Set Review: Galaxy Squad 70704 Vermin Vaporizer
Friday, June 14th, 2013 at 6:29pm by Benjamin, BZPower Reporter
My only question is: Where are the Space Cicadas?
As LEGO continues to expand on their recent revitalizing of space themes, the final frontier comes to Earth in the form of some nasty bugs. But have no fear, for Galaxy Squad's 70704 Vermin Vaporizer plans to save humanity—most likely by rolling the over them and squashing them under those big wheels. Will the invaders get a step closer to conquering Earth, or should you pick up this set and help stop them? Read on as reporter ChocolateFrogs reviews this large set.
I'm a big fan of LEGO's space themes, and am glad to see more of them appear in the recent years. Having space ships appear outside Star Wars, with the likes of Mars Mission, Alien Conquest, Space Police 3, and now Galaxy Squad, has been just as exciting as seeing a new castle or pirate ship released. This set was a gift, and $60 for 506 pieces is a small stretch, but seeing larger pieces like the wheels and cockpit domes, as well as 3 cool minifigs, just might make this Extreme Battle Buggie worthwhile.
From the design of the box to the instruction manual, these are the first things you see before building the set.
The box is the box, but it's a nice, large box! There is plenty of action to attract the eye to multiple features of the set, and the white and green are good, bright colors too. The back then shows off all the cool play features (more on those later). Fun facts from the front of the box include 506 pieces and an age suggestion.
Half the fun is had building the set. How fun is it to build and how easy or challenging is it?
There are four different things to build, which overall takes a bit of time, which is nice for someone who usually only gets smaller sets. As each new vehicle comes to life, the building techniques used become more admired. There are lots of hinge-type parts, some SNOT here and there, and a very secure Technic base for the command rover Extreme Battle Buggie.
The robot's mech features some impressive guns and a clever-designed, spacious cockpit. Despite the lack of knees, the leg movement allows for a steady balance. The fact that it has a point of articulation in the waist is also a plus.
The little vehicles are simple to build but fun to play with. Notice especially the stinger-tail for the bugger's crawler. That there is some clever building that works well for this theme. (Unfortunately, also notice the flick-fire missiles, which also appear on the Extreme Battle Buggie.) But there is plenty of space for each minifig to sit and roam around with.
The most complex and impressive part of this set is the Technic frame for the Extreme Battle Buggie. Builders can take note here what LEGO does to keep it secure, light, and large enough to support everything else that will go on top. On top? There are some windows interspersed within the body, and slowly we see the laboratory become assembled.
As the Buggie gets bigger and bigger, we see the use of SNOT to add armor to the frame (as well as some nice big guns). The big dome cockpit is an impressive piece (my regrets omitting it from the interesting pieces below). Once all that is over with, the buggie stands strong and extreme, ready for battle.
Now that the set is complete, we can critique how it looks from every angle. New or interesting pieces can also be examined here.
This set has some really neat features to point out, even before we get to playability. The buggie can take some damage were it in heavy combat against the buggers, and the mech can stand tall and blast away any approaching enemy ships. However, though the guns on the mech are cool, I was disappointed they were the same. I would have hoped for a different gun or a rail cannon, something big right?, or even a hand to grab the buggers, but instead both arms are the same. Boring, in my opinion.
The robot is the coolest fig in this set, because it has a nifty head and super-sweet armor. Plus, look at that gun! This dude is ready to take a beating. The bugger also has a cool head too. The green of the set is also a different shade than we've seen in previous years, but LEGO seems to be doing that to us more recently, at least with this line. If it is helpful for incorporating more colors into a MOC, then more power to you. Unfortunately, the human needs some guns and has to grab them off his little vehicle.
There are a number of new and interesting parts here, but my favorites are the square 2x2 skid plates, the trans-purple alien cocoon, and the giant bubble window (omitted through error) on the buggie. The “Halo-style sword” is also neat, and unfortunately only one comes in the set.
The other half of the fun is in playing with the set. How well does the set function and is it enjoyable to play with.
Alright, it's taken us this long to get to it, but one of the coolest features is finally seen here: the mech “transforms” and sits the back of the buggie. There is also a space for the robot to stand and look at the instrument panels presumably housing an alien cocoon. What also makes the mech awesome is the robot can store its shield and gun right on the arms.
The little rover also parks right up front for the human to steer the buggie. Playability is neat as the front opens up to let it can roll out and explore. The only problem is it can't do this smoothly due to a lack of slope. Not that big a deal though when playing and having fun.
Playability also includes conflict in many recent LEGO sets, but what are they fighting about here? Control of Earth, probably. But throwing in some power crystals (perhaps from the new Chima line) would have worked well too, like with Insectoids or Mars Mission. They also don't want to become bugger-dinner.
Once it's all said and done, how does the set stack up? Should I get it?
What's to like?
- Lots of things to build.
- Cool figs.
- Nifty playability features.
- Strong support in build.
- Nice pieces.
What's not to like?
- Flick-fire missiles
- Weird, new green.
If we want to comment about price-per-piece, the pieces are less than $0.12 each, which isn't bad currently. The large buggie, the neat figs, and some impressive pieces make the $60 price tag unnoticeable. Commenting about playability, this set is plenty cool. The smaller sets settle for gimmicks like flick-fire missiles, but this large set provides more than that with mechs, a science station, small rovers and a bugger vehicle. In short: it's very fun! I know I'll be dismantling this for pieces, but as a set it's really cool sitting on my shelf. Take that as you will to see if this set is worth it.
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