Preface: The micro fleet series is a new sub-line from MEGA BLOKS being offered in 2014. Each set features a micro-scale version of one of MEGA BLOKS most popular UNSC vehicles (Warthog, Hornet, or MANTIS) shrunk to approximately 25% size/pieces of its original blok-counterpart. Each set also includes a micro structure (forerunner tower, sniper tower, or shade turret), a Spartan Mk VI, weapon, “battlescape” plate and display helmet/carrying case.
Packaging: As mentioned in the overview, the packaging features graphics of the Hornet in-flight attacking a covenant sniper tower. On the rear panel the artwork depicts each element separated so that a buyer can know what to expect inside. Also pictured are the other two micro-build sets, along with a graphic indicating the actual size of the scaled down vehicle.
Contents: This set #97224 contains a total of 79pcs packaged as 1-plastic Spartan Helmet, 1-landscape plate and 1-bag of contents (including figure).
Figures: Each of these micro builds features a Spartan Mk IV in various colors and each sporting a different weapon. In this set, we receive a red Mk IV with SAW – both of which we’ve either received the exact or similar item before. Considering this is the same case as the warthog, we can assume this is likely the trend we will see in these sets. This time around our galant hero is donning a red suit of armor (aka not-Iron Man ) opposed to the crimson tone of the Battlescape III Spartan Mk. IV. The SAW is OK, but feels undersized considering the “feel” of the weapon in-game. Still, it’s a bit better than getting an assault rifle, barely. Unfortunately, of the three sets offered so far this SPARTAN is my least as the bright red makes our MC an easy sniping target.
I suppose the color chosen was done as a nod to the red Hornet Attack (set# 96867) which was offered in 2010 as a Target exclusive – as this set also features a covenant sniper tower. Still, considering the collect-ability of these hornets I would’ve preferred to see a more desirable color *cough*covert-blue*cough*.
Vehicle/Structure: In this set we get a micro covenant sniper tower which eludes to set# 96867 as previously mentioned. The construction is fairly straightforward comprising of 23/79pcs. The overall look of the tower does a fair job of representing it’s cousin [the authentic sized tower] but the prongs don’t exactly convey what they’re intended to. I feel this is largely due to the piece being too tall for the tower and think something along the size of a 1×2 plate would’ve been more to-scale – but it would’ve been more difficult to give that organic look of covenant technology.
Personally, I would’ve liked to see the senor pieces [used in the Warthog and also as the tail rudder of the hornet] used in some way to lessen the height of the tower’s architecture – as they used this same piece to make the ramps to the grav lift (trans-blue piece). Speaking of those bits – builders should be weary when placing the ground-pieces onto the landscape plate. One ill-placed piece will make your ramps look wonkier than they already do. To be fair, the first two look great once properly placed, but the 3rd requires a dual-plate base which sets it one plate higher than the rest. This is mostly unnoticeable if you’re looking down on the set (which I had to do for most of the shots as to avoid making the set look improperly constructed) –minor complaints, but as I can’t think of a better way to do it: I’m OK with it.
Now, let’s talk about this hornet…
All I can say is WOW! This build is an incredible amount of fun, and it’s simply impressive how well half the pieces of the original build represented the digital model. As I write this up it dawned on me that you can even simulate an open cockpit by simply removing the clear 1×2 plates. MEGA even did a fair job of capturing the nose-mounted chain-gun by using 2 1×1 rounded studs! I think my favorite part of the construction of this particular build is it’s simplicity. My only ‘knock’ on it would be wishing there was some way to indicate the missile silos (as are visible on the larger build) and the weird placement of a silver plate to mount the hull to the pontoons. I imagine that was done to appear like the silver vents on the original design. A new piece with a hole in it to rig up some rails would’ve been gravy, but not necessary. Regardless, simply an impressively simple and well-executed design!
- Clutch: 4/5 Sensor bits (the ramps) be a bit finicky to keep in place during play; but for display purposes they’re fine. Younger builders shouldn’t have much difficulty attaching pieces like some of the more complex builds.
- Stability: 5/5 Superb. I wish the original release of the hornet would’ve been as solid as this one!! Considering I don’t have the latest revision, I have to say this is likely the closest in-game build I have to-date of the hornet
- Build: 4.5/5 A minor deduction for the way that the ramps were designed onto the plate, but otherwise a straightforward build. These sets will be great for younger builders that are closer to the minimum age requirement. A simple but well-designed set..
- Innovation: 4.5/5 The minor deduction here is because of the figure/weapon, not the actual set. I’m OK with the fact we got a Mk. IV, but disappointed that we didn’t get a new color nor new weapon considering the other two sets offer at least one or the other. The lack of specialized pieces outside of the turbofans also makes this set less valuable at the $14.99 MSRP
Overall: 4.3/5…My only complaints on a set of this scale are with the figure it comes with as I detest having a bunch of useless figures lying around. In terms of value you’re not really getting a lot for your buck on this one, especially compared to the other two. That being said, I recommend this set for smaller children who like LEGO but struggle with more complex builds…but for the enthusiast wouldn’t recommend this set unless you’re a completist.
Next up…Micro-Scale MANTIS Invasion t# 97270