Review: LEGO City Arctic Outpost 60035


LEGO Artic Outpost

A box full of Arctic goodness

One of the best things about being a grown-up is undoubtedly having your own disposable income. Sure, you can spend it on sensible things, but what fun is that? Far better to spend it on toys in my opinion, and that’s just what I’ve been doing. After a shopping trip that took in the rather excellent LEGO store, I came home with the new LEGO City Arctic Outpost set, and here’s what I thought of it.

LEGO Arctic Outpost

Every day, cuttin’ the ice…

Sitting somewhere in the middle of a seven kit range, the Arctic Outpost set features three Arctic-attired minifigs, a small quad bike for general scouting around, a kick-ass truck complete with crane and pleasingly chunky wheels, a selection of tools for use by the brave explorers, and a mobile lab to do some serious investigating in. Finishing off the kit is an ice boulder that contains a mysterious mineral that is surely capable of giving us super powers, or flying cars.

The mobile lab opens up, allowing your minifigs to study stuff under the on-board microscope, warm themselves up next to the heater, or just drink some coffee. To the front is what I’m assuming is meant to be storage area, although in a pinch, it could be used by one of your guys to get some shut-eye. Hitching and un-hitching it from the truck is easy, and the whole thing slides along quite nicely on its Four skis.

LEGO Arctic Outpost

Why won’t this FIT?!

Star of the show is the truck. Overall, it’s stunningly good to look at . The wheels and tyres are reassuringly chunky, and give a real sense of this being a powerful beast. At the back is an articulated crane arm, capable of lifting ice boulders should you come across any. In the middle is a storage area containing a box of tools and stuff, and in front of that is the cab. The multiple lights, exhausts stacks, and wing mirrors all finish off the look, making this one sweet, sweet Arctic truck.

As usual, the kit went together flawlessly. As much as I love my Halo Mega Bloks, the quality isn’t a patch on LEGO. The instructions were clear, the blocks went together perfectly, and the whole thing is flawlessly designed. My only criticism is the stickers. Having to put stickers on a LEGO kit is a new thing for me, and I don’t like doing it. I consoled myself with the fact that they’re much better quality than the Mega Bloks ones. The whole build was complete in around two hours, and I’m not ashamed to admit that after that, I had great fun playing with it.

Easily one of the nicest construction sets I’ve put together and played with. Well deserving of a Five out of Five score!

  • Kit Name: LEGO City Arctic Outpost
  • Kit Number: 60035
  • Number of Pieces: 374
  • Price: Around £35
LEGO Arctic Outpost

Bask in it’s Arctic splendour!



LEGO BTTF DeLorean Time Machine

You built a time machine....out of a DeLorean?!

You built a time machine….out of a DeLorean?!

With new Christmas presents comes fresh blogging inspiration! Having already written several posts about Halo Mega Bloks, I felt it only right I should redress the balance a little by looking at something from the undisputed king of construction toys; LEGO.

What, no Einstein?

What, no Einstein?

Since it’s release a little while ago, I have coveted the Back to the Future DeLorean kit. I’m a massive fan of the films, and when this surfaced on the CUUSOO site, I knew I had to have one. Much, much hinting, and several months later, I finally got one as a Christmas present, and I was happy. I put it together on Christmas day, and spent the following few hours playing with it, and getting to know its faults.

First, if you’re unsure about what LEGO CUUSOO is, I’ll go over it briefly. LEGO fans with more creative imagination than myself come up with ideas for new LEGO kits. After beavering away with their blocks, and working out how to build whatever it is they want to build, they submit their idea to the CUUSOO site. If their submission reaches 10,000 supporters, real live LEGO people look at it, and think about releasing it. Eventually, if your idea passes muster, it hits the shelves. This is how the BTTF DeLorean came to be.

Inside the box is a selection of LEGO bricks, all bagged up in the familiar way. Also included is a rather nice build book, which features a few pages on the films, and the car. I don’t know if all the ‘grown-up’ LEGO kits come with these books, but it was a nice surprise. As per usual for a LEGO kit, nothing was missing, and the instructions were clear and easy to understand. The blocks go together far nicer than the opposition’s, and there’s NO STICKERS to put on!

No Hoverboard, sadly

No Hoverboard, sadly

I’ve only built the first version so far, but things went reasonably smoothly – the whole thing was built in around an hour. Nice touches are things like the flux capacitor, and the time display on the dashboard. The wheels fold down on the first version to avoid having rebuild most of it for the V2 car, and all the other bits needed to convert it are in the box. Marty doesn’t come with a hoverboard (which is a shame), but the minifigs look great, and finish the whole thing off.

The downside with the kit is that it’s not very robust – things like the doors a little too finicky for example. LEGO kits generally have a certain amount of robustness to them, which this lacks. I don’t know whether it’ down to its CUUSOO roots or not, but this kit is very much about replicating the look of the subject in question, rather than creating a functional toy. The best way to think of it is this is more of a LEGO model than anything else.

Overall, this is a great kit, and fans of the films are sure to love it. I think the original CUUSOO concept looked slightly better, but if a few changes are what’s required to get it into my hands, I’ll live with it! Five out of Five.

  • Kit Name: The DeLorean time machine
  • Kit Number : 21103
  • Number of Pieces: 401
  • Price: Around £35

Mega Bloks Halo: Versus – Assault on High Ground


Rush the SpLazer spawn!

