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My 6 year old son is a Lego addict, he absolutely loves the stuff and will happily spend hours upon hours playing with it. So when he saw they had released this new monster fighter range he couldn't wait to get his hands on it, with his birthday coming up I decided that this would be the perfect gift. This set cost £24.99 from Argos, which is fairly reasonable as far as Lego sets go and there are three or four other sets in the range which let you build upon your collection. This set is recommended for ages 8-14, not sure why that is but I was more than happy that it was suitable for my boy.
The Vampyres (this is the spelling on the box) Hearse set is exactly what it says on the tin, it comes with three Lego figures, the vampire, his zombie side kick and the vampire hunter with his motorbike, it also has a coffin that fits into the back of the hearse which can be flipped up, causing the vampire to pop out and attack, a feature which my son found highly entertaining.
The set itself is fairly simple to put together. Although on opening the box it may seem daunting when looking at the pile of tiny pieces wondering where they all go the instructions are very clear and easy to follow, I managed to put it together in about 10 minutes.
The only downside as far as I am concerned is the fact that if my son plays to hard with the set it come apart meaning I have to put it all back together again, which after the fourth or fifth time can be slightly annoying. I know this is the point of Lego, being able to build, dismantle and rebuild but trying telling that to my boy! Overall though I would highly recommend this as my son seems to get so much enjoyment out of it and it really fires his imagination, and now he is starting to learn to build it all himself it's all the better.
My son absolutely loves Lego and construction type toys and these are the types of toys that he will sit and play for hours with and so this Christmas it was natural to buy him quite a few Lego products as I knew they would be well received and played with afterwards too. One of the items I bought him was the Lego Monster Fighters set 9464 which is names the Vampyre hearse and I bought him this one as I knew he would like the set and was receiving others from the Monster Fighter range as well. This is my review of the product.
==What is it?==
The Lego Monster Fighter range is, to my knowledge at least, one of the newest ranges to come out of Lego. My son saw the crazy scientist set whilst on one of his Lego searching missions on amazon and promptly added it to the top of his Christmas wish list and so I knew that the range appealed to him. Whilst he did not specifically ask for the Vampyre hearse set I knew that I would be appreciated and would compliment some of the other sets he was receiving.
The range focuses on various baddies such as Lord Vampyre, the crazy scientist and his monster Frankenstein, Mummies and Werewolves and their arch rivals the Monster Fighters! It is a perfect range for boys I think as they love all of the good versus bad things as a rule and they are able to use their imagination to create stories with these sets.
Set 9464 comes in a good sized cardboard box which features the Lego name as well as the Monster fighters logo but the actual name of the set isn't present on the box and there is just the number of the set on there. The box is quite dark and spooky looking as are others in the range and it features a picture of the hearse built with the monster fighter riding behind it on a cool looking motor bike. The picture shown on the front of the box gives a really good representation of what you are going to be building with this set which is nice and something Lego do well I feel.
The box tells us that this set is suitable for those aged 8 to 14 years and I think this is probably a fair guideline really after witnessing my son with the sets. He is a confident builder and seven years old but he did want me to sit and help when needed with the larger items in the monster fighter ranges he has got and so I would say younger children than eight are likely to need help at certain points for sure.
==Building the set==
The cardboard box is easy enough to open as Lego boxes have a place where you can press it in and then pull the end of the box open to access the contents. My son always finds pushing the tabs in tricky even though they are perforated so I would recommend that an adult does this as the box is made from a quite tough cardboard.
Inside the box there are two separate bags of Lego pieces which are numbered bag one and bag two and then there is also a good sized colour instruction booklet as well. Every single time I review Lego I do spend a short amount of time going on about how wonderful the organisation and instruction booklets from Lego are and I am going to do this again with this review! The fact that the Lego pieces are in numbered bags means that you only need to open one bag at a time and when the instruction manual tells you to meaning that you aren't working with too many pieces at once and so possibly becoming a bit over awed by it. The instruction manual is as good as always and is a really nice size and looks quite like a glossy magazine with all its colour! The instruction manual is really clear and steps for building are not too complicated as they take them in small manageable steps which are well represented by colour diagrams of how the Lego should look at each step. I do think with Lego you do get by far the best instruction manuals I've seen from a construction type toy and it is one of the reasons I think it is the best in the field.
With this set you get three mini figures and so you have Rodney Rathborne the monster fighter, Lord Vampyre and a Zombie driver for the hearse. There may be some duplicates with these sets as my son does have a Rodney Rathborne from his other set and I suspect Lord Vampyre would feature in his castle set as well but this isn't something my son minds at all and he still uses all the mini figures in his play.
You also get Rodney Rathbornes motorcycle with this set and this was the first thing my son had to build after the mini figures. He was able to complete this simple assignment totally independently as it only had six steps to it. When it came to building the Vampyre hearse there were a lot more steps and so I did sit with my son and help when asked but I was really there more to just pass pieces to him and make sure he was following the instructions properly because he is pretty competent with Lego.
When the Lego hearse was completed I have to say I was quite impressed by the size of it because sometimes you can spend a good amount of money on Lego to end up with something quite tiny out of it! I was also really impressed with the amount of small details on the hearse and I have to say in general this is something I have been impressed with with each of the monster fighters my son has had so far. There are really spooky looking features such as bones to hold the engine in place, fangs at the front of the car and blood red bricks used to represent curtains on the window of the hearse too. What is also great is the fact that Lord Vampyre himself has a glow in the dark head that does really glow in the dark which looks spooky and there is also a glow in the dark sticker used on the hearse as well.
The set took around forty minutes to complete but this was with my son doing the bulk of the work independently which I think is a good time really. I certainly don't want to pay a good amount of money for a toy to have it completed in five minutes anyway!
My son has really enjoyed playing with this set along side his other monster fighter sets and I think the main reason why he has enjoyed playing with it is that there are little features which makes it fun to play with. You can flick a lever on the car which will launch the Lord Vampyre out of the top of the car after the monster fighters which is something my son loves to do. Sometimes it doesn't quite work right but he doesn't let this put him off and will try again! He loves that you have a little moonstone with this set which he says the monster fighters need to get back off the villains and it is lovely seeing him create these little stories and interact with the sets.
In terms of scale this hearse is big and almost as tall as the crazy scientists lab which looks a little odd when played with side by side but it isn't something that seems to bother my son and so it doesn't bother me either. Considering I paid £30 for the set I want it to be of a good size anyway!
The hearse and motorcycle stay together really well as do the Lego mini figures and I personally think again this is because of the quality of Lego in general. The bricks fit together well and as long as you push them together properly and follow the clear instructions then the set will stay put together well. Obviously care needs to be taken when playing with Lego sets like this and you cannot be too rough but my son is aware of this and is old enough to understand.
I would recommend this Lego set as I think it is good quality and features some nice little extras with it.
Thank you for reading my review!