In which I reach the end of my survey of the (first wave of?) LEGO® Overwatch sets, find a gigantic gorilla in an armoured space suit, build a shuttle and gantry, discover an interesting property of some dark red elements and return to the ancient history of the LEGO Group as I ask the question “Why does the colour seem a bit off here?” Do you want to know more? Read on.
Let me tell you a story. When I began reviewing the Overwatch sets, I knew nothing of the game, and nothing of the lore. I still know virtually nothing about playing the game, BUT I have come to meet a number of the characters along the way, and appreciate the Lore behind them all. We have seen a number of sets so far: Tracer vs Widowmaker 75070 ; Hanzo vs Genji 75071; Dorado Showdown 75972; Rheinhart and D.va 75973 and most recently Bastion 75974. There is one set left to review: 75975: Watchpoint Gibraltar. This is the largest of the Overwatch sets, featuring a large shuttle launch vehicle, a rocket gantry/launch pad three minifigures and an oversized Gorilla wearing reading glasses.
I asked Harry, the game playing teenager in our house to explain why all these things would want to be put together in a single set, and why we should care?
The arrival of another big-fig is always welcome. This time, it is in the form of a bespectacled, spacesuit wearing gorilla. His name is Winston. Harry explains some of his origin…
Winston is up there with D.va in terms of crazy Overwatch character backstories. To understand Winston, we need to briefly cover the Horizon Lunar Colony; a moon base full of scientists experimenting with genetically altered animals, particularly gorillas. One of these gorillas was Winston. The rest of the gorillas decided that being effectively trapped on the moon and genetically experimented on wasn’t all that great, so they rioted and killed the scientists. Before the excrement rocketed fanwards, Winston decided for himself that the whole arrangement was kind of messed up, so he jury-rigged an escape capsule and made it back to Earth. From there, he became a scientist for Overwatch, and after the Petras Act continued to live at Watchpoint: Gibraltar, an abandoned Overwatch base, along with Athena, an AI he helped build during Overwatch’s heyday. Winston remains close friends with Tracer, as she was the first to answer the Overwatch recall signal in the animated short ‘Recall’, and the comic ‘Reflections’ shows Tracer and her girlfriend Emily visiting Winston at Watchpoint: Gibraltar for Christmas dinner.Harry: Advice to my father: part 12.
I love this figure of Winston. He looks well armoured, and his Tesla Cannon bears a good resemblance to that seen in the game. His jump pack attaches nicely vie 2×2 studs on his back. Will we find his culinary vices during the build? Harry tells me that we should keep our eyes open for bananas and peanut butter…
Fareeha ‘Pharah’ Amari is the daughter of Ana Amari, the original Strike Leader of Overwatch, and a currently unnamed (at time of writing) Native Canadian. As a child, she wanted to follow in her mother’s footsteps (which she was strongly against) but after Ana’s “death” at the hands of Widowmaker, she joined the Egyptian military and rose through the ranks. However, Overwatch was disbanded before she had the chance to join up. After leaving the military, she took an assignment at Helix Security protecting an AI research facility. As part of this assignment, Pharah was given access to and training in the Raptora Mark VI flight suit, a combination of jetpack, rocket launcher, and combat armour. While not necessarily canon due to the nature of the only canonical lore being excluded from the game itself, it is implied that Pharah either has responded or will eventually respond to Winston’s recall signal and join the new Overwatch.Harry: Advice to my Father #29
Pharah’s armoured figure is enhanced through the use of the armour element from NEXO Knights (Design ID 68350), but this is the first time it has been produced in blue (with trans blue piping). The Bright blue blades, as well as the elements that hold them are also new in this colour here. The Eye of Horus tattoo around her right eyes is printed clearly. She would have benefited from some arm printing, but is still a splendid mini figure.
We have met Reaper before, in the Dorado Showdown set. He possesses the ability to transform into a wraith, for temporary invulnerability and rapid movement, and in this set we have the option of normal legs or the ‘ghost base’ which does a good job, in my mind, to convey that wraith form. There is a pair of black legs included, for more conventional personal movement. He again has a pair of Hellraiser shotguns, based around the Overwatch gun element. Otherwise, the figure is unchanged from the Dorado Showdown. The printing on his body is well appointed, and the detail is exquisite, however, I feel that the face printing is not quite as ‘solid’ as it could be… but more on that subject shortly.
Have Mercy on us.
