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Alien Agency: The Arrival
Examined by Mr. Stinkhead

Click for largerLast year MegaBloks produced this connecting building block series of playsets. The Alien Agency line depicting a shadowy government agency protecting us from alien invaders closely resembles the Men In Black movies. Click here to see the whole line. A few of my friends and myself thought it would be cool to have (MegaBloks legal team heart attack in 5...4..) Legos® based on the MIB movies, but we just were not sure enough to take the gamble. Low and behold Toys R Us put these puppies on 25% off and I knew I could take the plunge.

Click for largerI picked up two sets, the Burger Barn secret lab and the Alien Exam tin. I liked the packaging of the metal tin in that it looked like a secret govt. briefcase. What's inside? I had to know... and $3 wasn't going to stop me. The Burger Barn had a flip top box showing... ooh! play-doh®-esque modeling compound!

WTF?First complaint: the directions were surprisingly difficult to follow. I know I have never assembled a MegaBloks set before, but I really couldn't tell what was going on in these directions. I mean look at this excerpt here. Can you tell which pieces have been added since the last picture? I had to keep going back and forth between that one and this one to see what the hell was new. At this rate, I won't be able to assemble my future kids' toys without saying Criminey. Placing the connector plugs in the ends of the little rubber tubes took more sweat than I'm used to.

Click for largerSo I get the first set assembled. Not too shabby... considering a Lego® set of the same size would probably set me back $9. I get two little scientists, a little alien, exam table, holding chamber and "life-sized" (for human hands) tweezers and scalpel. Click here to see the alien in the holding chamber.

Click for largerI want to take a second here to say I am impressed with the sculpted figures. The faces and the bodies are nicely sculpted. Check out the line of characters available in the different sets. Though a little whitewashed, there is some cool variety, which is hard when depicting secretive, govt. agents... so kudos for that. The Burger Barn set came with an agent on a motorcycle, click here to see.

The Burger Barn

Click for largerThis set, when built, resembles a drive-thru hamburger joint, but alas, turn it around and flip the roof and its a secret alien lab. This set also took awhile to put together, mainly due to the directions not being all that clear and the larger amount of pieces. Also, when you buy a thing called BurgerBarn, you should get either a Crispin Glover or retarded Leonardo DiCaprio figure...

Second complaint
The pieces seemed a bit flimsy. When they finally popped into place, there was more of a hollow snap than I'm used too, I really thought I would break it. But I don't know if that's due to the sound or the amount of brute force I was exerting to get some of the pieces to click.

Click for largerTaking a look inside, you have two levels of play space, a swing-out console, and another containment tube. The tubes could be connected to the exam table or to any of the other playsets... ok, I'm digging it. Here is another shot with the scientists running around all willy-nilly. Actually what really impressed me was the care put into the decals. I put a few in the barn interior picture to the right, my favorite is the cola dispenser. The amount of detail that went into that is impressive. This label goes on the other side of the containment tube, as to hide it's true nature from civilians.

Click for largerOk, so you have the playset put together. What to do now? You make aliens and then cut em up of course! This set comes with an industrial drum shaped canister of modeling compound. The inconspicuous crates marked FRAGILE (must be Italian) have molds on the reverse. So smear the compound into the mold and pop out your alien. This was not easy... pulling the alien out of the mold took a few tries before I got one without ripping off a leg or head. It was so hard, I believe I now understand the complete experience of childbirth. Don't worry ladies, I feel your pain.

Click for largerThe included comic book concludes with a recipe for homemade modeling compound, I thought that was a nice touch. The set also came with little appendages such as antenna, wings and legs to plug into the clay aliens. They actually stayed in pretty nicely. Now you get the clay alien from the Burger Barn, stick him ass-end up on the Exam Table and use the human-sized scalpel to see what he's made of.

Third Complaint
Click for largerThe corner I circled is melted creating a chipped look on the brick. But that's nothing, this set was one short of this particular piece. If you notice opposite of this block there are two flat grey caps... that's where the fourth one of this block should be. We call this Quality Control, invest in it.

Overall that was fun, once it was assembled. I liked the multiple levels of play involved and open-ended adventures young minds could have with a MIB style setup. However, I was kind of pissed with the craftsmanship of the sets. In fact, I'm impressed with the concept of the whole set, but disappointed with the execution. If you have some extra money, you'll probably dig this set if you can find it heavily marked down. But I couldn't see paying full price for what I got. I recommend this to the 12 and under crowd and alien conspiracy lore enthusiasts.

I make this look good

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