Sunday, August 14, 2022

Review: King 86999 - Monkie Kid City of Lanterns Building Block Set

 

Hey there, alt Lego fans, welcome back!   Are you wondering if your favourite Lego set has a cheaper clone version?  This King brand reproduction of the Lego Monkie Kid City of Lanterns set might be the one you are looking for.  

This and other replica Lego sets can be found at Youmko.com.  

If you are looking for the latest chinese designed building block sets that are not Lego copies, look no further than Barweer.com (who have kindly provided this set for my review.)  All sets include free shipping worldwide and are tax free.
More on Barweer.com and the special discount they are providing later in this post.


Here's the artist depiction of the City of Lanterns, also known as Lantern City ....



... And here is the King set (number 86999) that I finished building.  This colourful 2187 piece set packs in a lot of play value for the price.  It's a multi-level set with lots of shops and eateries for this asian themed city.  Even if you don't play with it, it looks great as a display set, fitting right in with the Ninjago City or Ninjago City Docks sets (replica sets that are also available on Youmko.com).

The focus of my review is to look at the quality of the Lego clone set, so I won't go into the Monkie Kid story or characters.  Let's see if this clone set meets your expectations.

First let's check out the seven mini figures that come with the set.  Pictured from left to right: Monkie Kid, Huang, Pigsy, Mei, Train Driver, Han, and Tang.

These are the mini figures that come with only one facial expression and they look pretty decent, except that I find that Monkie Kid's hairpiece is a bit oversize for his head.  Huang (the girl with the lantern) has a black rubber hairpiece.  No fitment issues with the arms or legs.  Colours are decently reproduced.

Pictured above are the mini figures with the dual faces.  Han (the girl with the red jacket) also has a rubber hairpiece.  The torsos of all the minifigures have some sort of back printing, whereas the legs are pretty much devoid of any prints except for Monkie Kid's pants.


Not sure if these primitive looking robots qualify as mini figures. There are so many better looking robots in the Lego lineup, so not sure why they chose these crappy ones for the set and Monkie Kid theme.

Pigsy minifigure comes with his cooking accessories and the flying contraption.

Monkie Kid mini figure comes with his staff and stickered map thingy.

The foundation of the Lantern City is this raised base and tall girder construction.  The brick clutch is excellent and the quality of the brick pieces are top notch.  One of the eye catching features of the Lantern City is the turquoise coloured elevated track of the skytrain, that goes all the way around the city.  There's also an elevated track by itself on the upper level but I'm not sure what that's used for.  Maybe it serves as a canopy?  Feel free to let me know.


For the younger builders, they might have some trouble with the technic pins. Some of them them are quite tight like the two back pins that I didn't push all the way in.
All of the remaining city shops and restaurants are attached to the base unit via technic pits or sit on the platform.


Contrasting the turquoise tracks is the pink,red and white Pigsy train, that rolls really well. It features two end cabs and one middle cab.  


While the train itself is rather small, I can confirm that minifigures do fit inside each of the cabs.

And off they go!  So, in case you are wondering, I normally don't normally apply stickers to my sets, but in this case, I made an exception.  Without the colourful stickers the City would look kind of blah.  I was judicious in which ones I used though, so there are some that I didn't apply.  


Here are the three sticker sheets that came with the set. All the stickers are printed on the white background. When I look at pictures of the real Lego Monkie Kid set, it seems to come with some transparent stickers, so this is a difference you might want to be aware of.  If it bothers you, I guess you could order the proper stickers from Lego.  I think the stickers for the dragon and the train platform look better on the Lego version than this King copy.  As you can see, all of the other stickers are quite bright though.


Not everything is a sticker. There are several printed parts in the set, such as the black and white eyes used for the pig, monkie and dragon faces.


So let's move on to each of the modular builds of the city.  There are 8 mini sets in total that attach to the base module.

I would consider the robot repair station, train station stairs and train tunnel to be one modular unit of the Lantern city.  I didn't put the stickers into the robot repair station. The train tracks attach to the roof of the robot repair and the modular unit plugs into the main base via technic pins. Everything attached well and no clutch issues.

I think the train platform needs to be expanded over the robot service station for better play value.  I might try to customize my set later.



Next up, the hot pot restaurant is the centerpiece of the set and is central to the city.  
As you can see, I've applied all the stickers to the restaurant front facade.

The hotpot restaurant is on the second floor, two tables for cooking with 4 pairs of chopsticks.  Downstairs, there is a small market and kitchen.  There's supposed to be stuff in the containers, but I took them out so as not to lose them during my picture taking.

The bubble tea shop is situated next to the hot pot restaurant, and looks as good as the Lego version.  I switched up some of the stickers for the shop sign.

The Lotus Hotel has its namesake flower on the roof.  The main floor has an entrance door and potted plants on either side.  The second floor has a lone guest suite that has a bed in it.

If you are hungry for seafood, there's a giant shrimp restaurant with great lookout views, right next to the hotel.

Want to buy something from the Lego store?  Not in this version of the City of Lanterns.  This city has a generic brick store with no Lego wording on the bricks or on the store. I might have a Lepin sticker somewhere though, I can put in it's place.



