Ah Monkie Kid. When the theme was first announced I was pretty excited. I haven’t loved every original IP that LEGO has created in the last few years but I thought Monkie Kid was an interesting idea. A mix of a futuristic looking setting and an ancient Chinese fable. No augmented reality just cool looking sets. Then we heard the most feared words a LEGO consumer can hear – no general retail release. What looked like a promising new world was relegated to the discountless shelves of LEGO Stores and LEGO.com.
But in 2021 that is changing – Monkie Kid is coming to retail. So after a lengthy delay today I am looking at 80012 Monkey King Warrior Mech and answering the question – should you buy it?
This set has been out for a while so this one is going to be a rapid fire SYBI.
Lets quickly get the extra stuff out of the way, because it really is extra stuff. Nobody is buying the Monkey King Mech because they really, really want the mini bull mech. You get a mini bull mech. That’s pretty much all I have to say about this bit.
You also get a reasonably sized building as part of this set. The ground floor features Pigsy’s noodle store while the upper level has an exploding wall play feature.
The building features a lot of stickers but they do add some fantastic detailing. Again I don’t think anybody is buying the set for this building.
You will also get 6 minifigures, which is more than I expected. You get two civilians that get caught up in the mech shenanigans, Monkie Kid himself, two bull bad guys and the inspiration for the mech – the real Monkey King.
Now let’s talk about the main attraction – The mech itself. The Monkey King Warrior Mech looks outstanding once it’s finished. At 40cm tall it is an imposing figure and could probably stand up to LEGO Voltron in a battle.
The overall look is really elevated by the inclusion of a few odd elements. There are some printed gold foil parts that look very shiny when the light hits them. It’s something different and a little bit fancy. This is a mech with a bit of bling.
There is also the giant red cape. It’s a lot of fabric to get with your plastic LEGO elements.
I love that rather than just being a humanoid giant robot, this mech really embraces the monkey theme. Look at this face! It’s a giant monkey mech! There’s also a tail and monkey paw mech hands. Conceptually I don’t see any negatives with this.
The challenge with any mech is going to be stability and yeah I have knocked this over multiple times. The tail does actually give you an extra contact point with the ground which helps a little bit but it’s still not the most stable build. I think there might be a touch too much articulation.
This was a pretty enjoyable build overall. I like mech builds because you know the basic anatomy before you start and it’s always interesting to see how the required parts are done. How is the hip joint done? How do the knees work? These are all questions that you get to answer as you build it.
So coming back to the question of whether or not you should buy this, the answer is maybe. If you are after a really interesting mech that does something a little bit different then pick this one up. If you aren’t somebody in to mechs then this probably isn’t going to hold a lot of appeal. It sounds a bit odd but this set is for people who know they want it.
The Monkey King Warrior Mech should be in stores in March. I would suggest waiting until then and checking out what the retail options look like. The other Monkie Kid sets had pretty deep discounts when they were released earlier this month.
My copy of 80012 was provided to me by LEGO at my request. Opinions are my own.