70810: MetalBeard’s Sea Cow Review
Value for Money:
Although MetalBeard’s Sea Cow was only officially unveiled a few of weeks ago at the New York Toy Fair, it was originally discovered late last year via an image included in The LEGO Movie Essential Guide published by DK Books. After being available to LEGO VIP members since February 17th MetalBeard’s Sea Cow is now available for everyone to buy from LEGO Brand Stores or from Shop@Home. But is this latest LEGO exclusive ship shape or does it belong in Davy Jones Locker? Read our very special review to find our thought on newest and biggest of The LEGO Movie sets.
Box, Packaging and Instructions
When you open a set and the instruction booklet is almost as think as a phonebook you know you’re in for one hell of a build, which is the first thing I loved about MetalBeard’s Sea Cow. Of all the other large sets I’ve built the instructions have come across multiple booklet, but for this one the entire build is all in one handy book, a whopping 282 page book to be precise. Apart from this different style of booklet, they still follow the same format as previous instructions with the classic pale blue and yellow border design, parts list and adverts for The LEGO Movie Videogames and additional sets in the theme. Packaging wise the box design matches that of the others in The LEGO Movie range, as I’ve stated in my other reviews from this theme I feel the dark blue colour used for the background really doesn’t help to portrait the set imagery in the best possible way. The photography seems to get lost against the dark background. But the corner splash on the front of the box is set against a lighter blue which helps to show off the minifigures included. But being such a large box you get a nice big image of the Sea Cow on the front of the box with plenty of ‘action’ shots on the back highlighting some of the set’s features. If you’ve ever purchased a larger LEGO exclusive you’ll know they come is a stronger ‘resealable’ box which is certainly needed for all the LEGO elements it holds inside. These come is numbered bags, which for a build of this size is really helpful especially if you are light on construction space. Officially there are 9 numbered steps, but each of these steps have 2 or 3 bags for each number, then each of these bags have more bags within them, along with these numbered bags there’s a few larger loose and bagged LEGO pieces, so there’s a rather large number of bags, with an even larger amount of LEGO.
Build Process, Parts and Minifigure(s)
As mentioned above the build is split across 9 stages, beginning with the mini MetalBeard and Queasy Kitty builds along with the Emmet and Wyldstyle minifigures. The MetalBeard is a nice little build and the completed model is okay but pales in comparison to the full sized one included in set 70807 MetalBeard’s Dual. Queasy Kitty follows the same build process and elements use as all other versions of Uni Kitty, with the elements used for this one are a fairly unusual colour and there is a printed 3×1 brick that features Queasy Kitty’s green-gilled face. The Emmet minifig is the same as all other versions featuring a double-sided face and the Piece of Resistance. Wyldstyle again is a mirror image of all other versions and features a folded hood neck element.
Stage two of the build focuses on the two Micro Managers, Emmet’s Double Decker Couch plus the Vitruvius and Benny minifigures. The two Micro Managers are unique to this set and are of the flying variety. But still follow the same distinct style of those in other sets, the smaller of the two features a pop out net trap, whilst the slightly larger Manager has a fold out satellite dish. Emmets Double Decker Couch is a nice little addition and uses some nice pale blue flat 2×2 squares as the ‘fabric’ of the seating. But the star of this part of the build is of course that 1980-something Space Guy – Benny. It’s an exact copy of the it’s actual 80s counterpart but features Benny’s super happy face, scuffed Space logo and the infamous snapped chin strap on his helmet which is actually crafted as a new mold, which gives the impression of being broken.
Once you’re finished putting together the minifigures and accessories, the big build begins. I must admit when I first started building the Sea Cow it didn’t look like it was that big, but as you begin with the hull you are lured into a false sense of scale. Something which is completely shattered as you progress though the build. This ship is seriously huge and incredibly detailed. I’m not going to go into immense detail with how each stage is put together as you’ll be reading this all day, nor am I going to break down many of the unique elements as I wouldn’t expect a set of this size and cost to be used just to reap parts. But the hull section of the Sea Cow is by far the larger part of the overall build and features 6 flick cannons with crates of 1×1 round bricks. You’ll also find a working pair of anchors which can be dropped with the turn of an cross axle rod. At the rear of the ship you’ll find a rudder which pivots and although it looks cool it feels very delicate as if it could easily be knocked off.
The detailing on the sides of the ship is the most fliddley part of the build with plenty of small sections and elements, but it really helps give the ship a fantastic finish. The ships fronting and side rear sections are built separate to the main hull and are connected via vertical snap elements. But my favourite sections of the build are the side doors of MetalBeards cabin, these just look really cool. They are built up in such a way so the slant against the frame but are still really sturdy. These are also hinged, allowing you to see inside which is home to even more detail. The build then moves onto main section of the cabin, this too has some lovely detail including a globe, ink well, charts and compass. There’s a lot of stickering going on here too including a piratery portrait handing on the wall, the aforementioned charts and the windows. But my favourite element is the ‘ship in a bottle’ bottle. A simple LEGO bottle with a ship printed on it, it’s this sort of detail which makes this set so very impressive.
This cabin section of the ship is where things start to get quite vertical. On top of the captains quarters, you’ll build the top deck. This is another section which looks quite cool, as it looks a little bit like a throne. The ships wheel is located here along with an awesome little telescope. The whole thing is finished off with 3 masts, a furnace chimney and two turbines. This is where you’ll find most of the unique elements, such as the panel fins which are mainly used in Technic sets. The first mast features a dual gun mount and crow nest, with the second and largest mast also featuring a bigger crows nest, which I personally don’t like as its a bit flimsy. This section, where you’ll also find the chimney, lifts out allowing access to the flick cannons. It wouldn’t be the mighty Sea Cow without an actual Sea Cow masthead adorning the front of the ship, this is a created using a LEGO cow which of course has wings.
MetalBeard’s Sea Cow really is a huge and detailed build, going into more detail about the build process would mean you’ll be reading this for a couple of weeks. But I hope I’ve covered the basics as well as the some of the sets best features. As soon as I first saw this set I knew I wanted it and I knew it would offer a fun build. What I didn’t realize is that it would turn out to be a big and as detailed as it is. It’s been built with playability in mind, but the high pricing and build difficulty would mean most kids would never get a chance to push this round their bedroom. So for many this will become a mighty impressive display piece. The Benny minifig is delightful and captures his happy-go-lucky attitude on display in The LEGO Movie, it would of been nice if Batman was included along with the other minifigs, as he plays a key role in the section of the film in which the Sea Cow is featured. The mini MetalBeard is a little disappointing but I can see why they choose to do it, in terms of scale to the rest of the build. The rudder is also a little iffy and can easily disconnect if knocked and finally the small smooth 2×2 blue discs that are placed along the bottom of the ship make it sit unevenly on a flat surface, so I removed them.
Those issues aside this really is a great set, it looks amazing sat upon a shelf surrounded by the double decker couch and the various members of The LEGO Movie. It’s high level of detail is breathtaking and provides a visual treat. The build is fun but not overly taxing and doesn’t offer anything innovative in terms of build techniques.
MetalBeard’s Sea Cow is a LEGO Exclusive set and therefore is only available via Shop@Home and in LEGO Brand Stores. This set was NOT provided by The LEGO Group it was purchased by myself using my very own pocket money.