One of Lego’s newest franchises, Legends of Chima has been gaining in popularity, spawning a line of online and offline video games, a cartoon series with a storyline of its own and of course, the toys themselves. When we previously looked at the introductory Chima toys and introduced you to the characters, it was just a risk on Lego’s part as to whether it would succeed. It has, and now the storylines have shifted as a new villain has entered the universe, banding previous nemeses together for the good of their kingdom. The Lego Legends of Chima universe has continued to expand and Plug-In is glad to review some of the new Chima sets Best Buy has brought in for 2014.

The most recent addition to the Chima universe is the Scorpion Tribe, added this season. I took a look at Scorm’s Scorpion Stinger (Scorm is the scorpion King), as well as the Gorilla Legend Beast and Web Dash Speedor from the Spider Tribe.   I will take a look at one of the larger sets near the end of this article.

GORILLA LEGEND BEAST

Let’s open with the Legend Beasts line. Legend Beasts are a recent addition to the Chima line, unleashed when the waterfalls of Mount Cavora ran dry. The Gorilla Legend Beast set is a 107 piece set for 7-14 year olds and is an easy build. This one stands about 11cm high. The Legend Beasts are a lot like poseable action figurines, and this one is no different, featuring movable face, head, hip and ankle joints as well as multiple joints within the arms. This Lego set also comes with the Gorzan minifig. For most Lego builders, this should take around 10-15 minutes to build.  The finished product is kind of neat with all of the moving ball joints, however, you might have some trouble getting it to stand on its own since the legs probably could have used a couple more pieces to flatten the stance out. I had to put him on all fours to stand him upright, but he is capable of standing on his own. The Gorzan minifig is neat though.  The figures are one of the things I like the most about Legends of Chima, as unconventional as they are.

WEB DASH

Next up is the Web Dash Speedor, which is a 78 piece build for 7-14 year olds. It, once again is a moderately easy build featuring the Speedor itself and a number of spider-web obstacles to build your Speedor course with. This Speedor belongs to Sparratus of the Spider Tribe, and he is included as a minifig with the set. The Speedor comes with a rip cord that propels the vehicle through the obstacle course. Since the vehicle functions on a single wheel system, it’s recommended to play with this on a flat surface since it will move really erratically otherwise. The vehicle itself is a nice spin on some of the other Lego vehicles out there. It’s not often you come across a Lego build that powers on its own with a rip cord like that.

The Speedor sets are well designed for kids that like moving vehicles and those wanting to combine Lego builds with the companion Lego Chima Speedorz card game. There are 5 cards for the game included and a handful of blue Chi pieces to top it off.  This end of the Chima spectrum relies more on competition amongst Lego builders. While you can play with the one vehicle, it seems like it’d be more fun if young builders got together with their friends and competed against each other through multiple courses with different Speedors.

SCORM’S SCORPION STINGER

Finally, I close with Scorm’s Scorpion Stinger, which is a large 434 piece armoured vehicle that measures Measures over 15cm high and 32cm long. The set comes with 3 minifigs: Scorm himself, complete with long stinger-tail, Laval and Cragger, the latter who come with new weapons. If you’re familiar with the series, that will look odd to you considering Cragger and Laval were enemies in series one. They’ve now teamed up in order to try and defeat the Scorpion Tribe.  The lesser of two evils I guess?

This is actually a pretty complex build as far as Lego builds go. The complexity comes from the number of moving parts that need to be carefully connected together, as well as the symmetrical layout of the design causing pieces on each side to be mirror images of each other. The set also has a lot of stickers to place on the pieces.  I can’t even give you a comparison point. It’s not quite Technic-style moving pieces. There’s no air compression. It’s all moving gears and a couple button pieces.

The moving pieces will be a favourite for kids. The pincers at the front of the vehicle pinch open and closed. The claws are attached to rubber bands so they can open and close. The green venom balls can be shot out of the tail (more ammo is stored on the sides of the vehicle) and there is some flexibility in the long scorpion tail as well. The multiple moving parts make this a really nice piece for kids that enjoy playtime with a lot of action and make-up stories for their toys. The only thing I would warn is that your child may need some help putting it all together. The instructions make sense, but they surprisingly don’t paint a good enough picture at times. There was one sequence about 70% of the way through the build that took me numerous attempts to figure out because I kept locking one of the wheels up. I have to admit that while I thought the vehicle itself was neat, I wasn’t a big fan of the rubber bands that control the pincers. They’re thick enough rubber, but I’m not confident they’re going to work for the long haul.

As always, with all Lego sets, there are enough spare pieces included to ensure the small stuff can be easily replaced. From a straight Lego builder’s perspective, the more complex Chima sets (like the Scorpion Stinger) are tougher than most of the larger Star Wars or City builds, but would be a really good step up for those looking for something that will lead them toward more advanced builds like Architecture. Having built the odd Lego set here and there since I was 5 or 6 years old, it still surprises me that I come across things I’ve never seen before. The Legends of Chima line features some designs, and additions that are unique, which says a lot considering how long Lego has been around, and how many thousands of sets are out there. Even if the storylines don’t catch you as much, building these kits surely will.

Besides these, a full range of Legends of Chima products are available now online at BestBuy.ca.