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Weekly Set Review: Viking Warrior Challenges the Fenris Wolf

Discussion of official LEGO Castle Theme sets and products

Postby TwoTonic Knight » Fri Jul 14, 2006 4:06 pm

Damien wrote: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.


It's the bad helmet along with the bad sword along with the inappropriate (though useful) armor that gets to me. Layer upon layer upon layer of getting things wrong. I toss the helmets for the most part - my vikings generally get nasaled helms or spectacle helms. I toss the new swords - on top of being an awful design their material is rotten for modding. The original lego swords would have worked much better for the Vikings (but I got a number of Little Armory viking swords). The axe is a little too large for my taste, but still useful. The shields I love (and this set lacks that). The armor is fine from a part standpoint, but the euro-armor is dirt common now.

It's nice that LEGO made a small cheap set. Lots of people will no doubt love the set for what it is. It just doesn't do it for me.
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Postby zac_schmitt » Fri Jul 14, 2006 9:16 pm

This is a great set to a kid, but it will clearly have problems with AFOL's. Mainly because of the wolf. If you could mount a saddle on that thing, I might forgive them, but it ain't gonna happen.


i've found that simply putting a fig's legs in the gap between the head and body piece of the wolf, and then keeping the wolf's head as firmly upright (the wolf looking straight ahead, say) keeps the fig sort of in place. it doesn't look great and it is apt to fall out fairly easily, but it works pretty well for me when i want an orc or other baddie to fight mounted knight's on wolfback. :wink: to anyone who has better modifications to keep a guy actually on top of the wolf, pictures would be endlessly appreciated.

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.


yeah, as has been said, the horned helmets bug me more than anything else. i know that in order to appear even remotely like the popular conception of vikings they need these helmets, but they still bug me. also, they're always turning around and falling off in play. annoying. the armor, which is just the wrong era, doesn't bug me as much as the helmets, which never existed, ever.

but oh well. i really try and stay positive by thinking that, well, it's not like vikings really fought dragons and sea serpents and stuff. if i want historically accurate stuff, i'll have to make it myself. these are fantasy vikings, just like fantasy knights and everyone else. :D
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Postby Slobey » Sat Jul 15, 2006 4:48 am

TwoTonic Knight wrote: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.


Lego has and always will make sets based on the 'romanticiced' view of history (pirate captain with pegleg and eye patch holding a parrot anyone?). They simply want thier product to be recognised by children as 'vikings'. You seem to think that they are simply fueling a stereotype when all TLG care about is moving product.

I admire the fact that you like everything to be historicly accurate but at the end of the day it is first and foremost a childs toy. I'm sure that the fact that most lego structures have 3 walls has never put you off buying a castle before :)
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Postby Anubisconq » Sat Jul 15, 2006 1:36 pm

It is one of the better sets of late. My only complaints are these.
1. The Viking Helm is four studs wide. Fitting through narrow doors could be a problem.
2. The Wolf has no lower jaw. As someone else mentioned once, the jaw plays a key part in Norse mythology. For example, Fenris bites Tyr's hand off. How do you do that with no lower jaw :oops: ?
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Postby Lord_Of_The_LEGO » Sat Jul 15, 2006 4:45 pm

Slobey wrote:I admire the fact that you like everything to be historicly accurate but at the end of the day it is first and foremost a childs toy. I'm sure that the fact that most lego structures have 3 walls has never put you off buying a castle before :)


AMEN, BRUTHA!


Anubisconq wrote:The Wolf has no lower jaw. As someone else mentioned once, the jaw plays a key part in Norse mythology. For example, Fenris bites Tyr's hand off. How do you do that with no lower jaw :oops: ?


I agree the lack of jaw is a problem. But look on the bright side: you can make your own! That's what so great about LEGO. Want to give old Fenny a jaw? Rebuilt him! Want to give him a saddle? Rebuild him! Want to convert him into the physical manifistation of the evil in all of us for a stop-motion animation? Rebuild him! Oh, wait....I've said too much... ;)
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Postby TwoTonic Knight » Sat Jul 15, 2006 6:45 pm

Slobey wrote:Lego has and always will make sets based on the 'romanticiced' view of history (pirate captain with pegleg and eye patch holding a parrot anyone?). They simply want thier product to be recognised by children as 'vikings'. You seem to think that they are simply fueling a stereotype when all TLG care about is moving product.


You seem to be putting words into my mouth. :wink:

The sword is just plain ugly. The helmet is unblanced and doesn't sit down well on the head on top of being inaccurate. The euro-armor looks overlarge in juxtaposition with the high-sitting helmet. It's also inaccurate. The whole figure looks like a cluge of disparate parts - which in fact is exactly what it is.

I'm well aware (and probably more so than 99.999999% of you, speaking as an artist/designer/producer of software in the past) that LEGO wants to move product and make money. They don't design for me. But I still toss in my 2 sprues of gold coins worth.

I admire the fact that you like everything to be historicly accurate but at the end of the day it is first and foremost a childs toy. I'm sure that the fact that most lego structures have 3 walls has never put you off buying a castle before :)


Being a toy allows it to be a fantasy piece. But it doesn't save it from being an unappealing design.
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Postby ottoatm » Sat Jul 15, 2006 7:07 pm

In an interesting coincidence, I stumbled across this set today for rock-bottom prices.. 2.99 a box!!! Needless to say, I have enough wolves right now to take out all the Metra-nu-na-whatevers in the Bioncle world! :D

I'm finding a strange paradox here, where some sets are way overpriced, and others are almost given away for free.

Anyway, upon looking at the set, I do stand by my original feeling, but I can see how some of the major customizers and history-buffs get an urge to post some criticism... and it's good - besides being educational, it brings up ways to improve the sets on my own.
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Postby Lord Felix » Sat Jul 15, 2006 7:22 pm

I toss the helmets for the most part - my vikings generally get nasaled helms or spectacle helms. I toss the new swords - on top of being an awful design their material is rotten for modding


I want to know where your trash can is, TwoTonic Knight! I find this set lacking, but the black euro armour is tempting. I dislike the helms because they are not accurate. I find the idea of heavy plate on vikings uncool, but you get the armour to use elsewhere, and because the torso is printed, you still get the viking goodness.

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