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8957 Mining Machine

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Joined: 04 Mar 2005
Location: Netherlands

PostPosted: Sun Nov 30, 2008 9:22 am    Post subject: 8957 Mining Machine Reply with quote

I was very surprised when I read on www.lowlug.nl this week that the Power Miners sets had been seen at retail! These sets hadn't even been officially released by Lego, so I had to check it out for myself. Lo and behold, all six sets were available at the Dutch department store "Vroom & Dreesman", a store not known for the quality of their toy department.
The first time I saw these sets on the shelves, I was disgusted. The colors of this theme are primarily lime green and orange, not an ideal combination. But after sleeping over it a night, I decided, OK, I'll see what these sets are made of.
First up is set 8957, the Mining Machine (I am not actually sure if this is the offical name for this set). Its the second smallest in the theme, which currently consists of 6 sets in total.
Pricing for these sets is actually quite reasonable, considering size and normal European prices:
8956 Rock Destroyer: 4,95
8957 Mining Machine: 7,95
8958 Granite Breaker: 9,95
8959 Claw Digger: 19,95
8960 Thunder Drill: 29,95
8961 Crystal Sweeper: 59,95

When opened the box contains three bags, a sticker sheet and instructions.

The selection of bricks contains a couple of pieces which, although perhaps not new as such, are new to my collection. A piece which is definitely new is the roll cage. It's a lot nicer than I thought it would be: it's symetric front and back, and I can see this being used in a lot of MOC's. Also new is the pack of dynamite. It's a nice enough piece, but it is made of a slightly softer type of plastic which tends to deform when you click it on a clip or minifig hand. Wiser is to slide it on any clips.

Another new piece is of course the rock monster, Boulderax. It's a whole lot smaller than the Rock Raiders monsters used to be, but these guys are still nice. The body and legs is cast in transparant green with dark bley printing, and the head is cast in dark bley. I'd have expected a clicky jaw hinge, but in fact it's quite a weak, non compatible hinge. The body contains enough space to swallow a crystal or any similar sized pieces. All in all, the monster looks good, although the monsters are hardly compatible with Lego, except for the holes in the feet.

This set comes with one figure, some sort of professor / analyst, considering the symbol on the front and back of his torso. Of note is that the face has two seperate expresions: one calm and collected, and one rather shocked look. I have to say, I'm not too keen on either face, mostly due to the weird monocle. This same figure is also included in set 8961, the largest of the PM sets.

The vehicle itself is an easy build, although it does use some nice SNOT techniques. The vehicle is slightly front heavy, but this is easily corrected by adjusting the ball joints in the legs. It's also a squat little thing, being wider than it is tall. The prof fits in the cabin comfortably, with the dynamite and a pick axe within easy reach. Of note is perhaps my own positioning of the legs in a sort of compact transport or rest position.

All in all, this set is a whole lot nicer than I expected it would be. It's small, but a walker is always fun to pose and play around with.
The fact that every set includes a rock monster adds a lot to the play value, even in such a small set.

Of final interest is that the instructions contain a link to www.lego.com/powerminers/buildinginstructions for the instructions to the alternate combined models. This set combines with 8956 to make the "Cave Cutter". At the moment of writing this review, this page isn't active, though.

Parts: 7/10
Minifigures: 8/10
Detail: 8/10
Playability: 9/10
Price to parts: 7/10
Availability: 1/10 (for now, except in the Netherlands?)

Color rating: 2/10

Overall rating: 8/10

Full gallery can be found here.
WWAD: What Would Alldarker Do?

Last edited by alldarker on Mon Dec 01, 2008 10:37 am; edited 3 times in total
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Joined: 30 Sep 2007
Location: near Boston, MA Nerd Factor: Very High Annoyed: Yes

PostPosted: Sun Nov 30, 2008 11:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great review! Very Happy
When they appear in the US, I'm thinking of getting a few of these just for the parts, seeing as they are quite cheap!

And anyway, lime green and orange are my favorite colors! Razz
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