioncle dire wolf is something I really look forward to using (and the viking fig doesn't hurt either).
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Postby Damien » Fri Jul 14, 2006 7:00 am

Hmm... I don't really have anything new to add, but I did want to say that I really like this set actually, and mostly because of the wolves .


Nothing wrong with that. We all have different tastes and likes. No reason for the blushy face. ;)


Anyway, I can see why some people don't like Bioncle, but in this case, I'd have to say that the Bioncle dire wolf is something I really look forward to using (and the viking fig doesn't hurt either).


For me, it's the Wolf itself, not the Bionicle pieces, that doesn't work. I actually don't mind some of the Bionicle stuff (I have a hankering to get a few of the figs to use as giants and nasty creatures with my System stuff).
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Postby ottoatm » Fri Jul 14, 2006 7:27 am

Damien wrote:For me, it's the Wolf itself, not the Bionicle pieces, that doesn't work. I actually don't mind some of the Bionicle stuff (I have a hankering to get a few of the figs to use as giants and nasty creatures with my System stuff).


Ahh... so it's the idea of a wolf itself that you're not too fond of - I missed that before, but that makes more sense to me. I can understand where you get that from - I apply the wolf to my "Fright Knights" theme setting more than to vikings - they could have sold the wolf seperatly and I would have bought more due to the reduced price. 8)
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