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[Sticky] 80013 Monkie Kid's secret HQ review
Lego Monkie Kid’s Team Secret HQ (80013)
When I saw that there was going to be a new Lego theme based on the Chinese story ‘Journey to the West’, and by extension the 1970’s TV show ‘Monkey’, I was thrilled! I loved ‘Monkey’ as a child (yes, sadly I am that old) and had been excited by the Monkey King figure in the cmf line from last year. When I also found out that the new sets would have a futuristic/punky design I was even happier. Aside from the obvious cultural/language/geography differences, these Chinese sets would fit right in to my Ninjago based city…
As soon as they were available on Lego Shop At Home I ordered the three I wanted, the HQ because the boat looked great with those shipping containers and graffiti details; the giant Monkey King mech (80012) because, well, it looks amazing and comes with a great looking small shop; and Red Son’s inferno truck (80011) (mainly also for the shop front - you can see that my thinking was heavily influenced by my Ninjago City needs).
The sets arrived quicker than I expected given the lock-down restrictions. I’ve only built the HQ so far and am not really reviewing it for the techniques and parts - other sites will do that - but I do have some observations:
- It’s big. The ‘footprint’ of the boat is large, and dwarfs anything else in my Ninjago harbour.
- It’s certainly not watertight - it’s a playset and splits in two to give access to the interior. The connections that hold it closed and the method of opening/closing it are not as robust as I’d hope.
- The build is straight-forward with no moments of ‘oh that’s clever’.
- Lots of stickers, no printed parts, and they are very prominent on the completed build so you’ll want to take care with them.
- It’s colourful - it’s a riot of red and yellow, blues and greens.
- Some of it is simplistic - as a playset it eschews detail and intricacy for play-features such as a big but simple crane on the aft deck.
All of that said - I’m happy with it. The containers look great, the stickers are well-designed, the new minifigs are cool and it holds great potential for modification and adaptation into my city.
Looking at the set from a photography perspective I think it has good potential too. The colourful nature of the set makes shots pop with energy, the new characters are very well printed and detailed for close-ups and the interior sections of the boat provide enough scope for story-telling and scenario building.
The boat itself is a bit of a floating box - there aren’t many sleek lines to show off or use for perspective. The technic panels at the back are particularly boxy. Again they are functional rather than pretty - they fold out and up to allow the two smaller craft that Monkie Kid’s team use: Pigsy’s small pig-boat and Mei’s tiny dragon flyer.
It’s these smaller builds - along with the Monkie Kid mech suit - that provide opportunities for dynamic photos. They are small but characterful and can be used in chase scenes easily, or posed dramatically.
I love the new characters. Monkie Kid himself looks great, a mix of cheeky scamp and teen gang-member. He reminds me of Kaneda in Akira, but with Monkey’s headband on. His jacket and dual moulded legs are going to be great for cyberpunk mocs!
Mei looks cool in her dragon body-suit and has both a sci-fi helmet and a new hairpiece with bunches and green tips.
Pigsy is an actual pig, but he wears clothes. I dimly remember in the 70s TV series he was a man who sometimes turned into a pig, and was there for comic-relief. Here he has an annoyed expression and some dangerous weapons.
Sandy and Mo are the same colour, but very different sizes - Sandy is a big-fig and looks very smurf-like in his bright blue skin. Mo is a cat whose fur is the same bright blue shade. He’s the same mould as the post-apocalypse cat in the Lego Movie 2 and he looks very fine.
The set is ripe for modification and the simple playset features can be adapted or removed altogether to make them look better in photos. I’m thinking I can build the shipping containers into a separate moc in my city, and maybe adapt the rest of the boat to take up less space in my harbour.
For a first wave of a completely new theme I think Lego have achieved a lot already with Monkie Kid. This set is cohesive and encompasses a lot of storytelling potential. I look forward to seeing how people combine it into sci-fi builds and futuristic cities. I’ve got two more big sets to build now and can’t wait to see how they look. I’m also excited to see how this theme develops over time, and which direction they take it in.
Great review Keith. I especially like the different sorts of pics you got here. Love the boat chase!
Great review! Am looking forward owning one of these sets! ????