The Ender Dragon is a scene from some game called Minecraft. I guess if you're reading this you most likely already know that and probably know way more about the game than me. But essentially it is a game about using different types of bricks to create stuff. Remind you of something?
I wasn't familiar with Minecraft before reviewing this set, so had to do some research before starting. I'll share that research here for anyone in the same position, so if you are well versed with Minecraft you can skip to the next section!
My research basically consisted of my 7 year old son telling me for many hours what it's all about :) This LEGO set is situated in The End which is a world you can only get to via a special portal. Then once you are in, you need to find another special portal to get out again. As its name would suggest, The End is the final battle in the survivor game.
The Ender Dragon is the final boss who must be killed to find the exit portal. The obsidian towers have crystals at the top that are used to recharge the Dragon's health when it flies near them. The Ender Men are just minions who spawn randomly to try and kill you.
To get to The End... well I'll let my son write this bit:
First kill the Endermen that spawn in your world, throw the Ender Pearl they drop when they are killed, which will make a particle beam. Dig underground towards the beam (it will firing towards the nearest End Portal). You have to cook 8 Ender Pearls in a furnace, with 1 leftover. Cook them before throwing them. Dig towards the End Portal. Activate the portal with the cooked pearls. Portal turns black with purple particles, and then you can go through into the End. The Ender Dragon spawns in the End.
The box contains:
- 5 x Numbered bags of parts (1x#1+ 2x#2 + 1x#3 + 1x#4).
- 3 x 8x16 tan plates.
- 1 x 16x16 tan plate.
- 2 x black wings.
- Plastic wrap with instructions (1 book). No cardboard backing or sticker sheets.
See the full inventory of 634 parts.
The single minifig in this set is Steve. He is donned in Diamond armour which apparently is the best in the game. The second image shows Steve junior from the initial microscale Minecraft sets released in 2012. There are also three Ender Men (the tall black spindly-alien looking things) which use the same new minifig head part.
The Ender Men are holding a brick out in front of them, seemingly to protect something valuable? Anyway it makes them completely unstable and impossible to stand upright.
Steve has plenty of new parts which are all very Minecrafty.
The Ender Men have a new part that makes up their body, which is a bit of a strange design to me. It looks like a very specific part that won't find much use elsewhere. Especially as it will probably be pretty rare if this is the only set it appears in.
The Dragon's wings are in plain black which hasn't been seen since 2006 in the 7784 Batmobile. The inverted 2x2 dome is new in black. Also, there are a lot (48 + 1 spare) of 1x1 round Dark Purple plates if you need them :)
The first item to be built is the Exit Portal - this is what the Ender Dragon drops when he dies and lets you out of The End. Next up is the Ender Dragon which is easily the most interesting model in this set.
The Dragon's body contains some technic pins/axles which pivot and allow the wings to move up and down by pressing a button on the Dragon's back, which is pretty cool.
The final Dragon does look pretty cool. Somehow Steve has to kill it with his tiny bow and arrow.
Of course, if I ever played Minecraft I would simple do this:
From here on, the build is pretty boring. Just the landscape, a platform and a few obsidian towers. The towers have a crystal at the top that regenerates the dragon's health when it flies by. One of the towers uses a light brick to simulate the regeneration beam when you press down on it.
There is a short section at the end of the instructions titled "Rebuild Inspiration - Build your own creations" which gives you one example of something else you can build by reusing some of the parts. It's just another platform of sorts, nothing that really inspires if you ask me. I also don't recall seeing it anywhere in the game.
My son, being a Minecraft fan, couldn't wait to get stuck into this set. However once finished with it had no interest in trying to make something else out of it. Instead, he just took Steve and the Dragon off to fight his Emmet clone army.
After having watched a playthrough of The End, it's apparent that there is very little to work with though. Everything that appears in that entire world can be found in this LEGO set - i.e hardly anything. Just lots and lots of Ender Men and obsidian towers and dark bleak landscape. I guess it's hard to make that exciting to non-players.
I think you'd have to be a fan of the game to find much interest in this set. Personally, it doesn't do much for me other than putting the Dragon on display somewhere.
21117 The Ender Dragon is now available at LEGO stores (UK) for £59.99.
Let me know what you guys think of it, especially if you disagree with me :) Is this or any of the other new Minecraft sets appealing?