Friday, June 12, 2015

LEGO Guardians of the Galaxy Milano KO playset

Presenting a Knock-Off (KO) version of LEGO's Guardians of the Galaxy Milano playset.

We have to admit that we could not assemble the Milano without "Cherry Bomb" and "Spirit in the Sky" playing in our heads. We're just that happy.

Since last year we've been drooling over the LEGO version of the Milano when we saw it on the shelves. We gained the opportunity to buy a LEGO playset and we purchased the Ghost instead. For some strange reason, LEGO here in the Philippines is ridiculously expensive. An original LEGO Guardians of the Galaxy Playset here would set you back around US$ 164.

Needless to say, we found that price... restrictive.

So you can imagine how we felt when we saw a single Knock-off version in the black-market that sold for only US$ 33. On Amazon, an original LEGO Guardians of the Galaxy Milano Playset would set you back US$ 66 - almost four times less than what it costs here in the Philippines.

So, in a nuthell this is the Bela Supreme Heroes New Styles Building Block System. It is not identified as the Milano, nor is it identified as a Marvel Guardians of the Galaxy playset - the Chinese are not going to walk into that trap. But you can clearly see from the package what it is.

Now we understand that purchasing KO LEGO is always a risk. There is no guarantee that there are 665 pieces in there. Or that the pieces are correct. We're used to working with Decool, the manufacturers of the KO Batman Tumbler which turned out pretty great!

But this is a new company and so we were pretty skeptical.

Happily it turned out okay. Bela's quality is not as refined as Decool's and we'll get into that in the "What we DON'T like" section later.

This early though we want to mention that unlike Decool's LEGOs, which left a slimy film on our hands, Bela's LEGOs did not leave any such residue - not that I had any intention of licking my fingers after assembling the Milano. There's still a good change that this is toxic though.

Unlike the Ghost , the Guardians of the Galaxy's Milano does not have a very solid core. We praised the STAR WARS Ghost for having such a solid core that if you threw it most of the center would survive - and you could do serious damage to whoever was hit. If the LEGO KO Guardians of the Galaxy Milano was thrown, it would shatter.

What's to like about the KO LEGO Guardians of the Galaxy Milano playset?

FIRST:  The set was complete. Yes we were able to complete the Milano, so our faith in KO Chinese products remains solid.

The KO LEGO Guardians of the Galaxy Milano playset comes with the Milano, a Necrocraft, the LEGO figures of Peter Quill/Star Lord, Gamora, Drax the Destroyer, Ronan the Accuser and one of his Sakaaran foot soldiers. It also came with a Hadron Enforcer and the Orb holding the infinity stone - which we actually forgot to shoot because it was so... plain. We were able to assemble everything with a few spare parts left over.

The only thing missing from the playset was a cape that should belong to Ronan - which is fine because he did not wear one in the movie. The only things that went wrong during construction were finding two bent pieces that refused to reform. Happily these were not unique and we replaced these with original pieces. There was also an issue with some of the "rounder" pieces refusing to cap the push action missiles. We had to replace these as well.

SECOND The Milano looks amazing! It is a very fine representation of the Milano and is as beautiful and sexy as the woman it was named after.

THIRD The movable surfaces: You can position three of the  KO LEGO Milano's winglets; The forward flaps of both wings are loose allowing them to droop; there are two positionable push-activated cannons up front; a pair or ailerons at the top rear of the ship can be lifted; there is a pair of rotating engines on the back; the main  can be lifted and there is a huge airbrake right behind the cockpit.

In comparison, Marvel's version of the Milano has only two moving wings, an opening cockpit, two push button missiles and, well.... lights and sounds.

FOURTH The interior. The KO LEGO Guardians of the Galaxy Milano's interior is more spacious than that of the Ghost but just like the Ghost it takes certain creative liberties and is waaay smaller than the real Milano's interior. The Milano playset seats four. Check out Peter Quill's tapedeck on the port wall.

If you lift the main engine of the Milano, you get a viewing deck:

FIFTH The KO LEGO Guardians of the Galaxy Milano playset comes with some really nice KO LEGO Characters:

A) Peter Quill/Star Lord: Okay, it does look like Rocket Racoon crawled on top of Peter Quill's head and died. His hair does not match his facial hair and frankly it looks like.... well technically this is LEGO so it is... a toupee. Peter Quill has two faces - just turn his head around, and comes with his unique pair of blasters from the movie.

Because of his hair, we prefer Peter Quill in his Star Lord guise. Yes, he comes with boot jets!

Let's take the time to point this out: The piece fit but anyone notice how the irregularly shaped piece on the Hadron Enforcer?

B) Drax the Destroyer: We thought that Drax was pretty boring as a LEGO character. That was until we looked more closely at his tattoos. They're quite cute. The tattoos supposedly tell the story of Drax's life.

C) Gamora: Gamora cannot move her head thanks to her hair. We like the splash of purple in there and wonder if this is a redecoed Psylocke. As with Peter Quill you can turn her head around to change her facial expression. We are particularly fond of the little tattoos on her face. It's a detail that LEGO did not have to do, as you can barely see it from afar, making it very much appreciated by fans.

D) Ronan the Accuser: We have to ask our readers: Would he look better with the missing cape? We don't think so. We think he looks pretty good as he is. Ronan also comes with two facial expressions: dour and, mad. We love his hammer.

E) Sakaarian Trooper: Here's a troop building piece. We originally thought that his other face was wiped out, but then we remembered what these guys looked like: rotting and faceless.

What's NOT to like about the KO LEGO Guardians of the Galaxy Milano playset?

FIRST The Necrocraft. Seriously Ronan? All the power of an Infinity Stone in your hands and you ride a Necrocraft like a gondola? It's just so... wrong. Where's the Dark Aster?

The Necrocraft was also where we started to feel the inferior quality of the KO LEGO. There was something wrong with the starboard wing. The port wing will hold in place and rotate properly, the starboard wing keeps flopping around and falling off.

Here's what the Necrocraft looks like:

Here's Ronan on his gondola:

SECOND The KO LEGO Milano's design seems to suggest that there is only one engine that propels the Milano. This is not true and the problem lies in the fact that the engines to not tilt up.

As mentioned,  this particular Knock-off (KO) version of the LEGO Guardians of the Galaxy Milano was purchased in the black market of St. Francis Square here in the Philippines for PhP 1,500 (Roughly US$ 33). Half of what it would cost on Amazon US$ 66 (PhP 2, 970 plus shipping) and almost four times less than what it costs here in the Philippines - PhP 7, 395 (Roughly US$ 164.33)

So get it if you find it. We're pretty sure that this would be cheaper in some other black-market areas.

Let's close with a photo of Alyssa Milano in 1988 - which would have been when Peter Quill last saw her. We get why he would name his ship after her.

We wonder how she feels about it.

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