Posted by: Draddog | January 4, 2013

Review: Razar’s CHI Raider (#70012)

70012-1As mentioned in my review of Laval’s Royal Fighter, Primus (of BrickCommander), is the set designer for Razar’s CHI Raider. Long time friends, I am thrilled to be able to build his first official LEGO sets. Razar’s CHI Raider, or as I call it, the Raven Mech, rings up at $40 and I’ve been told it’s exclusive to a few stores in the US. The set comes in numbered bags and is built over two books.

Co-Build Rating: 4/5

This is one of those rare sets which is a great co-building experience. Multiple books and numbered bags make it easy to split up the workload. So often sets of this size will have sub-builds that are just lame or quick to build. With the CHI Raider each builder can work on components that really add to the overall set. The head, body, legs, wings and tail are all add to the overall aesthetic of the set. The mini Eagle Temple and Eagle Cannon are meaty enough to provide satisfaction for builders.

Overall Rating: 4/5

Let’s face it, Primus is known for his big robot builds, so you have to expect great things from an official Mech set. This set doesn’t disappoint. It resembles a raven walking along the ground (appropriately enough), but has enough mechanical pieces to clearly be a robot.

Each foot has two articulated toes, making the Mech very stable. I was surprised to see that the waist did not rotate, something Primus’ MechWarrior builds tended to have, but it does not detract from the overall set.

70012_alt2The cockpit is actually really well done. The beak opens and closes, adding to the play factor. One of the best features of this set is the fact that one of the raven mini-figs can sit in the cockpit with it’s wings on. The mini-fig’s wings slide behind the roll bar cage, meaning you don’t have to attach and reattach the wings all the time.

The torso of the Raider looks to be a huge power plant, big turbine engines sit right behind the head. Two Chi tubes run from front to back, providing the juice for the Raider. The tubes are not new, though the two toned look is still very cool. Two sets of flick fire missiles plug in on either side. I will say that these feel like last minute add-ons. They add some playability, but they just feel out of place. The other odd thing about this set is the big whole in the back of the torso. Something (including a mini-fig) can go back there, but as the set is presented, it’s just a big empty space.

Finally, the wings and tail add to the overall look and feel. It’s hard to imagine this thing flying, but they are necessary to the overall look and feel. They are endlessly positionable, however, and really add to the play value.

The set all comes with a small Eagle Temple and Eagle Cannon. The temple is kind of neat, holding a Chi crystal. The cannon is a clever little build and a bit of a surprise. Normally we would expect to see some type of vehicle.

The three mini-figs are nice, though I don’t really understand the raven’s long pole weapon. Maybe some type of finglonger?

This is a great set at the price point. It’s fun to build and has some really neat play features. It’s definitely a recommended buy.

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