View Full Version : Dino Attack Fire Hammer vs Mutant Lizards

07-15-2005, 07:12 PM
The new LEGO Dino Attack line hit my TRU yesterday. They had all the sets except for the treaded tank, but I had really only wanted 1...

LEGO Fire Hammer vs Mutant Lizards - with the Dino Attack line, Lego finally shows that they are willing to move closer to modern weaponry, I will leave the philosophical debates of that aside and just say that it's good they finally released a line that is directly responding to the Mega Bloks incursions of late (though Mega Bloks puts out way more stuff that's more specialized, and the Lego Vikings line that would have countered MegaB's new Pyrates is exclusive to Europe). The Fire Hammer is Lego's take on the Hummer, and it's instantly recognizable as such. The set is $20 and has 257 parts, a pretty decent per-part value.

The mutant lizards are hard rubbery plastic without articulation, sort of a raptor-type guy, the set comes with the same one in 3 different colors, they have holes in their feet so they can stand on studs but only when the studs are aligned diagonally, Jurassic Park fans might like having an instant herd though. There's 1 minifig, a military-type in black, doesn't look goofy like the Alpha Team did.

The build itself is fairly straightforward, uses a little bit of Technic to get things together, and has a few tiles and curved pieces, including a new curved brick I've never seen before (smaller version of the recent curved ones). The pieces are dark red, light tan, a few white pieces and the new gray and dark gray for accents, gives it a fantasy-military look without being an eyesore, but since the big sloped hood piece is tan it's going to be a challenge to recolor it into something more realistic.

The Fire Hammer is possibly the widest "car" Lego has ever done, it's 12 studs wide without taking the big wheels into account, same width as the new XXL Mobile Crane in the Town line. Yet it somehow seems more in scale with the minifigs than any other car they've ever done, though because the minifig height-to-width ratio is way off, the Fire Hammer is monster truck-tall. The Hammer looks really good overall, though the hood needs at least the main sticker to not look ridiculously plain. The undercarriage is very boxy and has no pretense of a drivetrain, and the standard design makes it way too low for a real Hummer-type vehicle obviously, there are also no doors and a lot of gappy areas in both the front and back, but the biggest crime might be including only 1 seat! Sure, it comes with only 1 figure, but c'mon!!! This thing is wide enough to accomodate 4 seats side to side with 1-stud elbow room shared between each, so including 1 seat isn't just cheap, it makes the already barren interior (a steering wheel, that's it) that much more empty.

The gimmick is that you build a rotating turret which fires Lego's new simplified missiles, they're 5x gray Technic axles with a small green ball-joint that you push onto the end, thus becoming flick-missiles - creative and simple. The turret has an interesting idea, which I also saw on one of the Viking sets, where you pull up a Technic beam up from the turret and put 2 of the missiles in its holes, then using the stand for the figure (which is actually a spring-loaded Soccer figure-holder), you pull back on the stand and it springs forward and flicks the first missile out, dropping the beam down until it stops at the next missile so you can fire again, rapid-fire style. This set can only fire 2, maybe 3 under the right circumstances, but it's pretty nifty none the less. The turret only rotates, though if you remove the parts behind the figure-stand and take out the middle Technic plug, the turret can also be lowered and raised.

Still, the turret's not really that cool-looking of a weapon compared to the other Dino Attack sets' weapons, and the vehicle has a lot of empty space, so even with my meager MOC skills I built it up a lot by filling in the engine compartment, adding more dashboard stuff and a transmission hump in the cab as well as tracking down another seat (though not the same color, bummer), filling in the holes between the stick-out engine stuff and the cab, adding more to the bed portion, and creating 3 different types of weapons that can be added to the turret... and I have even more ideas for changing the chassis to something with suspension and filling out the bed even more. All in all, the Fire Hammer is fun and it's large, one of the first $20 sets in a while that's as large as a traditional $20 toy like a Transformer at that pricepoint, it's a very decent set for the price with lots of room for more building.