The colourful stickers really enhance the Panda Express store.

Finally here's the karaoke booth for the music lovers.


I really love how colourful this set was, and I actually liked the stickers, well most anyways.  My brain is already buzzing on how to incorporate some of my Sembo branded Japanese shops into the City of Lanterns.  There's definitely room for expansion.  

For my rating, I give it a solid 4.7 stars out of 5.  As I mentioned earlier, the mini figures all look pretty good (except for those robots).  Brick quality of this King branded set was excellent and no problems with clutch other than some tight technic pins.  I took some points off for the stickers especially because they didn't use the clear backed stickers.  As a display and play piece, this looks great.

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I can attest that they ship out quickly.  My set left China and arrived in Vancouver, Canada in about one week.  It then took another two weeks for Canada Post to transport it to the GTA, in central Canada.  For those who have bought from Barweer.com before, you will know that their packaging is top-notch.  Do give them a try if you want to add some Lego clone sets or unique Chinese designed sets to your building block collection.


Saturday, July 16, 2022

Mork 031051 ToonCity Florist Set Review (design by LetzPlay)

What's up brick fans!  I'm back to show you the latest not Lego set in my collection.


Today, I'll be reviewing the ToonCity Florist shop.  The Florist shop is part of a series of building sets designed by the group LetzPlay, composed of 5 brick enthusiasts in Malaysia (according to their Facebook page).  They have collaborated with the Mork brand to produce their sets.

As of this post, there are a total of three sets in the Mork ToonCity series;  the Florist (031051), the Fruit Shop (031052) and the Town House (031053).  

A big thank you to Afobrick.com for supplying me with this set to review.  You can find the Tooncity Florist shop along with many other not Lego building block sets on their website.  They offer great prices and superfast shipping.


The ToonCity Florist Shop is a colourful and whimsical building set.  It features many bright colours and a lot of  play features which the kids will love.  This set is quite large at 2102 pieces, enough to keep them busy for days.  The set is recommended for builders age 6 and up.


For those who want to see the set contents and the build pictures, I've posted them here for you to see (coming soon!).   The Tooncity Florist measures 30 × 19.5 × 25 cm and is Lego compatible, meaning that you can interchange the building blocks in this set with your Lego bricks.  


The Florist shop has lots of curves, curved entrance, curved windows and even curved roof.  The predominant colours are the turquoise roof and orange accents on the roof, doors and windows.


From the pictures you can see that there are unique details on every side of the florist shop.  Every wall has a window you can peek into.  


Did you know that the roof comes off?  You can actually remove both parts of the roof and look inside.  Let's check it out!


Here's the interior of the Florist shop.  There's a curved brown door which you enter into what looks like a storage area.  There's a sink for washing up and a table and ladder.  That's odd, how does one get inside the shop?


Here's the surprise, there's a secret door that turns.  Only those who know it's little secret can enter the florist shop.


Inside the secret room, is a menagerie of plants! There's lots of flowers and specimen jars for the budding botanist.   And a giant tree is growing right inside the shop.  It's home to several tropical birds.  Can you find one of them in the picture?


On the opposite wall is another workbench and more flower specimens.  When not tending to the plants one can sit in the big comfy chair and watch their favourite shows on the TV.


Here's a neat trick, the TV actually lights up if you press a button on the outside.


Unfortunately the TV does not stay lit up unless you keep the button pressed.  Luckily, we got some help from a small friend.   


Can't forget to mention the two giant flowers on the roof.  Wow they must be mutants to grow so big.


Another great play feature is that you can rotate the flowers round and round by turning the knob in the roof.  Surprise your friends!


Here's another tropical bird that comes with the set.  Normally he's perched inside but we took him outside to get some sun.  That's the nice thing about this set is that you can move things around and put them where you want.


Need to water those plants in high places?  No problem with the handy ladder that comes with the set.


If you are still wondering about the size of this set, here's the ToonCity Florist next to the FunWhole Wood Cabin, I built not too long ago.  It's just a tad shorter because it only has a single floor and a roof, whereas the FunWhole cabin has a raised foundation and a second floor loft area.

Final thoughts


The ToonCity Florist shop was a nice build and would be great for kids because of its play value.  There are three printed pieces in the whole set and thankfully no stickers.


It should be noted that this set comes with way more flowers than I've shown in my pictures.  There are literally hundreds more flowers that I didn't add to really customise it.   The Mork brand brick quality is top notch and I had no clutch issues in putting the set together.  Mork also provided lots of extra pieces in my set.
I will note that the large curved roof piece might need the assistance of an adult to put together.



The one drawback I had with this set, and a big one at that, is that it did not include any minifigures with it.  You do get two tropical birds, if that's any consolation. I added my own minifigure to the pictures to give you a sense of scale and showcase the set's features.   I would imagine that you could add your own, but for the price of the set, I think they should have added one or two little people.   For that reason, I will deduct half a star and only give it 4.5 stars out of 5.


If you like what you see, you can get it at Afobrick.com.  And don't forget to use discount code ITSNOTLEGO at checkout for another 5% off the price!

Thanks so much for spending your time on the read, hope to see you back real soon!