7714 Golden Guardian
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The Packaging
The Parts
The Build
Exo-Force Battle Royale

The Packaging: The first thing I have to say about this set is that the box is huge! It is much bigger than anything I would expect a $25 USD set to come in. As always the artwork is very cool. Here is the front of the box and the back of the box. Every year LEGO® seems to come out with a new way to open their boxes. This set opens on the longer sides and has a tab so that you can securely re-close the box and store bricks. The content bags are numbered. I really love when LEGO® does this. It makes sorting and finding pieces so much easier. Of course there are a lot of stickers to apply in this set as well. I know people are mixed on whether they like stickers as opposed to printed pieces. Personally, I like printed pieces better and I don't like the residue that stickers leave behind when you want to remove them. However, I see people's points that stickers allow you to use pieces for any theme or purpose you want. A lot of times I leave the stickers off entirely just for that reason.

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The New Parts: The hinge pieces always seem new to me in these sets. I can never tell if I have one in my collection or not. The socket hinge seems a little different to me as well as the 2 x 2 with double balls (LOL *he said balls*). This is the first time I've seen this technic piece and I'm sure a lot of AFOLS rejoiced when they first saw it. I can see this part selling well on Bricklink: Pearl Gold 2 x 2 x 11 column. This set comes with a lot of gold pieces including the modified tile with grill and Technic panel. I know the part isn't new any more but I still love getting 1 x 1 slopes. I'm always happy to have more dark red in my collection and there are several plates and canopies here in that color. This set also has this new windscreen which has great MOC possibilities. I'd like to see how people come up with uses for this huge click hinge wedge dealy, because I don't see any other use for it off the top of my head. Ha-Ya-To is always a cool figure. Here he is in a cool jump suit and of course sports a poker face and a game face.

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The Build: I am surprised at how much I like the Exo-Force line. I've never been a big Space fan, don't like Anime, never got into mechs, but for some reason I've liked this line from the beginning. That being said this is a very cool addition to the Exo-Force line. It's a very nice over-sized battle machine that would certainly save the day and is a great release as a special edition. As usual, the instructions start with a picture of the finished product. It looks odd here because as there is only one figure in the set, there isn't a lot of room between that picture and the picture of the contents of bag one which are the legs and torso. It's obvious that all the battle machines are assymetrical but I find it cool that even the joint mechanisms are assymetrical here. LEGO has a tie-in with their web site with all the new Exo-Force sets. You take the code from the tile and enter it online. There seems to be different games you can play depending on which Exo-Force sets you have. If you enter only the code from this particular set, it doesn't appear to do anything. Exo-Force has made SNOT technology pretty common in their sets. The first portion of the Golden Guardian built is a nice solid torso. I really like the placement of the controls here. The next thing you build is a nice solid foot. The more Exo-Force sets I build, the more solid the joint construction becomes. As you start building the leg you can tell that the Golden Guardian has a lot of mobility and articulation. I will warn you that the legs are the same, so if you're the type of builder that doesn't like being surprised by the 2x you can build them simultaneously. When you attach the legs to the torso, the mech looks kind of scrawny and wimpy. But once the leg armor is added, you can see that it's a nice bulky mech. I think it's very clever how the leg armor looks like traditional Japanese clothing. I was impressed with the mechanism used to attach the shoulder armor. And the canopy, although not airtight, also uses very cool building techniques. Even before the addition of the arms the battle machine looks pretty intimidating. The arms include a very large golden gun and a gold shield. The standard missle launcher (don't aim it at people's heads or it will make them cry) and shoulder mounted rockets make this a very heavily armed battle machine. My only disappointment with this set is that there is no armor on the back of the machine. Otherwise it is very well constructed using a lot of unique techniques and cool new pieces. Check out the finished machine and my overall rating.

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As usual here is a story about this new set featuring Fabuland® Housewives stars Bianca Lamb and Gavin Gorilla. Once again I went overboard and created a very long story. So you can view it sequentially or access each chapter with the menu below. Enjoy!

Exo-Force® Battle Royale

Start here
First matchup: Golden Guardian™ vs. Sentry™
Second matchup: Golden Guardian™ vs. Micro Battle Machine
Third matchup: Golden Guardian™ vs. Attack Tank
Fourth matchup: Golden Guardian™ vs. Thunder Fury™
Fifth matchup: Golden Guardian™ vs. Sonic Phantom™
Final matchup: Golden Guardian™ vs. Bridge Walker™
Conclusion
Overall Rating
To see more of Bianca and Gavin's adventures check out Fabuland® Housewives...
This set is currently available at shop.lego.com
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