LEGO 80033 - Evil Macaque's Mech
Available from LEGO.com and LEGO Stores from 26th Dec 2021 for China and 1st Jan 2022 everyone else.
General Monkie Kid 2022 Overview
Monkie Kid is back and ready for action! A new year means a new wave of sets and stories to be told. But the question is, is this theme stagnating? Is the idea stretched too thin? Well, admittedly I was thinking this before we got our hands on the Monkie Kid 2022 sets, and this may very well be one of the strongest waves yet.
We’ve got a multitude of sets to rip through and talk about, so over the next few days we are going to be reviewing these bad boys one-by-one, with the links to all other reviews at the end of the article. We’re gonna start our way small and build up. So follow us along for the journey as well delve back into the world of Chinese mythos and explore Monkie Kid 2022.
It’s worth noting that a few parts will be copied/pasted for Minifigures if the characters overlap numerous sets of this wave.
The evil Macaque (pronounced Ma-kak!) has finally reached what seems to be the height of his power. Now fully equipped with his own towering Monkey Mech to take own his rival's mech, the Monkey King's.
Will this giant mech be a worthy opponent to the great Monkey King? Or will it be a smackdown with Macaque going home with his tail between his legs?
Well, in a set that focuses on a mech, it's completely unsurprising that this thing is the biggest thing in the box.
Where the Monkey King's mech was reminiscent of him, Macaque's mech shares the same skin tone and black hair as he does.
The mech has an asymmetrical colour palette. Having his left arm cover in red plating and more robot/tech-like material with enough spikes to make Bowser proud. His right arm being a bit more organic. This immediately has me wondering if the mech was built like this on purpose, or absorbed technology to upgrade itself.
The build features an overall darker energy than its predecessor, with subtle uses of gunmetal stickers and making the hands look much more menacing with their bulkier and more menacing physique.
Speaking of physique, the arms on the mech are longer than the legs, making me a little thrown off by the disproportionate look they have going on. Whether this was made to make it easier for the mech to hold the large-sized "Shadow Staff", I'm not sure, but it throws it off slightly for me.
Unfortunately, a lot of the intricate details of the mech is lost in the fact the build is black, and all the shaping that could make the build stand out more is just lost.
But one of the biggest problems that this set has is that it cannot be helped but to be compared to its predecessor - 80012 - Monkey King Warrior Mech.
Although the faces are almost the exact same and they stand to share the same sort of physique, the sheer amount of grandeur and attention that the predecessor has makes this feel like a downgrade rather than something to contest it.
Monkey King Warrior Mech uses banners, lantern decorations, copious amounts of gold and a custom waist material to hide some of the uglier parts of the build. Macaque's mech doesn't have this, and I feel like that LEGO could have really still been able to pull off a comparable and equally grand mech.
Even without a custom material used around the waist, Macaque's mech could very well benefit from more symmetry rather than asymmetry. It does well to give some characterisation to the build, but the mech feels so under armoured and outmatched that the left arm is the only thing that will hold its own against the Monkey King's Warrior Mech.
A bit more of the gunmetal armour plating, or any amour plating really, would have done this set a lot more.
Golden Staff Cannon
By this point, admittedly, the Golden Staff is more a fun and weird gimmick more than anything else. The Golden Staff has the power to shape anything that the wielder so deems, and in this case, Monkie Kid made a bad choice.
On a purely set level, I can see that LEGO has added this build to try and re-engage the conflict-in-a-box stance that they have. But with the sheer amount of figures that this set has, this might have been better off as some form of vehicle for the heroes to fight or escape in.
As it stands, if Mei was to lose the Fire Rings of Ne Zha, she, Sandy and MK would be walking. Not the greatest thing for child imaginations.
Mei returns this time around with a new face printing, having her with a happy expression and a cheeky smirk. I'm glad that they made a new face print for her, as her previous versions has fantastic face printing for her battle outfit, with an eyepiece attachment, but wasn't versatile for something casual.
Her new outfit is quite the deviation from her previous ones. There is almost no white to be seen. Whereas before Mei wore a white outfit with trimmings of gold and greens, she has fully jumped on the neon-yellow hype train and made her torso just that!
The torso reminds me of something straight out of Nexo Knights, and I honestly think her back printing would have made a more interesting front for her.
One big problem that Mei does seem to have is that the white in her outfit doesn't remain consistent at all. The white carries from her torso to her legs, and if it wasn't discoloured enough on the neon-yellow, the teal makes it much worse. It kinda sucks that this character is exclusive to this set, but doesn't give us much to desire.
