Reviewed by Chris McGee (SAFOLs Member, jhbLUG Member)
The turn of the New Year brings with it a new outlook for some, a fresh start for others and of course, new LEGO® sets for the lucky ones. Early 2019 will also see the theatrical release of “The LEGO® Movie 2: The Second Part”, and with it being based on the famous building block system and following a successful first film, we are getting a whopping nineteen sets released for January (I am still unsure of distribution availability of all of these and it excludes Duplo® sets and the polybags) with the first wave. We also have confirmation of a collectible minifigure series, and I am sure a second wave will be lined up. So this also means that 2019 could come with a number of unplanned expenditures as well.
Although my first choice for a set would have likely been set “70841: Benny’s Space Squad” (hopefully a future review), being an 80’s child an all, the Ultrakatty set hooked me following the official release pictures. The battle-hardened, super-sized version of Unikitty is a great example of the post-apocalyptic theme the sequel is going for.
The main build, being Ultrakatty, is fairly straightforward, but with some nice ideas for building body structures along with the horns and armour. The legs are on ball joints on the shoulders and hips, with hinge pieces at the knees and ankles (those are printed fire on the pieces above the paws). This gives the giant cat some good poses alongside the four ball joints on the tail and one used for the neck. There is even a hinge based join on what is probably the lower abdomen just above the hip which gives a nice articulation point along the back to raise the tail higher.
The legs, body and head are littered with spiky detail, probably bordering on too much though depending on your personal taste. The three larger spikes on either side of the head are on ball joints with the head, and each are clipped, give a good range of movement to what can only be described as the ‘mane’. My favorite part though has to be the shoulder padding armour, which is attached via a clip and small skateboard wheels and hangs over the top of the front legs. The wheel being clipped gives minimal friction and moves up and down seamlessly with the shoulder on the ball joint and I have yet get it caught. A few stickers give the detail on the armour plating on the sides of the body and shoulders.
Ultrakatty also gets three different facial expressions (all printed on a 1×5 brick which is two bricks in height), which get a lovely variety of expressions to please everyone and help with playability. My preference is to still keep the friendly face going as the norm. The build also allows for a relatively easy replacement of the face when wanted, and is still quite sturdy when built.
Within the set is also a brick-built Duplo® figure which we saw at the end of the first LEGO® movie, placed in to be the antagonist of the scene. It has a quaint build, with good bright colours which contrast nicely to the generally earthy colours used on Ultrakatty. The mouth can’t fully close, but can open nice and wide. The build has the ability to turn the eye from a ball joint behind the head.
The set come with two minifigures, being Emmet and Lucy. The latter being geared up for battle as the set name suggests, along with set of goggles, scarf, quiver, a cross bow and beautifully printed shield made from a stop sign. Emmet is a very similar figure to those from the original movie sets, although his printing is scuffed and faded given the apocalypse and all. He gets two facial expressions also set to the scene. The expression showing the terror and panic is a firm favourite of mine.
Warrior Lucy also gets some similar styled clothes compared to the first film, although the printing for her torso is new as well, and arm printing (both arms), and a new leg print representing leather and padding. I am not sold on the tan printing to outline her hips though. The great updated mould for her hair now comes with goggles set above her colored highlights. She also comes with two scene setting expressions.
The set works well together and does enough to set a scene and the Minifigures included are the main stars of the franchise, although an additional antagonistic Duplo® villain would’ve been great. Ultrakatty is just ideal for what it needs to be and can be moved around easily with very few parts becoming detached. Although I noted that the spikes became an annoyance when setting up poses (results will vary based on your patience here). Another good feature is that this set can be combined with set 70829 (Emmet and Lucy’s Escape Buggy) to create something new and take the play further.
Overall, I liked building the set, and I enjoy the set for what it is. I feel that the spikes may just be overdone as it is annoying to get poses right without knocking them out of place, but think that it is also perfect for setting the scene and will depend on one’s own preferences. The prints are great in the set and getting a larger version of Unikitty as “Ultrakatty” makes it special amongst the other sets coming. I will be looking forward to the other sets if this is the standard.