I’ve been pretty excited about the Lego Movie sets. Every set is full of cool parts and interesting building techniques, not to mention that the price per part is very reasonable. The Trash Chomper caught my eye immediately with the crazy mechanical maw and vibrant green. I picked one up last weekend at my local Lego store and spent the afternoon building.
The first thing that stood out when I poured the contents onto the table was the three instruction booklets and the unnumbered bags. There are a separate instruction booklets for the primary and alternate builds and a third booklet for the Micro Manager (bad guy) and the minifigs.
There isn’t much point in numbering the bags, since you’ll need to open all four to put everything together. As seems to be common these days, the minifigs are spread out through multiple bags. I opened everything up and started building.
The Micro Manager is a nice little build on its own. The body is a cube built with some simple snot techniques. The side panels hinge open to reveal flick missiles. The color scheme is simple, but I’m a sucker for translucent parts, so I love the trans red and black.
A nice little chef figure is along for the ride, providing a victim for the Micro Manager’s attack. I like simple minifigs like this, city folk with character, and the movie sets are full of them, the quirky every-men of Lego City.
I decided to build the alternate first, since I knew that I was more interested in the Chomper than the more mundane garbage truck. The design shares a lot with the current range of 6-wide City trucks. I built that garbage truck recently, so there was more than a little deja vu.
Some of the pieces seemed odd, mostly hidden inside the truck. That made more sense when I thought about how those pieces would be showcased on the primary build. The overall design comes out more comic than real, short and much too wide in the rear end (10 studs across).
As long as you are willing to forgive the wide ass, it’s a fun little truck. The minifigs are nice too, a pair of detailed sanitation workers. The driver even comes with the red mug that has become the signature of their truck drivers.
The primary build is really where this set shines. Though there are a number of visual similarities, I had to completely disassemble the garbage truck to build the Chomper. None of the techniques were very surprising, but the clever reuse of the truck parts kept me interested and smiling. The chomping jaws are particularly satisfying, if a bit finicky in their operation.
Overall this is a great set. It’s full of great snot bricks and bright colors. The minifigs have nice character and they’d be welcome in any Lego city. With almost 400 pieces in a $30 set, I think this one is a no-brainer for any builder that likes that chompy model on the box. Enjoy!