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Keep it in the box!

Quote-end
12.01.2011

Advantages:
Great attention to detail .

Disadvantages:
Bits can fall off easily .

Recommendable Yes:

Detailed rating:

Value for Money

Durability

Playability & EnjoymentExcellent

Design & PresentationExcellent

37 Ciao members have rated this review on average: very helpful See ratings
exceptional by (8%):
  1. Gooseydyoo
  2. JAVER1967
  3. dynamicnurse
very helpful by (92%):
  1. Jake_Speed
  2. Mildew82
  3. xxfoxyredxx
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A precious gift.


I was very fortunate, in that a few years ago, my friend went on holiday to America with her family, and one of the presents she brought back with her was this lovely Lego chess set. I believe it cost her $35, which at the time was about £25 in English money. I was absolutely astounded then, when, in the process of submitting it as a product suggestion over on Dooyoo, I saw the same set on Amazon retailing for £249! Hence the title of my review, which were the exact words I yelled at my son, who regularly plays with the set!


The chess set itself is something really special, and the reason that my friend bought it as a gift was because it combined two things that my son really enjoyed playing, Lego and chess. The theme of the set is knights versus "dark forces", and the set somes in a beautiful presentation box, which is really high quality. The box is made of really solid card, with an image of a king fighting a wizard on the front of the box. There are two metal studs on the front of the box, with two leather fasteners that come up over the side of the box and fasten it securely. The box also has a leather handle on the side, so that it can be easily carried.


When you pop the fasteners and open the box, the sheer quality of this chess set is very apparent. The box opens like a book, with the board in a compartment on the left, and the pieces in a compartment on the right, which is covered with a protective layer of perspex.


The chess board is fastened into the lid of the box by small velcro pads, but the box opens out sufficiently to place it flat on a floor or table. On the other hand, for more portability, you can just lift the board free of the box. Underneath the board are images of all the pieces and explanations of which chess pieces the correspond to, although it is not too difficult to work it out. The chess board is an average size, and what is nice about it is that it also doubles as a Lego base board, so if you have other Lego, you can actually use this board to build houses on as well, when you are not playing chess! Each square on the board is 4X4 Lego studs, and is fully compatible with all Lego bricks.
Pictures of Lego Board Games: Castle Chess Set
Lego Board Games: Castle Chess Set chess 001 - Lego Board Games: Castle Chess Set
Lego Board Games: Castle Chess Set


Now I will go into detail about the chess pieces, which are, of course, little Lego men and women and again, fully compatible and the same size as regular Lego people! I will describe each piece for you:

The Goodies (White):


1: Pawn.

There are 8 pawns in the set and these are little knights, all dressed alike. They have silver, Norman style helmets on their heads, smiley faces, with a little goatee beard, dark blue tops with chain mail detail and a belt on the front, but a plain back and grey trousers. Each pawn carries a grey sword and a blue and gold shield with the emblem of a crown on it. Their feet are designed to slot into the studs on the board so they can stand up properly, as is the case with all the other pieces in the set.


2: King.

The king is really lovely, and you can tell he is the king because his sword is bigger than everyone elses and it is gold and shiny! He also wears a shiny gold crown on his head. He looks quite fierce, and sports a bit of Homer Simpson style stubble on his chin. He has a moulded tabard, which slots over his body and a blue fabric cloak. He wears navy trousers. He carries no shield.


3: Queen.

The queen carries no weapons, but as we know, as a chess piece she is the most deadly. She has a smiley face and long brown hair. She wears a navy blue floor length dress, so instead of feet, her dress opens out to the size of a regular square lego block at the bottom. The dress has gold details on it.


4: Bishop.

The bishop looks really sinister, with his brown hood and fabric cape. He has a sneer on his face, and wears chain mail and grey trousers. He carries a fire rod in his hand. Don't mess with this guy!


5: Knight.

I thought that the knights would be soldiers on horseback, but I suppose the limitation of the square size on the board would not make this possible. Instead, you have a more traditional knight figure, made up of navy blue lego blocks topped off with a gold hinged horses head that can extend forward and backward.


6: Rook.

The rook, or castle consists of a small Lego tower of grey and blue blocks, topped with a turret. There are two fire holders on the side, containing orange transparent plastic fire. The front of the tower holds a shield, which has the same crown emblem as the pawns, but the shield is larger and longer.

The bad guys (black)


1: Pawn.


