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8780 - A Review of the Citadel of Orlan
Yaron Dori, Ben Ellermann ed. 3 II 05



In this article I will give my review on this set, revealing parts of this set for those who do not own it yet. This will be the first in a series of reviews about Knights Kingdom II sets.

The Citadel of Orlan structure has three main parts: The Bridge, The Main Tower and the Back. I will review each of those parts separately at first and then together as a whole.


Part I: The Bridge



The bridge by itself looks like a less interesting version of set 8778 Border Ambush. It even uses the same minifigs. This part uses 2 triangular BURPs in brown. It is the first time TLC ever made this part in brown (new brown of course). The entire structure is not that stable. The base plates are nice on one hand and useful but not attached together well in the model. A very unique, and somewhat weird, technique is used to raise the bridge using 2 big rocks as counterweights. If you spin the technic-axle modified wagon wheels, a piece that we missed so much, it even works moderately well.

Again the entire structure is not very stable or made from a lot of parts, which are mostly big ones. One good brick they do use in it is the gray slope 2x2x2, which is not common, especially in grey.


Part II: The Main Tower



The main tower looks great at first glance except it is too bulky. It looks nice from some angles and looks pretty empty from others. It uses two new weird pieces: a base plate and an oversized wall piece. The Technic bricks in this section are dominating which would be fine if it was a Technic set but it is not. On the backside of the tower, as you can see in the picture above, they used many green Technic bricks to look like a long green vine. Actually it used for the minifigure to climb up as it can be seen here


Part III: The Back



The back section is somewhat surprising. The nice snake monster on the lower level adds a nice touch and works well. The axe/chest trap is really over used. I am not a big fan of the 4 axes turntable. The idea is nice but it could have been made so much better. The slide on the side of the model is ok but no more then that.


All Together

All together the model looks nice and interesting. On one hand the modularity of the model is very nice, on the other hand there is no other useful way to combine them all together. There is no real attachment between the 3 sections at all which could have been easily fixed by adding technic pins.


Bricks



The set include some nice bricks like green and new blue slopes, which are not common slopes. Many simple bricks are included which is cool. Transparent bricks such as a clear 1x1 round brick, a clear 2x2 round brick, two 1x1 trans-red bricks and two 1x1 trans-yellow bricks. I hate the new wall piece and the new base plate. I think that TLC took much effort to create these without a good reason. The Technic parts gone wild here which is really a contradiction. On one hand LEGO created a very bulky set that can be played with by really small kids and on the other hand they are using Technic parts on it. Overall there are 442 pieces in this set.


Color Scheme

I am not going to enter again into the war of new vs. old colors. The only colors that are not new in this set are Black, White and Green. Surprisingly enough you can find shreds of Natural Red in the set rather then the Dark Red, which is more common these years, and even a few Yellow bricks. I guess the overall color scheme for the set is ok.


Minifigures and Accessories



Rascus - He is without his Green Euro armor for a change. His torso can be very useful for Hindu models such as 7418 - Scorpion Palace. His visor looks bad.

Santis He is the normal version.

Shadow Knight It is no doubt one of the better minifigures in KKII.

The Guardian He is only included in this set so far and has a nice torso.

Weapons: 2 new swords (yellow and metal cyan), 2 shields with the bear and lion emblem, one red Euro Armor, one black spear, one clear yellow spear which was so far common only on Alpha Team sets, 4 black axes and 1 brown axes.

Other parts: 5 gems (clear yellow, clear red, clear blue, clear cyan and clear green) nothing unique there. Small radar dish in trans orange.


Playability

I think between the falling bridge with the rocks, the climbing twigs, the falling axe, the turntable axes, the slide and unique monster, the set is full with playability, which seems to be a determent factor on those KKII sets.


Box



The Box looks great which is another common factor of all the KKII sets. Some of the pictures on the box show Rascus with the Green Euro Armor, other pictures on the box seem to show the wrong skull.

Picture 2 - Picture 3


Alternative Models

Don't have a lot to say about those 3 models except from that I'm not a big fan of them.


The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Good: The model looks ok and has a lot of playability. I think it is one of the better models of KKII. Other positive things are the modularity, 4 minifigs (2 very good ones), 442 pieces (among them a lot useful bricks), a yellow spear, a frog, a skull and a cool box.

Bad: It has two useless walls, 5 new base plates, which are not useful, and bad alternative models. They could have tried harder with some unique parts like other colors for the gems. Also there aren't any horses, bardings, etc. The modularity is useless because there isn't really any alternative way to connect the models together and they are not connected securely with pins. Finally, the structure of the bridge is very unstable.

Ugly: Ignoring the new colors issue again, the set is rather bulky. There are way too many Technic bricks that are not even hidden. They make the set look ugly for no reason. The falling axe trap is really overdone by now.



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