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Lego Maniacs' Guide: Reviews: Castle : Dragon Masters : Dark Dragon's Den

[Purchase Lego at Amazon.com] 6076 - Dark Dragon's Den

Rating: 3 Stars
Pros: A good medium size castle structure that isn't even a castle
Cons: Price is a little bit high for a set this size
Contents: 205 pieces including 4 mini-figs, 2 horses, and 1 dragon
Price: About $43.00 - Discontinued
Reviewed: 26-Oct-1996
Reviewed by: Joseph Gonzalez

6076 Icy rain beats into the face of Orjcek as he continues to climb the craggy face of Morengraal mountain. He has been on his journey but three days and already his thoughts turn to turning back. Cold winds and sleet pelt him with an angry fury but at last he has seen a refuge from the mountain storm, a gaping hole yawns invitingly in the mountain side. With a few more steps and a minor spell of wunderlift, the wizard is inside and without a second thought, he wearily drops to the cold cave floor.
Within seconds, his eyes blink open as heightened senses alert him to the fact that he is not alone in the cave. The smell of bones and decay reaches his nostrils as a heavy rasping voice speaks out in the recognized but ancient tongue of Zelaznog, "Well, what have we here?"

After initially acquiring the 6082-Fire Breathing Fortress, I didn't see much need to go after the Dark Dragons Den. It seemed only a smaller version of the larger castle so what was the point? As the end of 1996 came closer, I saw what looked like the last chance to get this set, so I decided to pick it up. If you are a Lego maniac that appreciates the medium size models, I think you are going to like this set.
Where the 6082 is an actual castle construction, the Dark Dragons Den seems to be more of a natural shelter/cave with additional castle sections hewn out of rock. With that comment, if you don't like the rocky wall sections, I suggest you avoid this set because they make up most of the den itself (with more than a few 1x1 and 1x2 black and grey bricks to fill things out).
One nice feature of the den that is not shown in catalogs is that aside from the open cave where the dragon lives, there is a small room to the side where the wizard can hang out. Double wooden doors separate the two rooms.
Figures with the set include one wizard and three dragon master knights. One of the knights is kind of different because one leg is blue and the other leg is black and then one of his sleeves is black and the other one is blue. The mixed color scheme on a minifig is something I haven't seen before. His tunic is also unique with a dragon head snorting out flames through his nostrils. This particular knight only appears in this and the 6082 set.
There aren't a lot of unique pieces to this set, but it does have the one-piece winding staircase (6082 has a straight staircase) and a black one-piece 8x8 quarter turret that I don't think I've seen in any other castle sets. For you wizard fanatics, there is also a scroll and a wand.
I only have a couple of minor complaints, the obvious one being that having two large barred gates on opposite sides of a small cave make the den look awfully open to attack. You may want to place the back gate at the base of a mountain or at least cover it with foliage. The other complaint (whine, whine) is regarding the ladder that attaches to the side of the mountain by clipping onto a 1x2 flat brick with a lateral pin. This flat (along with the ladder) comes off easily with lots of use. I think that two 1x1 flats and a 1x2 flat could have secured this to the rocky wall with no trouble at all.
It is a good medium size castle structure, and excuse all the comparisons to the Fire Breathing Fortress, but if you can't afford that larger set I think you'll be satisfied with this set that functions well as a stand alone with four minifigs for some good confrontations.

36 readers have rated this set as 3.97 out of 5 stars.
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