Set Review: 70811 The Flying Flusher
Thursday, January 2nd, 2014 at 10:01pm by Andrew, BZPower News Manager
[Source: Nuju Metru]
The LEGO Movie set reviews continue to roll in! Today Forum Assistant Nuju Metru is back to take a look at 70811 The Flying Flusher, another of the 2-in-1 sets. Should you flush this one down the drain or go save it from the sewer? You'll have to read on to find out!
Hey guys, and welcome to the BZPower review of set 70811, "The Flying Flusher," from the LEGO Movie line! Once more, I'd like to thank both TLG for giving us at BZP free stuff and Andrew for passing some of it on to me. Read on to see my thoughts - captured for you in both a video and the traditional text/image format - on this 2-in-1 model. Will the set be all it can be? Will I be able to resist several awful toilet puns? Let's find out!
From the design of the box to the instruction manual, these are the first things you see before building the set.
"The Flying Flusher" comes in a box of the same display-space dimensions as the rest of the LEGO Movie 2-in-1 sets. The theme logo occupies the top left corner of the box front, emerging diagonally from a filmstrip. The corner of the box opposite the logo demonstrates the 2-in-1 nature of the set, showing the plumber van and Port-a-Potty that can be made out of the pieces within.
The other model takes up most of the display space; the "creative" model (quotation marks here employed to label the non-traditional model as such, not to imply the reviewer's scorn) - in this set a toilet plane thing - flies towards one of Lord Business's evil Micro Managers in pursuit of a terrified-looking scrub-clad doctor, launching its projectile plungers at the nasty (probably just misunderstood) cube as it zooms forward.
The upper portion of the back of the box is more evenly divided between plumber van and toilet plane. The plumber van picture is the same one from the front of the box, but larger and on a different backdrop; the toilet plane is given another dynamic diorama, which looks almost like a mirror image of the front of the box's picture.
The bottom employs a larger-than-life filmstrip to house the images demonstrating the set's functions and other details. From left to right, they are: opening doors (plumber van model), a removable roof (applicable to both plumber van and the toilet plane, as a matter of fact), a better look at the set's figures (Plumber Joe, his apprentice Alfie, and Dr. McScrubs, here looking much calmer than he did on the front of the box), the toilet plane's plunger gun (unclog, for justice!), and a preview/ad for "The LEGO Movie Videogame" (Rating pending).
But enough of the box... Let's gut it and play with its innards.
Half the fun is had building the set. How fun is it to build and how easy or challenging is it?
The 2-in-1 sets offer much more building time (twice as much, actually) as other sets of their price point. I, for one, like this; building new products is fun, and for these, we get double the experience. Both models come together slower than I expected, as they are made up of mostly small parts (which offer more potential versatility, after all).
Speaking of piece versatility, I wondered during the building process how the 2-in-1 sets were designed... Which model came first in the design process? Which model was prioritized for its brick needs? My suspicions that the "traditional" model - the plumber van, in this case - came first, and that the "creative" model - the toilet plane - came second were reinforced especially when I was building the creative model, which occasionally used smaller pieces stacked together or alongside one another to make up for a lacking larger piece. However, some considerations had to have been made for the creative model, too, since after building the plumber van, a few key pieces for the toilet plane (the middle of the propeller, the rear fin, the plunger gun hub, etc.) were left over.
"The Flying Flusher" includes three instruction books: one for the plumber van, one for the toilet plane, and one for the minifigs and Micro Manager. To my happiness, the Micro Manager's component parts were not required for building either of the set's two main models, meaning that our adorable villain can remain built regardless of whether you want to play with plumber van or toilet plane.
Now that the set is complete, we can critique how it looks from every angle. New or interesting pieces can also be examined here.
In terms of new/interesting pieces included in this set, there are a few parts here of note. The hub of the plunger gun, first seen with the Super Heroes constraction figures, makes an unlikely but welcome appearance here. The three-way connector - almost like an inverse of the other triangular Technic connector, first seen in 2007 if I'm not mistaken - isn't new either, but it's rare enough for me to appreciate it.
The plunger head is a new element as of this year, and "The Flying Flusher" is one of its most prominent appearances; the other set I can think of that the element comes in is the less-affordable (and consequently gorgeous) Parisian Restaurant modular building. Neither baseball cap nor combed hair pieces are new, but they're the first ones I've gotten, and they're nice parts. The 1x1 round tile in silver and the 1x2 rounded slope are excellent and highly versatile pieces.
Here are our three figures: Dr. McScrubs, Alfie the Apprentice, and Plumber Joe. I believe all three have new torso printing, and both plumbers have cool leg printing that gives them overall pockets and tool belts. These plumbers are smart, wearing overalls like this... they eliminate the dangerous possibility of a certain infamous crack. The stitching printed on both overalls and McScrubs' scrubs is fine detailing. I believe both McScrubs and Joe have new facial prints.
From the back, we can see that all three figures come with well-wrought back printing. Without his glorious soap-opera hair, we can see that McScrubs has been equipped with a deliciously distressed reverse facial print, ideal for displaying terror as he runs from the Micro Manager. The figures in this set are vastly better than those of Castle Cavalry, as they are more detailed and are almost entirely (if not totally; I'm not sure if Alfie's face has been seen before) newly printed. The colors on the figures are well devised; I'm especially a fan of the sand blue scrubs and tan sweaters.
The Micro Manager in this set comes with little arms and legs, isn't that precious? The spindly arms are quite posable, as are the legs (if balancing the Micro Manager isn't a priority for you, that is). The legs can fold back into its body, which is a nice touch, and the Micro Manager comes equipped with flickfire missiles on either side of its body. I like these guys as baddies; they're adorably menacing, and are well constructed. I'm a fan of the variety TLG's designers have given them, too.
