9464: The Vampyre Hearse Review
Value for Money:
This week we carry on our reviews of the awesome Monster Fighter theme, this week we will look at the middle of the range sets. I start the ball rolling with the Vampyre Hearse. I only got this the other week as the box was damaged so got some knocked off RRP and it also helped rekindle my fondness for this theme, as I had gotten rid of the smaller sets and just kept the awesome Haunted House.
This is the 4 set going from smallest to largest, obviously not including the polybags. You can still get this from retailers and brand stores and depending where you shop you can get it for about £22.00 at the moment.
Box, Packaging and Instructions
The box is a decent size, the front has the set with the very awesome Monster Fighter colour scheme. It is one thing I love about this theme is everything from the box artwork really works well with the theme. Also on the front you have the age range, set number and the two monsters included in the sets (Lord Vampyre and Zombie) Although you also get DrRodney Rathbone. The sides have the usual detail, the top has the minifigures and the 1:1 scale image. The back is full of details, you have a comic strip at the top telling the story of how Lord Vampyre is trying to get all the stones (one in each set).
You get a nice picture of the sets and also the playability features such as the glow in the dark face, coffin and firing mechanism. The set comes in two large numbered packets and the build is split into two as well. The instruction booklet comes with same cover as the box and has 70 pages, 67 of those for the build, then at back you get parts list, LEGO Club advert and a two page spread advertising the theme and website (that is still live). One thing worth mentioning is the instructions have a moon and cloud pattern on the background that adds to the spookiness.
Build Process, Parts and Minifigure(s)
Starting with the minifigures, as mentioned already in this set we get 3 minifigures, two monster and one monster fighter; Lord Vampyre, Zombie and DrRodney Rathbone. Zombie appears in 4 sets including 2 polybags, this version of Lord Vampyre is unique to this set due to the lack of a cape and Dr.Robney Rathbone appears in two others sets. The good thing is the elements are all unique to this theme besides the black hat the Zombie wears.
The set comes with 314 pieces plus a sticker sheet. The rare elements are the coffin that is only in three sets and the lid is only in two sets, the motorbike only appears in 3 sets and the dark red 1X1 W/Tooth is only found in 7 sets, the major parts are in the set are fairly common elements.
The build starts with the minifigure assembly which is straight forward, then you spend a couple of minutes construction the motorbike over 6 steps, a rather straight forward process. The the rest of bag one is spent constructing the main body of the hearse, each step gives you pieces required with the early steps having two to a page. The build is straight forward, although I did check pieces required at one point so had to go back a few steps due to what I missed. By step 34 the engine, and the drivers area is built. I do like the large vehicles that allow two minifigures to sit together. It gives a better scale than the one seater vehicles.
We move on to bag two and begin with the playability factor of the set the spring loaded coffin in the back, it is a simple design but effective and rather fun to launch minifigures out of. Once that is in place we focus on putting the lid on the back of the hearse and the roof on the cab section that comes with a very cool sticker. At step 54 we flip the car upside down and begin work on the under carriage, this only takes a few steps before we add the finishing touches to the vehicle.
The completed model is one my favourite mid range sets you can see from the official photos below the detailing on the hearse is good even though it has the much needed action feature that is common in LEGO sets these days. I like also how we are limited to one sticker that really finishes off the hearse, my only moan is if you take coffin off the launch mechanism its a bit of a pain trying to reattach it.
I’m usually not a fan of the mid range sets as they sometimes lack something you find it sets a bit more expensive and as such I usually either get smaller sets to fill my collection or just stick to the larger sets. However on this occasion I really like it and I would go as far as saying it is my favourite LEGO Car. The playabilty feature LEGO insist on adding means usually sacrificing looks but on this occasion the found a great balance. The finished look is great and added to that the width of the car makes it for me one to get.
If I had to pick fault with it then the coffin issue above is a pain so try and not pull it off and also if you put minifigures in front due to the design the arms end up near their head but that is being picky. If you only want a few of the MF sets this is a must buy I would recommend getting this rather than the 3 smaller sets anyday of the week. Right now on Amazon it is down to just £21 pound!