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Note: This will be in "Building with Bricks", but I'm leaving a shadow topic in Reviews with my super mod-powers, since it fits naturally in both fora. Also, relates to directly to this previous topic

Build Pictures

image_9 by elfprince13, on Flickr


image_8 by elfprince13, on Flickr


image_7 by elfprince13, on Flickr


image_6 by elfprince13, on Flickr


image_5 by elfprince13, on Flickr


image by elfprince13, on Flickr


image_2 by elfprince13, on Flickr


image by elfprince13, on Flickr


image_1 by elfprince13, on Flickr


image by elfprince13, on Flickr


photo by elfprince13, on Flickr

Review
Piece Quality:

  • Pros:

    • Color is pretty uniform between pieces which are intended to be the same color. This is not the case with some of the cheaper brands of Lego-knockoffs.
    • Standard dimensions for interoperability with Lego and other brands.
    • Come in some very useful but non-standard brick sizes (for example, 4x3 and 1x5 plates)
    • Stickers/decals adhere well without being too fidgety.
    • The Stargate and DHD are awesome. Really. Freaking. Awesome.

  • Cons:

    • The Best-Lock motto is "Build a Lot...Pay a Little". This shows most obviously in the manufacturing tolerances. Some pieces are a little loose, some are a little tight, and some have scrap plastic trailing off which must be scraped off with your fingernail or other implement.
    • Lots of stickered pieces, which likely have shorter lifetime than custom printed bricks.
    • The rotating inner ring on the Stargate might turn a little smoother with tighter manufacturing tolerances.
    • The piece given for the active-gate effect is basically just printed (single-sided) on glossy paper and has to be adhered in place. I recommend scanning it at high resolution, printing out two copies, and sticking one on either side of a box-board circle of equal diameter. It will hold better, be removable, and appear on both sides.



Instruction Quality:

  • Pros:

    • Only bricks which are new in the current step are colored from step to step. This makes it easier to see what has changed from the previous step, especially as compared to playing "spot the difference" in some Lego and other-branded instruction manuals

  • Cons:

    • The layout choices concerning step-ordering on a given page are sometimes unintuitive (as the pages are "full spread" after you unfold your booklet), but thankfully, they are numbered.
    • Real gray pieces require a little more effort to spot in their otherwise-helpful highlighting scheme.



Minifig Quality:

  • Pros:

    • Varying body types. The military guys have heavier shoulders. Also varying races. See the next point.
    • "Skin tones", instead of bright yellow.
    • Fairly detailed weaponry. More akin to something you'd find on BrickArms than in a standard Lego set. This, and the heavy-set military guys are probably because Best-Lock has the officially licensed US Army building sets.
    • The Jaffa armor and staff weapons are awesome.

  • Cons:

    • As with bricks, a few parts suffer from variations in size due to manufacturing tolerance.
    • The hands appear more fragile due to their more realistic proportions.
    • The faces are rather creepy.
    • The variations in body type mean not all body/back/chest accessories fit all minifigures.



Build Quality:

  • Pros:

    • Makes good use of standard, reusable type bricks, rather than resorting to over specialization as has been the trend with other brands.

  • Cons:

    • Some of the construction is poorly thought out/fragile. A lot of elements need more structural support. I actually used a razor to slice a couple of the decals into smaller segments so they wouldn't be ripped off by wiggling pieces in some of the instances where they stretched across multiple bricks.
    • No hardpoints on the X-302 for the 4 missiles (but it does have them)!
    • More internal/cockpit detail would have been nice for the Deathglider + X-302.



Misc. Quality:

  • Pros:

    • Did I mention that the Stargate themed elements are awesome?
    • See previous.

  • Cons:

    • Very small Stargate-canon nitpick: The symbols on the gate don't match the symbols on the DHD. By cursory inspection, I think the gate is Earth's gate, but that the DHD is the one from Abydos.
    • One piece needed to build the Deathglider was missing from the box. The weapon inventory also varied slightly: this wasn't necessarily a bad thing in this case, but it is a sign of laxer quality control compared to Lego's. I got an "extra" Jaffa staff weapon, and a slightly different selection of guns.



Cost: MSRP $50 for 900 pieces. This is about 55% the cost of a similarly sized Lego set. Not sure if I would purchase at that price; however, the set is discontinued and on sale for a discounted price in many avenues. ThinkGeek is currently selling it for $20 + shipping, probably until their stock expires.


Overall: I've actually just ordered a second copy of the set (the first was a birthday present from the elfprincess, whose lovely hand and arm help model the X-302 and Deathglider in several of the images above, and whose sorting skills were invaluable in expediting the construction process), because at least at a cheaper price-point ($20 - $30, rather than $50) the awesomeness of the stuff and the unlikeliness of seeing real authorized Stargate building toys for a long time to come now that this line is discontinued outweighs the niggling concerns over build quality. This is particularly true for more mature building toy enthusiasts who aren't put-off by having to make minor modifications to enjoy their set (printing your own active-gate effect and reinforcing it with boxboard, slicing up decals, applying a little extra force to get stubborn pieces to click). Also, having 2 gates + 2 DHDs will allow me to do some fun setups (might build myself an SGC), and having a larger Jaffa army, more cool weaponry, and more fighters (both Deathgliders and X-302) allows me the freedom to try larger-scale reenactments of beloved Stargate history.
  
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