The backstory of Dr Angela ‘Mercy’ Ziegler is a bit difficult to pin down due to conflicting bits of lore relating to her and mass fan speculation, so let’s stick with the basics: Mercy is an accomplished doctor, thirty seven in the ‘current day’ of the timeline, who joined Overwatch during the Omnic Crisis and developed the Valkyrie suit. This allows her to fly to the aid of friendlies on the battlefield in her capacity as a healer and combat medic, granting her a high degree of in-game synergy with Pharah which is why both characters were included in this set. Additionally, she also developed the biotic healing technology her staff uses to heal allies.Harry: Advice to My Father “Haven’t you finished this yet?”
One of the highlights of the Overwatch themed sets has been the minifigures. They have included an extremely diverse bunch of characters, and the artwork has been engaging. In every set, it has been a pleasure to look at these characters and then I reached Mercy. Mercy is a healer. By all means quite a popular character to play – part of her role is to heal injured characters while on a mission with the aid of her 3 pronged staff: a very useful person to have on your team if you are about to be repeatedly shot at, beaten up or thrown down. The rendering on the box looks brilliant. Overall, the figure looks great, with awesome printing on the torso, legs and arms, BUT…
… then there is the harsh reality of the printing on Mercy’s face. Compared to the rendered imaged on LEGO.com, the colouring of her face just doesn’t quite seem right! As is often the case when minifigures have a light coloured print ( such as this light flesh, or Reaper’s white) on a black component, the printing never quite seems as dense as might be required to prevents me of the underlying black bleeding through. What should come through as a light flesh color is washed out: grey , drab and lifeless. Not quite enough layers of the new colour perhaps? It reminds me of a story from the early days of the LEGO company, while the company was still dealing in wooden toys….
Quality above allThe Beginning of the LEGO Group (LEGO.com)
… Ole Kirk Kristiansen demands quality at every stage of the process, especially from his own children. Son Godtfred Kirk Christiansen once took a consignment of painted wooden ducks to the railway station. Back at the factory, he proudly tells his father he’s done something really clever and saved the company money. “How did you manage that?” asks Ole Kirk Kristiansen. “I gave the ducks just two coats of varnish, not three as we usually do!” Back comes his father’s prompt response: “You’ll immediately fetch those ducks back, give them the last coat of varnish, pack them and return them to the station! AND you’ll do it on your own – even if it takes you all night!”. “That taught me a lesson about quality,” says Godtfred Kirk Christiansen on a later occasion. After the lesson, Godtfred carves out wooden signs of the company motto “Only the best is good enough” and hangs on the wall of the factory to remind employees of the company attitude to quality.
I wonder how Mercy’s face would have looked if the face had received an extra layer or two? Certainly a warmer/orange light shone on the figure seems to return the face to something closer to the intended colour. There are so many interesting features on minifigures faces that manage to get lined up these days, that I think an extra layer of ink here might be an improvement. The detail in the figure is exquisite, but the quality of the head print is a quite a downer. I’m not angry or cross about this. Just disappointed.
We start with building the shuttle – several bags are dedicated to this.
The shuttle is predominantly black, white, grey and medium azure, with a hint of bright blue. The teal brick separator leapt out at me quickly. There are a few new elements in this set, and some recolours of pieces from recent years. I found the most interesting to be the left and right slops, 3×3, 45/18/45º these allow a continuous outward (or inward) line between a standard 45º slope. Also of interest is the 4×6 plate w/angle. These are all interesting elements, which seem to be designed to make it easier to build a streamlined shuttle shape. I wonder if these elements will again be put to good use in future sets?
As well as Mercy and Pharah, we build the front half of the shuttle. It looks sleek and as if it is going to have somewhere to go. seating is limited however, with only one seat at this stage.
We also have a gun platform that opens up behind the cabin, with a couple of flick fire missiles enclosed:
Bag two sees the rear of the shuttle constructed:
Not so many new elements here: some 2×2 plates in medium Azur, as well as a couple of ‘Minecraft feet’ – the plate with a plate off to the side…
We build the base of the rear end of the shuttle. We appear to have a mother cockpit developing, along with a cargo bay.
For me so far, construction has felt fairly straight forward. It is always a pleasure to see how the geometry of the angled plates is used to determine the shape of a shuttle type vehicle, and this set is no exception. The new elements featured in the front half were also good to see used.
The third bag bag introduces another new wedge plate and a recolour: – a 4×6 in white (design ID 48205/, and the 2×4 presented in medium azure(design ID41769/41770) for the first time.
This step sees us add the cover to the cargo bay, with an opening cover. a small sticker with 3 small azur circles completes the look. We have several sets of angled wings which give a feeling of a stable vessel. The banana and peanut butter jar hint at Winston’s arrival soon, but we don’t see him yet…
This half of the shuttle fits nicely in with the front end of the craft, and the final product is extremely sleek.
