Monkie Kid returns for 2021 and we’ve been lucky enough to get our hands on the entire range of sets before its launch on March 1st! Australia isn’t Monkie Kid’s target demographic, that goes to the Eastern cultures, but I am without a doubt in my mind that Australia will want to get their hands on a Monkie Kid set this time around. Strap yourself in, over the next 7 days, we'll be reviewing each of the new Monkie Kid sets 1 by 1!
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LEGO 80021 - Monkie Kid's Lion Guardian
Declaring war on dance, the Spider Queen decides to attack an arcade with her spider mech, little does she expect a Chinese Lion Guardian to crash the party! The set has a clear division of good guys, bad guys and an innocent bystander for them all to fight over. Perfect.
The façade of an arcade serves as the backdrop for this set and contains its own version of Dance Dance Revolution, as well as the claw game, complete with a cartoony Asian character theme to boot. There is a small play feature of dropping the trophies down the back of the exposed gap to let them roll out the front as prizes, but we know these games don’t ever payout. The details used for the walls have some gorgeous details on them and are by far superior to have solid blanks walls like they’ve done in the past.
The Spider Queen’s weapon of choice is a six-legged stilt-strider like a walker with limited leg flexibility, adjusting angles down at the base of the build and that’s about it. The spider has two little mandibles (or the 7th and 8th legs?) that stick out the front and the base contains spring-loaded shooters that almost look like the spider is shooting its own eyes out, which is a horrible image in my mind. As far as builds go, this is a saddening attempt to make an enemy vehicle for the set, but don’t get me wrong, I like that they included this rather than not, but I wish it had just a *bit* more character put towards it, like an abdomen or head.
Mei and MK charge into battle this time loaded up on a Lion Guardian, which I believe is the first time we’ve seen LEGO make a cartoony child-centric version of something directly from Chinese Culture. Directly taking inspiration from the big-eyed style and ribbon decals, the Lion Guardian looks weird, odd, cooky and bizarre, to its absolute benefit! They even made the Lion’s mouth open and close, much akin to the Chinese New Year parade dance festivities, and equipped it with big flags to lead the way. The two barrel-like builds on the side hide secret play features of dropping down and revealing spring-loaded cannons, I’m sure many kids will appreciate trading blows back and forth between the Lion and the Spider. The chomp feature is great, however causes the Lion to be unable to get much head movement, as well as the rear legs and tail looking quite bare by comparison, but the overall aesthetic of this thing makes me very happy.
Of the figures for the set, we get Le, our civilian who just won’t let anyone stop the party. It’s quite funny that both of her expressions show some level of content with what’s going on, and that she won’t run away screaming for whatever reason. I haven’t ever seen her torso before, and even though she has the green as a short shoulder coat, it does look a bit weird when viewed from an angle and following the colour around. Bit of a weird design choice, and maybe LEGO should have gone with a proper full-length jacket this time.
Oh, there is another little spider tagging along for the ride this time, but it seems by this point that LEGO have long abandoned the “stealing civilians” trope with these guys.
Huntsman and MK return for this particular set, with Huntsman remaining the exact same whereas MK has his azure hoodie and Monkie-Kid-Powered face.
Mei in this set comes in her common garb, which isn’t the first time we’ve had her in a more civilised and less tech-warrior outfit. Despite being without her suit, she’s ready to pack a punch, her alternate face has her targeting eyepiece at the ready and she’s equipped to blast some spiders away.
Spider Queen appears in this set, which is also the cheapest set that you can get her in for 2021. She’s revamped compared to her 2020 version, now glazed with a beautiful web printing spanning from her waist to her feet. She also injects the lime green motif into her outfit and now sports a black and white web-inspired cloak. Her headpiece is the same as the one used in 2020, but I still swear by it being one of the best parts in recent years. It’s perfect. Her alternate face, for reasons I do not know, also has a facemask like print across it; I’m sure it will be revealed in due time.
Final thoughts on this one are that this is a neat way to pick up the new Spider Queen and a neat little conflict in a box. I do wish that there was more for the Spider Queen’s mount, as it surely would have helped make the set a bit more attractive in the eyes of a consumer, as well as buffing out the edges of the Lion’s rear legs. This is a good set for the wave, but for what you get, I am concerned the price tag could dissuade buyers.
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All opinions are my own.