Wednesday, 21 August 2013

LEGO - Castle Range


LEGO Castle, Travel to Dragon Mountain, Gatehouse Raid



























It's probably not widely known enough on my blog (I did mention about it last year on my Christmas Gift Guide when we reviewed other LEGO's range though), but we are a big fan of LEGO. Both me and hubby and our siblings have been playing LEGO since we were really young, and we have passed on our hobby to our children as well.

I was really happy to have received two boxes of the new LEGO Castle range from the lovely PR, and both me and Abby were really excited when we saw that one of the set has a princess to rescue and a fiery dragon to fight against! I decided that we should wait until after our Northern England and Scotland trip before we open the boxes, just to make sure that we won't be loosing any pieces, which meant that I was constantly bombarded with: "When we are home we are going to play LEGO yea? You promised!" etc from Abby throughout the whole week!

According to hubby, who's played LEGO for much longer than I did, the Castle range was there all along. It used to come in the original yellow bricks, and he had to build his own horses too. Then the ready built horses came out with movable heads, which I remembered as well as I used to play with the horses all the time. When he saw our finished towers, he was really impressed with and fascinated by how much the Castle range has improved since the 1980s. 


LEGO Castle, Travel to Dragon Mountain, Gatehouse Raid

LEGO Castle, Travel to Dragon Mountain, Gatehouse Raid



















As soon as our visitors from overseas has left (we do still miss them of course!), we settled down and started off with the easier box set first - the Gatehouse Raid (rrp £24.99), which according to our story, is when the bad guys attacked and kidnapped the princess! Abby said that she wanted me to help her build the set, but she was enjoying the building so much she subconsciouslystopped us from helping!

Although the LEGO bricks were split into separate bags, we are used to pouring everything together before building. After all, searching for the pieces is part of the LEGO building fun!

Normally, like jigsaw puzzles, children would have taken a break in between building the set. However, me and hubby were too keen and couldn't resist building the odd parts while Abby took her breaks. It didn't take us long to finish off the Gatehouse and catapult.

LEGO Castle, Travel to Dragon Mountain, Gatehouse Raid

LEGO Castle, Travel to Dragon Mountain, Gatehouse Raid



















Abby's favourite bit was to put the little soldiers together. She also liked to know more about the main characters, those that looked more special than the others. It made it more interesting for her by telling her that the knight is the hero or the king, and she'll continue making up the story as well!

Clay has taken on interest on our LEGO too, but we made sure we kept a very close eye on him as the pieces can be too small for children under 3 years old. I should really bring out the LEGO Duplo for him to play with now that I've finally rescued the house from the mountain of toys! He wanted to play with the finished gatehouse but I had to hide it from him so I can take a final picture of everything together. It was a big shame that I couldn't find the crossbow that's suppose to be on the right of the gatehouse!

We were fascinated by the details of the gatehouse and the catapult, but I was especially impressed with the idea of using a shield piece as the flag. How clever! I can imagine the designers sitting there pondering about which original pieces to use for their design. However, I also discovered a lot of new exciting pieces in the Travel to Dragon Mountain set (rrp £34.99) that made us go "Oooo" and "Woow"!! 


LEGO Castle, Travel to Dragon Mountain, Gatehouse Raid




























Although this set isn't the largest in the Castle range, it was certainly our favourite! Treasure chest, locked up princess, wizard, giant fiery dragon and dark dungeon is always a winning combination!


LEGO Castle, Travel to Dragon Mountain, Gatehouse Raid




















We tried following the manual, but both me and Abby were completely distracted with all the fascinating pieces! It took us at least 45 minutes to finish the knight and soldiers, as we were spending ages collecting the interesting bits, such as the princess (it took us a while to find her hair. At one point we thought that the wizard's moustache was her hair! We were obviously not looking at the box for clues), rat, spider and web, keys, treasure chest and treasure. We were hoarding them until there were no space left on her table to build the things we were suppose to build!

We finished off the dragon first at the end, and Clay gladly took it and made it roar and fly (pretend, of course.) everywhere. It was a great way to keep him occupied, although he did drop a wing several times.


LEGO Castle, Travel to Dragon Mountain, Gatehouse Raid















LEGO Castle, Travel to Dragon Mountain, Gatehouse Raid
















Building this set was great fun as every part of the set was interesting to build. The catapult is one of the most powerful one I've build. The piece flew so far both me and Abby giggled (it almost hit Clay who was sitting about 1.5 metres away from us)! We also chuckled at the cheese and wine for the guard, the little rat and its rat hole, and were amazed by the staircase, the design of the potion and key room and the tower itself. The design of the set is really stylish, with colour combination and patterns all well thought of! 


LEGO Castle, Travel to Dragon Mountain, Gatehouse Raid






































Maybe because it's easier for us girls to like a save the princess kind of story, we really enjoyed building the LEGO Castle range. I wouldn't mind collecting the whole range (the King's Castle and and the Dragon soldier carriage both look really interesting) to make up a complete story. It would be even better to be able to add an army of soldiers on both side to make it more grand!

If your child likes LEGO and knights, this range is definitely worth going for. I would start the collection with Travel to Dragon's Mountain, as you do get a big dragon, a princess, a wizard and a knight to start off. The Castle range is brand new and has just launched this month, which you can get from all good toy stores. 


Disclosure: I was sent the above toys to review; all opinions are honest and my own