Last week, the new Monkie Kid sets for 2022 were revealed at LEGO.com. Across the range, we see a mashup of old-school space, along with an appearance from classic town. This compares with Ninjago, which often brings more of a mashup of science-fiction/Space and medieval fantasy/Castle vibe to the picture.
Over the next couple of months, I’ll bring you reviews of most of the sets coming up in the new Monkie Kid wave – and it looks like it will have something for everyone.
Today, I’d like to start with 80030 Monkey King Staff Creations. This set has 309 pieces and will retail for $49.99 AUD; $34.99 USD;$44.99 CAD; £24.99 GBP; €29.99. It comes with 2 minifigures: Monkie Kid/MK and Monkey King.
As you can see, there are a variety of elements here. The Monkie Kid sets that centre around our protagonist feature a colour palette of bright red, bright yellow, and bright bluish-green/dark turquoise/teal. There are a few other elements in this set that are in flame yellowish orange/bright light orange – ingots, as well as a 1×2 plate with handles – at a distance, these can easily be confused with yellow. Pearl gold also makes up an important part of MK’s colour palette. I am tempted to refer to this bright bluish-green in the MK context as Jade, as I am sure this is what it is intended, in part, to represent.
There are 2 new elements present in this set, which are a new mould for the 2022 release year: a 1×2 brick with handles in the middle. Or is it a modified 1×2 plate with rounded ends? This element has also been seen in the images for the Lunar New Year sets in a light transparent blue, as well as flame yellowish-orange. There are 15 included in this set.
The element resembles 2 1×2 plates with rounded ends, connected by a bar, as long as 1 plate is thick.
It is ideally suited to accept a clip, on the side of a brick, and this is how the element is ultilised in this set. As you can see, it looks like it will have many uses, particularly when joining elements ‘off the grid’ but also for SNOT connections, as well as the modular ‘plug in’ uses provided in this set.
The other element of interest is a new modified plate – 2×6 with a 135º angle. The angle is fixed and has a hole that can suit a stud in the centre. The outer edge will accommodate a 1×2 plate hinge. Four of these elements, in yellow, are included in this set. The element is two plates thick, but each end is only one plate thick. I see this element having applications again for going off the grid, and also (as is demonstrated in this set) knees and elbows in simple mechs. I presume we will see it appear in some of the Ninjago mechs that appear this year. I guess we will find out over the next few weeks as the sets are revealed. Here are some examples of the element and its geometry:
There are 2 minifigures included in this set: MK, as well as the Monkey King. MK has a new face print, as well as a fresh white torso, with cloud motifs, knotted buttons, as well as a grinning Monkey King logo on the back. The Monkey King Minifigure was previously seen in a couple of sets (80022, 80024) from 2021
Monkie Kid is carrying a brown staff, while the Monkey King has a red staff, with rolled gold ends. this staff has the ability to transform, according to the will of whoever wields it – traditionally, it would just change size. However, the updated powers provide us with the opportunity to create all sorts of things, including the models in this set!
We start off building the body for a car. It incorporates a simple, rectangular chassis, and incorporates some of our new blocks on both sides, and each end. The Monkey King logo is printed on the 2×3 curved slope, and there are three included in this set.
It is pretty simple but does retain a somewhat blocky aesthetic. It rolls well and comfortably seats a Minifigure. A clip on the back will look after the driver’s staff.
The second model is a simple jet, this time with two of the rounded bricks with bars on each side. The double tailplane looks clever, and without too much work, the plane can be converted into a sleek delta wing.
Finally, we have a simple mech. while the shoulders plug in and out, the arm elements are relatively fixed. One arm has a tile shooter, ad the other holds only a larger version of the Staff.
Unfortunately, the new angled plate feels like a dumbing down of the techniques previously used in Mech building. It does improve the strength over the knee and elbow, by eliminating the potential for flexion, and so the mech does not feel like it has the same level of versatility as the Marvel Mechs – which feature articulated knees and elbows.
This is essentially a vehicle construction set – and fortunately, we can build all 3 vehicles: car, plane and mech simultaneously. Admittedly the builds are relatively simple, but this is in keeping with the 5+ audience.
Rather than taking the build one, pulling it apart, build another approach of the creator 3in1 sets, this set builds each vehicle in a modular form, with plug-in components. Aspects are easily interchanged for both functional, and mischievously amusing purposes
With 3 main colours in the build, plus a couple of others, this is a pretty neat general set, with multipurpose elements. As well as the prescribed builds, there are plenty of parts to create other models.
The models are fun and swooshable. While representing reasonable value, at $50AUD, it does highlight another problem with the Monkie kid theme, in the relative shortage of sets at a lower price point. This set gives us some nice figures and has plenty of playability. I do not know whether it fits nicely into the mythology of the show this year, or if it is a toy that exists for the purpose of something to play with.
I really appreciate the new 1×2 modified brick or plate with bars: it offers some great versatility, and I can see it being employed in many different ways. To get 15 of them in this one set is fantastic.
At this stage, it would appear that the sets will be (initially) a LEGO retail exclusive. Although this was the case with the first wave of sets, they subsequently became available with a general release, along with deep discounts. I have no idea if this will follow with this range: time will tell.
I will be reviewing most of the new range of Monkie Kid sets over the next few weeks. They will be released on January 1st 2022. You can check them out on the LEGO Website, using these affiliate links:
If you make a subsequent purchase from LEGO.com, The Rambling Brick might receive a small commission, which goes towards running our website.
What do you think of this set? Are you Intrigued by the new elements? why not leave your comments below, and until next time,
This set was provided by the LEGO Group for review purposes. All opinions are my own.