The Little Robot That Can:
WALL-E LEGO Ideas Set Review
WALL-E is a 2008 Disney Pixar film, telling the story of a waste disposal robot left behind on Earth to clean up, long after humanity has abandoned the planet. It is a beautiful move, with minimal dialogue and the key character, WALL-E, expressing himself through beeps, whirrs and other mechanical sounds. He is notable for his expressive eyes and, and a cockroach companion that follows him around.
Based on a model submitted to the LEGO ideas website by a member of the Pixar team, Angus MacLane, the LEGO WALL-E set #21303 was released in September 2015. I was fortunate enough to get the set as a birthday gift, and it is a fantastic build. It has 676 pieces and is built over 178 pages in the instruction manual, and the final model measures at around 20cm.
The model captures the look and feel of WALL-E perfectly, the scale is just right to be cute and functional, with the right about of mobility for his eyes and arms. As in the movie, his front opens up to provide a space for storage (or garbage compacting), his two arms a flexible in a surprising variety of ways, and his little hands are are astoundingly flexible, and can hold his little plant in the palm of his hand.
The best feature is the eyes. Each can be moved up and down on their own and they eyes allow for so much emotion and expression.
The build itself is mostly straightforward, with the base frame a relatively simple build of a box with a few neat details giving his back a bit of a curve. Building the tread tires was rather dificult though, as for both I managed to misplace pegs on the frame, taking me a fair bit longer to build.
The arms are also pretty straightforward, but have a clever design built onto a rail of sorts in the body. The eyes show some good techniques to build curves around, with some smooth pieces built onto the outside.
The initial model had an issue with the neck being unstable or the head falling off, although my model was in the second release that fixed the problem. Many, including LEGO, have written about this process and it reflects well on LEGO that they addressed the issue with a few months and rectified the problem.
I do find that the treads are a little tight, and they don't roll well on almost any surface which loses some of the playability and charm of the model. But it is still cute. A friend of mine has also built a power functions motor into the model, giving it some additional mobility.
The hands and arms, along with the mobility of the eyes and neck probably offer some great play for those interested, but the model seems more like one that you sit on a shelf than play with. But it is fun to pose.
For the size and detail of the model there may be some criticism of the price. It is not a big model, although it is very detailed not only in authenticity to the original model but also in the technical side of the model. For the Disney fans it is an absolute must get, for those less a fan of the Disney or movie models it is still worth getting as it has a great look and feel to it.
- Set: WALL-E 21303
- Pieces: 676
- Minifigs: None
- Price: $69.99 AUD
- Value for Money: 4/5
- Design: 4/5
- Playability: 4.5/5