My interest in non-licensed LEGO sets tends to be less than zero… usually. That’s a good thing, since LEGO is a pricey habit, and my toy addiction is already unbelievably expensive to feed. Unfortunately, I let me guard down and watched the amazing promotional cartoon LEGO created for their upcoming Monster Fighters line… and then LEGO owned a chunk of my soul. I knew I was in for the Monster Fighters line hardcore, but I thought I had until summer was in full swing until the sets would arrive. That was a fallacy, as I found a fresh endcap of LEGO Monster Fighters staring me in the face at Toys R Us this week, and my inhibitions (and bank account) crumbled. Today I’ll be reviewing the most affordable entry in the line, the 9461 LEGO Monsters Fighters The Swamp Creature set.
Most of the LEGO sets I salivate over are outright lavishly priced, so I’m always delighted when one of the sets that strikes my fancy is one of the smaller, budget-priced ones. LEGO 9461 Monster Fighters The Swamp Creature is just such a set. Value-wise, this set is a serious home-run. For around $8, you get a 70 piece LEGO set with two all-new mini-figures, weapons for each of them, a small vehicle, and a mini environment. Considering it costs $3-$4 everywhere just for the blind-bagged Mini-figures, it’s like getting all of the extra pieces and accessories for these figures free!
Obviously the biggest attraction in this set is the title figure, the Swamp Creature. The LEGO Swamp Creature is currently exclusive to LEGO 9461, and isn’t scheduled to be packed into any other set. The Swamp Creature is one of the few classic monsters we didn’t get in a LEGO blind-bagged Mini-figures series, so I’m ecstatic that we’re not only getting him in the first wave of Monster Fighters, but also that he comes in the absolute cheapest set.
The Swamp Creature itself is a weird mixture of disgusting and adorable. If I had to liken him to anything, it would probably be Mer-Man of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe fame. The Swamp Creature is primarily green, but has a lime face and hands. He has a separate “mask” that fits over his head and is covered in spines. This piece makes a huge difference in enhancing the appearance of the Swamp Creature. The Swamp Creature includes one weapon: an impressive-sized brown spear. The spear looks extremely dangerous and, like virtually all LEGO handheld weapons, clicks securely into either of the Swamp Creature’s hands.
The Swamp Creature comes with a piece of swamp marsh, presumably a small portion of the Swamp Creature’s home. It’s a pretty small and basic little environment, but it features a growing vine, frog, and even a fish for the Swamp Creature’s supper! The swamp marsh hosts the neon yellow Moon Stone, which LEGO builders who watched the captivating LEGO Monster Fighters promotional video will remember is one of the six Moon Stones Lord Vampyre needs to bring about Earth’s demise.
The other minifigure included in this set is one of the human Monster Fighters, Frank Rock. Frank Rock appears to be the cocky anti-hero member of the Monster Fighters, and sports an Aviator’s Jacket and a pair of olive pants with chains on them. He has the Mechanic’s hair from Minifigures Series 6 and a double-sided head with his bare, stubbly face on one side and a confident-looking, sunglasses-wearing portrait on the other other. Frank comes with a pair of matching pistols that he can wield while he’s itching for a throwdown with some monsters. Frank Rock appears both in this set and the LEGO 9467 The Ghost Train set.
Both minifigures have printing that continues onto their backs, although the scaly detail is much more interesting on the Swamp Creature. If you take the hair off the Frank Rock minifigure, you can see his alternate head from behind (obviously).
Frank is apparently not taking enough chances when traversing into the Swamp Creature’s domain, as he’s riding in on his missile-firing swamp boat! Frank Rock has a chair he can sit in while leisurely wreaking havoc in the swamp, using the dual flick-fire missiles mounted on each side of the swamp boat. While it’s not the most visually-interesting LEGO vehicle ever, it’s a cute little add-on in a set that still would have felt like a good value even without it.
As far as the build of the LEGO 9461 The Swamp Creature set goes, it’s a fast and easy little build. There isn’t really anything out of the ordinary in the build, and it can easily be completed in under 10 minutes. I’m embarrassed to say I misread the instructions and had to disassemble the swamp boat from halfway through to get it right, but that just goes to show that hubris can lead to a downfall even when building the most basic LEGO set.
It’s tough to find fault with a set that gives you all this one does at such a low price. I never like flick-fire missiles, so I could do without those, but otherwise I legitimately have nothing to gripe about so far as LEGO 9461 The Swamp Creature goes.
Overall: This is my first foray into the LEGO Monster Fighters universe, and I am suitably impressed by this set. LEGO 9461 The Swamp Creature is an outstanding value at my LEGO sweet-spot of just about a dime per brick, as it features both two all-new figures with accessories, a vehicle, and a micro-environment. The Swamp Creature is a super-cool design, and while I’m not nearly as interested in the Monster Fighters as the monsters themselves, Frank Rock has lots of personality and I love his reversible head. The bottom line is that this is a flat-out fantastic value-priced set, and a must-have for anyone interested in this theme, or even just fans who are just collecting the LEGO monster minifigures.