3828 Air Temple
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The Packaging
The Parts
The Build
Bianca & Gavin and the Fire-Air War
Extreme Brick-over Temple Edition

Quick Intro: I was dissapointed in this set for many reasons. I know this set has received good reviews from other set reviewers and that a lot of people like it. In my opinion the set is very lacking in what it could be and suffers from some juniorization and lack of imagination. The whole set seems rushed and hastily produced. So, for the first time I added an MOC in with my review showing how I think the whole Avatar line could be more successful. Hubris, I know...

The Packaging: Very cool box art! The logo from the show and the actual character along with the Nickelodeon logo are on the front of the box. The back of the box shows details of the interior of the set and some comics. I like this better than some of the boxes we had in the 80's and to some extent the 90's where you had no idea what was in the interior until you had the set. An exciting surprise sometimes, but I would rather be able to see what is included in the set. I also like that they have the mini-figures displayed and named on the side of the box. It is also refreshing to see an alternative model on the box, even if it is in a tiny square on the side of the box. This is truly becoming more and more rare nowadays. Here are pictures of the instruction manual and the parts and decals.

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The Parts: I started having problems with this set when I started opening the individual parts bags. I was so upset about the new armor pieces I was booing them, literally. I was expecting them to be dark red because the box art makes it look that way. Maybe I'm wrong, maybe I'm going a little color blindness as I get older, but I think that they are dark red in the pictures and they are definitely brown in real life. I was so annoyed by this I went to sleep in order to have a better perspective on this when I woke up. So, the next day I found some other cool parts like this tow cable. What's so great about it is it comes pre-tied and pre-assembled, no going blind trying to thread the string through a tiny hole. It's all set up for you! There's also a great 16 x 32 white baseplate. The figures are great once I put them together and got past the brown instead of dark red armor. The fire nation soldier is great. I would like some of these new faces to come in yellow instead of the license fleshy, but I'm doing my best to stay positive about things and accept the things I cannot change-the LEGO maniac's prayer. Here is the Firebender with visor down and visor up. I know nothing about the show, so I'm not sure if the Firebender's hands are always on fire or if he can turn that on or off. I guess it'd be hard to do certain things if he couldn't, like wipe his butt for example. Here is a character called Sokka and Aang the last airbender. The good guys have printing on the back of their heads and Sokka's torso has a boomerang on the back. We also get Momo the Lemur, which to me is a hilarious name for a cartoon character...

Overall, there is a great selection of parts in this set and I highly recommend it for parts monkeys. Perhaps I am soured by the armor color but when I open a set with this much bley and frown (fake + brown = frown) I can't help but miss the old colors and wish they had produced sets with this much grey and brown before the color change...accept the things I cannot change...

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The Build: There are a lot of extra structures in this set. One of the reasons I am disappointed in this set is because it seems a lot of pieces were wasted with these little weapons and extraneous things that could've been used to build a more elaborate temple. There is a strangely elaborate catapult that flings trans-green cylinders. I do not know if there are any weapons in the show that resemble these cylinders but there are a lot in this set. There is also a Fire Nation Tank. Now, this irks me for two reasons. 1. If you've ever seen the Fire Nation Tank on the show you know how elaborate and cool it is. This one comparatively is lame. There's an interview with the creator of Avatar in one of the Brickmaster magazines and he says they originally built the tanks out of LEGO to see if they would work the way they wanted to. A big tank like that would sell great for Avatar fans and LEGO collectors who aren't fans of the show. This thing that switches between car and flinger is lame and pathetic. 2. According to the box art, the wheels are supposed to be light bley and they are clearly dark bley. Again, a huge pet peeve of mine is discrepancy in box art for the LEGO company nowadays. They need a better proofreader for the catalogs and box designs. Furthermore, the disc flinger is not a good piece, please break the mold. If Aang was a few inches away, the disc flinger couldn't reach him and I doubt even running him over would cause much damage. TANK LAME!!!

On to the temple itself...think there's a reason this thing is offset on a jumper brick? There's not. Bley Burps..that's all I have to say about that. I like the construction of the door. It's great to see innovative construction on something like a door that LEGO usually has solid molds for. There is an elaborate locking mechanism on the back of these massive doors that seems like it's going to be pretty cool. But just when I start to enjoy this set...there is nothing in the instructions that gives even the slightest clue as to how to lock the door. Maybe it's obvious and I'm an idiot, but usually LEGO assumes it's manual readers are total morons spelling out every step. I am (again) disappointed to see that there is no explanation as to how this lock is supposed to work. Another trap door, huh? Do mini-figs still fall for this old trick? Doesn't survival of the fittest effect mini-figs? And then it happens...I have no idea how I missed this as many times as I've seen pictures and read reviews of this set. The windows are decals. Window decals? I want to lay on the floor in the fetal position and just cry. I'm back to booing this set...and in a case of too little too late the construction of the tower is pretty cool and I do love having curved tan panels. Please don't change tan! I like how they are using the 1 x 2 tan plates for detail. That's very innovative. And finally, the finished temple and the pieces left over.

Overall, I do recommend this set to fans of the show and parts monkeys. I think people who like castle LEGO or are just LEGO collectors should save their money for other sets. I think the show Avatar has potential to produce some cool LEGO sets, but only if TLG thinks a little further outside of the box. To only offer two sets, the least expensive of which is $30 is kind of strange to me anyway. I think they should have built a bigger temple for $30 and released a separate Fire Nation Tank for $20 and a smaller set. This will not stop me from getting the Fire Nation Ship. That looks like a very cool set...

Overall Rating

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To see more of Gregor, Bianca and Gavin's adventures check out Fabuland® Housewives...
This set is currently available at shop.lego.com
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