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 80022 - Monkie Kid - Spider Queen's Arachnoid Base
Immediately from the box art of this set, the set gives off a gruelling vibe, the background implies that the Spider Queen seems to have won the day and is parading the captured Monkey King as a mere trophy before the citizens. MK won’t let the King be paraded around and zooms in to save the day on a small jet, seemingly made of part of the Monkey King’s Mech’s staff, as well as Pigsy not willing to go down without a fight. This thing is monstrous and draws attention and man, is it cool!
I would call this conflict-in-a-box, but that would be a cruel joke. The Queen dominates the scene in a mech so big we haven’t seen it since 7707 – Striking Venom of the Exo Force days. With each monstrous slam of its front legs, the banner of the Queen tilts from side to side, allowing for a neat play feature. Our first set of the wave to introduce the Monkey King himself, but the stickers seem to imply that not only is he a prison, he is also a battery to power this monstrous mech.
The abdomen of the spider opens up to reveal a hidden away small transportable base, complete with a cage to trap innocent people in, as well as build your own spider drone! The set specifically comes with all the parts you need to make a small spider, but allows the option to swap out the abdomen of the spider to whatever colour you choose, the importance of each colour I feel will be revealed in due time. Whatever colour you don’t use can be clipped on to the Spider Queens staff for later use.
Monkie Kid’s small jet, if I’m connecting the dots correctly, seems to imply that the Golden Staff that his character carries around so much, is the jet that he is riding on. I’m sure the staff of McGuffins holds many special powers, but for someone that hasn’t seen the show, I can commend LEGO for making it apparent to someone like me.
The Spider Mech’s makeup does admittedly contain a lot of huge moulded parts, which easily convey the big size of the model and makes it certainly feel like the price tag is worth it by how much it takes up the table, but from a collector/AFOL point of view, these parts are quite limited. The set uses large helicopter blades for each of the legs and large purple quarter rounded bricks to make the abdomen of the spider, these are not bad things in themselves, but I’m more so pointing it out to those that think this set is made up of lots and lots of parts. It’s only made up of 100 more parts than the Central Perk Ideas set and that thing is tiny!
Once again, big moulds = big manufacturing costs = more cost. Not to mention the general vibe of these sets being pricier than most to begin with. Whoops, getting side-tracked…
This set includes 5 Minifigures, our all new Spider Queen and classic MK outfits, our first appearance of Monkey King, Pigsy and a helpless civilian, apparently named Jia.
Jia, the civilian, is once again a person of no significant value in this set. I understand the need to add civilians, but this far into the theme in the upper price ranges would have been nice to include some form of new torso or face print.
Pigsy, this time around, seems like he isn’t ready to be made such a chump by the Spider Queen again. Although sporting the same headpiece and general attire, his torso this time is brand new, equipped with what almost looks like a kids toy utility belt combo with chopsticks and spare food for on the go. It’s comedic, and really leans into the ridiculousness of his character, but I just wish we had a different expression of him. He also comes equipped with signature Red Pitchfork to stab away at the Spider hordes.
Monkey King, this time around, has been reduced to some very generic attire and has been critically dethroned from his spot of an invincible saviour, so it would seem. In this attire, it is actually really nice to see the parallel between the Monkey King and Monkie Kid, as both have the azure neckpiece, both have a dark yellow torso, red pants and black boots. What was a subtle change however was the tail that they use, instead of draping off towards the rear of Monkey King, it now sits more flush along his back as a newer mould, allowing him to be put against solid backings such as spider webs, to insinuate being a prisoner. Speaking of being a prisoner, the webby white handcuffs that the King come with are new in white, allowing us to finally stop using the Spiderman-web cuffs and give our prisoners the ability to try and grab things whilst enthralled. And we get a spare in the set too!
The last character that is new in this set is a new baddie named Syntax. I’m sure his name has something to do with the fact he is wearing VR-like goggles, he’s techy, he has tech arms and he makes the spider drones. I love the new headpiece and I even like the dual-sided face for this new bad guy as well. His animated series version has his four arms as four extra spider-like limbs, rather than tech-like arms as he appears in this set, but I don’t think it is a bad payoff as kids will have more fun this way for sure. Despite the huge spider theme that runs throughout the character, I can see this torso being easily incorporated for some evil corporation builds in cityscapes, so it’s great that the outfit isn’t restrictive in that regard either.
Overall, I really like this set. It has a real clear-cut bad guy feel and the impending doom of such a monstrous thing makes it super obvious that you should get out of the way. My only real gripe with the set is the civilian. I really wish he was swapped out with another bad guy, or at least the baddies get another +1 to the fight. If the Monkey King is imprisoned, it’s a fair fight of 2v2, and I feel like a bad guy centred build should have some more unfavourable odds. Otherwise, I dig it.
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All opinions are my own.