The Minecraft theme is strange. Most AFOLs really could care less for it, yet it is one of the longest running (non-evergreen) themes. Five years of sets and it took this long to introduce the humble chicken.
One look at the box and I was sold. That chicken shaped coop is just too much. I immediately thought of 72004 Tech Wizard Showdown and its mech piloted by a battle suit that was in turn piloted by a knight. The concept was so absurd that I couldn’t help but dig in.
I have to say that I was a bit underwhelmed when I spilled out the contents of my box, but I’m spoiled by all the big sets that I’ve built lately. This set has a respectable 198 elements in a $20 set (just a hair over 10¢ per piece).
The first bag has all the mobs. Alex appears identical to all the others I’ve seen, so the real action is the dog and three chickens. I’m fairly certain that this is only the second set to have a dog (domesticated wolf). The chickens are totally new, using a new element that can be used on its own as a chick or to build an adult bird. This element is marvelous, with an over-molded beak and printed eyes and wattle detail.
Flip the element over and you can see that there are to positions were it can be mounted on a single stud. A lot of good thought went into this part. I’m already thinking about how I can used in some kind of non-Minecraft build.
Nothing too surprising on the backs.
Beyond the chickens, there are still a number of interesting elements in bag 1. The new flower plates and stems are interesting. The Minecraft axe is new in dark stone gray. The printed round tile is for seeds, but I think they’ll be fun elsewhere (like mud-splattered headlights). This year’s Minecraft sets use new printed elements to represent the furnace, so that they can be depicted cold or hot. The banners are also a new thing and there are a bunch of them in the various farm-themed sets.
The first half of the build is scattered. A number of brick-built elements get assembled and a flat platform.
A few more cool elements in bag 2. I’m excited to see the half-jumpers in medium stone gray. The 1×1 rounds with open studs are exciting too (though their inclusion firms up my belief that the old flower plates are retired).
The second bag builds out the coop and pen. As with most Minecraft sets, the construction doesn’t use much more than simple brick stacking. There are some minor changes to the way that the fencing and gates are represented from previous sets, but nothing too drastic. The coop has a cool play feature that allows eggs to fall into a waiting chest.
All put together this is a charming set. Fans of the Minecraft aesthetic won’t be disappointed.
Keep building and enjoy!