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Lego Maniacs' Guide: Reviews: Space : Robo Force : Robo Master

[Purchase Lego at Amazon.com] 2154 - Robo Master

Rating: 3 Stars
Pros: Great collection of space elements and two astronauts. (Could have been four stars if the principal model were just a little bit cooler.)
Cons: Main model is bulky and falls over if you try to scoot it across the floor
Contents: 362 pieces including 2 mini-figs
Price: $39.99 - Discontinued
Reviewed: 23-Mar-1998
Reviewed by: Joseph Gonzalez

2154 A decimating U.F.O. invasion passed over the Attawa transport station yesterday, leaving a path of destruction in its wake. Most buildings were instantly reduced to rubble while remaining structures were left so unsteady that they continue to collapse from the duress of the fierce rain storms on the commerce junction planet.
Inside one partially intact maintenance hangar a survivor pulls himself from beneath a section of collapsed roof. He rests a moment, composes himself and makes a quick inspection of the unstable shelter, discovering an Asante Roller unit in the corner of what's left of the hangar. Carefully, he works his way up the piles of debris that half-bury his only means of escape until at last he reaches and enters an entry hatch to the control pit of the Roller.
The plexiplate dome shows cracks in several places but the interior seems to be intact. After an hour of rewiring the control panels, the machine hums to life and rumbles out of the wreckage as the stalwart officer begins a search of the station grounds for any other survivors.

I had pretty much given up on buying any more recent Space sets when a thread of conversation in the newsgroup rec.toys.lego brought out the fact that some fans preferred the Robo Force models to the U.F.O. sets. One fan mentioned how great Robo Force models were for the assortment of pieces. At that point my only acquisition was the Robo Raptor but I thought I'd take a look at the Robo Master. Most stores are still bountiful with this particular model so it wasn't too hard to find. I would have appreciated being able to find one at a discount price, but having it at all has proved to be a great addition to my collection and it's true that there is a great amount of building bricks and moving elements.
The Robo Master is a large roving robotic unit featuring two stout six-wheeled legs that support a wide body with elevating arms, a bubble-shaped control booth "head", and a curling tail. The small mid-section of the body between the head and tail serves as a landing area for a one-man flying ship. Two identical Robo Force astronauts man the unit(s).
Where the Raptor had an almost animal-like shape, the Master is more of a jumbled assembly of parts with not as much personality. One thing I did find particularly interesting was the rear wall of the control booth that features four separate 1x2 control panels arranged closely together to give the appearance of a wall of screens. Another plus to the model is the one-man flying ship that has a sleek design that looks kind of like a miniature Unitron Star Hawk II. The major minus to the model is the fact that it is fairly top-heavy and tends to topple over if you attempt to scoot it across the floor rapidly.
Upon finishing the model I found it only slightly more attractive than it appeared on the box, but it's still quite ugly. I'm suggesting space fans pick up the set for the number of useful building bricks at a reasonable price. Aside from many simple building bricks and plates, there were three different types of hinges, lots of sloping bricks, large trans-green windows, and twelve wheels (although I would have preferred to have twelve 1x2 axle pieces with a single axle pin rather than six 2x2s with double pins).
Summing things up, the principal model wasn't too much to get excited about but the number of pieces could probably make a good alternate set. Watch the stores for this one when they start discounting prices. It will definitely be worth the money.

29 readers have rated this set as 4.485 out of 5 stars.
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