I wish that Mei's outfit here could have received the love and attention to detail that Monkie Kid's outfit does.
In this set, Mei comes with all three Fire Rings of Ne Zha, which she uses to perpetuate her flight and blast energy from her hands - I'm interested in how this will appear in the show and what role she has to play specifically.
Monkie Kid's outfit for 2022 received one heck of an upgrade! Although he sports nothing really new in the head department, MK has some really intricate torso detailing that spans all around his torso and even gives him some arm printing too! MK's legs also get some much needed extra development, and really changes the character up from being a kid to a battle-ready warrior!
Now equipped with a shoulder belt around his jacket, MK, with the use of a neck bracket, can now carry the Golden Staff on his back instead of carrying it with him everywhere in his hands.
I am a huge fan of the way MK looks in 2022, and even though I might personally prefer his teal coloured hood of previous waves. There is nothing stopping me from changing it over in a heartbeat. This guy now officially ranks as my number one Monkie Kid outfit.
MK also comes equipped with a scroll detailing parts about Ne Zha's Rings of Fire.
Macaque, or otherwise said as "Makak", has gone through one heck of an upgrade since his first appearance in 80024 The Legendary Flower Fruit Mountain.
No longer wearing a half-exposed chest and full armoured to the brim, Macaque looks ready for fully-fledged conquest over the realm of man. His headpiece is a newer mould, looking much more rugged and rough than the standard one he had before, as well as before sporting a red cloak, Macaque now has a dark red cloak and recoloured Wyldstyle scarf from the LEGO Movie 2.
Macaque's face shows that he has fully embraced darkness, now forever with the red markings of anger, this guy isn't here to mess around.
Macaque now wields a darker equivalent of the Golden Staff that he once sought, emanating dark purple fire from the staff. The use of gears on the end of the staff is a clever use on LEGO's part to really differentiate the two, and really show that this guy is here to hurt.
Overall, this figure is a fantastic step up from the original, and it's great that he is a little more accessible to get this time around, appearing in two sets for 2022.
Whether it is Rumble or Savage, these monkey figures are essentially the exact same figure, dark, evil and battle-ready red monkey demons come to steal Ne Zha's Rings of Fire!
I personally love these guys. The dark menacing eyes, the corrupted and twisted logo on the chest, the gunmetal armour plating, all of it. I am, as usual, let down on the leg printing, or more so lack thereof.
Rumble and Savage reuse the Monkey hairpieces used for the Monkey King and the original Macaque, but obviously, use red instead of their respective colours. The figures also come with black tails to really drive the Monkey feature up, but I honestly would have preferred the tail design that came in the Flower Fruit Mountain set that went to the side.
I was disappointed, but also not surprised, that these guys don't have any alternate printing on their faces. There's no need for it, but I was hoping.
Some of the biggest gripes I had with previous Monkie Kid sets was the reuse of the big-fig mould for Sandy. And it seems that LEGO has listened! Introducing this set's only exclusive figure!
I am so excited to get Sandy in his non-big fig form, because it now means two things.
1. Sandy's big-fig won't be adding ~$10 to the price tag
2. We will be getting new expressions and printing for the character as well.
Sandy's torso print is similar to his normal big-fig torso, but also has a new satchel around his body with potions and belt-bag, and his leg printing is almost dead on with his big-fig version as well.
I think Sandy is a welcome addition to the roster of Monkie Kid characters for 2022, but a part of me does wish that his first Minifigure form was almost a straight copy of that big-fig for an easier character transition.
Macaque's Mech is a fun set for the new 2022 wave, and I'm glad that Monkey King's rival got his own form of fighting machine to bring to the battle, but with the 2020 Monkey King Warrior Mech being far superior in size, impact and detail, Macaque's mech is definitely standing in someone else's shadow.
I'm sure there is a die-hard fan out there that is at the ready to sweep this setup and get make that mech their own, but as a fan collector who has built the other set, this one doesn't do it for me.
And that's a really harsh criticism. The mech is definitely good in its own right and definitely has its own character, but LEGO set the bar and then lowered it with this. I would gladly pay the price tag of the other Mech to get something of equivalent value. Not this.
Check out our other Monkie Kid 2022 reviews -
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This article was written by Tim & Dannii.
Find them on Instagram at @legobuildingwithtimanddannii
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