Finally I’ve got round to building and reviewing my first LEGO NEXO KNIGHTS set. As previously mentioned I’ve been on the fence with this theme, not quite knowing what to make of it. A part of me wants to love it as it appeals to my love of all things futuristic and neon coloured (rarely seen outside the space theme). But then it’s mashed up with medieval knights which wasn’t a theme I personally collected or played with as a young whipper snapper. Putting personal feelings aside I had to build and review one at some point and my son has started to badger me to open them (I have 4 sets still unopened). For my first review I’ve decided to build one of the newer sets LEGO NEXO KNIGHTS Ruina’s Lock & Roller 70349 from the recent Season 3 launch (now appearing in shops).
LEGO NEXO KNIGHTS Ruina’s Lock & Roller 70349 comes in a well presented and compact box – no random face of disappointment when you realise the box is half empty! The reverse of the box gives a snapshot of playability functions such as Aaron’s weapon and the trap door mechanism for the prison cell. Also for those who don’t know it covers the interactive play element of NEXO KNIGHTS. Merlok 2.0 is the companion app LEGO launched just over a year ago that allows players to play as a NEXO KNIGHT exploring a rather large and colourful map, fighting baddies and leveling up. LEGO has merged the digital and real world with the ability to scan in NEXO Powers. This can be physical from the sets purchased like this one in the review or online (TV show, YouTube, Google etc…).
The set includes 208 pieces, 3 x minifigures, 1 x NEXO Power, 1 x Forbidden Power (new release in Season 3) and retails at AUD $29.99 / USD $19.99 / GBP £14.99 (prices are based on the LEGO online shop). Inside the box the contents are arranged in three main bags, standard instruction booklet and a couple of loose wheel molds – No stickers YES!
First minifigure out of the box is the star of the show – Aaron Fox one of our NEXO KNIGHTS. Printing and detail on the legs and torso are some of the best I’ve seen so far this year. His battle armor has been updated and his visor is now translucent neon orange, must be why his alternative face is damn happy because he can see now or he loves neon colours like me!
Fully loaded up, Aaron has his NEXO power shield (Gorilla Roar) and weapon with some new neon orange attachments.
Next off the rank is Queen Halbert now clad in her very own gold armor. Colour combination of blue, white and gold works really well and the gold arms finish off the overall look perfectly. She doesn’t get a helmet, but looking at the alternative facial expression she looks bad arse enough! Hair is the same piece used previously and is from the same mold used for General Leia, but in dark brown. Weapon of choice is of course her trustee cape hammer.
Rounding up the minifigure pack is the new evil witch Ruina Stoneheart, empowered by surging electricity. Sadly the perfectionist in me was disappointed with her printing as the torso is slightly misaligned with the skirt section. On a positive note I do love her hair, utilising the same mold from Bellatrix Lestrange minifigure but in a cool baby blue colour to represent electricity. Head comes in grey and two unique faces with purple and black lightning bolts across her face. Finally her weapon of mass destruction is a lightning staff with a purple translucent round printed disk and new blue lightning piece.
Now onto the main build and Season 3 sets have jumped into a new colour palette – Purple, baby blue, grey and I have to admit it’s a winning combination. The build itself is based loosely on the old medieval horse and castle cart concept. However, this being NEXO KNIGHTS we have a menacing monster instead of a horse to pull the jail cart. Watch out for those claws!
The cart is designed around a cell to contain Queen Halbert and has a clever trap door escape mechanism built in. The trap door is released by pulling the Forbidden Power shield lever back. Of course grab a hair drying and Queen Halbert can escape by melting the ice wall at the front – sorry being a smartass! One other feature I love is the chunky oversized rock wheels that helps tie the whole set together.
Am I converted – No, but to be fair LEGO NEXO KNIGHTS is not aimed at me or the AFOL community, It’s aimed at my son and millions of kids around the world and based on his reaction and excitement LEGO have hit the nail on the head with this theme and the new Season 3 releases. What I can appreciate is the awesome colour palette, the careful balance in build difficulty, good value for money based on the piece count and shear bonkerness of the concept and theme. Lastly if my son ever grows tired of the theme at least I know I have a great source of unusual LEGO pieces and colours for my MOC adventures!
Dad’s Final Rating: 5 out of 10
Son’s Final Rating: 9 out of 10