07-15-2005, 11:02 PM
This theme really caught my eye when I got my latest Shop@Home catalog last week. Then I was surprised to see the entire line-up at TRU this week, but I guess this is July already, time for new stuff to make its mid-year appearance.

I'm not all that crazy about military themes or vehicles, but I do like both the Fire Hammer and the T-1 Typhoon (attack helicopter). Even the dinos are neat looking. The T-Rex is 10" tall and has light-up eyes and tongue. Unless the little guy comes with a nuclear power cell with a half-life of a few hundred years, hopefully the batteries can be changed. The Pteranodon (Pteryldactyl) has an 11" wingspan! I think this theme will be a hit with kids.

Where did you hear of Vikings theme being a European exclusive?

07-15-2005, 11:13 PM
The boxes for the helicopter is huge, the lower right corner (my right, its left) has the light-up dino head. Personally, I think it's the greatest-looking System helicopter they've ever done, though the color is not to my liking. At $70 though, it's currently too steep for my collection (and too big as well), but I almost certainly will get it by the end of the year no matter what. Before it, my favorite Lego system copter was the RES-Q Aerial Recovery: http://guide.lugnet.com/set/6462 (of course, I expanded those small rotors by about double).

FBTB said the Vikings was European a while back, and I saw a lot of chatter about it on Lugnet too. Apparently the news has improved for us in North America though, they're eventually going to be Shop-at-Home exclusives here in the USA. Dino Attack was a USA exclusive as well, dunno what's up there for Europe.

07-16-2005, 10:21 PM
I have the 6462 Res-Q helicopter too, but I've never built the darn thing :o You are right about the ridiculously short rotor blades on that set, I'd forgotten about that. There is another 'copter still available out there that's caught my eye too - the 7044 Rescue Chopper from the World City theme: http://guide.lugnet.com/set/7044. It's good looking set a relatively reasonable price.

I do like the Dino Attack chopper as well as this theme's overall color scheme, but it looks as if the canopies aren't hinged. I really prefer opening doors/canopies on LEGO vehicles rather than having to remove a brick to access the interior. The Dino Attack mini-figs have all black commando uniforms, which I don't really care for. I think they should be dressed for safari ;)

07-17-2005, 05:32 PM
How could you NOT build it? Build it, build it, build it!!! One of the sets that really made me take the Lego thing back up in my adulthood.

I know a lot of folks like that World City chopper you have there, but I don't like the open cockpit, and if you don't dig the non-hinged canopies on the Dino Attack chopper, why would you here? I do agree with you about that aspect, but when it looks this good, I'll probably just make a tunnel for the pilots to leave.

07-17-2005, 08:20 PM
I bought the 6462 on clearance and it went right into storage. Just haven't been in the mood to build.

As for the non-opening canopy on the 7044, it has the open cockpit so the pilots can just slip out the sides. The Dino Attack chopper has the enclosed cockpits so the only way out is through the canopy. You shouldn't have to take a vehicle apart to insert/remove the figs. That was a problem that plagued most vehicles made in the mid/late 90s in the 'Juniorization' years.

I suppose it wouldn't be hard to modify the canopies on the Typhoon with a 2x2 hinge brick so they open. It reminds me of the Republic Gunship but I can't remember if the canopies are hinged on that set or not.

09-04-2005, 11:55 PM
Dunno how I missed your post for so long Ji'dai, but on the Rep Gunship, the canopies are not hinged. This teardrop canopy hasn't been something I've liked on most sets it's come with, the first I can remember is the Ep 2 Jedi Starfighter and it has to be removed and has the whole bottom edge open to space, I loathe that.

So check it out, I took the Hammer out the other day and realized that the low frame could look less low if the long plates between the front and rear end were not there, so I removed those plates and now it looks 10 times better yet doesn't seem to suffer any structural issues. I used the plates to fill in the bed of the truck, but that's still open at the fenders on the sides. Also, I got another set with a white seat bringing my white seat count to 2, so I removed the gray seat in the vehicle and put the white ones in, I also raised them 1 stud in height so the figures sit up at a height where the windshield isn't way above them. 2 little changes to a great set have made a big difference.