The pawns are black skeletons, whcih are quite flimsy and have a tendency to fall apart. They have red eyes and carry a small round shield with a skull on it, and a mace, with a spiky ball on the end. I wouldn't want to be on the recieving end of that one!


2: King.


The king is a wizard, dressed in red, with a huge grey beard. He wears a traditional black wizard's hat, whci curves back and has a skull logo on it. He wears a jegged black cape with a high collar and his belt has a skull logo too, with amulets and charms hanging from it. He carries a magic rod with blue transparent plastic "rays" emanating from the top.


3: Queen.


The queen is a white skeleton, with red eyes. She ain't pretty at all! She has long, blood red hair and wears a black fabric cape, with armour resembling sa silver ribcage on the front of her dress. Her top is red and her skirt is black. She carries a red and gold rod with a "ruby" on the top.


4: Bishop.


The bishop is basically, the grim reaper! A white skeleton dressed all in black with a black cowl on his head, he carries a large scythe into battle.


5: Knight.


The black knights are the same design as the white knights, but they are black with a red horses head on top.


6: Rook.


The rooks have the same tower design as the white rooks, but are alternating black and red in colour and have a large skull shield on the front. Instead of fire holders, there are two bones either side of the tower that resemble tooth or horn bones.


As you can see from my description, these pieces are very detailed, and are a fantastic display or collectors item. But what about play? Well, the beauty of this set, is that there are lots of ways to play with it, and my son lovesto play with the characters in the set. He was about 7 when he had the set, and is now 10 years old, and I think this is the ideal age range for this set. it certainly would be no good for younger children, as the pieces have lots of bits to them, which can get lost easily.

Ways to play.


My son likes to play with these figures in his room, and play can be anything from a story, to a battle, to a football match, though to be honest, it is usually the latter! He combines the figures in the set with existing components in our rather large Lego collection, which creates infinite possibilities. He has managed to keep most of the bits together, apart from some odd weapons, and bizzarely, the queens hair, which fell off, and now means she is a bald skeleton, which makes her look even more scary. With all our Lego bricks, it is fun to make a Lego castle on the board base, and create battle scenes bewtween the two sides. Obviously, being lego, this has a lot more scope than an average chess set.


We do also play chess on the board, and my son seems to have no problem distinguishing the pieces. However, when I play chess, I prefer the regular chess pieces, as I find it a lot easier to plan my next move if the pieces are regular wooden ones. All the armour and extras distracts me from the game, and I end up making daft mistakes, which put my son at a distinct advantage. Also, it is quite fiddly moving the pieces round the board, as sometimes you will try and lift a piece off, and his legs get left behind, or his shield or sword drops off and you are fidddling about trying to put the bits back together again.


We had a bit of drama the other day, when my son had some friends round and they were all playing with the set. After the boys had gone home, my son noticed that the two kings and queens were missing. It was after this incident, that i found out how much the set was worth, and we all started panicking! Luckily, the boys mom didn't believe his story that my son gave him the figures to keep, and they were returned to us. i will definitely be advising him to keep it out of reach next time he has friends round.


This is a lovely set and a fantastic toy, which, in our home, is played with imaginitively, creatively, and of course, as a regular chess set! If you can get one of these cheap, it is worth holding on to and keeping in the box if you want to make money on it, as they don't make them any more, and they are increasing in value all the time, like so many old lego sets. Personally though, I feel toys are there to be played with, and the true value of this set is as a well used toy that brings happiness, rather than a dusty box on the shelf.

This review also appears on dooyoo under my username.

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Comments about this review »

Gooseydyoo 13.01.2011 14:58

Wow! Superb review. What will Lego produce next I wonder.

Jake_Speed 13.01.2011 14:45

They do Lego everything now!

JAVER1967 13.01.2011 09:33

Excellent review

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Product Information »

Manufacturer's product description

Battle your opponent in this exciting game of skill and strategy! This exclusive LEGO Castle Chess Set includes a t...

Product details

Manufacturer Lego
Long Name Board Games: Castle Chess Set
Type Educational Toy

Ciao

Listed on Ciao since 25/09/2007

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Review Ratings »

This review of Lego Board Games: Castle Chess Set has been rated:

"exceptional" by (8%):

  1. Gooseydyoo
  2. JAVER1967
  3. dynamicnurse

"very helpful" by (92%):

  1. Jake_Speed
  2. Mildew82
  3. xxfoxyredxx

and 33 other members

The overall rating of a review is different from a simple average of all individual ratings.



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