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Lego Maniacs' Guide: Reviews: Wild West : Boulder Cliff Canyon

[Purchase Lego at Amazon.com] 6748 - Boulder Cliff Canyon

Rating: 3 Stars
Pros: Lots of Indian stuff
Cons: Main model seemed a little bit padded - especially with the lame totem pole
Contents: 200 pieces including 6 mini-figs, 2 horses, 2 grey birds, and 3 snakes
Price: $39.99 - Discontinued
Reviewed: 28-May-1997
Reviewed by: Joseph Gonzalez

6748 The fire crackles loudly as young warriors group around it in a solemn council. A strange evil has been awakened over the flat hills, releasing a long-dormant firewing spirit that threatens the entire tribe's peace. This night a young warrior will be chosen to accompany the shaman, Twelve Shadows, on the quest to vanquish the demon once and for all. All eyes are on Twelve Shadows as he rocks back and forth humming the song of strength. His pointing finger sways and waves across the group at last landing on Hoyowma. "You!" his stern voice rings out, "You will accompany me. Gather your arrows and war axe, tonight we will surprise the beast in its own lair!"

Boulder Cliff Canyon is among the new Wild West sets being released in the spring of 1997 giving a great selection of new minifigs and providing a tepee to begin your Indian village. It covers one baseplate with a small stream carving out the southeast corner of the plate. Two two-level rocky constructions create walls of a canyon with the narrow pass created by the two walls opening out on a clearing with the running stream and tepee. There is also a totem pole construction to round things out.
Cliff walls (made up of five rocky pieces and a bolder) are simple but their structure is sturdy and they have some appealing features. The North cliff has a second story landing with a boulder that comes loose and falls down on intruders. Below, the lever that releases the bolder covers a cubby hole that can also spill out three snakes for attack (feed the snakes into the cubby from the other side of the cliff). The South cliff is another rocky construction that also has a small slit between first and second levels through which snakes can "crawl" in and out (neat and realistic to have snakes coming out from their shade for a quick snack). The space between the tops of the cliffs is spanned with a log that can be crawled across or dropped while crawling across. Obviously, our beloved Wild West sets will never suffer of being without booby traps.
The newest thing in all of Legoland has to be the tepee. Base circumference covers an area 13x13 and is established out with a layer of bricks and diagonal beams (tepee cloth covers this small ridge which is why you can't see it in catalogs). Tent posts are secured to the circular base by way of a pin that runs through a 1x1 brick with a hole, through an eyelet at the foot of the post and then through another 1x1 brick with a hole. Posts are fastened at the top where they intersect with another pin through another eyelet at the top of each post. The tepee cloth is then wrapped around the two posts, fastening on three nobs per post. For only having two posts the tepee is pretty secure but roughhousing will easily smash or bend it (my kids proved that well enough). The totem pole construction is flimsy at best and when it falls apart parts seem to fly all over the place; still, 1x2 and 1x3 slope bricks in varying colors will come in handy for other things.
There are six minifigs included with the set (four new body prints and faces, ponytail hair and buffalo headdress) which could easily split up into two separate teams/tribes for some conflicts if this were to be a standalone set. Also, there are plenty of spears, bows and a few tomahawks. Animals include one white and one brown horse (with blankets preprinted on the body so you probably won't be able to use them in another theme unless maybe it were a town/ranch/outback theme) and three black snakes.
Lots of unique elements, briefly: tree stump element, black bows and arrows with quivers, a brown canoe, two differently painted teardrop shields, clip-on and pin-on feathers, tepee elements and of course the snakes (nicely detailed little creatures). A few green bricks to add color to the set were also new to me, I can tell I'm going to look forward to getting more of these. Spherical corner elements in grey (make up the boulder) aren't too unique these days but were also nice to get.
You'll like the set for the collection of Indian stuff. The cliff construction wasn't too much to get excited about but then again I can't think of any Indians that lived in castles. The larger 6766 set seems to include the same stuff you find here with only a few extras (another tepee and the chief), so unless you are a completist this is probably the more economical of the larger sets to start out with.

19 readers have rated this set as 4.025 out of 5 stars.
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