Back to the discontinued kits I’m afraid, for my favourite kit of all. I have so many great memories of Halo 3 multiplayer, and in particular High Ground, that the moment I saw this one, I had to buy it. Every time I look at this kit, I’m back in those games, running up the hill, trying to open the gate… The kit comes with a variety of little bits appropriate to the map; exploding crates, a trip mine and a flag. The whole thing is hinged, which helps to reduce the space needed when displaying it, and it also comes with a better version of a Ghost. The only things that let this kit down are the steps (which keep falling off), and the active camo Spartan, though that second thing is entirely personal.

One of my most favourite Halo maps, in Blok form! – Five out of Five

  • Kit Name: Versus: Assault on High Ground
  • Kit Number: 96967
  • Number of Pieces: 542
  • Price: Around £30 (Toys R Us) – Discontinued kit.

Mega Bloks catalogue page (US)

Mega Bloks Halo: Covenant Seraph



Concious of the fact that the last two kits I blogged about where discontinued, I thought I’d make this one about a current kit. The Covenant Seraph is a similar size lengthwise to the Phantom, but has much less depth. As a result the blok count only reaches 566. It still took me a fair amount of time to build, and as always with Mega Bloks, it isn’t as easy to put together as Lego. My favourite pet peeve is ever present; stickers, though they’re not too bad on this one. You get a rather generous three Elites with the kit, the cockpit only seats one, and there’s nowhere else for the other to go, so what they’re supposed to do, I don’t know. Maybe they’re there to guard the detachable stand.

Solid kit that looks great when finished – Four-and-a-half out of Five.

  • Kit Name: Covenant Seraph
  • Kit Number: 97015
  • Number of Pieces: 566
  • Price: Around £30

Mega Bloks catalogue page (US)


Mega Bloks Halo: Covenant Phantom

Phantom! Incoming!

Phantom! Incoming!

Time for a big kit. The Covenant Phantom has been discontinued now, which is a shame because its pretty awesome. Weighing in at a hefty 906 six blocks, this kit kept me busy all day last Christmas. The control surfaces at the rear all move, and the side ramps move in the correct way – you can lower just the turret section, or the whole thing. The front cockpit cover comes off, and you have a choice of two elites to put in there. Accompanying them are two Grunts, though you’ll have to do the voice yourself. The whole thing sits on a blue transfer tube-thing at the rear, and some clear blocks at the front.

The turrets keep falling off when you move it, and stickers are a little crappy (as usual). Nevertheless, still an awesome model – Four out of Five

One thing I should say about almost all the Mega Bloks kits I’ve put together; it’s not Lego, so don’t expect it to go together as well. Bear that in mind when buying.

  • Kit Name: Covenant Phantom
  • Kit Number: 96941
  • Number of Pieces: 906
  • Cost: Around £30 (Smyths Toys) – Discontinued kit

Mega Bloks catalogue page (US)

Mega Bloks Halo: ODST Ambush

Prepare to drop!

Prepare to drop!

Another excellent small set, this time based on Halo 3 ODST. A quick build that went together well. There are some stickers to put on, but they’re not too tricky to get right, plus the quality is pretty good. In general, I’m not a fan of Mega Bloks stickers, I think they’re a faff, and usually they’re poor quality. Not so here. Favourite part of the kit though is the ODST figure, love it.

Despite the stickers, another great set – Five out of Five

  • Kit Name: ODST Ambush
  • Kit Number: 96931
  • Number of Pieces: 69
  • Cost: Around £6 (  – Discontinued kit

Mega Bloks catalogue page (US)

Megabloks Halo: UNSC Cryo Bay

Good things come in small boxes

Good things come in small boxes

I love this kit! It’s dead easy to put together, and really ties into the games nicely. There’s no stickers to put on, which is a bonus, and the tiny Cortana really sets the whole thing off. Megabloks often nail it when making these smaller kits, and it’s no different here. Goes together very well too, which seems to suggest Mega Bloks are improving the fit of their blocks.

One of the best kits in my collection – Five out of Five

  • Kit Name: UNSC Cryo Bay
  • Kit Number: 97088
  • Number of Pieces: 72
  • Cost: Around £12

Mega Bloks catalogue page (US site) 


Mini Review – McFarlane Toys “Emile” (Halo Reach)

One of my latest additions to my Halo figure collection is this one, Emile from Halo Reach. The Reach range of figures has on average over twenty points of articulation, with Emile here having eighteen moving joints (more if you include being able to twist things like the knees), all of which are typical McFarlane Toys – either too tight or too loose.  The hips and shoulder joints have changed the most from previous Spartan figures, getting more beefy with less (and more realistic in my opinion) articulation. Painting and detail is good, better than on the regular Noble 6/Reach Spartan figures in fact, and his shotgun is nicely reproduced . The only downside is his hands. Like previous Spartan ranges, all the Reach Spartans appear to have the same hands. Totally fine for Noble 6 who comes with an Assault Rifle, but Emile comes with a shotgun which has a very thin grip, too thin in fact to fit the standard hand, and as a result it’s very difficult to get him to hold his weapon correctly.

Better quality than the early Halo 3 series figures, but room for improvement – Four out of Five

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