Budget Brick Review - Xing Qe Le - “Emissary”
The first thing to say here is that the Lego “Life on Mars” Martians are cool. I mean really cool. Their “Mars Mission” replacements though are rubbish. Two transparent parts with a great big whole through the middle. Rubbish. Totally, totally rubbish.
The thing is the relative second hand prices for the two types of martians match these facts. The cool Life on Mars ones can be a bit pricey. The Mars Mission ones only seem to sell if people bundle them with other, better figures and parts.
Because they're rubbish.
So, the short of it is. If you want to get some cool Martians you have to spend a bit more money, unless you can find...
I can't remember exactly how much I paid for this one, but it was less than the cost of a proper Lego Martian with postage on ebay. Bargain!
The back of the box is quite a bit like the front of the box, just with less info, which is fine by me because I can read less than half of what's on the front anyway. It also demonstrates that someone (I blame Royal Mail) squished the box in transit. I'm not impressed.
It may contain small parts. Considering I've just bought a clone Lego set I'd be very disappointed if it didn't contain any small parts, particularly the ones on the front of the box.
Opening up the box and pouring the contents unceremoniously onto the floor reveals this:
The more observant of you will notice that the contents of that bag don't really match the box art all that much.
At a guess (I'm not going to bother counting, but you can if you like) they've probably got the colours right for just under half the parts. Good start there.
There is a plus side of course, a red Martian. Lego have never made a red Martian, so that's something little funky. The single folded piece of glossy paper that passes for an instruction sheet shows a third colour scheme.
My theory is that either they're staffed entirely by people with a kind of colour blindness I've never heard of before, or they don't really care about their products all that much. I'll let you decide which is the case.
We'll ignore the odd looking vehicle for a moment and concentrate on the Martian. Here he is with my two proper Lego versions.
The guy in the orange outfit seems less than impressed with the fact the new guy appears to be naked.
There, much better.
Red's waist is a little wobbly. Okay, it's a lot wobbly. Basically, unless you very, very carefully position him he'll headbutt the base board. Still, for my main purposes, posing them for photos with funny captions, that's not a complete disaster. For actual play purposes? Eh... I generally wouldn't buy this set for playing with, even with the coolness that is a red Martian head.
One interesting little oddity, is the way that head is printed.
Instead of having a solid colour for the hair, like the original version of this little guy, he's got halftone hair. I don't think I've ever seen halftone print on something like this. Still, he is cute though, isn't he?
Unfortunately since taking the photos for this review one side of the, uh, the grippy bit that holds his head on his body (there's probably a word for that, but I can't think of it) has partially snapped off. His head still stays on, but there's now a sharp edge, so definitely not something that you should buy for playing with.
So, what about the vehicle?
It's a weird looking thing with a bad colour scheme, hit or miss quality parts and some of the parts are a really tight fit. The blue cone is good, as are the wheels, the lever and the funky red crossbow.
The rest? There's a reason I've left this thing mostly assembled since taking the photos and it's not because it's such a cool design that I want to put it on a shelf and look at it.
Would I buy any more sets from this company? Actually, yes, but only because I like the idea of getting funky coloured Martians (which are in several sets of theirs) and only if they're cheap enough of course. With the seemingly random colour choices you get a whole mystery blind bag thing going on. Which Martian's in this one? You won't know until you open it!
So, yeah, mostly rubbish, but worth it if you can get it really cheap for the funky coloured Martians.
Anyway, to finish this review I will leave you with the worst attempt to clone a Lego piece I have ever, ever seen.