The first instruction manual I followed yielded the traditional model - the plumber van - and an accompanying misbehaving public lavatory.
The Port-a-Potty, unlike the catapult and lanterns that accompanied the traditional model in "Castle Cavalry," feels like it deserves to be here. It's a very clever design, with SNOT walls that lend it the perfect shape. The inside, though, is what really sells me here: the toilet, seat and all, is fully realized. On the side (you can't see in the above image too well) it comes with a roll of toilet paper. The other side holds a flush button. This is one snazzy Port-a-Potty, since it comes with actual water and a flushing button.
The plumber van is smaller than I expected, but very sturdy and pretty. The blue-and-white color scheme is clean and effective, and little details - tools on the sides of the walls, pipes strapped to the top, a store of plungers in back, metal doors in back and side, a suction attachment point inside - really sell this as a van ready to fight naughty waterworks. There aren't too many stickers, just the license plates and two "Joe's Plumbing" logos, and they're well placed.
The top of the van is removable in one piece, and when it's off, we're given better access to the aforementioned plungers and suction attachment point, as well as the driver's seat and steering wheel. The roof is held in place by two jumper plates among the smooth blue tiles.
The second manual gives us the toilet plane. This turned out bigger than I expected, especially after the more diminutive van. The plane is long and surprisingly elegant (or, as elegant as a van-fronted aircraft can be), with smooth sides and SNOT used to good effect. The shaping in back is particularly good, with the bulky front of the plane tapering pleasantly to the tail fins. I really enjoy this model because, while it keeps a plumbing heritage, everything on the plane seems to serve a definite purpose: the toilet plane comes equipped with water guns on the wings, a propeller made out of tools, a plunger gun, landing gear pulled from the van, a toilet seat scope, and even innards made of pipes (revealed by opening the doors on the sides). The model, aside from being pleasant to look at, is clever and playful in its fine reworking of detail.
As on the van, the top of the plane's cabin is removable so that minifigures can be seated inside. I'd also like to point out that the big logo from the van has found its way into the cabin, which is cute; it's like interior decorating! Speaking of seats, the open one on the back of the plane - the gunner's seat - is probably my favorite part of this model. The toilet seat usage is brilliant, but the shaping of the seat is what really sells me, here.
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?
Insofar as play features go, "The Flying Flusher" really only includes some flickfire missiles (two on the Micro Manager, and the plunger gun on the toilet plane). The Micro Manager's flickfires stir me to monumental indifference, but the plunger gun delights me. It's such a fun addition to the toilet plane, and I appreciate that for the first time in a long time the actual flickfire stock part doesn't feel unnecessarily tacked on to the projectile head; on the other hand, it's essential to the projectiles. The inclusion of extra ammo is great, too, though I wish there was actually a reload mechanism included, not just the gesture of one.
The real play value of a 2-in-1 set, though, is indicated by its title: you get two models for the price of one. Admittedly, one of the two looks a little hodgepodge when held up against TLG's usual wares, but I don't think that's important; in fact, it's kind of nice to see models that are more about creative liberty - the legacy of the brand, the really unique thing about LEGO - and less about accurate representation of something or other which, though the company has gotten even better at over the years, dampens some of the toys' intangible magic.
In a similar vein, the 2-in-1 designator is actually something of a misnomer, because like all LEGO products, this one is really an "infinity-in-1" set. The building possibilities that come inside any LEGO product - including those designed only to make one thing - are practically limitless, which we often forget. Just six 2x4 LEGO bricks can be combined a whopping 915,103,765 different ways - if they're all the same color! The 2-in-1 product does something really great: it reminds us, as consumers, of the potential inherent in the LEGO system. These sets in particular invite invention. Why should a plumber van be limited to becoming just one other thing, after all?
Once it's all said and done, how does the set stack up? Should I get it?
"The Flying Flusher" seizes the 2-in-1 concept that I first looked at and appreciated in "Castle Cavalry" and takes it to a superior place. The creative model - the toilet plane - isn't just a gesture towards imagination: it's a victory of imagination, a unique and whimsical concept realized with elegance and humor that I didn't expect for a model wrought from something else's parts. The plumber van and Port-a-Potty are well-made models, admittedly, but unlike in "Castle Cavalry," it's the unexpected model that takes the cake here. The 2-in-1 capability only enhances the attractiveness of the product.
In fact, I feel invited to keep this set out of my big bins of LEGO, and instead to isolate its pieces in a little box, so that I might see how many fun things I can challenge myself to create with them. If you're going to get one of the 2-in-1 models, "The Flying Flusher" might have your name on it.
What's to like?
- Awesome product concept is executed to its potential
- A handful of rare parts, and tons of SNOT bricks
- Two sets for the price of one
- Minifigs are well-designed
- Micro Manager is cute, can exist with both models
- Not too many stickers, and placed reasonably
- Price-to-piece ratio is good
- Plumber van is pretty and detailed, as is public bathroom
- Toilet plane is surprisingly well-wrought, more fun than plumber van
What's not to like?
- Micro Manager has difficulties standing unless legs are straight
- Product may encourage children to make potty jokes
This set is pretty excellent, from my point of view. Maybe you don't get a mega-accurate reproduction of the Mines of Moria or an X-Wing, but you get a model that stimulates creativity while being pretty in its own right. "The Flying Flusher" is simply a lot of fun.
"No!" Dr. McScrubs screamed. "Don't play with used plungers! I just washed my hands!"
Be sure to thank Nuju Metru in the Talkback for taking the time to put together another review so quickly - and while you're at it, you can ask any questions you might have. If you enjoyed this review, fear not - we've still got plenty more to do, so keep checking back right here on BZPower!
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