Lone Ranger: Colby City Showdown
Mini Figures: 5
4 numbered bags of Lego bricks
2 Instruction booklets
Lego has waited over a decade to bring back a western theme but has now taken advantage of their agreement with Disney and released six sets based on the 2013 movie The Lone Ranger. Presumably the hope for Lego is that the Lone Ranger theme will bring Cowboys and Indians back into fashion in the same way the Pirates of the Caribbean allowed them to resurrect their classic pirate lines.
The Colby City Showdown is the mid-price set of the new line. The smaller sets are 79106 Cavalry Builder Set, 79107 Comanche Camp and the excellent looking 79108 Stagecoach Escape. The more expensive sets are 79110 Silver Mine Shootout and a welcome addition of a new train set in the form of 79111 Constitution Train Chase.
Lone Ranger is a popular classic American Western story which started life in the early 1930s’ as a radio show and later became a hit television show in the 1950s. Since then, numerous films, books, comics and even a video game have been released of the adventures of Lone Ranger and his sidekick Tonto.
The 2013 Lone Ranger movie is due for release in the UK on the 9th of August after being released in USA at the beginning of July so it is currently hard to place the set in the context of specific scenes. Hopefully we should have a review up on Filmwerk around the release time though so we can look forward to seeing how the sets relate to the film. Suffice to say, the premise of the set is fairly standard Western. The set includes our stars the Lone Ranger and Tonto, Lone Ranger’s brother Dan Reid and two of the lesser villains of the film known only as Frank and Ray. The town of Colby is represented by a bank and the Sheriff’s office with two smaller props of a cart and a little free standing Lego bush.
Building the set is a typically simple process for this kind of age range. The buildings are essentially single story and facade only, leaving the rest to imagination and the inevitable redesign by children. Both buildings have a section which is destroyable by a push rod system from the back; the safe in the bank and the prison cell in the sheriff’s office. Further features are a hidden cannon on the roof of the sheriff’s office which slides out when the front plate is pulled down and a destroyable sign on the bank. Generally there are no difficult nor particularly interesting parts in the build for adults but also not too many tiny little pieces which tend to go missing and cause frustration. The set is probably a few hours’ worth of work in front of the television without much concentration needed which for many might sound like an ideal set.
Yet again, the minifigures are very good looking and all of them are fully printed on the face, body and legs. The Lone Ranger and Tonto are common to all of the sets in the series where they appear while Dan Reid, Frank and Ray are unique to this set.
There are many fans of Westerns around, particularly in America, but it remains to be seen if the Lone Ranger brand can appeal globally in the same way as the Pirates of the Caribbean did despite having Johnny Depp again in the cast. The current generation of children are not nearly as exposed to the stories of the wild west as children in the past were but the premise of gunslinging Cowboys and Native Americans is still one of adventure and excitement which should appeal to Lego’s usual target market.
For adults, the fans of Westerns in general will be excited and the minifigures are certainly worth adding to any collections going. However, the buildings are not showpieces themselves and I can’t help feeling that a small saloon could have really completed the Western high-street look.
For children this is an ideal play set. It is simple enough to be upgraded and added on to by budding Lego engineers. The storylines of robbing the bank, capturing the criminal and rescuing him again are hardwired to the buildings and the amount of minifigures in the set allows for all sorts of combinations.
Adult fans may be steered more towards the nicer looking sets like the stagecoach and the train chase but there is certainly potential in this set if only the children will catch on to Lone Ranger theme.