There is no doubt, however, that the shuttle needs to be launched somehow. I guess this is what the next couple of bags are for. Finally we get to build Winston, as well as unearth the signature Watchpoint Gibraltar dish – this is identical to the dish found in 75970 Tracer vs Widowmaker. The plate 1×4 with 2 studs is a new mould this year, previously discussed in New Elementary earlier this year – the reverse side of this element has been updated from the previous version.
This bag builds the base of the launch pad: the round dark red circles accept the jets on the tail end of the shuttle. the use of pipes in various colours gives a solid industrial feel to the build.
The final bag, as well as a supplementary bag holding several lengths of straight, red roller coaster track (seen for the first time since the debut in last year’s creator expert Roller coaster) goes toward building the launch gantry. Lots of red and very little that is new this year.
I took the liberty of taking a photo of this build under UV light, and it would appear that as well as transparent fluorescent yellowish green, some of the new dark red elements fluoresce!t I found a similar effect with to exist with the dark red of the truck in 75972 Dorado Showdown. This leaves me intrigued to find out what we might see with the hidden side sets, to be released later in the year, as dark red is a prominent colour in both the school building and the train. Some of the red elements are slightly fluorescent, but not as impressively as the dark red.
Life Versus Art
I compared the finished model and figures with examples of art related to the game, from the Playoverwatch.com media site.
The gantry and shuttle are fairly well designed when compared to the original artwork. Perhaps the tapering is not so smooth or rounded as the original, but the feeling is certainly there.
Winston’s figure is not quite as aggressive as this screen shot suggests he can be. His Tesla cannon is well represented, as is his jump pack, which attached to his back by 2×2 studs. Some further shoulder printing wouldn’t have gone astray, but it certainly feels like a gorilla meaning business.
Pharah makes good use of the shoulder armor from NEXO Knights to give her a bulked up appearance. The new gold and blue headpiece convey the look of a falcon’s beak nicely, even if the LEGO version covers slightly more of the face than the original
Mercy’s wings are perhaps a little too organic compared with the original depiction. Given the existing parts palette, however, it’s a pretty good representation. Interestingly, bathed in a warmer light, the printing on her face looks more similar to the source material. Plainly some work needs to be done with the printing of pale colours onto dark elements.
I feel a little torn at the end of this review. As a play set, this set has a lot going for it: the launchpad, the shuttle, three minifigures and a Big Fig. However, the highlight of the Overwatch series has been the minifigures, and while there is a good range (although you might normally expect another one in a set of this price), there are a couple of figures which let the team down, as a result of their facial printing: Mercy and, to a lesser extent, Reaper- home we have previously seen. This is a shame, because it otherwise come close to being a set which has it all: landscape, vehicles, good guys, bad guys, and a chance to interact with 75970 Tracer vs Widowmaker, as the shuttle from that set is designed to attach to the back of the cargo bay.
What did I love?
- the breadth of the build: landscape, vehicles, minifies, migfigs
- the Torso and leg prints of all the figures!
- The shout out to Winston’s peanut butter addiction inside the Shuttle Cargo Bay.
- The overall size of the rocket.
- Range of characters
What did I not love?
- Mercy’s face print
- Reapers face print
- Perhaps they could have included an alternative figureto Reaper, since we saw him previously in Dorado Showdown?’
There is no doubt that there are many more characters in the Overwatch roster that could be introduced in future sets, and there have been hints that perhaps the line is not yet complete. It would have been good to see another ‘bad guy’ figure in the series, but Reaper is certainly instrumental in the attach on Watchpoint Gibraltar that results in Winston sending the recall signal.
Overall, I find more to like about this set than to dislike. For $AUD139.99, and with 730 pieces, it is a reasonable sized set, with a few more larger pieces than many sets, as well as three Minifigures and a Big-Fig. I think it is more likely to appeal to younger gamers, who still want to play with assembled LEGO sets, and players of the game, who appreciate the LEGO Aesthetic. I appreciate the printing of Mercy’s face is a bit disappointing, BUT for me, its not a deal breaker. I give this set four out of five arbitrary praise units. If the figure’s printing ruins it for you, feel free to lower that value for yourself. It is Arbitrary, any way.
I have found the availability of Overwatch sets in Australia somewhat curious, with only the Certified stores and LEGOLAND Discovery Centre holding stock, while they are otherwise Amazon Exclusives here.
Before finishing up here, I would like to thank my son, Harry, who took the time to help me to understand some of the finer, and more obscure aspects of Overwatch Lore. I certainly learned a few things along the way, and I hope you have too.
What do you think of this set, and the Overwatch theme in general? why not leave you comments below, and follow the Rambling brick to ensure you are up to date with news, reviews and whimsy. Until Next time,
I would like to thank the AFOL Engagement team for providing these sets for review. All opinions are my own – provision of materials for review does not guarantee a favourable review.