There are few more universally loved and critically acclaimed Pixar movies than Wall·E. The 2008 story of a Waste Allocation Load Lifter – Earth Class who finds love and purpose after 700 years alone on a rubbish-covered earth. In case you’ve forgotten the film, here’s a clip.
And seven years later, Wall·E is set to steal our hearts all over again. Only this time he’s made of plastic bricks. The latest LEGO Ideas set is the creation of Angus MacLane, who is not only a huge Adult Fan of LEGO (known as an AFoL), but also happens to have been the Animation Director of Wall·E. So who better to design a kit to undergo LEGO fan voting and approval via the Ideas website before becoming one of the select few to make it into production?
One of the hallmarks of the Ideas range is the high quality of the box and instruction booklet and this kit proves no exception. The box front features a picture of the completed model and is decorated to look like Wall·E’s weathered, rusty exterior. It’s a nice touch. The rear shows the model in a different pose, illustrating some of the articulation available upon completion. As with the other Ideas kits, the manual features information about the origin of the set as well as the source material and provides the step-by-step visual instructions required to transform the almost seven hundred small plastic parts into the final model.
Assembling Wall·E is a straight forward process thanks to instructions that are clear and easy to follow. The kit builds up in four stages beginning with the body, before adding the tracks, the head, and finally the arms. Seasoned LEGO builders will find nothing spectacular in the way it pieces together save for some clever techniques used in the construction around the eyes, but the strength of this set becomes clear once the build is finished – it looks outstanding.
The likeness to the character is uncanny and the use of printed bricks rather than stickers – another hallmark of the Ideas series – means that the lettering on the front of the body looks just as it should. The head rotates and the eyes angle upwards and downwards independently, allowing them to convey a pleasing amount of emotion. The neck is posable and the arms slide backwards and forwards as well as reaching up and down. The hands are particularly well jointed. In another smart touch LEGO have included both the plant and Hal the cockroach from the movie.
Wall·E is not without his minor faults however. His head is a substantial chunk of plastic sat on top of a relatively thin and fragile neck. The free rotation means that when the neck is set to anything other than a horizontal angle it spins around to face the rear. And that can make adjusting his pose somewhat fiddly.
The tracks are also not without issue. There is too much friction in the sprocket system around which they run meaning that on many surfaces, Wall·E will simply glide along as if on skis. That said, a carpeted surface will provide enough grip for the tracks to revolve, and when they do, they produce a satisfying mechanical noise.
Wall·E is a love letter in LEGO to both the movie and its hero. As with the Back to the Future and Ghostbusters Ideas sets before it, the ease of assembly and the subject matter will ensure it has an appeal far beyond that of simply being a cool toy. In fact, its foibles make it better suited to being put on display as a piece of movie memorabilia than to being used as a plaything.
With an RRP of £39.99, it’s good value for money. Measuring almost eight inches tall and seven inches wide, the finished article looks fantastic, and is sure to be a neat talking point when friends and family see it sat on the coffee table or mantlepiece. You can order the kit via the LEGO shop – it’s currently out of stock and orders are expected to ship on September 22nd, 2015.