My binge of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Lego sets continues tonight as I move on to one of the three larger sets: Baxter Robot Rampage.
At 397 pieces, this set is almost as large as the three previous sets I've reviewed combined. It also includes several unique mini figures.
But as the Shredder's Dragon Bike set demonstrated, bigger isn't always better.
Packaging - 8/10The packaging for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Lego sets is a decent design. And with the larger packages such as this one, you get a nice large image of the assembled set as well as an inset image of the mini figures that are included. The back of the box has several images of the sets features in action. Since this set is larger and more complex, highlighting the features on the back is quite useful so that you can get an idea of what you are spending your money on. It also has another small comic strip on the bottom of the back panel which is a cute little touch.
Sculpting/Design - 8/10The Baxter Robot Rampage set comes with two small vehicles for the Turtles, a go cart and a small plane, as well as the large robot for Baxter himself. The small vehicles are a bit of a mixed bag. The go cart is cute, and very in keeping with the limited amount of technology have at the start of the Nickelodeon cartoon. It's too bad that they didn't go the extra mile and make it into the Patrol Buggys. (I suspect that they hadn't been created when the first wave of toys and Lego sets were designed.) Even so, the go cart that was included has a couple of nice features. It has a clip to hold Donatello's weapon as well as a place to carry his skateboard. The plane is another story. It isn't a bad design, but seems overly complex for the Turtles in this incarnation, especially for Raphael to be flying. The centerpiece of this set is Baxter's robot which is actually a large mech suit instead of a robot. At seven and a quarter inches tall, the mech suit certainly looks impressive. And while they certainly took more than a few liberties with the design, it does seem to be largely based on his appearance at the end of his debut episode.
The set includes five figures. There are four regular mini figures: Baxter Stockman, April O'Neil, Donatello and Raphael. There is also a single mouser included. The figures are neat, but it is the mouser that really impressed me. I never would have guessed that Lego could do such a remarkable job of recreating such a unique character with existing pieces. The head could use a bit of work. It is composed of a minifigure's helmet ontop of a short round Lego piece. The helmet falls off a bit too easily. and while it does create the general shape of a mouth, I would have really loved to see a mouser head that could actually open and close. It would also have been nice to have gotten more than one mouser since this is the only set to include a mouser. And one mouser on its own it not much of a threat.
Paint/Color choice - 8/10The color choices used on Baxter's mechanical suit are what you would expect, a lot of grays and blacks. Silver might be more appropriate. But I don't know that Lego makes too many silver pieces. They did include a few yellow pieces on the arms and feet that seem out of place. The use of yellow is a bit worse on Donatello's go cart. And then you get to the plane which is mostly yellow and red. Its color scheme seems more appropriate for April than it does for Raphael.
Features - 7/10Lego set the bar quite high with the Kraang Lab Escape set. The Baxter Robot Rampage set doesn't really measure up. Raphael's plane has a set of flickable projectiles, just like every other Lego TMNT vehicle I've opened so far. Baxter's mechanical suit also has a pair of the projectiles on top. It also has a projectile that can be launched from its left hand that looks like an electrical blast. Its right hand can be launched from the arm to "capture" enemies. Meanwhile the hand remains tethered to the arm via a string. That isn't a lot of features for such a large set. But the Baxter Robot Rampage set has one other trick up its sleeve, the robot itself. It has ball joints at the shoulders, elbows and ankles, double jointed hips, a rotating waist and four hinged fingers on each hand. That is a lot of articulation and it makes the mech suit a fun toy all on its own.
Accessories - 3/10The Baxter Robot Rampage set is suppose to come with a pair of sais for Raphael, a bladed version of Donatello's bo staff, a skateboard for Donatello and a pair of shoulder pads and a helmet for Baxter. I say it is supposed to, because I'm noticing that each of the TMNT Lego sets that I've opened has had at least one extra weapon thrown in. That's fine for Raphael. But I can't help feeling that Donatello should have gotten the extra staff section to make a regular staff instead of the bladed version if you prefer. And both April and Baxter are unarmed. While neither has a signature weapon that they feel incomplete without, but they should have something. If nothing else, a large hair piece for Baxter would have been a fun touch.
Value - 5/10The Baxter Robot Rampage set sells for between $40 and $50 depending upon where you buy it. I paid the full $50 for my set. That isn't a horrible price. But I would have been much happier if I had waited and got it for the lower price. Baxter's robotic suit is fairly impressive, it justifies at least half of the price. It's the other half of the price where it gets a bit sketchy. The two small vehicles are not worth the extra cost. Having three figures that are unique to this set (April, Baxter and the mouser) helps. But it also feels like overpaid by at least $10 just to be able to get April and Baxter.
Happy Hunting:The Baxter Robot Rampage set seems to be a shared exclusive between Toys R Us and Lego.com. So for the time being, you only have three options for finding it: Toysrus.com, Lego.com's web store or your local Toys R Us store. The good news is that they seem to be readily available online. I have had mixed results finding it in stock at the Toys R Us store in Madison, WI.