Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Requisite Shout Out

Tripod Invader
The Chronicler's Rating - 4/5
Price ~ $20.00
Year Released - 2011

It would be breaking some sort of unspoken sci-fi rule for Lego to produce a product line based on aliens invading the earth and not have a shout out to the mother of all alien conquest stories: HG Wells' classic The War of the Worlds.  Tripod Invader is that requisite set.

For those of you who have either never read the book or seen one of the several movie adaptions (one of which gave me a year of sleepless nights when I was a kid) the primary vehicle used by the invading alien army are tripod walkers which look... almost exactly like this set, indeed Lego appears to have almost copied Mr. Wells' description word for word.  And really, why not?  There is something truly menacing about a 3 legged mechanical beast controlled by an otherworldly creature tromping around capturing innocent humans and storing them in a prison canister on its back the back cut off from any chance of rescue.  That essence is what Lego has attempted (successfully in my opinion) to capture in this set.

I heartily recommend this set to you on one condition: that your child or grandchild already has either 7052 UFO Abduction, 7065 Alien Mothership or something like one of those two from a previous theme.  My reason for this condition is simple, what makes the space theme awesome, and UFO sub themes in particular are the spaceships, not the ground vehicles.  When a kid imagines a futuristic sci-fi world I can guarantee you they are not picturing walkers, they are picturing spinning, zooming spacecraft first and foremost.  As such this set makes a great addition to an invading army that has at least one decent spacecraft in it.  If this set comes first it will do a lot of sitting until that spacecraft gets added so save yourself the trouble and this set the dust and get it second. 

There are a lot of great play possibilities with this set.  With a a capture pod, detachable craft and an alien clinger this set gives you lots of options right out of the box.  In addition it has excellent pieces with decent colors (minus the purple, but there is not very much of it in this set).  It is also a great price for what you get.  If you already have alien spacecraft, either from this theme or a previous space theme, the I would recommend this set to you.

Lego has done well in capturing the essence (and menace) of HG Wells' classic invading mechanical terror.  My only caution can be illustrated by sampling looking back at the long history of the Lego space theme, a history that is dominated by spacecraft with the occasional walker thrown in.  That is exactly the type of collection that will benefit from a set like this, one that has a lot of spacecraft so that this can be occasional walker thrown in.

Happy Building
The Lego Chronicler

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