Alien Agency: The Arrival
Examined by Mr. Stinkhead
Last 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.
I 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!
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.
So 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.
want to take a second here to say I am impressed with the
sculpted figures. The faces and the bodies are nicely sculpted.
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
This 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...
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.
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.
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.
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.
The 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.
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